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.
C = Cognitive
How are you thinking, and communicating in your life, right now?
The basic idea is that your thoughts affects how you feel. You can change your feelings by examining your thoughts. There are universal flaws in thinking that we will address early on in therapy. You can practice these addressing these distortions in order to begin making immediate changes in your life.
B = Behavior
What are you doing each day? Your actions play a big part in determining how you feel. We will carefully review the many aspects of your daily life in order to discover the changes you want and need to make. You will learn to implement proven behavioral strategies to support lasting improvement in your life.
You may have a vision of therapy as passively laying on the couch and talking about your early childhood. You should know that CBT requires a joint effort; on your part you will explore your thoughts with writing, reading and discussion. You will implement behavioral changes, and challenge core beliefs. On my part, I will guide you, providing information and support you as you do this work.
Cognitive behavioral therapy posits that individuals really can change their lives by changing how they behave and think, rather than just focusing on how they feel. Thus,our time will be structured, and focused on creating change in your life. Our thinking is often habitual in nature, for instance, we tend to polarize issues into black and white ignoring the often valuable in-between. In therapy, we will explore these grey areas, teaching you how to do this in your daily life.
What is CBT Used For?
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 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.
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 our emotional feelings are influenced by how we perceive situations..
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 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 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. We 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.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Fort Collins
At my practice, we are dedicated to providing effective cognitive behavioral therapy in Fort Collins. The evidence is overwhelming that CBT provides symptom relief, often within four weeks. This assumes regular session attendance, active homework practice, and full engagement in the process. Call me today to get started.