Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that helps you learn to relate to your thoughts, feelings and behaviors differently so you feel better. Your clinician will teach you and/or your child concrete strategies that can help you react more effectively in challenging situations. CBT can teach you how to feel better even when you are unable to change situations happening around you.

In CBT we focus on the difficulties you are having in the present moment. While there may be moments that your therapist reflects on how your current distress may be informed by past childhood experiences, the main focus is on the here-and-now. Research shows us that having a more present focus allows you to solve the presenting problem more effectively. During treatment you will be guided to identifying the specific challenges you are experiencing and will be encouraged to work through them in consistent and structured manner. This focus will allow you to make changes more quickly than in other forms of talk therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is collaborative and active in that you and your clinician will work together to solve the presenting problems.  Clients are engaged as an active partner in their treatment. In CBT, clients are encouraged to do "homework" and to use the "tools" of CBT outside of the session. This may include reading, tracking behaviors or practicing relating to your thoughts in a different way outside of the session. Research has found that this speeds up the change process. Strategies and skills will be taught so that you learn ways to think and respond differently to distressing situations.  


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a time-limited therapy. Many people may find that they begin to get some relief from their symptoms after only a few sessions. Most people find that they experience a significant change after a few months of weekly therapy.  Session frequency and duration are collaboratively decided upon by you and your therapist. Once you feel significant symptom relief and have the skills you need for success, treatment can end. CBT is a significantly shorter form of treatment than traditional talk-therapy, which can last years. It is important to note that not everyone will make significant progress in a short time. Those with more severe and debilitating distress or those with multiple presenting problems may benefit from longer treatment. Often, clients appreciate the life skills taught by their CBT therapist and may choose to do "booster sessions" every so often to get a "tune up" on the strategies. Many clients come to see their CBT therapist as part of their overall wellness team and derive benefit from checking-in now and again just like you would your primary care doctor. 

Unlike other types of therapy, CBT is aimed at helping you achieve your goals through various problem solving strategies. The goals in therapy can include reducing the distress you experience from anxiety and depression or assistance with life transitions. You and your therapist will work together collaboratively on goal setting in the beginning and throughout treatment.  

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CBT is the most widely researched type of therapy. Hundreds of studies have not only demonstrated the effectiveness of CBT for numerous psychological and medical problems, including all forms of anxiety, but have also found it to be the most effective form of talk therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapists take great pride in knowing that CBT is an Evidenced-Based Practice (EBP) and that all strategies taught in CBT have been proven time and time again to be effective. 

It takes tremendous courage to come to therapy and begin to make the necessary changes in your life. Our clients are some of the bravest people we know. You are important to us and all therapists at the Center are dedicated to having you feel supported in making these big changes. We will encourage you to make change at a pace that is manageable. All therapists at the Center are warm, caring and compassionate people who will support you in your journey. We will teach you how to be your best ally, to be confident and how to demonstrate self-compassion. We will encourage you to live your best life. Once your treatment is complete, our therapists are here to help you at anytime in the future.

What is CBT?