What is Cognitive therapy?

Cognitive therapy works from the basis that psychological problems can arise from the way we view the world and our experience in it. We have core belief about ourselves and the people around us and this can sometimes lead us to believe our issues and problems are hopeless and threatening.

These core beliefs can promote automatic negative thoughts which stop us doing what we want and may lead us to feeling unhappy or anxious.  Some examples of these beliefs are:

§  I always have to please those around me

§  I am unlikeable or unlovable

§  I will never be successful

§  I will always feel exactly as I do now

Most of these beliefs are actually just thoughts,,they are not facts. The problem is that these thoughts can lead to us looking for confirmation of our negative thoughts missing too easily those things that challenge or confirm a more positive possibility


In cognitive behavioural therapy we challenge those thoughts by testing them out to see if they respond to reality.  Once thoughts have been identified they can be modified.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy uses a whole range of techniques for dealing with negative thoughts realising when they are going on, stopping them and replacing them with more realistic and positive responses. 

Number of sessions

CBT normally takes the form of weekly or fortnightly sessions with a therapist - as the work progresses the time between sessions may lengthen further to monthly before the end of therapy.  The number of sessions we will need will vary depending on your problems and objectives with treatment usually lasting from 6 weeks to 6 months although some clients will find just a very few sessions useful.


CBT can help you see how your thoughts and behaviour relate to the way you feel and how this might be contributing to the problems you are experiencing.  We will help you find ways to challenge your thought patterns and behaviour so you can cope with your problems and anxieties better.  It cannot remove your problems but can help you manage them in a more positive way.

CBT is the NICE recommended treatment for depression and anxiety.