Professor Ross Menzies is highly committed to the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) paradigm. As the past NSW (and twice National) President of the Australian Association for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (AACBT), Professor Menzies is an experienced practitioner of CBT, as well as a highly published and leading researcher and theorist in this area. In 2002 he was appointed the international expert trainer in CBT at the National University of Singapore. He was the Convenor of the 29th National Conference of the AACBT in Sydney in 2006, and is the editor of Australia’s national CBT scientific journal, Behaviour Change. Most notably, he was the Convenor and Chair of the 8th World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, which was held in Australia in 2016.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a scientifically established psychological approach to the management of dysfunctional behaviour that does not involve medication. CBT has been shown, in numerous scientific trials around the world, to produce clinically significant improvements in a wide range of mental illnesses. CBT is based upon the relationship between a patient’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours. In CBT, the patient and practitioner work closely together to identify, analyse and understand the patient’s condition in terms of the interaction of these three constructs. Treatment typically focuses on thoughts and behaviours that are presently causing distress or interfering with an individuals life. CBT pivots around the development of a shared view of the patient’s problems by both patient and practitioner. Once this has been achieved, the practitioner is able to develop a customised treatment protocol with identified goals and strategies. The principal thrust of CBT is to empower the patient to generate cognitive and behavioural solutions to problematic aspects of his or her life. This often requires the patient to do “homework” between sessions. Typically this involves changing specific habits and behaviours, and reappraising negative or unhelpful thinking patterns.