Chances are you have probably heard of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (or CBT for short) but you may not know what it is or what is involved. How do you know if CBT is the right approach for you? How do you know if you can benefit from this type of therapy?
What is CBT?
CBT is a therapeutic approach based on the belief that the way you think about things impacts your emotions and therefore your actions. For example, you think that no one likes you so you get nervous and feel bad when attending social events, leading you to avoid these events. Or, you don’t feel worthy of success in your life causing you to turn down important opportunities or participate in self-destructive behaviors.
CBT is the practice of modifying those thoughts, leading to alterations in your feelings, and ultimately your actions. CBT teaches you to stop believing everything you think. Just because you think something doesn’t mean it’s true. False thoughts lead to negative emotions that in turn drive unproductive, self-harming behaviors.
Cognitive-Behavior treatment can help change the way you think about things, leading to positive impacts in your life—if you are willing to put in the effort.
How does CBT work?
At Move Forward, our therapists work directly with clients to identify goals and determine what thought and behavior patterns are limiting them.
Once destructive thoughts and behaviors have been identified, our counselors will work with you to replace those negative patterns with positive ones. CBT takes action on your part as a client. You have to actively participate and put in the effort to learn how to think and behave differently.
Sessions are aimed at being practical and educational. The average number of CBT sessions is between 8 and 16, depending on your individual needs. You will have some homework, though. Your therapist will teach you how to change your emotions and behavior but you will need to practice applying those principles in real life.
In the end, you will be equipped to identify problems and accept them so that you can be in a better state of mind to deal with life’s challenges productively.
Who can benefit from CBT?
This type of therapy has been proven effective at treating a variety of conditions if you are willing to put in the effort. It is a popular treatment for those struggling with mild to moderate depression. Other treatments are recommended for those with severe depression since CBT does require the client to be actively involved—something that is very difficult with severe depression.
Other mental disorders that respond well to CBT include anxiety, phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Attention-Deficit Disorder, eating disorders, and substance abuse. It can be effective across all age groups.
Can you receive CBT treatments online?
Yes, CBT can be just as effective done via online therapy or telehealth. In some cases, it may even be more effective.
Since the start of COVID-19, Move Forward has moved all therapy to online sessions (serving all of Pennsylvania). While some might be nervous about taking their therapy online there are a lot of benefits that can actually increase the effectiveness of CBT. Being able to do your sessions from the comfort of your home reduces the stress (and cost) of finding childcare, time of travel, concern over exposure to viruses, and it can increase relaxation overall. It also allows people in more rural areas of the state to receive services, such as Strasburg, New Hope, Farmington, Glen Rock, and Tionesta.
Recent studies show that CBT performed online led to reductions in anxiety and depression symptoms equal to or better than in-person. Online therapy gives you the same attention and opportunity as in-person therapy to live better with the help of a therapist.
Ready to begin counseling in Pennsylvania?
Our professionally-trained and licensed counselors have openings. Just call our office at 717-462-7003×1 and speak to our administrative assistant. Get started to feeling better today. You can get the tailored help you need right now. We are here for you.
Author: Alison Pidgeon, LPC
Alison is the Founder and CEO of Move Forward Counseling, a boutique private practice for women with three locations in Lancaster County, PA. She is passionate about reducing the stigma related to accessing mental health services. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.