You may have heard about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) from a doctor, loved one, or self help book. It’s an increasingly common type of therapy that clinicians use. So what exactly is it?
CBT is a type of psychotherapy that involves identifying and altering problematic thoughts and behaviors to help improve how one feels. It is evidence-based therapy. There are hundreds of peer-reviewed published journal articles supporting its use for treatment of many mental health conditions such as:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) such as Trichotillomania and Skin Picking Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has also been proven effective for treating physical conditions such as:
- Chronic pain
While it cannot cure these disorders, CBT can help relieve the symptoms.
Although treatment methods will vary depending on the problem presented, the basic principle behind therapy is always the same: What we think, how we feel and how we behave are all closely connected. All of these factors have a decisive influence on our well-being.
CBT is a problem-oriented strategy. It focuses on current problems and finding solutions for them. It empowers the client to become more competent and confident in managing their own symptoms so that they can function on their own without therapy as soon as possible.
There are several types of CBT that we use with different disorders, such as Exposure and Response Prevention (E/RP) for OCD and the Comprehensive Behavioral Treatment for BFRBs (ComB) for skin picking, hair pulling, and other body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs). Your therapist will discuss the recommended treatment approach with you within the first few sessions, and treatment goals will be updated regularly until you (or your child) are at optimal functioning.
If you are interested in trying CBT for yourself at The Center for Mindfulness & CBT, you can find a clinician with current availability by filling in the form here.