What is cognitive behavioural therapy?
Cognitive behavioural therapies focus on challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions (e.g. thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes) and behaviours to improve emotional regulation. The aim is to help you understand that your thoughts and actions can affect the way you feel.
The cognitive behavioural therapist focuses on your current circumstances, not your past. The therapist can help you to stop negative cycles of thoughts, behaviour and emotions by helping you to notice what is making you feel anxious, unhappy or frightened. Helping you to manage these feelings with practical solutions.
In the session, you will work with your therapist to break down your problems into separate parts, such as your thoughts, physical feelings and actions. You and your therapist will analyse these areas to work out if they’re unrealistic or unhelpful and to determine the effect they have on each other and you. You can then work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.
Length of session
The therapy can last from 5 and 24 sessions with each session lasting 30 minutes to 50 minutes. You’ll usually have a session with a therapist once a week or once every two weeks.
Who benefits from cognitive behavioural therapies?
If you are overwhelmed with worry, anxiety, depression and struggle with muddled thinking, then cognitive behavioural therapies can help you work toward solutions, with clear goals and using practical techniques. Cognitive behavioural therapy can help treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, sleep problems such as insomnia and problems related to alcohol misuse.
Find a cognitive behavioural therapy near me
Whatever you’re struggling with, we have a range of cognitive behavioural therapies that can help. Speak to one of our team to get help to find a therapist today.
Types of cognitive behavioural therapies
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy can help you to stop negative cycles of thoughts, behaviour and emotions by helping you to notice what is making you feel anxious, unhappy or frightened and helping you to manage these factors by focusing on your present symptoms. By helping you to work out what to change to improve your mood, Cognitive behavioural therapy can allow you to take control of your mental health.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment therapy combines acceptance and mindfulness strategies to help individuals recognise ways in which their attempts to suppress, manage and control emotional experiences create challenges. By recognising and addressing these challenges, individuals can become better able to make room for values-based actions that support well-being.
Behavioural therapy believes that humans are born with a blank slate, and the environment has an impact on a person’s behaviour. A therapist will focus on current problems and behaviour to help you change negative or unwanted behaviour patterns and help you make positive, action-based changes to your life.
Cognitive therapy is based on the cognitive model, which states that thoughts, feelings and behaviour are all connected and that individuals can move toward overcoming difficulties and meeting their goals by identifying and changing unhelpful or inaccurate thinking, problematic behaviour, and distressing emotional responses. This involves the individual working collaboratively with the therapist to develop skills for testing and modifying beliefs, identifying distorted thinking, relating to others in different ways, and changing behaviours.
 Beck JS (2011), Cognitive behaviour therapy: Basics and beyond (2nd ed.), New York, NY: The Guilford Press, pp. 19–20
 Mental Health Foundation. (2019). Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). [Online]. Available from: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/c/cognitive-behavioural-therapy-cbt
 Judith S. Beck. “Questions and Answers about Cognitive Therapy”. About Cognitive Therapy. Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research. Retrieved 2008-11-21.