What is CBT?


We speak with Ciara Williams, a psychotherapist and counsellor who has left her busy practice in Clare to move to her hometown of Cork. Ciara is an incredibly approachable, friendly and skilled practitioner and we recommend her for anyone looking for psychotherapy in generally or more specifically, CBT in Cork.

To a large degree, cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, is based on the assumption that a change of ones “self-statements” will result in a corresponding change of one’s behaviour. It is said that what we think, belief, assume and understand informs how we meet the world. It is thought that our emotions originate mainly from our beliefs, interpretations, reactions and evaluations of life situations.

What Happens During CBT Sessions?

Through the CBT/cognitive behavioural therapy process, clients learn skills that give them ways to identify and explore and challenge irrational thoughts or beliefs that have been learned and are now incorporated in their belief systems.  People learn how to replace such self-sabotaging, irrational or ineffective ways of thinking with effective, logical and rational thoughts and as a result they change their emotional response and reactions to situations.

Clients learn how to detect their irrational beliefs, the ‘shoulds’ of life. Clients then explore, debate, and challenge their dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs. Then clients learn how to discriminate or discern between irrational thoughts and rational thoughts.

Is CBT Effective?

Cognitive behavioural therapy is very effective when done with a therapist you trust, in a safe non-judgemental space, having a good rapport and a good therapeutic relationship are hugely important. CBT or cognitive behaviour or cognitive behavioural therapy focuses on working with the belief system, the thinking rather than on the emotional expression of feelings. In short, therapy is like an education. It would often be referred to as psychoeducation. The therapist can function like a teacher, teaching about straight thinking. CBT can be covered by some insurance companies but not all. It is imminent with the arrival of regulation over the coming years.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is used in individual therapy, in a one-to-one setting, in group therapy, it is used in brief therapy, marital therapy, family therapy etc. It can be used to treat anxiety, depression, post-natal depression, trauma, lack of self-esteem, fear, phobias, relationship issues, financial issues etc. 

You can also read more on Ciara’s profile if you’re looking for Psychotherapy or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Cork.

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