Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a treatment approach that uses evidence-based, science-supported treatment strategies to help patients reach their goals. Research indicates that CBT is one of the most effective approaches for many mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, obsessions and compulsions, behavior issues, and more. Unlike many traditional psychotherapy models, CBT tends to be shorter in duration and very goal focused. Clinicians and patients actively work together to problem solve with the goal of identifying and changing problematic thoughts and behaviors to help a person feel better. When someone perceives a situation more accurately and realistically, he or she often makes more adaptive behavioral choices and ultimately feels better. The end result is that he or she will learn new ways of thinking and behaving so that he or she can be in control of stressors that come up after treatment is completed.

Many people assume that psychotherapy involves sitting on a couch and meeting with a clinician who sits with a notebook and says nothing while the patient does all of the talking. While some styles of psychotherapy do use this model, CBT does not. CBT involves the clinician and patient working together as a team. The clinician offers a lot of education, and the clinician and patient engage in a lot of back-and-forth conversations to uncover stressors and the best strategies for treatment. While gathering background information is important for understanding each person’s unique perspective, it is not the focus of treatment; sessions are focused on what’s happening currently and how to problem solve and move forward.

CBT is a highly effective treatment for the following:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Coping with medical illnesses
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders and body image issues
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Irritability
  • Mood instability
  • Obsessions and compulsions
  • Panic
  • Perfectionism
  • Sadness
  • School refusal
  • Separation anxiety
  • Shyness and Social anxiety
  • Specific phobias (fears)
  • Tics (involuntary motor or vocal movements)
  • Trauma
  • Trichotillomania (hair pulling)
  • Worries

Here are some links describing evidence-based treatments for generalized anxiety and worry (you can also select other disorders as well):