Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a type of therapy that has proven to be effective in the treatment of many mental health conditions.

Like all forms of therapy however, there are advantages and disadvantages involved, as we cover in this article.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of therapy that is used to treat a range of mental health conditions. CBT involves an individual talking face-to-face with a therapist, although sometimes CBT can be conducted in a group setting. CBT attempts to improve an individual’s wellbeing and mood. The therapy focuses on the link between thoughts, feelings and actions. This can be useful for those with low self-esteem, anxiety, unhelpful personality traits or intrusive thoughts. CBT can help an individual understand their feelings more, and in the long run should lead to an improvement in quality of life.

Advantages of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

  • CBT Doesn’t take long: CBT is a relatively short form of therapy, especially in relation to others.
  • Can be combined with medication: Another positive of CBT is the fact that CBT can be combined with medication if necessary. CBT appears to be just as effective as antidepressants.
  • CBT is very structured: As CBT is such a popular type of therapy, over the years therapists have been able to create highly-effective and structured processes. CBT can come in various formats – all of which are tried and tested methods.
  • Group Setting: For those with anxiety problems, completing CBT in a group setting can be an excellent way of getting used to coming into contact with others. In the course of any mental health condition, it can be very useful and reassuring to know others are in the same position as you.
  • Tools for the Future: Sometimes relapses are inevitable. In this case, it is great to know that CBT equips patients with tools that you can use for the rest of your life.
  • CBT teaches coping strategies: Similar to the above, CBT teaches coping strategies which can be useful both during and after treatment.

Disadvantages of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

  • Doesn’t take the past into account: Without doubt, the biggest flaw of CBT is that it doesn’t take past events into account, it very much focuses on “the here and now”. While for many people this doesn’t matter, this isn’t always the case.
  • A Group setting isn’t always positive: CBT is often done in a group. While there are many advantages to group therapy, there are also negatives. CBT in a group setting doesn’t allow for an individual focus, which can limit effectiveness for some.
  • CBT is not intensive: CBT is far from intensive enough for many people. It is best for those with mild problems. For those that need quicker relief from symptoms, CBT isn’t always suitable.
  • It can be difficult: As CBT involves looking into your anxieties – it can be very difficult. But it should be said that this is the same for all types of therapy.
  • CBT has a high “drop-out rate”: CBT actually has a relatively high “drop-out rate” – which refers to the amount of people that go on to finish CBT treatment. This could be due to some feeling that CBT isn’t working for them.
  • Not a quick fix: CBT is not a quick fix – it takes a time. Commitment is certainly needed. It is also necessary for a person to continue using the techniques after the treatment in the case of relapses.

See Also


This website should be used purely for informational purposes, and does not intend to, nor should it ever, be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.

We strive to keep all of our pages updated, and ensure that our website is full of factual and in-depth information. However, we encourage you to browse this website with care.

As a reminder, this website and all content within it cannot and should not replace the advice of a trained medical professional. You can read our full disclaimer at this link.


If you are struggling with your mental health, help is available. With the right support and treatment, you can make a recovery. For information on helplines, or if you are in a state of crisis, please visit our crisis page by clicking on the relevant link for your geographical location (United Kingdom), (United States), (International). You can also see how to get mental health treatment and the process involved by clicking this link.