CBT is an evidence-based psychological therapy which is recommended by NICE for a wide range of problems, such as anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic physical problems, such as pain or chronic fatigue.
CBT is based on the idea that thoughts, emotions and behaviours are interconnected. The way we think about something often determines our reaction and feelings about it which, in turn, affects our behaviour. CBT aims to help you deal with your problems by helping you change the way you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour) which can make you feel better. In other words, we would work with you to identify underlying negative patterns of thoughts and behaviours to enable you to develop alternative, more helpful strategies.
CBT focuses mainly on the here-and-now. While recognising that earlier life experiences may be important for understanding current difficulties, in CBT we focus on what may be keeping difficulties going now. CBT is based, not on what happened, but on how we perceive it, think about it and behave as a result of these.
It is a practical therapy, involving agreeing on goals for you to work on which will allow you to make a positive change in your life. We will often ask you to keep records of your thoughts and feeling between appointments and use questionnaires to monitor changes.
CBT is short-term, usually between 6 and 20 appointments scheduled weekly or fortnightly.
CBT has been shown to help with many different types of problems. These include: anxiety, depression, panic, phobias (including agoraphobia and social phobia), stress, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and psychosis. CBT may also help if you have difficulties with anger, a low opinion of yourself or physical health problems, like pain or fatigue.”
Royal College of Psychiatrists