What is CBT? | Making Sense of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Making sense of CBT. A guide to what CBT
is and how you can decide whether it’s best for you. If you living with a mental
health problem, it can be hard to know which way to turn or what to do to feel
better. You might go to your GP and one of the first things they might offer is
CBT which stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It combines Cognitive
Therapy – examining the things you think and Behavioral Therapy – examining the
things you do. The word therapy might make you think of laying on a couch talking to a man with spectacles and a beard about your childhood while he
analyzes your dreams. But CBT is actually a very practical type of talking therapy which focuses on goals and focuses mostly on the present day and things
that are affecting you in your life now. The theory behind CBT is that the way we
think about situations can affect the way we feel and behave. It does this by
dealing with how your thoughts affect your feelings and behaviors and teaches
you coping skills for dealing with different problems. For example you might make a simple mistake like burning the dinner. This might make you think bad
things and it might make you feel worthless and inadequate which could
lead you to do things like withdrawing, snapping at your family, or trying to avoid things which you think might go wrong. Or perhaps you’ve been invited out for
drinks with some friends and you start thinking negative things. This might make
you feel anxious and scared which might make you do something like saying no to
the invite, avoiding your friends completely or using drink and drugs to
cope with the situation. Over time, whether it’s years weeks or months, this cycle of thoughts, feelings and behaviors may have happened so many times it’s
become like a habit. You start avoiding situations more and more or automatically blame yourself if something goes wrong and the more you do these things, the worse it can get. A CBT therapist will help you break
this cycle and figure out what sorts of negative feelings, thoughts and behaviors
might be contributing to the problems you are experiencing. They will help you
deal with your negative thinking and help you change your behavior. Both of
which will lead to an improvement in your mood. CBT can be helpful for people with
nearly every diagnoses you can think of and can be delivered through
one-on-one sessions, in groups, self-help books, online or through a CD-rom. That doesn’t mean that CBT works for everyone though. Some people struggle with it because they find it just too hard to talk about their feelings. CBT is usually
quite a short-term treatment and so you may find that your problems are too
complex to deal with in the time. it can also be quite hard work. Your therapist will probably set you homework and you have to really practice the skills they teach you to see a difference in how you’re feeling. If you don’t think CBT is the right treatment for you, you should be able to talk to your GP about what
alternatives there are. The Mind website also has lots of information about the different treatments that are available for a wide range of mental health
problems and Mind’s Infoline line can also talk to you about what you might find helpful.


  1. What a wonderfully simple explanation of CBT! I would love permission to share this on my website so that my own clients can better understand the concept. May I do so?

  2. Just a word of caution: if you turn down therapy that's offered to you then you might not be offered any more. That's how the NHS really works.

  3. Likewise, I echo Amanda in agreeing that this is a fantastic video, May I also link to it on my website, I will of course provide a link to MIND,

  4. This would be so simple, easy, awesome for my patients to grasp.  I would like to share it with my patients as well.  May I?  Thank  you…Amy

  5. CBT is based on a logical fallacy that Thoughts Control feelings. Neuroscience shows that the amygdala, ( the smoke alarm in the brain) sends signals via the sympathetic nervous system to create nervous panicky feelings, and sends signals to the neocortex to produce the negative thoughts. There is no direct link between the two. Cognitive re framing simply suppresses those feelings. What you actually need to do ( and Mindfulness Somatic Experiencing and Focusing Psychotherapy all do this ) is to activate the'noticing' part of the brain ( Hyppocampus ) which helps to reset the amygdala. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and others have pointed this out for many years. but the anti-science CBT people just ignore it.

  6. Funny how other therapies are trivialized by saying it's talking to a bearded man who analyses your dreams. CBT is good to use in addition to other therapy techniques I don't think it's good to downplay other methods in this video.

  7. I have spent months investigating treating Bashful Bladder at home and found a fantastic resource at Gabs Shyness Guru

  8. Family? Yeah the one that puts me down, the mother that left. What a terrible way to get help. Step mom who never liked me because I'm not the "real" son. Siblings who used me, ex that I broke off with trying to defend my sisters.

    Cat I gave away so it would not ruin another person's home. Me paying to live at my parents home (I offered, so I don't burden anyone)

    I swear, I haven't felt this alone in a long time. What's wrong with me? Why do I give a shit about other people? Why can't I just scam and use others as well? It never sat well with me.. God, I could have so much money screwing people over..

    In the end I was screwed by everyone because I never took sides, defended others and I've lost everything meaningful in my life.

  9. Can CBT help me? I have no negative thoughts about myself, it’s just this unending anxiety over everything. I love myself, but have just started to feel fearful of everything, and fearing the fearful feelings.


  11. I am an avid #MentalHealthAwareness advocate and performer, and I love this so much. I travel the country trying to bring that awareness on stages, in classrooms, hospitals, and on my YouTube channel, so I get excited when I see other advocates. 💙❤

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