CBT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy. It helps us understand how we think in certain situations and how our thoughts affect how we act. It also helps us recognise that our actions affect how we think and feel. By working together with a therapist, a client can learn to change behaviours and thinking patterns which have been maintaining anxiety or low mood.

CBT has been tested extensively through research and has been found to be effective with helping problems including:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post Traumtic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic attacks
  • Health anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Depression
  • Low self esteem
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has reviewed the evidence base for CBT and recommends its use for depression, anxiety, PTSD and OCD among other psychological disorders. NICE systematically reviews evidence for treatment and makes recommendations to the NHS.
Here is a link to the NICE guidelines library

What’s involved?

During sessions clients are asked to identify goals which will be reviewed and monitored throughout the work. Work is done during the sessions to identify opportunities for thinking and behaving differently. This means the client is asked to try things out between the sessions in order to learn from new experiences. Sessions usually last for 55 minutes and take place weekly. The number of sessions varies from around 5 – 20 depending on the problem.

 

Where can I get more information?

There are many self help books based on CBT. These are a good place to start to familiarise yourself with the model and to decide whether this is how you would like to work. This is one source of CBT-based self help books which is used within the NHS: Overcoming.co.uk
CBT is also offered through the NHS. Your GP will be able to advise you what services are available in your area.

For more information about CBT, have a look at: The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists