John Silvestre Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - CBT

What Is CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps people learn to think, feel and behave in a way that will reduce the symptoms contributing to their overwhelming anxiety. The client learns to react differently to the situations and physical sensations that trigger panic and other anxiety. CBT also helps to identify, challenge and modify irrational beliefs. This helps patients to separate realistic from unrealistic fears. As the patient learns to challenge how he/she perceives anxiety, the less likely he/she is to experience them. This awareness is combined with behavioral coping techniques such as exposure and response prevention to help the individual to confront their feared or avoided situations.

CBT is a goal oriented, structured, briefer type of psychotherapy. Patient and therapist collaborate in understanding and changing ways of thinking/perceiving situations that lead to emotional distress.

Even though a sound therapeutic relationship is necessary for good therapy, it is not the focus.

CBT is derived from both scientific and clinical venues and based on the premise that thoughts and behaviors are learned and can be unlearned. As a result patients can also learn new ways of perceiving and behaving in anxiety provoking situations.

An important aspect of the CBT process is the assignment of homework in between sessions. Patients participate actively both, in assessing their own problems by self-monitoring and practicing newly learned skills in real life situations. Examples of homework tasks are: behavioral experiments, in vivo self-exposure, etc.

Finally, when terminating therapy, patients are taught relapse prevention. That is, how to be prepared to cope with future adverse circumstances or potentially problematic situations without reverting to the use of maladaptive behavioral styles. Patients are encouraged to contact the therapist for booster sessions should relapse occur.