What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT?

What is Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (CBT) was developed in the 1950s by Aaron Beck, an American psychiatrist, and has been high on the list of mainstream psychological therapies since. It is a research-driven, measurable therapy and research continues to develop and improve treatments. CBT treats many psychological difficulties. The list of difficulties that CBT can help with has grown considerably over the years, and research continues to monitor and develop its' effectiveness.



Therapy Relationship.


You and your therapist form a "therapy partnership" also ensuring that your sessions are reviewed and focused with agreed aims of treatment and establishing how therapy is helping you.


CBT works on the idea that emotional difficulties can be described as you being in a self-maintaining vicious cycle where some situations trigger how you respond – i.e. how you think, feel, experience bodily changes and how you respond (behaviours). How these responses are linked is established.



Vicious Cycles.


There are many variations on these cycles (sometimes called formulations, conceptualisations or models). The cycle that best fits your experiences is “customised” to your individual difficulty, depending on the nature of your difficulty. A shared understanding is developed between you and your therapist when sessions start.


Make sense of your self, others and your life.

Once this cycle has been developed and understood in therapy, the aim then is to break the cycle by e.g. helping you develop new, more accurate and helpful perspectives in how you think, and by helping you change the way you behave. This includes for example helping you to reduce anxiety and lift your mood as well as making other changes to your life.


CBT explores day to day difficulties, but it can also help you to explore the past in helping you understand yourself and run your life differently. It depends on the nature of your difficulty.



....and finally


It is diffciult to briefly describe any therapy. Please contact me if you would like to find out more, or visit the BABCP website. There are also many excellent self-help books available, written by leading cognitive therapists. I will be able to make recommendations as part of therapy.


If you wish to proceed after contacting me, we can then organise an initial assessment session so we can decide whether to begin an initial course of therapy.


I look forward to hearing from you.