At EXIS Recovery, Inc. in West Los Angeles, California, our experienced team of psychologists and psychotherapists helps people of all ages and walks of life initiate meaningful inner change that lays the foundation for optimal mental health.
And when it comes to gaining the upper hand over depression, anxiety disorder, trauma, PTSD, ADHD, or a substance use disorder (SUD), nothing is more effective than a multi-modal treatment approach that embraces evidence-based practices.
The most substantive improvements often arrive through a “here and now” technique called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Here, we explain how this versatile, goal-driven method works and discuss when we recommend it as part of your treatment plan.
A structured, goal-oriented form of talk therapy
CBT is a highly structured, goal-driven form of talk therapy (psychotherapy) that aims to help you identify the habitual thoughts that are counterproductive, negative, or harmful, then gives you the skills you need to change the self-destructive feelings and behaviors that follow.
Unlike the conventional one-on-one therapy approach, CBT doesn’t focus on how your past has contributed to where you are today; instead, it focuses on how the thoughts and behaviors that occur “in the here and now” shape your daily existence and overall life experience.
Persistent thoughts lead to learned behavioral patterns
As one of the most frequently used and best-studied forms of psychotherapy, CBT addresses the automatic, spontaneous thoughts you experience in response to specific situations, events, interactions, or conditions.
Just as positive-thought responses tend to lead to healthy emotions, constructive behaviors, and effective coping, negative-thought responses are more likely to lead to obstructive emotions and adverse behavioral patterns.
Four core principles of CBT
The core principles of CBT state that:
- Troublesome or negative thought patterns play a major role in psychological issues
- Unhelpful behavioral patterns help perpetuate the cycle of psychological disorder
- Problematic core beliefs about yourself and the world serve to intensify the problem
- It’s possible to break negative patterns and learn healthier thoughts and behaviors
Persistent negative thought patterns are often a product of irrational core beliefs or cognitive distortions, which is exactly what CBT aims to help you identify and unlearn — so you can adopt healthier thought responses and behavioral patterns going forward.
A versatile approach with numerous applications
CBT combines two evidence-based techniques — cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy — into a single goal-driven treatment. Cognitive therapy helps you change how you think about an issue that concerns you, and behavioral therapy gives you the skills to alter your patterns of action (or inaction).
This straightforward approach makes CBT versatile: People of all ages, including children and adolescents, can benefit from CBT, and we can tailor the treatment to a wide range of mental health conditions and emotional problems.
At EXIS Recovery Inc., we frequently recommend CBT as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to help people improve how well they cope with:
- Depression and other mood disorders
- Anxiety disorders (i.e., phobias, social anxiety)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Alcohol and substance use disorders
- Disordered eating (e.g., bulimia, anorexia)
CBT can be a stand-alone treatment or combined with medication and other evidence-based therapies, depending on your needs. When combined with medication, CBT can be an effective care component for people with bipolar disorder or psychotic disorders (e.g., schizophrenia).
Even better, CBT has a proven track record of helping people gain the upper hand over many physical and nonpsychological effects that commonly co-occur with depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. CBT strategies can help improve:
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
- Chronic pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Migraine disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
CBT is also an effective management tool for everyday challenges and life changes. At EXIS Recovery, Inc., we use it to help people build better coping mechanisms as they work through everything from grief, stress, and work problems to relationship issues, divorce, and new life situations.
Ready to gain a fresh perspective? CBT can help
By helping you cultivate a deeper sense of self-awareness and offering you a set of tools to change your own narrative, CBT helps you gain a different perspective on life — and provides a way to transform your reality with your new outlook.
Whether you’re ready to gain the upper hand over depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, chronic stress, grief, or another problem related to habitual negative thought patterns, CBT can help you break the cycle and learn how to implement healthier patterns.
Call 424-832-0848 to reach EXIS Recovery, Inc. in West Los Angeles, or click online to schedule a visit with one of our experienced mental health experts.