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The University of Southampton
Student Disability & WellbeingPart of Student Services

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies

In the UK, the NHS delivers CBT through IAPT services – this stands for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies. Each year 900,000 people access IAPTs and there is scope to expand this further.

What is CBT?

NHS: "CBT is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave."

CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle. Through CBT, you are shown how to change these negative patterns. CBT focuses on the current situation, rather than focusing on past issues.

You will be set ‘homework’ between sessions where you apply the techniques and knowledge to your thought patterns.

What can it help with?

Anxiety, depression, OCD, panic disorder, phobias, sleep problems and more.

How can I access CBT?

You can either speak to your GP or self-refer to an IAPT through their website or via telephone. You will then have an initial assessment with a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) to determine whether it is the right service for you, and what level of support you may need. 

If you can afford it, you can choose to pay for your therapy privately. The cost of private therapy sessions varies, but it's usually £40 to £100 per session.
The British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) keeps a register of all accredited therapists in the UK and The British Psychological Society (BPS) has a directory of chartered psychologists, some of whom specialise in CBT.

Further support

You may choose to directly apply for CBT with one of the local services. If this is the case, we encourage you to contact the Student Hub so that we can offer you additional support.

Steps to Wellbeing

Steps to Wellbeing is the IAPT service for Southampton and Dorset. You can self-refer to their service.


iTalk is the IAPT service which covers the majority of Hampshire, including Winchester. You can self-refer to their service.


Togetherall has a bank of online self-help courses which use some techniques used in CBT to support you with anxiety, stress, OCD, sleep, and more.

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