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About Cognitive-Behavior Therapy

Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) is a short-term treatment that’s been shown to be successful with a wide range of psychiatric, psychological, emotional, and behavioral problems. The treatment focuses on the role unhelpful thoughts and behaviors play in producing symptoms and emotional distress and provides tools for counteracting them and skills to enable the formation of new “psychological habits”- ones that enhance mental health and well-being. CBT is a “here and now” approach to therapy, zeroing in on what’s going on today, as opposed to what happened years (or decades) ago. That’s not to say that CBT ignores the past – most definitely, certain events in a person's history play an important part in what’s going on right now, and elucidating these events can be very helpful. However, once the historical significance of situations and experiences have been exposed (which usually takes just a couple of sessions), the focus in therapy is on the problematic thoughts and behaviors that are going on in the present- the ones that keep people, both young and old, “stuck” from moving forward.

Unlike many other forms of therapy, CBT has been scientifically proven to work. Moreover, it’s a short-term treatment (typically lasting weeks or months as opposed to years), which makes it cost-effective. It also does not produce the side effects that frequently are experienced with medication approaches to psychiatric/psychological problems. However, for those where medication is indicated, research consistently has shown that CBT adds to the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy.

Some of the CBT techniques that I use include:

  • Exposure Therapy (in vivo and imaginal)
  • Systematic Desensitization
  • Deep Muscle Relaxation
  • Diaphragmatic Breathing
  • Exposure and Response Prevention
  • Satiation Training
  • Thought-Stopping
  • Habit Reversal
  • Positive Self-Statement Training
  • Cognitive Modification
  • Challenging Irrational Beliefs
  • Contingency Management
  • Differential Reinforcement
  • Assertiveness Training
  • Problem Solving
  • Stimulus Control Methods
  • Social Skills Training