Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a talking therapy that looks to help you manage problems by enabling you to recognise, and ultimately change, the way you think and behave. Combining a cognitive approach with a behavioural approach, CBT encourages you to notice how your thoughts and actions influence one another.

The therapy aims to break overwhelming problems down into smaller parts to make them easier to cope with. During the treatment you and your therapist will focus on the here and now, while noting how past events shaped your thinking/behaviours.

Cognitive behavioural therapy has become one of the most popular forms of talk therapy and is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for common mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

How does CBT work?

Cognitive behavioural therapy looks to help you make sense of what can feel like an overwhelming problem by breaking it down into more manageable parts.

These smaller parts are your thoughts, feelings, actions and even physical sensations. These elements are interconnected and can often trap you in a negative spiral. For example, if your marriage or relationship has come to an end, you may think you have failed and that you are not capable of being in a functional relationship. These thoughts can lead to you feeling lonely, depressed and low on energy. When you feel like this, you are unlikely to want to socialise or go out and meet new people. This negative spiral can then trap you into feeling alone and unhappy.

Rather than accepting these negative thought patterns, CBT aims to show you other ways of reacting so you can break out of negative cycles. Instead of thinking that you are a failure when a relationship ends, you can choose to learn from your mistakes and move on, feeling optimistic about the future. This new way of thinking may then result in you feeling more energetic and social, helping you to meet new people and one day start a new relationship.

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