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cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that is research-based and has been found to be effective in treating a variety of mental health problems.  Current research has found that CBT alone is as effective in treating mild to moderate anxiety and depression as medication alone and the positive effects of CBT continue after treatment, whereas positive effects do not end continue when medication treatment ends.  The roots of CBT date back to the early 20th century when behaviorism was a popular academic discipline.  During the mid-20th Century, cognitive psychology was introduced by psychologists, such as Albert Ellis.  By the late 1970s, techniques of cognitive and behavioral psychology had been integrated and research demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach.

The past 20 years have included significant advancements in CBT with the integration of mindfulness-based approaches to assist in reducing emotional arousal.  CBT differs from some earlier forms of psychotherapy in the following ways:

1. CBT is a problem and goal focused

2. Progress in CBT is often measurable (ie better sleep, more social activity)

3. CBT does not focus as much on the past, but is very present-focused

4. CBT has a number of techniques and can be adapted to various learning styles.

5. CBT’s focus is often to change negative thoughts and negative behaviors and replace them with healthier alternatives

example techniques

for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • Pleasant events scheduling — the therapist and patient will work together to promote increased activity level in areas the patient enjoys.  Low energy and motivation are often primary symptoms of depression and increased activity level will help in recovery.
  • Cognitive restructuring — the therapist will teach the patient to recognize the relationship between depression (and other negative emotions) and negative thoughts and will teach the patient to change these thoughts.
  • Daily thought record — The therapist will teach the patient to record thoughts to help recognize patterns between unhealthy thoughts and mood
  • Relaxation training — The therapist will teach the patient to calm themselves physically.  This process often involved slow and deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and clearing the mind of anxious thoughts.

No treatment method is effective with every patient. If we find that CBT or another method does not help you, we will work with you to find an alternative treatment.  Most of our staff uses CBT techniques due to the positive research documenting its effectiveness.  However, all of our staff members are also trained in other methods of therapy and will refer you to other professionals who employ other methods, such as medication, when needed. Regardless of the technique, it is vital that your therapist pay attention to your needs and goals and be caring and responsive.  At Piedmont Counseling Center, we recognize that your needs are unique and will be responsive and compassionate in the care we provide.

Piedmont Counseling Center is located in Kernersville, North Carolina. If we can be of service to you, please call us at 336-293-7406 or message us through our scheduling page.

learn more

The following links will provide you with additional information about cognitive behavioral therapy.