Counselling in Balham - Steve Smith
CBT & Mindfulness
CBT & Mindfulness

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

The central idea of CBT is very simple: any problem we have can be thought of as a vicious circle of negative thoughts, (cognitions) and feelings that result in unhelpful actions, (behaviours), that reinforce the negative thoughts and feelings. And so on...and on...and on.

In other words the way you typically react to a situation makes you deal with it even more badly the next time you meet something similar.

The trick is to recognise where and how these cycles are happening and to learn how to disrupt them.  CBT can be effective for a wide range of problems but it seems to work particularly well with issues like panic attacks, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, low self esteem, anger, anxiety and depression.

Both CBT and the Existential approach involve work to try and uncover the 'default settings' we fall back on in life and in that way the two approaches can often fit together well.  

Mindfulness

In recent years Mindfulness, in essence a simple form of meditation, has moved into the mainstream of treatments for stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, anger, addiction and many other psychological problems. It is often used in combination with CBT to give the opportunity to respond in a different way to negative thoughts and feelings that are troubling us.

At its heart are some simple 'breathing meditations' that teach us how to be more aware of what we are thinking and feeling and how to defuse these these thoughts and feelings in a healthy way.

I completed the core 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course, taught by highly experienced practitioners, several years ago and have built on that with regular Mindfulness practice and further training. I offer a simple introduction to Mindfulness and instruction in the basic practices if required. The ideas and attitudes that Mindfulness embodies underpin my work with clients.