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What is CBT

CBT works with the belief that when we’re low, we can fall into negative patterns of thinking and responding that exasperate, or maintain, our low state. Working with your practitioner, you’ll explore the relationship between your thoughts, emotions and behaviours, to help you identify these patterns and make positive interventions. As you progress through therapy, you’ll develop a range of strategies to help you overcome your problem, and feel more in control of daily life.

CBT is particularly useful at working with;

  • Panic

  • Agoraphobia

  • Depression and low mood

  • Specific phobias eg flying, heights, animals, needles/blood, claustrophobia

  • Social anxiety

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

  • Generalised anxiety (GAD also known as worry)

  • Health anxiety

  • Sleep difficulties

  • Low self esteem

  • Skin picking and hair pulling

  • Anger

  • Work related stress

  • Feelings of shame

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in York

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a practical and evidence based form of therapy that offers effective tools for change.

About your treatment

The aim of CBT is for you to become your own therapist. By the time you’ve finished your sessions, you should be equipped with skills to help you deal effectively with the ups and downs of daily life.

CBT practitioners


Start your journey

CBT practitioners


Both CBT and counselling offer you the chance to talk about your problems with a supportive, non-judgemental person, who will aim to help you identify strategies that can help you feel better.

You may choose counselling to come to terms with issues that cannot be changed, such as bereavement, divorce or losing a job. Or when you’re not sure how you want things to change, for example navigating a painful relationship. Most importantly, you may choose counselling when you’re not sure what the problem is.

You may choose CBT when you want to change negative patterns and are aware of what needs to change. Your sessions will focus on how you want to feel, and what you can do differently to change the way you feel. CBT will help you recognise the impact that your emotions have on your life. CBT has been shown to be an effective treatment for anxiety, changing behaviour and breaking vicious cycles.

What’s the difference between CBT vs counselling?

The suggested course is 5–20 sessions, and these can be every week, or every two weeks.

How many CBT sessions will I need?

No, you can seek out CBT for yourself. Although CBT can be available on the NHS for people who qualify, waiting times can be long.

Do I need an NHS referral for CBT?

Although CBT is mostly used for anxiety and depression, it may be able to help with grief if the experience has left you less able to cope with day-to-day life. CBT for grief can be very effective alongside bereavement counselling.

Is CBT effective for grief?

We don’t currently offer CBT online, but you can definitely raise this with your practitioner, to see if it’s something they might consider. This would be based on a consultation to assess your needs, and on the practitioners particular way of working.

Do you offer CBT online?

CBT can help with insomnia, especially if you identify with the definition above, and feel like negative thoughts of feelings are causing anxiety and impacting your behaviour around sleep.

Can CBT help with insomnia?

Cognitive behavioural therapy is based on the idea that your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and behaviours are connected, and that by changing one, you can affect the rest. So, negative thoughts can affect the way you behave, and this behaviour can make you feel bad, which provokes more negative thoughts, in a vicious cycle. CBT will help you break down overwhelming cycles into smaller parts that you can learn to identify and tweak. CBT deals with your current problems, it doesn’t look at the root cause by going into the past.

What’s the UK definition of CBT?