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What is iCBT?

iCBT stands for internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy. It is a form of psychotherapy with online delivery via the internet. iCBT is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT is an evidence-based approach that is effective in treating a range of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, stress and various phobias.

iCBT involves working on modules over a number of weeks with the support of a psychologist or therapist. Research shows that iCBT is just as effective as face-to-face sessions.

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What is CBT?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy. It aims to change negative thought patterns, emotions and behaviours that contribute to mental health problems and concerns. CBT combines cognitive and behavioural techniques to learn new ways of dealing with challenges.

CBT is effective for a wide range of mental health conditions, such as depression, various anxiety disorders, OCD, stress, eating disorders and sleep problems. Treatment is structured and time-limited, with a focus on achieving specific goals through practical exercises and tasks between sessions.

There are many benefits to CBT. It is a short-term treatment with research support that provides practical tools and techniques, as well as the ability to develop skills to deal with future problems.

How does iCBT work?

iCBT is a form of psychotherapy with online delivery. It combines CBT principles with digital accessibility. Users work in self-guided sessions via interactive materials such as texts, videos and exercises, designed to teach techniques for managing negative thought patterns and behaviours. The programs are often divided into modules, with usually one module per week.


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Therapeutic support is an important part of iCBT and can include feedback, guidance and encouragement through messages or video calls. Users complete practical exercises and homework between sessions to apply the learning to real-life situations.

iCBT platforms prioritize security and confidentiality to protect users’ information. Research shows that iCBT can be as effective as traditional CBT in treating various mental health conditions. It offers a cost-effective and flexible alternative to psychotherapy.

What can iCBT help with?

iCBT is effective in helping people with a variety of mental health conditions and challenges. This includes anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety and specific phobias. Additionally, iCBT can treat mild to moderate depression by addressing negative thought patterns and promoting positive behavioural changes. iCBT is also useful for stress management and sleep problems such as insomnia.

The programs can also address eating disorders such as bulimia and binge eating. iCBT can also provide support for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) by helping to manage obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions. Even individuals with milder symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and those living with chronic pain can find relief through iCBT. Additionally, people with health anxiety can benefit from iCBT by learning to change the way they think about and react to bodily sensations.

There is a lot of research focusing on iCBT, with new treatments constantly developing. iCBT programs are designed to be accessible and cost-effective. They offer a flexible treatment solution that can be used alone or as a complement to traditional therapy, depending on the specific needs of the individual and the severity of the concerns.

How does iCBT treatment work?

Treatment with iCBT starts with the user registering on an iCBT platform. This often occurs after an initial assessment to ensure suitability for treatment. The next step is establishing treatment goals.


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The user works through self-guided modules containing texts, videos and exercises with tasks to apply to everyday life. Therapeutic support is usually offered via messages or video to provide feedback and motivation. The user continuously evaluates his or her own well-being through questionnaires, allowing for adjustments to the treatment if necessary.

At the end of treatment, a summary assessment is made to evaluate progress and plan for further work with strategies from the therapy. Follow-up is often also offered to help maintain the positive changes. iCBT is flexible and allows the user to move through treatment at their own pace. This makes it an effective tool for managing multiple mental health conditions.


12 common questions and answers about iCBT

What is iCBT?

It is a form of psychotherapy provided online via the internet and is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

What is CBT?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that aims to change negative thought patterns, emotions and behaviours that contribute to mental health problems and concerns.

Is there a difference in the outcomes of meeting in person or receiving treatment with CBT?

Research has shown that there is no difference in outcomes between face-to-face CBT and ICBT.

How does iCBT work?

Users receive self-guided sessions via interactive materials such as texts, videos and exercises designed to teach techniques for managing negative thought patterns and behaviours. Programs are often divided into modules. During treatment, therapeutic support is provided, which may include feedback, guidance and encouragement through messages, emails or videos, depending on the format.

Are tasks given between sessions?

As part of CBT, the client may complete practical exercises and homework between sessions to apply the learning to real-life situations.

What can CBT help with?

CBT can be helpful for several different conditions such as various anxiety disorders, depression, ptsd and obsessive-compulsive disorder among others.

What are the benefits of iCBT?

Designed to be easily accessible and cost-effective, iCBT offers a flexible treatment solution that can be used alone or as a complement to traditional therapy, depending on the specific needs of the individual and the severity of the condition.

Are there any disadvantages to iCBT?

For people with more severe and complex concerns, in-person treatment may be more beneficial. iCBT is self-guided, which some may find difficult to plan and navigate. Some people may also need more support from the therapist during treatment to meet their goals.

What contact do I have with the psychologist or therapist?

Therapeutic support with a psychologist or therapist is usually via messages or video to provide feedback and motivation.

Can you also have video calls in iCBT?

It is possible to combine iCBT with video calls or face-to-face meetings if you wish, but it is often possible to communicate via messages if you prefer.

What should be considered in terms of safety with online therapy?

Security and confidentiality are crucial in online therapy, which means that secure and encrypted communication platforms that meet data protection laws and patient privacy standards should be used.

Where can I seek help?

If you want to seek therapy, we recommend that you contact a licensed psychologist or therapist. You can book a first appointment with one of our therapists here at Lavendla. We make the difficult easier.

Treatment with cognitive behavioural therapy

CBT is a method that can be used online for many different problem areas and conditions. This is what a CBT treatment can look like:

1. Understanding and assessment

The first step is to understand the problem and that it is okay to seek help for it. A licensed psychologist or therapist can help you assess your current situation. You may also complete assessment forms.

2. Psychoeducation and objectives

You will learn about your concerns and how they affect you both physically and mentally. It is important to understand what is happening in your body, thoughts and feelings. You will also set treatment goals with your therapist.

3. Tools to change behaviors and patterns

You will work on identifying and changing patterns of thinking that link to your concerns. This will help you develop a more nuanced picture and increase your ability to manage emotions and thoughts as well as change behaviours. Together with your therapist, you will explore situations and learn how to deal with them. You will also complete homework between sessions.

4. Monitoring and evaluating progress

You will have support from your psychologist or therapist throughout the process. At the end of the treatment, you will also receive a plan to continue practicing to help maintain your progress over time.

A first step in seeking help

If you think you would benefit from iCBT, don’t hesitate to reach out. Feel free to book a first session with one of our licensed psychologists or therapists to see how we can help you. We make the difficult easier.

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Written by Ellen Lindgren

Licensed psychologist

Ellen is a licensed psychologist and has experience mainly in clinical psychology where she has worked with various conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, crises and trauma in primary care and psychiatry. She has also worked with research while studying in the US and with affective disorders and insomnia at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.