Cognitive Behavioural Therapy


Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way that you feel, think and act. CBT aims to find practical ways to help you deal with problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts.

It’s most common used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems too.


So, how does it work?

CBT is ultimately based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a viscous cycle.

Unlike some other talking therapies, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past.

It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.


What can CBT be used for?

CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a number of different mental health conditions.

You may have CBT if you have:

  • bipolar disorder
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • schizophrenia
  • sleep problems – such as insomnia
  • problems related to alcohol misuse


How to find a CBT therapist

You can receive psychological therapies, including CBT, on the NHS.

Although you do not need a referral from your GP, you can get a referral this way if you prefer.

Find a psychological therapies service in your area.

If you can afford it, you may choose to pay for your therapy privately. The cost of private sessions varies, but it’s usually between £40 – £100 per session.