Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is an evidence-based treatment that is based on the idea that how we perceive situations influences how we feel emotionally and how we respond. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy helps people to identify and challenge their distressing thoughts and move towards alternative, more balanced thoughts and healthier behaviours.

What will therapy sessions look like?

Initially, the client develops goals for therapy that they want to achieve. These goals will be reviewed throughout therapy. In contrast to other therapies, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy focuses on the ‘here and now’ problems. It is a short term therapy with a focuses on problem solving. Sessions are interactive and collaborative. The psychologist and client work together to identify and solve problems. Clients take an active part in the therapy and will be given work to complete in between sessions to consolidate the work carried out in the session.

Sessions will look at how problems are maintained for example:

  • Unhealthy thinking errors (engaging in black or while thinking or catastrophising)
  • Unhelpful behaviours (avoidance of situations or emotions, binge eating, substance use)
  • Physical symptoms (lack of energy, difficulty breathing)
  • Therapy is weekly and for 50 minutes.


Evidence for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy:

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is evidence based which means that it has been clinically proven to work. Research has shown Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to be highly effective and is the treatment of choice for a number of mental health problems as indicated in the government guidelines (NICE guidelines).

CBT can help with:

  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder
  • Chronic Pain
  • Couple Therapy
  • Depression
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Health Anxiety
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Attacks
  • Perfectionism
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Post Natal Depression
  • Procrastination
  • Relationships
  • Social Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Specific Phobias
  • Work Related Stress
  • List item


See below for an overview of CBT from Professor David Clarke:

Recommended Reading

  • Mind Over Mood: Change How you Feel By Changing the Way You Think (1995) by Christine Padesky and Dennis Greenberger.
  • ‘’The Feeling Good Handbook’’ (1999) by David Burns
  • ‘’Overcoming Depression: A self-help guide using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques’’ (2009) by Paul Gilbert.