All of our psychologists are trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
What is CBT?
CBT is a type of therapy that focuses in on identifying automatic, problematic and distorted thought patterns that then affect the way one feels emotionally and behaves. In therapy, clients may learn about types of thinking patterns that they get caught up in. For instance below are a few examples of cognitive distortions that many individuals find their thoughts fall into:
All or Nothing Thinking: Seeing things as either totally good or bad.
Overgeneralizing: Seeing a single event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
Negative Filtering: Filtering out all the positive aspects of a situation and fixating/magnifying the negative aspects.
Mind Reading: Assuming someone is thinking something negative about you without knowing for sure.
Fortune Telling: Predicting the worst will happen.
We also look at core beliefs. Examples of core beliefs are:
- “I am unloveable”
- “I am not good enough”
- “I am a failure”
- “I am too needy”
Next, we work on cognitive restructuring. This is the process of identifying automatic cognitive distortions or core beliefs, the situations that trigger them, the emotions that are felt, and then evaluating the evidence for and against the automatic thoughts and core beliefs. We practice creating alternative thought patterns and then re-evaluate how the client feels emotionally once this process has been completed.
Behavioral experiments address the “behavioral” part of cognitive-behavioral therapy. In treatment, we will work on testing out situations that are tied to the distorted thoughts. For example, for someone who struggles with social anxiety and has the thought, “People will think I’m weird if I go up to them and start talking to them at the grocery store.” In the behavioral experiment, we practice having the client make small talk with employees and customers at the grocery store to see if it turns out to be just as bad as the client believes it to be. This is a form of exposure therapy which in essence is working towards engaging in behaviors that are typically avoided because of fear of the outcome or because of anxiety or negative experiences associated with the behavior in the past.
CBT has been shown to be helpful in treating anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. For more information or to make an appointment with one of our psychologists, please call 571-328-7408 x 0 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org