Cognitive Behavioural Therapy- “People are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them”

“People are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them” -Albert Ellis founder of the first form of CBT.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy based on the cognitive model: the way that individuals perceive a situation determines their reaction more than the situation itself. 


The key idea underlying cognitive behavioural therapy is that our thought patterns (cognition) and interpretations of life events greatly influence how we behave and, ultimately, how we feel.


According to CBT, our pattern of thinking is like wearing a pair of glasses that makes us see the world in a specific way. CBT creates an awareness of how these ‘lenses’ or thought patterns create our reality and determine how we behave. In CBT we work on creating awareness of this process. CBT emphasises the need to identify, challenge, and modify how a situation is viewed.


CBT was originally developed to help people suffering from depression. Subsequently its methods were extended widely to address a range of psychological issues including, anxiety disorders, PTSD, bipolar mood disorder, eating disorders and substance misuse. In recent years its scope of application has mushroomed and it has even been used with elite sports competitors to enhance performance.


CBT is problem specific, goal oriented, and structured. The context is supportive and the techniques are combined with a collaborative one to one therapeutic relationship. At the beginning of sessions an agenda for the session is agreed to ensure that the therapy is focused.


Techniques used in a session may include: developing awareness of automatic thoughts, seeing a situation from different perspectives, gradually increasing exposure to things that are feared and letting go of generalisations and all or nothing thinking. Towards the end of a session ‘homework’ is set for the client to work on in between sessions. Homework may include doing behavioural experiments to test underlying assumptions or keeping a mood record. Mindfulness exercises may also be included during sessions or as homework.


CBT is a short-term therapy that lasts anywhere from one to twenty sessions.


If you would like to know more about our therapy programme that we offer or you would like to book a consultation, please call 01273 282045 or email



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