Unlock Your Potential and Transform Your Thoughts with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Therapy Gal—your trusted partner for personalized healing and growth.
Will CBT help me?
What if you could figure out how to “fix” yourself? While we don’t think you’re broken and therefore don’t need to be fixed, wanting to change some of the ways you act or behave is natural and normal. If you feel like you always do the same thing and it’s getting you nowhere, and don’t know how to do better, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy might be good for you.
CBT is clinically effective and researched therapy that can be used under the help and guidance of a CBT therapist or through integrating the methods into your life at home. It’s a therapy that addresses the root of the problem so that you can live a happier life.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
CBT is a clinically practiced and research-driven form of psychological treatment. What’s cool about it is that it has set itself apart from other forms of therapy by providing evidence that produces change. That’s why CBT is largely seen as one of the best forms of treatment you can take part in.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works to understand and change thinking patterns. This can include learning to recognize and interrupt existing thinking patterns, introducing new ones, understanding how others think, and developing problem-solving skills.
As a natural side-effect of this, CBT treatment also works to change behavioral patterns. This could involve facing fears, working on problematic interactions, and learning how to calm and relax the body.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Work?
Ultimately, CBT starts at the source of our power- Our thoughts. Our thoughts flow into feelings, and feelings trigger actions or behavior. So by working on thoughts and feelings, we can affect behaviors.
CBT Example: The Way We Think and Act
Let’s have a real-life example. You’re at work, and Susan from the cubicle next door pops her head up and says, “Are you not done with those reports yet? What are you doing?” She has a tone because she always has a tone, and once she leaves, you’re sitting there thinking, “She thinks I messed up. Or maybe I did mess up. She hates me, and no one in the office really likes me, and I have no idea what I’m doing.” These thoughts might lead to feelings of despair, hopelessness, frustration, irritation, or anger with Susan, and many other things.
Next, when Susan pops her head in to ask about the reports, maybe you act out by snapping at her, feeling even more upset and being sullen, or ignoring her completely and coping in other maladaptive ways. Everyone has their favorite coping mechanisms, and not all are healthy.
When you use cognitive behavioral therapy to try to move past this, you’ll start by working with your therapist to identify areas you want to improve. Next, you’ll work to identify distorted lines of thinking that lead to difficult feelings and behaviors. In this case, “Susan hates me, and no one in the office likes me. I have no idea what I’m doing” is catastrophizing and jumping to conclusions.
Once you’ve identified them, you’ll work with your chosen CBT therapist at The Therapy Gal to learn strategies to challenge and replace those thoughts. By changing the thought, you can change the associated feelings and actions.
CBT Example: Changing the Way We Think and Act
So, let’s run the simulation again. “Are you not done with those reports yet? What are you doing?” She has a tone because she always has a tone, and you hear yourself think, “She thinks I messed up.” But you listened to the thought. You’re aware of the thought, so you can challenge it. “Did I mess up?” No, it’s just Susan being snarky. Checking over my work, I’m doing fine, and I’m on schedule. Susan is just having a bad day and taking her negative feelings out on me, but I will choose not to do the same to her.
And presto, you’ve headed off a train of negative thoughts. This is only one potential strategy you can use to change the flow of thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
There’s always the obvious benefit of changing your behaviors, exchanging those actions you don’t like for ones that serve you better. But cognitive behavioral therapy has a host of benefits that everyone can take advantage of. These include:
- Making meaningful changes in your life
- Recognizing and reframing unhelpful or harmful thoughts and behaviors
- Feeling empowered, motivated, and strong
- Establishing specific and attainable goals
- Building new habits
- Finding purpose and direction
- Gaining useful coping skills
- And others not listed here
When is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) used?
CBT is good for anyone who experiences distress, dysfunction, or dissatisfaction. It’s short-term but can have extremely long-term effects that can lessen the symptoms and impact of many problems.
Some common issues CBT can help with include the following:
- CBT for Anxiety, social anxiety, and panic attacks
- CBT for Insomnia or trouble sleeping
- CBT for Body image issues and eating disorders
- CBT for Stress
- CBT for Relationship problems
- CBT for Depression
- CBT for Chronic pain
- CBT for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- CBT for Low self-esteem
- CBT for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- And others not listed here
People of all ages can benefit from CBT, using it to work through the challenges we mentioned above. However, CBT isn’t only good for people experiencing those specific issues.
