Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in NYC
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a scientifically-developed talk therapy which teaches you to take control of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. CBT improves the mental well-being for individuals with conditions such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Over the course of your treatment in CBT, you will learn skills to manage your anxious and depressive symptoms. Practicing and reinforcing your new skills will lead to overall better functioning and mental well-being throughout your lifetime.
What is CBT used to treat?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is effective for treating a wide range of mental health conditions. Some common conditions include:
- Anxiety, including panic attacks, social anxiety, or specific phobias
- Eating disorders
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Trauma or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Interpersonal relationship struggles
How CBT Works
There are several core values to CBT:
- Unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving can lead to psychological distress.
- You can learn more beneficial ways of thinking and behaving.
- New behaviors can relieve symptoms of mental and physical conditions and allow you to act in more beneficial ways.
People just don’t like me → anxiety and emotional distress at social events
That’s not true, you are an interesting person → healthier thoughts
Let’s go to the party for just a short time and see how it goes → new behaviors
In simple terms, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on three things: your cognitions (thoughts), emotions (feelings), and behaviors (habits). By changing the way you think about yourself and situations in your life, you can build new habits and improve your emotional and mental well-being.
Thought → “Nothing is worth it anymore”
Emotion → “I feel numb”
Behavior → “I just want to lay here and do nothing”
Some examples of how CBT works
When you have a mental health condition, having harmful and distorted thoughts are very common. You may not realize that your thoughts are distorted, but CBT will help you identify those thoughts.
If you have anxiety:
Your thoughts may be distorted to view the world as more scary than it really is.
Let’s say you have social anxiety, one of the most common types of anxiety. At social events, you may be constantly having self-conscious thoughts, such as:
“I’m not very interesting”
“People just don’t like me”
Because of these exhausting thoughts, you end up avoiding social situations altogether. Your social anxiety problem never ends. Maybe you still want to talk to others and make new friends, but you can’t deal with the negative emotions.
With CBT, these thoughts can be restructured to become:
“Going to a party may be stressful and I may feel overwhelmed while I’m there. Why don’t I go for a short period of time, talk to one or two people, and then reassess my feelings?”
Using this method, you are slowly exposing yourself to a situation that is stressful, rather than avoiding it. Ultimately, you build up a strength and tolerance to these situations you previously found anxiety-inducing.
If you have ADHD:
You may have a distorted negative perception of yourself and feel limited by your ADHD symptoms.
You may constantly have thoughts such as:
“It’s hard for me to start and finish tasks…I often feel overwhelmed and stop”
“I can’t get anything done”
CBT can help you develop organizational and planning skills to compensate for the symptoms of ADHD.
I will make detailed lists and prioritize what I will do. I will include information such as the amount of effort and time each task will take. I will determine what order the tasks will be in and break them into smaller steps.
While these methods may feel tedious, CBT will train you to reframe your thought process.
“While it may feel tedious to organize everything, it actually helps me increase my productivity and improve my quality of work. In the long term, it actually saves me time.”
With CBT, you learn skills to manage your negative thoughts and build positive habits towards improving and managing your ADHD symptoms.
If you have depression:
You may have distorted negative thoughts about yourself and have little motivation to enjoy things in life.
Your thoughts may include:
“I feel worthless”
“I just want to lay here and do nothing”
CBT will first help you identify your depressive thoughts and understand them as distorted. The goal of CBT will be to help you reframe your negative thoughts and encourage positive habits.
“I know that staying at home will only make me feel worse. I will go outside and do something—ride my bike, go for a walk, or sit in the park and plan an activity for myself. Even if it is just for a short time, I know that I will feel better and my depression will improve.”
In the long term, you will have the mental skills for dealing with depressive thoughts and making positive lifestyle changes.
What is the CBT treatment process like?
CBT should be tailored to your needs, based on your symptoms and circumstances.
Usually, a course of CBT will involve the following:
- Regular sessions, such as once or twice a week, between you and your therapist
- Role-playing activities
- A gradual increase in exposure to things you may be afraid of
- Regular feedback
- Developing skills to calm the mind and body
- Practicing skills in everyday life and reflecting on situations
Work with an NYC CBT therapist at Integrative Psych
Integrative Psych is an NYC-based private practice specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for a range of mental health conditions. Many of our clients are based in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan (Chelsea, Village, Lower East Side, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Tribeca, SoHo), Westchester, and New Jersey, Connecticut, and Florida.
Integrative Psych takes a compassionate, comprehensive and holistic approach to CBT. We will carefully explore your present life and evaluate how your thoughts affect your mental health, then work on developing lifelong skills for restructuring thoughts and improving mental health.
Decisions about the CBT process are made as a team, between you and your therapist. Once you have begun care with us, we will see you regularly to monitor your progress and make any adjustments necessary to ensure that you benefit fully from your CBT at Integrative Psych.
Obtain CBT therapy in NYC today, if you are ready to:
- Start the treatment process for your mental health
- Gain lifelong skills for taking control of your thoughts and managing your mental health
- Have the support of a trusted professional with extensive experience with CBT
If you’re interested in working with one of our CBT experts, book an appointment here.
NYC CBT Therapy FAQs:
Can CBT be done without a therapist?
In general, CBT is most successful when done once to twice a week. Having someone else like a therapist can improve this commitment. Therefore, CBT with a therapist tends to be more effective than self-directed therapy.
However, you can make significant progress through self-directed CBT, and there are many self-help resources online.
One of the major goals of CBT with a therapist is to develop lifelong skills to deal with negative thoughts and improve mental health. You actually "become your own therapist" by learning skills that you can continue to practice after you've ended treatment!
How long does CBT therapy take to work?
CBT usually requires weekly 30- to 60-minute sessions, with improvements seen after 12 to 20 weeks. However, this will vary depending on the type of mental health condition being treated.
What is the success rate of CBT?
Success rates will vary based on the type of mental health condition being treated. For depression and anxiety, CBT alone is successful in 50-70% of patients. The rate of successful recovery can be improved with a combination of medication treatment.