Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is helpful in the treatment of anxiety disorders. It is based on the idea that how you think affects how you feel and what you do. The cognitive stands for the thinking part and the behavioural/action bit are the actions that come from how you think and feel.

Avoidance makes anxiety worse so CBT is good for some people because it makes you face your fears and negative thoughts, rather than run away from them which can make the anxiety worse. Check out the example below that shows how different thoughts lead to different feelings and actions.

‘Your boyfriend/girlfriend left you’


Unhelpful way

Helpful way


No-one will ever want me

There are plenty of other boys/girls out there



Fear and anxiety at being rejected

Calm and confident in yourself

Physical effects


Sick in the stomach, sweaty

No physical symptoms



Hide away

Go out and mix with friends

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 28/08/2013 | Updated on 10/12/2015
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