What is CBT?

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CBT Diagram CBT stands for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and seeks to improve how we feel through changing thoughts (cognition) and how we act (behaviour). CBT is a relatively short-term and focussed technique that most psychologists are trained to administer.  CBT has been widely practised for more than 30 years and is scientifically backed to treat a range of conditions, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, phobias, eating disorders, anger, stress and other behavioural and emotional problems. Research also shows that both children and adults show benefits from receiving CBT and can help to prevent relapse and the development of other psychological or emotional difficulties.

Some example techniques that might be used in CBT include:

  • learning how to recognise logical vs illogical thoughts
  • learning the connection between thoughts and different types of emotions
  • responding in more helpful ways to situations that trigger negative emotion
  • brainstorming solutions to problems and testing them out
  • worry management strategies to reduce anxiety and stress
  • relaxation and related behavioural methods to reduce anxiety, stress and improve mood


CBT can be delivered one-on-one with individual psychologists, in group settings and online through the use of web-based programs (such as This Way Up). There are also a growing number of self-help resources that teach CBT, including Change Your Thinking by Dr. Sarah Edelman and Mind Over Mood by Drs. Greenberger and Padesky.

Here’s an explainer video to show you more


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