Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that is strongly supported by research which focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. CBT is structured & skills-based and involves a collaborative approach between the therapist and the client. CBT has a strong emphasis on psychoeducation and teaching the client to become their own therapist. The treatment involves two evidence based techniques which include Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Cognitive Therapy (CT). The cognitive component of treatment involves the client to identify and modify distorted thinking and faulty beliefs which contribute to anxiety and distress.
Exposure and Response Prevention
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is the behavioral component for treating OCD and anxiety. Exposure and Response Prevention is the gold standard treatment and evidence-based treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and other anxiety disorders which provides the client with the tools needed to manage their obsessions and compulsions. Exposure therapy involves the practice of intentionally facing situations that provoke the client’s obsessions such as thoughts, images, objects, and situations without engaging in any compulsions. Repeated exposure to the feared stimulus leads to the process of habituation, which allows the client to get used to the situation and eventually the brain gets bored with the stimuli. The response prevention aspect is the most important part of treatment because the client learns how to change their response in relation to the obsessional thought as well as learn that compulsions are a choice. The goal of treatment is to learn to better tolerate uncertainty and discomfort as well as decrease the frequency of compulsions.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an empirically based treatment that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies and has been effective in treating depression, anxiety, social anxiety, OCD, and many other issues. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy focuses on six core processes: defusion, acceptance, present moment, observing self, values, and committed action. ACT focuses on living a meaningful life that is consistent with your values and changing the way you relate to your thoughts and feelings- and focusing on the core process of acceptance.
Habit Reversal Training
Habit Reversal Training (HRT) is an evidence-based treatment that is used to address repetitive behavior disorders including tics, trichotillomania, nail biting, thumb sucking, and skin picking. There are different components of treatment including awareness training, competing response (CR training), relaxation training, and social support.
These are some of the issues that are commonly treated in therapy but are not limited to