How Does CBT Work?

CBT is based on the observation that psychological problems are often fuelled by unhelpful and unrealistic patterns of thinking which, in turn, may be reinforced by counterproductive behavioural patterns.

CBT Chart

 

In a respectful, collaborative manner, CBT therapists work with patients to identify, evaluate, and ultimately to modify dysfunctional or distorted thoughts and beliefs (this is the "cognitive" component of CBT). Building on this work, CBT therapists help patients plan and then to implement strategic changes in behaviour (this is the "behavioural" component of CBT) which serve to reinforce healthier thinking patterns, break unwanted habits, and contribute to improvements in physical and emotional well-being.