Archive | July, 2011

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

25 Jul

Our last blog post explained the benefits of Cognitive Behavioural therapy as opposed to just Hypnotherapy.  In this blog post, we would now like to explain a little more about the different types of cognitive behavioural therapy. 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy. The basis of CBT is that what people think can affect how they feel and how they behave.  Within this broad definition is a number of cognitive behavioural psychotherapies such as Behaviour Therapy (BT), Cognitive Therapy (CT), Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT),  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to name but a few.

 The two pioneers of CBT, Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck, shared the view that most disturbances arise from faulty thinking and that the remedy is to be found in corrective actions.  Both concentrate on present problems and present thinking in contrast to the earlier forms of psychotherapy.  Also, both recommended the inclusion of behavioural exercises.  Because of the inclusion of behavioural exercises, Cognitive Therapy (CT) is now known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

This blog will briefly explain the two main schools of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies.   Both have a scientific theory that can and has been tested, as well as a structured framework and process of therapy.   

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)

REBT was founded in 1955 by Albert Ellis and has the longest history of any of the cognitive behaviour therapies listed above.   The often quoted phrase of Epictetus (Stoic Philosopher) “People are disturbed not by things but by their view of things” is at the heart of REBT. 

This quote is conceptualised by REBT’s ABC diagram of human disturbance.  It is not the event, but the belief or view you hold about the event, which is at the heart of emotional states and performance.  Emotions, thoughts, behaviours can be healthy and functional or dysfunctional. The event can be something that has happened in the past, something that is happening now or something that could happen in the future.  It can also be real, imaginary or internal or external.  Internal events can be thoughts, images, memories, physical sensations or even emotions.  For example, people can become depressed about their feelings of anxiety.  So anxiety in this example would be the A in the ABC diagram below and Depression would be the C in the ABC.

CBT, Event, Belief, Consequences Diagram

CBT, Event, Belief, Consequences Diagram



 Beliefs that are unhealthy have at their core explicit or implicit rigid, powerful demands and commands usually expressed  as MUSTs, SHOULDs, HAVE to’s, GOT to’s e.g. I absolutely must not be rejected.  Essentially, unhealthy demands are not based on what is possible in reality.  Therefore, certain unfavourable or undesirable possibilities are not accepted e.g. rejection.

 These demands also have powerful derivatives such as “If I am rejected, which I MUST not,

a) It’s awful (i.e. 100% bad)

b) It’s unbearable (i.e. can’t survive, cope or be happy at all)

c) It proves I am a worthless person.

So REBT is about:

  1. Helping a client understand their emotions, behaviour and goals,
  2. Identify their unhealthy or unhelpful beliefs that are sabotaging their happiness and goals,
  3. Challenge them and replace them with their healthier version in order to become undisturbed and eventually happy. 

REBT essentially helps clients develop resiliency and self acceptance by enabling them to face their worst case scenarios and their ‘what ifs’ rather than ignore them.  This can lead to a powerful philosophical shift which enables clients to focus on their desires, wants and wishes without becoming disturbed or stuck about the ‘what if’.  Clients then view setbacks and failures as purely temporary as opposed to life or soul destroying, while remaining motivated and focused on their desires and goals. 


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on Aaron T Beck’s theory that our emotions and behaviour are influenced by the way we think and by how make sense of the world.  Our interpretations and assumptions developed from personal experience often conflict with external reality.   Beck encouraged his patients to focus their attention on their ‘automatic thoughts’.  This led him to reformulate concepts of depression, anxiety, phobias, and obsessive compulsive neuroses in terms of ‘thinking errors’.

The cause of the disturbance in Beck’s CBT is attributed to the following:

 1)      Schema.  This is similar to Ellis’ belief system in the ABC model.  Schema refers to ‘belief system’ or ‘network of beliefs’.  That system or network is made up of a host of beliefs about people, events, situations etc.  These schematic beliefs are maintained in a conditional form e.g. if I don’t win, I am a failure. 

2)      Law of Rules.  Our reactions to many situations are consistent, guided by a ‘set of rules’ which help us make sense out of the world. 

3)      Cognitive Errors.  Thinking errors or faulty thinking which are common to many psychiatric disorders.  All patients show distortion to reality to varying degrees.  For example, seeing things only in black and white or focusing on a specific detail whilst ignoring everything else and drawing conclusions from that.

Clients are helped test their assumptions and views of the world in order to check if they fit with reality.  When clients learn that their perceptions and interpretations are distorted or unhelpful they then work at correcting them. 


Both schools are open to influence from each other and in practice ideas from both can be utilised, as appropriate, to achieve successful outcomes for clients.  However REBT and CBT remain distinct.

 Testing Assumptions

 In REBT the client’s assumptions are assumed to be true and are not immediately put to a reality test.  In Beck’s CBT, the client’s assumptions are tested for validity first.  The reason for this is that REBT theory states that a client’s assumptions are a consequence of holding an unhealthy beliefs, so these assumptions are assumed to be true in order to ‘cut to the chase’ and identify the unhealthy beliefs.  It deals with the questions of ‘what if’ at the outset.


Treating symptoms or generalised philosophy?

CBT is based on the treatment of the symptom.  Whilst REBT also treats the symptom, in REBT, the aim is to effect ‘profound philosophic change and a radically new outlook on life’ (Albert Ellis) by transforming deeply held core beliefs about the self, others and the world.   

