COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a commonly used solution-focused intervention proven to effectively challenge and change patterns of unhealthy distorted thoughts and behaviours.

 

By examining the individual's thoughts, beliefs and attitudes the therapist can identify any harsh, negative and extreme thinking patterns (known as cognitive distortions) and teach the individual how to identify and replace these thoughts with more accurate, adaptive and helpful thoughts.

Research has proven CBT to be one of the most effective forms of therapy. More than 500 studies have been carried out to investigate the effectiveness of CBT; the majority of those studies found CBT reduces anxiety and depression symptoms as effectively as medication, with lower incidence of relapse.

CBT has been shown to be effective for the following disorders:

  • depression

  • phobias

  • obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • panic attacks

  • social anxiety

  • post-traumatic stress disorder

  • bipolar disorder

  • substance abuse difficulties

  • generalized anxiety disorder

  • anger problems

  • medical disorders affected by stress, such as high blood pressure, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, insomnia, and chronic pain.

EXPOSURE RESPONSE PREVENTION THERAPY

Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy is a form of CBT specifically developed for OCD. It involves the therapist supporting and guiding the individual to voluntarily expose themselves to their distressing thoughts and situations and allow obsessive thoughts to occur without 'putting them right' or 'neutralising' them with compulsions.

 

Although this approach induces short-term discomfort, it undermines the obsessive-compulsive pattern and relieves worry. Central to the success of this treatment is the commitment to not give in and not engage in the compulsive behaviour.

 

People with OCD may have found their anxiety skyrocket when they have previously confronted their obsessions resulting in them reverting to compulsions. In ERP, your therapist with help you manage your anxiety and help you be consistent in refraining from doing compulsive behaviours, this will produce a natural reduction in anxiety levels and eventually freedom from OCD.

ERP changes your OCD and changes your brain to produce appropriate responses to actual anxiety rather than inappropriate responses to imagined anxieties.

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