Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on the patterns of thinking, behavior, and emotional responding that are associated with distress or life dissatisfaction. In CBT, clients learn techniques to recognize and change these patterns. CBT is an empirically supported treatment for a wide variety of problems including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, compulsive behaviors, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and test anxiety. CBT is a time-limited treatment, typically lasting from 10 to 20 sessions. Between weekly individual sessions, clients practice skills learned in session through homework exercises. Practice of the skills increases the likelihood that they will generalize to your life outside of therapy after treatment has ended.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has repeatedly been shown to have a lasting effect in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. Meta-analyses of 48 randomized controlled trials demonstrate that Cognitive Therapy (CT) is effective in treating mild to moderate depression (Gloaguen, Cottraux, Cucherat, & Blackburn, 1997). Research shows that CBT is superior to anti-depressant treatment, and can be used as an alternative or adjunctive to pharmacological therapy. Combination therapy (medication plus CBT) is beneficial for cases of chronic and severe depression (Parker, Roy, and Eyers, 2003). CBT is a particularly effective and preventative treatment For populations who cannot tolerate medicine, medication-resistant depressive disorders, or children and adolescents for whom early prescribing poses concerns. (Parker et al., 2003).
The effects of CBT continue after treatment is ended. CBT significantly reduces the recurrence of depression over the following 1-2 years (Gloaguen et al., 1997). In a six-year study of patients suffering from recurrent depression, those who received CBT after initial pharmacotherapy showed a significantly lower relapse rate at a six year follow-up compared to those who did not receive CBT (Fava, Ruini, Rafanelli, Fionis, Conti, & Grandi, 2004).
Children and Adolescents
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can make a crucial difference in the transition from childhood to young adulthood. Jansen et al. (2012) cite the increased risk of psychopathology, educational underachievement, and suicidality in anxiety disordered youth. CBT has been cited as the most effective treatment for childhood anxiety (Jansen et al., 2012). Multiple studies provide evidence for the short-term efficacy of CBT treatment in youth with anxiety disorders. One long-term study found that exposure-based CBT led to remission of phobic and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents 8 to 13, and long-term remission of depression (Saavedra, Silverman, Morgan-Lopez, & Kurtines, 2010).
Our CBT Program
CBT therapists take an active, in-session stance to teach clients skills that can be used to improve current functioning. Individual therapy sessions are 45 minutes long and take place on a once weekly basis in our Manhattan office. Clients receive individualized reading, writing, or behavioral assignments to be completed during the week, which will help them generalize lessons learned in session to their daily lives.
CBT involving cognitive restructuring, relaxation training, and strategies to promote well-being, is effective in treating generalized anxiety (Hollon, Stewart, & Strunk, 2006), CBT alone or in conjunction with medication significantly reduce catastrophic thinking for patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia.
Those treated with CBT have a higher likelihood to maintain gains after treatment termination than those treated with medication alone. Similar effects have been cited for patients with hypochondriasis and concerns about physical illness, interpersonal anxiety or social phobia, specific phobias, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) (Hollon et al., 2006).
Hoffman and Smits’ (2008) meta-analysis of 27 randomized placebo-controlled trials showed that CBT is efficacious for the treatment of adult anxiety disorders. The largest effect sizes for CBT treatment in this analysis were found in patients diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder under DSM-III-R or DSM-IV criteria (Hofmann & Smits, 2008). A randomized, controlled trial comparing CBT to short-term psychodynamic therapy in adults with generalized anxiety disorder found CBT to be superior in outcome measures of pathological worry, trait anxiety and depression. (Leichsenring et al., 2009).
CBT/DBT Associates is now offering short intensive treatments for OCD, Panic Disorder, and Specific Phobia. For more information or to register, click here.