Expert answers from
What is cognitive behaviour therapy for psychosis?
Dr Emmanuelle Peters: Cognitive behaviour therapy, or CBT for short, is basically a type of psychological therapy, which relies on looking at people’s current experiences in the here and now, and it’s basically looking at their ways of thinking, their thoughts and what they do, their behaviour, and trying to think of ways of changing the way in which they think about stuff... distressing thoughts they might have, the type of things that they do to cope with their distressing experiences – so, trying to look at the way people think and what they do and trying perhaps to change that in order to reduce their distressing experiences and enable them to function a little bit better.
It’s very much goal-directed therapy, so it’s very much what the person wants help with, it’s very much they come with a problem list and we help them with whatever they come with on the problem list. So the word ‘cognitive’ is like a posh word for ‘thoughts’, so it’s basically looking at thoughts and behaviour is what you do, so trying to change the way people think and what they do in order to plan for them to help themselves, really.
CBT for psychosis is a specialised type of CBT which is adapted to the needs of the population and to the needs of people who have psychotic experiences, distressing psychotic experiences, and it’s slightly different to what you would have in perhaps anxiety disorders or depression; it’s a lot more flexible and it’s perhaps a little longer so the recommendation is that it should be a minimum of sixteen sessions over a fairly long period of time.
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