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What is CBT Therapy?

How does CBT Therapy work?

In CBT Therapy, we focus on the following areas: thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. The way we think about a situation, and the way in which we react to it, can influence how we feel emotionally.


Confused? Here is an example.


Sally walks into the office at lunch time. Two of her colleagues are sat talking quietly, but when they see her come in, they excuse themselves and leave together.


Sally’s thoughts:

'They don’t like me’

‘I have upset them’


Sally’s emotions

Sad, Confused


Sally’s behaviour

She avoids them the next time she sees them and becomes more isolated at work.


Let’s look at the facts… two of her colleagues got up and left. I want you to take a moment here, before reading the next section, and consider why else they might have done this.


What did you come up with? Here are some of mine…


Alternative thoughts

Their lunch break was over – it was just an unfortunate coincidence! One of them was going through a particularly difficult time, and confiding in the other, but didn’t want Sally to see they were upset as they were embarrassed.


As you can see, Sally’s thoughts led to her feeling sad and confused. With the alternative thought, she is unlikely to have felt this way, and therefore probably would have chatted to her colleagues the next time she saw them. This would have allowed her to see that everything was okay. Unfortunately, in this case, her thoughts stopped her from disproving her theory and in fact, lead to her becoming more isolated over time, which we know leads to increased feeling of sadness and low mood.

 

 

 

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