The Center for
Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adults

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a goal-oriented, practical and structured form of psychotherapy.  CBT promotes independence by teaching coping skills, problem solving, and self-help in therapy.  Clients share in setting treatment goals and often take on homework assignments, which can speed their progress.  Progress towards treatment goals is measured throughout.


Research has shown that CBT is highly effective in treating a wide range of problems including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, weight loss and maintenance, interpersonal difficulties, anger management, substance abuse and dependence, marital conflict, and personality problems.

CBT is an active form of treatment. You and your therapist will work in collaboration to develop an agenda for your sessions based on your treatment goals.

The key finding in CBT is that distortions in thinking are often the cause of one’s painful feelings and dysfunctional behavior patterns. You’ll learn how to identify distorted or negative ways of thinking and explore whether there are alternative ways of seeing the situation.

You and your therapist will devise behavioral “experiments” that will test your new, more realistic and adaptive ways of thinking.

The cognitive model developed by Dr. Aaron Beck and the “Rational-Emotive Therapy” model of Dr. Ellis emphasize the critical role of core beliefs.  Core beliefs are basic and fundamental ways we view ourselves and the world.  Individuals with harsh and rigid core beliefs are particularly susceptible to mood or behavioral difficulties.  Examples of core beliefs include:  “I am worthless”, “I am incompetent”, and “I must avoid failure”.  CBT aims to bring such maladaptive beliefs to the client’s awareness and help develop more compassionate and constructive frameworks, which promotes deeper and more profound change. CBT also teaches skills for coping with difficult emotions.


Course of Therapy

Most of our patients are seen in individual therapy for 45 minute sessions. As symptoms improve, it is sometimes possible to reduce the frequency of sessions. However, when someone is in crisis or highly symptomatic, more frequent sessions may be recommended.

The CBT therapist’s style is active, direct and focuses on the present.  Although your background and family history are considered in the formulation, we won’t spend a great deal of time on your past.  Instead, the focus will be on how your problem is impairing your functioning today.

Techniques that may be used are: Assertiveness training, relaxation techniques, exposure therapy (facing one’s fears), and education about the problem. Reading useful materials about your problem is a common prescribed as a homework assignment.  The cognitive component involves identifying and challenging thoughts which contribute to painful feelings or problem behavior.

We explain the rationale for using certain techniques and give direct feedback about our clients’ problems and possible solutions. Relapse prevention is a key component. Before you leave therapy, we’ll talk about ways that you can continue to monitor and improve their mood, decrease anxiety, or maintain progress on learned behavioral skills. Booster sessions, in which a client comes in several weeks to months after termination, may be necessary to maintain success.


Many clients choose to combine Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy with medication, numerous clinical trials have shown that CBT is as effective as medicine — or even more effective — in treating mood and anxiety disorders, fears, and obsessions.  Sometimes therapy can help people reduce the use of medication. We can help you understand your options regarding medication.  We are also willing to coordinate with your physician or recommend a doctor who can determine whether medication is right for you.