What is CBT?
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking treatment which focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and behaviour, and teaches you coping skills for dealing with different problems.
It combines cognitive therapy (examining the things you think) and behaviour therapy (examining the things you do).
What's the theory behind CBT?
CBT is based on the idea that the way we think about situations can affect the way we feel and behave. For example, if you interpret a situation negatively then you might experience negative emotions as a result, and those bad feelings might then lead you to behave in a certain way.
How does negative thinking start?
Negative thinking patterns can start from childhood onwards. For example, if you didn't receive much attention or praise from your parents or teachers at school, you might've thought "I'm useless, I'm not good enough".
Over time you might come to believe these assumptions, until as an adult these negative thoughts become automatic. This way of thinking might then affect how you feel at work, university or in your general life.
If your negative interpretation of situations goes unchallenged, then these patterns in your thoughts, feelings and behaviour can become part of a continuous cycle, which is illustrated below.