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What is CBT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy which helps you to resolve problems by understanding how your thoughts, feelings, and your behaviours create patterns in your life, and helping you to break out of those patterns.  CBT is focused on helping you to understand how to work with these patterns yourself so that you become your own therapist.  For this reason CBT tends to be a short therapy only requiring a few weeks (unless the issues are long standing).

CBT is recommended in the NICE guidelines for treatment of:

  • anxiety disorders (including panic attacks)
  • depression
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including birth trauma
  • eating disorders
  • insomnia

An assessment session lasts 90 mins.  Bringing along a "problem list" of the issues that have been bothering you allows us to focus on these issues in the assessment to identify what is happening for you, where the problems might have originated and  what might be maintaining them.  After the assessment session we will begin into therapy with weekly sessions of 60 mins.  Due to COVID restrictions, these sessions are currently online via Zoom.

 

Perinatal Mental Health

The perinatal period is a vulnerable time for our mental health.  It is a time where relationships and family dynamics change, we take on a new identity as a parent, we have many new skills to learn while having disrupted sleep and hormonal shifts.  We may be struggling with feeding or baby care, or a baby who is very unsettled.  One in 5 new parents struggle with their mental health, and one in 6 subsequent parents.  Perinatal mental health difficulties can be experience by both parents / caregivers.  Postnatal depression is a term that is recognised in society generally, but post natal anxiety is often not discussed as much even though it affects many parents.  This may take the form of worry, panic, insomnia, intrusive thoughts, obsessive checking on your baby etc.  You might feel that something is wrong with your baby, or have thoughts that just don't seem to go away around their weight / development / health / sleep /  safety / or even around the influence of your extended family on your baby.  You may be feeling that you are struggling to connect or bond with your baby, or that you are doing something wrong or not doing a good enough job as a parent.  Many people feel like this, or struggle with their anxious thoughts, and many don't want to tell anyone in case a health professional thinks they aren't capable of looking after their baby.  In fact these thoughts usually mean that you are a very attentive parent, but you are just worried.  CBT can be an very effective way of dealing with these issues, and you can be assured of empathy and understanding in our sessions.

How we feed our babies can have a big impact on mental health in the perinatal period.  If you want to breastfeed, and breastfeeding is going well, it is very protective of mental health.  In fact you are half as likely to experience a mental health problem.  If however, you want to breastfeed but are struggling and not getting the support you need you are twice as likely to experience a mental health problem.  Parents tell me that in these situations they are often advised to wean their babies, even when breastfeeding is something they feel is very important to them.  This is one of the reasons I trained in CBT.  I feel it is important for parents to be able to access mental health support which is also supportive of their feeding choices (whatever they may be) and that any CBT interventions will be supportive of your breastfeeding and attachment needs.

 

What I can help you with 

I am trained to work with the following conditions (which may be in the perinatal period, or at another time in your life):

  • General Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Attacks
  • Social Anxiety
  • Health Anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Single Incident)
  • Depression
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Specific Phobia

I trained with the Belfast Cognitive Therapy Centre, where I was awarded a Pass with Excellence certification in Cognitive Therapy in 2019.  I am expanding on this training and am currently providing CBT as part of the final stages of a BACP accredited Postgraduate Diploma in CBT.  Since I am still training in this course I will be working under clinical supervision.  For this reason my fees are reduced at this time. 

 

CBT Fees

Assessment Session (90 mins) £50
Course of 8 Sessions CBT £300
Course of 20 Sessions CBT £750
 Single Session (topup therapy)  £40

 

Important Information

All material on this website is provided for educational purposes only. Online information cannot replace an in-person consultation with a qualified, independent International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) or your health care provider. If you are concerned about your health, or that of your child, consult with your health care provider regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation.