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Counseling with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

male therapist talking to female patient

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based practice commonly used by mental health professionals to treat many different types of disorders. The objective of CBT is to address thoughts and behaviors which have been counterproductive to a person’s well-being and equip them with tools and methods to correct or manage distorted thinking patterns. CBT is intended to be a short-term treatment, which is why sessions require active involvement on both the part of the therapist and patient. The therapist will use various techniques, tailoring strategies to fit each person’s particular needs.

Who can benefit from CBT?

Significant research has demonstrated that CBT is “effective in treating a range of problems including depression, anxiety disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, eating disorders and phobias.” CBT can also be “beneficial for those without a diagnosis, such as in the case of marital problems, or coping with grief or loss.” Managing everyday stress can be treated with CBT as you learn to recognize the types of faulty thinking patterns that hinder your ability to cope. You learn about the types of distorted thinking such as mind reading, where you feel as if you know exactly what someone is thinking. For example, you may think someone is having a negative thought about you by their facial expression, thus causing you to feel bad when in reality that person was just upset. Catastrophizing is another distortion in which a person tends to always think the worst will happen. “For example, you may make a small mistake at work and be convinced that it will ruin the project you are working on, your boss will be furious, and you will lose your job.” Most of these cognitive distortions are “automatic thoughts” and are based on a belief system often created at a young age.

What can you expect from CBT

During the first session, your therapist will gather necessary information and assess the presenting problem. Because it is a short-term treatment, sessions are goal oriented and structured with homework, reading assignments and other activities. Your therapist will work collaboratively with you to develop goals. He or she may also teach meditation and relaxation techniques. “The length of treatment will vary from person to person but is usually between 10-20 sessions.” Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has proven to be very successful in a short period of time, which is why so many therapists practice this form of therapy. Patients are able to improve the quality of their life by learning that they can change their emotional state by challenging negative thoughts and creating positive or neutral ones. For more information, contact us today!