27 Best Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Books to Master CBT

Best CBT BooksCognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a tool that therapists use to aid clients in reducing the thoughts that lead to maladaptive behaviors.

In its simplest form, the concept is to identify unhelpful thoughts and learn to reframe them in a way that leads to more positive outcomes.

In recent years, hundreds of books have been published on CBT, many written for individuals who are not clinicians.

How do you decide which is best?

We are here to help and have made a list of the best current Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy books for practitioners and anyone who wants to learn and apply these skills daily.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free. These science-based exercises will provide you with detailed insight into positive CBT and the tools to apply it in your therapy or coaching.

6 Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Books for Learning CBT

1. Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond – Judith S. Beck

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond is a classic resource for anyone seeking a comprehensive understanding of CBT.

The text provides a well-organized and insightful overview of CBT principles and techniques. This third edition incorporates the latest advancements in the field, making it an up-to-date and relevant guide.

Packed with case examples, worksheets, and exercises, this book equips novice and experienced therapists with the knowledge and tools to apply CBT and help clients achieve meaningful change effectively.

Find the book on Amazon.

2. Learning Cognitive-Behavior Therapy: An Illustrated Guide – Jesse H. Wright, Gregory K. Brown, Michael E. Thase, and Monica Ramirez Basco

Learning Cognitive-Behavior Therapy

For a more interactive approach, the second edition of Learning Cognitive-Behavior Therapy provides 23 all-new videos as well as figures, charts, worksheets, checklists, and tables.

The book covers the fundamental principles of CBT, including assessment, case conceptualization, and treatment planning.

The visual aids enhance comprehension and facilitate the learning process. Whether you’re a student or practitioner, this illustrated guide is an essential tool for mastering the techniques and interventions of CBT.

Find the book on Amazon.

3. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy – Michelle G. Craske

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

With a wealth of knowledge and expertise, Michelle Craske presents a clear and systematic approach to understanding and implementing CBT techniques.

The book covers a wide range of topics, including assessment, case conceptualization, and the application of CBT across various disorders.

Craske’s writing is accessible yet sophisticated, making it suitable for students and seasoned practitioners. This second edition incorporates the latest research and developments in the field and provides diverse case examples.

Find the book on Amazon.

4. Deliberate Practice in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – James F. Boswell and Michael J. Constantino

Deliberate Practice in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Deliberate Practice in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a resource specifically tailored for clinicians seeking to enhance their skills and effectiveness in delivering CBT. The book provides a detailed exploration of deliberate practice.

Drawing from real-world examples and research, this book empowers clinicians to engage in purposeful, focused, and iterative practice to refine their CBT competencies and continually optimize client outcomes.

Clinicians at all experience levels will find this text immensely valuable in honing their CBT skills and achieving professional excellence.

Find the book on Amazon.

5. Handbook of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Overview and Approaches – Amy Wenzel

Handbook of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This two-volume set brings together contributions from leading experts in the field, offering a diverse range of perspectives and insights.

Volume one focuses on the foundational aspects of CBT, providing an in-depth exploration of the history, theoretical underpinnings, core principles, and fundamental techniques of CBT.

Volume 2 extends the coverage of CBT into specialized areas and populations. It delves into the application of CBT in specific clinical contexts, such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, and more.

Find the book on Amazon.

6. Culturally Responsive Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Practice and Supervision – Gayle Y. Iwamasa and Pamela A. Hays

Culturally Responsive Cognitive Behavior Therapy

As clinicians, it’s vitally important to understand the interaction between a client’s cultural background and the tools that one presents in session.

Culturally Responsive Cognitive Behavior Therapy explores the use of CBT with various ethnic, racial, and religious groups.

It also presents strategies for working with clients with diverse identities, such as those who are differently abled and/or members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Find the book on Amazon.

Best Books on CBT According to Amazon

1. The CBT Deck for Clients and Therapists – Seth Gillihan

The CBT Deck

This deck of cards introduces CBT in bite-size exercises that anyone can use. Each card falls under one of three categories: think, act, or be.

Practitioners can use the cards, which are also useful for anyone wanting to decrease their limiting or negative thoughts and learn to live more intentionally.

