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What is CBT?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a focused treatment that helps clients to learn about how their thoughts and behaviours can affect their feelings and can contribute to problems. Therapists can help the person to make major improvements in how they feel and live. 

CBT is an evidence-based approach, recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence as the treatment of choice for a number of disorders, for example, depression, panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder/ excessive worry, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.   

CBT aims to help people to understand the links between thoughts, feelings and behaviour and to guide them in learning how they can help themselves to reduce or eliminate distress.

The therapist and client work together to identify the thoughts and attitudes associated with the problem and to discover if there are alternative, more helpful perspectives.

With the support of the therapist, the client is encouraged to test out their thoughts and beliefs and to try new ways of approaching problems.  

Sessions are structured and focused, with an agenda agreed between the therapist and client at the start of each session.

Clients are active participants in their own therapy and set specific goals. Clients practise or apply any agreed changes or exercises between sessions, providing feedback on this during the following session. Completing the assignments in-between sessions helps to move therapy forward.

At the end of therapy, the client and therapist work together to plan how to avoid or manage any future setbacks.

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