Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT is non-pharmacological approach that can help to manage a range of psychological and physical symptoms, including anxiety, low mood, hot flushes, poor sleep and low self-esteem.

What is the association between thoughts (cognition) and behaviour (how we process and react to things) and why is it relevant?

Cultural attitudes towards ageing and the stigma attached to menopause in our society and its association with getting older can create a cycle of negative thoughts and feelings around the time of the menopause transition. This can make symptoms more overwhelming and difficult to cope with.

Around the point that the menopause happens, many women experience an accumulation of other life stressors at the same time- career pressures, ageing parents, teenagers with their own hormones or children leaving home- all of which can add to the feeling of being overwhelmed and unable to cope. This in turn can create a veil of anxiety and stress that can feed into those negative thought processes, affecting self-esteem, mood and our ability to react positively to situations.

Emotional and physical symptoms often interact, which can make physical symptoms more distressing.  When we feel anxious and stressed, our thought process around experiencing a physical symptom, in a certain situation is affected. This can negatively influence the way we feel and respond to that particular scenario, thereby enhancing the strength of our bodily reaction/ physical symptom.

How can Cognitive Behavioural Therapy help me?

CBT will help you to challenge your own personal narrative around the menopause. It encourages reflection on negative thoughts that may be influencing behaviour, and addresses unhelpful beliefs that can impact negatively on psychological and physical well-being. This approach can help to start a process of emotional acceptance of the menopause, which in turn helps women to start to feel happier in their own skin and more in control at this new stage of life.

Cognitive behavioural strategies can give you the confidence to meet the emotional and physical challenges of the menopause head on. These techniques teach you skills and coping strategies to reduce stress and anxiety which may be worsening physical symptoms.

You will learn how to check your behavioural response, and to develop a calmer and more accepting approach, which in turn can break the damaging cycle of negative thinking and self-criticism.  This helps us to respond in a more positive way.

CBT can help you to focus on your own emotional needs and prioritise your personal well-being- something that is often forgotten and put to the bottom of a long list of (often everyone else’s) needs in the whirlwind of life, and everything in it around the time of the menopause. It’s remarkable how making small changes that positively influence wellness can have a huge impact and benefit in other areas of one’s life.

Menopause is a normal life stage but the way you approach the menopause can transform your experience of it.

Can I access CBT through Chelvey Menopause?

We will be providing specific group CBT courses at Chelvey Menopause from April 2023.

Our lifestyle consults can be used to discuss in depth, a wide range of problems associated with the menopause including sleep, weight gain and psychological symptoms. During these consultations we will use CBT and life coaching techniques to help women make a positive change in their lives. Please contact us for more information about this.


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