CBT is a combination of cognitive therapy that helps with thinking processes, and
behavioural therapy that focuses on behaviour in response to those thoughts.
Using a set of structured techniques, a CBT practitioner aims to identify how you
are thinking and how this can affect your emotions and behaviour. You will learn
to balance unhelpful thinking. For example, negative thoughts usually lead to upsetting
or angry feelings which can affect your mood and your behaviour. If you're unable
to balance such thoughts with a more positive view, a negative spiral starts and
your perceptions of a situation become distorted.
CBT encourages you to change the way you react to events, your beliefs about yourself
and your abilities, so that you achieve a more realistic view of yourself and situations.
How CBT works
You will learn to understand your thoughts, emotions, physical feelings and behaviours
in reaction to a situation.
You will probably be asked to keep a diary so that you can identify how you react
to certain events. You and your therapist then work together to make changes. Once
you've learnt to identify negative patterns, you'll be asked to practise alternative
balanced thinking. This isn't always easy but using CBT techniques you can try out
different behavioural approaches in real situations, which can help to bring about
changes. You won't be asked to do anything that you don't feel comfortable with.