What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy that helps you to consistently feel better and achieve your life goals by confronting thinking styles and behavioral patterns that prevent you from reaching your full potential.
How exactly will Cognitive Behavioral Therapy help me?
- CBT can help you gain insight into the function of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors as well as learn what psychological science has to say about the difficulties that you may be experiencing.
- CBT can help you 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
- CBT can help you identify negative or inflexible thinking styles and overcome them with new, more effective, ways of thinking.
- CBT can help you identify problem behaviors that are getting you stuck and develop new ways of interacting with yourself and your world that will improve how you feel on a consistent basis.
- CBT provides a safe, confidential and non-judgmental space for you to explore and work on your 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 12 sessions (3 months) 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, applied, and mastered. 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 on 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, you and your CBT therapist will come up with weekly homework exercises to practice and apply new skills learned in therapy. This routine practice of your new skills in your everyday life will be essential to achieving your therapeutic goals and finding success. Finally, given that you will be learning many new skills and concepts, it is strongly recommended that you have a notebook dedicated to therapy that you can use as a reference as well as a way to track your own progress.
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. Please note that I only offer free telephone consultations if I have an opening available at my practice.