As this is a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) self-help book, our first task will be to ensure that we understand the basic components of CBT. Cognitive behavioural therapy emerged in the 1970s and can be seen as a real revolution in the behavioural and cognitive sciences. It represents a significant break from traditional psychotherapies, like the psychoanalysis of Freud or Jung. The ‘grandfather’ of CBT, Albert Ellis, was a psychoanalyst by training, but noticed that his clients were not benefitting from traditional therapeutic approaches like accessing their unconscious, but instead were achieving progress by changing the way that they saw themselves and their environment. It was then Aaron Beck who recognised that mood disorders were primarily ‘thinking disorders’. Both he and Ellis realised that psychological distress is not caused by what happens to us, but rather by how we think about and interpret our experiences. They argued that the way in which we think about ourselves, others and the world significantly impacts upon the way we feel and the way we behave. When we experience psychological distress, our thinking becomes more rigid and distorted, and our beliefs about ourselves, others and the world become increasingly fixed. Faulty thinking processes lead to negative emotions, which result in self-defeating behaviour patterns, leading to more faulty thinking and creating a vicious circle.