An Idiot’s description of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT as it is lovingly known was the buzz word of the noughties when I was studying counselling.

This was largely because the NHS had decided that it provided an evidence based way of treating mild to moderate mental health issues.

The name really explains what CBT is…

Cognitive or cognition; the brain’s way of understanding and processing things

Behavioural; the resulting behaviours

Therapy; support to change negative behaviours

There are many ways in which therapists work with clients and CBT practitioners take the practice to a much deeper degree than we’re talking about here.

I am sometimes asked about CBT and how it can help. CBT has it’s uses particularly for trauma, fears or phobias and to challenge negative thinking.

For a much better explanation than I can provide, read what Mind say

CBT is like starting to go to the gym but instead of training muscles, we’re training the most important of all our organs, our lovely brains!

man carrying barbel
Photo by Victor Freitas on

There can be very quick results for us when we challenge our negative thoughts and investigate them. If we’re honest with ourselves, we know whether our thoughts are logical or not and CBT can be a great gateway to looking at inbred behaviours which do not serve us well.

CBT does, however, require some input from the person wanting to apply it. The best way to get the most our of CBT is to try and introduce it into our lives as a way of thinking. This takes time and devotion but it’s well worth it when we see the results which can include managing our anxiety and depression effectively

If you feel that you may be suffering from anxiety or depression, please do one of the following…

  1. Tell someone – a friend or family member. Sometimes verbalising what is going on in our brains can be a great release and telling someone you trust can help to share the burden.
  2. See your GP – in the first instance, you can get advice and a diagnosis. Also, if necessary, medication that you may need.
  3. Make a journal – write down how you are feeling. Amazingly, this can be as effective as talking and is especially helpful if you are not a natural talker
  4. Stay healthy – its a cliche but diet and exercise really do help. Watch sugary foods and try and eat plenty of fresh food rather than processed. Also, a 10 min walk each day can help with well-being. Does a work colleague fancy a stroll around the block at lunchtime? Could you organise a “walking meeting”?

For more information about CBT, contact the NHS Online where you can also find out about registered therapists.

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If you liked this article, here are some more you might be interested in…

Where is Your Boat Heading?

Mapping for the Mind – Quick Solutions for Teens

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Anxiety – Some practical tipsMindfulness – What is it?

Why do I feel this way? Anxiety explained


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