Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the provision of a special relationship with a trained person who will help you to explore the difficulties in your life. It is sometimes called a “talking therapy”, and you will certainly spend some of the appointments talking about yourself and trying to understand how your problems have developed. But you will also concentrate on finding practical ways to overcome your difficulties using methods that have been scientifically developed and known to be effective. You will have to take an active role in this, often trying out new ways of dealing with things between sessions (commonly called homework tasks).
The therapist will also be active during sessions (i.e. not sat there silently, with you laid there on a couch!) and may go out with their clients to help practise what needs to be done. Hence, CBT emphasizes a collaborative approach to solving a client’s problems.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapists tend to focus on the “here and now” rather than the past, but will also endeavour to identify links between current thoughts and behaviours, and past experiences, when this seems appropriate. That is, it helps to make sense of a client’s current difficulties.