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

The early messages we received from our pastors/teachers/parents/culture defined our beliefs about ourselves and the world. Our beliefs guide our thoughts. Our thoughts define how we filter the world. The problem is, most of us received messages about ourselves that simply were not true. Cognitive Behavior Therapy focuses on those underlying beliefs that no longer serve us are likely not even true. It can help create more rational and affirming beliefs through which we filter the world.

— Dillon Welliver, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Tallahassee, FL

Simplified, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy considers how our thoughts, feelings, and actions are connected. As we grow our understanding around this, we increase our understanding around the patterns in our lives that we're stuck in, and what needs to change to move forward. I have specialized training in CBT and have also trained in Trauma Focused CBT. Some clients enjoy "traditional" CBT with assigned homework and tasks, while others prefer just using the framework. Either works for me!

— Lacy Alana, Counselor in , TX

Lived experience (especially traumatic events) impacts how we think about ourselves, the world, who we trust, how we feel, and how we act. Cognitive-behavioral therapy addresses the challenges in our thinking - based on these lived experiences - so that we can ultimately regain a sense that we are in control of our feelings, and that our actions align with our personal strengths, values, hopes, goals, and are authentic to us as individuals.

— Jen Warner, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA

I use various methods, including worksheets, meditation exercises, journaling, walk and talk technique, homework as therapeutic interventions for my clients. Since every client is different, we will come up with a plan together on how to best serve your needs and get the results you want.

— Jennifer Miners, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Santa Barbara, CA

If CBT is the right approach for you we will explore, how what we think, effects how we feel which effects how we behave. Together, we will explore how this technique can assist in identifying the ways in which our thoughts may be holding us back!

— Matthew Rosenkilde, Counselor in Mesa, AZ

I have completed numerous training in CBT and have been able to effectively apply it to help people manage phobias, anxiety, depression, trauma, and complex relationships.

— Cassie McCarthy, Clinical Social Worker

As simple as it may sound, CBT is tried and true because it really helps us take responsibility and accountability for our own actions. Once we realize that out thoughts (cognitions), feelings (emotions) and actions (behaviors) are linked, we can create healthier mindsets, respond rather than react to our surroundings, and behave in ways that are beneficial rather than detrimental.

— Sky Ross, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

I completed a 9-month internship at St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute, where I worked in their Intensive Outpatient Program for OCD and Anxiety-Related Disorders. In this role I completed training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure and Response Prevention, which is a powerful-evidence-based therapy for OCD, anxiety, and more.

— Noelle Chandler, Mental Health Counselor in Creve Coeur, MO

I have a background in behavior techniques through my work in schools. I am becoming trained in the use of CBT-E for eating disorders and have some training in CBT through my graduate program, books, research readings, and online courses as well as Mindfulness-based CBT. Supervision experiences often guided me in the use of CBT.

— Lucinda Wurtz, Counselor in Spokane, WA

I started my career 12 years ago using strictly client centered/person centered and CBT. I have since added to my list of theoretical orientations however, CBT remains evidenced based and structured in a way that is helpful for many types of issues. It is a goal oriented and short term approach. It is an orientation that is easily used concurrently with others such as DBT or EMDR which makes it extremely versatile and effective.

— ShannonElaine John, Counselor in Fort Morgan, CO

I have used CBT extensively as a behavioral health counselor. CBT supports direct and solutions-focused treatment, and I have found that this helps clients progress while improving their self-esteem and overall well-being. CBT allows a focus on the actions and thoughts that can move us forward while enabling a discussion of past life events that may be holding us back today. Ready to have your mind productively support you versus sucking all your physical energy? Please call me.

— Rice Pierce, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Phoenix, AZ

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people's difficulties, and so change the way they feel. CBT requires between session activities. Originally, it was designed to treat depression, but its uses have been expanded to include treatment other mental health conditions.

