The key idea behind cognitive behavioural therapy is that:
CBT is ‘present focused’. That means it works with thoughts and feelings in the here-and-now. A cognitive behavioural therapist will try to understand a situation by looking at separate parts:
Sometimes, through no fault of their own, people get ‘stuck’ in vicious cycles: the things they do to solve a problem can inadvertently keep it going.
CBT is about finding out what is keeping us ‘stuck’ and making changes in our thinking and actions in order to improve the way we feel. It is a collaborative therapy and needs your active participation in order to be helpful. There is a lot of evidence to show it is an effective treatment.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a talking therapy that looks to help you manage problems by enabling you to recognise, and ultimately change, the way you think and behave. Combining a cognitive approach with a behavioural approach, CBT encourages you to notice how your thoughts and actions influence one another.
The therapy aims to break overwhelming problems down into smaller parts to make them easier to cope with. During the treatment you and your therapist will focus on the here and now, while noting how past events shaped your thinking/behaviours.
Cognitive behavioural therapy has become one of the most popular forms of talk therapy and is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for common mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.