7 Best Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Books in 2023
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) teaches us to control our thoughts and it’s considered the gold standard of treatment for most mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders[*].
Looking to learn more about CBT? I’ve created this list of cognitive behavioral therapy books that will serve as helpful resources. These CBT books contain terminology, science-based techniques, and sample scenarios that will help you understand and apply it in your own life or therapy sessions.
The Best Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Books
Note that these books on CBT therapy are not arranged in any specific order. However, I’ve made sure to add Judith S. Beck (the daughter of Aaron Beck, father of CBT) as the first author on the list.
1. Best Book for CBT Professionals: Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond — Judith S. Beck
This book is being used by hundreds of thousands of clinicians and graduate students. Written by Judith S. Beck, a master clinician, researcher, and daughter of Aaron Beck, it guides professionals on how to properly structure their therapy sessions and incorporate CBT techniques. Be sure to choose the third edition of this CBT book since it has new chapters on the therapeutic relationship and integrating mindfulness.
2. Best Book for Depression and Anxiety: Retrain Your Brain: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 7 Weeks — Seth J. Gillihan PhD
One of the best books on CBT available on Amazon, “Retrain Your Brain” is for anyone who needs help managing anxiety and depression through CBT. What makes this resource unique is that it features a 7-week plan based on the author’s real-life strategy with his clients. It also includes real-life scenarios that readers can relate to. If you’re someone struggling with these mental health issues but you’re not seeing a therapist yet, consider getting this book.
3. Best Book On Intrusive Thoughts: Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts — Sally M. Winston PsyD and Martin N. Seif PhD
Intrusive thoughts cannot be completely avoided, but they can be controlled with the help of CBT. In this therapist-recommended book, readers discover how intrusive thoughts work, why your previous strategies were not effective, and how you can finally overcome these thoughts for good. You’ll love that the information and exercises here that are presented in a simple and understandable way.
4. Best Book On Anxiety Disorders: CBT For Anxiety Disorders: A Practitioner Book — Gregoris Simos and Stefan G. Hofmann
This is the best cognitive behavioral therapy book for those who are currently practicing as therapists or planning to become one. There are plenty of research data and treatment strategies in this book that you can use for obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and more.
5. Best Book for Clinicians and Clients: Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think — Dennis Greenberger and Christine A. Padesky
According to the authors, “Mind Over Mood” has helped over 1.2 million readers use CBT for conditions like low self-esteem, guilt, shame, and panic attacks. Aaron Beck also recommends this book as “an effective tool that puts cognitive therapy in the hands of the reader.” It includes action plans and multiple worksheets that you can photocopy and reproduce for your personal or professional use in your therapy practice.
6. Best Book for Initiating Change: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Your route out of perfectionism, self-sabotage and other everyday habits — Avy Joseph
This is a newly revised version written by a CBT practitioner and counselor. It acknowledges the fact that change can be difficult, but by changing your views, you can move forward with your life and even reach your goals. As a beginner-friendly resource, it starts by providing a background of CBT and discusses healthy and unhealthy beliefs. Plus, it includes insights on staying mentally healthy in a post-pandemic world.
7. Best Book for Beginners: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Beginners: How To Use CBT To Overcome Anxieties, Phobias, Addictions, Depression, Negative Thoughts, And Other Problematic Disorders — Madison Taylor
Whether you’re struggling with anxiety, addiction, and negative thoughts, this book provides a good introduction to CBT. It’s not as detailed and comprehensive as the other books listed here, but if you need something to help you decide if CBT is right for you, this may help and leave you wanting to learn more.
More Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Resources
Change the way you think or help your patients improve their thinking by reading at least one of these cognitive behavioral therapy books this year. Before getting one for yourself, make sure to research the topics covered in each book and what customers are saying.
For more CBT resources, check out our CBT worksheets. Our worksheets provide visual and written engagement to support different modalities of learning, which can enhance traditional talk or play therapy.
As a parent of a child with autism, I’ve found cognitive behavioral therapy books to be invaluable resources. They have helped me and my son’s support worker for autism (https://theadventureteam.com.au/) understand and apply CBT strategies in our daily lives, improving my child’s anxiety and behaviors. These books empower parents to support their children’s mental health journey effectively.