Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) resources


Chart explaining how thoughts, emotions, and behavior are thought to interrelate in CBT. Image from Pacific CBT (

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a goal-oriented form of therapy that focuses on the interrelationships between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors: how thoughts and emotions affect behavior, and vice versa.  Participants in CBT work collaboratively with a therapist to identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviors and to consider how changing the way we think can shift our feelings and behaviors, or changing how we behave can shift our feelings and thoughts. “Third wave” CBT also emphasizes mindfulness practices.

One of the benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is that there are a lot of tools, handouts, and exercises available online for free that you can use on your own (or, together with some friends/loved ones, if you want to support each other!). One of the benefits of CBT is that it’s meant to, eventually, be something you can do on your own after learning about how CBT works and practicing CBT strategies. However, it’s helpful to seek out a CBT-trained therapist to learn about and at least get started on using these tools and making them a part of your daily practice (and to seek out a therapist, psychologist, and/or psychiatrist generally, to develop a comprehensive mental health care plan). Please use the comments below to discuss what tools linked here you found particularly effective!

Zen Buddhist Guided Meditation Sessions (sponsored by Student Life and Services)

The Officer for Student Life and Services regularly organizes meditation sessions with the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association and its instructors ( Look out on DSC social media accounts for when these sessions are scheduled. For more information on the Chan Meditation Center, visit

CBT Information

Australian Association for Cognitive and Behavior Therapy, “What is CBT?”:

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy:

  • Get information on CBT and find a qualified therapist.
  • CBT Online Training Resources:
  • Three useful powerpoints on what CBT is and how to implement it (this is aimed at addiction counselors but is still generally useful and informative)

Great Courses audio/videos on Cognitive Behavioral Techniques for Retraining Your Brain (by Jason Satterfield):

  • While these are usually fairly expensive courses, keep your eye out for sales: at times, this course is discounted as much as 70%
Some sample CBT handouts

CBT Thought Record:

Take out this handout when you have a negative or self-deprecating thought: write it down (“I’m the worst scholar!”), consider how it makes you feel, consider evidence for/against the thought, and formulate a new thought taking into account the evidence–and how this new thought makes you feel (“I’m overwhelmed by all the work I have to do–being overwhelmed doesn’t make me a bad scholar”). Some more specific thought records:

Unhelpful thinking styles:

  • Little cards to remind us of unhelpful thinking styles/cognitive distortions that bring us down, such as overgeneralizing (“I always mess up”) and jumping to conclusions/mind reading (“I bet they think I’m an idiot”).

Stop, Think, Breathe:

  • A handout to use when overwhelmed: stop, think through what’s bothering you and why it’s bothering you, and breathe.
CBT Resources and Tools

CBT tools and worksheets:

  • Several downloadable worksheets for self-tracking beliefs, emotions behaviors, etc; worksheets on cognitive restructuring, formulation, and worksheets with useful information and tools
  • Also includes links to other worksheets and to articles about CBT and how it works.

Get Self Help:

  • List of, and links to, CBT self help programs and apps

  • Free if working with a therapist who recommends you to this site; otherwise 2.99/mo. Includes several CBT exercises (role playing game that rewards doing items on your real-time to do list).

  • While this is not technically an official CBT resource, it does seem to work off of CBT theories, by potentially restructuring how you look at chores, tasks, and to-do list items you’d usually avoid or procrastinate on. That is to say, it turns these tasks into “quests” and “missions,” that, on completion, result in rewards like coins you can use to buy equipment (read: Viking helmets, armor, party hats)  and eggs that hatch into pets.

UCSF San Francisco General Hospital Latino Mental Health Research Program:

  • Includes mood screeners in English and Spanish, as well as handbooks on topics like “the healthy management of reality,” also in English and Spanish.


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