18 Mar 2021

BY: Online Therapy

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy / Online CBT / Online Clinical Psychologist / Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy / Online Counsellor / Online therapist / Online Therapy

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Article by Marvis Bih

Can online counsellors effectively offer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) using the online platform?

The answer is yes. Trained psychologists can provide online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) in many contexts. Mostly, psychologists offer CBT in face-to-face settings, however, it could also be offered online using technology such as laptops, smartphones, iPads, emails or chat messages.

There are also different types of Internet-Based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (ICBT) built on self-help material without a therapist interface. Often, face-to-face-sessions are combined with online programmes as well as therapist support ranging from emails, chat technology, virtual technology, video conferencing (Lindefors & Andersson 2016).

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

CBT focusses on the link between the way the patient thinks – which will affect the way the patient feels and behave. This can be referred to as the CBT triad – the thoughts, emotions and actions connection.

CBT Thought Feeling and Action link

Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a standardised and evidence-based treatment program. Therapists assist patients by helping them to help themselves by introducing systematic self-help methods that are practised outside of treatment.

What to expect in-session?

During a CBT session, patients can expect to learn more about their core beliefs. Generally, these start in childhood and include beliefs such as “I am not good enough”, “the world is not a safe place”, “I cannot trust anyone”. These core beliefs can become automatic when that thought becomes the first thing a person thinks about and believes. Unfortunately, these thoughts lead to emotional distress and a person that believes he/she cannot trust anyone may avoid meeting new people and may end up lonely.

CBT helps clients re-look at core beliefs and to change their problematic thinking. Thoughts are put on trial to see if it is actually true. Sometimes it is easier to start with behavioural changes that will then affect emotions and thinking. Treatment and experiences of CBT will be different for everyone.

Thinking affects feelings and actions

Why is Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy necessary?

According to the world health organisation, about 34 million people across the Americas and Europe suffer from major depressive disorders in a given 12-month period which often goes untreated (Kohn, 2004). Some barriers to treatment include cost, the perceived stigma of seeking treatment, long wait-list and more. Therefore, Online CBT bridges this gap by eliminating these barriers by substantially enhancing access (Kohn, 2004). In addition, people who need online CBT are those who prefer to accessed treatment from the comfort of their homes, those who work 9-5 jobs and cannot schedule an appointment with a therapist during the day and those who are not motivated or have phobias leaving home especially during this season of the Coronavirus. 

After Covid-19, there has been a greater demand for people to use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) online with active support from a therapist with basic psychotherapeutic capability in CBT (Lindefors & Andersson 2016).

Who should not access Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?

Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is not recommended for everyone, especially in cases where actual clinical diagnoses are required such as personality disorders. People suffering from psychiatric problems are encouraged to attend traditional face-to-face psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy (Webb, 2017). Stay tuned for the next issue on attachment styles and how to deal with attachments issues.

Want to learn more about online CBT? Feel free to complete the form below.

References

Kohn R, Saxena S, Levav I, Saraceno B. (2004). The treatment gap in mental health care. Bull World Health Organ, 82: 858–67.

Webb, CA., Rosso, IM. & Rauch, MD. (2017). Internet-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Depression: Current Progress and Future Directions. Review, 25(3): 114-122.

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