Think of CBT like a tool in a tool belt. Everyone needs some tool to get through their day- some a hammer, some just car keys, and others use scalpels, but we all have useful gadgets or doo-dads that get us through challenges. Even if your challenges don’t feel big or important enough to have a label, you still need tools to work through them. CBT is another tool you can use to get through any challenge.
Can You Continue Doing CBT After Therapy Is Done?
CBT is widely considered the best therapy because it is so flexible and well-suited to real-life environments. You can tailor it to what you need and learn new ways of implementing it all the time.
A great part of CBT is that you can learn about it from multiple sources. For example, many CBT therapists are now on social media, posting YouTube or TikTok videos about strategies you can use to change how you think and act. This is not to be used instead of therapy, but rather as an addition to it.
There are also many books to use as source material or handbooks to start implementing CBT strategies in your life. Make sure you get your information from reliable sources, and if you’re ever unsure whether something is working for you or if it’s coming from a good source, reach out to a licensed therapist for help.
What to Expect From First CBT Session
CBT has a variety of techniques and strategies to commend it. Some of the things that your CBT therapist at The Therapy Gal might encourage you to do to change the way you think and act include:
- Role-playing activities
- Problem-solving exercises
- Constructive self-talk
- Exposure and Response Prevention
- And more not listed here
The CBT therapists at The Therapy Gal are here to help!
We know you’re looking for a therapist who understands CBT and, more importantly, understands you. Of course, you want to grow, to be better, but that doesn’t mean you need tough love or a harsh approach.
The Therapy Gal values a caring and personal approach that acknowledges who you are as a person. We hand-tailor each session to every individual to ensure that we’re moving toward their goals. We value compassion and gentleness almost as much as your growth. We will help you caringly grow into the person you want to be.
Find Your CBT therapist in Philadelphia, PA, NJ, or Online
CBT can offer you the way to “fix yourself” you’ve been looking for. As one of the best forms of therapy, CBT can help give you the tools to change your responses and actions and change your life. Book an appointment with your Philadelphia or NJ CBT experts for more information on how CBT can help you.
Frequently Asked Questions about CBT (NJ / PA / Online)
How can cognitive behavioral therapy help me change my negative thought patterns?
CBT teaches us the way that our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are interconnected and influence our negative thoughts. Your therapist will help you challenge your negative thoughts and develop more positive, realistic ones.
What techniques are used in cognitive behavioral therapy?
There are several techniques that your CBT therapist will use. As an example, your therapist might help you with cognitive restructuring. During your session, you will be guided in identifying and challenging negative thought patterns and replacing them with more realistic ones. Your therapist might also teach you some relaxation techniques, problem solving skills, and help you overcome increased anxiety.
Will I be required to complete CBT homework assignments in between therapy sessions?
Welcome back to school! No, we’re kidding, but yes- CBT does involve some homework assignments outside of session. The purpose of these assignments is to reinforce what you’ve learned in therapy so that you can continue to practice and feel comfortable.
Can CBT help with anxiety? Can CBT help with depression?
Yes, absolutely. It’s actually one of the most common treatments for these diagnoses. For anxiety, it targets the negative thoughts and beliefs that go hand in hand with your anxiety-related symptoms. For depression, your CBT therapist will help address your negative thinking patterns and help you create more adaptive coping strategies.
How can cognitive behavioral therapy help me develop coping skills for stressful situations?
Your CBT therapist will help you develop skills surrounding relaxation techniques, problem solving skills, as well as practicing mindfulness together. We understand that stress can happen at any point, which is why we want to help you build the proper tools to help combat it.
CBT for OCD?
CBT for OCD typically utilizes the ERP model, or Exposure Response Prevention. Through the guide of your CBT therapist, you will be able to work on slowly exposing yourself to the situations that trigger your anxiety. Your Cognitive Behavioral therapist will also help with cognitive restructuring, which involves challenging and identifying the negative beliefs that coincide with the compulsive behaviors.
Can CBT help me develop better time management or organizational skills?
Yes, absolutely! We always recommend chatting with your therapist about your goals for therapy. Your CBT therapist will help you set realistic goals for managing your time and staying organized, while working together on problem-solving skills to help you achieve your goals.
Do you offer CBT therapy in Philadelphia?
Yes! Our office is located in center city at 255 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
Do you offer CBT therapy in New Jersey?
Yes! We offer CBT therapy in New Jersey with therapists that will be able to see you online.
Do you offer online CBT therapy?
Yes! We offer online CBT therapy as long as you live in PA, CO, or NJ.