CBT

Cognitive Therapy (also called Cognitive Behavior Therapy ) was developed by Dr. Aaron T. Beck more than 55 years ago in an attempt to help his patients who suffered from depression. Dr. Beck identified that distorted and negative thoughts are the primary feature of depression.  Since then, more than 500 outcome studies have demonstrated the efficacy of CBT in treating children, adolescents, and adults suffering from a wide range of emotional and behavioral difficulties and psychiatric disorders. 

According to CBT, people are constantly thinking about the world around them and the way they fit into that world.  These thoughts often occur so quickly and automatically that we are not always aware of them.  Unfortunately, these “Automatic Thoughts” (ATs) can have a profound negative impact on our moods and behaviors.   CBT addresses the complex relationship among thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.  In CBT, clients learn to bring those thoughts to their attention, and to actively evaluate them.  People learn that their moods often result from unrealistic or unhelpful thoughts that are based on distorted assumptions and beliefs about themselves, others, and the world. 

What Will I Learn in CBT?

 

In CBT, clients will learn skills that target all three components: cognition, affect, and behavior.  They will learn evidence-based skills to: 

 

  • Understand how their thoughts and feelings can contribute to maladaptive behaviors. 

  • Modify their distorted automatic thoughts, and learn to think in a way that leads to desirable emotions and behaviors. 

  • Activate adaptive and healthy behaviors that lead to improved mood and functioning. 

  • Weaken and stop phobic or obsessive thoughts, and compulsive behaviors, through gradual and non-painful exposure and response prevention treatment procedures. 

  • Improve problem solving and decision making skills to prevent more stress. 

  • Increase physical calmness and relaxation, and decrease levels of physical distress. 

  • Tolerate the common pains in life without turning them into unbearable suffering.  

Am I a Good Candidate for CBT?

 

CBT can be a good match for you if you are:

  • Looking for a practical, evidence-based, and goal-oriented type of therapy that will focus on problem solving and long lasting change in a time-efficient manner.  

  • Motivated to get better by investing time and effort in and between sessions. 

  • Willing to take an active role in participating in the therapy.

 

Problems Treated  

 

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

  • Depression

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Adjustment difficulties

  • Social Anxiety

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Behavioral problems

  • Self-esteem issues

  • Anger management

  • Insomnia

  • Panic Attacks

  • Phobias

 

How Does CBT Work?

One of the many reasons that I enjoy practicing CBT is its transparent nature.  As a cognitive therapist, I want my clients to learn about the cognitive model and how it works.  My goal is to have my clients ultimately become their own therapists so that they can explore and evaluate their thoughts and beliefs before they can trigger negative emotions or cause behavioral problems.  

 

To gain a better understanding of how CBT works, click here for a Case Study that illustrates the method.