Archive | January, 2013

How are Cognitive Behavioural Therapies used in the National Health Service?

28 Jan

Before we start discussing this topic, it will be helpful to have a definition of Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT), as defined by the NHS.

CBT is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. Talking and changing your behaviour can change how you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour). This can make you feel better about life.

CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a number of different health problems, such as depression, eating disorders, phobias, addictions, insomnia and anger management. In fact, the list seems endless!

CBT can also be effective for long term health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and arthritis. Although CBT cannot cure the physical symptoms of these health conditions, it can help people cope better with their symptoms.
So how is the NHS using CBT in its treatments?

Well, the answer is in lots of ways, and as the Government aims to make counselling and other types of talking therapies, including CBT, more easily available on the NHS, this use will increase over the next few years.

cbh conversation

Indeed, the NHS has an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. IAPT aims to put thousands more trained therapists into GP surgeries. The scheme will provide easy access to talking treatments on the NHS to those who need it. Part of the programme includes a four year plan of action for Talking Therapies.

Overall, the number of sessions, a client will need depends on individual problems and objectives. Treatment usually lasts six weeks to six months.

At CCBT, we understand the importance of CBT for treating all sorts of conditions, and are pleased that the NHS is working to improve access to these therapies. If you are interested in training to become a CBT Therapist yourself, please visit our website.

January blues, not if we can help it!

21 Jan

Well, the festivities are over and many of us are back at work. The weather is chilly and there is a distinct lack of sunlight. Energy bills are looming and those New Year resolutions are proving very hard to keep. Oh dear, there is little doubt January can trigger the blues!

Let’s try to analyse how we can be feeling and how we can change our demeanour and state of mind.

• Maybe there was a little over indulgence and now we don’t like what the scales are telling us. This is not a major problem, if we address the problem straight away. Remember, the way we eat over the Christmas period is bound to pile on the pounds. However by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and combining a sensible diet with regular exercise, within weeks an ideal weight can be achieved. So, that is one problem that can be solved with a little effort and determination.

• Often there is a deflated feeling due to the tensions and stresses of being around relatives for a prolonged period of time. There may have been arguments and upsets between family members that still need resolving. These are better sorted out sooner rather than later and not allowed to fester. If possible, contact the people concerned and build bridges. Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Make amends and move forward. Another issue that is within our capabilities to solve!

• An important trigger of January blues can be returning to work after a long break, to a job we are not happy in. Try to make some changes, so your present job will be more acceptable and fulfilling. If that is not possible, you may feel that the only way forward is a change of career. Our Master Class ‘Introduction to counselling skills’ can give you an insight in to one possible career move.

• Ok, we should be feeling a lot more positive now, but we still have to discuss the issue of over spending at Christmas. This is a tricky problem but one that should not be swept under the carpet. Depending on your financial situation, make a plan on how you can ease the burden of your debts and make sure you keep to it. You may need to alter the way you spend to make your plan work. Probably the most challenging problem to deal with but certainly if you deal with it, your mood will be lightened due to the constructive attitude and actions.

Well, there are lots of things to consider but we think January is starting to look a lot more enjoyable. We will finish with an interesting phenomenon – the lack of natural sunlight at this time of year, can lead to tiredness and feeling under the weather. While we cannot change the latitude of the county, there are things we can do to increase the amount of daily sunlight we receive. Try to get outdoors during the day, maybe at lunchtime, and go for a nice, long walk at the weekend. This is also an enjoyable way to help to get to grips with that weight gain topic we discussed earlier! The wonderful thing about our climate is its distinct phases and they should be embraced and enjoyed. The more time you can spend outside, the better!

We love January with its potential to set you up for a great rest of the year and hope you do too!

Can you tame the green-eyed monster?

9 Jan

Jealousy is an age-old concept and was even mentioned in the Bible where, depending on what version of it you are reading, it either compares it to a cancer or warns that it will rot your bones.

However, you can thank Shakespeare for the literary notion of it as a green-eyed monster. He first mentioned it in The Merchant of Venice (1596); and again in Othello (1604) but, the term has probably been around for a lot longer than that.

Jealousy occurs in all cultures around the world, regardless of their ideas on relationships.

Scientists have even identified the area of the brain responsibly for it – it’s the same part of the frontal lobe that detects real, physical pain, which is possibly why jealousy hurts so much.

As an emotion, however, it can twist you into so much more than a green-eyed monster. It can make you a ruthless tyrant, a tantrum-throwing child, a paranoid schemer and more.

Jealousy shouts and accuses, plots and sulks and clings and rejects in equal measure.

Jealousy then is a human being who is holding some very irrational beliefs about the relationship they are in.

Hardly surprising though, as love is not the most rational of emotions.

Most therapies make a distinction between healthy (or rational) and unhealthy (or irrational) jealousy. Both emotions are concerned with a possible threat to your relationship.

But, what’s the difference? After all, if you are in a relationship with someone you love and are concerned that they are paying too much attention to another, or that another is paying too much attention to them, is it not quite natural to be worried?

However, it’s how you view that worry and how you deal with it that matters.

Typically, the irrationally jealous think and act in ways that has their partners treading on eggshells. They feel insecure both about themselves and their relationship and see threats (usually imagined) to it everywhere.

They feel that things are forever teetering on the brink, hear sexual and romantic overtones in the most ordinary and everyday of conversations, vividly construct images of their partner’s cheating and will descend like the wrath of heaven if their other half should so much as admit to a passing attraction to someone else.

As a result, the unhealthily jealous often indulge in all sorts of wonderfully frantic behaviours: seeking constant reassurance that they are loved; assessing their partner’s every thought, feeling and behaviour; monitoring (and even restricting) their partner’s movements; looking for evidence of cheating and usually looking for it in places that (morally speaking) they should not be looking, to name but a few.

The healthily jealous, if you’ll pardon the pun, are a much more relaxed affair.

They tend not to see threats around each and every corner (or at each and every party), feel secure in both themselves and their relationships, do not misconstrue the ordinary conversations that their other half has, aren’t constructing vivid images of their loved ones with somebody else, and accept (albeit grudgingly, sometimes), that they do indeed find other people attractive.

As a result, the healthily jealous do not seek constant reassurance, do not assess their partner’s thoughts and feelings, and do not monitor or restrict their movements – in short, they free their partner up to be themselves.

Also, you can usually trust the healthily jealous person to not hack into your email account.

In short, healthy jealousy can help you to maintain your relationship, whilst unhealthy jealousy will rip it to pieces.

As a therapist, you will encounter many relationships problems that have their roots in jealousy.

That’s why we’ve developed this master class on how to help solve one of the most destructive emotions there is.

On it you will learn how to not only profile and help the jealous person, but also help those that suffer from their jealousy; you’ll discover how to separate unhealthy jealousy from healthy and learn the roles that anger, anxiety, depression and, even, envy can play. More importantly, you will learn how to help people re-forge a happy and harmonious relationship with the person they love the most. This master class is also open to those interested in personal development.

The green-eyed monster can never be slain, but it can be controlled.

You can find out more on http://www.cbttherapies.org.uk.