Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

What is it?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, also known as CBT, is a talking therapy. CBT looks at how we think about a situation and how this affects the way we act and how our actions can affect how we think and feel.

The therapist and you will work together to look at the way you think and behave and help you to change any unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that might be contributing to low mood or anxiety or both.

Why do we do it?

CBT has been widely researched and proven to help treat a wide range of emotional and physical health conditions in adults, young people and children.

“If drugs don’t work for depression, CBT may…”

Please click on the link above to read about research into CBT for depression

Who is it for?

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends CBT in the treatment of the following conditions:

  • anxiety disorders (including panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • depression
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • chronic fatigue
  • chronic pain
  • physical symptoms without a medical diagnosis
  • sleep difficulties

CBT sessions will differ depending on what particular difficulties you are experiencing and what specific goals you decide you would like to focus on.

What does it involve?

CBT involves meeting with a specially trained therapist face to face, in a course of around eight sessions. These sessions usually last around fifty minutes and are generally spread across a number of weeks.

You and your therapist will discuss your specific difficulties and set goals for you to achieve. They will help you to decide what difficulties you want to work on in order to help you improve your situation. CBT is a practical approach to understanding your current difficulties and involves hard work during and between sessions. Your therapist will not tell you what to do but they can help you to help yourself and support you along the way. Your therapist will be able to advise you on how to continue using CBT techniques in your daily life after your treatment ends.

What is required?

  • Commitment to attending sessions
  • Openness to new perspectives
  • Practising tools and techniques away from the sessions
  • Ability to set limited achievable goals to work on during treatment


If you think that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy could help you with your current difficulties, talk to your GP or self refer to the service on 0203 228 1350.