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Talking therapies


friends huggingTalking about your thoughts and feelings can help you deal with some of the tough times in your life.  If something is bothering you and you turn it over and over again in your mind, the worry can grow. But talking about it can help you work out what is really upsetting you and find a way to make things better.

We often find it helpful to talk with a friend or family member, but sometimes friends and family cannot help us and we need to talk to a professional. Talking therapies involve talking to someone who is trained to help you deal with your negative feelings. Here are a few of the common types of talking therapies that we offer at CAMHS.


Family therapy

A person with a mental illness can find it very supportive to have their family understand their illness, give encouragement, and assist them with everyday life. A family therapist helps both the person with the mental illness and those closest to them to understand each other’s feelings and resolve practical day-to-day issues. Family therapy sessions can include carers and friends as well as relatives.

Cognitive behaviour therapy

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) focuses on how you think about the things going on in your life – your thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes – and how this impacts on the way you behave and deal with emotional problems. It then looks at how you can change any negative patterns of thinking or behaviour that may be causing you difficulties. In turn, this can change the way you feel. CBT tends to be short, taking six weeks to six months. You will usually attend a session once a week, each session lasting either 50 minutes or an hour. CBT may focus on what is going on in the present rather than the past. However, the therapy may also look at your past and how your past experiences impact on how you interpret the world now.

Dialectical behaviour therapy

Dialectical behaviour therapy is a psychological therapy for people with borderline personality disorder, with self-harming behaviour or suicidal thoughts. Dialectical behaviour therapy also helps you to change and control your emotions, but it differs from cognitive behavioural therapy in that it focuses on accepting who you are at the same time. Dialectical behaviour therapy therapists aim to balance ‘acceptance techniques’ with ‘change techniques’.

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