CBT Skills Group FAQs


Maybe you are here because you have heard about our program from a friend or your doctor. Or, you are here because you have been referred, in a group, or just completed a group and you have some questions.  Whatever reason got you here, you are in the right place for answers to your questions. If you just heard about our program, watch our orientation video and read some comments from past participants. If you are interested to join a group, have been referred, or need information about your workbook or next steps, refer to our Q and A section below. 

"This course has been invaluable. I wish I could have learned these things earlier in life."

"It brought sunshine to the darkness. An oasis of companionship and sharing. Awakening and aha moments of triggers."

"I feel empowered that I direct my life, I have the power to control and change my thoughts, behaviours, and feelings, and I'm worth it to do so."

"Realization that I am not alone - everyone is going through something."

"Through the CBT Skills program I have learned simple approaches I can use to maintain more objectivity in situations where I could become anxious or overly emotional. I have more ways to remain calm and feel more in control over my moods/emotions."


of completers report confidence in their ability to manage their mental health symptoms


I would like to join a group. What do I need to do?

Fill out the highlighted sections of the referral form, including the attached PHQ9 questionnaire, and go to your family physician, nurse practitioner, or a walk-in clinic to determine if the group is suitable for you.

All participants must be connected to a primary care provider who can respond to individual needs that may arise while participating in the group programs. If your primary care provider is able to do this, and assesses you as suitable for the programs at this time, they can then forward the referral to the doctors who run CBT Skills Groups, and you will receive an email with the list of upcoming groups from which you can choose. 

What is the course like?

The groups are a classroom setting of up to 16 participants. Currently, all group are being offered in an online format. You will receive a workbook that the facilitator will teach from each week. Most of the classroom time will be spent learning the concepts and practicing the skills, with minimal personal sharing. Each class you will be assigned homework for you to complete for the following week.

Who are the facilitators?
Facilitators of the program are specially trained family physicians, psychiatrists, or both.
What is the time commitment?
Each series consists of 8 weeks of 90-minute sessions. There is also 10-60 minutes of home practice each week.
Will I have to share personal information?
The program involves skills training, not psychotherapy, so personal sharing is limited. Each week each participant briefly shares on their learning each week. Most people say this learning from other participants is the most powerful part of the course.
How much does it cost me?

The facilitators are paid by MSP, and the cost to you is an initial $65 as no show fee deposit that is returned to you if you attend all the sessions, or miss only one.  If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact us at info@cbtskills.ca to explore options to participate in a group.

You can choose to purchase a hard copy of the workbook for $30 at the time of registration, or access an online copy.

Once you are registered for a group, you will be able to modify your booking up until two weeks prior to the group start date. After that time, you will not be able to change your booking and we will not refund your no show fee deposit.

When do your next groups start?

We have start groups in quarters. They are as follows:

Fall – September, October, November

Winter – January, February, March

Spring – April, May, June

Summer – July, August

What are the wait times for getting into a group?

We offer groups on a rolling basis. The link to our registration page and group schedule is offered to participants by email 1-2 weeks after their referral is processed.

When and where are the groups held?

The groups are run days, evenings, and even weekends. During the pandemic, all groups will be held virtually using zoom technology.

What is the on-line course like and how is it different from the in-person course?

The online course will be run like our in-person course, but like a virtual classroom setting with up to 16 participants. Instead of being in a physical room together, you are in a virtual room as a zoom meeting. To ensure psychological safety for everyone, all participants will be on video throughout the session. Sessions remain to be between 90 minutes to 120 minutes in length. You will obtain a workbook that the facilitator will teach from each week. Most of the classroom time will be spent learning the concepts and practicing the skills, with minimal personal sharing. You will be assigned homework for you to complete the following week.

What are the minimal on-line requirements to participate in an online course?

To participate in the program, and make it a positive experience for you, please check you have the following minimum on-line requirement:

  • A PC with Windows 10 or an updated Mac are devices on which Zoom works well and may make it easier to see all the group members on the larger screen. However, if what you have available is an iPad or handheld device, these can also work. Whatever your device, you will need to download the Zoom app.
  • Functioning camera and microphone
  • Fast, reliable, and password-protected internet connection

We recommend connecting directly into your router to strengthen internet connection and if you are using wifi please ensure you have an updated wireless router.

