Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most widely researched therapy for the treatment of anxiety disorders. CBT is based on the premise that how we think (cognitions) influences how we feel (emotions) and what we do (behaviours). The cognitive element of treatment involves examining thoughts, identifying unhelpful thinking styles and working to develop healthier alternative thinking patterns. The behavioural element of treatment involves addressing the various behaviours which maintain our unhelpful thinking and heightened anxiety, such as avoidance, attentional focus, excessive reassurance seeking or compulsive behaviours. CBT is a collaborative treatment between client and clinician, working together at the pace of the client to address the various factors which are maintaining the anxiety disorder. CBT is also what we refer to as an ‘active’ treatment, involving skill acquisition and therefore does involve homework outside of treatment such as thought monitoring or practicing various anxiety management skills.