Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of present focused talk therapy which targets your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours based on the principle that how we think affects the way we feel and act.
CBT is goal-oriented and aims to reduce emotional distress, improve quality of life and help you make informed decisions. A CBT therapist will collaboratively help you identify negative thoughts and recurrent unhelpful thinking patterns in order to evaluate how realistic they are. CBT is also a problem-solving approach and your therapist will teach you through skill building tasks how to unlearn negative thought patterns and learn new, more helpful ones.
While you cannot control other people or situations, you can control the way you perceive and react to a particular situation. A major goal of CBT is to change how you think about your problem and then it is believed, changes in emotion and behaviour will result. It can also help you manage your reactions to stressful people and situations.
CBT may be helpful with many health concerns.
Some of these include:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Chronic pain
- Depression, irregular moods
- Difficulty with relationships
- Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and obesity
- Insomnia and other sleep problems
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Poor coping skills
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social anxiety and extreme shyness
- Substance abuse
- Uncontrolled anger
Many therapists use ‘behavioural therapy’ or ‘cognitive therapy’ during their sessions with clients. Lucy Blair and Rex Woodhouse are CBT therapists and offers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy during their sessions.