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Skip to 0 minutes and 17 secondsWelcome back to this, our final session on cognitive behaviour therapy. Today we're going to focus on the role that cognitions or thoughts play in maintaining keeping going anxiety and depression. So what do these thoughts look like? Why do they keep anxiety and depression going? And more importantly, how can we use CBT to help people move on from those thoughts and get rid of them? So we're going to focus on a specific technique we use in cognitive behaviour therapy which is called behavioural experiments. And we're going to talk to some therapists and some clients about using behavioural experiments, and they'll tell us about their experience using them in therapy and what the outcomes were for them.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 secondsFinally, because this is our last session, we'll spend a little bit of time reviewing the material we've looked at over the last five sessions. We'll give you a chance to reflect on what you've learned, and importantly, we'll give you an idea about where you can go to find out more if you want to learn more about cognitive behaviour therapy.

Welcome to Week 5

Hello and welcome back to the fifth and final week of this online course: Understanding Anxiety, Depression and CBT.

During the last week, we spent some time focusing on specific patterns of behaviour which can often be observed in people with depression and anxiety, and we explored how these can result in vicious cycles which are difficult to break and which maintain the associated difficulties. We also discovered how these can be effectively addressed via CBT using Behavioural Activation (a technique which helps those who have withdrawn from ‘normal’ activities as a result of their depression to re-engage with life) and graded exposure (a technique which helps those who avoid feared stimuli to face their fears in a graded and structured fashion).

During this week, we’re moving the focus from unhelpful behaviours to the types of unhelpful thoughts and thinking patterns which operate in anxiety and depression.

We’ll start the session by identifying and illustrating some of these unhelpful thoughts and thinking patterns, and how these can give rise to vicious cycles which maintain difficulties around anxiety and depression. We’ll note how these thinking patterns or styles are often difficult to change without help and will spend some time thinking about how such thoughts can be addressed within CBT via cognitive restructuring and behavioural experiments.

We’ll describe what cognitive restructuring and behavioural experiments are, and examine why and how we use them to address unhelpful thinking. We’ll see what cognitive restructuring and behavioural experiments look like in practice (including a simulated therapy session) and we’ll hear from Ailsa again, a patient who has used behavioural experiments in CBT to address her unhelpful thinking. We’ll also examine research about the effectiveness of cognitive approaches to anxiety and depression. We’ll also consider the special case of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and explore why established techniques such as cognitive restructuring may not be appropriate for this condition. We’ll consider worry, in the context of GAD, and will outline some of the cognitive approaches which have shown to be effective in the treatment of GAD.

Finally, we’ll look back over the last five weeks to review what we have covered during the course of this programme, and will highlight the main learning points of the course. We’ll also provide further self-help resources to help individuals experiencing anxiety and depression.


Once again, the Educators and Mentors will be on hand to help support the discussions. They’ll answer questions where they can but won’t be able to respond to everyone, and they’ll not be able to offer individual advice on mental health difficulties. You can follow the team by clicking on their names to visit their profile page, then clicking the ‘Follow’ button. Any comments made will appear in your activity feed on your profile, which you can filter by ‘Following’.

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This video is from the free online course:

Understanding Anxiety, Depression and CBT

University of Reading

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