Problems CBT Can Help With


Anger Management

Anger Management

Do you have a problem controlling your anger?

It’s normal to feel irritation or anger at times; it’s a natural human response to certain life experiences. People often claim to feel anger in response to believing they are being attacked, judged, insulted, deceived or frustrated. It becomes a problem when it is triggered too easily and provokes an extreme response and harms you or the people around you.

Often, anger problems are due to poor management of our emotions. Anger, like all emotions, involves physiological and chemical changes in the body. Unresolved anger can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, depression and anxiety. When anger gets out of control, it can be destructive and significantly impact your quality of life – affecting your career, your relationships and overall well-being

Anger can range from irritability through to rage, however, in general, any form of anger is caused by the belief that life is unfair and/or someone has violated our internal beliefs about how someone ‘should’ or ‘should not’ behave.

You cannot control the situations that might provoke your anger, but you can learn to manage your attitude to them with CBT, which can help with all kinds of anger issues from mild irritation to explosive, violent rage.

How can counselling help?

Anger management counselling is designed to help you to explore the underlying causes of your anger. You will be encouraged to look at some of the unhelpful beliefs about anger that may have been present in your family and how your anger is affecting your relationships and impacting your quality of life.

Counselling will help you recognise and accept your anger issues. You will be helped to explore and identify your trigger points for anger early on along with identifying thoughts and beliefs they do not lead to logical or rational conclusions. Your counsellor will use CBT to work with you how you think and react to certain situations. You will learn skills to help you manage angry feelings more effectively allowing you to express yourself while remaining calm and in control.

Further Reading and self-help on anger management

‘Anger Management’ A Guide on How to Control Your Life and Deal with Your Relationships – by Alan Tucker (2015)

‘Overcoming Anger and Irritability: A Self Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques’ (2009) by Dr. William Davies

‘Managing Anger’ Simple Steps to Dealing with Frustration and Threat’ (2000)

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Anxiety is all about threat and danger (either real or imagined), where the fear that you feel is out of proportion to the actual threat itself.

People can make themselves anxious about almost anything: dealing work, or their relationships, money, thinking about the future, walking into a room full of people, flying and so on. An anxiety disorder is a cover term for a variety of neuroses where anxiety is the predominant emotion. Anxiety disorders include the following:

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

You may be diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder if you have felt anxious for a long time and often feel fearful, but are not anxious about anything in particular. The strength of symptoms can vary.


A phobia is an extreme or irrational fear or aversion to something. If you have a phobia, your anxiety will be triggered by very specific situations or objects; such as spiders, heights, and flying or crowded places, even when there is no danger to you. For example, you may know a spider isn’t poisonous or won’t bite you, but this still doesn’t reduce your anxiety. Likewise, you may know that it is safe to be out on a balcony in a high-rise block, yet feel terrified to go out on it or even enjoy the view from behind the windows inside the building.

Many of us have fears about particular objects or situations, and this is perfectly normal. A fear becomes a phobia if it lasts for more than six months, and has a significant impact on how you live your day-to-day life.

Panic disorder

Panic attacks may sometimes occur for no reason and you may not be able to understand why. You may feel as if your mind has gone totally out of control. When you experience panic attacks that seem completely unpredictable and you can’t identify what has triggered them, you may experience panic disorder because the onset of panic seems unpredictable, you may live in fear of having another panic attack.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour are typical for this disorder. You may, for example, have obsessive thoughts about being contaminated with germs or fear that you have forgotten to lock the door or turn off the oven. You may feel compelled to wash your hands, do things in a particular order or keep repeating what you are doing a certain number of times to ward of the thoughts and anxiety.

Social Anxiety

Is the fear of interaction with other people that brings on self-consciousness, feelings of being negatively judged and evaluated, and, as a result, leads to avoidance.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

If you have experienced or witnessed a very stressful or threatening event, e.g. war, serious accident, violent death or rape, you may later develop post-traumatic stress disorder. You are likely to experience flashbacks and have dreams about the event, and these are likely to trigger strong anxiety and feelings you experienced during the actual event.

Separation Anxiety

This is an excessive and debilitating fear of being away from home or away from the people you care about.

Situational or Anxiety

This includes performance anxieties, such as exam nerves, fear of public speaking, stage fright and psychosexual dysfunction, or a fear of life changing events, such as getting married or changing jobs.

Further reading on anxiety management and self- help

Making Friends with Anxiety’ A warm, supportive little book to help ease worry and panic – by Sarah Rayner (2014)
Free Yourself from Anxiety’ A Self Help Guide to Overcoming Anxiety Disorders’ by Emma Fletcher and Martha Langley (2009)
‘Overcoming Anxiety’ – A Self-Help Guide’ by Helen Kennerley (1997)

Charity Helpline

Anxiety UK – Information, support, and a dedicated helpline for UK sufferers and their families.
Helpline – 08444 775 774

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One in five people become depressed at some point in their lives. There are many types of depression and many reasons people feel depressed.

Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. We all go through spells of feeling down, but when you’re depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months.

