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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in Northern New Jersey

Learning to cope with difficult situations can often be accomplished through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is performed by Psycho-Educational Associates for patients in Totowa, Little Falls Township, Woodland Park and the surrounding New Jersey cities.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT for short is a common type of mental health counseling or psychotherapy. When in cognitive behavioral therapy, you work with a psychotherapist or therapist in a structured way, and attend a limited number of sessions in order to resolve your problems or concerns. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you become conscious of any inaccurate or negative thought patterns you may be harboring so you can tackle challenging situations more easily.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can often be a useful tool in treating mental disorders or illnesses such as anxiety or depression. However, not everyone who benefits from cognitive behavioral therapy suffers from a mental health condition. Rather, cognitive behavioral therapy is a helpful tool available to assist anyone in learning how to better manage stressful situations.

What are the Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is useful in treating a variety of issues, and may help you:

  • Manage mental illness symptoms, either by itself or when combined with medications
  • Prevent mental illness symptom relapses
  • Treat mental illness when medications aren’t unfavorable options, as in during pregnancy
  • Learn methods for coping with stressful circumstances, such as problems on the job
  • Recognize ways to handle strong emotions such as anger
  • Resolve communication conflicts within relationships
  • Cope with grief, such as after the loss of a loved one
  • Overcome emotional disturbances related to past abuse or violence
  • Cope with a medical illness such as cancer
  • Manage chronic physical symptoms, such as pain, insomnia, or fatigue

What Conditions May Improve After Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Some common conditions that tend to improve after cognitive behavioral therapy include:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Sexual disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD)

In some cases, cognitive-behavioral therapy can be more effective when combined with other treatments such as medication or combined family therapy.

How is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Administrated?

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be carried out one-on-one, with family members present, or with other people who have similar issues.

Your first therapy session

During your first session, our team will typically gather information about you and establish the concerns you are interested in working on. Our therapist will then ask about your current and past physical and emotional health to learn more about your situation. We will also want to distinguish whether or not you might also benefit from other treatment, such as medications however it is our general practice to explore the potential benefits of medication only after other interventions are attempted or ruled out. To fully understand your situation and concerns, and to determine the best course of action, multiple sessions may be required.

What we determine:

  • Our approach
  • Appropriate therapy for you
  • The goals of your treatment
  • The length of each of your sessions
  • The number of therapy sessions you may need

What is the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Procedure?

We will encourage you to talk about your thoughts, emotions, and anything that may be troubling you. Finding it hard to open up about your feelings is normal – don’t worry. With time, your therapist will be able to help you become more comfortable doing so.

Cognitive behavioral therapy generally focuses on specific problems, using a goal-oriented approach. As you continue with the process, your therapist may ask you to do “homework,” which will be activities, readings, or practices that build on the things you learn during regular therapy sessions. This homework encourages you to take what you are learning and apply it to your daily life.

Typical cognitive behavioral therapy includes these steps:

  • Recognizing troubling situations or conditions in your life. These might include such issues as a medical condition, recent divorce, grief, anger, or mental illness. It is normal for some time to be spent deciding the specific problems and goals to focus on.
  • Becoming aware of your thoughts, feelings, and ideas about these current situations. After identifying the problems to work on, we will encourage you to share your thoughts about the process. This might include noting what you tell yourself about an experience (your “self-talk”), your interpretation of situations, and your feelings about yourself, other people, and recent events.
  • Identifying pessimistic or erroneous thinking. To help you recognize thought patterns and behavior that may be contributing to your problem, your therapist may ask you to pay attention to your physical and emotional responses to various situations.
  • Challenging pessimistic or erroneous thinking. After identifying the problems, your therapist will likely then encourage you to ask yourself whether your outlook on a situation is based on fact or an erroneous perception of the events. With some practice, positive behavior and thought patterns will become a habit and will not take nearly as much effort.

Thousands of patients have achieved success with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and you can too! Here at Psycho-Educational Associates, we have experienced, caring professionals standing by ready to provide you with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and a variety of other services. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!