Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Aren't all therapists trained in CBT?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is inherent to the therapy process. Most graduate programs are centered around proficiency of CBT, whereas other skills utilized by our team require significant training beyond the Master's education level.
The theoretical framework of CBT asserts that by changing one's thoughts, you can change one's emotions, which ultimately will lead to changes in behavior. The thoughts that need to be changed are calling "thinking errors". The belief is that if we abstain from engaging in our thinking errors, then we will not be activated by stimuli in our environment. Common thinking errors include: emotional reasoning, overgeneralization, catastrophizing, all or nothing thinking, negative filter, discounting the positive, mindreading, personalizing, minimizing, magnifying, victim stance, and "should" statements (there's many more!)
For example, imagine a family member who easily arouses irritation in you. As you think about this irritation, see where you can change your way of thinking about it. Is this person really irritating? Or are you just focusing on all the negatives? Are you benefiting from being the victim? Are you personalizing their behavior? What evidence do you have to support your narrative that this person is, indeed, irritating? What evidence exists that refutes your narrative, and perhaps gives you some accountability for being irritated? Let yourself focus on the evidence that you have that refutes your current narrative. As you focus on this, allow yourself to adopt this new narrative. In adopting this new narrative, perhaps you'll be less quick to move into an irritated state.
While this approach has proven accuracy, it's not without significant limitations. Primarily, the majority of studies that prove effectiveness do not have diverse sample sizes - mostly measuring the results with heterosexual, Caucasian, cis-men. This means that the results don't cleanly generalize to other populations.
Our collective anecdotal evidence supports that CBT, when used as the sole clinical intervention, can be trivializing, minimizing, victim-blaming, and oversimplifying of the complexity of symptoms our clients are experiencing.
So why bother having it on your website?
We are regularly asked whether or not we provide CBT to treat certain ailments, which the answer is always yes, however we do not utilize this modality in a vacuum. CBT can be a foundation to build upon. At times, just gaining insight can have a profound effect on adopting new behaviors. However, cognitive approaches only engage 20% of the brain, and can leave individuals in a shame spiral for continuing to engage in impulsive behaviors that they "know better" to engage in.
We pride ourselves on being a refuge for individuals who are wanting to deepen their recovery journeys beyond the cognitive approaches. When paired with approaches that tend to the nervous system and the body, CBT can be utilized in a non-shaming and non-pathologizing way, giving individuals a richer experience.