Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

sacramento cognitive behavioral therapy

my work as a cognitive behavioral therapist in Sacramento

I am a clinical psychologist with an eclectic approach, and use different treatments for different types of problems. My training background is primarily in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which I will tell you a bit more about below. I am known for being open, honest, and “tell it like it is” with my patients. By that same token, I encourage fully open communication during the course of your treatment. Please let me know what is and isn’t working for you!

Healthy Mind Sacramento cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy forms the backbone of treatment for many of my 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 and behavior affect one another. This means that if we change unhealthy behavior, it will also affect our thinking 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, I may give you a “thought exercise” or brief assignment to try at home.

When we are working together, I may ask you some questions to challenge your underlying beliefs or assumptions. I may try to get you to look at things from a new perspective. These are ways to “break out” of your old thought patterns. I also may challenge you to try a new behavior and just see how it goes!

am i a good candidate for cognitive behavioral therapy?

If you have had talk therapy before and felt like: “I talked but I didn’t feel like I really accomplished anything” 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. 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 is not a good fit.

What happens in session?

During our first session, I will take a history. This involves asking about your medical, family, educational, and psychological background. It helps me get to know you better and also understand where specific issues may have originated. From there, we generally work on specific present-day 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. If you and I decide to work together, I will check in with you periodically about your therapy goals. I do not encourage people to stay in therapy without specific therapy goals.

how often do i need to come in for cognitive behavioral therapy?

I see most of my 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 cognitive behavioral therapist in Sacramento that is a good fit for me?

Different cognitive behavioral therapists in Sacramento 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. Personally, I adapt my style to the personality of the patient. Some of my patients like a 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 me to work well with different types of people. I encourage you find out more about me and my background and training here. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions!