Have you ever found yourself doing a behavior that you never thought you would do or don’t feel proud of? Have you ever felt confused, helpless, or frustrated due to your actions? Perhaps you find yourself engaging in maladaptive behaviors that are not serving you, and you have no idea why. Maybe you feel like your emotions or thoughts have control over you, and you don’t actually feel like you are in the driver’s seat of your own life.
It is very common for us to allow our thoughts and emotions to dictate our behaviors
The majority of the time, this isn’t even a conscious thing — it just happens, and it happens quickly. This can lead to feelings of helplessness, anxiety, depression, or other behaviors such as eating disorders. These feelings are incredibly common, and many people find themselves feeling frustrated and overwhelmed when they are unsure of where these feelings or behaviors came from or how to understand and work through them.
Who Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be a helpful therapeutic modality for anyone that would like to develop a better understanding of how their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are interconnected. CBT is often used for individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, and eating disorders – but can be helpful for many other scenarios as well. It involves cognitive restructuring and behavioral techniques in order to break maladaptive patterns. CBT works well for clients that are willing to put in work both inside and outside of therapy, as it can sometimes involve some “homework assignments” to complete between sessions. These assignments will help you to develop a better understanding of your thoughts, and therefore will help you experience relief from negative feelings quicker. CBT also works well for clients that are open to a structured and directive approach in therapy.
CBT has proven to be useful for treatment in the following conditions:
Negative Body Image
Even if you haven’t experienced any of the symptoms above, CBT can still be helpful if you feel that you would like to have a better understanding of your thoughts and the important role that they play in our overall lives. To learn more about CBT, click visit the National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists (NACBT) website.
Seeing a CBT Therapist Can Help
Seeing a CBT Therapist can help you to finally feel more in control of your thoughts, emotions, and your overall life. Oftentimes feelings of anxiety or depression can arise when we feel overwhelmed or hopeless. CBT techniques can help you to understand why you are feeling the way that you are, and also why you may be acting in a certain way. Studies have shown that you may start to feel relief from your symptoms in as little as 3 CBT therapy sessions! Some benefits of seeing a CBT therapist include:
Understanding the powerful connection between your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Learning how to examine your thoughts in an objective way, so that you no longer feel that they hold control over you or contribute to who you are as a person.
Overall increased self-esteem.
Learning how to reframe your negative thoughts into more positive and realistic self-talk.
Letting go of negative limiting beliefs, thus transforming the way that you view yourself and the world.
Eliminating maladaptive behavioral problems that are interfering with your life.
What Does a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Session Look Like?
CBT is a therapeutic modality that emphasizes the important role of our thoughts in how we feel and what we do. In a CBT session, the therapist is typically a little more structured and directive, compared to when using other therapeutic modalities. I may bring in activities for us to complete together in session. These exercises and activities focus on examining your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in an objective way. I will teach you to restructure your thoughts (referred to as “cognitive restructuring”) in a productive and healthy way, so that you are able to alleviate distressing emotions and put a stop to maladaptive behaviors.
Why Book a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Session With Me?
I was trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy while obtaining my Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology. I am also currently utilizing and in the training program for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders (CBT-E). I have used this therapeutic technique with a variety of clients for many of the conditions listed above. Clients have stated that they felt better after even one session, and significantly better after a few in a row! I have also had clients tell me that CBT therapy allowed them to finally detach themselves from their negative thoughts and emotions, thus improving their overall self-esteem and quality of life.
Not only have I utilized CBT therapy with many different clients, but I have used it in various treating settings including psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment centers, outpatient clinics, school settings, and private practice. In addition to these various treatment experiences, I also use mindfulness and breathing techniques that I have learned through my training as a Registered Yoga Teacher. This provides a unique blend of standardized CBT treatment intertwined with relaxing strategies to help clients feel comfortable during and after session. Though CBT can be a more structured type of therapy, I ensure that my clients feel like we are engaging in a collaborative approach that still involves empathy, space for them to share and process whatever feelings they would like, and relaxing coping skills to utilize both in and outside of session.
Are you ready to put an end to your distressing emotions and behaviors?
Contact me to schedule a 15 minute phone consultation and see if Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in San Diego is right for you!
Every client is an individual and has unique treatment goals and considerations. Therefore, there is no one number of CBT sessions that will fit for everyone. However, studies have shown that as little as 3 to 12 sessions may be effective in treating mild anxiety or depression. Some clients prefer to continue meeting with me for a while once they have learned the CBT skills to ensure that they feel confident continuing to implement these skills on their own outside of session.
