We all see the world through different lenses, which are formed and strengthened by our genetic makeup, the messages we received growing up, and our accumulated experiences. Sometimes, this lens can become distorted, causing us to interpret and interact with the world in unhelpful ways. Certain thinking and behavioral patterns may get in the way of relationships with others, with work, and with ourselves.
In cognitive-behavioral therapy, we look at the lens in which you see the world by examining the relationship between your thoughts, your feelings, and your behavior.
Your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors all influence one another. Your thoughts can influence the way you feel, and the way you feel can bias what you remember, what you look for, and how you interpret your experience. When you have unhelpful thoughts about a situation, you may engage in defeating behaviors that worsen your mood. When you engage in behaviors that you are proud of or that are enjoyable to you, this can positively enhance your mood and your thinking styles. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, we will get a better sense of your habitual ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving and work together to develop healthier patterns, targeting unhelpful thinking styles, dissatisfying behaviors, and/or anxious and low moods.
Many studies have found CBT to be as effective as medication for many common psychological issues. CBT has been proven to be effective at treating problems such as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression.
CBT is especially powerful for the times when anxiety, fear, and depression are so overwhelming that you find it difficult to engage in everyday life. I often use the metaphor of living inside a cocoon, because when experiencing this intense emotional experience, it’s easy to zoom in on your thoughts and your physical discomfort. The goal of CBT is to help you develop the skills to ultimately re-engage with the world around you, participating in the activities you used to enjoy and connecting with those important to you.
CBT is a very active, collaborative approach. During the first few sessions, we will work together to identify specific goals, or changes you'd like to see in yourself. Throughout our sessions I will work with you to make progress on your goals, while helping you to develop skills that you can rely on long after therapy ends. CBT differs from other approaches in its emphasis on applying what you learn in session to your daily life. We will collaborate on out-of-session work that will help you challenge beliefs, try out new behaviors, and maintain gains.