Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is becoming increasingly popular as a short-term intervention. CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are interconnected. CBT helps a client to be more aware of these unhelpful thoughts and how they can affect your emotions. The counsellor and client work together to change these unhelpful thought processes, which then changes your negative emotions and behaviours. Unlike other therapies, CBT focuses on your current problems rather than looking at issues that may have evolved from your past. It is solution-focused, looking at practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.
CBT is effective in treating a number of mental health concerns. These include depression, anxiety, stress, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders (e.g. anorexia, bulimia), phobias, trauma, and sleep problems. It can also be used to help clients manage the symptoms of long-term health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Whilst CBT is appealing to clients who are looking for quick, practical ways to manage their concerns, it is not appropriate for more complex mental health issues. It does not address what may have caused these difficulties, such as past events. In these cases, other types of therapies (e.g. psychodynamic or person-centred) may be more suitable.