What is CBT?

CBT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or as it is commonly known, CBT, is a family of talking therapies, all based on the idea that thoughts, feelings, what we do, and how our bodies feel, are all connected and therefore if we change one of these we can alter all the others.

When we’re low or upset, we often fall into automatic patterns of thinking and responding which can actually worsen how we feel. CBT helps you notice and change problematic thinking styles or behaviour patterns so you can feel better.

What can CBT help with?

CBT works for lots of different people and problems, and is widely recommended by national treatment guidelines across the UK, EU and North America.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) provides independent, evidence-based guidance for the NHS on the most effective, proven treatments. CBT is recommended in NICE guidelines for many different problems, including:

  • anxiety disorders (including panic attacks)
  • depression
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • eating disorders

CBT approaches can be used for people of all ages and backgrounds.

If you would like to know more about CBT for specific problems you can read more below

CBT ultimately is about teaching you skills and strategies to become your own therapist so you can continue using CBT techniques in your daily life after treatment.

Frequently Asked questions

The number of CBT sessions needed depends on the difficulty and you will be informed of an estimate of how many sessions you might be needed after an initial assessment. Most people have between 5 and 20 weekly sessions

Each session lasts 55 min. 

 

CBT is an individual therapy and you will usually be seen on your own, in some circumstances it might be helpful for someone who is supporting you to join part of a session.

CBT is mainly concerned with current patterns of thinking and behaviours rather than seeking a cause or exploring your childhood. Sometimes however current difficulties are related to things which have happened in the past, so these might be touched on to understand what is happening now.

CBT is a structured and goal orientated therapy, most sessions begin with agenda setting – agreeing together what that session will concentrate on with an overall focus of supporting you to work towards your goals for therapy. 

Yes, CBT involves working on things in between sessions as well as during them called “inter session tasks/homework”. Tasks will be introduced and planned together during sessions.