Our primary mission is to empower our clients to take control of challenging/ difficult areas in their lives through the use of skill-based, present-focused, goal-oriented, and scientifically-proven treatments.
Written by Amanda Turco, Therapist
Our practice uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), an evidenced based model of treatment that has been studied and proven to be effective in treating many mental health diagnoses. With the mindset that therapy should not be a forever thing, we want to provide you with the skills you need to live without weekly support, this treatment is designed to be structured, goal-oriented, and most importantly short term. Admittedly, this is often really hard work and there is so much strength and bravery in deciding to start to change your thoughts, behaviors, and life. So what are you signing up for? Choosing CBT means acknowledging and understanding your emotions, challenging your thinking, and changing your behaviors. It’s fully leaning into the discomfort and uncertainty of the future and trusting the long-term positive outcomes that you can’t quite see yet. It’s climbing the steep mountain to reach the most beautiful view – and trusting the process even when the view seems impossible to find.
A really important part of this treatment is trusting your therapist as the expert in the why and how to get better, and trusting yourself as the expert in you! Ultimately, it is the client that has to take what they learn about themselves or their struggles and implement the skills in their daily life. The overall goal of CBT is to actively recognize and challenge unhelpful thoughts, and lean into the discomfort of change to 1) learn that you can tolerate and cope with uncomfortable emotions, and 2) discover that what it is we feared may actually be safe or not true. When you’re in it, however, it can be very hard to see progress – but we promise, it works.
So what are the main challenges we see in the CBT process? Avoidance is one of the biggest challenges in recovery. We ask you to sit in vulnerable places, and tolerate the discomfort of feelings you probably haven’t been connecting to for a long time. It can be really hard to face the discomfort of being vulnerable, and thus it can be more comfortable to try and avoid any situation that may trigger the anxious thoughts or feelings. And disordered brains can be very creative and sneaky! Together, we will work to identify when and how avoidance pops up and help you feel safe and empowered to feel the fear and do it anyway. Our goal is to help you reconnect with your own healthy, adaptive self, and DISconnect from your disordered brain and thoughts so they are no longer in charge. Tolerating the fear and discomfort is a critical part of this process.
Whether it be anxiety, depression, OCD, an eating disorder, or trauma – one of the most powerful tools is being able to separate yourself from the disordered brain. The more we give into intrusive thoughts by engaging in avoidance or other maladaptive behaviors, we are reinforcing these thoughts to appear true. In CBT, we call these core beliefs or assumptions (i.e. I’m not good enough, I’m a failure, I’m incapable, I’m fat). We start to see ourselves through this negative lens, which in turn makes us feel bad, and behave in a way that protects us from these beliefs (avoidance, compulsions, ED behaviors). This disordered brain, I like to describe it
as a bully, starts to take over. You have the opportunity to either continue to let the bully lead you forward and be in charge of your life, or you can take the reins and power back. You can question what that bully says, do the opposite of what they want you to do, and through practice, therapy, and more practice, become the leader of your own life and actions.
Fighting back against the bully means trusting yourself, believing your worth, and proving the bully wrong. In CBT, we provide you with the homework and help to develop the skills you need to allow your healthy voice to be the one you lead with, the one you trust, and the one that is loudest. Even when you are deep in the thick of therapy, when you can’t see the other side of the tunnel or where you started, we promise you can get there. It requires grit, hard work, and a handful of trust, but you can change your thoughts and behaviors and thus your life. If you want to learn more about CBT or if you’re ready to get started, reach out. We are here for you.