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What To Expect in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Treatment?

What can I expect during Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Treatment?

ABCs of Cognitive Therapy

Although Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is increasingly popular, many of us are unclear about what it entails in practice.The format of therapy sessions usually varies according to which therapist you work with, but here is a general structure that many CBT therapists will follow:

STAGE ONE: Assessment.

Cognitive therapists will assess your current situation and ask about your past history. They may try to establish answers to the following questions:

  • What are the main issues that are causing you difficulty?
  • How do they interfere with your life at present?
  • How long have these issues existed?
  • What is your motivation level to want to change?
  • How might your past experiences, family or peer, have a bearing on the current issue?

STAGE TWO: Education.

  • As a client, you might learn about the psychodynamic context of the issues – i.e how your past may have an important bearing on present behaviours.
  • You might learn about how the brain acts to reinforce patterns of habit even if they are not productive to you.
  • You will about the model of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which, together with your therapist, you will use to bring about change in the desired direction.

STAGE THREE: Implementation/Experimentation

  • The Cognitive work will involve teaching you more useful thought patterns.
  • The Behavioural component will involve doing things to test your assumptions and learning more productive behaviours for the future.

STAGE FOUR: Practice

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As your behaviours and thinking patterns have been with you for years and years, it will take time to re-model our thoughts and actions. Our minds will want us to repeat old behaviours, so it is only with practice & persistence (sometimes taking us out of our comfort zone) that we can condition ourselves to think and behave in useful ways.

STAGE FIVE: Maintenance.

Once the methods become ingrained, it might be helpful to attend sessions periodically to check-up on progress and for a ‘tune-up’.


Harley Therapy – Psychotherapy & Counselling London offers help and treatment in Harley Street, W1 and City of London, EC2. For a consultation or more information please call 0845 474 1724

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Blog Topics: Cognitive Therapy, Theory of Therapy & Training

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    Dr. Sheri Jacobson


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