Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves, others, and the world. Cognitive behavioural therapists aim to target and break down unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions, modify specific patterns of behaviour, and assist people in developing more functional and flexible ways of thinking.

CBT has been shown to be effective in dealing with a variety of issues including anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression, and substance abuse.

Techniques that are often utilized in CBT are:

  • Exposure therapy (exposing clients to triggers that induce anxiety or discomfort without the intent or ability to cause any real harm.)
  • Progressive muscle relaxation (isolating and tensing specific sets of muscles for the purpose of stress reduction and relaxation)
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Mindfulness
  • Journaling


CBT differs from other therapies because of its emphasis on the theory that how one perceives a problem or situation causes negative or dysfunctional emotions.

For example, if you are stood up by a date, it is not the act of being “stood-up” that causes angry and hurt feelings – but rather how you view the entire situation. Instead of looking at the event as somehow a reflection of your inadequacy or worthlessness, CBT teaches people to immediately stop that kind of thinking and instead, view the happening as a positive learning experience that has nothing to do with your perceived unworthiness.

When considering CBT, it should be noted that this style of therapy is distinct from psychotherapy because it does not concentrate on one’s past nor does it attempt to interpret dream symbols.

While psychotherapy involves methods such as free association (letting thoughts flow freely and without censorship), accessing the unconscious or understanding defense mechanisms, CBT is focused on the here and now, on what a client is experiencing at the present time and how to correct patterns of negative thinking. Neither does CBT advocate group therapy sessions because of the individual nature of thought processes that require a one-on-one environment with the therapist.


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy has been successful in the therapeutic approach in the treatment of such problems as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, personality disorders, phobias and many others.

This approach uses sound techniques to slow down, eliminate, and halt your own learned reactions. This therapy works on your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and projections on a subject matter and/or circumstance.

Ultimately, CBT deals with those circumstances and events that you’re aware of, rather than dealing with circumstances and events relating to the unconscious. Through a sound therapeutic process, the individual receiving therapy will learn to respond differently to issues and circumstances, and will learn healthy coping mechanisms.

Insight has many therapists who specialize in CBT. Contact us today!