Cognitive Behavior Therapy is…
In a nutshell, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) helps you learn to change your thoughts, feelings and behaviors so you feel better. By targeting your reactions to situations, CBT can help you react more effectively in difficult situations, and even learn to feel better when you are unable to change the situations that occur around you.
CBT is Goal-Oriented and Problem Focused
Unlike many talk therapies, CBT is a problem-solving therapy aimed at helping you achieve your goals. The goals can be anything from getting a job to finding a romantic partner to reducing feelings of anxiety or depression. Once I have shared understanding of what you are working toward, we work together to identify and change unhelpful thinking styles, alter behaviors, and decrease mental health symptoms.
CBT is Present-Focused
CBT typically places a strong focus on current difficulties and present situations that are distressing. This “here-and-now” focus allows you to solve current issues more quickly and effectively. It is true that many of our core beliefs come from childhood:
- I’m worthless
- I’m a burden
- I’m a bad person
- The world is a dangerous place
- People can’t be trusted
- I’m unlovable
- I’m a failure
I’ll help you evaluate the validity of those beliefs in the past but most importantly, the present.
CBT is Cooperative
CBT requires you and me to work as a team, collaborating to solve problems. I am the expert in CBT, and you are the expert in yourself. You will take an active role in your own treatment, using self-help assignments and CBT tools between sessions to speed up the process of change. Each session is focused on identifying unhelpful thinking styles, developing ways of thinking differently, and unlearning unwanted reactions.
CBT is Brief
CBT is a time-limited therapy, meaning once you feel significant symptom relief and have the skills you need for success, treatment can end. This makes CBT significantly shorter in duration than traditional talk-therapy, which can last years. Many clients finish CBT after just a few months of treatment. However, not all clients make enough progress in just a few months. Some individuals require much longer to modify very rigid dysfunctional beliefs and patterns of behavior that contribute to their chronic distress.
CBT Emphasizes Relapse Prevention
A good therapist is always trying to put him or herself out of business. My goal is to teach you how to be your own therapist so that you don’t have to rely on me for help with future problems. You’ll learn important ideas and skills that will benefit you during therapy and long after treatment ends.
CBT is Flexible
Cognitive Behavior Therapy does vary considerably according to individual clients, the nature of their difficulties, and their stage of life, as well as their developmental and intellectual level, gender, and cultural background. The emphasis in treatment also depends on the client’s particular problem(s):
- CBT for panic disorder involves testing the client’s catastrophic misinterpretations of bodily or mental sensations.
- Substance abuse treatment focuses on negative beliefs about the self and permission-granting beliefs about substance use.
- People suffering from anxiety tend to overestimate threat and underestimate their ability to cope. CBT for anxiety disorders involves learning to challenge your worried thinking, embrace your fears, and learn that you can cope in order to break free of the hold that fear and avoidance have on your life.
CBT is Well-Researched
- Over 500 studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of CBT for numerous problems. It is one of the few therapies that is scientifically proven to be effective. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is considered the gold-standard treatment for several reasons:
- CBT is the most researched form of therapy
- No other form of therapy has been shown to be consistently superior to CBT
- The American Psychological Association’s Division 12 Task Force on Psychological Interventions currently lists CBT as the only treatment with “strong research support” in almost 80% of all mental disorders included in its listing.
CBT is Supportive
- Making big changes can be difficult. As a Cognitive Behavior Therapist, I take this very seriously, and am dedicated to helping you along this process at your own pace, offering CBT tools in an environment of warmth, empathy, and caring.
CBT in the Louisville Kentucky Area
If you live in the Louisville, KY area and would like to develop the insights and skills to rediscover life free from anxiety, depression, OCD, and a range of other life challenges then working with a trained CBT therapist may be right for you. If you desire a better quality of life, then contact me today.