List of CBT Questions for Anxiety Disorders

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on May 25, 2023
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Living with anxiety can feel overwhelming and isolating, leaving you searching for effective ways to cope and regain control.

At Online Mental Health Reviews, we understand the challenges you face and are here to provide you with trusted, empathetic guidance on your mental health journey.

Our carefully curated list of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) questions for anxiety disorders is designed to help you better understand your thought patterns, develop coping strategies, and ultimately reduce the impact of anxiety on your daily life.

By choosing to read this article, you’re taking an empowering step towards improved mental well-being, backed by the expertise and care of our dedicated team at Online Mental Health Reviews.

CBT and Anxiety Short Summary

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a popular and evidence-based approach to treating anxiety.
  • It has been used to treat a variety of mental health issues, such as depression, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all interconnected. By changing our thoughts and behaviors, we can improve our emotional state.
  • CBT differs from other forms of therapy in that it focuses on the present rather than the past. It also emphasizes practical problem-solving by helping individuals identify their negative thought patterns and replace them with more positive ones.
  • This can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and lead to improved functioning in daily life.

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a mental health condition characterized by excessive, persistent worry and fear about everyday life events.

  • People with GAD often feel overwhelmed and out of control, and may experience physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.
  • Common worries include health issues, money problems, family matters, work difficulties, or even minor daily concerns.
  • GAD can last for months or years and can interfere with daily activities such as work or school. Treatment typically involves psychotherapy and/or medication to help manage the symptoms.

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social Anxiety Disorder, also known as Social Phobia, is an intense fear of social situations that can cause a person to feel overwhelmed and embarrassed.

  • It can lead to avoidance of certain activities or places where the individual may be judged or scrutinized by others.
  • Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder include feeling very self-conscious in social situations, having persistent fear of being judged by others, feeling shy and uncomfortable when being the center of attention, and experiencing physical symptoms such as blushing, sweating, trembling, or nausea.
  • People with Social Anxiety Disorder may also experience difficulty making friends or maintaining relationships due to their fear of being judged.

What is Panic Disorder?

Panic Disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by unexpected and intense episodes of fear, known as panic attacks, according to Johns Hopkins.

  • During a panic attack, physical sensations such as heart palpitations, trembling, and difficulty breathing can occur.
  • These panic attacks can lead to a fear of having future ones, creating a cycle of anxiety and panic that can severely affect a person’s ability to function normally.
  • Fortunately, Panic Disorder can be treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of therapy and medication. Therapy may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) which helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns that contribute to their anxiety.
  • Medication may also be prescribed to help manage symptoms such as racing thoughts and increased heart rate.

What is the Underlying Cause Behind All Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders are complex and can have multiple causes.

While the exact cause of anxiety disorders is unknown, it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, psychological, and biological factors.

  • Life experiences such as traumatic events appear to trigger anxiety disorders in people who are already prone to anxiety, while inherited traits may also play a role.
  • Additionally, medical conditions such as an overactive or underactive thyroid gland can contribute to feelings of anxiety.
  • Finally, certain medications and substances like alcohol and caffeine can also cause or worsen anxiety symptoms.

What are Cognitive Distortions?

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Cognitive distortions are irrational thoughts that can impact our emotions and behavior. They involve negative or inaccurate thinking patterns which can lead us to perceive reality in a distorted way.

Cognitive distortions are usually divided into 10 categories: such as all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralization, mental filter, discounting the positive, jumping to conclusions, magnification, and minimization, emotional reasoning, should statements, labeling and blaming, and personalization.

These thought patterns can lead to negative emotions such as anxiety and depression. By recognizing these cognitive distortions and challenging them with more rational thoughts, we can reduce their influence on our lives.

Thought Challenging in CBT for Anxiety

Thought challenging is a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) technique that helps people to identify and challenge negative thoughts.

It involves questioning the accuracy of our thoughts, looking for evidence to support or refute them, and considering alternative perspectives. This process can help us to become aware of our thinking patterns and how they may be contributing to our anxiety. This same technique is used to treat depression as well.

