Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

(CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy for many mental health conditions, including anxiety and depressive disorders.  CBT is the most recognized mental health treatment since its development in the 1960s. It has accumulated considerable research evidence, demonstrating its effectiveness over the years.

 

“Cognitive” (related to cognition) is another word for thought.  As its name indicates, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a mental health treatment that targets someone’s thoughts and behaviors.  More specifically, in CBT, the client learns how to step back from their thoughts to determine if their thoughts are accurate or helpful.  If clients determine that their thoughts are not accurate or helpful, they learn how to change their thoughts to be more accurate and helpful.  In CBT, clients also learn to change their behaviors.  All of this is in service of changing one’s emotions and improving how one feels. 

 

The Center for Genuine Growth, PLLC offers Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as an evidence-based treatment option for anxiety and depressive disorders. 

 

Acceptance and
Commitment Therapy 
(ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an evidence-based treatment that was designed to help someone develop a new perspective on how to cope with one’s emotions, physical symptoms, and negative thoughts.  It relies heavily on the practice of mindfulness and on helping the client take steps towards their values.  Values are what someone determines to be important, and they are meant to guide us through the roller coaster of life.  

 

ACT has been shown to effectively treat a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, PTSD, OCD, disordered eating behaviors, and coping with chronic pain/illness.  

 

The Center for Genuine Growth, PLLC offers ACT as one treatment option for the above mental health conditions.  

 

Exposure Therapy

Exposure Therapy is an evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders.  It has been shown to be effective in treating specific phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.  Forms of exposure therapy for other anxiety-related disorders are Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) for OCD and Prolonged Exposure (PE) for PTSD.  

 

Exposure therapy begins with educating the client on how anxiety disorders develop and why they stick around, as well as the science behind how the treatment works. Clients learn that avoidance is not only a symptom of anxiety disorders but also a major contributor to anxiety, and therefore, it is a specific target in treatment. 

 

Clients work with their therapist to identify avoidance and make changes to their behavior from an approach perspective.  Years of research has demonstrated that this treatment is among the most effective for anxiety disorders, and it is one treatment option at The Center for Genuine Growth, PLLC. 

 

The Positive Affect Treatment (PAT)

The Center for Genuine Growth, PLLC is currently the only private practice in WA and FL offering a new evidence-based therapy - the Positive Affect Treatment (PAT), which Dr. Dour is the co-creator, developer, and author of. PAT is a new evidence-based psychotherapy for clients with depression or anxiety.  It was designed to enhance the frequency, intensity, and variety of positive emotions one experiences by targeting the specific difficulties associated with anhedonia.  Anhedonia is difficulty in expecting positive outcomes in the future, difficulty in noticing or appreciating the positive, and/or difficulty in learning how to obtain the positive.  Anhedonia is also the difficulty in experiencing positive emotions.

For example, many people with anhedonia often report that they rarely feel happiness, interest, curiosity, pride, joy, or excitement.  They might have a hard time noticing positive things in their day to day.  When they do notice something positive, they might have a tendency to dismiss positive things that happen to them, such as attributing these events to luck.  Some people report that they have very little positive activities scheduled into their week or that they have lost interest in things that they used to enjoy.  They sometimes struggle to know what to do to build more positive experiences into their week.  PAT specifically targets each of these difficulties by teaching new skills in the form of thought strategies and behavioral activities.  

 

Dr. Dour is a co-creator, developer, author, and former trainer of this treatment.  It is currently in the publishing phase with Oxford University Press as part of the Treatments That Work series. 

 

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is one of the gold standard evidence-based treatments for PTSD.  It was designed to target the underlying beliefs that keep people with PTSD stuck in their recovery.  Through a series of worksheets and step-by-step instructions, clients learn a set of skills to develop more balanced beliefs.  Clients begin by identifying beliefs that were created or strengthened by their history of trauma, and then take steps to challenge them.  Clients learn how to ask themselves if these beliefs are accurate and helpful.  If they determine that these beliefs are not accurate and helpful, they learn to change them to reflect a more balanced way of thinking.   Themes that are covered in this treatment include Trust, Safety, Power/Control, Esteem (how one feels about themselves and others), and Intimacy (emotional and physical connection with others). 

 

The Center for Genuine Growth, PLLC offers CPT as an evidence-based treatment option for PTSD. 

 

Prolonged Exposure (PE) for PTSD

Prolonged Exposure (PE) is one gold standard, evidence-based treatment for PTSD.  It is a version of exposure therapy that was designed to specifically target the types of avoidance that maintain PTSD symptoms.  

 

In PE, clients learn about what PTSD is and why avoidance is so problematic for their recovery.   They identify ways, in which they avoid and then make behavioral changes to expand how they live in their life.   Therapists take a guided approach to helping clients take important steps that they have avoided taking as a result of their trauma, including talking about the trauma.  

 

At The Center for Genuine Growth, PLLC, PE is one treatment option for PTSD.

 

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) for OCD

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is the gold standard, evidence-based treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).  As a form of exposure therapy, ERP educates the client on what obsessions and compulsions are and why compulsions are so problematic.  Clients work with their therapist to make behavioral changes, so that they are engaging in less avoidance.  These changes are intended to increase functioning and help clients better reach their life goals.  

 

The Center for Genuine Growth, PLLC offers ERP for OCD on an outpatient weekly basis.  Some clients need a higher level of care than this.  Referrals are provided to clients who may need more intensive outpatient care or residential treatment. 

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a treatment designed to be individually tailored for the client, who is presenting with sleep difficulties.  

 

The treatment begins with a thorough interview of one’s sleep patterns, followed by a 2-week written recording of one’s sleep (e.g., wake up time, bed time, times napped, times woke up in the night).  Based on these assessments, the client will receive individualized recommendations, which will be tested over the subsequent 2-4 weeks.  The client’s sleep habits will be slowly adjusted until they improve. 

 

Simultaneously, the client works with the therapist to identify thoughts or beliefs that might be interfering with one’s sleep.  Clients learn how to effectively challenge these thoughts/beliefs through the introduction of new skills.

 

CBT-I is among the most effective treatments for insomnia, and it is offered as a treatment option at The Center for Genuine Growth, PLLC.  

 

Mindfulness-based approaches

Mindfulness is the state of being in the present moment without judgement.  It is also a practice, and the practice of mindfulness is sometimes referred to as meditation.  There is ample science to support the benefits of mindfulness, including improving health and mental health outcomes.  A regular practice of mindfulness has been shown to decrease anxiety, depression, stress, and anger difficulties, as well as improve concentration and work performance.  In fact, research has demonstrated that regularly practicing mindfulness is associated with positive changes in the brain.

 

At the Center for Genuine Growth, PLLC, we teach mindfulness and offer mindfulness-based practices as an option for most mental health conditions that we treat.