All About CBT for Stress, How it Works and What’s Involved

CBT for stress inner workings of the mind

CBT for Stress

CBT for Stress is a highly effective way of overcoming the symptoms and emotional distress caused by being stressed.

Stress is how we describe the feeling that we experience when we are actively coping with challenging situations, either in our personal or business lives.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was developed by Aaron Beck in the 1960’s who recognised that people’s inner-thoughts were often more significant than the things that they said out loud during therapy sessions.

He called these inner-thoughts cognition and argued that the way that people think about their experiences links directly to the emotions that they feel.

In other words our emotional experiences are the outcomes of what we think and believe rather than being caused by external events.

These ideas form the central concept of CBT which states that:

The way people think determines the way that they feel.

In the case of Stress the emotions that we feel are the direct result of what we think or believe our experiences mean.

Common symptoms of stress

Stress Symptoms

The symptoms of stress may be expressed in several different ways:

  • Physical symptoms: Stress can cause a variety of physical symptoms, including headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, chest pain, and gastrointestinal problems.

  • Emotional symptoms: Stress can also affect a person’s emotional well-being, causing symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, mood swings, depression, and feelings of overwhelm.

  • Cognitive symptoms: Stress can interfere with a person’s ability to think clearly and concentrate, leading to symptoms such as memory problems, poor judgment, and racing thoughts.

  • Behavioural symptoms: Stress can also affect a person’s behaviour, causing symptoms such as social withdrawal, restlessness, substance abuse, overeating or undereating, and procrastination.

  • Sleep disturbances: Stress can interfere with a person’s ability to sleep, causing symptoms such as insomnia or oversleeping.

  • Increased heart rate: Stress can cause the heart to beat faster, which can lead to feelings of palpitations or racing heartbeat.

  • Sweating and shaking: Stress can cause a person to sweat excessively or shake, especially in high-stress situations.

You may have some or all of these symptoms, but it is important to remember that you may feel anxious in different ways to other people because of the subjective nature of human experiences.


How does CBT for Stress work?

Normally a programme of CBT for Stress takes place over a period of 10 to 20 weeks with an hour long session once per week.

Firstly, because the way you think about your day-to-day experiences is determined by your core beliefs, the early sessions of CBT for Stress involve exploring and measuring these beliefs.

Secondly, once you are able to uncover your core beliefs, your thoughts about certain experiences will make more sense.

Thirdly, by understanding how you have made sense of your experiences in the past you can then begin to make changes to your thoughts and beliefs in order to create new, and more useful, emotional outcomes.

CBT for Stress builds upon the 5 core CBT principles developed by Aaron Beck and are used extensively in our CORE Programme.

CORE CBT for stress programme on Mac

How many sessions of CBT will I need?

Whilst this is a difficult question to be precise about, most people will be able to overcome their Stress problems in around 10 – 20 sessions.

However, because CBT for Stress is always tailored to your own individual needs and circumstances, getting the outcome that you want may sometimes require more sessions.

If you have been suffering Stress problems for many years then in all likelihood, you can reasonably expect to take a bit longer to get where you want to be.

Our CBT for Stress programme is based on 12 sessions delivered over 12 weeks and uses an online learning platform for you to develop greater self-awareness and knowledge in the days between sessions.

Free initial consultations for cbt for stress

Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.

If you’d like to find out more about CBT for stress or recovering from any of your mental health problems then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular issues and the different types of mental health counselling we offer (including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – CBT) without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.

Paul Lee BSc. MSc. Psych.

Psychologist Paul Lee in Clinic

You can contact Paul by e-mail on:

Tel: 07434 776125

Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?

Then why not see if you can solve your stress problems using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.


Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before doing everything they can to overcome their problems.

Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.

Counselling Locations

We offer cbt for stress related problems for people living in:

  • Wombourne
  • Wolverhampton
  • West Midlands
  • Shropshire
  • South Staffordshire
  • Telford
  • Shrewsbury

You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.