Explaining cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Shelley Whitbread, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist at Priory Hospital Hayes Grove explains what Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is, how it is used and how it can help your patients.

What is CBT?

GP mental health crisis careCBT is a fast growing and widely recognised treatment that helps people deal with a variety of psychological difficulties. The evaluation of CBT has shown a 50% success rate in treating anxiety and depression, significantly higher than other talking therapies, and studies have also shown that it can be more effective than medication alone when treating such disorders.

 It is for these reasons, together with the time efficiency of treatment, which have led to the Government investing significant resources in training over three thousand CBT therapists in recent years.

What is cognitive behavioural therapy used to treat?

CBT is used to treat a number of psychological disorders including:

  • Addiction
  • Anger problems
  • Anxiety
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Personality disorder
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Relationship problems
  • Social phobia

CBT is a structured, action-oriented and problem solving approach which helps people to manage their thoughts, behaviour and mood more effectively. In general, patients will meet with their therapist on a weekly basis for a period of roughly 6 – 20 sessions which will follow a structured process including the completion of homework and behavioural experiments.

How does CBT work?

CBT identifies the link between our thoughts, our behaviour and our mood. Therapy involves helping people to become more aware of their often dysfunctional and unhelpful thought patterns which can lead to maladaptive behaviours and negative emotions.

It also attempts to help patients understand and adjust underlying belief patterns which maintain these dysfunctional thinking patterns and behaviours. By teaching people to challenge cognition's and modify their behaviour, this can then lead to a significant improvement in mood.

Who benefits from CBT?

CBT can be used to help resolve a variety of mental health conditions including anxiety, stress, depression and OCD.

Because CBT looks to underpin underlying behaviour and thought patterns, it can dramatically improve mental wellbeing.

What do we offer at Priory?

We offer both group and individual cognitive behaviour therapy for a wide range of difficulties including anxiety, depression, anger and eating disorders.

Groups are based on a CBT approach and include psycho-education together with tools and strategies to help patients manage their behaviours and mood more effectively.

Download our guide to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Find out more

Related articles about CBT:

Priory offers a nationwide network of private mental health and addiction treatment centres, all of which can be accessed through GP referral. To make a referral call: 0800 090 1354 or click here to use our secure form: click here