CBT Explained

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, or CBT, is an advanced type of psychological therapy that can be very effective in the treatment of depression and all types of anxiety problems incl social anxiety, health anxiety, phobias, stress, and generalised worrying.  

  • CBT focuses on the way in which our thinking (cognitions), emotions and behaviour are interconnected. 
  • It is very much a collaborative type of therapy, where the clinician and the client work together to break particular problems into smaller components in order to understand how and why particular mood states are occurring.  ​
  • Ways to intervene to break maladaptive patterns are then reviewed and often rehearsed in real world settings. 

 

Adults can access CBT with us either on a 1-1 basis, AND/OR via our 5-week adult "Stress Busters" community CBT course (check calendar for course dates). Those that do the adult "Stress Busters" course will need fewer 1-1 sessions, i.e. it is possible to gain general CBT insights at the community course, and then use the 1-1 sessions for techniques specific to each individual/situation. By the same token, many of our clients prefer to have 1-1 CBT from the beginning.  

FREE 1-1 CBT with a trainee

FREE 1-1 CBT is potentially available with-a-QUB trainee from Sept 2018 onwards for suitable clients based in Belfast/Lisburn.  You would be in very  good hands -our trainee is excellent, and all work is supervised by Centre Director Dr Ann O'Hanlon. 


Please get in touch to find out more, or check out our facebook/Twitter pages for more information and other such offers.

Effectiveness of CBT

CBT has an excellent and growing evidence base for effectiveness in treating a wide range of conditions incl low mood or depression and all types of anxiety incl stress, social anxiety, worry, panic, phobias, and OCD.  We also tend to use mood surveys to examine changes over time in mood states. Typically moods do improve over time, but if they are not improving, we problem solve together which can include us taking a different approach or changing the pace.  

Proceeding with CBT

We offer CBT as 1-1 sessions, or through our community CBT courses such as "Stress Busters" (an adult version, and a teen version).  


To proceed with 1-1 CBT we  recommend two steps: 

  • step 1: a short FREE phonecall with us in confidence, lasting around ten minutes, to chat briefly about presenting issues and to clarify that CBT is likely to be in your best interest as there are certain conditions, that can be better managed in a hospital / other setting, 
  • step 2: with agreement, we then proceed to a more detailed no-obligation assessment session in person; this can last 50 mins (an assessment only) OR 90 mins (assessment plus CBT taster session). After this assessment session, a course of five CBT sessions potentially may be booked to get better underway. 

To proceed with our group CBT community courses just check our calendar for courses dates and times  (these are updated regularly).  Alternatively, contact us directly and in confidence via email (anytime) or phone (office hours) - we would be delighted to hear from you. 

CBT Talks/Workshops for Groups

We are also available for one-off CBT talks and workshops that are tailored to the needs of each specific group. Such groups can incl schools, groups of older adults, or groups with key disabilities or challenges, e.g. Bechet’s Syndrome, or multiple sclerosis (MS). In fact we are very keen to work with groups who have disabilities or chronic illnesses; we encourage them, and their families, to understand that they are more than their illnesses or disabilities. 

Client Testimonials

FRANK (DEPRESSION AND WORRYING)
" I used to worry so much.  I just hadn’t realised that there was a different way. I feel more confident now about moving forward.  I am in a far better place now and have a better understanding generally. When you understand something, that’s half the battle because you are then in a stronger position to do something about it, and you don’t just get tossed along. I am definitely more confident about moving forward. Thank you so much"

JESSICA (DEPRESSION WITH PANIC)
"I didn’t used to like myself and couldn’t understand why others would like me, incl friends. I was just getting dragged down, and I  know I wasted a lot of time being down when I could have been happy and out enjoying myself. With CBT I got to know myself better, and I learnt to notice and express how I felt. This learning will help me identify a problem earlier, and take a different action. I feel way more confident now about the future. 

MARTHA (SOCIAL ANXIETY)
"I had this problem for many decades, ... but therapy has helped me see a new way of thinking, and a new way of behaving – so that my energy is not wasted any more. ... I have many things now to look forward to each day, and could never have imagined this (social) world that has now opened up to me. I feel very very very thankful. Thank you Ann.

