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CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

CBT is an acronym for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This is a therapy that can modify or eliminate thought patterns contributing to the patient’s symptoms, and aims to help the patient to change his or her behaviour.

In simple terms it is used to change a person’s thoughts and feelings from negative ones to positive ones.

Patients are taught that typical thoughts such as “I’m going to have a panic attack” or “I’m going to have a heart attack” can be replaced with substitutes such as “It’s only uneasiness – it will pass”, “I am not going to die” and “I can overcome this”.

You are taught to replace phrases such as “I suffer from Panic Attacks” with “I used to suffer from Panic Attacks but I am ok now”. In cognitive therapy, discussions between the patient and the therapist are not usually focused on the patient’s past, as is the case with some forms of psychotherapy. Instead, conversations focus on the difficulties and successes the patient is having at the present time, and on skills the patient needs to learn.

The behavioural portion of cognitive-behavioural therapy may involve systematic training in relaxation techniques. By learning to relax, the patient may acquire the ability to reduce generalized anxiety and stress that often sets the stage for panic attacks.

Breathing exercises are often included in the behavioural therapy. The patient learns to control his or her breathing and avoid hyperventilation-a pattern of rapid, shallow breathing that can trigger or exacerbate some people’s panic attacks.

Another important aspect of behavioural therapy is exposure to internal sensations called interoceptive exposure. During interoceptive exposure the therapist will do an individual assessment of internal sensations associated with panic. Depending on the assessment, the therapist may then encourage the patient to bring on some of the sensations of a panic attack by, for example, exercising to increase heart rate, breathing rapidly to trigger light headedness and respiratory symptoms, or spinning around to trigger dizziness. Exercises to produce feelings of unreality may also be used. Then the therapist teaches the patient to cope effectively with these sensations and to replace alarmist thoughts such as “I am going to die,” with more appropriate ones, such as “It’s just a little dizziness-I can handle it.”

Another important aspect of behavioural therapy is “in vivo” or real-life exposure. The therapist and the patient determine whether the patient has been avoiding particular places and situations, and which patterns of avoidance are causing the patient problems. They agree to work on the avoidance behaviours that are most seriously interfering with the patient’s life. For example, fear of driving may be of paramount importance for one patient, while inability to go to the supermarket may be most handicapping for another.

Some therapists will go to an agoraphobic patient’s home to conduct the initial sessions. Often therapists take their patients on excursions to shopping malls and other places the patients have been avoiding. Or they may accompany their patients who are trying to overcome fear of driving a car.

The patient approaches a feared situation gradually, attempting to stay in spite of rising levels of anxiety. In this way the patient sees that as frightening as the feelings are, they are not dangerous, and they do pass. On each attempt, the patient faces as much fear as he or she can stand. Patients find that with this step-by-step approach, aided by encouragement and skilled advice from the therapist, they can gradually master their fears and enter situations that had seemed unapproachable.

Many therapists assign the patient “homework” to do between sessions. Sometimes patients spend only a few sessions in one-on-one contact with a therapist and continue to work on their own with the aid of a printed manual.

Often the patient will join a therapy group with others striving to overcome panic disorder or phobias, meeting with them weekly to discuss progress, exchange encouragement, and receive guidance from the therapist.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy generally requires at least 8 to 12 weeks. Some people may need a longer time in treatment to learn and implement the skills. This kind of therapy, which is reported to have a low relapse rate, is effective in eliminating panic attacks or reducing their frequency.It also reduces anticipatory anxiety and the avoidance of feared situations.

Here is another description of CBT that I found:

If we are serious about overcoming an anxiety disorder, we need to approach anxiety from every positive angle and perspective that we have available to us. Therefore, we focus on three main areas, all three of which must be addressed in therapy:


(thinking processes)

Here we learn new methods and ways to change our old thinking patterns and habits. If we’re always thinking and expecting the worst, then we will continue to suffer. We train or condition our minds to think and respond differently than we have in the past. Or think of it this way – if we can be conditioned to think and feel negatively, then we can be reconditioned to think healthfully.

We have dozens of specific methods and techniques that we use — and you only need to find several methods that work well for you. We usually start CBT (cognitive-behavioural therapy) at this stage.

Some effective techniques are:

  • Slow-talk/slow walk/slowing down
  • Stopping automatic negative thinking (ANTs)
  • The acceptance paradox: how we keep the fires burning and how to put them out
  • Rational and helpful self-statements that can become permanent and “automatic”
  • Continuing to move our self-statements up
  • Whose voice are you listening to, anyhow? Do we have to listen and believe all those old lies?
  • The determination factor
  • Focusing: What are you paying attention to?
      Later, it’s important we address

    • perfectionism, anger, frustration, setbacks, and our view of the world


(what we do)

The behavioural aspect of therapy is the part where we actually put everything into place in everyday, real-life situations where we are bothered by anxiety and depression.

This area is always handled LAST, because we need a strong foundation of cognitive and emotional skills/strategies so that we can begin living and acting differently before we confront real-life challenges.

This stage is essential for people with some of the anxiety problems (such as social anxiety disorder) and serves as a powerful adjunct to individual treatment for others.


(relaxation/peaceful/strength and power strategies)

It is important to have some type of relaxation or “de-stress” strategy that is accessible. In this area, calmness and peace are the goals.

