Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a dynamic model that shows a universal appeal across cultures, ages and now sexual and gender minority individuals (Martell, 2004). The model has been recommended to treat a variety of mental health disorders including depression - (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2005).
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is recommended for individuals suffering from mental health problems (Compton et al, 2004). The model focuses on identifying, evaluating and changing dysfunctional thoughts and behaviours. It is a highly structured, practical and effective intervention for depression (Beck, 1993) and anxiety (Hoffman and Smits, 2008). The model recognises that when people get distressed they repeat patterns of unhelpful thinking and behaviour.
CBT allows the therapist to explore personal meanings by identifying and addressing the behaviours and thinking patterns that cause and maintain depression. It helps people develop alternate, more flexible and helpful coping mechanisms. CBT is therefore considered the ‘best practice’ for treating individuals suffering from mental health disorders. It is a relatively short-term effective treatment and most clients benefit from six to twenty sessions with a good outcome. However, long standing interpersonal issues often require longer-term treatment.
Cognitive behavioural approaches can also be adapted for people from specific cultural backgrounds and for people with mild learning difficulties. In the case of a mixed diagnosis cognitive restructuring can be combined with exposure therapy which can help people correct negative expectations about the consequences of facing their fears. Therefore, research has found cognitive restructuring to be an effective intervention for a variety of anxiety based disorders (Safren and Heimberg, 1998).
Research has also found computerised Cognitive behavioural therapies (cCBT) to be an effective evidence based self-help that is confidential and accessed privately from the comfort of people's own homes. This also supports the view that online therapy is just as effective as in person therapy. This could be a practical and financial solution for people who do not want to travel long distances. Online therapy can therefore provide a consistent anchor in your life amongst the ebbs and flow of life.
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