Paul McCarthy

Paul McCarthy

Fully accredited

CBT Therapist with BABCP & CBTI

BA(Hons) Counselling
Dips Addiction,
Counselling & Stress Management Instruction

call +353868045221

dm @corkcbt

Contact Me


CBT & Stress including Exam Stress

I am conscious that stress is a major issue in contemporary Irish life.  Many of us live very stressful lives. The CBT model of stress focuses on the centrality of how our unhelpful ways of viewing and behaving in a situation maintains our stress levels.

  • Individuals possess a unique set of personal attributes, needs, temperaments, beliefs, assumptions (bottom line beliefs), behavioural coping strategies, physical constitutions, energy levels, intelligence, knowledge and skills (1)
  • If an individual’s personal attributes are adequate to meet the demands of the job or situation and the work environment or situation also meets the individual’s needs, then the individual experiences satisfaction. Such an individual will experience a sense of coping and positive mental health, with low stress levels. 
  • Conversely for the individual who does not have the required personal attributes or coping resources to meet the demands of the job or situation, or if the job or situation does not meet the needs of the individual, then stress is a likely consequence (1). The old adage of “one man’s meat is another man’s poison” epitomises the aforementioned model as two individuals doing the exact same task could appraise and experience the task in opposite ways. 

CBT & StressThere are two distinct components of stress namely Stressors and Strains

Stressors: which are environmental characteristics or thoughts, which cause adverse reaction in individuals

Strains: which is individual’s adverse reaction to the stressor. 

However although our stressors may not change what is essential is that we need to learn how to manage our stress, because if we do no then the strain on us will accumulate with potential negative health consequences.


Key skills that that we will cover in CBT Stress Management will include:

  • Assertiveness Training (How to say No Politely)
  • An array of Calm Breathing and Relaxation Exercises
  • Individual and Realistic Weekly Exercise Plan
  • How to engage in Healthy Self Care
  • How to successfully access alternative ways of thinking about certain situations that are causing you stress
  • If you suffer from unhealthy perfectionism then I will teach you to that it can be acceptable to accomplish less and accomplish it less perfectly.


1 (Bamber 2006).