Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Calgary

Takeaway: Sometimes, our thoughts and actions can keep us stuck in old patterns that no longer work for us. CBT therapy in Calgary can help you identify these patterns and learn new ways to approach life.

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a highly effective and evidence-based approach to treating a wide range of mental health concerns.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment of talk therapy that can help manage everyday life problems by changing the way you think and behave and giving individuals the necessary tools to identify and challenge unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, called cognitive distortions.

Cognitive behavioural therapy can help treat symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental disorders by encouraging more positive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours to create positive changes, reduce negative thought patterns, understand anger, and improve mindfulness.

Therapists will use psychotherapy to challenge cognitive distortions and unpack big emotions to help people challenge their perspective and focus on managing their symptoms and life transitions while challenging negative thought patterns and building coping skills.

Reach out today to learn more about CBT therapy Calgary.

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Cognitive behavioural therapy 101

CBT works by examining and changing unhelpful cognitions (i.e., thoughts, beliefs, or assumptions) a person has that may be connected to a presenting problem.

CBT works to identify and change maladaptive behaviours that could be contributing to or maintaining a problem. There are many studies based on scientific research to demonstrate it is a highly effective form of therapy for many mental health concerns.

CBT is Educational

  • Treatment aims to educate people about the components of the CBT model and how it specifically applies to their current difficulties. This helps people gain awareness and understanding of the factors that contribute to their problems, which is an important first step in the process of change.

CBT is Skills Focused

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy focuses on learning the necessary skills to be able to identify, evaluate, and change unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviour. Initially, the therapist guides and supports the client to address problematic cognitions and actions; however, over time, the client takes a more active role as he or she learns the therapy skills. This transfer of skills from therapist to client contributes to lasting change beyond the end of the therapy relationship.

CBT is Collaborative and Goal Directed

  • In CBT, the client and therapist work collaboratively to identify and achieve a number of important therapy goals related to symptom reduction and improved functioning.

CBT Looks at the Present

  • Focus is placed on applying important therapeutic interventions to current, problematic life situations, learn the necessary skills to change unhelpful cognitions and act in new ways to improve day-to-day functioning, and reach long-term goals.

CBT Emphasizes the Importance of Practice

  • Research demonstrates that completing practice between therapy sessions can increase its effectiveness. Therefore, at the end of every therapy session, the therapist and client work together to set a practice assignment to work on before the next therapy session. Practice assignments are designed for specific purposes such as increasing a person’s knowledge and awareness, helping to develop therapy skills (i.e., challenging one’s thoughts and taking new actions), and achieving specific goals.

CBT Promotes Relapse Prevention

  • By the end of treatment, the goal is for a person to be his or her own "therapist" and to feel confident in responding to life’s challenges in a more adaptive and helpful way. Before therapy ends, the therapist and individual create a relapse prevention plan that emphasizes maintaining gains over the long term and preventing relapse in the future.
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How does cognitive behavioural therapy work?

In CBT, clients learn to identify, question, and change the thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs related to the emotional and behavioural reactions that cause them difficulty, and deal with current problems rather than focusing on issues from the past.

CBT is based on the concept that thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and actions are interconnected and negative thoughts and feelings can trap an individual in a negative cycle. It aims to help deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller, bite-sized parts while being shown how to change these negative patterns to improve the way one feels.

By monitoring and recording thoughts during upsetting situations, such as relationship issues, difficult situations, or pain from trauma, people learn how they think can contribute to emotional problems such as depression or anxiety.

CBT helps reduce these emotional problems by teaching clients to:

  • identify distortions in their thinking

  • see thoughts as ideas about what is going on rather than as facts

  • stand back from their thinking to consider situations from different viewpoints

It looks for practical ways to improve the state of mind on a daily basis and helps clients challenge and defeat negative thoughts and triggers for anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, fears, phobias, and much more. Treatment uses motivational tools to help disolve internal fear and resistance.

Sometimes, in order for powerful change to occur, the person must let go of an unhelpful thought processes in order to find inner peace and long-term happiness.

If you are ready to start your therapy journey we look forward to hearing from you.

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What mental health concerns does cognitive behavioural therapy treat?

CBT is a structured, time-limited, problem-focused, and goal-oriented form of psychotherapy.

CBT helps people learn to identify, question, and change how their thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs relate to the emotional and behavioural reactions that cause them difficulty. This has been shown to be an effective way of treating a number of different mental health conditions. Evidence suggests that it is particularly effective in treating anxiety and depression. We will explore a few mental health concerns that CBT therapy can target.


Cognitive behavioural therapy has become the leading treatment for anxiety, and for good reason. Research indicates this treatment can help after as few as eight sessions, with or without medication.

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CBT uses a combination of cognitive and behavioural approaches to reduce depression. Therapists may challenge depressive thinking patterns that are leading to inaction or self-harming behaviours.

Relationship challenges

A couple's therapist will collaborate with the couple and help them translate their relationship issues into statements of positive goals. The counsellor will then team these goals with specific intervention techniques that will help the couple replace their current negative behavioural patterns with positive ones.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Cognitive therapy helps understand that the brain is sending error messages. Clients will learn to recognize these messages and respond to them in new ways to help control obsessions and compulsions.

