Cognitive Bahavioural Therapy

I was cycling the other day, coming into Walpole Highway, a village a few miles from my home.  As I approached, I noticed that the road had been resurfaced. It looked really good, new tar and chippings, bright in the sunshine.  It was only when I got onto the ‘new’ surface that the truth dawned….

They has put down the tar and chippings, but had NOT repaired the road surface underneath.  How typical, I thought.  It’s what we have been conditioned to do with most things.

For instance, when we encounter a psychological problem – anxiety, depression, being overweight, IBS, Etc – we immediately seek relief from the symptom.  Rather than getting to the cause, underneath, we just tar over it.

What happens is, we turn to conventional medicine for help.  This is fine, as it stands; we need a diagnosis.  Allopathic medicine is brilliant when it comes to dealing with acute illness – that’s what it was designed to do.

Unfortunately, most problems today are chronic, yet we approach them in the same way as we do the acute ones.  We try to alleviate the symptoms, rather than getting to the underlying cause.

This is why Gastric Band Hypnotherapy is the latest craze… desperate people looking for an answer, yet not being given the information necessary for them to make an informed choice.  They struggle through, not realising that the food is NOT the problem.  Countless numbers of people on anti-depressants, beta-blockers, uppers, downers, whatever.  A life of tar and chippings.

Oh, and yes… of course… we may need to talk about our problem, so now there’s Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.  That should do it.  Er, no, it won’t.  Why Not?  Because it’s based upon a medical model… it works logically.  Look, if your problem was logical, you’d have fixed it!

Now, CBT does acknowledge Random Automatic Thoughts (RATS) or Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTS) – depending upon which side of the Atlantic you find yourself.  These come from the subconscious mind – the emotional mind – the not-rational mind….. that’s a huge clue!  Yet CBT insists upon hammering away through the conscious mind.

QUESTION – If the cause of the problem is in your subconscious mind, why don’t you just go to your subconscious and fix it?

Simple?  Yes. Easy? Yes. So why aren’t they telling you about it?  A surplus of tar and chippings, perhaps.


Cognitive Bahavioural Therapy — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Greg,
    Great article on GBH. On the news this morning we hear that paying people to lose weight is being advocated by NICE!!! The amount paid depending on the weight loss. As you rightly point out in your article they still don’t understand the processes behind gaining weight which have to be addressed for long term success. Still it’s not NICE’s money is it??

  2. Hi Greg,
    I’m enjoying your blogs. Keep up the good work!
    Some clients seem to appreciate some of the tools that CBT has given them but they come to me because all CBT has done is help manage the problem (if they are lucky) not sort out the root cause, which as you say exists at the subconscious level.
    On a similar note I am often approached by clients who have had literally years of counselling but still suffer from the same problem. To use another metaphor, all the sticking plaster in the world will not heal the underlying wound.