Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Can you choose your thoughts?
Are you considering treatment for anxiety, depression, or relationship issues?
Has your life started to feel overwhelming with thoughts that you can’t seem to eliminate?
Maybe you have tried positive thinking, affirmations, or ignoring all the negativity in your life; but it just doesn’t seem to work.
Sometimes your thoughts are so strong and overwhelming that you get distracted, can’t focus, or can’t motivate yourself to do what you know you need to do.
Have you struggled to start or maintain healthy habits like exercising, maintaining healthy relationships, or making progress in your work/career?
If you find yourself nodding along or saying yes as you read, then Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) may be able to help you.
Life with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) skills
CBT can help you learn to control, manage, and even change your thoughts (on the spot).
Your thoughts are not something that you must live with; your thoughts are something you can choose. You can learn how to have more fulfilling thoughts, happier thoughts that will hopefully lead to having more good days than bad.
Asking for help and talking about the pain or difficulty you live with every day can be hard. You don’t have to keep living each day battling your thoughts and your feelings. You can take control of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with CBT.
What does CBT look like?
Our work together is collaborative. In your sessions, you will learn how to use CBT to examine and course-correct dysfunctional thinking patterns and/or beliefs that are contributing to your symptoms and problems in your life.
Together we will apply your new knowledge and skills to your daily problems and help you become self-sufficient in using CBT.
CBT may also help you overcome feelings of anxiety and/or depression through using focused thinking about solutions instead of repetitive or chronic problem thinking.
During your sessions, it’s important you share openly and honestly about your specific struggles. You will never be judged or criticized for what you’re experiencing; our sessions are always a judgement-free zone.
No matter what you feel, what you fear, or who you are, come as you are. All race, religion, sexual orientation, and lifestyle preferences are welcome.
What is the plan of treatment with CBT?
A typical treatment of CBT lasts from 8-12 weeks depending on your previous experience in treatment, your ability to put time into self-paced activities outside of your therapy sessions, and the nature of your issue. Treatment can move at a slower pace if you wish, but it’s not usually as effective.
CBT is built around weekly treatment sessions. It starts with 1-3 weeks of education-based sessions where you learn about the method and model of treatment and start to apply basic ideas to your daily life.
Weeks 4-9 are active sessions where we apply practical skills to your life’s issues. You will have homework assigned for you to work on between sessions. Follow through on your homework assignments is an essential part of CBT and learning your new CBT skills. Don’t worry; we design the homework together, so we move at your pace.
Finally, sessions 10-12 occur less often (usually 2x per month) as you begin to use the skills in your own life with less coaching/support so that you can truly integrate your new skills into your life.
By week 12 most clients notice significant improvements in their lives. If by week 12 you are still wanting support as you continue to practice your new CBT skills, additional support is available to help you feel confident and comfortable.
Does CBT work for everyone?
CBT is not for everyone.
Some people find CBT to be too structured.
Because the focus of treatment is to learn CBT skills and apply them to your life, it can be a poor fit for someone who is looking to come to therapy to talk about their life without doing anything different or for someone who is not willing to take some risks to learn and use new behaviors in their lives.
CBT can also be inadequate for treating more serious mental health issues, including psychosis and trauma.
Will CBT help improve my relationships?
CBT is not designed with the specific intent of improving relationships; however, it is likely to help you have more fulfilling relationships in your life.
Because CBT helps you learn how to manage your thoughts and feelings, it also helps you to be more present, authentic, and honest in your relationships.
Whether you struggle with codependency, marital conflict, or other relationship issues, it is likely that learning CBT will support you in developing stronger and more fulfilling relationships.
It is also important to know that CBT does not replace couples counseling or marital therapy. It is a method of treatment that is designed for individual therapy sessions and not for couples sessions which require a different approach.
If you’re looking for more information on couples counseling or marital therapy, check out The Gottman Method which we also provide.
CBT is not for the ‘faint of heart’; will it be worth the effort?
This is a great question! You might be wondering if you can learn CBT; after all, there is homework! Many people feel nervous at first about learning new skills, but with a little bit of willingness and the desire to change your current situation, you can do it.
After learning the basics of CBT, most of my clients ask, “Is that all it is?” and say they are surprised at how simple the concepts are to learn. And while the concepts are simple, the application of your new CBT skills will have its challenges. Not to worry; we’ll tackle any challenges together along the way.
What about medications?
CBT has shown to be an effective treatment option for anxiety, depression, panic disorder, among other mental health disorders, on its own without medication.
However, CBT can be used in conjunction with medication. Some of our clients choose to continue with medications while others choose to reduce or discontinue their use altogether with the support of their medical doctor or psychiatrist.
What is next?
If you’re considering treatment and would like to learn more about how our treatment process applies to you, give us a call for your FREE 20-Minute consultation. If you reach our voicemail, please leave a message; your phone call will be returned within 24 hours, but typically sooner.