What is Pause Button Therapy ?

"It is a proven unique interactive psychological technique that can rapidly effect change in people's lives"  PBT, also known as TactileCBT is a modified version of CBT. Although it draws heavily on CBT structure and strategy, it also deviates significantly from the traditional CBT approach. The therapy originated in the clinical work of Martin and Marion Shirran at their Elite Clinic in Spain, The approach is versatile, is easy to use, and produces fast and effective results.

PBT is a new therapy based on an idea so simple that both adults and young children can understand and use it almost immediately. It has a broad diversity of applications. If someone knows how to use a remote control, they know how to press pause, fast-forward, rewind, and ultimately, play. PBT is an interactive tool. Unlike traditional Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, PBT is Tactile rather than Passive.


In UK primary school trials, children proved they were able to not only grasp the concept, but were able to incorporate it positively into their lives after just a few hours' tuition. Yet PBT equally shows beneficial results when being used to help treat a wide range of other behaviour issues, from road rage to relationship problems, from OCD to bulimia. PBT has also been successfully used to treat obesity and addictions, and a number of public and commercial applications have also been identified.


This approach makes sense to everyone, from teachers to psychologists to parents and students. It is wonderfully simple, but simply effective. I am finding it to be a great tool for my work.
Stelios N. Georgiou Professor of Educational Psychology University of Cyprus


PBT uses the idea of the Pause, Rewind, Fast Forward and Play buttons on remote control devices, to help people give themselves more thinking time when faced with decisions. It teaches them how to ensure they make the best possible use of that time to weigh up the potential consequences of their actions. This allows them to live more successfully in the present. The primary strength of Pause Button Therapy is the fact that it arose from clinical need and was developed and refined in the context of clinical practice.


"The Pause Button Therapy Book clearly describes a technique that can be employed to very good effect in a range of therapies. I recommend its’ use" Windy Dryden PhD Professor of Psychotherapeutic Studies Goldsmiths University of London.


Developing an emotional connection to past, present and future is central to TactileCBT and it underpins much of the therapeutic endeavour. The process begins in the early stages of therapy, when the client explores their problems, formulates a series of treatment goals and begins to understand their own time perspective. This process starts in the therapy room and transfers neatly into the real world through the use of the pause button technique.

Using the pause button technique, the client constructs in their mind a handful of different scenarios, based on memories of past events and imagined possible future events. It is like the movies: the client is both the writer and the star actor, playing a central role in each and every scene. Each one is a detailed snapshot of their life: scenes of their past, based on the significant events that brought them to today, and scenes of their future, each representing a different potential choice and outcome. Within this movie the client can rewind and fast forward, exploring each scene in detail. They can live through each scene; they can feel it, smell it, hear it, see it. They can experience their potential future choices and actions before they have even happened.

It is this experiential quality of TactileCBT that sets it apart from other approaches and makes it so effective. For the client, the experience is emotional, connected and meaningful; it enhances motivation and commitment to therapy. In their minds, a myriad of processes are occurring. Their thoughts are triggering emotional and physical responses, deepening their mental processing and forging a set of newly interlinked neural connections. These connections link memories of old events, of past decisions and outcomes, good and bad, with the newly formed memories of future events, positive and negative, that have yet to come about. When the client reflects on their problem behaviour, a series of interlinked thoughts and feelings will come flooding back, instantly reconnecting them with their past, present and future.


PBT has been proven to be a unique psychological technique to effect change. It is an interactive tool, it is tactile rather than passive. It has been shown to support other therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness-based interventions and NLP.

PBT Cards and Wristbands

Following the development it quickly became apparent that Pause Button Therapy was a remarkable and innovative approach. Its greatest strength was the simplicity with which it so neatly encapsulated several of the CBT-based strategies. In one single technique it captured problem-solving skills, behavioural experiments, stop and think strategies, and the identification and challenge of negative thoughts.

It refined and simplified the CBT-based techniques, at the same time as adding the new and effective dimension of mental time travel. Pause Button Therapy also exhibited a number of benefits, including: easy to learn and use; versatile and adaptable; fast and effective; applicable across a wide range of treatment contexts; suitable for use with most clients, including children; and more.


"The time when individuals could rely on others to overcome their problems for them is long past. Current trends are moving away from dependency on institutions and towards more personal autonomy. Everyone needs to be able to make responsible decisions regarding their behaviour and take control of their own lives". Dr. Theano V Kalavana.


Global interest amongst professionals

Along with the Gastric Mind Band treatment, PBT has achieved a high level of global publicity and interest. Since its development it has featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles and has been the focus of discussion articles in professional and academic publications. Much of this media interest has been based on case studies in the treatment of overweight and obesity, where PBT has been found to be highly effective.

In 2012, PBT was the subject of a paper presented at the First International Conference on Time Perspective, at Coimbra University in Portugal. The paper sparked considerable discussion amongst eminent psychologists and other professionals in the field of Time Perspective, including the keynote speaker, Professor Philip Zimbardo (professor emeritus at Stanford University) and co-author of The Time Paradox. Professor Zimbardo expressed an interest in the concept of PBT and the clinical work carried out by the Shirrans using the therapy and later offered to write the foreword for the second edition of their book Pause Button Therapy, published globally by Hay House. Professor Zimbardo remains a keen and interested follower of the theoretical and practical developments in PBT. In 2014 Martin and Marion Shirran along with Dr Sarah Clarke were invited to to the Second Time Perspective Conference at Warsaw University. At the conference they present a symposium on PBT, in particular around the initial first trial results when used in the field of weight loss.


The book Pause Button Therapy, written by the Shirran's, published by Hay House, was written as a 'Self Help' tool for those that desired to introduce change into their lives. Readers are invited to purchase the Pause Button Therapy cards and Wrist Bands from this web site. In addition readers can purchase a PDF version of the Client Work book to further assist in instigating their desired changes. Visit the Shop Page.

During 2017 a PBT Therapist Directory will be incorporated into this web site to assist those wishing to obtain a deeper understanding of the disciplines of PBT.


Cognitive Behaviour Therapists and others from a range of therapeutic disciplines including medical practitioners, have for sometime inquired about dedicated training around the new therapy. To offer a solution to this issue we are now able to provide the Pause Button Therapy training manual, which is supplied with a multi print version of the Client Work Book.

The training manual is offered at the level of continuing professional development. It is not therefore designed to be a comprehensive training program in CBT and obviously does not qualify readers to practice as therapists. Rather, it offers introductory training in a therapeutic approach that will supplement and extend existing therapeutic qualifications and skills.


Pause Button Therapy/TactileCBT is for anyone who’s ever made a mistake in their life and never wants to make one again. It's for anyone who wants to make a change.


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permanent weight lossIf you require any additional information around Pause Button Therapy and Tactile CBT. Further information regarding the PBT Cards and Wrist Bands, Work Books or the new Therapists Training Manual. Then , email us today using the contact form and we will be pleased to answer any outstanding questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you soon and maybe meeting you and helping you change your life or of course assisting you to help others.