In our therapy sessions, we utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as our primary approach. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that effectively treats mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, ADHD, and even relationship problems. It is one of the most common and best-studied forms of therapy. Our therapists believe CBT can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life and progression toward their goals.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) adopts the core principle that psychological problems are rooted in unhelpful or harmful thinking patterns. These toxic ways of thinking then lead to incorrect feelings, which produce unhelpful behaviors. CBT addresses the thoughts that begin this cycle and help people suffering from psychological problems learn ways to identify and cope with their thoughts. When we can control our thoughts, we are more likely to develop positive feelings and behaviors.

CBT is goal-oriented, meaning that the patient and the therapist partner together to create measurement tools to help define success. Conversation is a crucial aspect of CBT. The therapist will ask the patient questions and answers to help them consider their thoughts and feelings. Therapists create a safe and non-judgmental environment for sharing. By sharing experiences, thoughts, and feelings with the therapist, the patient can recognize problematic core beliefs they may have developed. These core beliefs are central ideas about yourself or the world that may or may not be accurate. Life experiences or psychological conditions can often distort a patient’s ability to distinguish between helpful and unhelpful thoughts or recognize cognitive distortions. Additionally, CBT attempts to change untrue or unhelpful core beliefs that may spark the patient’s negative thoughts. Through CBT, patients can establish true core beliefs, which will develop into healthy thoughts, feelings, and actions.

How can CBT help?

Many people prefer to practice CBT because it is one of the fastest means of identifying the source of a patient’s problems within their thoughts. CBT typically requires fewer sessions and is highly structured in its methodology. According to the Mayo Clinic, CBT may improve the following mental health disorders:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Phobias

  • Sleep disorders

  • Eating disorders

  • OCD

  • Substance use disorders

  • Bipolar

  • Schizophrenia

  • PTSD

  • ADHD

In addition to these disorders, many psychologists have attributed success in coping with other health issues, including insomnia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, migraines, and IBS, to CBT. CBT can also assist in processing relationship issues, divorce, problems at work, grief, adjusting to new life changes or medical diagnoses, stress, or burnout. The Mayo Clinic describes that CBT may help you:

  • Manage symptoms of mental illness

  • Prevent a relapse of mental illness symptoms

  • Treat a mental illness when medications aren’t a good option

  • Learn techniques for coping with stressful life situations

  • Identify ways to manage emotions

  • Resolve relationship conflicts and learn better ways to communicate

  • Cope with grief or loss

  • Overcome emotional trauma related to abuse or violence

  • Cope with a medical illness

CBT guides how we can change our thoughts to change how we feel. At Mind Right, we recognize a key pattern: we think, we feel, we do. Toxic thoughts lead to toxic feelings. Toxic feelings lead to toxic attitudes and actions.

What Happens During a CBT Session

At your first CBT session, a therapist will gather information about you and assess your current situation. You will have the opportunity to share what concerns you’d like to work on and what you believe may be causing these concerns. The therapist will discuss your medical conditions and ask questions about your current physical, mental, and emotional states. They will also discuss any current prescriptions for mental health conditions you are taking. Your therapist may need a few conversations to understand you and your situation thoroughly. You will also establish your physical, mental, and emotional goals. Throughout future sessions, your therapist will develop a plan of action to ensure you are progressing toward your identified goals.

After determining your mental health condition and the thoughts that may be causing them, your therapist will educate you on your condition and specific coping skills for improving it. CBT may allow you to explore painful feelings, emotions, and experiences. During a session, it is normal to experience emotional responses, such as crying or feeling anger. Your therapist will encourage you to talk about any thoughts or feelings that you are having. You will have the opportunity and the power to guide conversations to ensure that you can openly share anything troubling you. However, the coping skills you learn during CBT will help you overcome your fears and control unpleasant emotions.

CBT can occur in one-on-one sessions or, if you would like, in group settings with other individuals facing similar issues. There are also online and telehealth options available for practicing CBT. In addition, many therapy sessions will involve homework activities, such as reading or journaling, to help you progress toward your goals. Your therapist will also give tips for incorporating therapy techniques into your daily life. While CBT may not eliminate all of your symptoms or your condition, it can be beneficial in helping you continue your everyday life and progress.