Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy- also known as CBT
- combines two different approaches for a practical
and solution-focused therapy. The therapy is very
active by nature and requires you to take a proactive
role within the treatment, this includes carrying
out homework assignments outside of your sessions.
The premise behind CBT is that our thoughts and behaviors have an effect on each other, and by changing the way we think and behave - we can ultimately change the way we feel about life. The therapy examines learned behaviors and negative thought patterns with the view of altering them in a positive way.
Unlike some other therapies, CBT is rooted in the present and looks ahead to the future. While past events and experiences are considered during the therapy, the focus is more on current issues and dilemmas. The therapy takes its cue from two different psychological approaches:
1. Cognitive approach
Cognitive processes refer to our thoughts - including ideas, beliefs, and attitudes. The cognitive element of CBT looks at the way our thoughts can trigger or fuel certain feelings and behaviors. We will work together to identify any negative thought patterns you may have, how they affect you, and, more importantly, what you can do to change them.
2. Behavioral approach
Behavioral therapy notes that behavior is often learned and can therefore be unlearned. It looks at harmful or maladaptive behaviors and helps you to understand why they occur and what you can do to alter them.
CBT looks at how both cognitive and behavioral processes affect one another and aims to help you get out of negative cycles. The emphasis on behavioral or cognitive approaches will depend on the nature of the issue you are facing - for example, if you are suffering from depression or anxiety, the emphasis may be more so on the cognitive approach, whereas if you have a condition that causes unhelpful behavior (such as obsessive-compulsive disorder), the emphasis is likely to be on the behavioral approach.
This type of therapy is particularly helpful for those with specific issues as it is very practical (rather than insight-based) and looks at solutions. For this reason, the therapy works well for those who:
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Family Counseling/Systemic Therapy
Many times the support of family and friends is crucial to the success of therapy. Family therapy and systemic practice supports the notion that family relationships form a key part of the emotional health of each member within that family. This type of therapy can help people who care for each other find ways to cope collaboratively with any distress, misunderstanding and pain that is affecting their relationships and putting a strain on the family unit.
Common problems that can be treated using this approach include stressful and traumatic life events such as: divorce and separation, illness or death of a loved one, and transitional stages of family development that can cause pain and upset. Work and school-related problems, psychosexual difficulties and parent-child conflict can also be explored through family therapy.
Other areas that can be addressed using this approach include ADHD, eating disorders, addictions, anxiety, depression, and any other conditions that may be having a damaging effect on family life. This makes family therapy useful for times of crisis and long-standing problems that are taking their toll on the family.
Essentially, by evaluating these issues and providing support, family therapy can help families and individuals to:
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based treatment therapy designed by Dr. Marsha Linehan to help people suffering from borderline personality disorder. It has also been used to treat mood disorders as well as those who need to change patterns of behavior that are not helpful, such as self-harm, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse.
This approach works towards helping people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help avoid undesired reactions.
DBT assumes that people are doing their best but lack the skills needed to succeed, or are influenced by positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement that interferes with their ability to function appropriate.