What Is CBT?

CBT cognitive behaviour therapy provides the skills to make lasting changes to your life and emotional wellbeing.


CBT is a structured, short-term form of psychotherapy in which the blocks to your happiness and wellbeing are actively sought out and overcome. In contrast to traditional analytic psychotherapy which might last for months if not years, CBT is relatively brief, lasting anywhere from 5 to 15 sessions. It is considered to be one of the most powerful and effective ways of gaining long term control over unhealthy emotions and self-defeating behaviours.

CBT works by helping people to change the way they think about themselves and about situations they find themselves in. It is also important to address any behaviours that might be causing you problems (such as avoidance or poor impulse-control) and so, both thoughts and behaviours are targeted.

CBT is probably the most widely researched form of therapy. Many hundreds of studies have shown CBT to be as effective as anti-depressant medication in alleviating some forms of depression and anxiety, and more effective than medication for preventing recurrence of these problems. This sort of evidence has led NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) to recommend CBT as the first line of treatment in the NHS for Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD), Eating Disorders, Panic, and many other conditions.

In CBT the emphasis is on helping clients to build new skills, and for you to effectively become your own therapist. The idea behind this is summed up in the well-known saying;

“If you give a hungry person a fish, you feed them for a day – teach that person to fish and you feed them for life”.


CBT works best if you have specific issues you wish to address. Issues that are particularly appropriate for CBT include;

  • Anxiety and Stress problems
  • Depression
  • Anger management
  • Guilt and shame
  • Jealousy and hurt
  • Self-esteem and confidence
  • Panic Attacks
  • Social phobia and Agoraphobia (specific phobias like flying, vertigo, animals, etc. are better tackled using hypnotherapy)
  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Traumatic Stress (PTSD)






A useful overview of the process of CBT/REBT counselling, written for clients. Also on this website are various articles and resources concerning REBT.


An explanation of the fundamentals of CBT on the BABCP website. the BABCP is the leading organisation for accredited CBT therapists.


This site gives a clear explanation of the basic principlesof REBT, in particular the types of unhelpful beliefs that underpin our emotional distress.

CBT for a fear of failure

Daily Telegraph motoring journalist Erin Baker explains how she benefited from CBT to deal with anxiety about racing a Caterham 7 sports car.