What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a structured, time-limited psychological intervention that targets maladaptive cognitive distortions and behaviours, emotional dysregulation, and development of adaptive coping strategies.


CBT has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of mental illnesses including: psychosis, depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and more. 

Some cognitive CBT strategies include: 

  • learning how to recognize negative automatic thought patterns and re-appraise situations in a less distressing manner

  • using problem-solving skills when difficult situations arise, and creating logical and rational plans for action 

  • developing a greater sense of confidence in one's own abilities 

Some behavioural CBT strategies include: 

  • relaxing one's mind and body to reduce anxiety and/or stress (i.e., mindfulness strategies)

  • using roleplay to prepare for potentially stressful situations and/or interactions with others

  • positively reinforcing the use of healthier responses to stressful situations

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis (CBTp) is an evidence-based treatment intervention aiming to reduce the distress associated with psychotic symptoms and improve the quality of life of those living with psychosis. Multiple studies have shown that CBTp can result in decreased positive symptom frequency and distress, improvement in negative symptoms, and improvement in functional outcomes.

Principles of CBTp:

  • helping patients make sense of their psychotic symptoms and the resulting distress

  • addressing the stigma associated with psychosis by normalizing patients' psychotic experiences

  • accepting the presence of psychotic symptoms rather than attempting to stop them from occurring 

What is Group CBT?

  • a short-term empirically supported approach that is based on scientific evidence and an understanding of the relationship between emotions, thoughts, and behaviours

  • enhances coping skills of patients through behavioural, cognitive, relational, and group procedures

  • offers convenient access to social support since patients are given the opportunity to connect with others in their group who are struggling with similar challenges

  • participants receive encouragement from other members in the group and may even help inspire each other to change through shared experiences of living with psychosis symptoms.