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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - CBT Kenya
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  • Posted by: cbtkeadmin

What is CBT- Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps patients understand the thoughts and feelings that influence behaviours.
CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle.

It is different from historical approaches to psychotherapy, such as the psychoanalytic approach where the therapist looks for the unconscious meaning behind the behaviours and then formulates a diagnosis. Instead, CBT is a “problem-focused” and “action-oriented” form of therapy, meaning it is used to treat specific problems related to a diagnosed mental disorder. The therapist’s role is to assist the client in finding and practising effective strategies to address the identified goals and decrease symptoms of the disorder

The Basics Of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The goal of cognitive behaviour therapy is to teach patients that while they cannot control every aspect of the world around them, they can take control of how they interpret and deal with things in their environment.

CBT is based on several core principles, including:

  1. Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
  2. Psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behaviour.
  3. People suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.

CBT treatment usually involves efforts to change thinking patterns. These strategies might include:

  • Learning to recognize one’s distortions in thinking that are creating problems, and then to reevaluate them in light of reality.
  • Gaining a better understanding of the behaviour and motivation of others.
  • Using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations.
  • Learning to develop a greater sense of confidence in one’s own abilities.

CBT treatment also involves efforts to change behavioural patterns. These strategies might include:

  • Facing one’s fears instead of avoiding them.
  • Using role-playing to prepare for potentially problematic interactions with others.
  • Learning to calm one’s mind and relax one’s body.

Cognitive behaviour therapy is generally short-term and focused on helping clients deal with a very specific problem. During the course of treatment, people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behaviour and emotions.

CBT is appropriate for people of all ages, including children, adolescents, and adults.

Uses for CBT

CBT is a useful tool to address emotional challenges. For example, it may help you:

Manage symptoms of mental illness
Prevent a relapse of mental illness symptoms
Treat a mental illness when medications aren’t a good option
Learn techniques for coping with stressful life situations
Identify ways to manage emotions
Resolve relationship conflicts and learn better ways to communicate
Cope with grief or loss
Overcome emotional trauma related to abuse or violence
Cope with a medical illness
Manage chronic physical symptoms

Mental health disorders that may improve with CBT include:

Anxiety disorders
Sleep disorders
Eating disorders
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Substance use disorders
Bipolar disorders
Sexual disorders

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be as effective as medicine in treating some mental health problems, but it may not be successful or suitable for everyone.

Some of the advantages of CBT include:

  • it may be helpful in cases where medication alone has not worked
  • it can be completed in a relatively short period of time compared with other talking therapies
  • the highly structured nature of CBT means it can be provided in different formats, including in groups, self-help books and apps
  • it teaches you useful and practical strategies that can be used in everyday life, even after the treatment has finished

Some of the disadvantages of CBT to consider include:

  • you need to commit yourself to the process to get the most from it – a therapist can help and advise you, but they need your co-operation
  • attending regular CBT sessions and carrying out any extra work between sessions can take up a lot of your time
  • it may not be suitable for people with more complex mental health needs or learning difficulties, as it requires structured sessions
  • involves confronting your emotions and anxieties – you may experience initial periods where you’re anxious or emotionally uncomfortable
  • focuses on the person’s capacity to change themselves (their thoughts, feelings and behaviours) – this does not address any wider problems in systems or families that often have a significant impact on someone’s health and wellbeing

If you are experiencing challenges consider seeing a therapist.


  1. Scheeringa S, Michael, MD, How Do I Change Negative Thoughts Related to PTSD?https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/stress-relief/201912/how-do-i-change-negative-thoughts-related-ptsd, 27 Dec 2019

  2. Rastogi Neelesh, A Multi-modal Human-Robot Interaction Framework based on Cognitive Behavior Therapy Model, July 2018
  3. American Psychological Association, PTSD Guideline,https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/cognitive-behavioral

At CBT Kenya, we provide psychotherapy using the CBT  model.  Give us a call on 0739 935 333/0756 454 585 or visit our website for more details on what we do. We are located at Kims Court, Theta Lane, Off Lenana road.

Author: cbtkeadmin
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