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 medicine 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
it involves confronting your emotions and anxieties – you may experience initial periods where you’re anxious or emotionally uncomfortable
it 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.