Some common questions we get asked are listed below. If you can't find an answer, simply ask, we're here to help.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy is an evidence-based psychological intervention. It seeks to empower individuals in moments of stress and crisis to better understand their distress and to make calmer, clearer decisions.

Cognitive-behaviour therapy recognises that our thoughts and beliefs can have a powerful impact on our feelings and behaviours.

It can help to think about the process like this:

  1. An event happens
  2. We feel a certain way about it, based on our thoughts and beliefs
  3. We react based on how we feel

The cognitive approach seeks to intervene between stages two and three, between our automatic reaction to a situation and our response to it. It's a tricky process and it takes time to master, however the results can be powerful.

  1. An event happens
  2. We feel a certain way about it, based on our thoughts and beliefs
  3. We recognise the feeling and decide if it's appropriate
  4. We react to the event in the way that we choose to

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a type of cognitive therapy. Mindfulness can be defined as the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience. In other words, mindfulness is about being aware of what we are thinking, feeling, doing, and experiencing right now - often, we aren't really paying attention to what is happening around us, but rather, we're thinking about what has happened in the past, what might happen in the future, or just daydreaming about something else altogether. Mindfulness can help to decrease emotional reactivity, increase cognitive flexibility, and improve stress tolerance.

Being mindful in the present moment isn't easy - particularly when our emotional reactions threaten to overwhelm us. If it was easy, we'd all do it and the world would be a much easier place to negotiate. Mindfulness is a skill that can be learnt, and is a central tenet of many psychological therapies.

The human brain is incredibly complex, as is the world around us. As we grow and develop, we learn many ways of responding to the world that may be helpful, but we also learn many ways of responding to the world that may be unhelpful. It's often hard to tell the difference, especially in the heat of the moment.

Unhelpful ways of thinking can be a bit like wearing glasses - not prescription glasses, but more like glasses that warp and distort our perceptions of the world. Sometimes, things can look scary or overwhelming through these warped lenses and we can forget what the world actually looks like.

This is where cognitive-behaviour therapy can be helpful. It reminds us that what we think isn't always realistic or flexible, and that learning different, more helpful ways of thinking can be beneficial for our mental health.

The short answer is that it varies from person to person. Changing how we think and behave takes effort. However, through practice and guidance, meaningful changes can be made.

Yes, absolutely! Emotions like anger, sadness, fear, and disgust are adaptive and can help us to negotiate a complex world. Emotions are essentially data processing shortcuts. For example, if you come across a tiger in the jungle, fear helps you to run away quickly. Emotions also have a communicative value. For example, sadness can help you to elicit care from others, and anger can show people that you need a bit of space. So there's plenty of room for all sorts of emotions in our lives. However, the question that we ask is: Is this emotional response appropriate and proportional, and is it severe, frequent, and/or long lasting? For example, if you are really sad most of the day for more than two weeks, you may be experiencing an episode of depression.

To understand your thinking style, behavioural patterns, and emotions, we need to understand you and your background. To do that, we'll sit and talk and really examine things - particularly the things that seem obvious and that have gone unquestioned.

Once we have collaboratively explored the problem and figured out some of the underlying thought processes and behavioural patterns that may be precipitating and maintaining your mental health difficulties, we'll formulate an intervention strategy. Over weeks and perhaps months, we'll fine-tune it to suit your individual needs and challenges.

"Feeling down" and the clinical disorder "depression" are different things, and similarly, "being apprehensive about something" is not the same as an anxiety disorder. Rather than think of "normal" versus "disordered" functioning, it is often more helpful to think about symptoms and the impact these symptoms might have on functioning.

Many people find ways to mitigate the stress caused by negative emotions, often in unhelpful ways. Unaddressed negative emotions can lead to relationship difficulties, trigger substance abuse, or impact on an individual's ability to function in work, study, or family life.

Cognitive-behavioural interventions can be effective in addressing a range of problems, including:

  1. Depression
  2. Anxiety
  3. Trauma
  4. Insomnia
  5. Substance abuse
  6. Eating problems
  7. ersonality disorders
  8. Psychosis
  9. Stress
  10. Relationship difficulties
  11. Adjustment problems
  12. Chronic pain