Is a talking therapy that helps you to change how you think (‘Cognitive’) and what you do (‘Behaviour’). It focuses more on present problems and difficulties than the past and it looks for ways to improve how you live your life now with a positive approach. 

CBT can help you to make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts; this makes it easier to see how they are connected and how they affect you. These parts are:

• A Situation – a problem, event or difficult situation. From this can follow:

  • Thoughts
  • Emotions
  • Physical feelings
  • Actions

Each of these areas can affect the others. How you think about a problem can affect how you feel physically and emotionally. There are helpful and unhelpful ways of reacting to most situations, depending on how you think about it. The way you think can be helpful – or unhelpful.

CBT can help you to break this vicious circle of altered thinking, feelings and behaviour. When you see the parts of the sequence clearly, you can change them – and so change the way you feel. CBT aims to get you to a point where you can ‘do it yourself’, and work out your own ways of tackling these problems. CBT may also help if you have difficulties with anger, low self-esteem, or physical health problems, like pain or fatigue.

It helps with many different types of problems, which include: anxiety ♦ depression ♦ panic ♦ phobias (including agoraphobia and social phobia) ♦ stress ♦ bulimia ♦ obsessive compulsive disorder ♦ post-traumatic stress disorder ♦ bipolar disorder and psychosis.

CBT is a treatment recommended by the National Institute of Care and Excellence (NICE).

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