As stated above, sometimes CBT may involve the therapist assigning some “homework” for clients to work on in between sessions. I believe that CBT is the same as all other forms of therapy — you will get out of it as much as you put into it. I have seen clients implement every single technique that they were taught very quickly, complete all homework assignments, and report to me that their lives have completely changed for the better (and fairly quickly, too!). My goal is never to overwhelm clients, so I always check in throughout our session and see if you feel like we are moving too quickly or as if I am providing too much work in between sessions. I never want you to feel overworked during this process or add any additional stress into your life.
CBT does require you to take a look at and explore your distressing thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. While this can be triggering and may bring up some uncomfortable feelings — the goal of CBT is to let you process these feelings, and then we can move on to examine them in an objective way. I will also implement relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, guided meditations, or progressive muscle relaxations as appropriate to ensure that you are not feeling overly distressed or uncomfortable as we process your emotions.
While CBT can be helpful for a variety of different conditions and types of clients, it may not be the best fit for everyone. If you do not enjoy structure and prefer more spontaneity in your sessions, then CBT may not be the right fit for you. However, I do offer other types of therapeutic modalities that are less structured and directive than CBT — so we can always discuss other options if you are interested in working with me, but just not interested in doing CBT.
Though you will never truly know if CBT treatment will work for you without trying it, research has shown CBT to be highly effective for a variety of different conditions. It is also a great starting point for those that may be new to therapy. CBT can provide you with an array of coping skills that you can learn in therapy and continue to implement in your daily life, long after our time in therapy together is over.
Symptoms and Disorders that CBT Therapy is Used for:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) - A condition in which an individual experiences excessive worry about a number of different things (personal health, work, relationships, finances, etc) most days, for at least 6 months. The fear and anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life including work, social relationships, and more. Learn about anxiety therapy and anxiety symptoms.
Other Specified Anxiety Disorder - Symptoms of an anxiety disorder cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning but do not meet the full criteria for another anxiety disorder diagnosis.
Panic Attack - Heart palpitations, sweating, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, feelings of impending doom.
Specific Phobia - Marked fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation (i.e. flying, heights, spiders, receiving an injection).
Major Depressive Disorder - A variety of symptoms occurring within the same two week period that represent a change from an individual’s previous functioning; these can include symptoms such as loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities, depressed mood most of the day nearly every day, significant changes in sleep or appetite, fatigue or loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty concentrating, and more. Learn more about depression therapy and depression symptoms.
Persistent Depressive Disorder - Depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, ongoing for at least two years.
Stress - Feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope due to difficult emotions, daily responsibilities, or activities. Feelings of stress can manifest in both physical and emotional ways. Learn more about stress therapy and symptoms of stress.
Other Specified Depressive Disorder - Symptoms characteristic of a depressive disorder that cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning predominate but do not meet the full criteria for another depressive disorder diagnosis.
Eating Disorders - Eating disorders are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating-related behaviors that results in the altered consumption or absorption of food and that significantly impairs physical health or psychosocial functioning. Eating disorders can negatively impact an individual’s physical health, relationships, work/school functioning, and overall self-esteem. Learn about eating disorder therapy and eating disorder symptoms.
Poor Body Image - Poor Body Image refers to an unrealistic (and often negative) view of how someone sees their body; this can lead to feelings of decreased self-esteem and low self-worth. Learn more about body image therapy and associated symptoms.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - A condition in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Some symptoms may include feelings of distress, physical reminders of trauma (nausea, sweating, pounding heart), intrusive thoughts and memories, flashbacks, nightmares, feeling emotionally detached, loss of interest in life and daily activities, and avoidance of specific events/feelings that serve as a reminder of the traumatic event. Learn about PTSD and trauma therapy and the associated symptoms.
Trauma - Even if you do not meet the full criteria for PTSD (above), EMDR can also be incredibly helpful for individuals that have experienced any type of trauma throughout their lives.
If you’re ready to feel free from distressing thoughts and emotions and learn more about my CBT therapy services, please use the button above or call (619) 800-5393 for a free 15 minute phone consultation.
Self emBody Therapy EMDR, Eating Disorders, Anxiety 4444 Mission Blvd Suite H, San Diego, CA 92109 (619) 800-5393