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Ottawa Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

A counselor listens to her client with a cognitive behavioural therapy approach

If you have been struggling with anxiety or depression, and are currently seeking treatment in Ottawa, most likely you will have come across the term “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy” or CBT therapy. It has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, anger management, eating disorders, autism, ADHD, and chronic stress. So if you are seeking out an Ottawa cognitive behavioural therapist, keep reading to learn more about how cognitive behavioural therapy can help improve your situation.


The Premise of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Puzzle pieces on a wooden tableThe main idea of cognitive behavioural therapy is that the psychological problems we experience can be a result of our negative or unhelpful ways of thinking. The main goal of cognitive behavioural therapy is to identify these underlying negative thoughts that contribute to our problems (whether that be anxiety, depression, etc.) so we can address and reduce them.
Cognitive behavioural therapy attempts to alleviate distress and psychological problems by addressing the main negative beliefs. This is accomplished first by learning to identify the negative patterns that are being caused by the negative thoughts, and learning to interrupt these patterns. This is done by either providing a substitute thought through a balanced counter belief or learning to accept and then letting go of the negative beliefs that one carries in a way that does not impact one’s behaviour.


How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Ottawa Can Help

Cognitive behavioural therapy is an effective treatment for a variety of different mental health issues and disorders, including:

  • – Anxiety
  • – Depression
  • – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • – Eating Disorders
  • – Bipolar Disorder
  • – Phobias
  • – Substance Use
  • – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • – Insomnia
  • – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • – And more!


Counsellors Specializing in CBT


How Does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Work?a woman in the middle of a cognitive behavioural therapy session

Generally, cognitive behavioural therapy is tool and homework-based, meaning that it involves completing exercises that your therapist recommends outside of the therapy room. These tools often include thought records. Thought records are a method of capturing and examining your thoughts and feelings about a certain situation. At times, CBT is also combined with relaxation techniques, which aim to further interrupt the negative patterns and manage the emotional response that is caused by the negative thoughts.

Depending on your reason for seeking out therapy, whether that be anxiety, trauma, or an eating disorder, your therapist will be able to use the appropriate techniques for your particular situation.


How You Can Get The Most Out Of Your CBT Therapy Session

Here are the steps you can take to get the most out of your cognitive behavioural therapy sessions and help make it a success.

Take a collaborative approach to therapy. Therapy works best when you actively participate and participate in making decisions. Make sure that you and your therapist are in agreement regarding the main problems. Together, you can decide on objectives and monitor your progress over time.

Be honest and open. Being open to new ideas and methods of doing things, as well as your openness to communicate your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, are essential for success in therapy. Let your therapist know if you’re hesitant to discuss some topics because of painful feelings, humiliation, or fear of judgment.

Don’t expect instant results. It can be difficult and painful to work through emotional issues. It’s usual to experience worsening symptoms in the first stages of therapy as you start to address issues from the past and the present. Before you start to observe results, you might require a few sessions.

Keep up with any requests from your therapist for you to read, write in a journal, or engage in other activities between sessions. You can put what you’ve learned in therapy to use by completing these homework tasks.

Speak to your therapist if therapy isn’t making a difference. After a few sessions, if you still don’t feel like CBT is helping, discuss it with your therapist. You might choose to adjust something or attempt a different strategy with your therapist.




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Our Ottawa Cognitive Therapy Services in Kanata, Orleans & Nepean

We have several psychologists, social workers, and psychotherapists in Ottawa that have been trained in, and offer cognitive behavioural therapy.  In order to book a session with one of our CBT therapists that is closest to you, you can either use the tool to the right, and put Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as an expertise, or call intake at 613-425-4012. We would be happy to help you set up an appointment.


Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy right for me?

  • I am looking for an approach that is skill and homework-based
  • I often find myself in unhelpful thought patterns that impact my day-to-day life
  • I want to find healthy coping strategies for dealing with my stress, depression, anxiety, etc.
  • I want to actively participate in my own healing and recovery
  • I believe that right now it is my negative thought patterns that are underlying my difficulties
  • I want to learn how to recognize negative patterns before they happen
  • I would like an approach that is goal-oriented and structured


Related Areas:

–  Anxiety Counselling

–  Depression Counselling

–  Trauma Counselling

Frequently Asked Questions

Some people who previously have been in traditional counselling or therapy find it surprising at first that they won't need to be in therapy 'forever' or that they will make progress 'quickly.' Each person will need a slightly different number of CBT sessions, some more, some less. A typical CBT therapy session at Capital Choice Counselling in Ottawa moves pretty quickly. Our Ottawa therapists who are trained and experienced in CBT tend to be pretty sharp, focusing in with efficiency on what is holding you back and then working with you to develop & implement tools and strategies to work through and get past those issues - be it anxiety, depression and/or other mental & emotional health issues.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a specific approach to psychotherapy in which a patients negative patterns of thought are challenged. Through CBT, a patient gets equipped with the skills and tools to understand their thoughts and behaviours in order to change their existing patterns into healthier habits.
In a manner of speaking, yes. If it helps one think of CBT in a positive way as a means of reducing the number of therapy sessions needed, that's great. We would caution, however, that CBT is not a guaranteed, fast-track means of getting 'better' overnight. CBT requires the same level of effort and commitment as other forms of therapy. CBT has been proven to be helpful, however, in taking a fixed or finite number of therapy sessions to use proactive and practical ways of getting past what is holding you back. In CBT you'll spend much less time talking about your past, and more time discussing and implementing tools and strategies to move past your issues and live your best life.
CBT is all about tools and techniques to help you lead a better, more productive life of contentment and satisfaction. As such, you'll want to work on these techniques & strategies both with your Ottawa CBT therapist as well as out in the 'real world' so to speak. That's how you can make the most of your CBT experience.
Yes. While we used to encourage CBT and other forms of therapy and counselling in Ottawa to take place in person, technology and the COVID-19 era have changed things a lot. Most of our CBT therapists in Ottawa can work with you via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or phone.
Many insurance plans cover various types of therapy and counselling, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The amount and duration covered can vary and is most often capped. That's another good reason to choose CBT, since the number of sessions needed for effective CBT is typically much less than other forms of therapy. Here's how it works: - Contact your insurance company to see what they cover - Pay your therapist directly - Submit invoiced to insurance provider for reimbursement Should you have any concerns or questions, please don't hesitate to ask us.
In most forms of therapy and counselling, goal-setting is an evidence based intervention that helps you keep track of progress and provides a structured path for achieving specific objectives. SMART goals can be defined as Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive. SMART goals provide guidance and realistic criteria that increase motivations towards achieving lasting change and accomplishing those set goals.

Areas We Serve

  • Kanata
  • Nepean
  • Orleans
  • Downtown
  • South Keys