By challenging our thoughts, we can learn to think more realistically and reduce our anxiety levels. Examples of thought-challenging questions include:

  • What evidence do I have that this thought is true?
  • Is there another way of looking at this situation?
  • What would I tell a friend in this situation?

Exposure Therapy for Anxiety

Exposure therapy is a type of behavioral therapy that has been proven to be an effective treatment for anxiety disorders. It works by gradually exposing the person to the situation, object, or event that triggers their anxiety to reduce fear and anxiety.

This can be done in a controlled environment with a therapist or at home with self-guided exposure exercises.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often used in conjunction with exposure therapy, according to, to help people learn how to manage their anxiety and cope with difficult situations.

Treating Anxiety Disorders with Therapy

Anxiety disorders are a common mental health condition that can be treated with therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure Therapy are two of the most commonly used approaches for treating anxiety, and other issues such as Borderline Personality Disorder.

CBT helps people to identify and change negative thought patterns that contribute to anxiety, while Exposure Therapy gradually exposes people to their fears to reduce their anxiety response.

Other types of therapy that may be beneficial for treating anxiety include Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

List of CBT Interventions and Exercises for Anxiety

When Anxiety Attacks USE THESE 5 Special CBT Questions

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective form of therapy for reducing anxiety.

CBT interventions make use of several exercises and skills to help reduce anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues.

Common techniques used in CBT include cognitive restructuring or reframing, guided discovery, exposure therapy, journaling and thought records, relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, and behavioral activation.

Other CBT activities include creating a list of exposure goals, using thought records to identify problematic thoughts and behaviors, scheduling activities that bring pleasure or mastery into your life, and using relaxation techniques to keep baseline anxiety down.

List of CBT Questions for Anxiety

A list of CBT questions for anxiety can include questions such as:

  1. What is the evidence for this thought? This question helps you challenge negative thoughts by examining the factual basis behind them, encouraging a more realistic perspective.
  2. Am I overgeneralizing? By asking this, you can identify when you’re making broad assumptions based on limited experiences, allowing you to recognize and address cognitive distortions.
  3. Is this thought helpful or harmful? Evaluating the impact of your thoughts on your well-being can help you shift your focus towards more constructive thinking patterns.
  4. What would I tell a friend in a similar situation? This question promotes self-compassion by encouraging you to view your situation through a more empathetic and supportive lens.
  5. Am I engaging in “all-or-nothing” thinking? Identifying extreme thought patterns helps you challenge their validity and strive for a more balanced perspective.
  6. What’s the worst that could happen, and how would I cope? By considering potential outcomes and planning coping strategies, you can reduce feelings of helplessness and build resilience.
  7. Can I break this problem down into smaller, manageable parts? This question supports problem-solving by encouraging you to tackle challenges step by step, reducing overwhelm.
  8. What other possible explanations are there for this situation? Exploring alternative perspectives can help you develop a more flexible mindset and reduce the impact of negative thought patterns.
  9. Am I confusing my thoughts with facts? Recognizing the distinction between thoughts and objective reality can help you challenge irrational beliefs and cultivate a healthier mindset.
  10. What strengths and resources do I have to handle this situation? Focusing on your personal capabilities and support systems can boost your confidence and foster a sense of empowerment.

By reflecting on these CBT questions, you can gain insights into your thinking patterns, challenge unhelpful thoughts, and develop healthier coping strategies for managing anxiety.

What is the CBT Three-Question Technique for Anxiety?

The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) three-question technique is a powerful tool for managing anxiety. This technique involves asking yourself three questions to help reframe your thoughts and gain perspective on the situation.

  1. The first question is “What is bothering you?”, which helps to identify what it is that is causing you distress.
  2. The second question is “How is your response to this situation overly negative, excessive, or out of line with reality?”, which helps to recognize any cognitive distortions that may be present in your thinking.
  3. The third question is “What would a more balanced thought look like?”, which encourages you to think of a more positive and realistic way of looking at the situation.

By using this technique, you can gain insight into how your thoughts are impacting your feelings and behavior and make changes accordingly.

CBT Manual and Workbook for Anxiety Reduction

CBT Manuals and Workbooks for Anxiety Reduction can be a great resource for those looking to reduce their anxiety.

