What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)? An introduction to CBT, how it works, why it is effective, & its suitability for different people.

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can help with a number of issues. It is a structured approach where you learn how to identify negative patterns of thinking and behaviour and change them to more positive patterns. This blog will cover what CBT is, how it works, and how it could help you.

What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps you to manage your emotions and stop you from acting on your negative thoughts. Instead of avoiding your thoughts, you learn to accept them and change your behaviour accordingly. CBT is a goal-oriented treatment that focuses on helping you to improve your quality of life.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a widely used, evidence-based form of therapy. It is suitable for adult, young adult and older adult clients, and is widely acknowledged as a first-line treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety symptoms and conditions. That said, CBT is effective on a wide range of mental health conditions.

How does CBT work?

Cognitive behaviour therapy is based on the idea that the way people think about their problems affects how they feel and behave. It is a type of talking therapy that can be done in a one-to-one situation with a therapist or counsellor, or a group of people with similar problems.

Therapy is a collaborative process between yourself and the therapist. Through exercises in the session as well as “homework” exercises outside of sessions, you are helped to develop coping skills, whereby you can learn to change your thinking, problematic emotions, and behaviour. This helps to improve your quality of life.

Is CBT for everyone?What is Cognitive Behaviour therapy

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is recommended for most people with mild to moderate mental health problems and is sometimes recommended for more severe problems. It is a mostly talk-based therapy which some people may find challenging.

It is not always clear whether CBT will be helpful for a given condition. Therefore, it is necessary for an assessment of your individual needs and circumstances to be made. Your counsellor may combine CBT with other forms of treatment or therapy to achieve the best outcome for you.

How effective is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?

Cognitive behaviour therapy is often referred to as the “gold standard” (David et al., 2018). It has been shown to be the best form of therapy for some conditions, better than no treatment in others, having better long-term outcomes for some, and a worthwhile treatment when combined with suitable medications for other conditions (Hofmann et al., 2012).

What are the different ways you can receive CBT?

Cognitive behaviour therapy can be performed individually, in groups, face-to-face, over the phone, or by video.

CBT is a very effective treatment that can be used to treat a number of different mental health conditions. If you would like to find out more about this therapy, please contact us. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have about CBT or other treatment options for mental health conditions.


David D, Cristea I, Hofmann SG. Why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is the Current Gold Standard of Psychotherapy. Front Psychiatry. 2018 Jan 29;9:4. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00004. PMID: 29434552; PMCID: PMC5797481.

Hofmann SG, Asnaani A, Vonk IJ, Sawyer AT, Fang A. The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses. Cognit Ther Res. 2012 Oct 1;36(5):427-440. doi: 10.1007/s10608-012-9476-1. Epub 2012 Jul 31. PMID: 23459093; PMCID: PMC3584580.