Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a classic talk therapy technique that helps increase awareness of negative thinking in order to better handle challenging situations. In addition to helping those with mental health disorders (such as anxiety or depression), CBT is also helpful for anyone who is looking to learn how to manage stressful situations. Therapists that use CBT often have a structured program, which involves a set number of sessions. CBT is frequently paired with other treatments, such as medication, when necessary. Think this approach may be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s CBT experts today.

Meet the specialists


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Unlike traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, which probes childhood wounds to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior.

— Gwen Kinney, Counselor in Austin, TX

I am a certified CBT therapist through the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.

— Natalie Henry, Clinical Social Worker in Boulder, CO

I use an eclectic approach incorporating cognitive behavioral therapy and other types of CBT, like ACT, DBT and MBCBT to help clients recognize maladaptive thinking patterns and begin to use adaptive, healthy thinking strategies to manage day to day situations and life stressors.

— Cara Maksimow, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in chatham, NJ

I have utilized CBT throughout my career, and have found it to be the most beneficial approach to help my clients with a variety of presenting concerns. I am deeply rooted in CBT as my theoretical orientation.

— Kayla Renteria, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Louisville, KY

I am certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a form of CBT used for children with PTSD. I am also certified in the MAP protocol, which takes the most effective CBT skills available and modifies them to make them more kid-friendly. I find CBT is especially effective for kids struggling with anxiety, because it helps them learn skills to gradually face their fears and "talk back" to worries.

— Katie Lear, Licensed Professional Counselor in Davidson, NC

CBT is simply learning to pay attention to how you think; AKA "mindfulness". We all can tend to make "thinking mistakes". In other words, sometimes how we perceive things in a way that causes us to feel stress. There are several common "thinking mistakes". (black & white thinking, over-generalizing, catastrophizing, mindreading, "yes, but" thinking, should statements, etc,) By learning when you fall into these traps, you can begin to learn new ways of thinking about yourself and others. This, in turn, tends to help change the way we feel. It also helps us to feel more in control of our lives.

— Gordon Brewer, Counselor in Kingsport, TN

CBT is a standard practice for most mental health therapists. It is a way to look at different situations, beliefs, and behaviors in new, less painful ways. By changing our "paradigms" of thought, we create healthier, more productive ways of viewing the world and ourselves. I often combine CBT with mindfulness and other strategies to help clients find new and better ways to deal with life. It is a helpful practice a client can easily use at home as well as in the office.

— Rebecca Waterston, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Kirkland, WA

CBT is a wonderful approach that has a strong research base, showing it to be helpful with a variety of symptoms and issues. The main idea is that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected. CBT takes a look at each of these three areas to see how they are impacting our lives and works to help give you skills to create positive change.

— Audrey Atkinson, Clinical Psychologist in Davidson, NC

I use CBT to help people identify negative and cognitive distortions in thinking patterns and create new, positive and adaptive thinking strategies to better manage day to day and stressors.

— Cara Maksimow, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in chatham, NJ

The environment we grow up in greatly impacts what we believe about ourselves. Consider waking up every day believing: I'm worthy of love. I'm secure. I'm confident. I'm strong. I'm enough. Imagine the feelings that these thoughts would evoke: deep joy, happiness, contentedness. How would waking up with these feelings everyday impact your behaviors? CBT helps us to adjust core beliefs you knowingly or subconsiously have about yourself, the emotions they evoke, and the actions they cause.

— Erin Grasmeyer, Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Alamitos, CA

I believe our thoughts matter and make a significant difference in our feelings and behaviors. I incorporate CBT work when needed.

— Ashley Hilkey, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Bloomington, IN

This is my main focus in therapy and often my most used modality. I work with each client to determine their goals for therapy, then correct any errors in thinking that have led to incorrect behaviors. I emphasize the importance of how thoughts and emotions alike control behavior and to change behavior we have to go in and change the thought process that led to that behavior.

— Kelly Freeman, Counselor in Houston, TX

CBT focuses on how our thoughts affect our emotions. Identifying core beliefs and negative self talk and reframing those thoughts can reduce negative emotional responses.

— Cara Maksimow, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in chatham, NJ