Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.

It’s most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems such as PTSD.

How does it work?

The therapist aims to help you come to terms with what has happened to you. They will ask you to talk about the traumatic memories and help you deal with any distress you feel.

When there is an improvement they may suggest that you reach out to people you have avoided or even take up activities or visit places that you have been avoiding.

They will help you gain control of your fear and change the negative way you feel about it.

The mental health charity MIND’s take on what CBT is.


The courses are typically short term –  between six and twelve weeks and it works on a cycle of your thoughts, feelings, physical well being and behaviour are all connected. If one is out then you become trapped.


You can access CBT free via the NHS either directly as a self-referral or via your GP. Services are regionalised and so the best way to find out more about the ones in your area is to use the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies page (IAPT) on the NHS website.

Click below for how to find an NHS psychological therapies service (IAPT) that provides CBT

If you have a mental health problem that needs addressing immediately please check out the Samaritans who are free to call at any time – 116 123.

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