Siobhan Blackwell - chartered clinical psychologistGuildfordn

Siobhan Blackwell Clinical Psychologist >> the therapy

Registered with
The British Psychological Society
Registered with

Professional member of

About the therapy

I am qualified and experienced to work as both a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and a Cognitive Analytical Therapist.

What is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)?

CBT aims to teach new coping skills, with an emphasis on how to make sense of your thought patterns, recognising when these are irrational and learning to correct these.  The basic premise underlying this is that if we can change the way we think about events in our lives we can change the way we feel about them and thus gain more control over our emotional well-being.  CBT also looks at underlying belief systems, the effect of these on our behaviour and the way we live our lives. Finally, CBT brings about change through behavioural work, which involves confronting and overcoming fears and avoidance patterns. CBT an approach largely based in the here and now.

What is cognitive analytical therapy (CAT)? 

CAT is similar to CBT in that it is time-limited, active and focused. The key difference, however, is that CAT is predominantly concerned with patterns of behaviour and ways of being that originate in childhood and get repeated throughout our lives as though they are they only options available to us. We are not usually conscious that we are locked into these patterns but they nevertheless have a powerful and often destructive impact on our lives. The emphasis in CAT is therefore on understanding ourselves and why we are the way we are.  CAT also provides people with the skills and tools to recognise when destructive patterns are being acted out and provides people with healthier coping options. It translates many analytical ideas into a far more accessible language and combines this with the active and focused approach of cognitive therapy.  It is particularly useful for people struggling with relationship problems.

Which model is right for me?

The therapeutic process begins with a thorough assessment. It may become clear at this point that one therapeutic model is overall more appropriate than another. However, even in these situations very few of us fit neatly into a box and there are likely to be times during the treatment when I draw flexibly on both models depending on what is likely to be most effective for the client.  

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