The Bristol Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy Clinic

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Cognitive Therapy

 

 

Cognitive therapy is a process that guides you gently towards a resolution of your symptoms through a better understanding of the psychologically processes involved in the creation or maintenance of them. In our cognitive sessions we’ll explore the powerful role cognition has in our daily lives.

 

 

What is cognition?

 

 

In its simplest form cognition is ‘thinking’. Cognition is the process through which we acquire and process information. Cognition could be thought of as your conscious thought processes.

 

 

Why is cognition important?

 

 

Cognition is important because the way we process information has a number of different effects. To illustrate a very basic example, we are all familiar with the age-old question: Is the glass half-full or half-empty? When thinking about a glass of liquid that contains 50% of its volume in liquid, the glass is both half-full and half-empty. It is a question of perception. Your answer depends on how you process the information. How you process the information will have a direct effect on how you feel.

 

 

Cognitive therapy is more than just positive thinking however. It is about understanding and untangling yourself from the complex web of thought patterns that sustain your symptoms. Bizarrely, cognition not only effects how you feel emotionally about things, it can also effect physical sensations too.

 

 

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"Cognitive therapy is more than just positive thinking. It is about understanding and untangling yourself from the complex web of thought patterns that sustain your symptoms."

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Imagine you went to visit a friend at their house. While you’re sat comfortably in their lounge, waiting for them to bring you a nice warm brew, your friend shouts from the kitchen to tell you that they recently discovered fleas on their pet dog. The moment you start to think about the fleas you begin to feel itchy all over. Nothing has changed, however when you started to process that new information it affected your perception, so much so that you might start itching and scratching the whole time that you’re there! Before that you were absolutely fine.

 

 

In cognitive therapy we explore the relationship between your thinking styles (most of which are learned early on in life and are therefore largely unconscious to you) and your attributional style (which loosely means how you process cause and effect). We also consider the role of expectations and belief systems, and how all of these things can lead to the development of troubling symptom patterns. If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “can’t see the wood for trees”, you’ll know that it means you’re too close to the problem to be able to understand it. Cognitive therapy helps you zoom-out and get perspective on the issue and provides you with the tools to address it.

 

 

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"Cognitive therapy helps you zoom-out and get perspective on the issue and provides you with the tools to address it."

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Cognitive therapies come in all shapes and sizes. The most common forms being Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Rational Emotive behaviour Therapy (REBT). Here at The Bristol Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy Clinic I practice a blended form of Cognitive Therapy drawing on these influences as well as elements of Applied Positive Psychology. The goal of Cognitive Therapy is to empower you with the skills and resources to be able to overcome your symptoms.

 

 

Here's a testimonial from a nice young chap who wanted my help because of an issue that had got out of hand:

 

 

     I would encourage anybody who is struggling with an issue to go and see Seb. He really helped me a lot to change my outlook on life and become a much more positive person and be more aware of my self. Not only did this help with the issue I consulted him for, but also my day to day life. If your not sure, I would encourage you to go and see him and you will be glad you did!

 

 

S.M. - Anxiety

 

 

 

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