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What is CBT?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment known to be effective in treating a variety of mental health concerns.  Therapy is based on the understanding that mental health issues are the result of faulty beliefs that cause flaws in a person’s understanding of the world, thinking, and actions.  For example, a person who experiences anxiety may have unhelpful beliefs about their ability to handle some situations which may lead to ‘what if’ thoughts (eg. What if they don’t like me? What if I mess up? What if I’m late? What if I embarrass myself?) and this can affect their behaviour (eg. they avoid situations that cause anxiety, they over-prepare or become so focused on the problem to the point that they miss out on other activities, they use food or alcohol/drugs for comfort).

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT aims to reduce psychological distress by making changes to flawed thinking patterns and actions.  As you become more aware of your flawed thinking patterns, CBT will teach you strategies to help reduce distress and achieve the changes you want.  

What can CBT treat?

CBT is a broad and flexible treatment that is effective in treating many mental health concerns including:


  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Stress

  • Panic Attacks

  • Trauma

  • OCD

  • Substance Use/Addiction

  • Phobias

  • Eating Disorders

  • Poor Self-Esteem

How can CBT help me?

You and your therapist will work together to identify the faulty beliefs and thoughts that contribute to your mental health concerns.  CBT will then help you learn and practice strategies to challenge and change those beliefs and thoughts.  CBT will also help you address concerning behaviours.


The CBT skills you learn can be used outside therapy.

What can I expect from CBT?

When you come to therapy, your therapist will talk with you about the risks and benefits of therapy and ask what concerns you are wanting to address.  They will ask about your history and current life.  They will use this information to help plan ways to reduce distress.  Therapy will include homework to help you practice strategies learned in session.  In the following session, you and your therapist will discuss what worked and what did not work and make appropriate changes.  By doing this you will find strategies that work for you.  Moving forward, you will be able to identify and evaluate strategies to use in future distressing situations.

What are the challenges of CBT?

Here are some of the things that people have difficulty with in CBT:

  • Developing awareness of flawed thoughts and actions

  • Completing homework between sessions

  • Focusing on thoughts rather than emotions

  • CBT is problem-focused

What do clients like about CBT?

Here are some of the things that people like about CBT:

  • Learning helpful skills

  • Change can be achieved quickly by using strategies learned in session and completing between-session work

  • You can begin to feel empowered and in control again

  • Increased insight and self-awareness

  • Improve mood, self-confidence, and motivation

  • A better understanding of why you’re distressed

  • A therapy that has been shown to work

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