Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies


Woman sitting at a tableCognitive therapy deals with thoughts and perceptions, and how these can affect feelings and behaviour.

Behavioural therapy focuses on an individual's learnt, or conditioned, behaviour and how this can be changed. 

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) combines cognitive and behavioural therapies.


Some cognitive and behavioural programmes may help some high-functioning individuals on the autism spectrum over the age of eight deal with anxiety – provided those programmes have been modified to meet the needs of those autistic individuals. Determining the benefits of other forms of cognitive and behavioural therapies is not currently possible. We must wait for further research of sufficiently high quality to be completed

Risks and Safety

We have not identified any risks associated with cognitive and behavioural therapies other than those found in other psychological therapies.

Specific Forms of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (also known as CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Modification or CBM)  is a type of psychological intervention used to change how people think and behave.

CBT is based on the idea that how we think, how we feel, and how we act, affect each other. For example, a person who thinks that an increased heart rate is the sign of a heart attack is more likely to panic than a person who thinks that it is just a normal variation in heart rate.

CBT uses a variety of techniques to help people become more aware of how they think, so that they can change how they think and therefore how they behave.

More Information

Please see: 

Mindfulness Training

Mindfulness is a mind-body based approach that helps people change the way they think and feel about their experiences, especially stressful experiences. 

Mindfulness training (also known as mindfulness exercises, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy or MBCT) is a type of psychological intervention used to teach people how to pay attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. 

Mindfulness training is designed to help people become more aware of their thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, they  are better able to manage them.

More Information

Please see Publications on Mindfulness

Behavioural Therapy

Please see the section on Behavioural Interventions for more information about behavioural interventions based on the principles of applied behaviour analysis.  

Related Pages

27 May 2022