Panic disorders

Through CBT, patients learn about the nature of the disorder and acquire a set of skills that counter the fears of panic attacks themselves, and break the recurring cycle of anticipatory anxiety or panic.

Posttraumatic stress disorders

CBT helps those with PTSD by challenging the unhealthy thought processes and emotions connected to someone's trauma. Challenging these thought processes allows the patient to acknowledge the reality of the trauma.

Eating disorders

CBT is the leading evidence-based treatment for bulimia nervosa and focuses on mood intolerance, perfectionism, low self-esteem, and interpersonal difficulties that contribute to the maintenance of eating disorders.

Bipolar disorders

CBT is used to treat bipolar disorder by addressing depressive symptoms that occur as part of periods or episodes of depression, guilt or other negative thoughts, and by addressing feelings of losing friends or relationships.

Our therapists can support you.

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Our Calgary CBT therapists are here to help you.

This type of therapy asks you to think about any unhelpful patterns you have and challenges your thoughts and beliefs while encouraging you to change the way you behave.

CBT therapy can assist you by offering an organized, evidence-based approach to addressing individual mental health difficulties. A registered psychologist or social worker will identify harmful patterns of thinking and behaviour that may be contributing to the troubles.

CBT teaches practical skills and tools for managing emotions, creating mindfulness, and improving coping abilities, resulting in long-term, positive improvements in your life. You’ll be asked to talk about what is going on immediately in your life without dwelling on things that happened in the past.

Numerous research studies suggest that CBT leads to significant improvements in functioning and quality of life. It works to address the symptoms by identifying the reasons behind them, alleviating the irrational beliefs causing them, and changing harmful thoughts that may be contributing to the development or worsening of the symptoms. Counselling services will help:

Recognize the distortions that are causing the person distress.

Challenge the unhealthy thoughts, beliefs, and feelings in a safe and non-judgmental space to focus on the behaviour.

Re-evaluate the thought processes and begin to formulate more positive thoughts while developing mindfulness.

Learn Tools & Strategies to develop resilience and confidence while reducing stress, unpacking trauma, minimizing negative thinking, and focusing on healing.

We are currently accepting new clients; please contact us for a free 30-minute phone consultation.

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What happens during CBT sessions

The aim of cognitive behavioural therapy is to teach you to apply the treatment methods and stress management techniques you have learned during counselling services to your daily life and relationships.

At the first visit, the CBT-trained therapist will discuss:

  • the nature and causes of the difficulties and factors that could be maintaining them

  • how this treatment method or other treatment methods will apply to specific problems

  • how the tasks completed in therapy can work to change different aspects of the problems and help to heal

  • what you want to get out of counselling from private practice, cognitive behavioural therapy and other treatment methods

    Counselling sessions will be once a week or once every 2 weeks for adults or adolescents, and the course of psychotherapy usually lasts for between 6 and 20 sessions, with each session lasting 50-minutes.

During sessions, problems will be broken down into their separate parts, such as thoughts and physical sensations and how this is impacting behaviour. The counsellor will then be able to help work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and actions for healing.

After working out what you can and want to change, practicing these changes in daily life, will provide demonstrated and proven skills, discussion on how these went during the next session are important.

At Shelly Qualtieri & Associates, we believe in providing you with a helpful perspective and counselling by using your real-life situations in sessions so you have an example from your life to reduce your anger, stress, or pain and improve relationships with others and yourself. We will use a diverse range of cbt therapy treatment methods.

Connect today to learn more.

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Who we help in our practice

Our goal is to provide a safe and supportive environment where clients can explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours and develop strategies for coping and achieving their goals.

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Children and Teens:

CBT skills can help children and teens better manage emotions, social situations and reduce anxiety, phobias, and irrational fears.

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Because it is a relatively short therapeutic intervention, CBT has been proven highly efficient and effective for adults who struggle with anxiety disorders, depression, phobias, insomnia, eating disorders, and other mental health challenges.


Cognitive-behavioural family therapy is an approach that is conducted against the backdrop of systems theory and includes the premise that members of a family simultaneously influence and are influenced by each other, with the goal of improving connection and family functioning.

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Through CBT and commitment therapy, couples can improve communication, increase rewarding relationship connections, and reevaluate harmful assumptions that may be driving a wedge between partners.


One CBT technique, also known as cognitive restructuring, helps athletes identify the source of their stress, understand how they responded emotionally, and empower them to respond more constructively. As a result, players start seeing threats as challenges, generating more positive emotions and higher satisfaction with their performance and training, for example.

Book your free 30-minute call with us today to get started.

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CBT therapy in Calgary can help you feel more in control of your life.

CBT focuses on the here-and-now—on the problems that come up in day-to-day life.

Whether it's therapy for yourself, your teen, your family, or as a couple, we believe in supporting you with easily manageable, bite-sized strategies to find your happiness. At Shelly Qualtieri & Associates, we are a team of therapists with CBT training and a variety of other therapies and modalities.

We are here for the difficult situations and to help people examine how they make sense of what is happening around them and how these perceptions affect the way they feel and act.

We will provide you with a structured, problem-focused, and goal-oriented approach that teaches strategies and skills and is based on a proactive, shared therapeutic relationship.

We encourage you to schedule a free consultation to get started. We look forward to hearing from you.

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