Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Children

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Children

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Children is a type of talking therapy that can help you manage mental health problems by changing the way you think and behave.

The way we think (our cognitions) impacts the way we feel. How we feel can impact our behaviour (the actions we take). Thinking and feeling negatively can lead us to act in a way that is unhelpful to our well-being and development.

Over time, we may form patterns of negative thinking and self-destructive behaviours. CBT offers a way to talk about your problems in a specific way to help break this pattern. You will find ways to reframe unhelpful thoughts, improving the way you feel and behave.

Kove offers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for children.

This scientifically proven therapy for anxiety and depression gives people of all ages the practical skills to improve their well-being.  Read on to learn more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT, the symptoms it treats, and how we tailor our approach for children.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT for children

CBT can help children react differently to difficult feelings which can otherwise present as physical symptoms and behaviours. Rather than avoiding people, things, or events — or hitting, shouting or arguing — they will learn to manage their feelings in a healthy way.

Children can’t express their thoughts and feelings in the way adults do. Instead, they pick up on biological processes and present these as physical symptoms. The fight or flight response, which can be triggered by anxiety, causes a release of adrenaline. This can cause symptoms like “butterflies in the stomach” or tense muscles. A child might say they have a headache, tummy ache or that their limbs hurt — this is their way of expressing how anxiety is making them feel.

Feeling this way can affect the way a child behaves. CBT breaks this pattern, allowing children to recognise how they feel and manage this in a healthy way. This can improve both their behaviour and their emotional development.

Symptoms it treats in children

CBT is recommended by NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) as a helpful therapy for children who are experiencing anxiety or depression. 

In children, these conditions can cause the following symptoms:

Refusing to go to school

Acts of defiance (like refusing to do homework)

Issues with morning or evening routines

Trouble listening to and following instructions

Trouble switching activity 

Lack of motivation to do things they used to enjoy

CBT can also help treat the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in children. 

If the chemistry is right between a therapist and the family, you’ll see some positive results. These can include:

A reduction in the occurrence of symptoms

Less intense symptoms when they do occur

A sense of control over these problems

Anxiety symptoms


Feeling like something bad might happen

Trouble concentrating


Feeling on edge

Panic disorder (panic attacks) symptoms


Feeling choked


Chest pain

Shortness of breath

Sense of dread

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms


Avoidance and numbing




Angry outbursts

Difficulty sleeping

Trouble concentrating

Hyperarousal (feeling on edge)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms

Obsessions (intrusive thoughts which repeatedly enter your mind)

Distress (emotional upset caused by these obsessions)

Compulsions (repetitive actions like checking, counting or hand washing)

Why choose Kove for CBT?

We’re an experienced private child psychologist and therapist team. There are several reasons to choose Kove over other practitioners offering CBT in London.  Here’s why you, as a parent, might choose Kove for child CBT.


Know your child is struggling and needs someone to be on their side
Know your child needs a safe, confidential, secure space to address their difficulties 
Want to empower your child with strategies to manage their ups and downs
Want space yourself to discuss how you are managing your child’s behaviour 
Need strategies to help you de-escalate difficult situations
We include parents in the process, checking with children what they feel comfortable sharing, so you get feedback to help you feel more in control. 


Book a Consultation

Get in touch with us today to discuss CBT for your child. We’d love to help your child feel better.

Other Treatments

one to one therapy


Kove offers child therapy to help children and their families to overcome emotional challenges.

ACT Therapy


Read more about acceptance and commitment therapy here.  

EMDR Therapy - kove


EMDR originated as a treatment for the symptoms of PTSD, but it can also be helpful for depression and panic disorder.

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