When you have CBT, you work with your therapist to develop ways to understand and control your own condition. This work begins with an assessment by your therapist, who makes a plan for your treatment. Then you proceed to explore and understand your thoughts and behaviour in more detail. Finally, your therapist teaches you ways to be in charge of your own thoughts and behaviour so as to reduce the impact of your condition on your life.
From an early stage in your course of therapy, your CBT therapist assigns you tasks to perform between sessions. These tasks are an important part of the treatment. For most patients, improvements happen between therapy sessions.
Your CBT therapist usually spends some time with you understanding events in the past that might have contributed to your present condition, but this is not the main focus of the work. The main focus is to allow you to have a normal life and be in charge of your own future.
Describing CBT in a few words like this might make it seem simple. But the techniques of CBT are powerful. They can have dramatic results in only a matter of weeks.
To read a more detailed description of the stages of CBT treatment, see: The four stages of CBT