Being Married to a CBT Therapist…

A real skill for developing relationships

A clinical supervisor with her client

In the 10+ years that I have known my wife she has always been involved in helping people in some way, both in her professional life as well as her personal one. Throughout this time she has always had a fascination with what “makes people tick” and a real skill for developing relationships with people and getting them to see things from a different point of view. My wife has now been a qualified CBT therapist for several years and currently delivers the CBT diploma course with ACT counselling. I think this course really allowed her to develop those skills as well as giving her more of the theoretical understanding of what she was already thinking and doing with people.

How it affected me

A father and son by a campfire

The course had a big impact on me as well. My wife would come in from the course buzzing with excitement, telling me about what they had been doing that day and discussing whatever topic had been delivered by Andy and the team. She would talk about things like “core beliefs”, which are the messages we get from those around us growing up (generally our parents) and how this can influence our thoughts and behaviour throughout life. This made me consider my own experiences as a child as well as those of the children I work with as a social worker.

CBT in social work

A hand offering guidance

Another way the course impacted on me was with the idea that as a therapist you are not giving them answers so much as guiding them to find their own solutions. As a social worker, this can be more of a challenge with some of the families I work with as we often have to be very directive and clear with people what we expect to happen. However, we will often use CBT principles to ensure families are motivated to work towards these shared goals. It has also been very useful in considering how I support my team of staff in supervision, both formally and informally in finding their own solutions to issues both within and outwith the workplace.

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