Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

The way we think about ourselves, the world and other people and how we act of our thoughts and feelings

aka. "changing the way you think and behave"

Chalfont Counselling@2x

CBT was developed as a self-help form of psychotherapy: to empower individuals to make practical changes in their thoughts and actions in order to improve how they feel.

What?

What?

CBT was initially developed in America during the 1950s by Professor Aaron Beck. Beck wanted to explore changing how we feel in the present time. He identified that when we feel down we are more likely to see things in an unhelpful way; we become more self-critical and tend to misinterpret many things negatively. He also identified that during periods when we are feeling particularly low and unsettled we change what we do and how we relate to others; some of the changes we adopt often backfire and worsen how we feel. Based on this framework CBT was developed as a self-help form of psychotherapy: to empower individuals to make practical changes in their thoughts and actions in order to improve how they feel.

CBT has been shown to help with many types of problems which include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)
  • Panic
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Phobias (including agoraphobia and social phobia)
  • Stress

Why?

Why?

CBT can help you to change the way that you think (‘cognitive’) and what you do (‘behaviour’). These changes can help you to feel better. Unlike some of the other talking treatments it focuses on the ‘here and now’ problems and difficulties you may be experiencing by providing a helpful set of tools to make positive change possible. CBT has proven to be one of the most effective ways of improving our wellbeing as a self-help approach and has been endorsed by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE; www.nice.org.uk) as a recommended treatment option.

It is a useful way of addressing:

  • How we think about ourselves, the world and other people
  • The effects of what we do on our thoughts and feelings

How?

How?

CBT can be particularly useful at helping you to make sense of overwhelming problems you may be facing in everyday life by breaking them down into smaller and manageable pieces. This makes it easier to see how they are connected and how they might affect you.

These segments are:

  • Situation – a problem, event or difficult situation in any aspect of your life

This is often followed by:

  • Thoughts (things going through your mind)
  • Feelings (the emotions you might be experiencing)
  • Physical reactions (the physiological sensations in your body)
  • Behaviour (the actions you might/might not follow through)

Each of these different areas often affects the others:
The way in which you think (thoughts) about a problem can affect how your body reacts physiologically (physically) and emotionally (feelings). It can also alter what you do about it (behaviour). A simple way of showing this process is in the diagram below called a hot-cross bun:

How effective is CBT?

  • There is a lot of research that shows CBT to be effective which has resulted in it becoming one of the most widely used talking treatments in the NHS.
  • It has been proven to be an extremely effective treatment for common conditions such as anxiety and/or depression in addition to panic disorder, agoraphobia and specific phobias
  • It can be as effective as antidepressants, in mild to moderate depression.
  • It recognises you as an expert of your own experiences and places you at the centre of change, empowering you to become your own therapist.

Got any questions?

We’re here to help. Call us

Got any questions?

We’re here to help. Call us