We utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing in our Group and Individual Counseling Programs.
What is Cognitive Therapy?
Cognitive therapy is an active, structured form of psychotherapy that is designed to rapidly and effectively reduce and eliminate psychological symptoms. Cognitive is simply a fancy word that means thoughts. Cognitive behavior therapy, sometimes known as CBT is a form of psychological treatment that focuses on the thoughts and behaviors that accompany psychological distress.
Traditionally, CBT has been relatively brief treatment compared to other types of psychotherapy. CBT is focused on achieving defined and measurable treatment goals. Progress towards these goals is regularly assessed to insure that treatment is progressing in an efficient and effective manner.
There is a significant amount of scientific evidence demonstrating that CBT is effective in treating a wide variety of psychological difficulties that accompany addiction, including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety and shyness, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The evidence suggests that CBT is not only effective in helping people get better but it also is also effective in minimizing relapse or helping people stay healthy.
How does Cognitive Therapy work?
There is evidence that suggests that patients that develop new ways of thinking get better from psychological difficulties. When patients develop skills that enable them to identify, evaluate and change their thoughts they are likely to begin to change their behavior for the better. In fact, there is proof, in the form of research studies, that suggests that when patients develop these new thinking skills that they tend to get better and stay better, or have a lower chance of relapse.
Motivational interviewing is a form of counseling that recognizes and accepts the fact that clients who need to make changes in their lives approach counseling at different levels of readiness to change their behavior. If the counseling is mandated, they may never have thought of changing the behavior in question. Some may have thought about it but not taken steps to change it. Others, especially those voluntarily seeking counseling, may be actively trying to change their behavior and may have been doing so unsuccessfully for years.
Motivational interviewing is non-judgmental, non-confrontational and non-adversarial. The approach attempts to increase the client’s awareness of the potential problems caused, consequences experienced, and risks faced as a result of the behavior in question. Alternately, therapists help clients envisage a better future, and become increasingly motivated to achieve it. Either way, the strategy seeks to help clients think differently about their behavior and ultimately to consider what might be gained through change.
Motivational interviewing is based upon four general principles:
- Express empathy, guides therapists to share with clients their understanding of the clients’ perspective.
- Develop discrepancy, guides therapists to help clients appreciate the value of change by exploring the discrepancy between how clients want their lives to be vs. how they currently are (or between their deeply-held values and their day-to-day behavior).
- Roll with resistance, guides therapists to accept client reluctance to change as natural rather than pathological.
- Support self-efficacy, guides therapists to explicitly embrace client autonomy (even when clients choose to not change) and help clients move toward change successfully and with confidence.