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What is CBT?


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a therapy based on the idea that your inner thoughts, bodily sensations, feelings and the actions you take in response to certain situations, are all connected. When these thoughts become negative, they can trap you in a cycle of negativity which can be very hard to get out of.
One main difference between CBT and other talking therapies, is that CBT deals with issues in the present, rather than focusing on events that happened in the past. As part of your course of therapy, you will learn techniques to help you cope with day-to-day challenges.


The advantages and disadvantages of CBT


CBT is a successful form of therapy and much recent research has shown its efficacy, however CBT is not suitable for everyone.


Some advantages of CBT are:


CBT can be helpful if prescribed medication is not working


CBT can be completed in a shorter amount of time, compared with other talking therapies


A course of CBT can be delivered in different formats, such as face-to-face, group settings, online messaging, via webcam or over the phone.


Techniques learned in one course of CBT can be carried throughout life.


You might also want to consider the disadvantages of CBT before starting:


CBT requires a certain level of commitment and cooperation with your therapist, in order to obtain the full benefits of the course.


Sessions should be attended regularly and you may be required to complete tasks between sessions.


The nature of the sessions may not be suitable for people with complex mental health needs and severe learning disabilities


Facing emotions can be challenging and you may experience some discomfort when these emotions and anxieties rise to the surface


A history of CBT


The first therapist to acknowledge ‘cognition’ as a part of psychotherapy, was Alfred Adler, who came up with his early behavioural theory of basic mistakes, and how these lead to unhealthy behaviours and thoughts in the attainment of life goals.
Through many studies which compared cognitive and behavioural research techniques, eventually in the 1990s, both cognitive and behavioural foundations were blended to create Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It is now used as an umbrella term to cover a number of different cognitive-based therapies.


CBT successes


CBT has predominantly been used to treat anxiety disorders and has been largely successful.
Use of CBT for people at risk of anxiety has lessened generalised anxiety and panic episodes as well as shown significant improvements in dysfunctional behaviours, while CBT Stepped-care interventions have shown a significant reduction of symptoms in individuals suffering depression.

Latest figures show that a course of preventative CBT can reduce the risk of those susceptible to psychosis.

CBT has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for those suffering with gambling addiction, quitting smoking and disordered eating and has shown in many cases to be more effective than medication.

How much does CBT cost?

The cost of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy varies between therapists, however you can expect to pay between £50 - £120 per session if you choose to attend therapy privately. A course of therapy can be anywhere between 6-18 sessions.

Choosing a CBT specialist

There are a number of ways in which you can find a therapist trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

At UK Therapy Guide, you can find a therapist that specialises in CBT in your area by using our search facility or choose from the therapist listed on the right-hand side of this page. To book an initial consultation, please press ‘Make an Appointment’ on the chosen therapist’s profile and choose an appointment from the available slots. You can also pay for your first session at the time of booking.

Other ways of obtaining a course of CBT include speaking with your local GP. You will be given a short assessment and some GP surgeries offer a free course of CBT on the National Health Service (NHS).

You can also apply to your local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service who can provide a course of CBT for issues such as anxiety and depression. Waiting lists on the IAPT service are often very long. If this is the route you would like to take, please visit the NHS Choices website to find a service in your locality.


If you would like to book a therapist who will contact you within 24 hours, through the UK Therapy Guide service, please click here.


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