High Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – How it Can Help and How it Differs From Counselling

High Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (HI CBT) is a structured, evidence-based talking therapy for mental health concerns, such as depression, Generalised Anxiety (GAD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, Specific Phobias, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and Health Anxiety. With HI CBT you will be taught techniques to help you to become your own therapist and manage your own mental health once the therapy has ended. It utilises the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which identifies links between our thoughts, feelings and behaviours and how, through these, we can become trapped in unhelpful cycles. A High Intensity CBT Therapist will work with you to identify what is causing and maintaining your problems and teach you strategies to practice between sessions.

HI CBT involves the patient and practitioner working in collaboration, to develop a shared understanding of the problem. The therapist will discuss and share techniques with you to help you and improve your symptoms. Unlike a counselling approach, it requires regular time, effort and practice between sessions to develop these skills.

Click on the boxes below to learn more about the disorders and see some of the symptoms for each.

Depression is a disorder that affects mood and causes symptoms such as persistent tiredness, lack of energy, feeling low, loss of interest and pleasure in previously enjoyed activities and feeling tearful, among others. Typically, these symptoms last for weeks or months.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder or GAD is an anxiety disorder that causes persistent worries and anxiety about a number of different things and situations. The person experiencing it will find these worries very difficult to control and will experience difficulty about simple things such as making decisions.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is brought about from someone having experienced or witnessed a traumatic event which resulted either in serious injury, death, or the belief of it potentially occurring. PTSD causes symptoms such as nightmares, flashbacks, a frequent feeling of being in danger which causes emotional distress.

OCD is an anxiety disorder which can cause people to have obsessive, intrusive, recurring and distressing thoughts and compulsive behaviours, such as performing rituals and repetitive behaviours as a result of the distress of the emotion caused by the obsession.

Panic Disorder is an anxiety disorder characterised by the presence of panic attacks, which can seem to happen for no apparent reason. Through these attacks the person may come to believe a catastrophic event, for example, a heart attack, is about to occur. This leads to the person trying to avoid certain situations to prevent the panic attacks from happening again.

Social Anxiety, also known as Social Phobia, is an anxiety disorder in which people experience a fear of social situations and social interactions. A person with Social Anxiety may experience symptoms such as worrying about how a certain behaviour, such as blushing, talking fast or sweating, will be perceived by others and believe they will be judged negatively as a result.

Specific Phobias are an anxiety disorder. A person who experiences these may have a phobia (an overwhelming fear and anxiety about one or a number of different things, for example, dogs or other animals, places, heights, needles among many others). Symptoms can include changes in behaviour, such as trying to avoid the feared situation or object and also physical symptoms like feeling sick or sweating.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is an anxiety disorder that affects how a person sees their physical appearance and believes that there is something very wrong with it. A person experiencing BDD may spend a lot of time examining themselves, trying to ‘correct’ the perceived flaws and dress in such a way as they believe fits their perception of their appearance.

Health Anxiety is an anxiety disorder in which people experiencing it are preoccupied and very anxious about their health. They may see harmless symptoms as a sign that something is really wrong with them. As a result some people may seek frequent reassurance from their GP and spend a lot of time researching symptoms on the internet, whereas others will avoid these things completely due to anxiety from a belief about what they will find out, or be told they are seriously ill.

I feel I have made a good deal of progress with Focus Counselling and continue to use strategies I have learned in my day-to-day life.

Focus Client
I’m so pleased I came to Focus, it has helped me so much. I feel I can cope now. My counsellor has been brilliant and so easy to talk to.
Focus Client
Very friendly, professional people who will listen, empathise and guide you in the right direction. You can’t go wrong.
Focus Client

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If you have any queries about Focus Counselling Services or would like to find out more about the services we offer, please do get in touch.

01482 891564