CBT is a type of therapy that can help children and young people to overcome problems with low mood and/or anxiety. Many young people struggle with mental health difficulties and there is lots of evidence and research to show that CBT helps them to feel better. This is why it's a such popular therapy - we know it works!
CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings and behaviours (what we do) are all linked together and all have an impact on each other.
When we are feeling anxious and/or low in mood, we can get stuck in a cycle of negative or unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
CBT helps us to break that cycle and helps to change our thoughts and behaviours so that we start to feel better.
General anxiety is very common in children and young people. Children might have lots and lots of worries about lots of different things which can make them feel upset, scared, nervous or angry. This then stops them from being able to do or enjoy certain things.
Panic is something lots of children and young people struggle with. Panic attacks can happen in certain feared situations or can seemingly come out of nowhere. Panic attacks can be very scary because of the intense physical feelings (like heavy breathing, increased heart rate and shaking) but the important thing to remember is that a panic attack cannot physically harm you - children/young people will always calm down eventually.
Everyone is scared of something, however this becomes a problem for children and young people when that fear stops them from being able to do/enjoy certain things. Fears and phobias are a fear of something specific like a situation, a place or an animal. When a child or young person with a fear/phobia experiences this, they feel intense symptoms of anxiety.
OCD is often associated with being extremely clean and tidy however, it is not as simple as that. Children and young people who are struggling with OCD will often experience lots of 'intrusive thoughts' which lead them to believe that something bad will happen (the 'obsession') if they don't do (or not do) things in a certain way (the 'compulsion'). This leads to feelings of anxiety and distress if they cannot carry out their compulsion.
Many children and young people struggle with low mood/depression. Everyone has days where they feel sad but children and young people struggling with low mood/depression might struggle to get much enjoyment from things most of the time and often feel sad, down, unmotivated or flat. They might notice they've stopped doing things they used to enjoy and spend more time alone.
CBT can help with lots of other low mood/anxiety related mental health difficulties too and is not just used to help with those mentioned above. However, no matter what the mental health difficulty is, the underlying principles of CBT stay the same.