Cognitive behavioural therapy is a well used term but are you comfortable with what it actually entails? Can you describe it to patients (compared with other counselling methods) or even use some of the strategies in your consultations? If you are able to, it can be particularly helpful, especially when waiting times are long allowing you to further support a patient in the meantime. A GP and clinical Psychologist have teamed up to write this article which offers good techniques to use within a 10 minute consultation. Below is the Core Principal of CBT which is really helpful to explain how CBT works to patients.
A situation where knowledge of CBT techniques can be helpful is in childhood depression. This is an easily missed and highly anxiety provoking presentation for many trainees and GPs. It is the most common psychiatric disorder in children and adolescents. Ensuring you take a good risk assessment, establishing a support plan as well as having a good range of third sector or online support are crucial. Fluoxetine is the SSRI of choice if the young people have not responded to psychological therapies. The article by Dr Mills and Dr Baker describes the primary care assessment, diagnosis and management of this condition.