Some people still think that depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They’re wrong. Depression is a real illness with real symptoms, and it’s not a sign of weakness or something you can “snap out of” by “pulling yourself together”.

Depression is a mood disorder characterised by low mood and a wide range of other possible symptoms, which will vary from person to person. It can develop quickly or gradually, and be brought on by life events and/or changes in body chemistry. It can strike anyone, and is curable in very many cases.

The symptoms of depression are:

  • Tearfulness
  • Numbness, lethargy and a loss of interest in things you used to enjoy.
  • Wanting to hide away from people, perhaps even by staying in bed.
  • Constant tiredness and problems sleeping.
  • Lack of interest in sex
  • Loss of appetite or overrating to try and find comfort
  • Stress and frustration.
  • Irritability and aggression.
  • Feeling that you cannot cope.
  • Inability to see a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
  • Suicidal thoughts.

How can counselling help?

When you are depressed, things can seem hopeless and out of your control, but with the right help, it can be possible to turn things around.  For many people with depression, the worst part is that they fell they are the only ones in the world to feel this way. Understanding the root cause of your depression is the start point, followed by what’s triggering it and what’s keeping you stuck in depression.

Counselling/CBT can help you understand your own expectations which might be unrealistic or difficult to maintain. It can also provide you with strategies to help both alleviate and prevent depressive symptoms from recurring in future and show you steps to help find alternative ways of dealing with life’s challenges.

Further reading and self-help for depression

‘Overcome Depression and End Your Suffering Now’ –  An In-Depth Guide for Overcoming Depression, Increasing Self-Esteem, and Getting Your Life Back On Track – by Beau Norton

‘Overcoming Depression’ A Self Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques’ by Paul Gilbert Tyrell (2000)

‘Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing How You Think’ by Dennis Greenberger & Christine Padesky (1998)

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Jealously & Insecurity

Do you struggle to control how jealous & insecure you are?

Jealousy is a natural emotion but it can be painful, difficult to control and often destabilises our relationships.

It occurs most commonly within a romantic relationship, although it can occur between siblings and other family members, in friendships and in professional relationships.

Suspicion and an attempt to reach absolute certainty about whether the other person is betraying your trust may be impossibility. Therefore, the desire to know may simply lead to greater anxiety and frustration often leading to possessiveness and intimidating or controlling behaviour.

A small amount of jealousy can be good. For example, if it’s mild and well-managed it can help a couple to appreciate each other. However, extreme jealousy can destroy relationships and damage your health. Often issue arise when your spouse hasn’t done anything wrong and yet you regularly feel jealous or insecure

When someone feels jealous, they feel that someone or a situation is threatening something that they value highly, especially a relationship. Jealousy can make you feel angry, anxious and threatened. You might become hyper-vigilant, oversensitive and possessive.

Self-help and further reading

How To Overcome Jealousy, Insecurity and Trust Issues” Save Your Relationship, Love Life and Emotions. By Sofia Price (2015)

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Lack of Confidence

Lack of Confidence

We use the phrase self-esteem to talk about the beliefs you have about yourself – what you think about the type of person you are and your abilities.

If you have healthy self-esteem, your beliefs about yourself will generally be positive. You may experience difficult times in your life, but you will generally be able to deal with these without them having too much of a long-term negative impact on you.

If you have low self-esteem, your beliefs about yourself will often be negative and lack in confidence. You will tend to focus on your weaknesses or mistakes that you have made and you may find it hard to recognise the positive parts of your personality. You may also blame yourself for any difficulties or failures that you have occurred.

Most people experience moments of lacking in confidence, at some point in life. This can be a perfectly normal response to external events, from time to time. However, when low self-esteem becomes a long-term habit, it can harm your relationships with others, kill your confidence, stunt your ability to assert yourself and feed a cycle of increasing frustration and unhappiness. In fact, research has shown a correlation between low self-esteem and depression.

How can counselling help?

Counselling can help you discover the root causes for your low sense of self-worth and establish how certain behaviours, feelings, and thoughts that are contributing towards your low opinion of yourself.  It can help you learn how to create more balanced, mutually respectful and satisfying relationships and gain a deeper understanding of yourself and what makes you happiest.

The biggest benefit of counselling for low self-esteem, is it can enable you to gain the ability to live your life with a stronger feeling of freedom  to be who you truly are. Counselling can help you improve your self-image and reduce self-doubt and enable you to become more assertive, confident, and self-aware.

We will look at helping you recognise the relationship between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, based on the theory that it is not what we experience but how we interpret events that determine how we feel.

Further reading and self-help on low self-esteem and confidence building

Overcoming Low Self-Esteem’ – A Self-Help Guide (1999) by Melanie Fennell
How to Be Confident and Destroy Low Self-Esteem’ – The Ultimate Guide for Turning Your Life around (Positive Thinking, Mind-Body Connection, Goal Setting, Visualization, Facing Fears) – by Beau Norton (2015)

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Relationship Problems

Relationship Problems

Relationships can be one of the most fulfilling and pleasurable areas in life. Our tendency to develop intimate and intense relationships can bring great joy and happiness. However, occasionally our relationships can become full of tension, resentment and conflict causing pain and upset to one or both parties. Difficulties in relationships are one of the most common causes of unhappiness, and often bring people into therapy.

