What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy that helps you challenge inflexible or negative thinking styles, master distressing or uncomfortable emotions, and overcome self-defeating ways of interacting with yourself and your world. Ultimately, skills developed over the course of CBT will be directed towards helping you overcome areas of difficulty, achieve your unique life goals and live a life that is more consistent with your personal values.
How exactly will Cognitive Behavioral Therapy help me?
- Gain insight into the purpose and function of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Learn what psychological science has to say about the types of difficulties you may be experiencing
- Become aware of how your thoughts feelings, and behaviors are linked to each other and learn how these relationships can prevent you from feeling better, connecting with other people, and achieving your goals
- Identify problematic or inflexible thinking styles and overcome them with new, more effective ways of thinking.
- Identify problem behaviors that are getting you stuck and develop new ways of interacting with your world that will improve how you feel and help you develop mastery in your environment.
- Achieve your therapeutic goals by getting support in applying new CBT skills as well as having a safe, confidential space to discuss your experiences and concerns.
How long does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy take?
The length of therapy varies from person to person, as each individual is unique, has different challenges, and different goals. Generally, therapy will finish when you have reached your goals or it becomes clear that progress is no longer being made. I will be happy to have a discussion with you about your progress in therapy and your plans for continuing or completing therapy throughout the course of our work together. Although the optimal length of therapy varies, the empirical research suggests that at least 8-12 sessions are needed in order to provide a full course of CBT for anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder.
How frequently will I attend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy sessions?
Sessions are held on a weekly basis during the active phase of treatment. This frequency helps to ensure that CBT skills are learned, mastered, and applied. It is also the frequency of therapy used in almost all studies on therapeutic effectiveness. After active treatment, some clients may wish to continue to meet on a monthly basis to check-in progress, troubleshoot ongoing difficulties, and set monthly goals.
What will I be expected to do in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
CBT is a collaborative treatment approach in which the therapist serves as the expert in clinical psychological science and treatment, and you (the client) serve as the expert on you and your unique personal experience. Both areas of expertise are needed to help you achieve your therapeutic goals. Given that less than 1% of your waking hours during the week occur in the therapist's office, your CBT therapist will give you weekly exercises to practice new CBT skills where it actually counts - at home, at work, and in your relationships with others. This routine practice of your new skills and insight in your everyday life will be essential to achieving your therapeutic goals and finding success.
Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy work?
CBT is the by far the most thoroughly researched effective type of psychotherapy for a variety of mental health concerns. CBT has been shown repeatedly to be at least as effective as other forms of psychotherapy in multiple treatment comparison studies, including randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses. Research has also consistently demonstrated that CBT outperforms other types of psychotherapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder. The therapeutic effect of CBT on depression, for instance, is comparable to effects produced by antidepressant medication and is more long-lasting.
Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy right for me?
No therapy or therapist is the right fit for everyone. Therefore, it is very important for you to find a therapist with whom you feel personally comfortable. Even the research shows that the fit between client and therapist is one of the most important predictors of therapeutic success. It is my goal with every client to maintain a supportive, safe, non-judgmental, and confidential space for you to work through your concerns and find success. If you would like to find out if I would be a good fit for you, we can set up a free 15-minute telephone consultation for you to have an opportunity to chat with me about what you're wanting to work on.