Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a structured, goal-oriented, and educational approach to treatment. CBT operates under the belief that negative feelings and behaviors result from the way you perceive and interpret situations around you, rather than the situations themselves. By working to change the thinking patterns that bring on negative emotions, CBT empowers you to become your own therapist and problem-solver, so that you not only feel better, but stay better.
1. You text a friend, and they don't respond.
2. You text a friend, and they don't respond.
3. You text a friend, and they don't respond.
4. You text a friend, and they don't respond.
1. "Did I say or do something wrong? Is she mad at me?"
2. "Is she okay? What if she was hurt/in an accident?"
3. "She's probably busy. I'll check in with her later."
4. "She's always doing this! Is it that hard to text me back?"
1. Anxious (on edge, replaying conversations, poor focus)
2. Scared (racing heart, rapid breathing)
3. Calm (will continue with
4. Angry (feeling tense, raising voice, banging fists)
In the example above, you will notice that the situation remained the same, but the resulting feelings and behaviors varied. This shows that it is not a situation that determines our emotions and actions, but the way we think about and perceive them. The goal of CBT is not to think more positively, but to think more rationally about situations, and to strengthen our problem-solving abilities. In addition to challenging unhelpful thinking, CBT also targets unhelpful behaviors, such as avoidance, checking, worrying, among others.
Sessions begin with a brief review of how you've been feeling since we last met, summed up in a few sentences.
We then review your homework, including your successes, as well as challenges.
Next, we set the session's agenda, which is a list of 1-2 goals we would like to achieve during the session. Examples include learning to cope with a specific stressor, reducing an unhelpful behavior, learning more about specific symptoms you've been experiencing, etc...
We will address each item using an educational, skills-based, and problem-solving approach, then collaboratively design homework so that you can practice and reinforce your new skills between sessions.
I will have you summarize the session, answer any questions you may have, and ask you to provide me with feedback on how you feel the session went. Feedback is important, as it allows me to make sure we are on the same page, and that you are feeling heard.