What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy with the aim of changing the way we think and behave. CBT primarily focuses on our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations, paying particular attention to how we behave in response.

Let’s have a look at the example below:

As we can see here, the initial thought “Nobody likes me” may cause someone to feel ‘lonely, low in mood and anxious. They may also experience physical symptoms such as a pounding heart or feeling flush or blushing when engaging in social interactions.

In response to these feelings, we may avoid speaking or meeting with others, preventing disconfirmation of our original thought.

A CBT therapist can help to exploring our difficulties in this way, help us to break things down into smaller, simpler parts. Once we’ve done this, we can begin to challenge our thoughts and behaviours and start feeling better.

CBT therapy is an evidence-based treatment, so we know that it works! Extensive research has been done surrounding CBT, including it’s adaptability for children and young people, as well as, older people and those with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

CBT can help with a range of mental health difficulties such as:

  • Anxiety disorders and phobias – such as OCD and Panic Disorder
  • Depression and low mood
  • Eating disorders – such as anorexia and bulimia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychosis and Schizophrenia
  • Sleeping difficulties – such as insomnia
  • Addiction

CBT can also help with the management of chronic health conditions such as:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Diabetes
  • Pain management
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Fibromyalgia

An eventual aim of CBT is to introduce and teach clients practical techniques, ready for us to practice in our daily lives. In doing so, we can learn how to manage our difficulties, reducing the likelihood of relapse and the return to therapy.

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