Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is of proven benefit for treatment of depression and has, over the past 5 years, been increasingly advocated as a treatment modality for schizophrenia. There has been considerable enthusiasm for the use of CBT in schizophrenia from psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses and users alike. However, this enthusiasm may have precluded dispassionate evaluation of the effectiveness of this treatment. Even though an intervention is popular and is thought to be generally a ‘good thing’, we should not then take short-cuts through the evidence. In an era of limited resources every hour spent with a patient or training staff in a new technique must be justified. Is CBT really a worthwhile and effective treatment for patients with psychosis? This issue is debated by Dr Douglas Turkington, Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry in Newcastle upon Tyne and author of one of the leading texts on CBT for schizophrenia, and Dr Peter McKenna, consultant psychiatrist with the Cambridge Psychiatric Rehabilitation Service.