Watching video explanations and demonstrations of counseling/psychotherapy is a great way for mental health professionals-in-training to see how more experienced professionals help clients.

Below is a list of links to videos of a variety of mental health professionals using various theories and techniques to help clients with an array of presenting concerns and mental illnesses.  The videos are organized by Theory/Approach/Type of Therapy and sometimes by sub-category.

Please bear in mind that there is no one way to do a particular kind of therapy (e.g., CBT), as all therapists bring their own personality to how they conduct their counseling, so please watch these demonstrations with a grain of salt.  These are good examples, but they are not necessarily representative of how these kinds of therapy should best be done.  Feel free to email me links to additional therapy demonstration videos that should be added to this list, but make sure that the video is non-copyrighted and the therapist demonstrating the therapy is qualified (i.e., has the appropriate mental health master’s or doctoral degree).

If you’re thinking about graduate school in psychology, be sure to check out my Psych Grad School resources using the menu above, such as the Graduate School Advice and  Best Doctoral Programs in Counseling Psychology pages.  I also recommend completing the Mental Health Professions Career Test, which will give you interest scores on 21 different mental health occupations, including counseling psychology and clinical psychology. Lastly, if you are an undergraduate student, consider applying for my Social Justice Activism Psychology Internship.

Choose Your Own Therapy Adventure

These are interactive therapy exercises that may be helpful to students who are learning to provide talk therapy for the first time.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

    • Anxiety
      • CBT Mock Session (18:59)
        • Video demonstrates the second session and the client is still facing depression after losing his job. This session is when the therapist introduced Cognitive Behavior Therapy and what it is to the client. The therapist gives the client homework at the end of the session for the next week.
      • CBT Role-Play – Behavioral Activation and Depression (18:58)
        • This role play video focuses on using this CBT method with a client who is displaying depressive symptoms.  Specifically, the therapist uses behavioral activation techniques in order to treat the symptoms of depression.
    • Case study clinical example: First session with a client with symptoms of depression (CBT model)
      • This video is a quick-paced therapeutic session with a client dealing with depressive symptoms.  The session shown is the therapist’s initial session with this client. This video aims to demonstrate some of the feelings, thoughts, and triggers that are associated with depression.  The quick paced video allows the therapist to quickly outline how to apply CBT to this particular situation.
    • PTSD
      • CBT for PTSD: Example of how grounding techniques can be used in therapy (13:10)
        • This role play video demonstrates CBT addressing a client’s struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The client specifically struggles with “dissociation”, which is the feeling of having lost touch with the present moment.  The therapist in the video introduces the client to “grounding techniques” to help her cope with the dissociation and PTSD symptoms.
    • Domestic Violence
      • CBT Role-Play – Cognitive Reframing an Experience of Emotional Abuse (22:32)
        • This is a role play video using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help a mock client cognitively reframe an experience of emotional abuse.  The therapist applies the use of identifying automatic thoughts, adaptive response, and assigning homework throughout the session.
    • Self-esteem
      • CBT Mock Session-Bethany (17:22)
        • This video includes a therapist and client on their second or third session, discussing the client’s issues with her lack of confidence. The client has been journaling her negative thoughts and trying to turn them into positive thoughts. This video also goes over situations and automatic thoughts from those situations.
    • OCD
      • CBT Role-Play – Exposure and Response Prevention – Early Session (11:16)
        • This CBT role play therapy session includes a therapist and client on one of their early sessions. In this session, the therapist uses exposure and response prevention techniques in order to treat the client’s OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). The client has the specific fear and OCD involving germs.   
  • Anger
    • CBT Role-Play – Managing Anger (21:08)
      • This role play therapy session addresses treating a client’s anger and frustration.  The therapist uses the techniques of identifying automatic thoughts, forming adaptive responses, and identifying cognitive distortions.
  • Family Counseling
    • Family Counseling Role-Play – Couple Struggling with Independence vs. Security (20:31)
      • In this role play video, the therapist treats a couple where one desires more independence while the other desires security from the relationship.  The therapist utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, along with other therapy theories, in order to treat the couple. This video is especially helpful to see how to use the CBT model in a setting with more than one client at a time.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  1. Anxiety
  1. Trauma Related
  1. Other

