CBT Therapy Online Free: Top Choices and What You Need to Know

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on June 6, 2023
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Feeling stuck in life due to mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or stress? You’re not alone!

Many people are feeling depressed and searching for effective ways to cope with these challenges. One popular method is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

The Online Mental Health Reviews team is qualified to write about free online CBT therapy because of our extensive knowledge and experience in teaching, using within therapy, and studying CBT. We also are dedicated to helping readers make informed mental health decisions and going on this inward journey!

In this article, we will explore what CBT therapy is, its benefits, and where you can access CBT therapy online for free.

What is CBT Therapy?

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors. It’s based on the idea that our thoughts affect our feelings and actions. By changing how we think, we can improve our emotional well-being, mood, and overall quality of life.

Benefits of CBT Therapy

  1. Effective for various mental health issues like anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, and more.
  2. Can be done individually or in group sessions.
  3. Teaches practical skills to manage emotions and overcome challenges.
  4. Encourages self-awareness and personal growth.

Top Free Online CBT Therapy Resources

Here are some reputable platforms and resources where you can access free CBT therapy:

1. MoodGYM

MoodGYM is an interactive program designed to help users learn CBT skills. It includes modules on identifying negative thoughts, managing stress, and improving relationships.

Strengths: Interactive and engaging; evidence-based approach. Weaknesses: Limited personalization; might not be suitable for severe mental health issues.

2. Centre for Clinical Interventions

The Centre for Clinical Interventions offers free CBT-based self-help workbooks on various topics like anxiety, depression, and stress management.

Strengths: Wide range of topics; easy-to-follow format. Weaknesses: Lacks interactivity; might not provide enough support for some individuals.

3. 7 Cups

7 Cups is an online community that offers free emotional support through chat-based conversations with trained listeners. They also provide CBT-based self-help guides.

Strengths: Active community; access to trained listeners. Weaknesses: Limited professional guidance; might not be suitable for severe mental health issues.

Who is CBT Therapy Online Free For?

Free online CBT therapy can be helpful for those suffering from:

  1. Experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues.
  2. Unable to afford traditional therapy.
  3. Looking for self-help resources to supplement their current treatment plan.

Who Might Not Benefit from Free Online CBT Therapy?

Free online CBT therapy might not be suitable for those:

  1. Experiencing severe mental health issues or being in crisis.
  2. Needing personalized, professional guidance.
  3. Struggling with complex trauma or co-occurring disorders.

Overall, CBT therapy online, free or otherwise, can be a valuable resource for individuals looking to improve their mental health.

However, it’s crucial to remember that these resources may not replace professional therapy for everyone. Make sure to consider your specific needs and circumstances when exploring these options. Remember, you deserve the best support possible on your journey to better mental health!

Finding Free CBT Therapy Online

Finding free CBT therapy online can be a challenge, but there are some great options available. Here are some of the best free and affordable online CBT therapies of 2023:

  1. Free Online CBT Workbook – https://cogbtherapy.com/free-online-cbt-workbook
  2. Free, Online CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) – https://psycheducation.org/blog/free-online-cbt-cognitive-behavioral-therapy/
  3. Free Online CBT Courses & Treatments – https://www.therapyforyou.co.uk/courses/online
  4. 7 Great CBT Websites – https://starmeadowcounseling.com/blog/7-great-cbt-websites/
  5. A Web-based Learning Course for Trauma-Focused CBT – https://www.samhsa.gov/resource/dbhis/tf-cbt-web-web-based-learning-course-trauma-focused-cbt
  6. Where to Get CBT Online, What It Costs, & What to Expect – https://www.choosingtherapy.com/cbt
  7. Free online resources are available to learn more about CBT, including workbooks, courses from Cogbtherapy.com, and audio/video clips from Living Life to the Full.
  8. NHS therapists offer free courses at Therapyforyou.co.uk, and quality-vetted therapists can be found at services like Zencare or BetterHelp (nationwide).
  9. Platforms like Online-Therapy.com specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The ABCs of CBT: Understanding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps people identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors.

It can be used to treat a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, stress, and substance abuse. CBT is available in person as well as online for free or at a low cost.

The main components of CBT are:

  • Acknowledging the problem – Identifying the thoughts and behaviors that are causing distress.
  • Beliefs – Examining how beliefs about oneself or the world may be contributing to the problem.
  • Change – Develop strategies to challenge and replace negative thoughts and behaviors with more adaptive ones.

CBT is an evidence-based treatment that has been proven effective in treating a wide range of mental health issues.

It can also help individuals build resilience to better cope with life’s challenges. With the right support, anyone can learn how to use CBT to improve their mental health.

