Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a practical, goal-focused approach that helps people understand the relationship between their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. CBT is an evidence based therapy, (EBT) which means it is considered best practice by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.
The cognitive behavioral approach to therapy effectively treats depression, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, couples problems and family therapy issues. And when medication is part of the treatment CBT increases medication compliance.
CBT is a collaborative task. We will examine each area of your life to determine how to best foster growth and happiness.
We will specifically address goals at work, at home, in your relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and others. Our work is best viewed as a holistic intervention. One part of the Cognitive aspect of CBT is based on the idea that how we perceive situations influences how we feel emotionally.
Often, it is our perceptions which need to be examined. So it is not a situation which directly affects how you feel but rather, your thoughts about the situation. In CBT we will examine these thoughts, and may find evidence to the contrary. We will use a gentle, yet systematic process of skill development, as well as gradual exposure to the feared elements in your life. Panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias and free-floating anxiety are some of the most studied disorders utilizing CBT.
The evidence is overwhelming that CBT provides symptom relief, often within four weeks. Of course, this assumes that you are practicing homework and techniques between sessions, attending sessions regularly, and thoroughly engaging with the process.
CBT used to treat depression addresses our negative thoughts by examining unrealistic expectations, and inquiring how negative views may be contributing to depression. By identifying these thoughts, and seeing them clearly we will begin a process of change. CBT has the most positive outcome studies on improving Major Depressive Disorder.
The Behavioral aspect of CBT strategically focuses on changing or implementing actions that will begin to help shift your feelings. The first step involves analyzing your day, looking for ways to add new habits, and maximize strategies you may have already begun. Specific daily actions become the building blocks for new, healthy feelings to develop.