Knowing the Basics of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Live Well Diary Team

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cognitive behavioural therapy (cbt)

In society, with an increasing focus on health and its importance – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) became recognised as an approach to positive transformations in individuals’ lives.

CBT works because our thoughts, emotions and actions are interconnected. It offers an approach to improving our well-being.

By grasping the core principles and methods of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), people can acquire the ability to transform their thinking patterns and actions, which results in enduring transformations.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

At its core, CBT aims to identify and challenge negative and irrational thoughts or beliefs that contribute to emotional distress.

CBT empowers individuals to replace harmful thoughts with more constructive, realistic ones by examining the underlying thought patterns that drive our emotions and behaviours.

The Foundational Principles of CBT: Thoughts, Emotions, and Behaviours

As the first component, thoughts are pivotal in shaping our emotions and behaviours. Our thoughts can be automatic and deeply ingrained, often driven by underlying beliefs or past experiences. These thoughts can be positive, negative, or even distorted. CBT aims to identify and challenge these negative or distorted thoughts, replacing them with more realistic and helpful ones. For instance, consistently reminding ourselves that we lack competence or will experience failure can result in feelings of anxiety, diminished self-worth, and an unwillingness to embrace opportunities.

cognitive behaviour therapy (cbt)

Emotions, the second component, are intrinsically linked to our thoughts. Our thoughts can trigger various emotions, from joy and excitement to anxiety and sadness. CBT helps individuals recognise and understand their emotions, providing tools to manage and regulate them effectively. By addressing the underlying thoughts contributing to negative emotions, individuals can experience a profound shift in their emotional well-being.

Behaviours, the third component, are the outward expressions of our thoughts and emotions. Our behaviours are influenced by our internal experiences and, in turn, shape our thoughts and emotions. CBT focuses on identifying maladaptive behaviours and replacing them with healthier alternatives. We can break negative patterns and create positive outcomes by consciously changing our behaviours. For instance, if someone is struggling with depression and finds themselves withdrawing from social activities. CBT would encourage them to gradually reintroduce pleasurable and fulfilling activities to improve their mood and overall well-being.

Recognising the relationship between the three foundations (thoughts, emotions and actions) is crucial for harnessing the potential of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). By targeting and modifying one component, we can create a ripple effect that impacts positively other people. This holistic strategy enables people to gain an understanding of themselves, cultivate ways of dealing with challenges and ultimately attain enhanced mental well-being and overall emotional health.

Uses of CBT

CBT incorporates practical techniques such as relaxation exercises, problem-solving skills, and exposure therapy to help individuals confront and overcome their fears or anxieties. The effectiveness of CBT has been extensively studied, and research consistently shows positive outcomes. [1] [2] [3]

Here are a few instances where CBT is used:

• CBT Helps individuals identify and challenge negative or irrational thoughts and beliefs contributing to emotional distress.
• It is an approach for addressing different issues – anxiety disorders, depression, phobias and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
• CBT equips people with practical strategies and tools to manage and cope with situations that are stressful and improve problem-solving skills.
• Additionally, it aids in cultivating positive thinking habits, which leads to enhanced self-worth, increased assurance and an overall improvement in emotional welfare.
• Finally, it has the potential to be utilised in both one-on-one therapy sessions and group environments, rendering it a versatile therapeutic approach.

Many individuals who go through therapy (CBT) often talk about how their symptoms decrease, they become better at handling stress, and their overall quality of life improves.

CBT benefits individuals experiencing mental health conditions and can be used for personal growth and self-improvement.


We trust that you discovered this brief blog about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to be informative and enlightening.

If you feel the need, it’s always an idea to contact a certified therapist or mental health expert. They can guide you in exploring how CBT can support your journey towards well-being.

Remember, change starts with understanding, and this therapy provides the tools and techniques to make that change possible.

[1] Hofmann, S. G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I. J., Sawyer, A. T., & Fang, A. (2012). The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses. Cognitive therapy and research, 36(5), 427–440.[2] Hofmann, S. G. (2021). The future of cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 45, 383–384.[3] Kodal, A., Fjermestad, K., Bjelland, I., Gjestad, R., Öst, L.-G., Bjaastad, J. F., Haugland, B. S. M., Havik, O. E., Heiervang, E., & Wergeland, G. J. (2018). Long-term effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for youth with anxiety disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 53(53), 58–67.[4] Wiles, N. J., Thomas, L., Turner, N., Garfield, K., Kounali, D., Campbell, J., Kessler, D., Kuyken, W., Lewis, G., Morrison, J., Williams, C., Peters, T. J., & Hollinghurst, S. (2016). Long-term effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy for treatment-resistant depression in primary care: follow-up of the CoBalT randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Psychiatry, 3(2), 137–144.
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