There are many different types of CBT Manuals and Workbooks available, ranging from those designed to help with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) to those specifically tailored for children, or even eating disorders. For example, “The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-By-Step Program” on Amazon, with a 4.5 rating from 800+ reviews.

These manuals and workbooks typically include activities such as cognitive restructuring, worry time logs, coping skills exercises, and more.

What is The First Step in CBT for Anxiety?

The first step in CBT for anxiety is to identify the trigger.

This can be done by reflecting on what causes the anxiety and understanding the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that accompany it. Once the trigger is identified, a therapist can help the client develop strategies to manage their anxiety.

How Long Does CBT Take To Help Anxiety?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that is effective in treating anxiety, according to an update on empirical CBT science1.

The length of treatment depends on the severity of the anxiety and how much progress the individual wants to make, but it typically consists of weekly sessions lasting 1-2 hours for about 12 weeks.

Intensive CBT can also be an option, which may require fewer sessions over a shorter period. It’s important to note that CBT is not a quick fix; it takes time and effort to work through the process and see results.

How to Make Anxiety Therapy Work for You

To make anxiety therapy work for you, it’s essential to follow these steps:

  1. Find the right therapist: Look for a licensed mental health professional who specializes in anxiety disorders and has experience with the type of therapy that suits your needs, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Exposure Therapy.
  2. Establish clear goals: Work with your therapist to set specific, attainable goals for your treatment. This will help you stay focused on the progress you’re making and allow you to measure your success.
  3. Be open and honest: Share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences openly with your therapist. This creates a trusting and supportive environment that fosters growth and change.
  4. Commit to the process: Attend therapy sessions consistently and complete any homework or exercises assigned by your therapist. Remember that progress takes time, so be patient with yourself.
  5. Practice self-care: Prioritize self-care activities like exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough sleep to support your overall mental health during therapy.
  6. Stay engaged: Keep an open mind, actively participate in therapy sessions, and apply the skills you learn to your daily life. This will help you build resilience and maintain the progress you’ve made.
  7. Seek support: Reach out to friends, family members, or support groups to share your experiences and gain additional encouragement throughout your therapy journey.

Best CBT Therapy Online

At Online Mental Health Reviews, our team has used the Brightside Health platform and taped therapy sessions with their expert therapists. This gives us the information we need to give an accurate and thorough review of their services.

  • We are happy to say that we think Brightside Health is the best choice for online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) because they only do CBT.
  • One of the most interesting things about Brightside Health is its innovative combo plan. This plan combines medication therapy and CBT to help people with depression and anxiety get significant and good results. Best combo plan on the market from what we’ve seen.
  • We liked how easy it was to sign up, and the prices were fair. (Brightside Health also lets more than 50 million Americans use their services through insurance plans like Kaiser, Cigna, BlueShield, etc.)

CBT Questions For Anxiety Conclusion

Overall, cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective evidence-based approaches for addressing anxiety disorders.

It can help individuals identify their negative thought patterns and replace them with more positive ones to reduce symptoms of anxiety and improve functioning in daily life.

If you’re considering trying out this type of therapy for your anxiety issues, make sure you find a qualified therapist who specializes in this type of treatment so you can get the best results possible! You can even try CBT therapy online for free.

If you have any inquiries regarding CBT questions for anxiety, different therapy approaches, or would like to leave a comment suggesting a mental health service, app, or course that Online Mental Health Reviews should review next, please feel free to reach out.

Your input will help us continue to provide valuable insights and recommendations within the mental health community.


  1. Kaczkurkin, A. N., & Foa, E. B. (2015, September 30). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders: an update on the empirical evidence. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 17(3), 337–346.

If You Are In Crisis

In Case of Emergency, If you find yourself in a crisis and cannot wait for an online therapy session, it is crucial to seek immediate help. In case of an emergency, such as plans to harm yourself or others, please call 911 without hesitation. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, dial 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which offers 24/7 assistance.

Alternatively, you can contact the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This free, confidential helpline operates 24/7, 365 days a year, providing support and information on treatment options for individuals dealing with mental health or substance abuse issues.

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