The more your brain is quiet and relaxed, the easier therapeutic information can get into it and be processed. This is simply another way to let the therapy reach your brain and gently sink in.

Our focus is on peace and calmness here. We do not focus on decreasing anxiety by using these methods. Why? As peace and calmness become a little stronger, they tend to “crowd” out the anxieties and fears we have. Therefore, we never need to focus on the anxiety, the nervousness, or the fear. Our focus is on healing, healthiness, and inner peace.

Links – The European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapy (EABCT) is an umbrella organisation that brings together a large number of individual associations from 29 European countries. This website provides information on the individual member associations of EABCT and the activities that support them – our constitution, board of directors, congress and newsletter. – The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) was founded in 1972 as an interest group for people involved in the practice and theory of behaviour therapy.

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Written by Joan Callaghan (NLP Practitioner)

NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)


What is NLP?

You could think of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) as an owner’s manual for the human brain. It’s the study of how we think, feel and act, marked by an intense curiosity about how(rather than why) human beings get the results they do.

NLP is a fairly recent development, originating at the University of Santa Cruz in the mid-seventies when a group of talented people led by Richard Bandler and John Grinder came together to share information and insights across disciplinary boundaries. It incorporates insights from behavioural and Gestalt psychology, family therapy, hypnotherapy, linguistics, information theory and anthropology, among many other disciplines.

Neuro – the nervous system – the mind and the sensory organs with which we receive and filter information through our five senses.

Linguistic – the way we communicate and interpret experience through language, including body language, image, sounds, feelings, tastes and smells

Programming – the way we construct personal programs of thought, communication and behaviour

It has been defined as – “The ability to master your own states by running your own brain”(Richard Bandler).

Some principles of NLP:

  • People have their own model of the world, and what they do makes sense within that model
  • Mind and body are one system
  • People have all the inner resources they need to succeed(there are no un-resourceful people, only un-resourceful states)
  • There is no failure, only results
  • I am in charge of my mind, and therefore my results

What can it do?

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) works from the principle that people aren’t broken – they don’t need fixing, and they already have all the resources they need. In fact they are excellent at getting the results they are currently getting – you have probably become expert at having panic attacks over the years, and have streamlined the process right down until you can do it really well!So find out how you do it by asking yourself: what are the triggers? or, what happens immediately before you start ‘doing’ the panic attack? And what goes through your mind next? The chances are that you are having to run through the same sequence of thoughts, images, feelings and telling yourself things each time in order for the attack to happen. This is your ‘strategy’ for having the attack. (You may be doing parts of the strategy unconsciously, or it may happen so fast that you have not been aware of the sequence – until now.) If you change any step in the strategy, you will probably get a different result. Change what you tell yourself to something positive! Make positive mental pictures instead of scary ones!


There are many techniques used in NLP for use with Anxiety Disorders, Phobias and Depressions. An therapist with Time Line Therapy and TFT (Thought Field Therapy)experience would be excellent and will be of enormous benefit to sufferers.

Some of the best techniques are – “The Fast Phobia Cure” (V/K dissociation), Swish Technique,Anchors, and Re-framing although there are many more. Some of the Time Line Therapy and TFT methods are especially good for “one off” occasions, like “extra stressors” (Christmas,dental visits, shopping outings etc).

Where can we find a therapist?

I have used NLP disassociation techniques and Time Line Therapy to help me to overcome various anxiety producing obstacles. Most of the time, because of repeated actions – this has given me ‘full time relief’. It has only been when I have not practiced the techniques – when I though I was OK – that stressors affected me again. I am going to do the Master Practitioner course in the summer this year and so will be rid of the feeling once and for all – very powerful stuff!

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Written by Gary Craig (


E.F.T. is an acronym for “Emotional Freedom Techniques” and has been clinically effective in thousands of cases for Trauma & Abuse, Stress & Anxiety, Fears & Phobias, Depression,Addicitve Cravings, Children’s Issues and hundreds of physical symptoms including headaches, body pains and breathing difficulties. Properly applied, over 80% achieve either noticeable improvement or complete cessation of the problem. It is the missing piece to the healing puzzle.

We are still learning why EFT works so well. It centers around the profound effects of the body’s subtle energies using the theory that “the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.”Accordingly, EFT is an emotional form of acupuncture except that we don’t use needles. Instead, we tap with the fingertips to stimulate certain meridian energy points while the client is “tuned in” to the problem.

The subtle energies that circulate throughout the body have been largely ignored (until recently) by western scientists. As a result, our use of them for emotional and spiritual healing has been sparse at best. With EFT, however, we consider these subtle energies to be the front running cause of emotional upsets. As a result, we generate results that are FAR beyond those of conventional methods.

Further, EFT often provides relief for a very wide range of physical symptoms.

EFT is a Doorway to the new Healing High-Rise. It is where a growing number of newcomers to this exciting field get their start. There are now have thousands of practitioners using EFT throughout the world.

Compared to other techniques, EFT is usually quite gentle and substantial relief is often achieved with little or no pain. This is not true for everyone, however. Some people’s issue are so intense that the mere mention of them causes emotional or physical pain. Although truly serious instances of this (sometimes called abreactions) is most likely to occur in seriously emotionally damaged people (best estimate is less than 1% of the population), newcomers to EFT are advised to exercise common sense in this regard and not go where they aren’t qualified.

If you are interested in reading more about this technique then visit

Other links

Take a look at this link –