How CBT Works?
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How CBT Works?

In CBT, you work with a therapist to identify and challenge any negative thinking patterns and behaviors which may be causing difficulties for you. In turn, this can change the way you feel about situations and enable you to change your behavior in the future.

You and your therapist may focus on what is going on in your life at the moment, but you mayalso look at your past and think about how your past experiences have impacted the way you see the world at the present. CBT is usually a short-term treatment, so you would not be expected to remain in treatment for a long time. For instance, a typical treatment course of CBT may be delivered in 1 to 2 hour-long weekly sessions, over a period of 12 weeks.

CBT favors an equal, non-judgmental relationship between you and your therapist. The therapist inquires into your views and reactions to your experiences, which are to shape the way your therapy progresses. This collaborative rapport means that you are actively involved in the therapeutic process. This therapeutic relationship will help you feel more able to open up and discuss matters that are difficult for or personal to you.


A typical structure of a CBT session may include the following:

  • At the beginning of therapy, you and your therapist may explore the problems you want to work on and resolve.
  • Once you have agreed on which problems you want to focus on and what your goals are, you may start planning the content of sessions and talk about the way you could face and cope with your problems.
  • During the session and together with your therapist, you may work through exercises to explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
  • With CBT, you are often given work to do in your own time, so at the end of each session you may agree on the activities you are to work on afterwards.
  • At the beginning of your next session, your therapist may begin by going over the conclusions from your previous session, and discussing the progress you have made with the work you agreed to do.
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