What is CBT?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or as it is commonly known, CBT, is a goal-oriented and skills-based therapy, focusing on learning and applying coping skills to improve negative thinking patterns, impairing emotional responses, and self-defeating behaviors. That, along with a strong partnership between the patient and therapist, allows for a better understanding of the thoughts, feelings, and behavior that maintain a problem, and what can be done to change.

Does CBT Work?

CBT has been extensively investigated in rigorous clinical trials and has demonstrated efficacy in treating anxiety and depression in children and adults. For many problems, such as anxiety and depression, CBT has been found to be as effective as medication. CBT can be used alone or in conjunction with medication, depending on the severity and nature of each client's problem.

How long does therapy last?

While treatment is typically short term (approximately 3-5 months, meeting once a week), the strategies learned can be used immediately as well as for the rest of the patient's life. For children and adolescents, parents also play an important role, learning more effective parenting strategies that can help support the skills that their child is learning to use.

What do CBT therapists do?

  • CBT therapists help patients learn and apply coping skills that enable them to be more in control of their thoughts (that's the cognitive part) and actions (that's the behavioral part).
  • CBT therapists recognize that those suffering from anxiety tend to focus on and exaggerate the frightening aspects of certain situations, so they help them gain a more realistic perspective in order to decrease their anxiety. Those experiencing depression also tend to have similar inaccurate thinking patterns.
  • CBT therapists know that individuals with anxiety often avoid situations they fear, and that avoidance often makes things worse by prolonging anxiety. Therefore, CBT therapists help the patient overcome avoidance by gradually facing what is feared.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Goldfine at 201-503-5590 or drgoldfine@drgoldfine.com.