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CBT and Covid 19

I am – together with half of humanity – in a form of social distancing or isolation because of Covid 19. This way of life and living is becoming a new ‘normal’, and one which presents many challenges. One of these challenges, from the perspective of a practicing Psychotherapist, is how to continue offering a Counselling and Psychotherapy service to clients.

I use CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) quite a lot in my practice and have now found it to be especially useful, valuable and beneficial with video/audio counselling. CBT is a form of therapy that has been proven effective in treating a wide range of psychological difficulties encountered by people e.g. depression, anxiety. The idea behind CBT is that our emotions and behaviours are influenced by our thoughts, beliefs and interpretations about ourselves, the world and others.

The IACP (Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) states that ‘Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) appears, for example, to have transferred seamlessly to the internet.’ www.iacp.ie  I agree and believe that this is in some way due to the directed, time-limited and structured nature of this therapeutic approach.

An integral part of CBT is identifying and measuring thoughts and behaviours. Another component is the use of homework between sessions such as worksheets, records and journaling. I believe that – with additional time on our hands currently – this lends itself quite well to working with video/audio counselling.

So, online counselling is – in my opinion – here to stay – after Covid 19. ‘Online therapy suits some clients, especially those, who, for one reason or another prefer the comfort and seclusion of their own homes.’ www.iacp.ie There are many fine therapeutic approaches in Counselling and Psychotherapy, and it is important not to disregard or discount any of them or to suggest that any other approach is incompatible with modern technology. However, particularly within the therapeutic framework of CBT, this way of working in our new ‘normal’ could, not only be the ‘mother of necessity’, but an essential and central element of the Counselling and Psychotherapy world.  

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