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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking treatment which focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and behaviour and can teach you coping skills for dealing with different problems. CBT focuses on the problems in the here and now, rather than issues from the past and looks for practical ways for people to improve their lives on a daily basis.

What can CBT help with?

CBT has a good evidence base for a wide range of mental health problems. The research has been reviewed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) who provide independent, evidence-based guidance for the NHS on the most effective ways to treat disease and ill health. At Barnsley IAPT, we can offer CBT for the following difficulties:

  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessional Compulsive Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Specific Phobias
  • Health Anxiety
  • Agoraphobia
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Mixed Anxiety and Depressive Disorder

How is CBT delivered?

CBT combines cognitive therapy (examining the things you think) and behaviour therapy (examining the things you do).  You and your therapist will discuss your specific difficulties and set goals for you to achieve. CBT is not a quick fix – it involves hard work both within and outside of the session. We find that people who engage with homework tasks tend to make the most progress in improving their lives.

The CBT we offer is time-limited and the number of sessions you require will be discussed with you at your first session. Typically, a CBT session will last for 50 minutes and you will need to commit to attending regularly to make the best use of therapy.

Our Therapists

The therapists who provide CBT at Barnsley IAPT are all suitably qualified within this field. They are all accredited, or working towards accreditation, with the British Associations for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

What is Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing used for?

A number of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists at Barnsley IAPT are qualified to deliver Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). This treatment is used for individuals who have post-traumatic stress disorder or who have experienced single or “one-off” trauma that remains unresolved. When people experience trauma it can feel like they are stuck replaying the worst experiences of their life again and again and are unable to move on. Sometimes the person may experience the event as if it was still happening in the here and now (called flashbacks). Other intrusive experiences include nightmares and unwanted thoughts/images of the experience.

EMDR has a good evidence base for use with trauma. The research has been reviewed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) who provide independent, evidence-based guidance for the NHS on the most effective ways to treat disease and ill health

How is EMDR delivered?

With careful preparation and the support of your therapist, EMDR includes focusing on the traumatic images, thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations of the distressing memory whilst activating the left and right side of the brain. This activates the unresolved distressing memory and allows processing of the memory to take place. The distressing memory gradually loses its intensity to then become a ‘normal’ memory. The lingering effects and distress of the memory reduce, releasing the negative self-beliefs related to the trauma.

EMDR can be a powerful and sometimes rapid treatment. It does not require a detailed description of the trauma event, exposure work or homework outside of the treatment sessions.

EMDR sessions are sometimes slightly longer than typical therapy sessions (up to 90 minutes). The number of sessions needed will depend on the type and severity of trauma which you experienced. NICE estimate that 8-12 sessions may be necessary for the types of traumas, we offer therapy for Barnsley IAPT.