What is CBT?

Page Content
  1. Introduction to what is CBT?
  2. The aim of CBT
  3. What problems can CBT treat?
  4. Length of CBT treatment and focus
  5. CBT video
What is CBT?

Photo courtesy of Pieta House Centre for the Prevention of Suicide & Self-Harm.



CBT stands for cognitive behavior therapy. First let us look at what cognitive or cognition means. Cognition is a scientific term for the thought process, which would include judgment, knowledge, perceptions and memory.

So back to the original question, CBT is a talking therapy which focuses on your thought processes and behavior.

The aim of CBT


The aim of the therapy is to assist you in managing your troubles by changing the way you think as well as act.


Think about your life, have you encountered the same difficulties repeatedly?

If you have, think about the why?

Is it a repeated thought and behavior pattern that causes you to feel helpless?


That is where cbt comes in; the aim of the therapy is to assist you in managing your troubles by changing the way you think as well as act.

The therapy will help break that vicious circle.

What problems can CBT treat?


CBT can treat a variety of problems from mental illnesses to physical problems, see the list below.

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Relationship and sexual problems
  • Anger
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Alcohol and drug problems
  • Habits such as facial tics

CBT can be used to treat adolescents and children.

Length of CBT treatment and focus


Unlike psychotherapy and other therapies, CBT is focused on the present and the future rather than the past.

CBT is a short therapy which can last weeks to several months. The length of the treatment will vary with each individual. The sessions are normally held on a weekly or fortnightly basis and from thirty minutes up to one hour.

CBT video


In the video shown below, Carol speaks about how using cognitive behaviour therapy helped her deal with her emotions and boost her confidence.

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