CBT: What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

CBT: What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a talking and doing therapy for a of different conditions. Evidence-based means that it has been fully tested  by psychologists and academics. It is recommended  for Depression and Anxiety as well as a number of other issues.

CBT is a talking and behaviour therapy and it is based on the concept that thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviours are all interconnected. What people think affects how they feel and how they behave. 


What can CBT help with?

CBT can help with a range of issues including:

  • Anxiety 
  • Panic Disorder
  • Depression 
  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorder
  • Social Anxiety 
  • Phobias
  • Weight loss* and lifestyle 
  • Health Anxiety 
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder 
  • * for CBT for weight loss see our sister site

What happens when someone begins CBT?

The first session is an assessment session because this is  information gathering. The therapist asks questions to gather a fuller understanding of what the client is experiencing, and how this is maintained. Often this is due to thoughts and behaviours. Next, goals and hopes for the sessions will also be explored. 

After the assessment sessions, treatment sessions begin. In CBT it is standard to set a plan for each session, this is so that the session is utilised effectively. It also allows both client and therapist to cover items they believe will be important for the session. 

In-between session tasks are a vital part of CBT, this can be anything from reading a leaflet to filling in some paperwork such as a though diary or doing an experiment. These tasks is discussed at the end of each session. Clients who engage with in-between session tasks reach their goals and recovery sooner. This will mean that fewer sessions are required. 

How many sessions and how long?

Each session is 60 minutes, initially, it is recommended that sessions are once a week. CBT is a short term therapy. On average clients usually have around 12 sessions, however, this is very much dependent on when goals are reached, in some cases this can be as little as 4 or 5.  


Psychotherapists help people identify and change their thinking and unhelpful behaviour. The result is a major improvement in how a person feels and lives. CBT helps people who are experiencing a wide range of mental health difficulties. Furthermore, it is recommended by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for common Mental Health Conditions such as depression and anxiety. NICE provides independent, evidence-based guidance for the NHS on the most effective ways to treat disease and ill-health.

 Severn Wellness therapists are accredited to the highest standards with the BABCP. Get in touch today to book your initial online or telephone session or explore other therapies that Severn Wellnesss provides. 

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