A wide range of material is covered in the program:
Goal Setting / Planning
You will be encouraged to set realistic goals for positive lifestyle change and develop problem-solving skills to help you reach your goals.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
You will learn how to ‘self-monitor’ thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Unhelpful or irrational beliefs and expectations as well as problematic thought patterns and behaviours are identified and challenged. You will be encouraged to actively practice more constructive thinking patterns and behaviours.
Managing Anxiety and Depression
Detailed information on anxiety and depression is presented to increase your understanding and awareness of these problems.
You will learn practical skills which can be used to manage and control the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Communication / Assertion Skills
An important group focus is to improve and boost communication skills including listening skills and assertion skills.
You will be encouraged to assess yourself more objectively and to identify and acknowledge your strengths and positive attributes. Concepts of self-worth and values are carefully explored.
Stress Management / Relaxation
A range of stress management skills including relaxation techniques with emphasis on developing healthier lifestyle practices are taught in the program.
It is very important to actively set behavioural tasks that challenge or stretch you to try different ways of approaching your difficulties and this is achieved by setting homework assignments.
What does homework mean and do we have to do it?
The CBT Intensive program at Perth Clinic is highly effective if you – the participant – are willing to make the commitment to try the strategies we teach. Homework plays an important role in the recovery process as the major part of therapy takes place in everyday life, where you put into practice the skills learnt in the group sessions.
You will be assigned tasks which give you the opportunity to practice what you have learnt. Time is set aside each week to undertake such practice on your own. You may also be encouraged to do specific tasks each night and at the weekend.
If you are concerned that you did not enjoy homework at school, and that you are not a great student, do not despair. Our homework is completely different from that and comprises a healthy mixture of self-nurturing tasks and active practice tasks. For instance, a very depressed person might be assigned the task of going for a long slow walk in the local park or at the beach and to pay particular attention to their surroundings and their resultant pleasure. Or, a highly anxious person who has for years avoided shopping centres for fear of having a panic attack will be taught some anxiety management strategies to practice as they slowly build up the confidence to approach a shopping centre.
All tasks are designed to be a little bit challenging but not so much that you are afraid to try. We know that there is nothing to be gained from pushing someone too far too fast. Therapists do not force you to do anything you do not feel confident or capable of doing and you are very much involved in deciding what and how much you do as homework.
Of course, if you elect not to do any homework, then the chance of your improvement through CBT is significantly reduced! You make the choice.
Although some sections of the program are highly structured, provision is made within sessions to meet the differing needs of individual participants. An important characteristic of the program is its flexibility and responsiveness to the needs of each person.
In addition to increasing participants’ coping skills and resources, the CBT Intensive program offers a safe forum for discussing problems and concerns within a caring and supportive atmosphere: this in itself is perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of participating in the program.
When does it run?
Our program begins each Monday, except public holidays where it begins on Tuesday, 9.00 am to 4.45pm with four sessions per day. You will be in a group of up to eight participants for the two weeks.
The last session of each day provides an opportunity for you to unwind whilst learning important techniques in relaxation before heading home.
You will be offered two follow-up sessions, six and twelve weeks after the group. At this time your application of skills and techniques learned in the program can be reviewed.
CBT Booster is a program designed to provide additional support in maintaining treatment gains by reviewing and refreshing what was learnt throughout participation in any of our CBT group programs. It runs as an open group, with six sessions in total, held once a month on a weekday evening. It is suitable for adults who have completed CBT (intensive or weekly) within the past 12 months.
How to get involved
You will need to discuss your interest in any of the groups available as part of the CBT program with your Perth Clinic psychiatrist. Once a referral has been received from your psychiatrist, you will be contacted by Perth Clinic to organise your booking.