As I wrote about last time, my self-directed workbook on CBT for anxiety and depression was released on Oct. 18, 2016 (available here). My goal in writing the book is to make the tools of CBT available to as many people as possible, and I want each person who follows the plan spelled out in the book to get the most out of it.

There are plenty of studies showing that self-help approaches for anxiety and depression can be effective. At the same time, as I note in the book and elsewhere, CBT tends to be most effective when done with a therapist.

[Therapy Without a Therapist? on Psychology Today Blog]

To my knowledge, we don’t know for certain what a therapist adds to the treatment above and beyond the information that a book could provide. I have my suspicions, though, and I’m pretty sure they won’t surprise you.

  1. First, a good therapist provides a place where you can feel comfortable and accepted. You tell another person what’s bothering you and that person takes you seriously. No, you’re not making this up and no, you’re not “crazy.” And so you feel understood and validated, and maybe you don’t feel so alone. There’s plenty of evidence that a better quality of relationship with our therapist leads to better outcomes.
  2. A therapist also provides some accountability. You know that every week you’ll have a meeting and you’ll discuss the things you planned to work on between sessions. You might be less inclined to skip the things you planned knowing you’ll have to “face your therapist.” Additionally, therapy isn’t free, and we tend to follow through with activities more when we’ve paid for them (like gym memberships).
  3. A therapist can help troubleshoot difficulties. Making important changes in our thoughts and behaviors is difficult, and everyone will run into challenges along the waywater-rocks-stream-leaves. For example, what do we do when we can’t think of an alternative to an especially upsetting belief about ourselves? It helps to collaborate with an experienced guide, probably someone who’s treated people with similar struggles and can help you find creative solutions.

I can’t replicate all of these factors as you’re using CBT in 7 Weeks, although I tried to build these ideas into the text as much as I could. What I would like to add is an additional sense of support and even community. My plan is to use this blog to provide extra material to support you in the work for each week.

I’d also like the comments section of this blog to be a place where you can share your struggles and your successes each week, if you choose. This way you’ll know that many people are working alongside you. I may not be able to respond to all questions and comments but look forward to being a part of the discussion.

The schedule will be as follows; all dates are Mondays:

  • October 31: Week 1, Setting Your Goals and Getting Started
  • November 7: Week 2, Getting Back to Life
  • November 14: Week 3, Identifying Your Thought Patterns
  • November 21: Week 4, Breaking Negative Thought Patterns
  • November 28: Week 5, Time and Task Management
  • December 5: Week 6, Facing Your Fears
  • December 12: Week 7, Putting It All Together
  • December 19: The Next Seven Weeks

I realize this schedule overlaps with the Thanksgiving holiday and others but I wanted to make this resource available before the new year for those who plan to start soon. If the timing doesn’t work for you, I plan to do something similar starting in the first week of 2017.

For those of you starting this journey, I wish you the best and look forward to hearing from you!

12 thoughts

  • Good Morning,
    I am just getting back to this wonderful book after a vacation. I would like to print the forms. Where do I find them?
    I am in chapter three and wonder if I may join the blog.

    Becky Sun

    • Welcome back, Becky. I’m glad to hear you’ll be using the book and hope you get a lot out of it. The forms can be downloaded from this website:

      As far as joining the blog, you should be able to leave comments now. There’s also an option to sign up for the newsletter I send out; you can find the signup form on the homepage.

      All the best as you go through the program. I look forward to your comments and questions!


    • It’s a great question. I would recommend at least reviewing the first two weeks, especially the goals to make sure they’re still the same. They’ll also remind you what you’re aiming at, which can provide focus and motivation. I would also tend to repeat Week 2 to jump start doing more rewarding activities. Glad to hear you’re coming back to it!

  • Hi, i just bought this book and started it today. I have not found a therapist and hardly have time to go to meet one as I am a teacher working with low income schools where I find numerous triggers for myself. The work is quite overwhelming so this book gives me my own time and space to work on. Would I require a therapist? as per the forums in your book i am having gad and panic disorder with moderate depression. So far this book helped me to identify what I am dealing with. Would request if you can provide me with anyother worksheets or activities that I can do additionally with the book.

    • Glad to hear you’re getting started with the book, Srisesha. I hope you find it helpful. Many people find a book alone to be quite effective, even if working with a therapist on average will have a bigger benefit. I’m not aware of other worksheets to use with the book and I would think that starting with what’s in the book and focusing there is a good starting place, so the work doesn’t become too spread out. All the best as you get started. You might connect with other readers on the Think Act Be Facebook group, too, which I moderate.

  • Hi there! Just picked up this book on Thursday after lots of research on workbooks I felt might fit my needs. I’m really enjoying the process so far, and am using my computer to document my journal entries. I was curious, because I went onto the website posted below, and it says the webpage doesn’t exist. I was hoping you could point me in a direction to where I can make copies of some of the worksheets for daily activities and what-not. Thank you so much 🙂

  • Hi Seth… I’ve just downloaded the audio book from and the accompanying workbook only to discover the workbook is missing pages. It goes from the front cover to page 20, then skips from 24-30 and so on and so on throughout the book. I looked at to see if I can download it from there but there only seems to be supplement material for the workbook and not the workbook to go with the audio book. Can you help?

  • I’m interested buying one of your books. But I’m not sure which one to start with. Or if it is necessary to ready both the 10 Strategies and 7 weeks. What’s the difference, and is one more preferable to the other?


    • I appreciate the question, Tim. Retrain Your Brain is good if you’re looking for a week-by-week workbook with detailed exercises for each week. It focuses on Anxiety and Depression. I wrote CBT Made Simple for people who wanted a broader approach (I include anger and other difficult emotions in that book) and more of a guide they could come back to over and over as needed. You’ll also find a lot more about mindfulness in CBT Made Simple, organized around the Think Act Be approach of mindfulness-centered CBT. And if/when you want something extremely portable, The CBT Deck could be a good fit. Sending you best wishes for whatever you choose, Tim.

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