Find the book on Amazon.

2. Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts – Sally M. Winston and Martin N. Seif

Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

This book provides a compassionate and comprehensive approach to understanding and managing unwanted intrusive thoughts using CBT.

The authors skillfully combine evidence-based techniques with relatable case examples to help readers challenge and reframe distressing thoughts.

Using accessible language and step-by-step exercises, this guide empowers individuals to reclaim control over their minds and find relief from the torment of intrusive thoughts.

Find the book on Amazon.

3. The CBT Journal for Mental Health: Evidence-Based Prompts to Improve Your Well-Being – Jordan A. Madison

The CBT Journal for Mental Health

This journal provides the reader with a variety of exercises, writing prompts, affirmations, and other skills that will benefit one’s mental health.

It was created to accompany the CBT Workbook for Mental Health (reviewed below) but can also be used as a standalone journal.

Find the book on Amazon.

4. CBT + DBT + ACT: 10 in 1 – Joseph Owen

10 In 1

CBT + DBT + ACT: 10 in 1 by Joseph Owen is a valuable collection of books that introduces three major therapeutic approaches: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Additionally, it includes insights into the vagus nerve, polyvagal theory, anxiety in relationships, and depression, offering a broader perspective on mental health and wellbeing.

Whether you are a mental health professional or someone interested in understanding and improving your own psychological wellbeing, this collection is a worthwhile investment that offers practical knowledge and guidance.

Find the book on Amazon.

5. Essential CBT Skills & Practices (2 Books) – Jessica Flounder

Essential CBT Skills & Practices

These two workbooks offer the reader practical skills and exercises to overcome anxiety, depression, and anger.

Using simple language and evidence-based practices, these guides could be used as a supplement to therapy or on their own.

Find the book on Amazon.

Download 3 Free Positive CBT Exercises (PDF)

These detailed, science-based exercises will equip you or your clients with tools to find new pathways to reduce suffering and more effectively cope with life stressors.

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple: 10 Strategies for Managing Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Panic, and Worry – Seth J. Gillihan

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple is an excellent audiobook that clearly explains the complex concepts of CBT. The author’s concise and engaging narration keeps the listener engaged throughout.

The book provides practical tools and techniques to tackle common mental health challenges, empowering individuals to take control of their emotions and thoughts.

Each strategy is presented with real-life examples, making it relatable and applicable.

Find the audiobook on Audible.

2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Simple Techniques to Instantly Be Happier, Find Inner Peace, and Improve Your Life – Olivia Telford

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This audiobook by Olivia Telford is a transformative tool that offers practical guidance for enhancing one’s wellbeing.

Telford’s soothing narration style creates a calming atmosphere as she explores the principles of CBT.

The book provides easy-to-understand techniques that can be implemented immediately to cultivate happiness, inner peace, and personal growth.

Find the audiobook on Audible.

3. Retrain Your Brain: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 7 Weeks – Seth J. Gillihan

Retrain Your Brain

This audiobook provides a practical approach to managing depression and anxiety. The author’s step-by-step guidance and structured format make it easy to follow and implement the techniques of CBT.

Each week is dedicated to a specific aspect of CBT, offering clear explanations, insightful exercises, and real-life examples to reinforce learning.

The audiobook empowers listeners to reframe negative thoughts, challenge unhelpful beliefs, and develop effective coping strategies.

Find the audiobook on Audible.

CBT Workbooks: Reviews and Summaries

1. CBT Workbook for Therapists: Essential Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Strategies to Treat Mental Health – Tiffany Loggins

CBT Workbook for Therapists

Workbooks allow the reader to learn and apply the principles of CBT in a structured way. This workbook offers hundreds of science-based strategies for clinicians and clients to practice the skills of CBT.

The exercises are concise and organized into specific mental health categories, such as addiction, anger management, anxiety, and others.

Find the book on Amazon.

2. The CBT Workbook for Mental Health: Evidence-Based Exercises to Transform Negative Thoughts and Manage Your Wellbeing – Simon Rego and Sarah Fader

The CBT Workbook for Mental Health

This workbook, which can be used in tandem with the CBT journal reviewed above, promises to help readers reduce negative thought patterns, manage stress, and grow their self-esteem.

