What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of counselling that helps us to explore and understand the link between our negative thoughts (cognitions), emotions, physical symptoms and subsequent behaviour. It has been shown that how we see ourselves, others and the world is influenced by the meanings that we ascribe to life events e.g. a divorce or redundancy could cause us to question our self worth and abilities to acquire another partner or job.

Events negatively interpreted can lead us to view ourselves and others negatively damaging our self-confidence, self-esteem and our motivation for life. During CBT sessions we learn to explore our negative thoughts and the beliefs and assumptions we draw from these, thinking of them as ‘The gremlin on our shoulder’. We ask ourselves;

“Are these thoughts helping me?"
"Where’s the evidence?"
"How else could I interpret this event?”

CBT helps people to identify their negative thoughts and to replace them with a more realistic, balanced way of thinking. By understanding our thoughts and modifying our behaviour, we can break the vicious cycle of negativity caused by these.

The benefits of CBT have been well researched and it has been shown to be beneficial for depression, anxiety, stress, social anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, health anxiety, alcohol and drug addictions, bulimia and binge eating disorders, low self esteem and work related issues.

CBT can help us to:-

• Change the negative,
self-defeating thought patterns which keep us from fulfilling our goals

• Learn new coping strategies and self help techniques

• Increase self-esteem and self-confidence

• Regain control of our lives

• Improve our interpersonal relationships