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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Calgary

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is based on the principles that our thoughts (cognitive), feelings and actions (behaviours) are all interrelated. The goal of CBT is that by focusing and changing our thoughts or behaviours - it will change how we feel towards ourselves, others and situations.  What we think and do affects the way we feel. 


CBT is well researched and proven to be highly effective. CBT is often considered the “gold standard” and has been shown to be effective in 375 clinical trials. CBT has been tested for effectiveness since 1977. CBT is effective for all ages, cultures, income and education levels.


How Does CBT Address Thoughts and Behaviours?

Our thoughts can sometimes be inaccurate, biased, and misinterpreted. CBT tries to introduce flexibility into our thoughts. Some common ways it does this includes:

  • Thought recording (noticing what we are thinking

  • Perspective-taking (looking at things from a different point of view)

  • Role-playing (acting out a scenario).

Our behaviours can be automatic and reactive due to fear. Some behavioural techniques include:

  • Relaxation techniques

  • Breathing exercises

  • Successive approximation (breaking things down to small steps)

  • Exposure therapy  (slowly addressing and reducing our fears).

What Can I Expect During CBT

CBT focuses on the present moment and issues that are currently existing. CBT is short-term and structured. Most clients typically attend 6-20 sessions. CBT is collaborative, you will work along-side with your therapist towards your goal. You are an active participant towards addressing presenting issues, or managing your symptoms.  


CBT is educational, you will learn new ways about how you think and behave. The typical structure involves learning new skills and techniques, followed by being assigned homework from your therapist.
 Homework gives you an opportunity to practice the skills and techniques you learned. The goal is practicing it will make it into a habit - which will make it easier to use the skills in difficult situations. 


Serious Conversation

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy FAQs

What is covered in this type of therapy?

CBT focuses on how thoughts, behaviours and feelings are related. CBT focuses on the here and now and addresses current presenting issues CBT is highly structured, and involves learning new skills and practicing them outside of therapy.

What are the benefits of CBT?

  • Improves quality of life and functioning
  • Improves confidence
  • Improves empathy
  • Improves coping skills
  • Decreases negative thinking
  • Decreases inappropriate reactions
  • Decreases anxiety and fears

How does it work?

CBT focuses on issues in our thoughts and behaviours. There are numerous CBT techniques, but below are a few common ones. CBT works with our thoughts by Recording and addressing inaccurate, or negative thoughts (cognitive distortions) Looking at things from a different point of view (perspective taking) Figuring out solutions for future problems (problem solving) CBT works with our behaviours by: Acting out situations (role-playing) Breaking down goals into smaller steps (successive approximation) gradually facing our fears (exposure therapy)

How can we help?

We offer CBT therapy for children, adolescents and adults. Gavin has extensive training with CBT for all ages and can use the strategies outlined on this page to support you in working through difficult thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

What are the Clinical Concerns if any?

  • CBT is not harmful, but may be uncomfortable at times. Because we are working with our feelings and emotions, it can become overwhelming.
  • CBT may not be appropriate for those who want to address past traumas, or desire a more supportive approach to counselling
  • CBT may not be as effective for more severe and complex psychological disorders.

When should this kind of therapy should be applied?

CBT is beneficial to:

  • Improving confidence and self esteem
  • Manage and prevent mental health issue
  • Coping with stressful situations, grief or loss
  • Managing negative and overwhelming emotions
  • Improve communication and conflict resolution skills
CBT is effective for many mental health issues, illnesses, and disorders. CBT is commonly used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, substance use, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, sleep disorders and phobias. CBT techniques can be implemented alongside techniques from other types of therapy

What steps can clients take to ensure this method is most effective?

  • Be prepared to have a very structural approach to your goals.
  • Be open to working collaboratively with your therapist and expressing what you are hoping to accomplish during your sessions.
  • Do any homework or applications of skills that your therapist has asked you to do.

Get Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in Calgary

If you are unsure whether we can meet your  counselling or assessment needs give us a call to receive a free consultation. You can then decide whether we are a good fit for you or your family.