CBT recommended for both physical and psychological menopause symptoms

Menopause, although a natural phase in a woman’s life, often comes with a host of unpleasant symptoms that can significantly impact daily life.

These symptoms can include:

  • Hot flushes and night sweats
  • Sleep problems and insomnia
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Low mood and depression

Over the past decade, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been widely recognised as a way to alleviate the psychological symptoms of anxiety and low mood. New guidance(1) shows that CBT can also reduce the frequency and severity of physical symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and insomnia. This new evidence recommends that CBT is offered alongside other options such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

“Was really helpful – to understand the physiological changes and the impact on our bodies and what we can do to help ourselves.”

Recent testimonial from one of our menopause group participants

So, what is CBT, and how can it help me?

CBT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on identifying current thinking patterns and behaviours that might be problematic and learning techniques to improve these. We basically learn a new way of understanding and coping with challenges and our emotions.

We asked our team of therapists how CBT can help relieve some of the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause…

Hot flushes and night sweats
Managing these symptoms is key. We teach a range of relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, which can reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flushes and promote a sense of control.

Sleep problems and insomnia
CBT can effectively address difficulties falling or staying asleep. As menopausal women tend to be woken or disrupted by night sweats, developing an automatic routine is crucial so you know what to do when this happens. Our CBT course, specifically designed for menopause, addresses how to handle these situations, until it almost becomes second nature. Forming good sleep habits is also crucial to optimising your chances of a good night’s sleep. Being well-rested also does wonders for other menopausal symptoms, including brain fog and difficulty concentrating.

Anxiety and stress
Menopause is an anxious time; your body is changing and there’s little you can do about it. Unpredictable hot flushes can be embarrassing, leading to social anxiety and even avoidance. When this happens, things can spiral quickly and your mental health suffers as a result. Consequently, anxiety can exacerbate the physical symptoms of menopause, creating a vicious circle. Proven CBT techniques can help overcome these feelings before they escalate.

Low mood and depression
Mood swings, feeling down or depressed are common during menopause due to hormonal fluctuations and other life changes. CBT equips women with the tools to challenge these negative thoughts and gain a more balanced perspective, which in turn improves overall mood.

It’s about choice and what is right for the individual, who is on their own unique journey. A holistic approach which considers all options increases the likelihood of tangible improvements.

How can we help?

Our therapists have created a free, online 6-week course designed specifically to help with symptoms of menopause. Participants tell us they find the course a very positive and useful experience.

Navigating and coping with menopause runs throughout the year. See upcoming course dates or register your interest by self-referring today. This resource is available to those registered with a Surrey GP.

1 – Health watchdog, NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) updated Guidance on Menopause

About DHC Talking Therapies

Talking Therapies are here to help when life gets too tough.

We provide a range of therapies including CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and Computer-based CBT to people over 17 and registered with a Surrey GP.

You can refer yourself for these services without seeing your GP first.

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