What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, commonly referred to as CBT, is based on the concept that changing negative thinking patterns and self-defeating behaviors can have a powerful effect on a person's emotions.

CBT is a structured therapy, which involves a partnership between the client and therapist. Together with the therapist, clients examine all elements that maintain a problem, including their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. As a client, you are fully involved in planning your treatment and the therapist will always let you know what is happening.

What do CBT therapists do?

  • CBT therapists help clients develop coping skills that enable them to be more in control of their thoughts (that's the cognitive part) and their actions (that's the behavioral part).
  • CBT therapists recognize that those suffering from excessive anxiety tend to focus on and exaggerate the frightening aspects of certain situations, so they help them gain a more realistic perspective in order to decrease their anxiety.
  • CBT therapists know that individuals with anxiety often avoid situations they fear, and that avoidance often makes things worse by prolonging anxiety. Therefore, CBT therapists help the client overcome avoidance by gradually facing what is feared.

Does CBT work?

  • CBT has been extensively investigated in rigorous clinical trials and has demonstrated efficacy in treating anxiety and depression in children and adults.
  • For many problems such as anxiety and depression, CBT has been found to be as effective as medication. CBT can be used alone or in conjunction with medication, depending on the severity and nature of each client's problem.

What can I expect during CBT:

  • Clients are first evaluated to obtain a thorough history and background information to better understand the nature of the difficulties for which treatment is being sought.
  • Clients will also be asked to complete assessments and questionnaires.
  • Treatment usually takes place on a weekly basis, focusing on current issues.
  • A treatment plan is completed to set goals and to monitor progress.
  • The number of sessions varies with the type of difficulties being treated.
  • Often clients will be asked to practice specific techniques in between sessions, as they are expected to be active participants in their own therapy.
  • Once the skills are learned and practiced, clients can keep using what they have learned in therapy to approach other problems in their life.

What is family-based cognitive behavioral therapy?

Results from research studies suggest that for some children a family based cognitive behavior. In Family-based cognitive behavioral therapy:

  • Both children and caregivers learn about how their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected and how to change thoughts and behaviors to change negative patterns.
  • Families learn how to communicate their feelings and thoughts effectively.
  • Parents learn how to support and encourage their child to face their fears and master their anxiety.
  • Parents learn strategies to manage their child's anxiety without giving in to their child's unrealistic fears.
  • Families learn problem solving strategies that increase adaptive coping and decrease maladaptive patterns.

What is cognitive behavioral group treatment?

Our group treatment programs offer state of the art cognitive behavioral therapy to adolescents and young adults coping with anxiety and related problems. Within the group format individuals learn how to manage their anxiety using cognitive behavioral strategies, while gaining support and encouragement from others who are coping with similar difficulties.