CBT counselling

We have written extensively on the impacts of stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions to the workplace. Not only does it affect productivity and morale, but it also contributes to reducing retention rates and increasing absenteeism.

In 2017/2018 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) put the number of working days lost due to work-related stress, depression and anxiety at just over 15.4 million.

To support employees experiencing issues with their mental health, most employers now provide employee assistance programmes (EAP) that include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) counselling.

In this article, as well as a definition of CBT counselling, we’ll also compare it to other forms of talking therapy. The piece will also highlight its importance and benefits as a tool for supporting your workforce.

 

What is CBT?

It’s a popular form of therapy that uses communication as a tool to help manage issues relating to the way people think and behave. As well as helping to identify the emotions an individual may be experiencing at any given time, it offers practical steps to help reduce negative feelings whenever they arise.

Within the work environment, employees and therapists can work together to identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours. With an EAP, you can offer your staff access to face-to-face sessions and computer-based or online therapy packages.

Evidence suggests that it can be highly effective over short periods. So, this form of therapy is often used as a first step for employees dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and other similar mental health disorders.

Apart from stress, anxiety and depression, regular and effective CBT counselling sessions can also treat a variety of mental health conditions, including:

While CBT and counselling can contribute to helping individuals cope with the symptoms of various mental health conditions, it shouldn’t be construed as a means of curing them.

 

CBT counselling theory

It’s based on the idea that problems are interconnected and broken down into five main areas. They are:

  • Feelings or emotions.
  • Physical sensations.

Experts believe that altering negative patterns of thinking and behaviour contribute to easing the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. They also believe altering negative beliefs that trigger these patterns of thinking can lead to CBT having long-lasting effects.

CBT counselling aims to examine an individual’s cognitive beliefs to help them identify the reasoning behind negative thoughts and behaviours they’re most likely to have. Effective counselling would also help to develop reasonable reactions to negative beliefs and thoughts.

 

CBT vs counselling

Both are forms of talking therapies used to support individuals with issues such as anxiety and depression.

However, the main difference between counselling and CBT is that while CBT therapy works together with clients to identify and change their negative patterns of behaviour and thinking, counselling helps by listening, empathising and encouraging clients to better understand themselves and to come up with their solutions to issues they face.

 

The benefits of CBT in the workplace

As well as helping to improve awareness and reducing the stigma that is attached to ill mental health, other benefits of CBT include:

  • Stronger relationships between employees.
  • Offers strategies that can be implemented even after treatment has ended.
  • Better self-understanding, which leads to increased confidence and productivity.
  • A relatively short completion period compared to other forms of talking therapy.
  • Reduced work-related illness absences, including cases of anxiety, stress and depression.
  • CBT sessions can take various formats, including individual or group sessions, self-help books and apps.

 

CBT worksheets

There are several resources available to encourage an action-oriented approach to CBT. These come in the form of ‘homework’ with tools such as worksheets to complete.

 

Expert support

If you’d like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on 0844 892 2493.

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