I Love CBT - CBT Lincoln

Written by Kate Southwell on 17th of March 2015
Hello everyone, I thought it was about time I wrote my first proper entry into this blog and would like to use it to talk about my love for CBT.

I’ve been working using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques for over 8 years and have always found it to be a practical therapy that helps provide answers for people when they have questions like ‘why do I feel this way?’, ‘how can I change things?’ and ‘will this ever get better?’. However my journey into therapy began before this, in 2006, when I started training in Humanistic Counselling at the University of Nottingham. I found however that I struggled with this approach and decided to complete the first Certificate year before leaving. Whilst I have utmost respect for my colleagues and friends who work in this way (with notably positive results), I decided that I wanted to work differently and stumbled across CBT after I was referred for a course of it myself. I immediately fell in love with the therapy, and my passion has grown ever since. I trained in basic CBT skills as a ‘Graduate Mental Health Worker' at Lincoln University, before updating as a ‘Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner’ at Nottingham University and then completed my full Post Graduate Diploma there in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy.

I worked in the NHS for many years but found myself uncomfortable with a number of practices and felt convicted to leave and set up private practice. I now practice privately and also contract services via agencies and a charity called ‘ASSIST Trauma Care’. Since this point, I have become increasingly excited about CBT and have found myself almost desperate to learn more about new research, books and teaching. Bottom line, I love CBT and I’ve been trying to work out what makes me love it so much. In addition to the fact that it worked for me, I think my love falls into the following categories:

  • It works – First and foremost; CBT really works. This isn’t just evidenced by the hundreds of research studies conducted on CBT, but by day to day practice. Simply put; patients get better. This isn’t to say that CBT works for everyone or that other therapies aren’t great too, but on a daily basis, I see people who have battled with difficulties for years, get well. It doesn’t mean that it’s a quick fix, or that it’s easy, but the principles are sound and the techniques genuinely work, which I find exciting. And it’s not just with one or two difficulties, it’s applicable to a vast range of conditions.

  • It is practical – What I also love about CBT is how practical it is. As oppose to traditional counseling, CBT offers practical skills and techniques to help people move forward. We set homework in therapy to put into practice at home; much like a physio encourages certain exercises between sessions to facilitate change. My clients like that it is a practical therapy as well – offering real insight on how to understand what is happening and how vicious cycles of thinking and behaviour can be changed.

  • It is collaborative – CBT isn’t just me telling you what to do, or you having to guess what to do. It’s all about teamwork. Broadly speaking, I know a fair amount about CBT, but you know a lot about you and we need to work together to share our knowledge and make sense of things.

  • It helps people meet their goals – In CBT, I spend time thoroughly assessing your difficulties so we both know where to start. This generally takes between 2 and 4 hours, and we identify the goals you want to achieve. We then ensure that the treatment works towards these goals, meaning it isn’t about what I want you to do, or your friends and family want you to do, it’s about what you want to do. You are in control.
So there are a few reasons as to why I love CBT, but importantly, it is a privilege. My clients allow me into their world and trust me with their fears, their low self esteem, their history and their doubts. We talk about things in therapy that are private and often deeply personal making me acknowledge what an honor it is to do what I do.
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