What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is based upon two psychological theories: Cognitive Theory and Behavioral Theory Approach.
Together, these theories suggest that our feelings and behaviors are caused by our thoughts rather than something external such as people or events. We can, therefore, affect changes in the ways we feel and behave using CBT as an approach to therapy!
- CBT is results-driven; clients learn how to think differently in their daily lives.
- CBT has been found to effect changes in clients much faster than other forms of therapy.
- CBT is a collaborative approach based upon the foundation of a good therapeutic alliance.
- CBT is structured, directive and uses homework to aid clients in affecting desired changes.
Do You Use Any Other Approaches?
Like most therapists, I draw from more than one theory. Although CBT is the foundation of my approach, I also use Acceptance & Commitment, Reality and Client-Centered Therapies along with some Life Coaching Techniques. And I frequently draw from my Christian beliefs and find that Spirituality plays a major role in helping clients find their true selves.
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a great partner to CBT because it focuses on awareness, avoidance and acceptance of self and experience.
Reality Therapy focuses on the here-and-now with clients instead of their pasts. It emphasizes decision-making and taking control of one’s life by bringing action to a person’s goals. It is a form of CBT in that it requires that clients become aware of and change unproductive thoughts or behaviors.
Client Centered Therapy uses highly attuned listening skills and a deep empathic response to encourage personal growth in clients by showing them that they have the ability to help themselves. Reflection and clarification are used to aid the client in discovering and understanding their true feelings. Like CBT, it’s up to the client to determine what changes need to occur in their lives.
Gottman Marriage Counseling – John Gottman was recognized in 2007 as one of the 10 most influential therapists of the past quarter century. According to Wikipedia, “Gottman’s research showed that it wasn’t only how couples fought that mattered, but how they made up. Marriages became stable over time if couples learned to reconcile successfully after a fight.” Training with the Gottman Institute has enabled me to better address the concerns and struggles that clients bring to marriage counseling.
To learn more, visit www.gottman.com.
Life Coaching is different from therapy in that it focuses on changing behaviors without diagnosing a client’s past. With Life Coaching, the past isn’t even the issue! The issue is the present and the goal is the future. It’s a highly collaborative and supportive process, and it holds a level of accountability that is not inherent in psychotherapy.
What Is Most Important to You?
No matter the theoretical approach, it’s important to me that my clients know that:
- We are a team – we treatment plan together and their voice is absolutely the most important voice in the room.
- I care that my clients learn new tools, grow from this experience and ultimately feel better.
- My door is always open to clients who wish to return to therapy no matter how long it’s been – I’m here and I’m listening!