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What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

CBT for Teen Depression

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a scientifically tested form of psychotherapy that is effective for many different disorders and problems.  CBT works under the premise that by changing destructive forms of thinking and modifying negative behavior patterns you can alter the underlying feelings.  It is this change in cognitive, emotional, and behavioral reaction that leads to long-lasting results in a brief amount of time.

How long do I have to go to therapy for CBT to be effective?

CBT techniques are known to generate results that are both durable and quick. Sessions typically last 45 minutes and occur 1-2 times per week. On average, CBT therapy takes 16-20 weekly sessions to be effective, as opposed to other more traditional forms that are often long term or open ended. The therapist and client will ultimately determine an appropriate time to conclude treatment. Patients are often surprised to be told that there is a point when formal therapy will end that is not so far in the future.

Will I have to work hard in order to benefit from CBT?

The harder working patient will see results more quickly, especially if they practice what is learned during sessions outside of the office.  CBT therapists often assign homework like reading assignments, writing in a journal and other tasks to help them sharpen the skills they acquire in therapy.  CBT does not just involve talking but has an educational aspect as well. This leads to long term results because when people understand how and why they are doing well, they know what to do to continue doing well.

Can CBT be combined with different therapeutic approaches?

Depending on the problem, CBT can be combined with other therapies to increase effectiveness.  At Behavioral Associates we often combine CBT with biofeedback, neurofeedback and/or Virtual Reality Therapy for the most impactful results.  We also offer Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), a form of CBT that emphasizes accepting uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and behaviors instead of struggling with them.

Contact us or call our office at (212) 860-8500 to learn if CBT is the right treatment for you.


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