The workbook is written to be easily accessible to anyone wanting to learn more about CBT.

Find the book on Amazon.

The CBT workbook for mental health by Dr. Simon A. Rego

3. The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism: Evidence-Based Skills to Help You Let Go of Self-Criticism, Build Self-Esteem, and Find Balance – Sharon Martin

The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism

Wanting to do your best is an admirable quality, but perfectionism can be debilitating when the desire to be the best becomes unrealistic and unmanageable.

This workbook is designed to help those who suffer from perfectionism learn more realistic approaches and how to exercise self-compassion.

Find the book on Amazon.

4. The Negative Thoughts Workbook: CBT Skills to Overcome the Repetitive Worry, Shame, and Rumination That Drive Anxiety and Depression – David A. Clark

The Negative Thoughts Workbook

The cornerstone of the theory of CBT is identifying the negative thought patterns that lead to anxiety and depression.

This workbook helps those that suffer from worry and rumination learn to name and release the maladaptive thought patterns.

Find the book on Amazon.

5. The CBT Couples Toolbox: Over 45 Exercises to Improve Communication, Navigate Problems and Build Strong Relationships – John Ludgate and Tereza Grubr

The CBT Couples Toolbox

CBT can also be used to help relationships and improve communication.

This workbook offers exercises for couples that will help them learn to communicate more effectively and compassionately, ultimately leading to greater harmony and intimacy.

Find the book on Amazon.

5 Best CBT Books for Anxiety

1. Show Your Anxiety Who’s Boss: A 3-Step CBT Program to Help You Reduce Anxious Thoughts and Worry – Joel Minden

Show Your Anxiety Who's Boss

Anxiety can cause us to remain frozen in fear, unable to make decisions or take action.

In this book, Joel Minden uses a simple three-step program to help readers overcome their anxious thoughts and learn how to move forward while accepting uncertainty and facing fears.

Find the book on Amazon.


2. Outsmart Your Anxious Brain: 10 Simple Ways to Beat the Worry Trick – David A. Carbonell

Outsmart Your Anxious Brain

This short, simple, and humorous book helps readers understand that anxiety is a trick of the mind and how to fight back against it.

For anyone who experiences anxiety, whether it is excessive worry, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or otherwise, David Carbonell offers straightforward and easy-to-understand solutions.

Find the book on Amazon.

3. The Generalized Anxiety Disorder Workbook: A Comprehensive CBT Guide for Coping With Uncertainty, Worry, and Fear – Melisa Robichaud and Michel J. Dugas

The Generalized Anxiety Disorder Workbook

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental illnesses today. GAD can cause a person to worry excessively, leading to struggles with decision-making, sleeping, concentration, and more.

This popular workbook, written by renowned anxiety experts, leads the reader through exercises to help combat negative thinking patterns and learn to overcome excessive worry.

Find the book on Amazon.

4. The Social Anxiety CBT Workbook for Adults – Marcee A Martin

The Social Anxiety (CBT) Workbook for Adults

Individuals with social anxiety often struggle to make connections and feel overwhelmed by social interactions. This workbook provides simple and accessible tools to help overcome the thinking traps that lead to social anxiety.

This workbook explains how CBT can help and offers the reader CBT and positive psychology exercises, as well as mindfulness meditations for calming anxiety.

Find the book on Amazon.

5. CBT for Anxiety Disorders: A Practitioner Book – Gregoris Simos and Stefan G. Hofmann

CBT For Anxiety Disorders

This comprehensive guide for practitioners compiles current research and leading voices in the field of anxiety disorders.

Each chapter explores a different DSM diagnosis of various anxiety disorders and describes how CBT can be applied to each.

Find the book on Amazon.

3 Best Books About CBT for Children

1. CBT Toolbox for Children and Adolescents: Over 200 Worksheets & Exercises for Trauma, ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, Depression & Conduct Disorders – Lisa Weed Phifer, Amanda Crowder, Tracy Elsenraat, and Robert Hull

CBT Toolbox for Children and Adolescents

Created by clinicians and teachers with years of experience, this workbook gives hundreds of CBT exercises to help children overcome challenges.

