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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

CBT is a talking approach which is effective in the treatment of a number of physical and mental health problems. It is based on the understanding that what we think (our cognitions) and what we do (our behaviours) affects how we feel.

CBT helps you to look at how accurate your thoughts are in situations that you find difficult and teaches you skills to challenge your thinking where appropriate. CBT also helps you to look the things you do that might make your difficulties worse and, alongside your therapist, you can see what changes you could make in order to reach your therapeutic goals.

CBT is effective in group and individual settings and can lead to positive change when therapy takes place over the phone, using a computer or face to face. It is time limited and can take various forms, for example you might attend a course teaching CBT skills for depression or you could be supported through a structured CBT-based computer program or receive one to one CBT treatment sessions. Whichever approach is most suitable, it will be important to spend some time considering the specific changes that would make a difference in your life. For example, some people want to change their daily routine, others would like more social confidence or to be able to go to the supermarket alone again.

The focus of the work is often the present, although consideration of your past experiences will be included where this might be helpful.

To find out more about CBT and what you can expect from your therapist visit: and read the guide for service users.


Last updated: 18 February, 2013

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