COGNITIVE AND BEHAVIORAL THERAPIES OF RIDGEFIELD
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is an empirically supported treatment shown to be effective for a broad range of psychological difficulties in children, adolescents, and adults. CBT is a collaborative, time-limited, goal-focused treatment. It encourages clients to be active participants in their treatment from setting treatment goals and session agendas, as well as providing therapist feedback on treatment progress. CBT is educative, and the goal is to help clients “become their own therapist” with a particular emphasis on relapse prevention.
CBT is rooted in the theory that maladaptive ways of thinking and behaving lead to undesired emotional difficulties. CBT involves the modification of client’s underlying dysfunctional beliefs and changing of problematic behaviors in order to bring about enduring emotional change. Clients get better in CBT as a result of increasing their self-awareness and understanding of their difficulties, improving problem solving abilities, and gaining knowledge of a variety of tools that can be applied to themselves when coping with difficult emotions such as anger, sadness, and anxiety.
There are a large number of misconceptions about CBT that are worthwhile dispelling, such as the following: it is merely a set of tools; that it undervalues the importance of emotions and the therapeutic relationship; and that it does not take into account early childhood experiences in the etiology of psychological difficulties.
CBT strongly emphasizes the importance of establishing a collaborative, warm, trustworthy, compassionate therapeutic relationship. Research on CBT continues to find that the therapeutic relationship plays an essential role in predicting positive outcomes in therapy.
CBT is most effective when the therapist has a good understanding of a client’s history as it influences their present functioning and lens in which they view themselves, others, and the future. CBT focuses on identifying false beliefs that are commonly shaped by our pasts, in order to facilitate healthier thinking that produces improved behavior and emotional relief.
CBT is emotion focused. The most effective way to change our emotions is to challenge unhelpful thinking and modify ineffective behaviors that are maintaining unwanted mood states.
I provide CBT to children, adolescents, young adults, adults, and families. Sessions are typically 45 minutes and may occur 1-2 times per week depending on the treatment plan.
DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidenced based type of cognitive behavioral treatment for individuals struggling with significant emotion dysregulation. Difficulties managing emotions often leads to problems with self-awareness, acknowledging values and setting goals, focusing attention, impulsive and self-destructive behaviors, and significant interpersonal problems. DBT focused on balancing both acceptance based strategies such as mindfulness with traditional cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.
DBT was initially developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. for adult women struggling with suicidal behaviors and non-suicidal self-injury diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Since its creation, DBT has been adapted and empirically validated for treating adolescents, and individuals with various psychological problems such as substance abuse and eating disorders.
In comprehensive DBT, treatment involves both individual therapy, weekly skills training classes and skills coaching. I conduct both individual therapy sessions, provide skills coaching and skills training sessions for adolescents or adults in need of more intense treatment. I collaborate with colleagues who provide adult or multi-family skills groups in the area.