What is CBT and how can it help me?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, commonly known as “CBT”, is a collaborative, scientifically-proven therapy approach that aims to provide clients with strategies to cope more effectively with a wide range of problems including depression, anxiety, panic, OCD, stressful life events and relationship issues, among other difficulties.  CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts (“cognitions”) influence, and are influenced by, our feelings and behavior.  This means we can easily become “stuck” in a vicious cycle, where negative thoughts and feelings feed each other and lead to unhelpful patterns of behaviour.

Diagram showing thoughts, emotions, and behaviour

Many of these processes happen automatically, and often outside of our awareness, so it can be difficult to get “unstuck”.  However, CBT can help clients to become more aware of their negative thoughts and feelings while they are occurring, enabling them to break unhelpful patterns of behaviour.  In addition, clients are helped to discover more helpful ways of thinking and coping that they can use in difficult situations, which, in turn,+ can help to improve their mood and overall life satisfaction.

CBT generally tends to focus primarily on current struggles, rather than emphasizing an in-depth exploration of negative past events.  It also tends to involve building problem-solving and coping skills for dealing with difficult situations that may arise in the future.