WHAT IS CBT
WHAT IS CBT
Cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT, is based on the theory that thoughts, feelings, behaviours and
physical symptoms are all connected.
Consequently if we change one of these we can alter the others. When people feel worried or distressed we often fall into patterns of thinking and responding which can worsen how we feel. We tend to get stuck in a difficult cycle that we may need to break with guidance.
CBT works to help us notice and change problematic thinking styles or behaviour patterns so we can feel better. CBT has lots of strategies that can help you in the here and now.
CBT has a good evidence base for a wide range of mental health problems in adults, older adults, children and young people. This research has been carefully reviewed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), who provide independent, evidence-based guidance for the NHS on the most effective ways to treat disease and ill health.
WHAT CAN CBT HELP WITH?
NICE recommends CBT in the treatment of the following conditions:
Anxiety disorders (including panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Schizophrenia and psychosis
There is also good evidence that CBT is helpful in treating many other conditions, including:
Physical symptoms without a medical diagnosis
The number of sessions you need depends on the difficulty you need help with. This will usually be between six and twenty sessions, typically of an hour long.
Your therapist can help you to notice any patterns in thinking or behaviours which might be keeping
problems going and can offer information about different CBT techniques which could help you.
You will be guided to discuss specific difficulties and set goals for you to achieve. CBT is not a quick
fix – it involves hard work during and between sessions e.g. keeping track of what you are thinking,
feeling and doing, or trying out new ways of thinking or acting.
You will be given help to set goals in order to decide what difficulties you want to work on in order to help you improve your situation. You will be advised on how to continue using CBT techniques in your daily life after your treatment ends.