Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

By Alex Nicklen

Adults Mental Health tagsAdults Mental Health tagsMental Wellbeing tags

Most of us do not deliberately think about and reflect on our thoughts, which can worsen our wellbeing because many of our thoughts are intrusive and unhelpful. If negative thought patterns are significantly affecting your life, then Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (‘CBT’) may be an option for you.


CBT is a type of psychological support offered by a trained mental health practitioner for treating emotional problems that aims to help you manage your mental health by guiding you to change how you think and behave. This is based on the philosophy that all your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions are interlinked and that problems which feel overwhelming can often be effectively dealt with by breaking them down into smaller parts, challenging the associated underlying negative thought patterns. CBT is most often used to help treat depression and anxiety, but one of its strengths is that it can help treat a wide range of mental health conditions including phobias and eating disorders.

CBT can be challenging for some people, and it often requires an upfront investment of effort, especially when first starting. However, most people will find it to be worthwhile. One advantage of CBT is that it is an adaptable treatment approach that can be tailored by a mental health practitioner to meet individual needs, and many people find that it can be done in their own time, like a personal self-care project. It can help someone to lead a healthier lifestyle by for example, helping them to quit smoking, eat healthier food or to exercise more. People often do well with CBT because it is practical, and it focuses on reflecting on your current problems, habits, and behaviours rather than analysing situations in your past in detail. It aims to give you practical tips to help you achieve and maintain a healthier mindset. Although it is not always a quick fix, many people have reported that it took less time to be effective than some other talking therapies, and that the approaches learnt can be effectively used long after the treatment program is complete.

Talking therapies like CBT are available on the NHS, and you can refer yourself directly to an NHS talking therapies service without a referral from a GP. If you live in North Somerset, please visit the NHS Talking Therapies website here for more information.