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How CBT Sessions Work

CBT sessions are collaborative, goal focused, and time limited with the number of sessions normally ranging between eight to twelve however, in certain circumstances it can be extended.

The initial sessions are normally spent introducing the client  to the CBT way of working and gathering information about the client's particular issues and reasons for coming to therapy. CBT is quite structured, and uses an evidence based approach to treat a range of problems that we can all be susceptible to. These range from anxiety (in various forms), depression, low self esteem, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and trauma etc.

What is the goal of CBT?

The therapy aims to help people change naturally occurring "unhelpful thoughts" to a more balanced way of thinking about life events. The "B"  in CBT is very important to the therapy as this is the behavioural element.

The therapist will give the client things to do and things to try between sessions, so the whole process is rooted in the clients "real world".

Talking about problems will give clients insight into them, but combining this with doing things which challenge and test negative thinking and assumptions is extremely powerful in producing positive changes in clients lives, as clients can really "feel" themselves changing.

The diagram below show us how situations affect the way we think which in turn affects our feelings and emotions, behaviours and physical reactions. When our thinking gets distorted by life events or upbringing this can lead to unhelpful thinking styles which trap us in such states as anxiety, depression, OCD and phobias to name but a few.

CBT aims to help clients challenge unhelpful thoughts and replace them with a more balanced realistic way of thinking. It also empower clients with a range of skills which they can then take away with them, and use as required to promote balanced thinking and happier lives, so once therapy stops clients are less likely to relapse. Sessions last one hour and are usually once a week. 


Here are some light, informative videos on how CBT works and how effective it is...

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