Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of Psychotherapy. It works to solve current problems and change unhelpful thinking and behaviour. The name refers to behaviour therapy, cognitive therapy, and therapy based upon a combination of basic behavioural and cognitive principles. CBT is “problem focused” (undertaken for specific problems) and “action oriented” (therapist tries to assist the client in selecting specific strategies to help address those problems), or directive in its therapeutic approach.

CBT has six phases:

  1. Assessment or psychological assessment.
  2. Reconceptualization.
  3. Skills acquisition.
  4. Skills consolidation and application training.
  5. Generalization and maintenance.
  6. Post-treatment assessment follow-up.

CBT can be effective in treating children, adolescents and adults. In the United Kingdom, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends CBT in the treatment plans for a number of mental health difficulties.

The CBT model demonstrates the reciprocal relationship between our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. By taking action in one area, this will have an effect on the other two.


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