Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a fast-growing and popular form of psychological therapy. Originally developed in the USA, it has become popular in the UK. The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which issues guidance on mental health issues based on clinical research trials, advocates CBT as the preferred therapeutic choice for individuals presenting with depression and anxiety. The Layard Report of 2006 indicated the scale of depression and anxiety disorders in the UK. Government-funded initiatives draw heavily on these guidelines as part of the drive to train increasing numbers of cognitive behavioural therapists. So what exactly is CBT and how does it work?
Imagine this scenario. Your teacher announces to the class that you are each to give a solo presentation on what you have learned on the course so far. You have just 30 minutes to prepare. Many people would immediately start to feel nervous at this prospect. You might feel your heart pounding, your palms sweating and you might perhaps have the urge to run away from the situation.
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