Welcome to Creative CBT. This is the website of therapist/life coach Benjamin Mathews. Benjamin specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy via the internet. If you are new, why not check out the Getting started tab on the right hand side? Alternatively, click here if you would like to contact Benjamin or make an appointment.

CBT for Anxiety and Related Conditions

Anxiety becomes problematic when it becomes overwhelming, maladaptive, or unwarranted. For some, anxiety may occur in excess in unwarranted situations. With cognitive behavioural therapy, however, the individual can learn ways of coping with the anxiety and, furthermore, reduce the anxiety that they experience.

De-Arousal Strategies and Relaxation Training

With many suffers of anxiety related conditions it is useful to learn techniques to reduce their physical symptoms of Anxiety. Anxiety from perceived threats creates a fight or flight response and physical symptoms such as trembling or shakingrestlessnessmuscle tensionsweatingshortness of breath, a racing or pounding heartbeatcold and clammy handsfast breathingdry mouthhot flushes or chillsfeeling sick or nauseated, and "butterflies" in the stomach. In order to reduce these symptoms a variety of techniques can be taught, such as breathing techniques, and relaxation training. With CBT we like to see measurable outcomes and to track progress over time, as such we will keep records of breathing rates and try to keep them to a recommended level. 

Thinking Strategies

Cognitive behavioural therapy also tries to tackle the perceptions that cause the anxiety / fight or flight response. Anxiety provoking thoughts are identified before the accuracy and usefulness of worries, fears and negative thoughts are assessed and challenged. New perspectives are also sought in order to further reduce the perception of threat and increase resilience to anxiety. 

Systematic Desensitisation / Graded Exposure

For phobias in particular, gradually building up ones ability to tolerate the feared object or, in other cases, thought is a tried and trusted method. This involves gradually and with preparation facing ones fears. The path towards being able to face one's fear is broken down into small manageable steps. With time and practice, one's endurance eventually goes up and the amount of anxiety experienced decreases, and thus the individual becomes strong enough to take the challenge and move to the next step. 
Systematic desensitisation / graded exposure - first exposure

Systematic desensitisation / graded exposure - fifth exposure

Intorduction of Strategies for Reducing and Managing Worry

Individuals with anxiety related difficulties often worry excessively. Learning techniques to better manage worry, problem solve and make decisions often alleviates the worry and prevents anxiety levels from raising to the level of a panic attack. Worry about ones physical symptoms of worry in particular needs to be addressed. Combined with relaxation training, the individual is taught ways to reduce and, where possible, let go of their worries.

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Click here to read about cognitive behavioural therapy
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Click here to read about the advantages of online therapy
Click here to read cognitive behavioural therapy themed comics by Benjamin
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Click here to read about overcoming depression with CBT