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


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.



Fear and panic.

Calm and confident.


Physical effects

Sick in the stomach, panicked.

No physical symptoms.



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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