Does it feel like you can’t quite get things under control or like you’re feeling sad more often than not? Is stress, anxiety, or depression getting in the way of you living a more meaningful life? Have you heard about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)? Are you wondering if this kind of therapy will help you feel better?
Maybe you’re feeling completely exhausted and emotionally drained. You may feel sad to the point of not wanting to get out of bed in the morning or so anxious that you can’t fall asleep at night. Perhaps you are having a hard time focusing at work, staying patient with your partner or children, sticking to your daily routine, sleeping at night, or eating well.
You want to feel calmer, more present, well-rested, less irritable, and more engaged in your life. You are looking for ways to feel happier and to find more satisfaction and enjoyment in life. Finding ways to better manage some of your stress and worries would help you be a better partner, a more patient parent, a more productive employee, or a more invested friend.
Cognitive behavioral therapy can help.
Doesn’t everyone feel this way sometimes?
Yes! Everyone experiences stress at times, everyone worries about different things throughout their week, and everyone feels sad sometimes. It is normal and healthy to experience a range of emotions.
If everyone experiences this, how do I know if I need help?
You may need help if you think you can’t handle these feelings on your own. Some things to keep in mind are that when these feelings don’t go away, they keep you from enjoying life, or they affect your day-to-day life, it is probably time to seek help. Therapy can be very effective to help you better manage your stress, feel less anxious, feel more energetic, and better engage in your life.
What will therapy be like?
The first 1-3 sessions will focus on getting to know each other. We will use that time to get a clear picture of what you’re experiencing and come up with a treatment plan together. After the initial assessment stage, we will start therapy which typically lasts 10-20 sessions.
I primarily use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, and often integrate in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT. CBT is a type of psychotherapy that is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected and impact each other. It is an empirically based treatment, meaning that there is a great deal of research evidence demonstrating its effectiveness for a wide range of concerns. CBT has been shown to be an effective treatment for things including depression, anxiety, stress management, insomnia, chronic pain, and weight management. ACT is also an empirically based treatment and works well on its own or combined with more traditional CBT. With ACT strategies, you can learn how to accept some of your more uncomfortable thoughts and feelings rather than fight them. By accepting some of the more negative feelings and committing to making changes, it becomes easier to move forward with your life rather than getting stuck or feeling trapped.
Regardless of how long you’re in treatment for or what you are working on, there are parts of CBT that will always be the same. Some of the standard features of CBT include:
- Working collaboratively with your therapist to set goals of treatment
- Periodically checking in on the goals to see how you’re doing and making any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan
- Identifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that affect your mood and quality of life
- Focusing more on the present and on problem-solving
Because we will only be seeing each other once a week for about 45-50 minutes, there will often be things for you to work on outside of therapy. These will be opportunities for you to practice new skills, try techniques we have discussed in therapy, and incorporate strategies into your every day life. Each week, we will review what you tried and how it went and then build upon that.
How do I get help?
If you want to learn more about CBT or ACT or see if they may be helpful for you, contact me to set up an initial phone consultation for free.