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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a short-term, problem-focused form of behavioral treatment that helps people understand the interplay between behavior, thoughts, and emotions.  With greater awareness, understanding, and skill-building, people can learn to disrupt unhelpful patterns of behavior.

CBT is grounded in the understanding that the combination of a person’s perception of events, emotional experience, as well as social and physical environment determine how they will feel and act in response.

Because CBT is goal-oriented, you and I are going to determine treatment goals together and periodically check our progress.  Although CBT is designed to make cogent, short-term interventions, it is also absolutely appropriate for people with substantive issues and/or limited support to choose to do CBT for longer than expected.  Most of my clients have a more active phase of treatment where they are seen weekly, and then move to a less frequent schedule, from once a month to sometimes a “booster session” every 4-6 months.

Some CBT techniques are:

  • Exposure
  • Cognitive restructuring (changing old patterns of thinking)
  • Journalling
  • Thought records (evaluation of evidence)
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Social, physical, and thinking exercises

What do we do in a session?  Typically, you already know what’s on the agenda because we’ve discussed it in the prior session.  CBT is not about venting or dealing with “the crisis of the week”, but working on long-term, pervasive challenges so clients can experience a smoother, more effective day-to-day life. At the end of every session, you will have guidance and some clear actionable items to work on in the coming week.

If you are unsure if CBT is the right fit for you, you can feel free to contact me with questions.