Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Wellesley, MA
With a team of experienced and compassionate mental health professionals in Wellesley, Colony Care offers personalized CBT treatment plans that are tailored to meet the unique needs and goals of each individual. By focusing on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors, CBT can help clients improve their overall mental health and quality of life.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a popular form of talk therapy that involves patients working directly with a mental health professional to evaluate challenging situations in a more simplistic manner. Essentially, the goal of CBT is to retrain the individual and their brain to handle specific stimuli and respond with calm, rational patterns of thinking as opposed to more volatile reactions.
What Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treat?
There are many unique situations that can be improved through the implementation of CBT. Many people tend to develop a negative core belief in response to a distressing situation. For example, someone who was involved in a traumatic car accident will likely have fears surrounding automobiles, and may begin to believe that they are unsafe. Cognitive behavioral therapy works to break down these negative emotions and replace them with a more accurate depiction of the world.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is useful for individuals of all ages, and can address a range of mental disorders such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety disorders
- Panic attacks
- Coping with grief or a significant loss
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD)
- Substance abuse disorders
- Various phobias
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Eating disorders
- Sleep problems
Depending upon the individual patient, CBT may be used in combination with or in absence of prescribed medications. Many individuals can increase the positive effects of cognitive behavioral therapy by sticking to a medication regimen as instructed by their clinician, though there are some who are best suited to avoid medications as a treatment option.
CBT Is Quick and Effective
Another reason why many mental health professionals and patients alike will opt to include cognitive behavioral therapy in their treatment process is because it can be completed in a relatively short period of time. Most challenges can be resolved after engaging in 5 to 20 sessions, which will vary based on the patient and their unique needs. CBT has also been shown to benefit individuals through online therapy sessions, making it an even more convenient option to consider.
The 4 Steps of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Behavioral health clinicians typically completes cognitive behavioral therapy sessions in a one-on-one environment with individual patients, though group sessions have also shown to be quite successful when implemented. In either case, the CBT method can be separated into four specific steps:
The process begins by allowing the clinician to learn more about your personal background, what led you to seeking professional help, and the goals you hope to reach as you progress through treatment. Once this baseline information is established, the clinician will delve deeper into the specific problems that you face and are struggling to conquer.
In addition to making the clinician aware of troubling emotions or thoughts, it is also critical for patients themselves to become familiar with their own problems and how they react to the onset of these feelings. It is this step that uncovers the root of the person’s negative beliefs. Keeping a personal journal of your emotions can be particularly helpful in this stage if you have difficulty in pinpointing the source of your distress.
Now that the problem(s) have been accurately identified, the clinician will work with patients to assist them in recognizing patterns of behavior that may lead to destructive, negative thinking, and how these situations may be avoided. Individuals in this stage of CBT are often asked to analyze their physical, emotional, and behavioral responses to a negative stimulus.
At this point, it is understood how and why a person reacts the way that they do to a given situation. The goal from here is to break down their negative beliefs and replace them with a positive affirmation that can be applied to future instances. Although this is the last step of the cognitive behavioral therapy process, it is also usually regarded as the most difficult since many negative beliefs have been rooted in the patient’s mind for years, making them very hard habits to break. Those who struggle through this stage should not be discouraged. With enough practice and assistance from the clinician, patients can expect their experience to become easier over time as they begin to alter their perceptions and improve behaviors.
Is CBT Right for You?
We have already discussed many advantages and applications of cognitive behavioral therapy, though the only way to be sure that a particular person is right for this type of talk therapy, as opposed to other techniques, is to contact Colony Care Behavioral Health and see for yourself. To request additional information or schedule an appointment, please call (781) 431-1177.