How to Do your own CBT Therapy

Simply Psych EDU


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that helps individuals identify and challenge negative or irrational thought patterns, beliefs, and behaviors. By changing the way we think and behave, we can change how we feel about ourselves and the people around us. Therefore, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches us new and more realistic ways of thinking to manifest a more realistic, positive, and productive mind space. 

Automatic Thoughts

Automatic thoughts are thoughts that “pop up” in response to a situation or event. Many times we don’t even recognize them. They happen automatically. Automatic thoughts stem from core beliefs about ourselves and the world.

For example, if our core belief is “I’m unlikeable” then we might automatically assume that others don’t like us even if there is little evidence to support that belief.

Imagine Sally and Dave go on a first date. Sally might have the core belief that she is unlikeable. When Dave shows up late to the date due to traffic, Sally might automatically interpret Dave’s tardiness to mean he doesn’t like her.  She might become anxious and upset based upon a completely false belief (i.e., Dave was late because he really was stuck in traffic).  

The core belief “I’m unlikeable” will drive the types of thoughts Sally has in various situations.


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