Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780198755272

Freda McManus
160 Pages
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Apr 2022
Very Short Introductions


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  • Offers a clear overview of what Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is, where it came from, and how it is used
  • Outlines the main methods of CBT and how they might be applied to a situation
  • Describes areas that CBT has been applied to such as common mental health problems, trauma, and health related behaviours
  • Discusses likely future challenges for the continued development and application of CBT


Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological therapy. It is not a unitary approach, but instead has evolved through a range of approaches that share a common underpinning model of cognition (thought) and behaviour being important in understanding and alleviating psychological distress. While the earliest approaches focused on modifying observable behaviour, later versions emphasized cognitive processes. Most recently, the third wave approaches in CBT have moved the focus away from the content of an individual's thoughts to their relationship with their thoughts, and the processes underlying thinking.
This Very Short Introduction gives an overview of what CBT is, where it came from, what it does, and when it can be used. It explores how one of the driving forces behind CBT's success and continued adaptation has been its basis in empiricism, and analyses how it must continue to evolve to meet future challenges. Looking to the future, Freda McManus also discusses how the scale of mental health problems and relative costs of traditional therapy formats have prompted investigations into alternative formats of CBT that have the potential to reach broader audiences, globally. She also considers the challenges of scale in training the workforce required to roll out such interventions, as well as those of determining the best ways of monitoring their competence and effectiveness.


1:The behavioural origins of CBT.
2:Putting the 'C' into CBT
3:The theory behind CBT
4:The style and structure of CBT
5:CBT methods
6:Applications of CBT
7:Future directions and challenges
Further Reading

About the author: 
Freda McManus is an accredited CBT therapist, and Consultant Clinical Psychologist. She has been a Course Director and Clinical Research Fellow for the University of Oxford, and currently manages the course accreditation process for the British Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapists. McManus has worked clinically for 20 years and has a range of experience in developing and evaluating CBT interventions, as well as in training healthcare professionals to deliver such interventions. She works internationally as a trainer, supervisor, and consultant for CBT training programmes and research projects. Her books include Psychology: A Very Short Introduction (second edition, 2014), co-authored with Gillian Butler.

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