How Long for?
After assessment the client will be given a formulation which will explain the expected course of the therapy and a reasonably accurate estimation of the number of sessions needed. Typically the estimate is accurate to within + or – 2 sessions. i.e an estimate of 8 sessions will typically complete within 6- 10 sessions.
How often are sessions.
Initially it is good to have sessions once a week or fortnightly, however once therapy is progressing and the client is gaining in skill sessions will be extend to once every 3-4 weeks allowing the client more time to practise.
Do I need a GP referral?
You can be referred by your GP or you can self refer by phone etc.
Isn’t it just another type of CBT?
Though initially developed within the CBT school MCT differs from CBT significantly. CBT ultimately tries to change peoples negative beliefs and thoughts using a variety of methods and techniques. It hold that it is the Negative belief that maintains the distress that you feel. MCT disagrees. Negative beliefs and thoughts are seen as a normal part of life that do not in themselves maintain our problems. Rather it our response to our thoughts using the CAS (Worry and Rumination, Threat monitoring and coping behaviours.) that maintain our problems.
For example. Though it is not uncommon for people to be afraid of flying, this is an understandable fear after all. In CBT we would give people techniques to manage their fear and information to change their negative beliefs. However, there are two problems with this. Though you can help people to belief that it is unlikely they will be in a crash you cannot disprove the belief. It is unlikely but still possible that a plane can crash. No matter how much you learn you cannot dispute the belief.
Secondly It is also wrong to assume that only people frightened of flying will have a negative believe or thought about flying. Everyone has negative thoughts. We are effectively told we can crash in the safety demonstration, I doubt anyone believes that “in the unlikely event that we crash into water” we’ll be ok because we have a whistle! If effectively everyone has the negative thought why don’t we all get anxious. The answer lies in what we do next. People who are frightened of flying worry excessively they monitor themselves for thoughts and symptoms of anxiety and their environment for odd noises movements or turbulence. They act as if their belief is true. MCT teaches how to detach and disregard any thought or belief allowing it and the its’ emotional response to be a transitory experience.