Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Introduction

The basic principle of CBT is that the way we think affects the way we feel both emotionally and physically, and can also alter our behaviour.

Each individual has their own, particular way of responding to an event. CBT helps us to identify the most important thoughts, feelings and behaviours that form part of these reactions and help us to decide, whether these responses are rational and healthy.

By understanding the connections between our emotions, thinking and behaviour we are empowered to positively change our lives.

An Example of Different Reactions to the same event:

Imagine that you are walking along the street and you see a friend walking toward you, instead of greeting you she just walks past with her head down. How would you react to this?

The table below shows a variety of possible reactions to the same event:

Thoughts

 “She obviously doesn’t like me any more”

 “She probably doesn’t want to talk because she thinks I am a loser

 “Suppose she has had a family tragedy.”

 “She was probably deep in thought and didn’t notice me”

 Feelings

 Angry

Sad

Concerned

 Relieved

 Possible
behaviour

“ I am going to send her a nasty text message”

“I am never going to try and make friends again”

 “I will ring her to see if she is ok”

“I will send her a nice text message”

The way a person reacts to events and situations can have an impact upon their lives, by learning identify whether reactions to events are healthy or maladaptive a person can become make positive changes in their lives.

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