Cognitive Behavioral Therapy | CBT Treatment in San Jose & Silicon Valley

One form of treatment that I have been trained in and offer is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a structured, time limited, action-oriented form of therapy that assumes that maladaptive or faulty thinking patterns cause maladaptive behaviors and/or negative emotions. CBT focuses on changing thoughts or cognitive patterns in order to help a person change their behavior or emotional state.

In adults, I have used CBT to successfully treat numerous conditions including:

Agoraphobia
Generalized Anxiety (GAD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Specific Phobias
Depression
Dysthymia
Panic attacks / Panic disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) / Shyness

As well as general conditions including:

Anxiety in the workplace
Career Counseling
Executive Coaching
Stress Reduction

I have been trained in providing systematic desensitization through exposure therapy

CBT works to examine automatic mental responses (which are typically the result of years of negative conditioning which often goes unrecognized) such as thinking errors (e.g., all or nothing thinking/"black or white", or polarized "either...or" thinking), overgeneralization, mental filtering and disqualifying the positive, mind reading, fortune-telling, catastrophic thinking/exaggeration of threat, etc.

CBT believes that clients change because they learn how to think differently and they act on that learning. CBT therapists seek to learn what their clients want out of life (their goals) and then help their clients achieve those goals by teaching rational self-counseling skills. CBT has been proven successful and effective for some people with some issues including anxiety, panic, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Neuroimaging has recently shown that CBT physically alters the brain by causing it to change the structure and function of its own neurotransmitter, using only its own thought processes to do so.

There are several key differences between CBT and general counseling - CBT:

  • is based on the Cognitive Model of Emotional Response which is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things like people, difficult situations, or events.
  • is time limited and often begins by establishing a set timeframe for the completion of therapy (e.g., 16 sessions) and is not an open-ended, never ending process.
  • is structured and directive. Because CBT is time limited, it's essential that we maximize the use of the time we have together. Therefore, a specific agenda is set for each therapy session.
  • is based on the Socratic method where the therapist (and client) assume nothing and through questioning, check out any assumptions and interpretations that are being made.
  • is a collaborative effort between the therapist and the client. The therapist's role is to listen, teach, and encourage, while the client's role is to express concerns, learn, and implement the learning.
  • modifies behavior patterns by replacing destructive habits with helpful ones.
  • involves psychoeducation. Since we know through empirical research that most emotional and behavioral reactions are learned, the goal of therapy is to help clients unlearn their unwanted reactions and to learn a new way of reacting.
  • includes gradual real or invivo exposures of feared situations in order to change the client's response to the stimuli.
  • includes weekly homework exercises to be completed in-between sessions in which clients work on real-life application of techniques learned in the therapy sessions.

There's an enormous amount of solid empirical research backing up CBT as a treatment method. To read some of the published research articles, please visit:

 

CBT Group Therapy at Stanford for Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Groups for Social Anxiety Disorder at Stanford University
    • If you are interested in taking part in group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Social Anxiety Disorder at Stanford University, please contact me at: Hooria at Stanford dot edu to learn more about inclusion criteria and study requirements. Please note that all groups are held at Stanford.