Obesity Doctor - National Online Weight Management Service

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)


Evidence suggests that longer-term treatments do not necessarily do any better than shorter ones; CBT allows for short-term structured and focused work. It links thoughts (cognitions), behaviours and emotions; and allows for treatment that is tailored to the individual. CBT is a collaborative process and has been shown to be most effective if the therapist and client work towards the client becoming their own therapist.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a time limited and structured therapeutic approach that aims to help you develop the tools to break the cycles that have been keeping you stuck. With a focus on the relationships between thoughts, feelings and actions, the aim is to understand how these factors interact to reinforce our difficulties and make changes that can be sustained long term. CBT is increasingly well known due to the wealth of evidence that it can help tackle issues as diverse as depression, worry, insomnia and eating disorders. Building the tools to understand and tackle distress in one area of our lives can leave us in a stronger position to cope with challenges in others.

What happens in CBT sessions?

If you and your therapist choose to adopt a CBT approach you will work collaboratively to develop a shared understanding of your eating and the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that may be interfering with your relationship with food. Building on this individualised understanding you will test out and experiment with new perspectives that could help you break free of the old and limiting patterns that have developed around your relationship with food.

In this way CBT is an active therapy and requires someone to experiment, explore and practice. The evidence would suggest that the people who do well in CBT take an active role during meetings and make use of time between sessions to build on their growing skills.  Planning what to do between meetings with your therapist will be key to your progress. It is in this way that you can develop tools and ways of managing that you take forward beyond your therapy and into your life.

What therapy to choose?

Psychological therapy is a personal journey and not every approach will work for every person. What may be helpful to you could depend on a number of factors and Dr Scholtz will consider this when discussing options with you. Thinking with a Psychiatrist, Psychologist or Therapist is often the best way to work out which approach could be helpful to your personal challenge with food, in your unique situation at the current time in your life.

Watch this video for more information about how lifestyle changes can affect your weight

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