How does CBT therapy work?


Solihull CBT can help you to make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts. This makes it easier to see how they are connected and how they affect you.

These five areas are:

A Situation - a problem, event or difficult situation. From this can follow:



Physical feelings

Behaviours / Actions 


What happens in one of these areas can affect all the others. There are helpful and unhelpful ways of reacting to most situations, depending on how you think about it. The way you think can be helpful - or unhelpful. 


An example:

The Situation :- You've had a bad day, feel fed up, so go out shopping. As you walk down the road, someone you know walks by and, apparently, ignores you. 

This starts a cascade of Unhelpful & Helpful Thoughts: He/she ignored me - they don't like me OR He/she looks a bit wrapped up in themselves - I wonder if there's something wrong?

Emotional: Feelings Low, sad and rejected OR Concerned for the other person

Physical: Stomach cramps, low energy, feel sick OR None - feel comfortable 

Action: Go home and avoid them OR Get in touch to make sure they're OK 


The same situation has led to two very different results, depending on how you thought about the situation. How you think has affected how you felt and what you did.

In the first example, you've jumped to a conclusion without very much evidence for it - and this matters, because it's led to having a number of uncomfortable feelings and behaving in a way that makes you feel worse.If you go home feeling depressed, you'll probably brood on what has happened and feel worse. If you get in touch with the other person, there's a good chance you'll feel better about yourself. If you avoid the other person, you won't be able to correct any misunderstandings about what they think of you - and you will probably feel worse. This 'vicious circle' can make you feel worse. It can even create new situations that make you feel worse. You can start to believe quite unrealistic (and unpleasant) things about yourself. This happens because, when we are distressed, we are more likely to jump to conclusions and to interpret things in extreme and unhelpful ways. 


At Solihull CBT we can help you to break this vicious circle of altered thinking, feelings and behaviour. When you see the parts of the sequence clearly, you can change them - and so change the way you feel. Solihull CBT aims to get you to a point where you can 'do it yourself', and work out your own ways of tackling these problems.

We cover Birmingham and the West Midlands plus Warwickshire and surrounding counties.