What Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy

What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?


Cognitive behavior therapy is one of the major theoretical approaches that Clinical Psychologists can be trained in to provide therapy for a variety of issues. Anxiety disorders and depression are two problem areas in particular that lend themselves very well to this approach. Cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT for short, tends to be more short-term therapy, and is solution focused, and goal-oriented. Sometimes these goals are short-term, but they may be longer-term as well.

CBT has been subjected to rigorous scientific research which has validated it’s effectiveness as a “best practice” for many disorders, including panic attacks, phobias, and others.

A fundamental principle of CBT is that our cognitions, ( or thoughts), emotions (feelings), and behaviors (actions or reactions) are all inter-connected and affect one another. Therefore, a therapist using a CBT approach will work with a client to gain greater understanding and control of all three areas.

Cognitive behavior therapists take an active role in their work with their clients. They will teach specific coping skills that might include relaxation training, stress and anger management techniques, assertiveness training, thought stopping, reframing of thoughts, and gaining a heightened awareness of the negative self-messages people may give themselves which impede performance and learning to reframe these negative thoughts.

A CBT therapist will help you understand the relationship between negative self-talk and the impact on emotions and behaviors. You will gain greater insight and self-awareness, but also actively learn enhanced coping skills to help you feel in greater control of your behavior and your emotions.

An experienced, Licensed Clinical Psychologist can help. Contact Dr. Risa Sanders with your questions and to schedule a consultation  at (703) 919-1959.


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