What is cognitive behavioural therapy?

In this mental health infographic we examine what Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is and how it can be used to help people manage their problems through a form of talking therapy.


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  1. What is CBT? – Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that is used to help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. CBT is a practical and proactive form of therapy which focuses on the client being involved in tasks during sessions which can then be applied to daily life.
  2. Cognitive behavioural therapy focuses on the theory that your thoughts, behaviours, feelings and physiology are all connected together. By developing a deeper understanding of this you will be able to have greater knowledge in understanding your problems. CBT looks at breaking down your problems into small achievable goals and using CBT models, theories and principles to manage your mental health problems more effectively. CBT is a form of therapy which focuses on the present and your current problem and does not go into too much detail about focusing on your past.
  3. What can CBT help with?

    – Depression

    – Anxiety

    – OCD

    – Panic disorder

    – Phobias

    – Health anxiety

    – Social anxiety

    – Sleep problems

    – Low self esteem

  4. What do sessions look like?

    CBT sessions are often between 50 – 60 minutes long and treatment can last anywhere between 6 – 24 sessions. Cognitive behavioural therapy focuses around several key elements and these are:

    Goal Directed – Goals are set early on within CBT and worked towards through therapy.

    Collaborative – The client and therapist work together to achieve change.

    Time limited – there is always an end goal with CBT.

    Structured – An agenda is often set at the beginning of each session and there is a structure to therapy.

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