london cognitive therapy centre

what is cbt

Cognitive behaviour therapy, or CBT, is designed to help with a range of emotional problems. It is based on the premise that events do not result in distress in and of themselves, but it is the meaning that events have for us that results in emotional difficulties. For example, imagine walking down the street where you notice a friend that you haven't seen for a while who doesn't say hello. The meaning of this event, or the thoughts that go through your mind, can make a difference to how you might feel in this situation. For example, if you think that the friend ignored you, you might feel annoyed or low in mood. But if you think that this friend didn't say hi because he or she didn't see you, your feelings might be different. The interesting point to note is that how you feel may depend on what you first think in this situation, yet this may not be correct.

Early life events, as well as more recent ones, can affect how we think of ourselves, others and the world. For example, life experiences involving actual or anticipated harm can result in a heightened sense of threat and that can lead to more frequent and heightened anxiety. Some who are more prone to perceive failure and rejection can be more susceptible to depression. These ways of thinking, beliefs and expectations that are borne out of one's past experiences can become established and at times resistant to change. Ways of thinking formed in days gone by can remain dominant even though the circumstances that led to its formation changed long ago. Nevertheless, these thoughts that have become automatic in light of past experience, can continue to elicit powerful emotions.

At times we can behave in ways that are designed to help manage a difficult situation. However this way of coping can inadvertently maintain thoughts that underlie emotional difficulties. For example, when seeing a friend who doesn't say hello we can avoid reaching out to him or her. In this case it is possible that avoiding contact with this person may maintain the assumption that they ignored you.

The aim of CBT is to identify unhelpful and persistent thoughts, sometimes called negative automatic thoughts that underlie distress and unhelpful behaviours that inadvertently keep it going. The process of therapy involves a collaborative process of guided discovery, whereby these thoughts can be identified and re-examined. CBT, is short-term and an effective form of therapy which can help to alleviate a range of emotional difficulties including anxiety disorders, depression, personality difficulties, eating disorders etc. It is recommended by the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) as treatment of choice for many of these difficulties.


evidence-based talking therapy

We are experienced clinical psychologists, registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). We are accredited cognitive behaviour therapists with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

We offer evidence-based cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for depression, a wide range of anxiety disorders such as panic, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), low self-esteem, interpersonal difficulties and others. We offer effective treatment in an empathic and confidential environment

We are recognised by Bupa, AXA PPP, Pru Health, Aviva, Vitality and WPA.


CBT supervision is available for individuals clincians or groups, with basic or advanced knowledge of CBT. We can also provide supervision by phone and by Skype, if required.

our therapists


Dr Ofer Barr

Clinical Psychologist, Cognitive Behaviour Therapist and EMDR Therapist

Dr. Ofer Barr has 21 years experience in the NHS and private practice, workings with adults with depression, anxiety disorders, such as OCD, agoraphobia, panic, aggoraphobia, social phobia, health anxiety and PTSD as well as personality and relationship difficulties. Dr Barr trained as a clinical psychologist at Canterbury Christ Church University. He completed his specialist training as a cognitive behaviour therapist at Oxford University. As a bilingual therapist, he is able to offer therapy in both English and Hebrew.


Ms Anna Maria Smit

Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Cognitive Behaviour Therapist

Ms Anna-Maria Smit has many years experience working within mental health services with more than 12 years experience in the NHS. She is registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC), the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapists (BABCP), and Chartered with the British Psychology Society (BPS). Ms Smit has experience working across the lifespan, with speciality in Adult Mental Health. She has particular interest in working with anxiety, including OCD, and also working with PTSD and complex trauma. She is also trained in Behavioural Couples Therapy.