Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive-behaviour therapy is based on the concept that changing negative thinking patterns and self-defeating behaviours can have a powerful effect on a person’s emotions. CBT is a structured therapy that serves to examine all elements that maintain a problem.  Such elements include one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.  It requires a collaborative partnership between the client and the therapist.

The Evidence

Treatment Process

In order to establish an effective treatment plan, the client will be asked to provide a detailed account of their symptoms and any events that may be associated with their symptoms.  The client will also be asked to complete a series of forms that will help the therapist assess the current state that the client is in.  The therapist and client will discuss mutual expectations of the therapy process, as well as identify the desired outcome.  In order for the treatment to be effective and sustainable, it is imperative that the client play an active role in this process.  For this reason, clients are often asked to practice specific techniques between sessions.  Progress toward achieving goals will be monitored throughout the course of treatment.

The Role of a CBT Therapist

CBT therapists help clients develop coping skills that enable them to be more in control of their thoughts and their actions. It is a common tendency for those suffering from anxiety to amplify the frightening aspects of situations. Depression often distorts a person’s view of themselves, the world around them, and their future. A CBT therapist can help clients gain a more balanced perspective that will reduce their emotional distress.  CBT therapists can also help clients overcome avoidance by creating a safe environment for them to gradually overcome obstacles and live a more fulfilling life.


DeRubeis, R. J., Hollon, S. D., Amsterdam, J. D., Shelton, R. C., Young, P. R., Salomon, R. M., et al. (2005). Cognitive therapy vs medications in the treatment of moderate to severe depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 409-416.

Tolin, D. F. (2010). Is cognitive-behavioral therapy more effective than other therapies? A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 710-720.

Butler, A. C., Chapman, J. E., Forman, E. M., & Beck, A. T. (2006). The empirical status of cognitive-behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Clinical Psychology Review, 26, 17-31.

Hollon, S. D., Stewart, M. O., & Strunk, D. 2006. Enduring effects for cognitive behavior therapy in the treatment of depression and anxiety. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 285-315.

Hollon, S. D., DeRubeis, R. J., Evans, M. D., Wiemer, M. J., Garvey, M. J., Grove, W. M., et al. (1992). Cognitive therapy and pharmacotherapy for depression: Singly and in combination. Archives of General Psychiatry, 49, 774-781.

Haby, M. M., Donnelly, M., Corry, J.,&  Vos T. (2006). Cognitive behavioural therapy for depression, panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder: A meta-regression of factors that may predict outcome. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 40, 9-19.

Norton, P. J., & Price, E. C. (2007). A meta-analytic review of adult cognitive-behavioral treatment outcome across the anxiety disorders. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 195, 521-531.

Durham, R. C., Chambers, J. A., MacDonald, R. R., Power, K. G., & Major, K. (2003). Does cognitive-behavioural therapy influence the long-term outcome of generalized anxiety disorder? An 8-14 year follow-up of two clinical trials. Psychological Medicine, 33, 499– 509.

Gloaguen, V., Cottraux, J., Cucherat, M., & Blackburn, I. (1998). A meta-analysis of the effects of cognitive therapy in depressed patients. Journal of Affective Disorders, 49, 59– 72.