Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) takes a distinctive and effective approach to treating mental health disorders. At Dr. Burwell Speaks, LLC, Crystal Burwell, PhD, LPC, CPCS, BC-TMH, uses CBT to help you identify and change the dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs that lead to difficult emotions and challenging behaviors. To learn how CBT can help you, call the office in Atlanta, Georgia, or book an in-person or telehealth appointment online today.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Q & A

What is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)?

CBT refers to a group of therapies based on the principle that your perceptions and thoughts direct your feelings and behaviors. Many people have distorted thoughts that cause behavior problems and negative emotions.

In most cases, you're not aware of the thoughts. They become ingrained in your brain and direct your behaviors, leading to many challenges, including relationship problems and difficulty communicating.

When might I need cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)?

CBT is one of the few therapies proven to effectively treat many different mental health conditions, as well as issues like fear and anger.

Your therapist may recommend CBT for conditions such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Phobias
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Panic disorder
  • Anger management
  • Personality disorders

Your therapist can also structure CBT to work with young people by using pictures, play therapy, and role-playing.

How does cognitive behavioral therapy work?

When you begin CBT, you and your therapist talk about your challenges and symptoms, define the specific problem you want to change, and set goals to achieve.

Then they use different techniques to help you explore your thoughts and identify how they trigger emotional or behavioral responses.

Then you learn to challenge that thought, comparing your thoughts with the facts and reality of the situation. As you see the difference, you learn to change your thoughts. As a result, your behaviors, feelings, and even your beliefs improve.

There are different types of CBT. Though they all follow this basic process, each one takes a slightly different approach. For example, some may focus on dysfunctional thoughts, while others target emotions.

What should I expect during cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)?

In addition to the process described above, you should know that CBT is structured and limited to a certain number of sessions for each goal. The structure may include homework to do between sessions.

For example, your therapist may ask you to choose one event that happens during the week and write down the circumstances, what you thought, and how you responded. You talk about this event at your next session, learning about what happened and challenging negative thought patterns.

To learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy, call Dr. Burwell Speaks, LLC, or book an appointment online today.