What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is considered a gold standard treatment for a wide variety mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. It has been in use since the 1960s and has decades of scientific research supporting its efficacy. CBT arose as a “second wave” in psychotherapy, providing a welcome alternative to traditional psychoanalytic treatments.
Unlike psychoanalysis, which can take many years to complete and requires delving deep into the patient’s past, CBT focuses on making changes in the present to break negative patterns of thought and behavior. Although each client’s needs and concerns are different, a typical round of CBT treatment may take anywhere from 12-20 weeks, with noticeable improvements often seen early in treatment. I am pleased to be able to provide this brief and effective treatment to my therapy clients.
What does “cognitive behavioral” mean?
“Cognitive behavioral” refers to CBT’s focus on cognition (thoughts) and behaviors (actions). CBT clients learn to reshape unhelpful thought patterns and coping behaviors, replacing them with more helpful and balanced ways of thinking and being. This, in turn, allows them to feels better, break out of negative cycles, and become more effective in their lives.
What should I expect in treatment?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an active form of treatment. Not only will you be developing new insights and understandings about yourself, you will be learning tools and techniques that you will be able to employ in your daily life, which will help you move towards your goals. A CBT therapist takes an active role, helping the client to explore and apply new concepts while providing support and guidance.
As a client, you’ll typically find that you get out of CBT what you put into it. CBT involves observing patterns, practicing new skills, and experimenting with different concepts outside of session in addition to the work you do with the therapist. This approach allows clients to experience change and growth directly, and often also allows you to feel better faster. As your therapist, I will help you come up with a plan and take things step by step, no matter where you’re starting from.