Cognitive

Behavioural

Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a structured and time-limited therapy where the therapist and client work together to identify thinking, behavioural, and emotional responses to life situations that may be contributing to distress. CBT is based on the theory that our environment, thoughts, emotions, physical feelings, and behaviours are all interconnected, and involves modifying these in various ways to create positive change.

CBT typically involves:

  • Identifying behaviours that may be reinforcing a problem, and learning new and more helpful ways to approach situations
  • Thought monitoring – this may include keeping a journal that identifies how you appraise situations, and the particular thoughts, attitudes, beliefs that are linked to negative feelings and behaviours
  • Challenging and reframing problematic thinking patterns, and modifying the beliefs and attitudes that contribute to these. This is often referred to as cognitive restructuring
  • Behavioural experiments – the therapist and client develop experiments to test out new ways of thinking about themselves and others
  • Skills training – this targets deficits in skills that contribute to distress, such as problem solving, assertiveness skills, time management, social skills
  • Between session practice – most CBT therapists will set work do complete between sessions

CBT is one of the most researched and widely applied psychological treatments, and has been found to be effective for treating a range of conditions such as anxiety, depression, anger management, self-esteem issues, addictions, and stress related illness.