I'm not a cognitive science student, but I'm interested in CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and I'm using it to overcome some of the problems I have.

However, I have difficulty in finding resources online for it. AMAIK CBT has a list of cognitive errors, which I prefer to call dysfunctional mental sceneries. You can simply Google for common cognitive errors and you end up with like 20 good results.

To overcome those errors, people are encouraged to use some techniques like reality testing for example. But I can't find a good comprehensive list of techniques used in CBT. Here are the links to sites I've found:

http://cognitivetechniques.com/what-is-cognitive-behavioral-therapy-cbt/ http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/treatment/cognitive-techniques http://brownbackmason.com/articles/5-common-techniques-of-the-cognitive-behavioral-therapist

However they barely provide more than 5 techniques. In comparison to the lists of cognitive errors, it seems that there are not enough cognitive techniques proposed by cognitive psychologists. I've heard somewhere that we have more than 100 cognitive techniques, and I can't find more than 5 on the Internet.

Is it that I've misunderstood techniques part of CBT? Or is it that techniques are not free to be published online? Can anyone clarify me here, or show me a comprehensive list of cognitive techniques?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm sure they are online somewhere (I don't know where, though, sorry). However, for $15 you can get the theory and practice right from the horse's mouth: amazon.com/Cognitive-Therapy-Emotional-Disorders-Psychology/dp/… $\endgroup$ Jul 2, 2013 at 4:02
  • $\begingroup$ The writing is powerful and dense, but it's accessible. $\endgroup$ Jul 2, 2013 at 4:03
  • $\begingroup$ As techniques are evolving frequently, brought forward by different people/scientists/practicioners around the globe, there can never be a comprehensive list of all of it. Never. $\endgroup$ Jan 9, 2022 at 17:48
  • $\begingroup$ Not exactly a list, but a really good guide with lost of tried and tested techniques in CBT is the The Feeling Good Handbook by Dr. David D Burns. $\endgroup$
    – sfxedit
    May 3, 2023 at 11:54

3 Answers 3


The issue is that there are many variations of cognitive behavioral therapy, and each variation has its own techniques (as well as some that overlap with other therapies). A lot of the time, when people are speaking about cognitive behavioral therapy, they are considering cognitive behavioral therapy as conceived by Aaron Beck. However, there have been many different "variations" of cognitive behavioral therapy, which some envision as having come in three waves. I wrote an article that I considered to be a good list of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. However, I am now planning extensive revisions and possibly a couple of additional articles to clarify the following:

  1. There are many variations of CBT (and I shall write an article explaining that and listing them)
  2. In total, there are over 70 techniques of CBT when you consider all the different versions of it. I shall write an article listing them.
  3. I will either rewrite or revise my current article to reflect that it mainly accounts for CBT as conceived by Aaron Beck.

You might want to check out http://www.anxietyonline.org.au/. It's free for the eTherapy version and it's funded by the Australian federal government.

A colleague of mine gave a presentation and it looks really good. From the website:

Anxiety Online is a comprehensive online mental health service offering information, assessment, online diagnosis and treatment programs ("eTherapy") for the anxiety disorders:-

Once you have gone through the fairly long diagnostic process, you get access to a range of eTherapy resources. In particular, you can use it to learn more about CBT. It has exercises and videos.


Wikipedia has a long list.

  1. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a "third wave" behavior therapy, developed by Stephen Hayes based on relational frame theory.
    1. Anxiety Management Training was developed by Suinn and Richardson (1971) for helping clients control their anxiety by the use of relaxation and other skills.1
    2. Applied Behavioral Analysis, described by Baer, Wolf and Risley in 1968,2 is the science of applying experimentally derived principles of behavior to improve socially significant behavior.
    3. Behavioral activation is a behavioral approach to treating depression, developed by Neil Jacobson and others.
    4. Behavior modification is a term originally used by Edward Thorndike in 1911.
    5. Behavior therapy
    6. Cognitive therapy was developed by Aaron Beck[3][4] and has become of the most studied psychosocial treatments.
    7. Cognitive analytic therapy
    8. Cognitive behavior modification
    9. Cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy
    10. Cognitive Emotional Behaviour Therapy
    11. Cognitive processing therapy for Post traumatic stress disorder
    12. Computerised Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    13. Contingency Management
    14. Dialectical Behavior Therapy
    15. Demartini Method
    16. Direct therapeutic exposure
    17. Exposure and response prevention
    18. Functional Analytic Psychotherapy
    19. Interactive Cognitive Subsystems
    20. Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy
    21. Multimodal Therapy
    22. Problem-Solving Therapy1
    23. Prolonged Exposure Therapy
    24. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, formerly called Rational Therapy and Rational Emotive Therapy,[5] was founded byAlbert Ellis and is "regarded by many as one of the premiere examples of the cognitive-behavioral approach"1
    25. Reality Therapy
    26. Relapse Prevention
    27. Self Control Training.
    28. Self Instructional Training was developed by Donald Meichenbaum, influenced by the developmental psychology ofAlexander Luria and Lev Vygotsky, designed to treat the mediational deficiencies of impulsive children1
    29. Self-talk Identification, Questioning & Revision (SIQR)
    30. Stress Inoculation Training1
    31. Systematic desensitization is an anxiety reduction technique, developed by Joseph Wolpe.
    32. Systematic Rational Restructuring was an attempt by Marvin Goldfried to reanalyze systematic desensitization in terms of cognitive mediation and coping skills.1

This book also seems like a good resource for learning more about techniques.

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    $\begingroup$ This doesn't seem to answer the question - it appears to be a list of CBT therapies, rather than a list of CBT techniques. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Jan 7, 2022 at 20:12

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