In general, poor communication is a major factor in relationship issues. Many of the individuals claim they struggle with a feeling of not being listened to. Or that that their partner doesn’t take time to understand what they are saying. It’s also very common for the same topics to provoke arguments and blame without a solution being found.

There can be a lot of sadness, hurt, anger and resentment beneath the surface of relationship difficulties. It takes courage to listen to your partner and a commitment to understand their point of view, let alone find the words to say what’s important from your point of view. Through gentle questioning our counsellors will help you explore the underlying issues in order for you to both achieve a new level of understanding. We offer Relationship Counselling sessions for individuals or couples.

Whether you come with your partner or alone, whether you’re gay or heterosexual, married or single; we offer a safe and confidential setting in which to explore your difficulties and to help find more productive and fulfilling ways of relating to each other.

Common relationship issues:- Infidelity and affairs. ‘Stuck’ or Stale relationships. Intimacy problems. Jealousy and suspicion. Breaks Up’s and Divorce.

The purpose of Couples Therapy is to help you stay together as a couple unless you expressly wish to separate, in which case, Relationship Counselling can help you to do so more amicably.

Relationship Counselling Kent
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Stress Management

Do you feel under mental and emotional pressure?

The word stress is used when people experience the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure, when the demands made on them are greater than their ability to cope.

Many of life’s demands can cause stress, particularly work, relationships and money problems. And, when you feel stressed, it can get in the way of sorting out these demands, or can even affect everything you do. Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works. In fact, common signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating.

People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else.

Everyone needs a certain amount of stress or pressure to live well, it’s what gets you out of bed in the morning and motivates you throughout the day. However, stress becomes problematic when there’s too much or it is too intense or prolonged causes your body to release stress hormones over a long period. This increases the risk of a range of physical health problems including headaches, stomach upsets and high blood pressure. It can even increase the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

More often, stress leads to psychological problems. It can make people feel distrust, anger, anxiety and fear, which in turn can destroy relationships at home and at work. Stress also plays a key role in the development of anxiety disorders and depression.

You may feel anxious, irritable or low in self-esteem, and you may have racing thoughts, worry constantly or go over things in your head. You may notice that you lose your temper more easily, drink more or act unreasonably.

Stress causes a surge of hormones in your body. These stress hormones are released to enable you to deal with pressures or threats – the so-called “fight or flight” response. Once the pressure or threat has passed, your stress hormone levels will usually return to normal. However, if you’re constantly under stress, these hormones will remain in your body, leading to the symptoms of stress.

How can counselling help?

Having counselling for stress can help release anxiety and assist in taking control back in your life. It can also help you identify any negative thought patterns that tend to go along with stress, such as catastrophic thinking – “If I don’t get this done today it will be the end of the world!” – And teach you ways to change these to more balanced, helpful thoughts. It can also help you identify cycles of thoughts and behaviour that can sometimes keep us stuck in a situation, and help to break cycles of panic, providing new skills for dealing with stress.

Self-help and further reading

Self Help for Your Nerves”: Learn to relax and enjoy life again by overcoming stress and fear by Dr. Claire Weekes (1995)

The Stress Management Workbook” A guide to developing resilience (Teach Yourself: Relationships & Self-Help) by Lynne Van Brakel (2014)

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Work Related Stress

What is work related stress?

In simple terms, work related stress is a form of stress caused by things that happen at work. Having an element of challenge is a natural part of having a job and to a certain extent most people enjoy it, we tend to work faster and be more focused when there is some stress. However, when those challenges override the ability to cope, the body and mind can begin to suffer. Although stress is a natural and useful human response, in excess it can be very unhealthy and cause all sorts of havoc across the body, including headaches, high blood pressure and depression. An estimated 13.4 million sick days are taken for work related stress every year.

Work related stress is a growing problem in Britain. Increasing numbers of people report to feeling overworked, unappreciated, underpaid and/or bullied in the workplace. This can lead to further complications such as – anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and even suicidal thoughts, along with physical health problems, relationship issues, sleep loss and feelings of self-doubt and inferiority.

How can counselling help?

Counselling aims to help you get to the root cause of the problems that are causing you stress and help you unravel your feelings. We are all different, and as such we all react differently to certain situations. Counselling will help you explore your own thinking patterns and ways of behaving within the work environment. Sometimes, problems are deep rooted, and if they are not tackled at the root you may find you will continue to encounter the same problems time and time again.

Counselling can help you see things more clearly and enable you the freedom to find a way forward.

Further reading and self-help

Overcoming Your Workplace Stress: A CBT based Self Help Guide’ (2011) by Martin Bamber

Managing Stress in the Workplace’ How to Get Rid of Stress at Work and Live a Longer Life (2014) by Joe Martin.

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About CBT & Counselling Kent

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