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  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

    Our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all interconnected. The way they influence each other can have a significant impact on our well-being. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a directive form of talk therapy that teaches clients more about this important interplay and offers hands-on coping skills to improve mental wellness.

    The development of Cognitive Behavior Therapy is generally credited to Drs. Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis in the 1960s. However, CBT’s lineage can be traced back even further to earlier theories of Behaviorism and Learning Theory. Over the decades, CBT therapy’s credibility has grown in large part due to its emphasis on the experimental method and validating its effectiveness through scientific research and study.

    Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) includes a group of tailored approaches that address common mental health issues, such as stress, anxiety, depression, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), insomnia, and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). CBT acknowledges that supporting and listening to clients may not always be sufficient to help them make the progress they desire. Unlike traditional talk therapy, CBT focuses on the client’s specific goals to guide the process with a more directive, hands-on approach.

    How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

    Cognitive Behavior Therapy provides a safe and supportive environment for you to openly discuss your challenges without judgment. However, CBT counselors don’t just listen and support you. They also help you define your goals for therapy and develop a clear plan.

    Once understanding how your distress maintains itself, your therapist will identify tailored CBT tools and skills that can be used to dismantle it. Through education and support, you will be equipped with specific tools to apply  in progressing towards your stated goals.  This process may involve new personal discoveries or “aha” moments,  as well as intentionally changing habits, attitudes, and belief systems that keep you stuck.

    With CBT, therapy isn’t limited to the sessions you have with your counselor. The skills you learn will be applied to your life and become instrumental in making positive changes. Examples of CBT tools you may work on in between sessions may include:

    ● Tracking what triggers your panic or anxiety

    ● Utilizing diagrams to avoid mental rumination and repetitive thoughts

    ● Recording your level of anxiety—as well as your corresponding thoughts—in various social settings

    ● Purposely confronting sources of anxiety as a way of desensitizing through exposure

    ● Altering sleep routines, habits, or schedules to address insomnia

    ● Daily mindfulness meditation and grounding practices

    ● Proactive communication about unresolved conflict

    ● Gradually limiting unhelpful avoidance and safety behaviors

    ● Practicing alternative strategies for frustrating, repetitive behaviors like tics, hair-pulling, or skin-picking

    In therapy, we may track progress with questionnaires, recommend relevant handouts or books, and suggest specific solutions to help build confidence, confront fears, and improve well-being.

    Who Can Benefit From Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a broader term for various approaches that incorporate targeted skill development, specific goal-setting, and hands-on education about the complex mental processes that maintain emotional distress. Our practice uses CBT to help children, teens, and adults dealing with anxiety, OCD, depression, relationship issues, stress, insomnia, and a range of other mental health concerns. Depending on your needs, therapy may include:

    ● Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Inference-Based CBT (I-CBT) for OCD

    ● Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

    ● Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)

    ● Habit Reversal Training (HRT) for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors

    ● Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

    ● CBT for Insomnia (CBT-I)

    ● Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics/Tourettes (CBIT)

    Our approach to CBT is geared towards anyone dealing with emotional distress who may not have benefited from general talk therapy. The act of speaking with a therapist in a safe, supportive environment can sometimes lead to positive change. However, with challenging issues like anxiety or OCD, more specific guidance is often necessary to help clients make measurable progress. With a more directive and targeted approach to therapy, CBT provides you with tangible tools so that you become an active participant in the recovery process.

    CBT SoCal does not subscribe to the binary that clients are either “in therapy” or not. Your attendance can be flexible and adapted to your individual schedule depending on your needs. The beauty of CBT is that once you learn skills in therapy, you can apply them to real-life scenarios between sessions. That way, you have the option of attending therapy less frequently but still experiencing relief from your symptoms.

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been well-researched and is considered “the gold standard for the psychotherapeutic treatment of many or even most mental disorders” [1] A meta-analysis review conducted in 2012 showed that “In general, the evidence-base of CBT is very strong, and especially for treating anxiety disorders.” [2]

    Our Background In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    CBT SoCal’s tradition of excellence originated with its founder, Dr. Rodney Boone, who practiced as a licensed Psychologist from 1986 to 2022. He taught, supervised, and trained dozens of clinicians in CBT theory and application. During his years of practice, he was an Associate Clinical Professor at the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, and a Supervisor at the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Clinic.

    Our team consists of Doctoral and Masters level clinicians who have trained and practiced CBT therapy in varied settings, including veteran hospitals, community mental health clinics, university counseling centers, inpatient facilities, and other private practices.

    Many of our clients who previously tried general talk therapy found they were not challenged by it. They come to us seeking honest direction, feedback, and guidance. Our approach to CBT instills hope by equipping you with tools, applications, and concepts that promote tangible changes. Cognitive Behavior Therapy brings about measurable growth and improved well-being.

    Find Out How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help You

    With new skills and strategies, you can develop clarity, understanding, hope, and empowerment. To find out more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with CBT SoCal, please call or text 818-547-2623 or visit our contact page.