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  • John Christopher

What to expect from a psychotherapy session


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) sessions typically follow a structured and collaborative format. During a CBT psychotherapy session, the therapist and the individual work together to address the person's specific concerns and develop strategies for change.


Psychotherapy Practice Room


The session usually begins with the therapist and individual discussing the progress and experiences since the previous session. The therapist creates a supportive and non-judgmental environment, encouraging open communication. They may inquire about any challenges or successes the individual has encountered, as well as any changes in thoughts, emotions, or behaviours.


The therapist and individual then collaboratively identify and prioritise the target areas for intervention. These may be specific problems, symptoms, or patterns of thinking and behaviour that the person wants to address. Together, they set realistic goals for the therapy sessions.


The core of the CBT session involves exploring the individual's thoughts, feelings, and behaviours related to the identified issues. The therapist helps the person examine and understand the connection between their thoughts, emotions, and actions. They may use various techniques to challenge and modify unhelpful or distorted thinking patterns.


The therapist assists the individual in identifying and evaluating their automatic thoughts, which are immediate, often subconscious responses to situations. They help the person question the accuracy and validity of these thoughts, exploring alternative perspectives and more balanced interpretations.


Throughout the session, the therapist may introduce specific CBT techniques and tools tailored to the individual's needs. These can include cognitive restructuring exercises, techniques that help in adapting behaviours, skills training and many other. The therapist provides guidance and support in applying these techniques to real-life situations, encouraging the person to practice new ways of thinking and behaving.


The session also allows space for the individual to express and process emotions related to their difficulties. The therapist fosters empathy, active listening, and validation, promoting a safe environment for emotional exploration.


Towards the end of the session, the therapist and individual summarise the key points discussed, review any homework or exercises assigned, and collaboratively plan strategies for the upcoming week. Homework assignments may involve practicing new coping skills, keeping thought records, or engaging in behavioural experiments.


CBT sessions are typically time-limited and structured, and are usually 50 to 60 minutes per session (Sessions with me are 60 Minutes long). The number of sessions required varies depending on the individual's needs and goals.


If you would like more information please head over to the contact page where you can find the details to get in touch. Alternatively you can book a Free 15 Minute Consultation, or a full 1 hour session, on the booking page.

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