Frequently Asked Questions: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

by Eileen Bailey Health Writer

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that works to reframe perceptions and thought processes to help in changing behaviors and emotional health.
Some tools used in CBT include relaxation training, biofeedback, hypnosis, and desensitization.

What Happens in a CBT Session?

CBT is a type of practical therapy, that is it attempts to resolve a problem. For that reason, sessions will focus on specific concerns of the patient. For example, if someone is being treated for animal phobias, sessions can include slowly exposing the patient to a dog, first by viewing from through a glass door, then sitting across the room until the patient is comfortable.

How Often Are Sessions?

Generally, sessions are scheduled on a weekly basis and each session lasts for one hour.

How Long Does Therapy Normally Last?

As each person's needs are different, there is no exact answer or exact number of sessions needed to be effective. This would depend on the person and the scope of issues that are to be addressed during therapy. The length of therapy, however, is often shorter than other types of therapy and can be as short as between 12 and 20 weeks.

What Types of Professionals Perform CBT?

Several different types of mental health professionals are able to perform CBT:

  • Psychologists

  • Clinical Social Workers

  • Psychiatrists

  • Professional Counselors

Is CBT Effective in Treating Anxiety?

CBT has been found to be effective in treating panic disorder, phobias and other types of anxiety. It has also been found to help when patients may have a comorbid condition, such as depression, substance abuse or additional anxiety disorders.

How Much Does it Cost?

The fees for CBT can be different based on the type of provider you choose and the area you live. Check with your health provider for exact fees.

Does Insurance Cover CBT?

CBT is covered under many insurance plans. Insurance plans, however, can be unique and some may not cover this type of therapy. You should check with your insurance carrier to find out whether this type of treatment is covered.

For more information:

10 Reasons to Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


"Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Overview", Reviewed 2006, Dec 4, Reviewed by Harvy Simon, M.D., A.D.A.M., Inc

"Guidelines for Choosing a Behavior Therapist", 1997, The Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy

Eileen Bailey
Meet Our Writer
Eileen Bailey

Eileen Bailey is an award-winning author of six books on health and parenting topics and freelance writer specializing in health topics including ADHD, Anxiety, Sexual Health, Skin Care, Psoriasis and Skin Cancer. Her wish is to provide readers with relevant and practical information on health conditions to help them make informed decisions regarding their health care.