CBT, or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, is a talking therapy that has been proven to help treat a wide range of emotional and physical health conditions in adults, young people and children. CBT looks at how we think about a situation and how this affects the way we act. In turn, our actions can affect how we think and feel. The therapist and client work together in noticing whether any thoughts or behaviours are unhelpful for the client, and thinking about whether these could be changed.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on the idea that some problems arise because of how you view life events, rather than because of the events themselves. CBT is a combination of:
- cognitive therapy, which looks at how you think about situations, events and symptoms in your life.
- behavioural therapy, which focuses on how you behave in response to those thoughts.
When you have Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, you learn how to recognise negative or unhelpful thinking patterns and replace them with more positive or helpful ones.
There is a great deal of research evidence to show that CBT works effectively in treating a number of disorders including depression and anxiety disorders. This research has been carefully reviewed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) who provides independent, evidence-based guidance for the NHS on the most effective ways to treat disease and ill health.