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

  1. Borderline Personality Disorder/ Anger
  1. Self Harm
  1. Other

Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)

  1. Couples Therapy
  1. Other

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

  1. Substance Abuse Issues
  1. For Teens
  1. Intimate Partner Violence
  1. Other

Psychodynamic Approaches

Feminist & Multicultural Approaches

    • Counseling Culturally Diverse Clients (13:26)- This video has a rather large focus on the interactions that might arise from cultural and religious differences during counseling sessions. The video focuses on compromising and learning to accept and make known the fact that differences have a great effect on the session, but that this can be consolidated.
    • Group Counseling with Children: A Multicultural Approach Video (3:52)- A video highlighting the multicultural approach utilized when counseling children in groups. The video has a focus acknowledging similarities and differences between the youth clients.
    • Group Counseling with Adolescents: A Multicultural Approach Video (1:59)- A short video focused on a snippet of group counseling, but with a group of adolescents. This video focuses more on racially charged issue of bullying.
    • Multicultural Counseling Part 1 (10:56)- A video focusing on a young man seeking counseling to reconcile with his dependence on drugs an alcohol. The session has a variety of topics, such as his aspirations, scholastic life, and his relationship with friends.
    • Multicultural Counseling Part 2 (10:36)- A continuation of the previous video. This follow-up focuses more on the clients view of the future and his goals.
    • Counselling Skills- Diversity (18:52)- An example of counseling containing the topic of racial diversity and racially related issues. The client is frustrated with his coworker but is apprehensive of voicing his concerns due to the possibility of being perceived as a racist.
    • FEM- Family Therapy Session for Single African American Mother (18:48)

