What is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)?


Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychological therapy used to treat a range of mental health issues. CBT is a structured form of talk therapy and is the “gold standard” treatment for many mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression and other mood disorders. CBT can also help those dealing with other issues, such as chronic pain or illness, grief, or stress. The length of treatment will vary but typically CBT takes between 5 and 20 sessions. 

CBT aims to explore how our beliefs, attitudes, thoughts and behaviours are related and how they impact each other. The way we think and the way we interpret situations determines our emotional and behavioural reactions. Therefore, if we have negative or skewed thoughts and beliefs this can lead to unhealthy or maladaptive emotions and behaviours. These thinking styles can impact our mood and overall mental health, and lead to emotional distress. 

Through CBT you learn how to identify unhealthy thoughts and behaviours, how to challenge them, and then replace them with healthy ones. You develop coping skills, problem solving skills, and more adaptive thinking styles and behaviours. The skills learnt in CBT not only help in addressing current challenges but can be used throughout your life.