The basic structure of CBT is A + B = C where A is an activating event / a trigger, B is the belief you have about that event based on past experience and C = the consequences.
CBT / A + B = C example :
A ( the activating event ) : This may be that you hear a dog bark.
B ( the beliefs you already have ) : We are born with no beliefs, opinions, views or perceptions. Once we interact we learn the opinions of parents, peers, school, society etc. We automatically start using these beliefs as a template to interpret ourselves, others and the world in general.
Because you have been bitten by a dog you have a belief that dogs bite.
C ( consequence ) : Sometimes the interpretation of these beliefs are unhelpful leading to negative consequences and damaging self-talk in response to the Activating Event. These consequences cause stress, anxiety, anger, irritability, aggression, fear, worry, frustration and so forth.
Because you have a belief that dogs bite then you fear all dogs bite and may begin an avoidance strategy. You may avoid going to the park, avoid going to friends who have a dog and so on. This avoidance may begin to affect your every day life in a way that creates anxiety and stress.
CBT can work with your anxiety and reframe your belief about dogs. Once you change your belief about dogs to something you choose which serves you better for example ‘ some dogs bite and its sensible to be respectful of the fact they are wild animals however some dogs are man’s best friend, a source of exercise and relaxation….and so on…’ Once your Belief is reframed the consequences ( your feelings, thoughts and behaviours ) will change. You will be more able to visit friends who have dogs / go to the park and enjoy a walk and generally be much more in control of your response.
Remember : feelings affect thoughts and thoughts affect behaviours