Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT for short) is an evidence-based therapy that is the treatment of choice for a variety of psychological problems. CBT is used by psychologists around the world and has been validated in hundreds of studies. The central premise of CBT is that psychological problems are caused by hidden patterns of thinking and behaving. Unfortunately, it is often very difficult for us to be aware of what is going on in our heads or for us to recognize self-defeating habits.
With CBT, you will learn to identify hidden patterns of thinking and unhelpful behaviors at the root of your problems. Working together as a team, we will learn healthier ways of responding to problems in your life and replace self-defeating bad habits with self-enhancing skills.
CBT requires hard work but is designed to get you better, to keep you better, and to do so in a short period of time!
What is CBT like?
1. CBT is a team effort
Therapy works best when both you and your psychologist work together as a team. Your therapist should not do all the talking nor should they be passive the whole time leaving you to do all the work. During the typical CBT session, you can expect to engage in a two-way conversation where we put our heads together at solving the problems you are facing.
2. CBT requires you make changes outside the therapy office
While talking with a therapist can often be helpful on its own, research suggests that you need to take concrete steps outside the office to change your life and achieve lasting benefit. To do so, each week you will set clear goals, and at the next session I will follow up with you and ensure you have been sticking to the plan. By making clear changes in your daily life, therapy becomes much more effective.
3. CBT is grounded in science
Many of the central ideas we will explore come in CBT come directly from the latest academic studies. The choices we will make together in therapy will not be based on simple hunches but on good, solid evidence. Your therapy experience will be driven by the ideal that all clients deserve treatments that are well-supported and effective.
4. CBT is time-limited
The principal goal of therapy is take charge of your life. To achieve this goal, you need to learn to become your own therapist so that you one day no longer need regular therapy. From the very beginning of treatment, we will set clear limits on how long therapy should last so that we work together with the goal of getting you out of treatment and back into the life you want to be living.
What techniques are used in CBT?
CBT draws upon a variety of techniques that are designed to help you change your style of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
Below are just a few:
- Setting up experiments in your daily life to challenge how you normally do things
- Keeping a journal of recent episodes of anxiety and depression
- Learning how to analyze your emotions and identifying your unconscious assumptions and rules for life
- Practicing healthy self-talk that you can use to challenge your negative thinking
- Building a systematic plan to gradually and thoroughly overcome your anxiety and phobias
- Planning out your daily activities to maximize your mood and battle back against depression
- Learning organizational strategies to help you achieve your goals
- And many others…