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What is CBT?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.


How CBT works

CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings and actions are connected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a negative cycle.

CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts.

You are shown how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel.

Unlike other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past.

It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind daily.


Uses for CBT

CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a number of different mental health conditions.

In addition to depression or anxiety disorders, CBT can also help people with:

  • bipolar disorder

  • borderline personality disorder

  • eating disorders – such as anorexia and bulimia

  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

  • panic disorder

  • phobias

  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • sleep problems

What happens during CBT sessions?

You will usually have a session with a therapist once a week or once every 2 weeks.

The course of treatment usually lasts for between 6 and 20 sessions.

During the sessions, you will collaborate with your counsellor to break down your problems into their separate parts, such as your thoughts, physical feelings, and actions.

You and your counsellor will analyse these areas to work out if they are unrealistic or unhelpful, and to determine the effect they have on each other and on you.

Your counsellor will then be able to help you work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.

The eventual aim of therapy is to teach you to apply the skills you have learnt during treatment to your daily life.

This should help you manage your problems and stop them having a negative impact on your life. The goal of cognitive behavioural therapy is to teach people that while they cannot control every aspect of the world around them, they can take control of how they understand and deal with things in their circumstances.


CBT Benefits

  • It helps you develop healthier thought patterns by becoming aware of the negative and often unrealistic thoughts

  • It is an effective short-term treatment option as improvements can often be seen in five to 20 sessions.

  • It is often more affordable than some other types of therapy.

  • It is effective whether therapy occurs online or face-to-face

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