Select Page

Find a CBT Therapist

Search through our directory of local clinicians.

“It’s OK Not to Be OK”

Simone Biles, Olympic gymnast, is the most recent example of an athlete withdrawing from competition “due to stress and the pressure to succeed.”  Biles follows tennis player Naomi Osaka, who in May withdrew from the French Open and later withdrew from Wimbledon, all in an effort to combat the anxiety and depression with which she has struggled for several years.  Some other notable athletes who have spoken out about their own battles with psychological disorders include tennis player Serena Williams, football player Brandon Marshall, basketball player Kevin Love, and swimmer Michael Phelps, who recently remarked, “It’s OK not to be OK.”

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)’s President, Dr. David Tolin, emphasized the importance of taking psychological disorders seriously: “We need to think of psychological disorders in the same way we think of physical illnesses—not as weaknesses or failures of character, but as real health conditions that have real consequences.”

“Athletes like Simone Biles should be congratulated for speaking out about their health struggles,” said Tolin.  “They deserve compassion and care, just like everyone else.”  He quoted Biles: “At the end of the day, I have to do what was right for me.”

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based form of counseling that has been proven to be effective in combatting a range of psychological disorders. “CBT helps people learn healthier ways of coping with stressful situations, and to become aware of — and then change — the way they think in critical situations,” said Tolin. “There is a wealth of scientific evidence showing that CBT not only reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression, but also helps improve people’s quality of life.”

For more information on anxiety, see ABCT’s Anxiety Fact Sheet, or ABCT’s Stress Fact Sheet for stress.  To find a therapist specializing in CBT, click our Find a CBT Therapist directory.



What Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of treatment that is based firmly on research findings.  It places emphasis on changing your cognitions (thoughts) or behaviors (actions) in order to effect change in how you feel. These approaches help people in achieving specific changes or goals.

Changes or goals might involve:

A way of acting: like smoking less or being more outgoing;
A way of feeling: like helping a person to be less scared, less depressed, or less anxious;
A way of thinking: like learning to problem-solve or get rid of self-defeating thoughts;
A way of dealing with physical or medical problems: like reducing back pain or helping a person stick to a doctor’s suggestions.

Cognitive behavioral therapists usually focus more on the current situation and its solution, rather than the past. They concentrate on a person’s views and beliefs about their life. CBT is an effective treatment for individuals, parents, children, couples, and families. The goal of CBT is to help people improve and gain more control over their lives by changing behaviors that don’t work well to ones that do.

How to Get Help

If you are looking for help, either for yourself or someone else, you may be tempted to call someone who advertises in a local publication or who comes up from a search of the Internet. You may, or may not, find a competent therapist in this manner. It is wise to check on the credentials of a psychotherapist. It is expected that competent therapists hold advanced academic degrees. They should be listed as members of professional organizations, such as the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies or the American Psychological Association. Of course, they should be licensed to practice in your state. You can find competent specialists who are affiliated with local universities or mental health facilities or who are listed on the websites of professional organizations. You may, of course, visit our website ( and click on “Find a CBT Therapist”

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) is an interdisciplinary organization committed to the advancement of a scientific approach to the understanding and amelioration of problems of the human condition. These aims are achieved through the investigation and application of behavioral, cognitive, and other evidence-based principles to assessment, prevention, and treatment.