Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a psychological treatment that can help people who are experiencing psychological distress. At the heart of CBT is how we interpret events – with our thoughts (cognitions) and feelings powerfully influenced by the way we behave. Traditional CBT focuses on the search for objective truth by challenging unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviour.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of CBT that focuses on the function of behaviour i.e., the effect that any behaviour has within the context of the circumstances of that behaviour. Asking, ‘Does it help?’ is more important in ACT than asking, ‘Is it true?’ If what you are doing is not giving you the life you want in the long term, then we can look at modifying the way you relate to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. The core concept of ACT is ‘workability.’
CBT and ACT are about change. They are active forms of therapy in which you will learn that you have a choice: to do what matters and to take committed action. This means ‘doing what it takes’ to live a rich and meaningful life while effectively handling the distress of difficult thoughts and feelings, that inevitably goes with it.
CBT SOLUTIONS can provide an opportunity to think about an alternative way of living; one in which you can factor in compassion and balance and make choices to maximise your potential: to be happy, to be honest, to be daring, to be hopeful, to be all you can be, to be yourself. To be you and living your life to the full.
CBT & ACT
What is CBT?
CBT is a highly effective talking therapy which looks at how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours impact each other and maintain difficulties.
CBT is an evidence-based treatment which is recommended by the NICE guidelines (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence which provides standards for the NHS) for a wide range of clinical conditions.
CBT is more directive than Counselling. We will look at ‘what you want’ out of therapy and structure the sessions to help you address these goals. This is often achieved by making changes to behaviours and thinking patterns which may be unhelpful to you.
It is a collaborative therapy which means we would work together to develop new understandings of your experiences and then develop ways to help you move forward. It is a problem-solving approach and you will learn specific skills that you can use for the rest of your life.
The number of CBT sessions you require will depend on the type of difficulty you have. It is usually shorter-term (10 to 20 weekly sessions), depending on what feels right for you, with each therapy session lasting 50 minutes.
For further information about cognitive behavioural therapy please see – CBT Information Leaflet (Royal College of Psychiatrists).
What is ACT?
The aim of ACT is to increase your psychological flexibility, which means learning new psychological skills to reduce the impact of difficult thoughts and feelings. Key within ACT is clarifying what is truly important and meaningful to you i.e., your values. Values act as a compass, which is to say they suggest a direction for behaviour that can be undertaken in the present moment. We will use your values to help you to achieve your goals for therapy: to guide your actions, to inspire and motivate you to behave like the sort of person you want to be.
In ACT you will learn how to remain in contact with the present moment (to be here now) rather than ‘time travelling’ in your mind e.g., worrying about the future or stuck in the past.
In ACT you will learn to ‘watch your thinking.’ Defusion (or ‘unhooking’ from your thoughts) skills will help you to notice, acknowledge and separate yourself from your thoughts, to ‘step back’ and observe them, instead of being dominated by them.
In ACT you will learn how to open up and make room for unwanted private experiences be they thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, urges, impulses or sensations. Acceptance techniques are active choices, which is very different to passive resignation. They can best be described as ‘a willingness’ that advocates committed action to improve a difficult situation. This attitude says, ‘I’m having really difficult thoughts, feelings and sensations AND I’m willing to take them with me so that I can move towards the things that matter to me and live the life I would prefer to have.’
For further information about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy please view Dr Russ Harris on YouTube: Click Here.
Click Here for ACT Audio and Video recordings.
What Do CBT & ACT Help With?
- Depression – including hopelessness, low energy, lack of motivation, poor concentration, self-harm.
- Overthinking – including constant ruminating about the past, excessive ‘what if?’ worries about the future and re-occurring distressing thoughts.
- Anxiety and panic attacks.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Low self-esteem and a lack of self confidence
- Social Anxiety
- Health Anxiety
- Binge Eating
- Grief and Loss
Therapy can seem daunting and so it is important that you feel supported, respected, and comfortable. My practice is about being genuine, warm, and non-judgemental, one where you feel able to make an active contribution at any time.
Using ACT & CBT our focus will be on the ‘here and now’ and understanding how your current difficulties are maintained. If past events are causing distress, we will address these (if it feels okay for you) to help us understand how the past is operating in the present. ACT & CBT don’t just treat your symptoms, they help you to understand and address the root cause of the problem.
The first 1-2 sessions of therapy are the assessment phase where we will talk about your problems and your goals for therapy. Brief questionnaires might be used as we start to build a picture of how your difficulties are impacting on your life.
CBT & ACT both require your active participation during and between sessions. Firstly, as we understand how they makes sense of the difficulties you have and then by discussing whether there might be other ways of looking at them. We will think about alternatives, how you can try things out and gradually test out these new ideas by practicing new ways of thinking and behaving in your everyday life. Your involvement and feedback will be hugely important. By putting what you have learned into practise and discussing your observations you will learn how to manage your difficulties in a different way. You will learn how to help yourself.
Towards the end of therapy, we will specifically review your progress and goals. We will also work out a relapse prevention plan to avoid problems becoming major difficulties again.
