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Frequently Asked Questions

Before you make a decision as to whether this therapy feels right for you, here are some frequently asked questions about CBT, which may help you with your decision.


I strive to provide my clients with the best possible care and resources needed for a successful journey in psychotherapy. I understand that navigating the world of therapy can be bewildering and confusing, which is why I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to give you a little more insight into what you can expect.

What is CBT?

CBT is one of the few forms of psychotherapy that has been scientifically tested and found to be effective in over three hundred clinical trials for many different mental health presentations. In contrast to other forms of psychotherapy, cognitive therapy is usually more focused on the present, more time-limited, and more problem-solving oriented. Much of what you will do is around solving current problems. In addition, you will learn specific skills that you can use for the rest of your life. These skills involve identifying problematic thought processes, challenging / updating beliefs, relating to others in different ways, and changing behaviours.

What is the theory behind CBT?

Cognitive therapy is based on the cognitive model, which is, simply that the way we perceive situations influences how we feel emotionally. For example, one person reading this might think, “Wow! This sounds good, it’s just what I’ve always been looking for!” and feels happy. Another person reading this information might think, “Well, this sounds good but I don’t think I can do it.” This person may feel sad and discouraged. So it is not a situation which directly affects how we react emotionally, but our thoughts in that situation. When we are in distress, we often don't think clearly and our thoughts may become distorted in some way. Cognitive therapy helps to identify distressing thoughts and evaluate how realistic the thoughts are. Then we can learn to change our thinking. When we think more realistically, we feel better. The emphasis is also consistently on solving problems and initiating behavioural change.

How long does therapy last for?

The decision about length of treatment is made collaboratively between us. Often, I will have a rough idea after a session or two of how long it might take for you to reach the goals that you set at the first session. Some people remain in therapy for just a brief time, six to twelve sessions. Other people, who have had long-standing difficulties, may choose to stay in therapy for many months. Initially, it is advised that sessions take place weekly. This creates momentum and provides an opportunity to learn from experience, in between sessions. Towards the end of therapy, we might agree to try therapy once every two weeks, then once every three weeks. This more gradual tapering of sessions allows you to practice the skills you’ve learned whilst still in therapy. Booster sessions are recommended three, six and twelve months after therapy has ended.

How can I make the best use of therapy?

One way is to make good use of the supplementary reading you will have access to, in between sessions. A second way is to prepare carefully for each session, thinking about what you learned in the previous session and jotting down what you want to discuss in the next session. I always advise clients bring a therapy book to make notes in and record learning and reflections from the tasks set in between sessions. A way to maximize therapy is to make sure that you try to bring the therapy session into your everyday life. A good way of doing this is by taking notes, during and at the end of each session. By the end of therapy, you will then have a notebook, which will serve as a guide as you continue to actively put your new learning into practice. 

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