These days when people call me to inquire about counselling or psychotherapy I find I am increasingly being asked whether or not I also practice CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Usually this is because they have been advised by their GP or another health professional that CBT is the most efficient therapy for dealing with anxiety or depression.
CBT is a style of therapy which helps us to make subtle adjustments to our thought patterns, our behaviour patterns and subsequently to the way we feel about ourselves and our lives. It works on the theory that all of our relationships and engagements with the world are based on sets of beliefs and thought patterns that dictate how we behave towards others and also towards ourselves. If we can understand and change at least some of our negative belief systems then our lives will become more fulfilling and less stressful.
Transactional Analysis has a lovely model for working with these beliefs and patterns of behaviour: we call it our Life Script. In TA we believe that coming to understand our own Life Script is a fundamental part of changing our experience of the world.
Many people come to find that working with their Life Script is an enjoyable and stimulating experience and that the changes they are looking for come along automatically as part of the journey. So whilst I wouldn’t categorise Transactional Analysis as purely a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy it can certainly be used to achieve the same goals.