Little is known about the causes of depression and anxiety, and each person’s circumstances and experiences are different and complex. As a result, we are often unsure why a person is experiencing problems. It has been convincingly demonstrated that simply understanding why someone has problems will not help a lot. To overcome problems, people must move from understanding to action, by challenging and changing their thoughts, assumptions, beliefs, and behaviours.
Fortunately, although we know less than we would like to about the causes of anxiety and depression, we do know what works to help people get better and stay well. Thus, rather than looking back, the focus of CBT is on solving problems in the present and looking forward.