FAQ: 1-1 CBT

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

1) How many sessions will I need? CBT is a short term therapy. The number of sessions needed, depends on a range of factors, including the complexity of the presenting problem(s). Often people need between 6 and 20 sessions. Sometimes people prefer to have a longer number of sessions for personal development reasons. However, those that have completed the Stress Busters course are likely to need fewer sessions, e.g. general information is available through Stress Busters, with the 1-1 sessions then tailored to the needs and interests of each individual. Ultimately our goal is to empower people with skills, techniques and insights so that they then become their own therapists, well able to regulate and manage how they feel.


2) How is 1-1 CBT delivered? CBT can be delivered face to face or is also available via telephone and Skype. For Skype and telephone sessions handouts and materials can be sent via email.


3) Is CBT confidential? Typically “yes” - see our “Privacy Notice” plus or “T&Cs” for more information on how we manage information and data. In brief, each client is given an ID number and only this number is used when booking sessions or writing summary notes of sessions. Confidentiality however may be breached: 

  • · if you were actively suicidal and at risk for harming yourself, or another. In such cases, we may speak with a family member or your GP as agreed with you in advance 
  • · if we were compelled though a court order to share notes. 


4) My reading or writing skills are not great – does this mean I should not attend? Sessions often include at least some writing or reading but please do not let any writing or reading problems put you off. Instead talk to us to find solutions. For instance, any session or homework notes can be recorded pictorally, and all therapists are happy to talk you through any mood survey in person. Tape recorders can also be used quite easily for homework assignments between one session and another.

 
5) What is the cost for 1-1 CBT? We absolutely try to keep costs as low as possible so that more people can avail of this wonderful therapy. The cost of the therapy is linked to the experience of the therapist, i.e. whether a trainee or an experienced clinician, and other related costs such as room rent which is higher is some venues compared to others. As a rough guide however: 

  • ​1-1 CBT with a trainee is potentially free for suitable clients, i.e. those who are health anxious, or those with phobias. Otherwise check out our calendar for more information​

6) Do you have a cancellation policy? Yes, typically clients pay in advance, and they will "lose" a session where there is non-attendance, or where the cancellation is less than 24 hours. We will always do our best however to accommodate clients, as we do appreciate last minute things crop up. Therefore, no "loss" of a session will occur where we can reschedule another client, or where we have not yet set out to a given venue. This means that while clients should be prepared to lose a session, they should also give us as much notice as possible re cancellations so that we can work to minimise or avoid any losses or disruptions. Additionally, this time with the therapist is very important and really precious, so clients should do their absolute best to attend on time and to engage fully in each allotted session. 


7) Am I guaranteed a successful outcome with 1-1  CBT? Unfortunately, there are never any guarantees. However, we will not accept a client unless we are reasonably sure that we can help, and once we make that commitment we will do our absolute best to ensure that each client makes progress towards his/her goals. We also hold a deep and ongoing commitment to: 

  • open, direct communication with all our clients, which includes open and informed consent for clients, resolving any queries as these arise, and providing clear information re all our policies, including pricing, and 
  • the highest ethical and professional standards which includes treating all our clients with courtesy, dignity and respect, and continuing professional development to help ensure we are keeping up-to-date with new research and clinical findings. 


​8) What if I have a complaint? Or a problem? At The I Can Centre we are fully committed to providing a top class service and support to all our clients. This means that any queries or problems should be aired as early as possible with the therapist or with the Centre Director. To help ensure this happens, we will ask for feedback in-session and for your thoughts on how things are going and how you are feeling. In fact we are very open, and indeed grateful, for all comments and feedback that help us to help you. 


9) Do you have wheelchair access? Or hearing loops? Most of our CBT sessions take place as outreach, e.g. in community centres or even church halls (only where we have permission that those from all faiths and none can attend). We do not always have full control over this physical space, however, we will always do our utmost to find alternative suitable accommodation as needed, which includes having wheel chair access. 


10. What actually happens? Especially in the first session? 

 At your first 1-1 assessment session, the therapist will introduce him/herself, and explain more about the therapy on offer incl confidentiality.  She/he will also enquire about the main problems you are going through, and may ask you to complete a survey (surveys can be useful in monitoring progress over time).  The details of any future sessions will also be discussed, incl the fee, how often meetings will take place (usually weekly), and the number of sessions likely to be needed. This information is usually written down by/for the client to aid in later recall. 


At the end of this session, clients typically have a plan in place to manage their presenting issues. Those getting the extended CBT session (90 mins rather than 60) will also have techniques to practice so that "better" can begin from that first meeting.  

Downloads

An information brochure about "The I Can Centre"

The I CAN Centre (pdf)

Download