Complete Guide on When and How To Learn CBT Online

How to learn CBT

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be very effective for people who suffer from depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse, addiction, etc.


If you are eager to learn this form of therapy for yourself or to help those around you, we can help you out. Keep reading to find out more about how to learn CBT online.


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What Is CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is a psychotherapy that focuses on helping people recognize unconstructive thoughts or behavior patterns. With this treatment approach, you work on figuring out how your actions can be affected by your thoughts and emotions.


Once you become aware of these patterns, you can start to learn how to build constructive behavior patterns and develop more efficient coping strategies.


By recognizing and correcting thought patterns that can be distressing, you can improve your quality of life and carry out your day-to-day activities with ease.


Instead of focusing much on the past, this therapy considers the present. CBT uses various tools and techniques for achieving its goal of developing helpful coping strategies. Some of these techniques include cognitive reframing, journaling, role-playing, exposure therapy, guided discovery, and relaxation techniques.


Should I Know How To Learn CBT Therapy Or Get Professional Help?


Self-directed CBT therapy can be useful in getting desired results. And with the number of self-help books and online learning programs available, it is not difficult to find trustworthy resources that can help you guide yourself through this therapy.


However, to make the most out of this treatment, it is best to seek help from a therapist. Here are a few benefits of seeking the help of a professional for your CBT:

  • There is a certain level of accountability to make you more likely to use the tools and techniques you learn during the therapy.
  • CBT involves identifying the core beliefs and thoughts that are causing you distress. Sometimes, it may get hard to figure these things out on your own. In that case, added insight in form of a therapist can be helpful.
  • The guidance and support of your therapist can also help you confront things you may have a hard time acknowledging.
  • You are less likely to give up the treatment midway if you have a therapist to guide you through.


How To Learn CBT Online?

Learning and practicing CBT can help you achieve a healthy mind and more productive behavioral patterns. There are a lot of resources you can use to learn more about CBT.


However, these resources are more suitable for those who want to learn CBT for self-help. You will not be qualified to become a professional therapist just by learning about CBT using these methods.


1. Go for an old-school method here – Books!

The best answer to the question of how to learn cognitive behavioral therapy is – through books! Whether you are a beginner or know a thing or two about CBT, a book can help you move ahead in your learning journey.


Even practicing therapists sometimes rely on books to expand their knowledge base. We did a little research and here are the top CBT books that we recommend.


2. Enroll in an online course


How about taking up an online course for CBT? Platforms like Udemy, Coursera, Alison and FutureLearn offer dozens of informative and easy-to-follow CBT courses.


You can use these platforms to access online courses designed by experts to learn CBT. Here are a few reasons why learning CBT through an online course is a great idea.


  • These courses are often self-paced and flexible i.e you can learn on your own time
  • You can find courses that demand lesser time investment.
  • There are a number of free online courses out there for you to start your learning without any monetary investment.
  • No matter where you are in your learning journey, you are sure to find a course according to your level of expertise.


3. Know the helpful CBT techniques

One of the basic steps in the process of how to learn cbt therapy is to learn about the various tools and techniques associated with it. There are many ways to approach cognitive behavioral therapy and the strategy you choose depends on the issue you are dealing with and the goals you are trying to achieve.


Basically, all CBT techniques include identifying the problems, gaining awareness about unproductive thought patterns, identifying and reconstructing negative thinking, and learning and practicing more productive behaviors.


But to make the most out of CBT, you should learn about the various techniques used during this form of therapy. This will also help you decide the best approach for yourself.


  • Thought records and journaling: It involves getting in touch with your thoughts through writing exercises.
  • Exposure therapy: This technique is often used for confronting fears and phobias.
  • Stress reduction techniques: Learn progressive techniques to help you relax and bring down your stress levels.
  • Cognitive restructuring: It involves analyzing negative thought patterns. This awareness can help reframe your negative thoughts.
  • Successive approximation: This technique is about breaking down seemingly overwhelming tasks into smaller steps, thus making them more achievable.
  • Behavioral experiments: This technique can help treat anxiety disorders. It aims at reducing catastrophic thinking so that you can learn how to do anxiety-inducing tasks with ease.


4. CBT worksheets

CBT worksheets are one of the many tools that are used during this therapy. These are like ‘homework assignments for those undergoing CBT and can help you get a better understanding of your thought process.


5. Read helpful blogs

Here is another solution for how to learn cognitive behavioral therapy. Another way to gain a better understanding of cognitive behavioral therapy is by reading and following blogs run by experts.

Most of these resources are free and give you all the information you need from bankable sources. They can help you gain a better understanding of the origins and development of the issues you have been facing. You’ll also learn efficient techniques to resolve these issues.

6. Go for apps that help

There are several ways to find solutions to how to learn CBT online and one of the most efficient ones is through apps. A lot of apps offer some form of CBT therapy and/or teach you the skills you need for self-treatment.


With the right app, you can learn the tools and techniques you need to manage your mental health on a day-to-day basis. A lot of people who are in therapy also use these apps for better results.


You can try these apps:


How Do I Get CBT Certified?

If you are curious about how to learn cbt therapy for your own mental health, then the above listed resources are enough. However, if you are planning to become a professional cognitive behavioral therapist, here is what you need to do:

  • You require a bachelor’s degree, which doesn’t necessarily need to be in the mental health field. However, degrees in fields related to psychology can help you build a strong foundation.
  • You need a master’s degree in mental health or medical related field.
  • You need to apply for state licensure. There is no official licensing body for CBT therapists. However, several certifying institutes expect you to have a state license.
  • Before you apply for certification, you need to complete specialized training in CBT. Most institutions offering CBT training programs require candidates to have a few years of supervised experience in providing therapy.
  • Apply for a CBT-specific certification program.


What Are The Steps Involved In Doing CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy can typically be divided into the following steps


Step 1: Identifying the problem: Here you try to figure out the situations or conditions that may be causing distress. You also decide what goals you want to focus on during the therapy.


Step 2: Gain awareness about your thoughts and emotions: Now that you have figured out your problems, the next step is to get a better understanding of the emotions, beliefs, and thoughts associated with these issues. Here you will focus on how you interpret a situation, the way you talk about an experience, how you see yourself and others, etc.


Step 3: Identifying negative thought patterns: Here you will figure out the behaviors or patterns of thinking that are adding to your problem. The focus will be on the emotional, behavioral, and physical responses in distressing situations.


Step 4: Reshaping negative thought pattern: Here you will be encouraged to think about whether how you view a certain distressing situation is based on inaccurate perception or facts. You will be working towards adopting more constructive behavior and thought patterns.


Related: Online Meditation Courses | Counselling Classes Online

To Sum Up…

We have reached an understanding of how to learn CBT online. So, if you wish to learn CBT for your own good, books and online sources such as courses and apps are sufficient.


However, to learn CBT from a professional angle to start your own practice, you need to have some formal education and valid certification.


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