Toolkit

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is helpful in the treatment of anxiety and anxiety disorders. It is based on the idea that how you think affects how you feel and what you do. The ‘cognitive’ represents the thoughts you have and the behavioural part are the actions that come from the thoughts and feelings you have.

Avoidance makes anxiety worse so CBT helps you to face your fears and negative thoughts rather than run away from them, which can make the anxiety worse. The example below shows how different thoughts lead to different feelings and actions.

‘I have done bad things that is why I am not pregnant.’

 

Unhelpful way

Helpful way

Thoughts

I am a bad person and now I am being punished.

I may not always be good but that does not mean I need to be punished.

 

Feelings

Fear and panic.

Calm and confident.

 

Physical effects

Sick in the stomach, panicked.

No physical symptoms.

 

Actions

Bite your nails, chain smoke, over eat.

Focus on having the healthiest diet you can, exercise regularly and practice relaxation.

The key is to:

  1. Understand and become aware of the negative thoughts you may have.
  2. Ask yourself, how realistic these thoughts are?
  3. Understand and become aware of the way your thoughts impact on your behaviours/actions.
  4. Challenge negative thoughts and replace them with more helpful, positive thoughts.
  5. Change negative behaviours if you have to.
Created on 29/08/2013 | Updated on 01/12/2015
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Jean Hailes is Australia’s leading and most trusted women’s health organisation. We believe in physical and emotional health and wellbeing in all its dimensions for all women in Australia throughout their lives.

We offer a range of free resources and easy to understand information on women’s health and wellbeing. Appointments at our specialist women’s health clinics can be made in person (East Melbourne and Clayton, VIC) or across Australia via our Telehealth consultation service. www.jeanhailes.org.au

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