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Psychological healing in the heart of south Austin.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Therapists use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, to help clients with a broad range of challenges. CBT therapists help clients with mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. This model also benefits those who simply need more tools to cope with life changes. Although each therapist at Windsong has specialized training in other models, we all incorporate CBT into our work. Even when using models such as EMDR or Somatic Experiencing for deeper attachment or trauma-related work, CBT helps us support our clients as they move through that work. This approach also helps us prepare clients for the deeper work. Additionally, CBT is an excellent tool for clients struggling with unstable mood, intrusive thoughts, or difficult behaviors.

CBT is a well-researched, empirically validated therapy model. Using a CBT approach, therapists help clients challenge unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. CBT can help clients improve emotional regulation, develop coping skills, and address interpersonal problems. Developed from a blending of behavioral psychology and cognitive psychology, CBT theorizes that counterproductive thoughts and behaviors contribute to the creation and maintenance of psychological problems. CBT is highly problem focused and goal oriented. Clinicians often incorporate aspects of CBT into their practice as part of the assessment process or assisting clients with resourcing.

Some examples of CBT therapy include journaling, progressive muscle relaxation, cognitive restructuring, and challenging cognitive distortions. The first two examples are fairly self-explanatory. Many people use activities such as these as part of a self-improvement or health and wellness plan. They may not even know that this is part of CBT. Cognitive restructuring involves identifying and challenging negative beliefs and actively working to change those thoughts. With practice, people can learn to identify and change their negative beliefs. Some of the negative beliefs challenged in cognitive restructuring are known as cognitive distortions, or "thinking errors." You may have heard of some of the categories of thinking errors, such as all or nothing thinking (ex: "you're either with me or you're against me), blaming ("it's your fault our relationship is failing"), or mind reading ("you think you're better than me").

Windsong therapists trained in CBT:
Melissa Haney, LCSW-S, SEP, CDWF
Margaret Martin, LCSW, SEP
Brittany Fellwock, LPC
Brooks Milam, LCSW, LCDC
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