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The Most Important Consideration in Seeking CBT

CBT, or Cognitive-behavioural Therapy, is the most trialled and tested therapy in psychology.

It’s recognised as the gold standard in mental health.

If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’re trying to understand what all the hype is about and why CBT therapy is effective.

I promise I’ll get to that.

But before I do, I want to talk about a major problem that can arise from searching for a psychologist who practises CBT without considering other aspects of what’s needed for “successful therapy”.

It’s a mistake to simply just search for a psychologist who practises CBT.

It may almost be a pointless endeavour.

Yep, I get it, this news probably takes the wind out of your sails, as you’ve finally found a potential solution to your problems. Rest assure, this article leaves you with more solutions, not more problems.

Don’t get me wrong, CBT is an excellent therapy and it can be extremely effective. Importantly, it’s a therapy that is called an “evidence-based therapy” which means there’s piles of evidence demonstrating successful outcomes.

However, it is a mistake to simply search for a CBT psychologist without understanding a few important things about therapy.

Here’s the thing, CBT with a psychologist can be limited in its success if you don’t understand this key part:

A strong relationship with your therapist, (not therapy technique, such as CBT), is key to successful therapy¹. It may sound obvious that a good relationship with your psychologist is key to good therapy outcomes, but in actual fact, this is often overlooked by individuals seeking help.

For a long time now, research has shown the therapeutic relationship is far more important than the therapy technique in achieving good outcomes. A strong therapeutic relationship typically requires the psychologist to demonstrate empathy (a deep understanding of your problems), warmth, social reciprocity and alignment with your situation and needs.

Put simply, a strong therapeutic relationship leaves you feeling deeply understood, trust with your psychologist and comfortable to be yourself.

A good psychologist will be able to make you feel these warm feelings. 

So, before you consider therapy techniques, such as CBT, you need to find a good psychologist first. Fortunately, most psychologists are trained in CBT therapy, so if you find a good psychologist, they will most likely practise CBT.

I have written a simple guide for finding a good psychologist in Melbourne here.

So, what’s CBT and why is it so effective?

CBT is a well-researched therapy technique that achieves excellent outcomes. The model that CBT employs to guide therapy and treatment, works off the assumption that our thoughts, feelings and behaviours all influence each other. To see an example of the model, read blog post CBT for Anxiety.

Based on this model, CBT therapy aims to shift behaviours, thoughts and feelings that are contributing to poor mental health, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, PTSD, stress and low self-esteem. Whilst many other therapies seek to also address various behaviours, thoughts and feelings, one of CBT’s strengths is that it employs a simple model that makes learning and planning easy for both the client and the psychologist.

However, it’s important to note that CBT is not a one-size fits all therapy. Like all therapies, good outcomes are achieved by tailoring CBT therapy to the individual. And most psychologists tend to blend various therapy techniques to achieve desired outcomes.

Peaceful Mind Psychology and our CBT approach

Our Melbourne-based psychologists are all trained and skilled in CBT therapy. More importantly, our psychologists build strong relationships with their clients by showing empathy, care and warmth in their approach. If you’d like to get started with CBT therapy, contact us to be matched to a psychologist who suits your needs.