Key CBT Techniques and Exercises

LIVE Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Session
  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Exposure therapy
  • Problem-solving
  • Mindfulness and relaxation techniques
  • Activity scheduling
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Social skills training
  • Journaling and thought records

Treating Cognitive Distortions

Here are some tips for treating cognitive distortions with CBT therapy online:

  1. Use self-help worksheets – Self-help worksheets are available online for free and provide a great way to practice challenging your thoughts and beliefs. These worksheets can help you identify your cognitive distortions and develop strategies for changing them. Positive Psychology has an excellent kit of CBT worksheets free to download: https://positivepsychology.com/cbt-cognitive-behavioral-therapy-techniques-worksheets/
  2. Take an online course – There are many free online courses available that provide an in-depth understanding of the principles of CBT and how to apply them in your life. Taking an online course can give you the tools you need to effectively challenge your cognitive distortions.
  3. Read self-help books – Self-help books on CBT offer a wealth of information about recognizing and challenging cognitive distortions. Reading these books can help you gain insight into the underlying causes of your distorted thinking patterns, as well as provide helpful strategies for changing them.
  4. Utilize online resources – There are numerous websites dedicated to helping people understand and manage their mental health using CBT techniques, including those offering free access to worksheets, courses, and books on the subject. Utilizing these resources can be a great way to get started on the path toward overcoming cognitive distortions with CBT therapy online free.

Cognitive Restructuring

Cognitive restructuring is a key component of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

  • It is a process that helps people identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs to change their behavior.
  • This technique can be used to help people manage anxiety, depression, phobias, and other mental health issues.
  • Cognitive restructuring involves identifying unhelpful thinking patterns and challenging them with evidence-based facts.
  • People can use this technique to learn how to think more positively and rationally about themselves and to explain their experiences.
  • Through cognitive restructuring, individuals can learn to recognize irrational thoughts, replace them with more balanced ones, and develop healthier coping strategies.

Common techniques used in cognitive restructuring include:

  • Identifying irrational thoughts
  • Challenging the accuracy of these thoughts
  • Replacing irrational thoughts with more balanced ones
  • Developing healthy coping strategies
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or mindfulness meditation

By using cognitive restructuring techniques, people can gain greater insight into their thought processes and develop healthier ways of thinking. This can lead to improved mental health outcomes over time.

Exposure and Response Prevention

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) used to treat anxiety disorders. It involves gradually exposing the person to their fear or anxiety-provoking situation and teaching them how to respond differently.

ERP helps people learn how to manage their fear or anxiety by changing their thoughts, behaviors, and reactions.

  • Learn relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation
  • Identify triggers that cause fear or anxiety
  • Develop coping strategies for managing fear or anxiety
  • Practice facing feared situations in a safe environment
  • Learn how to modify negative thinking patterns
  • Develop problem-solving skills for difficult situations

Behavioral Experiments

Behavioral experiments are a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) tool used to test our thoughts and beliefs.

  • They involve planned experiential activities based on experimentation or observation that are undertaken by patients in or between therapy sessions.
  • These experiments help individuals to test the validity of their negative and alternative thoughts in real-life situations, as well as discover new possibilities.
  • Examples of behavioral experiments include taking surveys to gather evidence about other people’s beliefs and testing the effects of coping strategies on symptoms and the beliefs which underlie them.

Using CBT Worksheets and Manuals

CBT worksheets and manuals are an important part of the therapy process, guiding both the therapist and the patient.

  1. Worksheets can help patients learn how to recognize their patterns of thinking and behavior, while manuals provide step-by-step instructions on how to complete specific tasks or activities.
  2. Some examples of CBT worksheets include thought logs, cognitive restructuring exercises, behavioral activation activities, and mindfulness practices.
  3. Manuals may include instructions on how to use CBT techniques in online therapy sessions or provide information about different types of CBT interventions.

By using CBT worksheets and manuals, therapists can help their patients develop skills to better manage their mental health. In addition to Positive Psychology’s worksheets, you can access free CBT worksheets through Therapist Aid here: https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-worksheets/cbt

a. Thought Records

Thought records are a tool used in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help identify and challenge unhelpful thoughts. They involve writing down the thought, the emotion it evokes, and any evidence that supports or refutes it. This helps to create a more balanced perspective on the situation.

Thought records can be used to:

  1. Identify negative automatic thoughts
  2. Notice associations between events and cognitions
  3. Understand how thoughts influence emotions and behaviors
  4. Challenge unhelpful thinking patterns
  5. Develop alternative, more realistic perspectives
  6. Monitor progress over time

Catch it-Check it-Change it Exercise

Catch it-Check it-Change it (CCC) is an exercise used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This exercise helps people to identify and challenge negative thoughts and replace them with more positive, helpful ones.

CCC involves three steps:

  1. Catch – Identify the negative thought or feeling that you are having.
  2. Check – Analyze the evidence for and against this thought or feeling.
  3. Change – Replace the negative thought with a more positive one based on the evidence you have gathered.

CCC can be done as part of therapy sessions, but can also be done at home as an exercise or a self-help tool to manage stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. It can help people to gain insight into their thinking patterns and develop healthier ways of thinking about themselves and their lives.

