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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is one of the most scientifically supported psychotherapy, and is based on the idea that thoughts, feelings and behaviours are interconnected. The cognitive part focuses on your thoughts and trying to generate more balanced thinking patterns, while the behavioural part focuses on changing what you do. Together the cognitive and behavioural changes can lead to less stress and a more fulfilling life. More recently, CBT has also included Mindfulness.

What does Cognitive Behaviour Therapy look like in practice?

The behavioural part: Changing what you do

  • Identifying and changing existing patterns.

  • Gradually increasing your confidence to do the things you fear.

  • Engaging in activities to help fight off depression.

  • Exploring new ways of communicating with others.

The cognitive part: Changing the ways you think about things, and challenging any types of thinking that may be making the problem worse. Common examples of problematic thinking are:

  • Catastrophizing – thinking things are worse than they actually are.

  • Black-and-white/all-or-nothing thinking.

  • Perfectionistic thinking.

  • Jumping to conclusions.

The Mindfulness part: More and more therapists are incorporating Mindfulness techniques into CBT.

Mindfulness can help you learn to pay full attention to your thoughts, feelings and experiences and put you in a better position to respond to them in a helpful way. The real work is done between therapy sessions. During this time you put the techniques you have learn in session into practice. In order for CBT to be effective, you need to be open and honest with your psychologist about what is working and what isn’t. Remember, you are the expert on what works for you and what doesn’t.

What issues is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy best for?

Scientific evidence suggests that CBT is effective in treating anxiety, stress, depression, relationship problems, work/career issues, self-esteem problems, anger management, some eating disorders, aspects of trauma, bereavement, phobias, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sexual difficulties and psychosis.

More information on CBT can be found here.