COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY (CBT)

Cognitive Behavior Therapy has been researched long before DBT was developed with research outcomes to support its popularity in the field. It is excellent at treating specific diagnoses and for individuals with more specific presentation of difficulties.  Treatment is concise and short term.  Although DBT includes CBT techniques, both are very different.  For information on DBT, see the DBT webpage.  CBT is a treatment that is structured based on a specific presenting problem or diagnosis.  Some examples are depression, anxiety, panic attacks or disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) insomnia, and more.  Cognitive Restructuring for PTSD (CR-PTSD) is specific.  Another trauma treatment for PTSD is Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). 

CBT focuses in understanding the connection of behavior with cognitions and emotions.  Be assessing and evaluating thoughts, emotions and diagnostic symptoms can change,  Another approach is changing behavior that affects thoughts and emotions.  Changing one aspect can brief relief to another.  If CBT is a sufficient and effective, goals can be reached quickly and an individual can feel resolution and return to "life without therapy."  CBT consists of seeing a therapy on a schedule decided by the therapist and client that is sufficient for the client's needs.  Sessions often taper down.  Most CBT, pending severity of difficulty and life impairment is 8-12 sessions.   Clients monitor cognitions, emotions, and complete practice exercises between sessions.  Standardized assessments to monitor change are conducted more frequently.

Curious on if this is the potential treatment for you?  Contact me for more information.  

Searching for other provider options?  Interview potential therapists.  Below are questions to ask and typical answers.  This can help to be sure you are seeing a CBT provider.  Many market themselves that they provide CBT and do not do CBT to protocol.  It is important to understand a therapist's approach to treating various diagnoses and symptoms.  Another treatment could be effective and more able for you.  Be sure to ask.  Why don't you deserve the best chance of success doing CBT as tested in research?  

HOW DO IDENTIFY A QUALIFIED CBT THERAPIST?

Here's a list of questions you can ask while searching for a CBT provider.

After each question is my own answer and sample answers to consider. Answers don't need to match but are listed as a guideline.

WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING IN CBT?

This answer will vary.  CBT was developed by Aaron Beck, PhD. in the 1960s.  Many clinicians have been trained in graduate school or post-graduate school.  Many specialize in CBT and finding a CBT therapist is much easier than finding a DBT therapist.

My answer:  I learned CBT in graduate school.  Since the beginning of my career, I've taken many workshops learning about applying CBT to depression, anxiety, panic disorder, insomnia, OCD, eating disorders, and PTSD, specifically titled Cognitive Restructuring for PTSD (CR-PTSD).  I attend Association of Behavior and Cognitive Therapy (ABCT) annually which includes workshops on CBT.  

WHAT IS YOUR SUPERVISION IN CBT?

This answer will vary.  Many received supervision while practicing as a student.  Many clinicians obtain certification in CBT.  Some of clinicians main specialty is CBT.  As clinicians advance in their career, they will choose to obtain consultation when needed.

My answer:  I was closely supervised in graduate school with professors watching video recorded sessions and giving me feedback.  I also received live coaching and feedback where supervising professors would directly give feedback to guide sessions in the moment.  Since I began DBT early in my career, most of my supervision was in DBT which has a foundation of CBT.   I can utilize my DBT team for consultation on CBT cases and I also seek 1:1 consultation with select experts for support and feedback.

HOW DO YOU MONITOR PROGRESS WHEN MEETING INDIVIDUALLY AS THE CBT THERAPIST?

CBT therapy is a short-term treatment model that includes monitoring changes.  Clients may track identified information daily and complete practice exercises as agreed upon in therapy.  Standardized assessments are utilized to monitor changes throughout treatment as well pending the symptoms being monitored.  Clinical assessments occur within the therapy sessions.

My answer:  I use standardized assessments depending diagnoses monthly to monitor changes in symptoms.  I use different tracking templates in conjunction with the client's treatment goals to monitor more frequently.  These include intensity of select symptoms and skills practiced.