What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and How Does it Work?

bethesda counseling

 

Carlos Durana Ph.D., M.Ac. offers counseling and therapy in Reston, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Bethesda, Maryland.

Treating people for psychological issues such as addiction, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression can be a complex process. Not all people react to therapy in the same way because we all come from different backgrounds. So if you’re looking for Reston or Bethesda counseling, how do you know which style is the best option for you? Luckily, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has proven effective across varying backgrounds, cultures, and disorders.

What is CBT? 

CBT is a type of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy focuses on thinking and talking through problems. It is also recognized by the American Psychological Association as an effective method of psychological therapy, and can be combined with medication or other therapies. It’s known to work well for stress management, personality disorders, insomnia, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders. 

How does CBT work? 

The structure of CBT varies between each person and their therapist. People have different needs, and the process must be adaptable to fit these needs. Therapists have to take into consideration a patient’s background, their age, and where the problems are coming from. For instance, some CBT processes focus on the trauma, but not all people work well when directly facing their trauma. It can even cause them to close off more. The methods for CBT are different, but the goal is the same for all of the processes – to change problematic and unhelpful ways we think so that we can break the cycle of negativity. 

What to expect from CBT?

CBT helps us to deconstruct those stressful ways of thinking and the problematic learned behaviors we’ve developed thus far in our lives. Yet the way in which it’s approached is different for each person. The great thing about CBT is that it’s flexible. The patient’s needs are put at the forefront. The sessions (or first few sessions) usually involve both the therapist and patient figuring out what the problem is and how it’s affecting the patient’s thinking. From there, the patient and therapist work together to change the thinking patterns in the patient by refocusing them. For example, for someone who has low self-esteem and calls themselves names, may keep themselves from living a productive life. The goal in therapy would be to recondition this mindset so that instead of the patient putting themselves down, they’ll learn to be kinder to themselves and be able to cope with life’s obstacles better. 

Where can I explore CBT?

There are many places you can receive CBT. CBT is incorporated into many counseling programs. If you’re looking for Reston or Bethesda counseling programs, consider contacting Dr. Durana at A Caring Approach.