The Wright Institute Berkeley Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Clinic

The Training Program at the Berkeley Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Clinic

The Berkeley Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Clinic is dedicated to providing effective psychological treatments to underserved communities, and delivering robust training on evidence-based therapies. The training curriculum is based on cutting-edge research in transdiagnostic processes and coping mechanisms that perpetuate client's presenting problems and create suffering. Therefore, we teach students specific clinical interventions derived from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to target core psychological processes across multiple disorders and/or comorbid conditions.

Practicum students will effectively learn to identify the client's source of psychological pain (primary pain) and any maladaptive coping response(s) that may be contributing to the client's suffering to determine the most effective and clinically indicated intervention to target that specific coping response (secondary pain); thus, we do not provide manualized CBT individual therapy. We provide therapy that directly targets the coping responses that fuel a specific client's presenting problems.

In addition, practicum students will learn imperative foundational clinical skills including how to:

  1. Conduct thorough behaviorally-oriented intake assessments that assess client's presenting problems and ascertain the function of the client's behavior
  2. Develop a comprehensive case formulation that describes what is maintaining the client's current presenting problems
  3. Establish and implement a treatment plan that responds to the client's problems and respective case formulation
  4. Respond efficiently and effectively to crisis situations
  5. Coordinate services with other professionals
  6. Thoughtfully consider ethical, legal, and professional matters and implement them in clinical practice.

The Berkeley CBT Clinic's overarching goal is for our students to develop core foundational and advanced skills in delivering a variety of CBT interventions by the end of the training year, developing both breadth and depth in diagnostic assessment, and CBT case formulation and treatment.

The Berkeley CBT Clinic strongly values research as part of its mission of serving the community and furthering knowledge of evidenced-based interventions. We encourage students to present proposals for new research studies, dissertation ideas, or other potential projects at the beginning of the training year; all projects will be evaluated in terms of the clinic's needs, the population we serve, and the resources available at the clinic to support the proposed project.

Clinicians work with clients on issues such as:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety and chronic worry
  • Social anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Emotion dysregulation/managing challenging emotions
  • Anger
  • Anger problems
  • Trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Chronic interpersonal problems/difficulty in relationships

Group Therapy Offerings

Second-year practicum students co-lead one skills group throughout the duration of the year and receive specialized group training and supervision. The Berkeley CBT clinic offers several ongoing group therapy options:

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Group

DBT is a cognitive behavioral treatment that has shown to be effective in treating a wide range of concerns related to interpersonal difficulties, emotion regulation, and coping skill deficits. The program consists of four modules of behavioral skills: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. Each 10-week module is run like a class where the group leaders teach skills and assign homework to help you practice incorporating your learning in your everyday life. Please be aware that to participate in this group you must be working with an individual therapist.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Group for Race-Based Stress (RBS)

The Dialectical Behavior therapy (DBT) Group for race-based stress (RBS) consists of four modules of behavioral skills, including: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness, with a focus on reducing feelings of distress related to racial discrimination experienced in various contexts, including but not limited to the twin pandemics of racialized violence and COVID-19. The first three modules are 10-weeks, and each module is focused on learning a set of skills, introduced and led by group leaders. The group leaders will assign homework to strengthen your practice of the skill in everyday life. The first module begins the week of September 27. Classes are held in the evenings via Zoom. DBT for RBS is open to persons identifying as Black or African American, Indigenous, and Peoples of Color.

Emotion Efficacy Therapy (EET)/Managing Challenging Emotions

This 8-week program includes learning skills to become more effective in how you respond to your emotions, learning to experience strong emotions rather than being overwhelmed or controlled by them, and developing a new relationship with your emotions. This group also helps you identify your core values and learn to act on them in the "moment of choice," rather than acting on what your emotions tell you to do. This group will help you learn strategies to dial down your emotions even when they are very intense. All these skills will empower you to experience and respond to emotions in a way that will help you live a life more aligned with your values. This group includes experiential contact with emotions and we may require that you are working with an individual therapist before approving participation in this group.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

This 8-week program integrates mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and gentle movement practices to assist people with a variety of life difficulties. You will learn ways to increase joy and gratitude, create more balance in your life, and cope with stress.

Queer Affinity Skills Based Group

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment that emphasizes being in the present moment, accepting what is outside our personal control, and committing to values-based actions. Our current group is open to anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+, including those who are unsure/questioning their gender or sexual orientation. Each 8-week module includes teaching skills, experiential learning, and homework to help you practice being present, being open, and doing what matters. To participate in this group it is not required to have an individual therapist; although, it is encouraged.

Who is Eligible for Services?

The Berkeley CBT Clinic offers low fee, sliding scale services to adults and adolescents of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The first floor of the building is accessible by wheelchair. Due to the specialized nature of treatment required, the CBT Clinic is unable to offer services to those with psychotic disorders, unmedicated or unstable bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and substance use dependence.


The Berkeley CBT Clinic is located at:

1918 University Avenue
Suite# 2B
Berkeley, CA 94704