Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

At Dedicato, we offer cognitive behavioral therapy to our clients. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts by identifying negative or irrational beliefs. Dr. Marshall and his clinicians, including Kirsten Winter, LMFT, are experts in the science of CBT. Further, the Dedicato program seeks to remove self-limiting behaviors and thoughts which are often at the root of addiction. By changing these self-destructive patterns, we can redirect clients to lead more productive and healthy lives.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a psychological treatment effective for patients suffering from depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, and severe mental illness. CBT is an evidence-based practice proven to lead to significant improvement in functioning and quality of life.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is based on several core principles, including:

  1. Psychological problems are often based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
  2. Psychological problems are often based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.
  3. People suffering from psychological problems can build coping skills with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.

Cognitive behavioral therapy includes these strategies to change thinking patterns:

  • Learning to recognize one’s distortions in thinking that are creating problems and then to reevaluate them in light of reality.
  • Gaining a better understanding of the behavior and motivation of others.
  • Using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations.
  • Learning to develop a greater sense of confidence in one’s own abilities.

CBT also usually involves efforts to change behavioral patterns. These strategies might include:

  • Facing one’s fears instead of avoiding them.
  • Using role playing to prepare for potentially problematic interactions with others.
  • Learning to calm one’s mind and relax one’s body.

Not all CBT will use all of these strategies. Rather, the clinician and client work together, in a collaborative fashion, to develop an understanding of the problem and to develop a treatment strategy.

CBT places an emphasis on helping individuals learn to be their own therapists. Through exercises in sessions as well as “homework” exercises, clients are helped to develop coping skills, whereby they can learn to change their own thinking, problematic emotions, and behavior.

Cognitive behavioral therapists emphasize what is going on in the person’s current life, rather than what has led up to their difficulties. A certain amount of information about one’s history is needed, but the focus is primarily on moving forward in time to develop more effective ways of coping with life.

Source: APA Div. 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology)