Cognitive Behavioural Therapy


We are trying to balance the more reactive and defensive emotional mind with the sometimes opinionated and judgemental rational mind.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way. It emerged during the 1960s and originated in the work of psychiatrist Aaron Beck who noted that certain types of thinking (negative automatic thoughts) contributed to emotional problems and unnecessary distress.

Around the same time, Albert Ellis began to focus on the role thoughts and beliefs in causing psychological problems. He argued that people often upset themselves by thinking irrationally and that many of these psychological problems could be resolved by teaching people to think in a more rational way.

In a practical sense, we are trying to balance the more reactive and defensive emotional mind with the sometimes opinionated and judgemental rational mind, to find the stability of the wise mind which is more insightful, truth-focused, objective, reflective and aware.

The psychologist and client work together, collaboratively, to develop an understanding of the problem and to help the client learn to:

  • Recognise distortions in thinking that are creating problems, and then to re-evaluate them in light of reality
  • Develop a greater sense of confidence is one’s own abilities
  • Develop greater self-awareness
  • Take responsibility for one’s life and actions and lose the victim mindset

Some of the core assumptions of CBT, according to Beck:

  • People are processors of experience rather than passive victims of circumstance
  • People are not broken entities who need to be fixed, they just need to be understood
  • If people learn unhelpful ways of thinking, they can also unlearn them
  • Every person is solely responsible for their thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviours
  • We can’t control the thoughts entering our mind, but we can choose to act on them or not
  • All people have the ability to choose a new set of habits, thought patterns and behaviours
  • The meaning of our communications is determined by other people, not by us

The ABC model explains why we feel what we feel, and why we can behave in a certain way sometimes. This can be very empowering to people who feel at a loss to explain some occasionally erratic and destructive behaviour.

  • A – Activating Event or trigger
  • B – Beliefs, the sometimes imperceptible thoughts that occur when the activating event happens
  • C – Consequences, how you feel and behave when you have those beliefs

People or words (A) do not cause unhappiness (C) but rather how we interpret and react to them does. Our core beliefs (B) generate this reaction and while we cannot control the activating event, we can improve how we react to it. Our beliefs are just assumptions and can be a noose around our necks so we have to get good at analysing and critiquing them.


  Laurent is kind, supportive and understanding. I immediately felt completely safe. He has an uncanny knack for knowing what to say at the right time, and has an impressive toolkit whatever the moment. I was really impressed at how quickly I saw improvements.  
  So easy to talk to, like talking to a friend – only a friend who has no agenda, doesn’t judge, and clearly only has my best interest at heart. I was in a real rut and in what seemed a blink of an eye felt loads better. Laurent is very skilled, and a lovely man.  
  Genuine, kind, calm, compassionate, empathetic and very knowledgeable. You can see he has a wide range of skills, he always manages to find the right way to make everything clearer.  
  By the end of the sessions, I felt unburdened and ready to take on the challenges ahead of me. I particularly liked that Laurent encouraged me to think about what I was doing for myself – having time for my own personal nourishment. I felt the sessions re-balanced me. He made me feel secure through his calm demeanour, and provided warmth and openness throughout.  
  I want to say thank you so much for being so understanding and supportive throughout this amazing journey. I came away from our sessions with a much more positive image of myself, and feel I have more clarity on the unresolved issues that have given me extreme anxiety for much of my life, and that I now have some tools I can use to try to deal with them.