What is CBP?


This form of therapy is based on the principle that the way people think, feel and behave results from learning processes, therefore, it follows that people can unlearn and relearn different ways of coping. It suggests that thoughts, feelings and behaviour(s) are interlinked and that if any aspect of these areas is unhelpful it can affect the others.


For example:

If a person thinks that something bad is going to happen to them in a given situation it is likely that they will experience unhelpful emotions such as, anxiety. In turn these emotions can reinforce the way the person thinks and this may lead to avoidance of the situation. If avoidance occurs this is likely to reinforce the fears (thoughts) and then even thinking about the situation can lead to the person experiencing unhelpful emotions.


If a person does not think well of themselves and always sees the negative side of things, they are likely to experience emotions such as, depression, and this can lead to changes in the way they behave. Typical changes associated with this type of problem are withdrawal from others and reduction in activities. Once again these behavioural changes can lead to reinforcement of negative thoughts and feelings.


CBP helps people to identify and modify unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving, which will ultimately affect the way they feel. It also helps people to learn more effective ways of coping, which will, hopefully, help them maintain symptom relief and prevent relapse in the future. It focuses on ‘here and now’ experiences, although it usually includes identifying how past experiences have influenced the development of the present day problems.