in Brighton and Hove

What is CBT?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT, is an extended family of talking therapies, all centred around the idea that that thoughts, feelings, what we do, and how our bodies feel, are inextricably inked. If we change one of these we can impact all the others. CBT offers a fascinating exploration of how our experiences and genetic inheritance interact to shape the way we think, feel and act and how this ultimately shapes how we experience ourselves and the world around us.

CBT reveals that specific mood states are connected with certain patterns of thought and ways of responding, which tend to exacerbate that mood. For example, low mood tends to be linked with negative thinking patterns and ways of responding that follow suit. When these patterns play out without awareness then you can unintentionally end up stuck in cycles of distorted perceptions, negative feelings and unhelpful behaviours.  CBT works to help us unpick these negative cycles so that we can become more mindful of and change problematic thinking styles or behaviour patterns in order to feel better and more present focussed. 

CBT is a process of discovery, so that you observe and become aware of the patterns playing out in your life. It isn’t something that is done to someone, it’s a way of working together with a CBT therapist in a mutually agreed direction.

Below is a short video by the BABCP, the UK’s CBT governing body, to explain this visually:


What can CBT help with?

CBT is evidence based and has been shown to work with different problem areas, and is widely recommended by national treatment guidelines across the UK, EU and North America.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) provides independent, evidence-based guidance for the NHS on the most effective, proven treatments. CBT is recommended in NICE guidelines for many different problems, including:

  • anxiety disorders (including panic attacks)
  • depression
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • psychosis and schizophrenia
  • bipolar disorder
  • eating disorders
  • tinnitus
  • insomnia

There is also good evidence that CBT is helpful in helping people cope with the symptoms of many other conditions, including:

  • chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • fibromyalgia 
  • chronic pain