Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Learn about this type of therapy and how it may help you.

What is CBT?

Beliefs, thoughts and especially behaviour affect mental health are often related, with both oftentimes being a reflection of each other. Many experts recognise and acknowledge this connection. As a result, cognitive behavioural therapy has become one of the most common forms of psychotherapy in London and for individuals globally.

CBT therapy and treatment, along with the several types of psychoanalytic therapy, is what many individuals identify as “talking therapy”. It is used for a wide range of mental health conditions, including depression and eating disorders.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy treatment used for various psychological disorders. Most commonly, it is used in the treatment of depression and anxiety. This form of psychotherapy is short-term and operates on the understanding that thought patterns, beliefs, and outlooks greatly affect one’s behaviour and actions.

At its core, CBT aims to identify and change destructive and baseless thought patterns that affect one’s life. Therapists help their patients identify automatic negative thoughts that affect their moods and general behavior. Once identified, cognitive behavioral therapists work with a patient to gradually change these negative thoughts with more positive and objective thought patterns and emotional responses.

Similar to the many psychological and counselling services in London, CBT is a short-term form of therapy. The goal of any CBT treatment is to develop healthy mental patterns that positively impact one’s behavior. When paired with cTypes of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Treatmentounselling, it also further helps individuals find safe and appropriate coping mechanisms.

There are several different types of cognitive behavioral therapies and treatments available. If you are undergoing CBT, you may recognize some of these techniques being used by your therapist. The use and effectiveness of these techniques vary, depending on your therapist and condition.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

This specific form of CBT focuses on the assessment of negative and destructive behaviors and thought patterns. With DBT, these negative mental patterns are often treated with meditative processes such as emotional regulation and mindfulness.

Multimodal Therapy

Multimodal therapy adds seven other factors in the analysis and treatment of one’s thoughts and behaviors. These factors are called “modalities” and are viewed as interconnected.
The seven modalities are: behavior, affect, sensation, imagery, cognition, interpersonal factors, substance and/or biological variables

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

REBT focuses on irrational beliefs and mindsets. This specific technique can be intense as it involves dialectical discussions that aim to challenge and rationalize an individual’s beliefs. REBT hinges on taking a more objective approach that allows a patient to recognize and grow beyond destructive mental patterns.

Third Wave Approaches

Third wave approaches emphasise changes in behaviour that are in line with personal goals and values. They can integrate ways of changing relationships with their thoughts instead of the content.

Behavioural Approaches

Behaviourist approaches to CBT emphasise an understanding of how an individual’s behaviour relates to the expression of their difficulties. Specific ways of managing aspects of a client’s behaviour such as their responses are often introduced.

Cognitive Approaches

Cognitive approaches to CBT focus on understanding how a client’s beliefs can influence their perception of the world and thereby aim at bringing forth more helpful ways of viewing and subsequently navigating the world.

How does CBT work?

CBT focuses on thoughts and beliefs in relation to the present. This specific type of therapy encourages reflection and reevaluation of thought patterns, emotional responses, and belief systems to see how they affect an individual. This process is usually set within a number of sessions.
The first few sessions are about figuring out how your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions affect your life. In the early sessions, therapists employ various techniques and strategies, but generally these aim to analyse the relationship between your thoughts and overall mental state. When a negative pattern is determined, a therapist will help you reevaluate and gradually change such patterns.

CBT is a process which does not simply end inside of a therapist’s office. Outside of a session, patients may find themselves committing to small yet significant behaviors such as journaling or meditating. These are ways to ground individuals and help them process and cope healthily.

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What can CBT help with?

CBT treats a wide range of mental health issues and emotional responses, including but not limited to:depression, anxiety, addiction, anger, issues, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, panic attacks, personality disorders, phobias, relationship issues, self-esteem issues, stress management, grief and loss.

Specific techniques used for each patient will vary, as will frequency and intensity of sessions. Like any other personal counselling or psychotherapy treatment, working with a qualified and compatible professional is vital to ensure the best outcomes.

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Frequently Asked Questions


CBT mainly has two foci: identifying and changing problematic ways of behaving. To do so, therapists employ a variety of techniques that allow an individual room for growth and change.
Common CBT therapy techniques include:
• learning new skills, specific behavioural changes
• setting goals and expectations
• developing critical thinking and problem solving skills
• self-monitoring

• Efficacy, especially when paired with medications
• Structure and accessibility in terms of treatment and exercises
• Adaptability, as it helps individuals find healthier coping mechanisms
• Routine and commitment

CBT is generally considered to be a highly effective treatment for a wide range of disorders. Among experts, it is considered one of the best evidence-based psychotherapies. It has a good record of effectiveness, especially with cases of depression, anxiety, substance addiction, and eating disorders.

CBT is an extremely powerful way to aid your mental health, but it is not foolproof nor perfect. Like many of the counselling services in London, the effectiveness of CBT will depend on a variety of factors. Before committing to this specific therapy, understanding the pros and cons of CBT treatments is vital.

• High commitment treatment, especially when you have out of session assignments
• Intensity and challenge, especially when confronting beliefs and fears
• Draws widely on a person’s capacity and willingness to change on an individual level