By Judith S. Beck, PhD
President, Beck Institute

You may have questions or reservations about starting Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Think about the following to help inform your decision.

1. You don’t need to make a commitment to a minimum number of sessions.

Some patients find even a few therapy sessions useful and then choose to continue working on their own.

2. View therapy as an experiment.

There is no way of knowing in advance that Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) will definitely help, but it has helped countless people with difficulties. Think of giving CBT a try; there’s probably no hard evidence that it won’t help you.

3. Realize that there is no big risk.

If it’s not helpful enough, you can stop, but the potential benefit might be great. It would be a shame if you decided not to try something that could really make a difference in your life.

4. It’s normal to have concerns.

You may worry whether therapy can help or you may feel hopeless about it. If you’re predicting that nothing will make you feel better, you may be wrong. And we encourage you to tell your therapist directly that you’re skeptical or pessimistic. Your therapist will positively reinforce you for expressing your concerns and help you address them so you can get the most from treatment.

5. Finances are often a problem.

Many insurance plans pay for part of the cost of evaluation and treatment. Our goal is to teach you to be your own therapist and to keep therapy short, so CBT may be the best investment you could make.

6. You can find out more about CBT.

You can search online, visit, watch informational videos on YouTube, or read a CBT self-help book or workbook.