Ensure that you can have your device plugged in for the whole class.

The Zoom meeting platform works best within the browser Google Chrome. If you use Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or another browser, some features may not work for you.

All participants are required to have their videos on throughout each session, and to be present in front of the screen to participate in the session. You are also required to be within Canada to join the group. This is to promote confidentiality and security for you and your fellow participants.

Will someone be able to support me with the technology to participate online?

Yes. The CBT Skills Groups Society will be able to support you to get set-up to join us online. Contact info@cbtskills.ca with your questions and we will help you.


A referral was sent by my doctor, when will I hear from you?

You should receive an email from our info@cbtskills.ca within 7-10 days. If you haven’t received an email, check your junk folder. If you still can’t find it, then email us again indicating you have checked your junk mail and we will look for your referral and respond to your email.

How do I register once I receive my offer email?

Follow the private link on your registration offer email. Then sign up for an account. Once in you will be able to access the booking page, buy a workbook and change/cancel your booking. Please see the Registration video in your offer email for tips on navigating our system.

Does my referral expire?

Yes. Your referral will expire after 12 months. If you do not start a group within that time frame please ask your physician for a new referral so that you can continue to be contacted with future group offerings.

Do I have to wear a mask for IN-PERSON groups

Masks are required if the space hosting the group requires them. This is made clear on our booking page when booking an IN-PERSON group.


Can I join my group from outside British Columbia?

Our policies require that you join the online group from a location within the province of BC.

When will I receive the zoom link to access my online group?

You will be emailed the zoom link, login information, and link to the virtual workbook 2 days before your group starts. Please review the video to How to Prepare for your Online Group sent in this access email. This has valuable zoom tutorials and information to help you feel prepared.

How do I cancel my group registration?

Please login to your CBT Skills booking account to cancel your registration.  If it’s before the two-week cut off we will refund your fee and you will be removed  from the group. If it is past the 2-week cut off we will retain the deposit and you will be removed you from the group. **If you are withdrawing we request that you make an appointment with your physician as soon as possible to update them on your withdrawal and to discuss alternative resources so that you are not without support.

If you need further support please email info@cbtskills.ca 

How do I switch my group registration?

Please login to your CBT Skills booking account to change your registration. If it is prior to the 2-week cut off your deposit will transfer over to the new group booking. You will receive a confirmation email of the change.

Please note if it is past the 2 week cut off you will have to put down a new deposit.

Do I have to purchase a workbook to participate in the group?

No, we have an online version of the workbook you can use. However, many participants find it helpful to have a hard copy of the workbook and use it as an on-going resource.

I have already registered but would now like to purchase the hard copy of the workbook. Is this possible?

Yes! Please login to your CBT Skills booking account to order a workbook. You can choose whether you would like to pick up your workbook from one of our pickup locations (Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox Valley) or have it shipped to your home for an additional shipping fee. You will receive a confirmation email which includes pickup locations.


When will I get my $65 no-show deposit refund?

Refunds can take up to 4 weeks after the group ends to be processed. If you qualify (only missed one session) you will be emailed as soon as the refund has been issued. 

What if my credit card number changes?

All deposits are issued back to the credit card that was provided. If your card number changes, but it is still with the same institution, the refund will go through as your accounts are still attached.

We do not have the ability to refund a new card. 

I have finished my group and I would like to participate in another group. Can I do this?

Yes, if you would like to participate in another group we recommend you take another group with a different facilitator. We will continue to send you opportunities to participate in a group until 6 months after you completed your last group. After that, your referral will expire and you will need to be re-referred by your primary care provider.

Does my referral expire?

Yes. Your referral will expire 12 months from the date of your last session attended. If you do not start a new group within that time frame please ask your physician for a new referral so that you can continue to be contacted with future group offerings.

I have heard about level 2 groups. What are these and how can I participate in one?

You are able to participate in a level 2 group if you have completed the CBT Skills Group (i.e., attended 6/8 sessions). If you did, you will automatically be sent the schedule for the level 2 groups.

Check out what we offer here!

Communities being served across BC

Groups Running right now

Participants already benefiting from learning CBT Skills

Are you in crisis and need mental health support? Call 310-6789 for emotional support, information, and resources specific to mental health and substance use disorders.

Are you thinking about suicide or concerned about someone at risk? Call 1-800-784-2433.