Individual Therapy Approaches

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a term referring to a group of scientifically supported psychological therapy approaches. CBT is an extremely effective treatment for a variety of psychological disorders.

During your initial psychological consultation, our senior psychologists will help you develop a comprehensive treatment plan.  We can provide you with individual psychological sessions of varying frequency to best meet your needs. We offer sessions anywhere from once a week up to our intensive outpatient program, which consists of multiple weekly sessions from 2-6 hours.

Our staff is trained in the following CBT techniques:

1. Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy is based upon the theory that extreme emotional reactions are the result of faulty beliefs and thoughts. The goal is to educate patients in the skills necessary to identify and change these mistaken beliefs in order to replace them with more logical ones. The result is a more balanced and moderate view of oneself, one’s life problems, and the world. Changing thoughts leads to more positive emotional responses and more effective behaviors. Readings and homework assignments are often employed in this re-education process. Problem-solving skills and assertiveness skills are also strengthened. In combination with behavior therapy, or alone, cognitive therapy can increase motivation for following treatment and improve family relations, self-image, self-control, and one’s ability to cope with adversity and life’s difficulties.

Cognitive therapy is employed to promote more logical thinking about coping with anxiety and life difficulties in order to build insight, motivation, and feelings of self-efficacy. In addition, cognitive therapy is used to challenge “over-valued ideas” or strong beliefs in the fears themselves. Individuals are taught to examine their own system of beliefs for extreme and illogical ideas which may be contributing to extreme emotional reactions. They are then instructed in methods of countering such ideas and replacing them with more moderate and sensible ones. 

2. Behavior Therapy

Behavior therapy teaches patients how to reduce, control, or eliminate their maladaptive behaviors. Behavior therapy, similar to cognitive therapy, differs from other forms of psychotherapy because the methods have been experimentally tested and found to be effective. It teaches methods and techniques on how to change rather than relying on pure awareness of underlying problems. The treatment is essentially a learning process. Often, the individual sees results of this therapy early in treatment.  Most people think of behavior therapy in connection with treatment of extreme fears and phobias; however, behavior therapy has been demonstrated to be beneficial for other problems such as panic disorder, agoraphobia, depression, all the obsessive compulsive and related Disorders, anxiety disorders, and childhood and family problems. There is evidence that behavior therapy may alter brain chemistry functioning similar to medication.

3. Exposure and Response Prevention

Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is one type of behavior therapy found to be particularly effective for the OCD and related disorders. It consists of exposing yourself to thoughts, situations, or objects that create a variety of negative emotions including anxiety and disgust. Response prevention consists of preventing yourself from doing compulsive behaviors or avoiding the situation. Over repeated practices of doing ERP, a person’s anxiety and avoidance start to decrease and the situation, object, or thoughts become easier to confront.

Other Scientifically Supported Therapy

At times standard CBT alone is not sufficient to meet your needs. Our team incorporates many other therapy techniques to optimize your gains including social skills training, parent training, family sessions, assertiveness skills. motivational interviewing, life skills training. We will help you learn to manage your psychological condition and support your ability to live a productive and fulfilling life. 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a treatment approach that focuses on helping individuals live a valued life despite experiencing psychological distress. ACT teaches psychological flexibility and consists of a number of techniques including mindfulness meditation, acceptance, cognitive delusion, and values clarification. Cognitive delusion teaches one how to interact differently with internal thoughts and feelings, in essence to realize one's thoughts and feelings shouldn't necessarily reality. 

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing is a set of techniques designed to help individuals resolve their ambivalence about behavior change. It is a client centered collaborative approach that builds the client's own internal motivation and reason for change. Motivational interviewing can be a valuable addition to treatment in a variety of situations. It can help those clients who are struggling to participate fully in the therapy process. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

DBT is a scientifically supported treatment based on a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and Eastern meditation techniques. It was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan to initially help individuals with suicidal thoughts/behaviors and self injury but has expanded to include a number of other conditions including eating disorders, substance use, depression, and impulsive behaviors. DBT is an effective skills based treatment that enhances the quality of life for anyone struggling to manage intense emotions, such as anger, shame, anxiety, and depression. DBT is a good fit for individuals who don’t feel they are making adequate treatment gains in their current therapy or just feel stuck or unable to make positive changes in their lives. DBT incorporates individual and group therapy.