Other Approaches

Intake Session Demonstrations

CBT Instructional Videos

      • What is CBT?
          • What is CBT? | Making Sense of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (3:34)
            • This is a short, condensed instructional video that explains what CBT is.  Additionally, it is helpful in informing a client on whether or not this form of therapy is for them.  I believe this video is also helpful for a therapist in learning how to detect if CBT is the right therapy to use for a particular client.
          • The Blueprint of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (6:01)
            • This video is of Dr. Beck describing what he believes the blueprint of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to be.  In addition, he further explains CBT by giving examples on how to modify key beliefs and perceptions. This video is helpful for those who are having a difficult time understanding and grasping the overarching idea and concepts on CBT.
          • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Techniques (5:20)
            • Mark Walsh from Integration Training leads this video with tips on how to manage your thinking to reduce stress, improve your leadership, communication and more. Concepts such as thinking errors, stories and narratives are explained in this video. STUN technique from Roger Mills is also described.
          • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) (4:19)
            • This video shows Dr. Becker further explaining Cognitive Behavior Therapy and the different ways it can be applied (individual or group). This video goes through more of the logistics of CBT, how long it will take, how many sessions and how it is mainly focused on the now, not the past.
          • What to do when CBT doesn’t work (3:52)
            • Six options are explained for clients where CBT was not helpful. 1) counseling 2) try CBT again 3) acceptance 4) mindfulness 5) medication 6) Lifestyle change.
      • CBT – Self Help
          • CBT Self Help Course Step 1 – Get Self Help (0:46)
            • This video goes through the motions of the first steps entering Cognitive Behavioral therapy. It identifies that the first step includes how to notice your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors. This video then gives a brief explanation about how these thoughts, feelings and behaviors are defined.
          • CBT Self Help Course Step 2 – Get Self Help (Depression) (4:38)
            • This video goes further in detail than the step 1 video (listed previously). This video goes into a specific situation (depression) and gives examples of what the client might think or how they may feel or behave, due to this depression. Depression can come in many forms and this video gives many examples of how clients may speak to their therapist about their situation.
      • Anxiety
          • Daily CBT Techniques For Anxiety (8:04)
            • This is a video displaying and instructing how CBT can be applied to a client who is struggling with anxiety.  The video lays out different strategies that can be used in addressing anxiety in a client by using CBT techniques that are described and explained throughout the video.
          • 3 Instantly Calming CBT Techniques for Anxiety (5:42)
            • This video does exactly what the title explains. The video focuses on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but gives three short ways to calm a client down suffering from anxiety. These three techniques are to focus on how the feelings will change, think it over and act normal and chase down logical conclusions.
        • Vince Greenwood, Ph.D – Social Anxiety (24:08)
          • Dr. Greenwood discusses social anxiety and how it differs from regular shyness. Dr. Greenwood then goes into the most effective form of treatment for this disorder, CBT. He describes what the treatment may look like with a client.
      • Structure of a CBT Session
          • Structure of a CBT Session (3:59)
            • This instructional video created by the Beck Institute is helpful for understanding how to set up the structure of a CBT session. The structure described helps the therapist be more time efficient in each session and helps the client understand what they can expect from each session.
          • Pacing a Therapy Session (2:50)
            • This video is provided by the Beck Institute.  This video’s focus is on pacing and structing the CBT therapy session.  This video provides quick insights into how to more effectively pace a session with a client while using CBT.  Additionally, this video gives insight into how to create productiveness outside of the therapy sessions through the use of “homework”.
        • Structure of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (2:02)
          • This video is by Dr. Gorgorian, a clinical director of Clearview Women’s Center for Borderline Personality and emotional disorders. She goes through the structure of CBT and how to use it with a client trying to recover from Depression and Anxiety. Dr. Gorgorian explains there is a lot of following up and carrying on every week, homework assignments and why to follow through with the assignments.
      • Automatic thoughts
          • Thought Emotion Action Cycle CBT (6:15)
            • This video describes a “Thoughts Emotion Action” cycle that is defined through and by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  This instructional video gives a quick, visual representation of how to understand the cycle of how a thought leads to an emotion, which then leads to an action.  This video will especially be helpful for visual learners who are needing a quick recap in understanding the powerful effects of thoughts.
          • Cognitive Restructuring in CBT (5:42)
            • This is a short video by the Beck Institute, which instructs how to address negative automatic thoughts of a client with the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy method.  In this video, Dr. Beck uses a personal experience from a past therapy session on how he addressed his client’s negative automatic thoughts by restructuring the client’s cognitive processes.
          • Understanding Clients’ Emotions and Behavior (1:15)
            • This video, which is presented by the Beck Institute gives a quick recap on the importance of identifying and understanding the negative automatic thoughts of a client.  This video helps understand why identifying automatic thoughts are important in every CBT therapy session in order to reach the desired goals of the sessions.
          • Modifying Automatic Thoughts (9:55)
            • This video is of a therapist executing how to modify automatic thoughts with his client using the CBT method.  Throughout the video, the therapist addresses his client’s automatic thoughts as well as uses specific techniques in order to address these thoughts and cognitive distortions that the client is believing.
        • Depression
            • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT Techniques (6:54)
              • This video is cartoon style and is an excerpt from the DVD
                “10 minute CBT in practice: Mental Health”. In this excerpt, the speaker is demonstrating simple CBT strategies and techniques for a depressed mother with a young child.
          • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression (0:49)
            • This video breaks down cognitive behavioral therapy (more detailed in article written below the video). This video explains how some people respond better to talking things out rather than medication when it comes to mild or moderate depression. This video explains that CBT can be really beneficial when you combine it with other antidepressants.
      • CBT for Children and Adolescence
        • What is Trauma-Focused CBT for Children and Adolescents? (13:22)
          • This video addresses the various ways that a child could be impacted by trauma, whether it be a severe car wreck or physical sexual abuse.  Additionally, the video uses role-play (though it is most informative) with a client who is the mother of a child who has experienced trauma. The therapist informs the mother of what trauma-focused CBT is.
    • Family and Couples counseling
      • Cognitive Behavioral Couple and Family Therapy (1:11:57)
        • This video actually distinguishes between Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Family Therapy (CBFT). Dr. Diane Gehart discusses the similarities between the two techniques and how to use CBFT in a family or couple session.