Setting Goals for Therapy and Personal Values

Setting Goals for Therapy and Personal Values is an important part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It helps to identify the values that are most important to you in life, and then talk about how these values can be used to set achievable goals.

  1. Values Clarification is a technique used in CBT that helps people understand their value systems. This includes things like love, respect, empathy, creativity, curiosity, encouragement, and more. Values are distinct from goals as they act as a compass that keeps us headed in a desired direction.
  2. Goals are the specific ways we intend to execute our values.

It is important to focus and remember that values are not goals as they cannot be “accomplished”.

Exploring More Free CBT Resources Online

Here are some of the best free CBT resources online:

  1. Positive Psychology’s list of 25 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques, CBT Interventions, and Exercises – https://positivepsychology.com/cbt-cognitive-behavioral-therapy-techniques-worksheets/
  2. Therapist Aid’s collection of Free CBT Handouts and PDFs – https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-worksheets/cbt/none
  3. CogBTherapy’s Free Online CBT Workbook – https://cogbtherapy.com/free-online-cbt-workbook
  4. Living Life to the Full’s Interactive CBT Website – https://starmeadowcounseling.com/blog/7-great-cbt-websites/
  5. Psychology Tools’ Range of CBT Worksheets, Exercises, Information Handouts, Self Help Guides, and Audio Therapy Tools – https://www.psychologytools.com/downloads/cbt-worksheets-and-therapy-resources/
  6. Self Help Toons’ Free Online Course in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – https://www.selfhelptoons.com/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-cbt-self-help-video-course/
  7. NHS Every Mind Matters’ Range of Structured Self Help Techniques – https://www.nhs.uk/everymindmattersmentalwellbeingtipsselfhelpcbtechniques 8 MindShift® CBT App from Anxiety Canada – https://www.anxietycanada.com/resourcesmindshiftcbtmobileapp 9 200+ Sites with Free Therapy Worksheets & Handouts from MindRemakeProject – https://mindremakeprojectorg20200430siteswithfreetherapyworksheetshandouts
  8. 10 ThinkCBT’s Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Worksheets and Exercises – https://thinkcbtcomthinkcbtworksheets

Frequently Asked Questions about CBT Online

  • Is online therapy effective? Yes! Studies show that online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is just as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy.
  • Where can I find a supportive therapist who is an expert in CBT? BetterHelp has over 20,000 licensed therapists who provide convenient and affordable online therapy.
  • What does CBT treat? CBT is considered to be the leading evidence-based form of treatment for many mental health issues including stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • How much does CBT cost? The cost of CBT varies depending on the provider and type of services offered. Many providers offer free or low-cost options for those who cannot afford traditional therapy.
  • Are there any free resources available to learn more about CBT? Yes! There are many free resources such as Bliss available online. Bliss is an 8-week CBT online training program that is 100% free.

a. Can I do CBT on my own?

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is a type of therapy that can be done on your own with the help of online resources. There are many free online courses, workbooks, and exercises available to help you learn the skills and techniques needed for CBT.

Additionally, there are worksheets and videos available to help you put CBT into practice. With these resources, you can gain insight into your thoughts and behaviors, as well as develop coping strategies to manage your mental health.

b. How much does CBT therapy cost?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can help people manage their mental health. The cost of CBT therapy varies depending on the therapist’s experience and location but typically ranges from $100 to $200 per session. In some cases, insurance may cover part or all of the cost. Additionally, there are free online resources available for those who cannot afford traditional therapy.

c. Is online CBT effective?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that is effective in treating a variety of mental health conditions. Many people are now turning to online CBT as an alternative to traditional therapy, and research suggests that it can be just as effective. Studies have shown that online CBT can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve quality of life, and even help with physical health issues. It can also provide a more convenient and cost-effective way for people to access therapy.

CBT Therapy Online Free Conclusion

In conclusion, CBT therapy online can be a free opportunity for individuals to access mental health support and learn practical skills to manage their emotions and deal with challenges.

With a variety of resources available, it caters to those experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues or seeking additional self-help CBT tools. However, it’s essential to recognize that free online CBT therapy may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with severe mental health concerns or in need of personalized professional guidance.

Ultimately, exploring these resources can be an empowering step towards better mental health, but it’s crucial to consider your specific needs and circumstances when choosing the right approach for you.

Feel free to leave a comment with any questions you have about free online CBT therapy, or other questions about different therapy approaches. You may also share your suggestions on which mental health service, app, or course you’d like Online Mental Health Reviews to decide on to buy and try next. We’re always eager to explore new resources to better serve our readers!

If You’re In An Emergency

In case of a crisis, waiting for an online therapy session might not be a safe option. If you require immediate assistance or have plans to harm yourself or others, call 911 without delay. If you’re considering self-harm, dial 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which offers help 24/7.

Additionally, you can contact the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 800-662-HELP (4357). This free, confidential helpline provides round-the-clock support for individuals coping with mental health or substance abuse issues, guiding them toward treatment and offering relevant information.

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