Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Counselors at Lansing Counseling Offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


Our licensed counselors, therapists, and social workers at Lansing Counseling provide therapy from several evidence-based theoretical framework, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  Though each therapist at Lansing Counseling will use an integrative approach to care, generating an individualized treatment approach, most counselors at some point utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy during treatment.

This page will explore what Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is, how Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Works, what Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help with, who Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be helpful for, and how counselors at Lansing Counseling can potentially use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as they help you or those you care about in treatment.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most common evidence-based practices used in counseling to work through many issues that people seek out a therapist for. It is essentially a form of talk therapy in which a counselor helps a patient to work through any problems in a structured manner in which the therapist guides the conversation in a way that aims to resolve the issues the patient is seeking help for. Lansing Counseling offers Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to our patients as it is one of the most helpful tools in providing  help in a variety of difficult situations.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Combines Cognitive (changing thinking) and Behavioral (changing behaviors) Methods


Cognitive therapy has to do with the way a patient thinks, and therefore acts. Negative thoughts often lead to negative and/or destructive behaviors. CBT addresses these thoughts in order to treat the resulting behaviors. A therapist can help with ways to condition the mind, and in doing so, change ways of thinking so that the resulting patterns of behaviors can be conditioned and controlled in a positive way. These skills will vary depending on the individual. Some strategies might include:

  • Facing one’s fears instead of avoiding them.
  • Using role playing to prepare for potentially problematic interactions with others.
  • Learning to calm one’s mind and relax one’s body.

Again, the specific ways of applying these strategies will depend on each patient and how they are able to best communicate with their counselor.


How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?


When using CBT, a counselor will usually lead the conversation based on information the patient has given about what he or she is struggling with so they can. It helps for the counselor to learn more about the patient in general, and in doing so, it allows the patient to give voice to their struggle, which can help to alleviate it after it has been talked through. This will likely include the patient providing background history, as past experiences may well be a large part of what leads to negative thoughts and behaviors. The therapist will often also offer helpful solutions for the patient to continue working through the problem even outside of sessions. This could be recommending helpful books,  journaling, meditation, or any variety of work to do on your own.


How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Differs From Other Forms of Therapy


Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapy, as well as many other
approaches, center around exploring the past to gather understanding and insight. CBT is distinct because it focuses on the present, and because it is skills-based as opposed to insight-oriented. It relies on concrete skills dealing with the here and now, as opposed to approaches which use past experiences with key figures in life to gain insight, such as in psychodynamic therapy.

Some important questions are addressed, such as:

  • What are you thinking right now?
  • What were you thinking when you began to feel anxious?
  • Does my present-moment emotion match the facts of the actual situation in reality?
  • Do any patterns of behavior or thinking emerge?
  • How can I address my thinking and behavioral patterns differently?

The goal is to understand what happens in your mind (thinking and emotions) and body in the present to change how you respond. Your counselor at Lansing counseling will help you to recognize your emotions, gain awareness related to your thoughts, and will help you modify behaviors so you can be a healthier version of yourself.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is Time-Limited


CBT is usually short-term (however long that means for each individual) and not meant to continue indefinitely. The time-limited nature of CBT is important. When there is a time limit on something, it usually causes change to happen sooner and helps the work to be more intentional and directive.  The main goal of CBT is for the therapist to provide the tools for the patient to be able to continue healing throughout time.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is Skills-Focused


While specific skills will vary based on each patient, some common techniques include:

  • Journaling
  • Relaxed, deep breathing
  • Concentrating on muscle relaxation
  • Interoceptive exposure (acknowledging what exposures may be leading to unhealthy thoughts)
  • Practicing mindfulness in order to control unhealthy behaviors.

What Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help With?


CBT is one of the most common forms of therapy and can help with a vast majority of mental/emotional issues, including:

  • Manage symptoms of mental illness
  • Prevent a relapse of mental illness symptoms
  • Treat a mental illness when medications aren’t a good option
  • Learn techniques for coping with stressful life situations
  • Identify ways to manage emotions
  • Resolve relationship conflicts and learn better ways to communicate
  • Cope with grief or loss
  • Overcome emotional trauma related to abuse or violence
  • Cope with a medical illness
  • Manage chronic physical symptoms
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Phobias
  • PTSD
  • Sleep disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Substance use disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual disorders

In addition to talk therapy and depending on a patient’s mental state, it may be necessary to also go on a medication for depression, anxiety, etc. At Lansing Counseling, we can recommend seeing a doctor about this if your sessions make it apparent that this could be helpful.


Who Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help?


CBT can be of help to people of basically all ages. It can work to help children and adolescents from ages 3-18, as well as adults. If your child or teen is struggling, having them seek out therapy and perhaps even attending with them can be extremely helpful. CBT can help work through various emotional issues for adults, but is often used across the board as far as age.


Lansing Counseling Can Help


At Lansing Counseling, we offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in East Lansing, MI to help you work through any issue you may be struggling with. Your licensed counselor, social worker, or mental health therapist will work with you to improve your thinking and improve your behaviors.

To schedule an appointment, fill out the contact sheet below, email us: [email protected] or give us a call at: (517) 333-1499. Lansing counseling is located near the campus of Michigan State University, off of Grand River Ave across from Whole Foods. We are on the ground level of the Red Cedar Flats building. We are in Suite 101. Your counselor looks forward to helping you navigate your struggles through the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.


Lansing Counseling

5030 Northwind Dr Suite 101
East Lansing, MI 48823

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