A negative response to feeling uncomfortable is natural, but not when it develops into a phobia, disorder, addiction, or condition. If you are searching for “cognitive behavior near me” or thinking about working with a professional therapist on these challenges, then you should have a firm grasp on what the therapy offers, how it works and where you can find CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). The right therapist can help you learn coping skills and management techniques to work through your difficulties when things trigger a response. If you want to find a short-term treatment solution that is empirically supported (or evidence-based), cognitive behavioral therapy might be a great fit.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an evidence-based psychotherapy treatment that requires work with a therapist. It is a structured approach that works on treating problems by dealing with the thought patterns, emotions, behaviors, and responses that are at the root of them. Instead of focusing on medications or just talking about the issues, CBT is a type of talk therapy that explores the underlying reasons and provides actionable techniques to resolve difficulties.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is rooted in solutions with therapists helping patients challenge their destructive mindsets and distorted views that lead to negative responses. The Mayo Clinic reports that emotional challenges could be helped by CBT because of the therapy:
- Manges symptoms of mental illness
- Treats mental illness at the core
- Offers a solution when medications are not an ideal option
- Instills coping techniques for uncomfortable situations
- Stops relapse of problematic thinking
- Supports patients through grief and loss
- Helps individuals move past trauma from past violence or abuse
- Helps manage medical symptoms, like chronic pain
- Improves communication skills
- Improves conflict resolution and builds stronger relationships
The therapy was once considered only helpful for depression, but research has grown to show how effective CBT is for a wide range of mental health struggles. Along with depression, some of the mental health disorders that can benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy include:
- Sleep disorders
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Substance abuse
- Sexual disorders
What does a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Session Include?
You might be asking “how does behavioral therapy work?” or “what behavioral therapists are near me?” There are many questions when it comes to considering CBT. You are probably wondering “what would a CBT session look like?” Every therapist’s and patient’s meetings will be different because of the various struggles, past, mental state, and comprehension levels that patients have. A teen consistently and deliberately acting out is not going to have the same treatment as a middle-aged woman who keeps falling back on pills to get through the stressors of daily life. But, there are some elements that will stay the same (or very close).
- Your sessions will last around 45 minutes
- Your therapist will ask you about your medical history, goals, treatment, and struggles
- You will likely get tasked with “homework” to help you solidify thinking and perspectives (like trying new skills during parts of your daily life at home)
The amount of time and the total length of your therapy program will depend on the therapist. It might take time to get to know a therapist and trust their perspective. At first, it is easy to be on guard and control the answers. You should click with the personality of your therapist or the relationship won’t likely improve. Sometimes, it takes a little searching before you find the perfect fit. With some providers, like Talkspace, you can try out licensed cognitive-behavioral therapists and choose the treatment plan level that is right for your needs and schedule.
CBT Techniques for Restructuring Thought Patterns
How we perceive a difficult situation will impact how we feel about it. While it might feel like your emotions just occur immediately, CBT thinking would say that your mind makes a lightning speed decision on how to take the situation, which influences your resulting feelings about it. It means that context, history, beliefs, and perspectives all influence how you perceive a situation and tend to respond to it. This is why conative behavioral therapy deals with the underlying thought patterns that lead to strong feelings and reactions to uncomfortable situations.
Some of the techniques taught by DBT include mindfulness, scheduling, and skills training.
Mindfulness focuses the thoughts on the present moment to ground and center your perspective. It is used to fight your fears, anxieties, and hypotheticals that could lead to reacting to possibilities instead of realities. Focusing on the present can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and fear. Changing the thought patterns to focus on the here and now helps ground perspective and intentions with reality instead of fixating on potential.
Scheduling includes structure, planning, and good habits. It helps you increase the practice of your newly learned behaviors by purposely scheduling them into your life. A therapist would help identify those behaviors that you should focus on and then provide you with assignments to increase their place in your daily activities.
Skills training teaches you to make up for skills you lack with new skills. The deficits that could impact social skills and communication capabilities are supplemented to help improve those abilities. This might include addressing anxieties and working through fears. It is designed to build your confidence and give you techniques to rely on in circumstances that might otherwise spark negative behaviors.
Where Can I Find Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Near Me?
In order to find a cognitive-behavioral therapist, you need to find a highly qualified professional who is licensed and experienced. There are thousands of therapists out there who practice CBT because it is one of the most common types of therapy. If you aren’t sure where to find a great therapist, here are a few ways you can find one:
- Use the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists directory of certified therapists
- Check out American Board of Professional Psychology’s Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology section
- Look at the list of CBT therapists on Psychology Today’s website broken down by state
- Consider an online therapy provider, like Talkspace, to help choose a therapist and provide online therapy options.
There are a number of psychological issues that are helped by CBT and you will experience long-lasting tools to help support positive behaviors. Consider the kind of support you need for your CBT sessions as you are searching for your cognitive-behavioral therapist, like whether you would prefer in-person or online sessions. Then, check with your insurance about coverage options and reach out for a consultation to discuss goals for treatment.