Cognitive Behavioral, Solution-Focused, & Relational Psychotherapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a short-term, problem-focused, evidence-based form of treatment in which negative patterns of thoughts and beliefs about the self and the world are identified and challenged in order to change how we feel and act. In addition, CBT may also focus on mindfulness and acceptance of thoughts and emotions in order to move beyond them into a life worth living.
CBT helps people see the difference between beliefs, thoughts, and feelings, and has as its goal to free them from unhelpful patterns of behavior. CBT is grounded in the belief that it is a person’s perception of events, not just the nature of the events themselves, that determines how he or she will feel and act in response. There are times in which thoughts and beliefs can be thus “restructured,” and times in which thoughts and feelings can be accepted in order to transform the person’s experience.
CBT can help with:
- Panic attacks
- Obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Substance use disorders
- Persistent pain
- Disordered eating
- Sexual issues
- Anger management issues
Most people with clearly defined behavioral and emotional concerns tend to reap the benefits of CBT. If any of the above issues resonate with you, I encourage you to try cognitive behavioral therapy.
Some CBT activities are:
- Challenging beliefs
- Social, physical and thinking exercises
- Exposure work
CBT sessions are structured to ensure that the therapist and the person in treatment are focused on the different goals of each session, which in turn ensures that each session is productive.
Solution-focused approaches emphasize the fact that we all have strengths, and it is often the case that building upon these strengths and resources allows us to be more effective as people and in our relationships. Solution-focused psychotherapy is a collaborative process that looks at what is going well in patients’ lives, not just where the problems are occurring, to expand areas of strength and competence. It is future-oriented, capitalizing on a client’s own ability to find solutions, and draws from a rich history of creative approaches to psychotherapy.
Relational or interpersonal approaches to psychotherapy, arising from psychodynamic theory, pay attention to the ways in which learned patterns of relating, often formed in our earliest relationships, shape how we interact with others today. In this framework, using and attending to the relationship between therapist and patient is often a powerful means of change. Relational work, in the presence of an alliance with an attuned therapist, can help people overcome dysfunctional, outdated patterns in relationships. It has been found to be especially effective in helping survivors of complex trauma rebuild their lives.