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Introducing Kevin M ODoherty, Author, Psychologist and CBT Therapist:

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy,


1960s, has grown rapidly, and
has been shown by a wealth of
issues such as anxiety, stress

generally associated with the work of Aaron Beck in the


is now one of the foremost psychotherapies in the world. It
research to be one of the most effective therapies in treating
and depression, in addition to a range of other problems.

Central to the philosophy of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is the understanding that it
is the way that we think about ourselves, the world and the future that largely dictates how
we are inclined to feel about things. Thus our emotions are closely related to our thinking
and behaviour styles/patterns. Clients who choose to undergo CBT, are helped to explore
the ways that their thinking is playing a large part in their emotional problems. Then (put
simplistically) the client is helped by the therapist to take charge of their thoughts, feelings
and behaviour in a way that is much more conducive to emotional health.
An example of this link between the way we think and feel, would perhaps be useful: Mr A
(teacher) was late for his first lecture of the day. He became anxious on his way to the
college, whilst thinking: the students will think I am unprofessional for being late the head of
department will think I am not up to the job my colleagues will think that I am irresponsible
for being late he thought to himself: what a lousy teacher I have turned out to be
understandably then, Mr A began to feel very anxious. When he arrived in the classroom, he
decided to put some of his thoughts to the test. He gave each student a piece of paper, and
asked them to write their opinion about him being late for the class. (students were assured
they could remain anonymous. He collected the slips of paper in, and read them on his way
to morning break. Individual student remarks included:
Mr A is a real person, he is late once in a while
Mr A should have been in on time
It was great that Mr A was late for once, it gave us all time to get to know each other better
I was worried that Mr A was perhaps late because of an accident on the way to work
The thoughts that Mr A had then, lead to him feeling anxious, the thoughts that individual
students had resulted in a range of emotions, including, worry, anger, frustration, concern,
relief and affection. None of the students knew why Mr A was late, until he actually arrived,
but it was clear that their range of thoughts resulted in a range of emotions.
Kevin ODoherty, author of The Little Book of Thinking Errors: a Self-help Guide to
Changing Unhelpful Thoughts has worked in UK Community Mental Health Services for
more than 15 years. More recently he has moved to Marbella, Costa Del Sol and has set up
his private practice here as a CBT therapist and Psychologist. Kevin provides CBT to the
English speaking community in Southern Spain, and continues to provide telephone and
web based CBT using Skype web-cam, to clients based back in the UK and all over the
world. Kevin has written several self help books using CBT.

Some frequently asked Questions about CBT (FAQs)

What can CBT be used for?


Ans: CBT has been shown to be an effective form of treatment for a whole range of issues
including: Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Panic Attacks, Eating Disorders, Relationship Issues,
Obsessive
Compulsive
Disorder
and
Phobias
etc.
How Long Does CBT Last for?
Ans: Although the frequency and length may vary from client to client, generally speaking,
clients will meet with the therapist for a 50 minute session once per week, for anything
between 6 and 12 sessions (more or less by agreement) Sessions may be spaced out to
once per fortnight as therapy progresses. Some clients may opt to work on some longer
term issues, which may last for up to 6 months or more.

Is CBT just for individuals?


Ans: No, CBT group therapy is becoming increasingly popular, with the ever increasing drive
for cost saving measures in health service provision. Clients may also find that they learn
the skills much faster in the group context. Many also find that sharing their thoughts and
feelings with other people who have experienced similar issues, is very supportive.
What will the client need to do?
Ans: Of central importance to CBT is the idea that the client and the therapist work in
partnership on the issue/s brought to therapy. CBT is an active therapy, where the client is
expected to take an active role in exploring and hopefully resolving their issues. The goals of
CBT are very ambitious; clients strive for more than just relief of current symptoms, they are
training to become their own CBT Therapist, which gives them the knowledge, skills and
expertise
to
deal
with
any
future
issues
that
might
arise.
Is CBT the same as Positive Thinking?
Ans: NO! Rather than just encouraging clients to view things in a positive and even idealistic
wayCBT helps clients to take a rational, empirical and realistic view of things. CBT
acknowledges that the world doesnt always work the way we would like it to. In order to live
in the world, with relative happiness and freedom from emotional disturbance, we need to
develop skills dealing for with the world as it is.
Can People undertake CBT online?
Ans: Yes, CBT is also available over the phone and via webcam video programmes such as
Skype. This works particularly well, if clients live in more rural areas, where it is difficult to
travel to see a therapist. Clients can now be based anywhere in the world and access CBT
via telephone or webcam.