Healthy Mind Sacramento clinicians take an eclectic approach, and use different treatments for different types of issues. We all are strongly versed in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which we talk about more below.
Healthy Mind Sacramento Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy forms the backbone of treatment for many of our patients. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of treatment that helps people dealing with anxiety, depression, and can also help with behavior change in ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. In numerous research studies, cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be as effective as taking anti-depressant medication!
How does it work?
The overall idea behind the therapy is this: our minds have developed some unhealthy ways of thinking about things, and if we can change our thought patterns to healthier thought patterns, healthier behaviors emerge! Cognitive behavioral theory also holds that thinking, feelings and behavior affect one another. This means that if we change unhealthy behavior, it will also affect our thinking and feelings in a healthy way.
Is it any different from other talk therapy?
While cognitive behavioral therapy is “talk” therapy, we are not talking about whatever came up last week without any goal in mind, we have specific goals we are always working towards in session. At times, your therapist may give you a “thought exercise” or brief assignment to try at home.
When working with your therapist, they may ask you some questions to challenge your underlying beliefs or assumptions. They may try to get you to look at things from a new perspective. These are ways to “break out” of your old thought patterns. We also may challenge you to try new behaviors.
Am I a good candidate for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Healthy Mind Sacramento?
If you have had talk therapy before and felt like this: “I talked but I didn’t feel like I really accomplished anything” or “I felt like I was just talking to a friend,” then you may be a great candidate. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a good type of therapy for people who want a game plan and results. It also tends to be present-focused. In contrast, if you prefer therapy that is more open and unstructured, or have issues from childhood you wish to discuss, cognitive behavioral therapy probably may not be a good fit.
What happens in session?
During our first session, your therapist will take a history. This involves asking about your medical, family, educational, and psychological background. It helps your therapist get to know you better and also understand where specific issues may have originated. From there, we generally work on specific current problems in your life. These are problems that you choose to focus on and that are actionable. One key difference between cognitive behavioral therapy and some other types of psychotherapy (e.g. psychoanalysis) is that the focus is generally on the here-and-now and it is very action-oriented. We work on one or two goals and a time and check in on your progress weekly. We make sure that goals are specific and measurable, so you can see your results!
How long does treatment last?
In general, cognitive behavioral therapy is not long-term treatment. However, the length of treatment is highly variable. The average patient comes in for a few months. They may come back periodically for some “booster” sessions throughout the years whenever they are going through a difficult period in life. On the other hand, some people only need a few sessions, and some people come continuously for a year or two. Throughout your treatment, we will check in with you periodically about your therapy goals. We do not encourage people to stay in therapy without specific therapy goals, and we encourage independence.
How often do I need to come in for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
We see most of our patients either weekly or every other week in order for cognitive behavioral therapy to be effective. Over time, the frequency of sessions can be reduced.
How do find a Sacramento cognitive behavioral therapy specialist that is a good fit for me?
Different cognitive behavioral therapists have different approaches. You may find that some assign weekly homework. Others follow general cognitive behavioral principals, but are more free-form in their sessions. At Healthy Mind Sacramento, we adapt our style to the personality of the patient. Some of our patients like very structured therapy, with something specific to work on at home each week. Others like things a little more relaxed, and just want to know they are working towards a goal, without actual assignments. This flexibility allows us to work well with different types of people. We encourage you find out more about our providers’ background and training here. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions!