CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviours (and vice versa ‐ our behaviours affect our feelings and thoughts) not external things, like people, circumstances and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think, feel or behave to change our situation even if the circumstances do not change or the people around us do not change their behaviour.
The huge advantage of CBT is the robust evidence base that supports it. Its effectiveness is supported by evidence from randomized controlled trials, case series and case studies and there are claims that it is ‘more extensively researched than any other psychotherapeutic approach’. For example, some studies have shown that it can be more effective for anxiety and depression than medication alone and that symptom alleviation is quicker and the clients stay well for longer. In addition, there is evidence that hypnosis enhances the effectiveness of CBT, which is why I use CBH (Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy) with my clients.
An additional advantage of CBH is the variety of issues for which it is effective. As well as anxiety and depression it is valuable in the treatment of panic, phobias (including agoraphobia and social phobia), stress, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and it can also help with anger, low self-esteem and even physical health problems, like pain or fatigue.