Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Unit

The MUHC Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Unit is a centre of expertise in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), one of the most effective evidence-based psychotherapy in the treatment of mental disorders, such as:

  • Anxiety problems, including simple phobias (e.g. needle or blood phobias, animal phobias), panic disorder, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and generalized anxiety. 
  • Health anxiety, tic disorders, and impulse control problems like anger difficulties, hair pulling (trichotillomania) and gambling.
  • In combination with other treatments (such as medication and psycho-education), CBT can help people with psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and eating disorders. 

CBT is based on the idea that there is an interaction between how we think (cognition), how we feel (emotion) and how we act (behavior) and specifically, that it is our thoughts which determine our feelings and our behavior.

Located in the MUHC Department of Psychiatry, the CBT Unit offers short-term CBT on an outpatient basis: 

  • Usual length of therapy : 12-20 sessions. 
  • Therapies are offered in both French and English. 
  • Fees for eligible clients are covered by Quebec Health Insurance (Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec).  

The MUHC CBT Unit is also the administrative head of the McGill-wide RUIS McGill CBT Teaching and Research Program, and as such, is the centralized referral centre for clinical services, training opportunities and research related to CBT in the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University.


The goals of the MUHC CBT Unit are:

  1. To increase awareness of health professionals and the public of the appropriate use of CBT in the treatment of mental disorders and the alleviation of emotional distress
  2. To administer quality, evidence-based CBT to clients with mental disorders at all levels of complexity.
  3. To train mental health professionals in the community and hospital system to administer CBT for adults and children.
  4. To foster research on CBT.
  5. To make evidence-based CBT more available to the Quebec population through the above activities

These are accomplished by:

  1. Offering specialized assessments of referred clients to ascertain the appropriateness of short-term CBT in their care
  2. Offering quality, evidence-based, individualized CBT to referred clients whose problems are amenable to short-term CBT
  3. Offering skills-based training and ongoing continuing professional education aimed both at students and experienced mental health professionals
  4. Maintaining an ongoing research program, collaborating with researchers within the McGill network and at other academic centres.