CBT: A Way to reshape your negative thinking and reduce stress According to the NHS, CBT is best in areas of anxiety and stress, which can lead to brain damage and disease
In my boss’s language, modern therapy is an “action item”. Those patients who come into our practice are “shepherded” through a programme of well-being workshops in a bid to hone their ability to change their beliefs and strategies to combat anxiety and stress.
Such a journey is well worth the effort, as the research is clear: CBT – or cognitive behavioural therapy, as it is more commonly known – can be the key to improving wellbeing and improving mental health. According to the NHS, research shows that it is effective in areas of anxiety and stress. This is because CBT focuses on the consequences of negative thinking, rather than its causes. For instance, if you consistently experience negative thoughts such as “I am not capable,” this type of thinking can lead to brain damage and disease.
CBT should not be viewed as an alternative to other forms of treatment, as those who do not seek treatment could still experience a wide range of symptoms related to anxiety or stress. A study by the MRC found that reducing feelings of anxiety and stress is at least as effective as medication for treatment. The success of mental health treatments often depends on addressing patients’ broader wellbeing. CBT enables you to realise that such anxiety and stress does not have to take place all the time. The key is to calm your thoughts and adopt positive behaviours, in the same way that you might train your body to take up less exercise.
If you think you are struggling with anxiety, review your symptoms. Then think about what sort of treatment you might like to find success with. Consider whether it is possible to switch to a different form of treatment, for example depression and anxiety, or offer CBT if you want to.
Sadly, being ill requires the support of a clinician, so consider the other options: going to see your GP to discuss your health and ask them to support you during this time of increasing stress and anxiety. Or, if you are feeling too down to undertake treatment, consider whether going through with your personal rather than professional well-being plans is your best option.
• CEH Group provides psychotherapy and psychosocial support across the UK and internationally.