What is CBT / EMDR?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a talking therapy. Other talking therapies you may have heard of include counselling, psychoanalysis, and group therapy, but unlike these and most others, CBT is a short-term intervention that backed up by a wealth of scientific research evidence. This research indicates that CBT can alleviate depression and anxiety with better long-term success rates than medication. For this reason, GPs often recommend CBT to their patients and it is the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)’s recommended treatment for anxiety and depression. [Please see the links below for copies of the guidelines.]

The basic principle of CBT is that our thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physiological sensations are all connected. If we can come to an understanding of the relationship between them, and then apply practical skills and techniques to one or more of these areas, we can have a positive effect on our sense of well-being.

For more information about CBT – including its effectiveness and the difference between CBT and other talking therapies – please click on the following links:


NICE Guideline – Depression

NICE Guideline – Anxiety

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a therapy which can help people who are experiencing psychological symptoms as a result of traumas such as road traffic accidents, sexual abuse, and physical attacks. I prefer to treat trauma using EMDR rather than CBT because it is less invasive and can be easier on the person suffering: it does not require repeated in-depth discussion of the event. A course of EMDR involves an assessment during the first session, followed by a series of sessions (usually 2-4) focused on helping you to regulate your emotions and manage distress. The second phase of EMDR treatment (around 4-12 sessions) involves ‘reprocessing’ of the trauma. These sessions are typically longer to ensure that the process is concluded each time.

Like CBT, EMDR’s effectiveness is supported by extensive scientific study and, as such, the government recommends it for the treatment of trauma (NICE Guideline – PTSD: see point 1.9.2 in particular).

You may find the following website helpful in answering your questions about EMDR: http://www.emdrassociation.org.uk/home/about_EMDR_therapy.htm

During our first and subsequent sessions we will discuss the therapeutic approach that is best for you. If, at any point, you feel that an approach may not be the right approach for you, we can discuss other forms of therapy which may be more suitable; if possible I will recommend other practitioners in the appropriate field.

If you would like to know more about anything written on this page, do feel free to contact me for further information.