cognitive behavioural therapy

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   Cognitive Behavioural Therapy    

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (or CBT) can help you to identify and solve any difficulties you are facing in your life. In CBT, your Therapist will help you to recognise unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviour that may be holding you back. They will then introduce you to a range of techniques for you to try, which might help you to change these patterns.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is particularly helpful in helping with anxiety, panic, depression, phobias, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), low self-esteem, disturbed sleep patterns and anger.



Sessions are 50 minutes long and are usually delivered by zoom. If you need a face-to-face appointment, please let us know.

You will agree goals with your Therapist and you might be encouraged to keep notes and to complete agreed homework tasks. Homework might include tasks like: keeping a record or diary of certain patterns of thinking or behaving; researching information to help you make choices; practising different styles of communication; or trying out different behaviours in certain situations. You will not be asked to do anything that you do not feel ready to do.

Although CBT concentrates on the here and now, you might also be asked to discuss your past experiences in order to understand their impact on current patterns of thinking and/or behaving.

How many sessions you will need will depend on your particular circumstances, but we typically start with the expectation that you will have 6 sessions. We can review this with you as the therapy progresses.



Cognitive Behavioural Therapy costs £60 per session, unless you live in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire or Moray and are on benefits or a low income. If you live in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire or Moray and you are on benefits or a low income, Avenue can offer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at a concessionary rate. Please contact our Service Administration team for more information.

We also ask that you consider making a donation to Avenue. Avenue is a charity and we work hard to keep our fees as low as we can so that anyone who needs our support can access our services. Any donation you can make will help us to ensure that we can get help to the people who need it most. Please be aware that we can only offer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to people who live in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire or Moray.

Please be aware that we can only offer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to people who live in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire or Moray.

We are able to offer reduced cost therapy thanks to the support of a range of funders, including: National Lottery Awards for All, Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership, Aberdeen City Common Good Fund, Aberdeenshire Council, Budge Foundation, CNOOC International Community Fund, Moray Council and the Scottish Government.

If you would like more information, or would like to refer yourself or someone you know to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, please call our Service Administration team on 01224 587571, or email them at

Our online referral forms can be completed here.    Self Referral        Professional Referral  



Sophie’s Story

I started having panic attacks when I was a teenager. I had no idea what was happening to me, I thought I was going crazy and felt so alone. I didn’t talk to anyone about it but luckily, after about 3 months, they stopped. I felt pretty anxious for a while, on edge waiting for them to come back, but eventually the fear faded and I got caught up in teenage things.

At thirty-six, I’d been in a crummy relationship for three years. I was insecure, he was controlling and I was pretty miserable. I’d forgotten what it felt like to be happy. One day I was out for a coffee with a friend and suddenly felt those familiar feelings. I began to get hot, my throat was dry, I felt spaced out and kind of unreal. I couldn’t focus on what my friend was saying and the feelings kept getting stronger. I began to fidget and was finding it hard to breathe, I felt sick and thought I would pass out. I ran outside and was gasping for air. Eventually, my friend helped me calm down.

This time I knew what was happening. I’d been anxious for some time, probably since the beginning of my relationship with Peter but I hadn’t made the connection. Over the following months the panic attacks became more frequent and my confidence was dwindling. I stopped going out socially and was finding it hard to focus at work. On one occasion, I ran out of a meeting because I could feel myself starting to panic. I couldn’t control it, my body seemed to have a life of its own and I thought I was losing my mind. It was ruining my life and I had to admit I needed help. I’d read that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) was a very successful treatment for anxiety disorders so I got on the internet and found a therapist. He was amazing. He kept reassuring me that it wasn’t my fault, I wasn’t going crazy and I could learn to calm my over-active stress response.

I was asked to keep a thought record so I could learn to identify any patterns. I soon learned that many of my thoughts were negative and fearful, seeing things in black and white. I also fretted about what others thought about me, making me even more anxious. He helped me to understand the impact my thinking had on my feelings. It was a real eye opener, I never realised I had such a critical voice in my head.

My therapist taught me some relaxation techniques and how to practice self-compassion. He explained that harsh, self-criticism can activate our stress response so it’s important to focus on the positive things about ourselves. It’s been about a year since I had my last panic attack and I feel I’ve got my life back. I found the confidence to end my relationship with Peter and I’m enjoying work again. I still use the techniques I learned, particularly if I have an event coming up that’s a bit scary. CBT helped me to take back the control I thought I’d lost and I’d recommend it to anyone.