Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a highly effective, evidence-based therapy that’s effective for a wide variety of behavioral health issues. These include substance abuse, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, PTSD and trauma, anxiety, phobias, and depression.

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Works

male doctor talks to female patient in cognitive behavioral therapyIn cognitive behavioral therapy, a specially trained therapist helps clients understand the connection between thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Clients learn to identify unhealthy or false thought processes and self-talk and replace them with more constructive, realistic thoughts. This can positively impact the way they interact with others and the world around them. It can also help them learn how negative thoughts fuel self-defeating behaviors.

Cognitive behavioral therapy seeks to stop habitual, negative self-talk. For example, a client might consistently tell themselves, “I am a horrible person.” Through CBT, they’ll identify instances that don’t support this statement. Initially, this might begin with very small examples as the client resists change: I feed my dog every day; I open the door for people; I smile at strangers. Over time, the client will recognize and accept more significant examples in their life. They may alter this all-or-nothing statement to something like, “I am a good person most of the time based on several examples.”

While cognitive behavioral therapy honors the past and the deep emotional wounds that previous experiences leave in a client’s life, the approach is solution-focused. With the guidance of a therapist, cognitive behavioral therapy empowers clients to find solutions to their current problems. They learn how they can live a healthy life in the present moment.

CBT Therapy Program at Promises

Many of our addiction and mental health professionals are trained in cognitive behavioral therapy. We draw upon CBT in both individual and group therapy. Our treatment team offers behavioral therapy as one option. This is in combination with a variety of other therapies as well as alternative and experiential approaches. This gives us the flexibility to tailor treatment to each client, depending on what works best for them.

In CBT the client-therapist relationship is collaborative, with the therapist and client working together and the therapist seeking input from the client on what is working for him or her. The therapist is nonjudgmental and supportive of the client as they work toward achieving mutually established goals.

Benefits of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program

CBT can change brain activity in those with mental illness who receive this form of psychotherapy. Research suggests that the brain improves functioning as a result of CBT in specific conditions such as:

Depression – CBT has been found to be as useful as some antidepressant medications for the treatment of certain individuals with depression. It’s believed that CBT may be superior in preventing relapse in depression symptoms.

Anxiety – People with persistent panic attacks are encouraged in CBT to test the beliefs they’ve related to panic episodes. These may include specific fears that could be tied to bodily sensations. CBT helps people develop more realistic responses to experiences. This can be beneficial in helping to reduce the frequency and intensity of attacks.

Obsessions and compulsions – CBT helps guide individuals suffering from obsessions or compulsions to face their fears in a safe and controlled environment. They can identify beliefs surrounding such fears and then change them to decrease the anxiety they hold associated with those fears.

At Promises, CBT is just one part of a broader treatment strategy tailored to the needs of each individual. CBT provides a strong foundation for individual and group therapy, as well as family therapy, and is enhanced by many of the complementary and alternative therapies we offer. Our clients often arrive struggling with lifelong battles with self-defeating thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. With the help of CBT, they learn how to build healthier, more effective patterns. Call us at 1.713.528.3709 today to learn more!