What is CBT therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a well-known, evidence-based behavioral psychotherapy often considered a “gold standard” for treatment across a wide range of applications given its demonstrable effectiveness.
CBT hinges upon several core principles including the idea that: psychological distress is based, in part, on faulty thinking, learned patterns of unhelpful behavior, and learning better-coping skills to manage psychological distress can relieve symptomatology.
So how does CBT therapy work?
Per the above core principles, CBT treatment places a large degree of emphasis on correcting faulty thinking, undoing patterns of unhelpful behavior and replacing it with more functional behavior, as well as developing a broad toolbox of coping skills to alleviate distress.
Together, a therapist and client will work together to identify current challenges and the current impact they have, identify faulty thinking and behavior patterns related to these challenges, and change those patterns.
Interventions might include identifying thought distortions and re-evaluating them more realistically, increasing a capacity to face (versus avoid) painful triggers, cultivating a better understanding of the motivation of others, using role-playing to prepare for imagined problematic interactions, and learning to calm one’s mind and body.
The therapist and client will work together to customize a treatment plan based on the client’s presenting issues and clinical goals.
Why is CBT therapy effective at treating trauma?
CBT can be effective in trauma treatment because it helps individuals better understand and challenge maladaptive thoughts, emotions, and behavior patterns resulting from past traumatic experiences.
When maladaptive thought, feeling, and behavior patterns are challenged, individuals are often able to reduce cognitive and emotional distress and have more positive and pro-social behaviors in their lives – all of which are critical components of trauma recovery therapy.
Finally, because of the nature of CBT, individuals undergoing this form of therapy often utilize narrative exposure in small doses to revisit the traumatic material (ie: talking about a thought on one aspect of the trauma) and this titrated kind of exposure can help alleviate distress and reduce avoidance – again, critical components of trauma therapy. Please note, though, that a client in trauma therapy would never be forced to talk about the trauma. They would only disclose it when and if they chose.
What issues can CBT therapy address?
CBT can effective in treating a broad range of issues, including:
- Attachment Trauma
- Betrayal Trauma
- Birth Trauma
- Childhood Trauma
- Complex Trauma
- Developmental Trauma
- Eating Disorders
- Emotional Abuse
- First Gen Trauma
- First Responder Trauma
- Grief and Mourning
- Intergenerational Trauma
- Medical Trauma
- Military/Combat Trauma
- Narcissistic Abuse
- Pre- and Post-Natal Trauma
- Racial Trauma
- Relational Trauma
- Relationship Strain
- Religious & Spiritual Trauma
- Sexual Trauma
- Vicarious Trauma
- And more...
FAQ’s about CBT:
Here at Evergreen, our therapists customize interventions for every therapy session. What this means is that, even if your therapist is trained in CBT and uses it to help treat your case, they will likely draw from other interventions and methodologies to help achieve your clinical goals, too.
It’s not possible to guesstimate how long clinical treatment will take without insight into your case. That’s why it’s best to schedule a complimentary 20-minute consult call with our clinical intake coordinator to get matched to a great fitting therapist who can offer more insight into your question about the treatment timeline after they get to know you, your case, and your goals better.
What if I’m Not Ready?
If you don’t feel quite ready to book a complimentary consult call yet, that’s completely fine.
We don’t want you to feel pressured and we know that the choice to seek out therapy can feel difficult.
Part of you wants to do it, and another part of you is, perhaps, scared to begin because of the feelings you might have to finally feel.
Or a part of you questions whether or not you can even be helped at all.
Whatever the reason, no matter how ready or not ready you feel to begin therapy, we want you to have the information you need to make an informed choice.
So, to that end, please explore the additional information below to learn more about us and how we can help you.
We’ll be here whenever you’re ready to reach out for support.