4 Misconceptions about CBT therapy

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Starting therapy for any mental health condition can be a big step. Many people suffer in silence about what is going on with their minds and are not sure how to start their journey to getting better. 

Cognitive behavioural therapy is an evidence-based treatment intervention for a range of psychological disorders, including common problems like anxiety and depression.

CBT is the treatment choice for a range of mental health conditions, but there are some myths surrounding the therapy that we will debunk here. 

4 misconceptions about CBT:

  1. CBT is a ‘one size fits all’ approach
  2. CBT is about positive thinking
  3. CBT doesn’t care about the past
  4. CBT only addresses symptoms not the person


So let’s break these down and get to the truth. 

Fact: CBT can be used for a range of problems and people 

CBT is a flexible treatment that can be tailored to specific disorders and individuals. CBT requires therapists to have a deep understanding of their client and their needs. Everyone has a different story, different situations, different personalities and traits. This means everyone’s struggle with their mental health is also different, but CBT allows variation, so can be an effective therapy for everyone. 

Fact: CBT is about identifying irrational thoughts 

Part of CBT therapy is about identifying and exploring negative thoughts, but this does not mean that CBT allows you to turn on a switch and just think ‘positively’. If that were the case, there would be no need for actual therapy. CBT helps people develop flexible and helpful ways of thinking and to understand specific thought patterns they have that contribute to their mental health issue. 

Fact: CBT assesses someone’s past if its relevant

CBT addresses the current problem, but this does not mean an individual’s past is not explored. Therapy aims to discuss how a client is currently feeling and how to move forward towards recovery. When necessary, a therapist will delve into someone’s past, as the issue at hand could be significantly linked to past experiences or behaviours and may need to be discovered to aid recovery. 

Fact: CBT can unveil and individuals core beliefs 

For people to get better, they need to understand themselves well. They need to know why they are feeling a particular emotion or carrying out a certain behaviour. CBT therapy allows individuals to discover core beliefs that influence them in the present. Exploring the way our brains work, our reactions and how we cope with things in life, are all learnings from CBT therapy that can assist us throughout our lives. Once we understand what has happened to us to learn unhelpful behaviours or beliefs the CBT therapist will focus and address what can be done about it. 

Is there evidence that CBT works?

CBT is continuously evolving by what is called “evidence-based-practice” and has been proven to work since the 1960s. This form of psychotherapy continually synchronises with the latest recommendations from research suggesting what works best. 

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is an independent organisation who continuously recommend CBT for many issues.

“I was very happy with the CBT Therapy I found from Onebright. I felt that they really understood OCD much more so than my previous CBT therapist and this had distinct benefits for me. Appointment times were more flexible, and Onebrightwas easy to contact. ” – Anonymous 

Our CBT therapists are all BABCP accredited. BABCP Accreditation is the highest gold standard that a CBT psychotherapist can achieve so you can expect the best delivery of therapy possible. 

If you are struggling with your mental health, please get in touch to see how we can help you.

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