 However, a drawback to REBT may be that some clients may not like the model or its application.  CBT is more cautious and aims for some kind of improvement and return to normal functioning, symptom relief or symptom management but offers a variety of problem-solving techniques.  On the negative side, this approach misses the chance to offer a client a simple philosophy and the tools to become their own therapists when faced with different problems in the future. 

REBT or CBT, that is the question…

So, when it comes to REBT or CBT there is always a question for therapists. Should they use REBT, CBT or a combination of both?  At CCBH, we prefer REBT to CBT but not always, it will depend on the particular situation.

We know this has been a longer blog post, but hopefully it has been useful to you! Do ask any questions about REBT or CBT below…

Why Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH) and not Hypnotherapy

21 Jul

You may have heard these different words and phrases bandied about – ‘hypnosis’, ‘hypnotherapy’ and ‘cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy’. So now we wanted to talk a bit more about the differences between them. Why do we teach CBH and not just H?

Not just hypnotherapy

Not just hypnotherapy

Well, firstly, Hypnosis is not a school of therapy and does not provide a theory of personality or behaviour change.  Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness.  It is a ‘state’ under which you can use any type of therapy or psychotherapeutic framework.  It is for this reason that many Hypnotherapists use ‘techniques’ from a variety of different and sometimes opposing theoretical perspectives.  This, in our opinion, can often lead to client and therapist confusion and poor clinical assessment. 

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH) uses only one model of therapy, CBT, and combines this with hypnosis.  The CBT model is solid, evidence based and comprehensively researched.  It is also recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) for the treatment of many disorders including anxiety and depression.

At our college, we train people in CBH using cognitive and behavioural theories and frameworks such as Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (RECBT) which was developed by Albert Ellis. We also use other cognitive and behavioural therapies such as Cognitive Therapy, developed by Aaron Beck.  So, CBT is the base theory and framework for integration with hypnosis.

CBH is technically diverse.  Most techniques are cognitive or behavioural but, sometimes, we combine techniques from various psychotherapies too.  The difference is that in CBH these techniques are selected deliberately from a cognitive and behavioural context to guide the practice of CBH and for each client.   The framework and the guiding theory remain cognitive and behavioural.

There are many advantages to working with CBH and, indeed, research highlights the benefits of the addition of hypnosis to CBT practice.  Other advantages include the following:

  • The addition of hypnosis can shorten treatment.
  • Hypnosis enhances imagery.
  • Hypnosis can enable the therapist and client to identify deeply held beliefs and attitudes.  It provides access to unconscious beliefs.
  • Hypnosis helps build rapport between the client and the therapist which strengthens the therapeutic relationship.
  • Hypnosis can be used to induce deep relaxation.  The client can learn self hypnosis to produce similar relaxation.
  • Hypnosis is an excellent state for receiving helpful suggestions based on CBT philosophies.

In conclusion, apart from benefiting many clients, CBH can be really useful for both CBT therapists and Hypnotherapists.  It allows CBT therapists to continue working therapeutically without sacrificing their theoretical bias and preference.  It allows Hypnotherapists to learn a scientific and evidence based structure and framework on which to hang their hypnotic techniques   Both CBT therapists and Hypnotherapists can enhance their current practise.

The only specialist CBH College

14 Jul

We have been blogging for a while now so we thought it was high time that we let you know a little more about our college. In this blog post, we explain what makes CCBH different to other colleges that teach hypnotherapy.  We also wanted to let you know about some changes we are making to the courses to provide a better experience for students. So read on and enjoy!…

The only college to specialise in CBH

The only college to specialise in CBH

The College of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CCBH) is the only college that specialises in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH), making it a truly unique place to study in. At CCBH, the core to all our courses is CBH and then we utilise other different therapies to enhance this teaching.

CCBH was established by Avy Joseph, Anthony Lappin and Maggie Chapman (more information on the founders here ), to train adults and therapies in the theory, practice, ethics and therapeutic applications of CBH. CCBH promotes specifically CBH as a valid contemporary treatment, one that can be utilised alongside other skills or as a therapeutic clinical profession in its own right.

As a specialist college, the college also looks to help students get out there in the wider world and start using their new skills to help people, whether they end up working for the NHS, or decide to set up their own practises, or do something different altogether.

How do courses work?

The college is constantly looking at ways to improve its courses, and feedback from past and present students helps ensure our courses become even better. For example, starting this September, our diploma courses have 2 full “hands on” practise days in therapeutic and cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy added to them.  We are also launching a Graduate Scheme,  to start in August, which allows newly qualified graduates to offer therapy to the public at a discounted price, all supervised. Students get clinic space and clinical supervision. (More details to follow later). CCBH believes this level of support helps graduates move beyond being students, helping them gain real world experience in helping people.

CCBH understands the difficulty of adult learning, which is why we take into consideration external commitments, that may influence the ability to study and learn effectively. Courses are offered on a part-time basis and classroom attendance is at weekends (one weekend per month). That means you can continue to work or look after children while you study. For more information on how CCBH courses work, please follow this link to the colleges website


The best way to apply is to request a prospectus and an application form. To request a prospectus, contact a member of the college on 0207 7034 7049 or follow this link to an online Prospectus request form:

We are based in London, in Baker street, so it is a pretty handy location for hypnotherapy training in London.

Finally, we would always recommend that you look to apply early as our courses are very popular, please note we have a maximum of just thirty people per course.