Dr Lorraine Osborne
I am accredited with both the BABCP (British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies) and the BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy). The BABCP is the lead organisation for the theory, practice, and development of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the UK. It signals the gold standard of expertise of a CBT Therapist and the CBT quality. Accreditation with the BABCP demonstrates that, as a CBT therapist, I have met the stringent criteria around qualifications and clinical experience. As a BABCP accredited CBT therapist I adhere to their ethical framework. My practice receives regular supervision, and I am required to undertake ongoing training as a mandatory part of my continuing professional development.
I have worked as a therapist in Primary Care for over fourteen years; firstly, for MIND and then for the NHS prior to working in private practice. I work with adults and children (11+) with a range of mental health difficulties.
I have a background in scientific research and as a schoolteacher. I hold a PhD in Psychopharmacology, an MA in Integrative Counselling, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
In line with the ‘open source’ ACT training pathway I have undertaken significant ACT training, most notably with Dr Russ Harris, which has included ACT for: Depression and Anxiety Disorders, Self-Harming and Suicidality, Grief and Loss, Worrying, Ruminating and Obsessing, Perfectionism and People Pleasing and Trauma Focused ACT.
I am here to help and look forward to hearing from you.
BABCP & BACP Accredited.
Registered provider for BUPA, AXA, AVIVA and Vitality Healthcare.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Northumberland:
Tuesday & Wednesday 9.30am to 6pm
The Lamp House, 5-6 Benton Terrace, Sandyford Road, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1QU
Thursday 9am to 5pm
Online Therapy – via Zoom or Telephone.
Book An Appointment
Please contact me directly so that we can arrange a time for an initial assessment session.
You can decide then whether you would like to invest in a course of treatment targeted to your specific difficulties.
“I was extremely stressed at work for a long period of time, despite being under hardly any pressure from my bosses. I realised that it was my way of thinking that was the problem.
With the help of my employer I was directed to a number of CBT specialists but I felt a real connection with Lorraine when I first spoke to her on the phone. Even before we began treatment, she gave me a number of pieces of helpful advice regarding sleeping.
We began a twenty-week course of CBT. She spent the first weeks listening and understanding my particular situation. She then talked me through a plan for treatment and gave me choices about particular areas of focus. I found myself gradually having more control over my thinking. This has improved my work life and home life. I never thought it would have this much effect. I am significantly calmer and can feel myself using the techniques she taught me. I intend to see her once every three months for some time, as I want to maintain the mental improvement we achieved together.”
“I heard about Lorraine through a family member and decided to contact her for help with my own personal anxieties. I had been struggling to manage my stress levels during several distressing situations which resulted in a total meltdown and lack of self-worth. I felt unable to face my day-to-day activities without worry of disappointing or embarrassing myself.
I immediately connected with Lorraine because of her warm and understanding manner. Lorraine helped me make sense of my irrational behaviour and through various techniques taught me how to manage my negative feelings and make choices in line with my values, without self-doubt. Lorraine identified that I had been suffering from GAD and with the help of ACT and CBT I now feel more able to tolerate uncertainty and deal with acceptance. Amongst lots of things, Lorraine has shown me how to ‘unhook’ from negative thoughts and enjoy the moment, which has changed my life.
I can truly say that working with Lorraine has given me back my self-respect and I now have my ‘old self’ back. I now feel able to face my demons rather than take the easy way out by avoidance. The support she has given me throughout this process has been unforgettable. I started our sessions at rock bottom and now feel 10ft tall! Lorraine is honestly the nicest, most professional person I feel privileged to have met.”
‘Having never struggled with my mental health previously, I experienced a very difficult situation through work which led to a period of time off and a variety of physical and mental health symptoms. I had no idea how to address this and found Lorraine through the BUPA/ BABCP directory.
She immediately put me at ease with her friendly, calm manner. She expertly diagnosed PTSD and then devised a treatment plan of CBT and narrative writing to help me understand and deal with the trauma I was going through.
She made it so easy to be open and honest about what I was experiencing, striking a balance between care, empathy and very clear directional support. I really looked forward to our sessions as they were so useful, and we had many laughs along the way which really helped to ease the pressure I was under.
I would have no hesitation in contacting Lorraine again should I need to and can wholeheartedly recommend her expert services. Mental health is an incredibly complex issue and Lorraine can help you navigate the challenges in the most positive, supportive way.’
I approached Lorraine for help after realising that I was struggling to make sense of some confusing and distressing experiences. Using ACT, CBT and trauma-informed approaches we jointly made sense of what had happened and, amongst other things, worked to challenge some unhelpful and untrue self-beliefs which I had consequently adopted. We made steady progress during the months we worked together, and Lorraine was quick to recognise when the pace or focus needed adjustment, especially when new events threatened to derail my recovery. Throughout I felt 100% confident that she was there to support me and her responsiveness to ongoing circumstances was just one indicator of her extensive expertise and experience. Lorraine is an exceptional therapist – a true professional and a very humane person to work with. I was able to get back to myself with those unhelpful beliefs firmly vanquished and with useful strategies to draw on to manage my thinking going forwards. Beforehand I knew in myself that I needed to seek out some support, and was very glad I did, and decided to work with Lorraine.
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