These materials can be used during sessions or assigned as homework. The exercises are grouped into the content areas of cognitive skills, relationship coaching, competency building, and brain-based learning to facilitate ease of use for practitioners.

Find the book on Amazon.

2. CBT Workbook for Kids: 40+ Fun Exercises and Activities to Help Children Overcome Anxiety & Face Their Fears at Home, at School, and Out in the World – Heather Davidson

CBT Workbook for Kids

This fun and helpful workbook is designed for kids aged 6–11 who struggle with anxious thoughts and excessive worry.

The book provides kids with games, drawing challenges, and exercises to teach them skills for emotion regulation, communication, and focus.

Relaxation exercises are included, and stories from other kids provide a relatable tone.

Find the book on Amazon.

3. CBT Deck for Kids and Teens – Seth J. Gillihan and Ada J. L. Gillihan

CBT Deck for Kids and Teens

Seth Gillihan is a leading author and expert in the field of mindfulness-centered cognitive behavior therapy. He cocreated this deck with his daughter Ada to help kids and teens learn and use these skills.

The deck covers topics such as learning to be present, overcoming negative thoughts and excessive worry, and making healthy decisions.

Find the book on Amazon.

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The Positive Psychology Toolkit© is a groundbreaking practitioner resource containing over 500 science-based exercises, activities, interventions, questionnaires, and assessments created by experts using the latest positive psychology research.

Updated monthly. 100% Science-based.

“The best positive psychology resource out there!”
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A Take-Home Message

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a long-standing therapeutic technique with decades of research demonstrating its efficacy. It has been shown to be a useful tool for helping with many types of mental health struggles and many different kinds of clients.

Children, couples, families, and individuals can all benefit from learning the skills that CBT provides. As this article shows, various resources are available for learning about CBT independently without a therapist. These books and self-help workbooks provide guidance and exercises for learning CBT principles and applying them to daily life.

These resources often include step-by-step instructions, examples, and exercises to help individuals understand and practice CBT techniques. While having a therapist can provide additional support and personalized guidance, self-learning CBT resources can still be valuable for gaining insight into thought patterns, emotions, and behaviors and developing skills to manage mental health challenges effectively.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. For more information, don’t forget to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free.

Ed: Updated June 2023


What our readers think

  1. Danielle

    There is a new book for children that talks about the common cognitive distortions or negative thinking patterns. please look at it, I think it would be a great resource! The book is called Cognitive Distortions How to Catch the Top Ten Most Dangerous Thinking Patterns

  2. Tariqul Alam

    I need to know about the process CBT. How can I download CBT materials free of cost? I am greatly in need of these. Would you pl help me in this regard?

    • calvin e. sturdevant

      type in the title of the book and add ‘pdf’ in your search engine. if there is a pdf it will show up. click on it to download.

  3. Carol Wulff

    for children there is a new book published called William, The What If Wonder On His First Day of School that begins to introduce cognitive re-framing to younger children ages 4 to 8. http://www.thewhatifwonder.com

  4. Hamed matin

    I am iranian
    Thank you for recommending these books

  5. Shehar Yar

    ah! thank you,it will help me in coming semesters. Great effort.

  6. mary T Gibbons

    I would love to read a case study on CBT practise and assessment

    • Joaquin Selva

      Hi Mary,
      If you want to read a case study, here is an interesting one about a 26-year old man with social anxiety disorder: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3383032/. The article is open access to everyone for free 🙂 I hope this helps further your understanding of CBT!

  7. Maria Michaelides

    Thank you.
    Kind regards,
    Maria Michaelides

    • Jessie van den Heuvel

      You’re welcome Maria 🙂

  8. Leisa Molloy

    Thanks guys – great post! I’m a user of the Positive Psychology Toolkit (love it, by the way!) and really benefit from some Appreciative Enquiry tools that can be used in practical settings. Thanks!

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Thank you so much for saying that Leisa!

  9. Pavol Baláž

    I love CBT !!

    • Seph Fontane Pennock



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