What is CBT and how can it help

CBT- how it works; how it can help with anxiety

Have you ever heard of CBT? CBT stands for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and is one of the most popular therapeutic approaches. It’s an evidence based method that can help with a lot of issues, such as: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, pain, self- esteem or relationship difficulties.

The main idea is that you can change the way you feel by changing the way you think. Sounds easy, right? But, as you can imagine, it take time and practice to make it work.

So how do we start? First thing to do is to start identifying your thoughts and feeling when something happens. For example: you are walking on the street and you notice an old friend on the other side of the street. You wave to them but they don’t react- there is no acknowledgment of your friendly “hello”. These are the facts, this is what actually happened, but what you think of it is up to you. The question I like to ask is: what’s the story I’m making up here? Cause what comes next is a story until you check the facts with your friend. So in this situation you can think: Oooo what have I done to upset them? They must be angry with me and now they don’t want to talk to me, I’m such a looser. This probably makes you feel sad, miserable and lonely. Some actions that follow: you might decide you won’t talk to them again, or you will avoid them.

Someone else in the same situation could think: ooo I wonder if they are OK, they seem quite distracted, maybe something is troubling them, I should give them a call and check if I can help with anything.

Same situation- two different interpretations. What would be yours?

As mentioned, the first step is to learn to recognise your internal voice, to hear your story. Once you get good at it, you can start changing it.