— TEDDI DE BEAUVOIR, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in TEMECULA, CA

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy that focuses on modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts by questioning and uprooting negative or irrational beliefs. Considered a "solutions-oriented" form of talk therapy, CBT rests on the idea that thoughts and perceptions influence behavior. Feeling distressed, in some cases, may distort one’s perception of reality. CBT aims to identify harmful thoughts, assess whether they are an accurate depiction of reality,

— Jeremy Poling, Licensed Professional Counselor in Rockingham (Harrisonburg), VA

I have extensive training and experience using CBT.

— Katie Hisel, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Irvine, CA

I have completed several continuing education hours on CBT, including some specifically related to grief. I utilize CBT skills with most of my clients, and enjoy the impact that these strategies can have immediately in client quality of life.

— Jessica Parks, Clinical Social Worker

Our thoughts affect the way we feel & behave. We form thoughts about events that lead to feelings & actions. The way we talk to ourselves impacts how we feel & act. CBT helps you change your language to “What if it does work out”, I can do it”. Retraining your mind will lift you higher out of over-thinking, stress & worry from negative thoughts. Change starts w/ your mindset. Shift it-accept that some things are out of our control. The rest starts & ends w/ you!

— Cassie Icenogle Konnoly, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Lacey, WA

This is the main approach I use in therapy. I have an advanced certificate in Rational Emotive Behavioral Techniques (REBT) from the Ellis Institute in NYC. CBT is extremely effective for almost any issue a person is having

— Jennifer Dahl, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Orange Park, FL

CBT is based on thoughts - behaviors - feelings. In this type of therapy, the goal is to shift the behavior in order to change the subsequent feelings about the situation. Through practice and thought restructuring, the goal is for this to become habit the client can use throughout their life.

— Amanda Dutton, Licensed Professional Counselor in Stockbridge, GA

The mind is amazing and so powerful! Through the application CBT clients learn to think about their thinking and realize they are in control of their thoughts. CBT allows clients to see how their thoughts, emotions, and actions are intertwined and impact each other.

— Tamara Snyder, Licensed Professional Counselor in Round Rock, TX

Culturally and individually, I am drawn to my masters level and doctoral level training and workshops that focus on examining individual factors such as thought patterns, frequently accompanying feelings, and the resulting responses we provide to ourselves in the form of self-talk, and to others. I address the role of automated thoughts and resulting choices we make in experiencing and dealing with stress and related mental health concerns. This assists in concrete, specific coping styles.

— Lavanya Devdas, Psychologist in Doylestown, PA

CBT is at the foundation of much of my work with clients. What we think becomes the dominant force in our lives and I firmly believe that life is created from the inside out (how we view life becomes what we see). I have seen first hand, the transformation that takes place in clients' lives when they become aware of their thought/belief patterns. This awareness allows for newfound freedom to modify thought patterns and engage in new patterns that promote growth and well-being.

— Justin Less, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Burnsville, MN

The things you tell yourself day-in and day-out have a huge effect on how you experience your life. Our thoughts affect the way we feel and the way we behave, so it’s an important starting point for therapy. CBT brings awareness to negative thought patterns and behaviors that keep us stuck in anxiety or depression. It helps us create healthier mindsets, and offers practical strategies and concrete skills to overcome day-to-day challenges.

— Stacy Karp Mosher, Counselor in Portland, ME

I have an MSW from UCLA where I focused on CBT. Seeing, questioning, exploring our actions/behaviors with deeper awareness & understanding can be a window into understanding why we do what we do. We can then more clearly understand the people we have become & why & make the changes we wish to make. Our behaviors are like clues to our inner truths, that can lie below what appears on the surface even to ourselves.

— Lara Plutte, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

I am trained in TEAM CBT, which is an evidence based approach to recognizing behavior or thought patterns that do not serve you, and provides techniques and tools to address and change these behaviors.

— Suzanne Vargas, Counselor in Fremont, CA

I have worked with children, adolescents, and adults since grad school implementing CBT in a variety of settings, including a hospital, school, and private practice. I have implemented CBT when treating anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, interpersonal and eating difficulties, and several other issues. I find that when we target unhelpful thought distortions and behaviors, this improves our ability to check the facts, increase emotion regulation, and solve problems more effectively.

— Paola Granados-Radlick, Clinical Psychologist in Miami, FL