Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking therapy. It helps you change how you think, feel and behave.
CBT 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:
When you have CBT, you learn how to recognise negative or unhelpful thinking patterns and replace them with positive or helpful ones. You can have CBT with a therapist or use self-help books or computer programmes.
Your GP may recommend CBT for several reasons. CBT is the preferred psychological treatment for anxiety disorders and depression. But it can also be used to treat other mental health disorders and physical conditions, including:
You can have CBT on its own or alongside any medicines you’re taking. You usually have CBT for between six weeks and six months. You may have it on your own, with your partner or a family member, or in a group.
Your CBT therapist will show you practical techniques so you can identify how you’re thinking and how this affects your feelings and behaviour. You will learn to challenge negative ways of thinking and how to react more positively. You will then explore other ways of dealing with a distressing situation.