Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in Los Angeles, CA

Learn and work towards a better you with CBT experts at Clarity Therapy.

CBT at Clarity Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of talk therapy that involves identifying and challenging unhelpful and negative patterns of thinking.

CBT might be just what you’ve been looking for.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a popular psychological treatment that has shown to be effective in treating many common mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. It’s a type of talk therapy that involves identifying and challenging unhelpful and negative patterns of thinking. It helps people to learn alternative thinking patterns and behaviors that can improve the way a person feels.

CBT explores the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and can be traced back to two distinct schools of psychology: behaviorism and cognitive therapy.

Behavioral treatment for mental health disorders has been around since the early 1900’s. Behaviorism is based on the proponent that behaviors can be modeled, measured, and changed. As far back as the 1930’s and 40’s, there was a need for an effective short-term therapy for depression and anxiety.

Research regarding how people learn to behave and react to life circumstances became a dominant theme, and behavioral therapy was offered as an alternative to the mostly dominant model of the time: psychoanalysis.

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Albert Ellis, the American psychologist and psychotherapist that developed rational-emotive cognitive therapy, a form of cognitive behavior therapy, stressed that the importance of thoughts and feelings along with behaviors was significant. He also postulated that the premise of a person’s emotional distress comes from their thoughts about an event, rather than the actual occurring event itself.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck noticed many similar patterns with his depressed clients. They were seeming to hold negative views of themselves, others and their future and no matter how much psychoanalysis was being performed, client’s negative views did not shift. Beck seemed to understand the importance of the link between thoughts and feelings, to which he coined the term “automatic thoughts” to describe those thoughts that pop up in people’s minds unwantedly. Although people may not be aware of these negative thoughts and how unrealistic they may be, Beck figured out that, by uncovering and challenging these thoughts, there was a long-lasting and positive change that could result. CBT helps others recognize their thoughts and test them out, ultimately allowing the possibility of finding alternatives, which opens up a person’s choice for change.

By the 1960’s, cognitive behavioral therapy became one of the most successful methods of treatment for many conditions, including phobias and anxiety.

We now know that CBT can be helpful in treating a range of issues, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic disorders
  • Depression
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Phobias
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Eating disorders

There are many other therapies that implement CBT into their practice, including:

  • Reality therapy
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy

The diagram below shows the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Activating Event

An activating event such as losing one’s job, traumatic relationship adjustments and changes, and culminating and debilitating anxiety/depression can lead one to have these “automatic thoughts” that lead to a feeling which affects what we continue to think or do. These thoughts and feelings ultimately lead to unwanted and maladaptive behaviors.

CBT is useful in so much that a person can learn to get to the core belief of how they think about themselves, distinguish between helpful and unhelpful patterns of thinking, and challenge those thoughts using rational replacement thoughts.

A significant amount of insight can be gained using CBT with a trained clinician. Insight into why someone has certain behaviors, by getting to the bottom of where those feelings and behaviors come from—ultimately automatic thoughts that lead to feelings and unwanted behaviors. Client is given homework such as thought logs, to identify thoughts that come before the feelings and behaviors that are unwanted. Socratic questioning is another method used to help determine how rational a belief/thought is and how helpful or unhelpful it may be to the client.

Examples of questions utilized by Socratic questioning are:

  • What is the evidence for your thought? Against it?
  • Am I basing the thought on facts, or on feelings?
  • Is this thought black and white, when reality is more complicated?
  • Could I be misinterpreting the evidence? Am I making assumptions?
  • Might other people have different interpretations of this same situation? What are they?
  • Am I looking at all the evidence or just what supports my thought?
  • Could my thought be an exaggeration of what’s true?
  • Am I having this thought out of habit, or do the facts support it?
  • Did someone pass the thought along to me? If so, are they are reliable source?
  • Is my thought a likely scenario or worst-case scenario?

There are many other methods and strategies a CBT clinician will use to help assist the client in ascertaining their core beliefs which are ultimately causing dysfunctional behaviors. Many would ask why they sabotage themselves frequently—and there can be resolution in CBT, by finding what thoughts are triggering feelings resulting in unwanted behaviors such as self-sabotage.

So, if you’re struggling with mental health issues, CBT just may be what you’ve been looking for and at Clarity Family Therapy Services, we have many trained clinicians who are well-versed in CBT methodologies. Reach out today if you feel this is something you’d like to pursue to help you achieve your goals of becoming a better, more manageable you—one who is not limited by maladaptive thinking patterns which lead to unwanted feelings and behaviors.

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You deserve access to quality mental healthcare

Clarity Therapy is proud to accept a variety of insurance plans so that quality, affordable mental health care is accessible to those that need it most.

We are currently partnered with MHN Health Net, Aetna, Anthem, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, LA Care, Lyra, Cigna, Modern Health and Spring EAP. We also use a sliding scale on an as-needed basis.

Call us today to see if we are in-network with your insurance plan!

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Our team is here to help you heal

Meet our talented therapists, social workers, and counselors based in Los Angeles, California.

Tina Besimanto - Clinical Director, LMFT

Tina Besimanto

Clinical Director, LMFT

Shannae Hart - ACSW

Shannae Hart

ACSW

Melissa Regan - LMFT

Melissa Regan

LMFT

Asha Wilburn  APCC

Asha Wilburn

APCC

Charlene Pech  ACSW

Charlene Pech

ACSW

Marla Carbonell ACSW

Melissa Behrends-Gelfman

AMFT

Brianna Gomez  ACSW

Brianna Gomez

ACSW

Hannah Sorel  AMFT

Hannah Sorel

AMFT

Morgan Mouton

Morgan Mouton

AMFT

Jessica Seymour

Jessica Seymour

AMFT

Modern & progressive mental healthcare

We believe everyone has the right to mental and emotional wellbeing. We are honored to provide modern and progressive mental healthcare and counseling for members of, but not limited to, the following communities:

  • LGBTQIA+
  • Polyamorous & Non-Monogamy
  • Single Parent
  • Social Justice Ally
  • Veteran
  • Sex Worker
  • Sex & Kink Positive
  • Vegan

We also offer court-mandated therapy and anger management classes.

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