Should I Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Near Me?

By: Stephanie Kirby

Updated February 23, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

Thankfully, recent years have seen an improvement in addressing the stigma that surrounds mental health challenges. This is helping more people to take the steps that are needed to get the help that they need. Mental health challenges are treatable, and many people would be able to improve the quality of their life if they would just get the help that they need. If you have been struggling, you may be wondering what steps you can take and what therapy could help you. If you've done a little research, one of the things you may have come across is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. Before you go searching "where to find cognitive-behavioral therapy near me?" here are some things you may be wondering.


What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on teaching people skills that help them cope with their struggles and overcome them to move forward. This is a type of psychotherapy, but it's a little different than what many people think of with psychotherapy. Most people think of talk therapy as being when the therapist will help their patient to talk through emotional situations, such as those that they experienced in childhood. What most people think of as talk therapy is a person processing through old experiences and feelings until they get to the root cause of the problems they are experiencing, and then addressing those.

CBT works differently. Instead of processing through all the old situations of life and focusing on the past, the therapist helps you focus on learning the skills to improve your future. The therapy works by helping people learn how to identify and replace negative throughs.

Who Benefits From CBT?

Many different people can benefit from CBT. The therapy is often used for people that are experiencing anxiety disorders and depression. It's also beneficial for people that struggle with addiction, depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders, along with schizophrenia, eating disorders, and other mental health challenges. This therapy can also help anyone looking to improve their level of contentment or satisfaction in life.


How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

There are several stages to CBT. Therapy will begin with an initial session where your therapist will talk to you to find out why you have decided to come to therapy. Your therapist wants to know what your goals are. Once they have this information, they can start to help you identify the steps that need to be taken to make progress.

If you have never been to counseling before, it's important to know that you shouldn't expect to see any progress during the first session. It can even take several sessions before you start to notice improvement and progress towards your goals. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that typically only uses a specified number of sessions. It is not designed to just continue for an undetermined amount of sessions.

Once you have your goals set and a plan established with your therapist, the next step is to start processing through what's leading to your struggles. You work on identifying what thoughts and emotions are holding you back or adding to your problems. This could be things like "I'm not good enough" or "I will never be able to overcome this addiction" or any other negative thought that is keeping you stuck in life.

Once you know where the problems lie and what thoughts and beliefs you are struggling with, your therapist will work with you to change them. You will learn how to recognize when they are happening and replace them with something better.

What are the Disadvantages of CBT?

While many people have great success with CBT, there are some who believe that in a sense all you are doing is putting a Band-Aid on the problem. Since CBT only addresses certain areas and works forward, you may not be addressing the real root of the problem. So, while you have the coping skills that you need to deal with and overcome the struggles that you are having, it doesn't fix the issue that started it all in the first place.


CBT is also a type of therapy that requires you to participate in it fully. You aren't going to benefit simply from showing up at therapy sessions, talking, having a breakthrough, and heading home again until your next session. Instead, CBT requires you to participate in it actively. You will be given homework to do in between sessions. If you are unwilling to put your time and effort into the therapy, you will not make a habit out of the skills that you were taught, and then you will not experience the changes you want to see in your life.

Just like with many things, you can find that your struggle becomes slightly greater before it improves. For CBT to work you have to spend time identifying your wrong and negative thought patterns and beliefs. To do this, you may end up having to force yourself to think about things that are unpleasant and things that you might not want to deal with. However, you aren't able to change your thought pattern if you first don't learn how to recognize the wrong one.

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