What is CBT?
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that has consistently shown to reduce suffering across a wide variety of mental health concerns. It is considered to be the gold-standard treatment for anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia and more. CBT emphasizes a collaborative relationship between the client and therapist, who work together to identify goals in therapy. The therapist strives to be warm, empathetic, and non-judgmental. CBT is active- You will learn specific skills and techniques you can apply to many different situations. CBT is short-term. Many people see results and/or complete therapy in anywhere from 6-16 weeks.
Specialty Treatments Provided
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a 12-week treatment for people who have experienced traumatic stress. CPT aims to understand how trauma(s) has impacted a person's beliefs about themselves, ability to trust others, intimacy, safety, and power/control. It is recommended by the American Psychological Association and the VA/Department of Defense Clinical Practice Guidelines for the treatment of PTSD.
Check out this episode of This American Life to learn more about CPT.
Exposure therapy is used to treat a variety of manifestations of anxiety. The therapy involves gradually approaching feared situations, objects, or memories until the person feels at ease. During exposures people learn that these feared situations are safe and that they can handle their anxiety. While exposure therapy can sound intimidating, it works! To learn more about exposure therapy click here. Exposure therapy is offered to treat specific phobias (insects, vomit, and more), panic attacks, and social anxiety. A recent article provides a first person account of what it's like to engage in exposure therapy.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Prolonged Exposure therapy is one of the recommended treatment options for PTSD from the American Psychological Association and the VA/DOD Joint Guidelines for the Treatment of PTSD. Prolonged Exposure therapy helps a person approach the memory of the traumatic event which they have been avoiding. Additionally, PE also helps people approach external situations that they may be avoiding such as crowded public places or leaving the house after dark.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia
CBT for insomnia(CBT-I) starts by monitoring a person's sleep schedule to understand the behaviors maintaining the insomnia. A new sleep schedule is set to help reset the body's internal clock. We examine and modify any environmental factors, unhelpful thoughts about sleep, as well as sleep interfering behaviors contributing to the insomnia. A typical course of CBT-I is completed in about 6 weeks.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment therapy is one of the third-wave behavioral therapies. Oftentimes our suffering is rooted in attempts to avoid our emotional experiences. ACT incorporates mindfulness and helps us to connect with our values to build a meaningful life. An introduction to this therapy can be found here.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
CBT theorizes that our thoughts influence our emotions and behaviors. Treatment includes a variety of techniques to teach someone to become their own therapist by learning to challenge their own unhelpful thoughts. Specific coping skills are also interwoven throughout the treatment to help break cycles of negative behaviors. An interesting NY Times blog reviews why CBT may be a preferred approach for therapy. CBT can be adapted to address many concerns ranging from general stress to depression.