Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

What is CBT?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a helpful way to make difficulties more manageable. It helps us to make sense of how we ‘think’ about ourselves, the world and others. In enables us to consider how our thoughts link with how we ‘feel’ and how we ‘behave’.

We can often fall into patterns of thinking such as ‘seeing the negatives’ or predicting that ‘things will go wrong’. The way we think about things can in turn make us feel anxious or sad. This can lead to us avoiding things we find difficult in an attempt to protect ourselves. The unintended consequence of this however, is that we can get stuck in vicious cycles that can keep problems going in the long term.


CBT enables us to work out together what might be keeping a problem going and what we need to do to break unhelpful cycles.  By doing so we are able to develop different ways of ‘thinking’ about things and learn different ways of coping and ‘behaving’. This in turn can lead to improvements in how we ‘feel’ about ourselves, others and the world and to improvements in how we function within the world.

What types of difficulties can CBT help with?

CBT can be a helpful psychological treatment for a number of difficulties such as

CBT can also be helpful in treating some eating difficulties such as Bulimia Nervosa or Binge eating disorder. Furthermore it can be effective in helping people with chronic fatigue and chronic pain conditions improve their functioning and quality of life.

What happens when we meet?

A therapist will meet with you initially for an assessment to think together about the difficulties. We aim to develop a shared understanding of how your thoughts interact with how you feel and what you do. We will also consider how previous experiences or events may have impacted on how you think, feel and behave in the present.  Once we have started to develop a shared understanding of the difficulties, we can then work on developing ways of breaking vicious cycles with a view to improving the difficulties.

Together with your therapist you will come up with some shared goals on what you would like to achieve during therapy. You will then work towards achieving these goals during and between sessions.  These goals will then be reviewed during and at the end of therapy.  We shall consider together what you can do beyond the end of therapy to continue change and maintain progress.

Sessions last for approximately one hour. When working with young people, we often like to meet with parents or carers to help make sense of the difficulties and consider what parents can do to help manage the difficulties. We often spend some time with the young person individually, with their parents or carers and sometimes with parents only. If you are an adult we will think together if it would be helpful to meet with other significant people in your life.

For more information about CBT please click here

Here at the Wharfedale Psychology & Psychotherapy Practice our trained therapists offer Cognitive Bahavioural Therapy to both Children and Adults at our Leeds based practice in Otley West Yorkshire. Call us to book an appointment: 01943 468443, drop us an email to or fill in this online form and we will contact you.