How CBT can help you become your best self
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT, is a collection of active, solution-focused therapeutic approaches all geared toward helping you develop the skills needed to overcome a variety of problematic issues. Considered to be one of the most researched & effective therapeutic modalities, it is an umbrella term for a variety of different clinical techniques that all share a core belief- our thoughts, feelings & behaviors are uniquely interwoven & work in a cyclical pattern. CBT theorizes that our thoughts, or what is referred to as Self Talk, serve to shape our feelings, which then influences our behavior, both our body’s physiological reaction & physical actions.
From experiencing a life obstacle, such as being discontent with your job, to struggling with a diagnosed clinical disorder, like Social Anxiety, CBT can help to improve your overall quality of life by teaching you to utilize strategies that target your thoughts, feelings & behaviors. Some of the core principles of CBT are:
- Focus is on the “here & now” – While an individual’s history is important, CBT is not an existential exploration or a “talk-based” therapy.
- Therapy is time-limited & solution-focused –A structured, target-focused treatment plan is created, aimed at identifying problems, setting specific goals & developing & practicing their use, to solve problems now & prevent them in the future.
- Treatment is action oriented – Expect to engage in homework & be an active participant in sessions
- Goal is Self-Empowerment –Emphasis is placed on developing confidence in one’s self; the therapist serves as a teacher & guide, with the result of individual being equipped to tackle obstacles independently in the future.
CBT is used to help change dysfunctional patterns of thinking, feeling & behaving that exist in issues such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders (Hair Pulling, Skin Picking, Body Image Distortion), Unresolved Trauma, Depression, as well improving the overall quality of our life. Think of it as a way to help you gain the tools to rid or lessen your negativity (in the form of worry, anger, dread, doubt, or hopelessness)& boost your ability to feel more optimistic, empowered & positive about yourself & all areas of your world. While the list of CBT modalities & techniques is quite long, a few of the most frequently used & beneficial are:
- Cognitive-Based Therapy & Rational Emotive Therapy – Teaching the individual to identify, challenge & reframe the negative, anxious & irrational thoughts using a variety of techniques
- Acceptance-Based Therapy – Allowing “unpleasant” emotions/feelings to exist without seeking to eradicate them
- Exposure-Based Practices – Systematic Desensitization, Imaginal, Interoceptive, Prolonged & In-vivo Exposure, Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP for OCD)
- Relaxation Practices – Breathing Exercises, Overall Relaxation, Visualization
- Mindfulness -Mind/Body approach geared toward being at peace with oneself in the present moment using strategies often employed in other CBT methods.
CBT is The Gold Standard in Treatment
For nearly 25 years, Jenifer has continued to train & broaden her knowledge & clinical skills as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. Her choice to specialize in these methods & be one of the few practitioners in Central Florida to use exposure-based Therapy, both in & outside of the office setting, is based on decades of clinical research indicating that an Integrative CBT approach is the most effective.
2 Hoffman, S. S. (2008). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for adult anxiety disorders: A meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 621-632.
3 Olatunji, B. C. (2010). Efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders: a review of meta-analytic findings. Psychiatry of Clinical North America, 557-577.
4 www.adaa.org (Anxiety & Depression Association of America.
5 www.apa.org (American Psychological Association)
6 www.iocd.org (International Association of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)