What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

People seeking therapy or counseling are faced with a lot of options. One reason is that there are many different types of psychotherapies, or “talk therapies,” offered today by therapists and psychologists.

So how is one to choose?!

My hope is that this blog post can help potential clients make informed decisions about their mental health care by providing information and education about one type of psychotherapy-  cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT.

Below are 10 important facts about CBT:

1.     Cognitive behavioral therapy is effective. Specifically, there is an abundance of research indicating that CBT is recommended over other types of talk therapies for a number of mental health concerns (depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, etc.). In addition, CBT clinicians use standardized assessment of symptoms throughout therapy to track your progress and ensure treatment is as effective as possible.

2.     Proficient CBT therapists undergo extensive training. This means that providers who are truly CBT experts have attended numerous trainings and workshops on CBT and are rostered as expert CBT providers by nationally recognized and accredited organizations. Look at clinician credentials to determine if someone is a proficient CBT provider.

3.     CBT focuses on the impact of thoughts and behaviors on feelings. How we think and behave has a huge impact on how we feel from day-to-day. In CBT, you will learn how certain patterns of thinking and how self-defeating behaviors may be fueling the difficulties you are having. In CBT, you will also learn ways to change these thoughts and behaviors in order to drive changes in how you feel.

4.     CBT is transparent. When you work with a trained CBT therapist, your clinician will share with you their impressions and conceptualization of what your difficulties are, what is maintaining these problems and will describe options for treatment to help you resolve those challenges.

5.     CBT is collaborative. In CBT, you will be on a team with your therapist. You will come up with session agendas together and will work collaboratively to determine goals for therapy. You will be involved in every part of the therapy decision-making process including what practice assignments to complete each week.

6.     CBT is brief and efficient. A typical course of CBT generally lasts between 6-25 sessions. Sessions are structured and may last between 45-90 minutes each.

7.     CBT is active. In CBT, there is time spent in the therapy room, but often there is also session time spent outside of the therapy room. In addition, there are exercises you will be encouraged to do between sessions to help you confront fears and create the changes you want in your life.

8.     CBT is empowering. CBT fosters independence and empowers clients by teaching them to become their own therapists! By the end of treatment, you will have the concrete tools you need to continue working on any potential challenges that you may face in life.

9.     CBT can treat more severe disorders. There is a lot of research that CBT works well for both milder mental health concerns (general stress, life transitions) as well as more impairing difficulties like Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, Schizophrenia-Spectrum Disorders, Eating Disorders, OCD and PTSD.

10.  CBT treats the whole person. While CBT treats debilitating symptoms, CBT clinicians also take into account the upbringing, context, strengths, and culture of each individual in order to tailor the treatment to each person.


If you live or work in Boca Raton or in the greater Palm Beach County area and are looking for an expert CBT psychologist, contact the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of the Palm Beaches at info@cbtpalmbeach.com or call us at (561) 299-0383.