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Bay Area Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Center

Bay Area CBT

We are a group practice of cognitive behavioral therapists located in the Bay Area. We offer a number of empirically supported treatments including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), compassion-focused therapy (CFT), mindfulness-based therapies, and schema therapy. We apply behavioral principles while emphasizing an attachment and relational frame that considers the whole person.

Integrative Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a term used to describe a form of therapeutic treatment that combines strategies used in both cognitive and behavior therapies as well as other scientifically proven evidence-based treatments. These treatments have demonstrated to be highly effective in alleviating a variety of struggles including: panic, social phobia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety and rumination, eating disorders, marital distress, anger, chronic pain, and trauma. CBT helps individuals develop effective coping skills.

The cognitive therapy model states that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected and influence one another. Cognitive interventions include identifying unhelpful and distorted thinking, testing and modifying beliefs, and developing skills to distance from one’s thoughts. The premise is that the core beliefs and stories that we have developed about ourselves in childhood continue to impact our current behaviors. These stories are like lenses that distort our perceptions and experiences with others and can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies in relationships. Cognitive interventions help individuals understand how their conditioning from early childhood is impacting their current relationships and influencing their behaviors. The goal is to help individuals recognize the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to create behavioral flexibility.

bay area cognitive therapy

Behavioral therapy encourages individuals to experiment with new behaviors. It is based on the premise that existing patterns of behavior have been established and learned through social conditioning. For example, a child who is repeatedly told “no candy,” throws a fit, and then the parent gives in and allows the candy. The child has learned that throwing a fit garners his desire. Behavioral therapy assists clients in unlearning unhealthy behavior and replacing it with values-based action.

CBT can help you recognize your thoughts, feelings, and behavior and how these influence one another. The objective is to decrease the level of influence that your thoughts and feelings have over your behaviors. Cognitive behavior therapy is an empirically supported treatment and has been proven to be extremely effective for individuals with maladaptive behaviors. There are several approaches (all working toward the success of behavior replacement), and are considered part of the CBT umbrella. Some include:

Oakland cognitive behavioral therapy

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Schema Therapy
  • Cognitive processing therapy (CPT). Assists in recovery of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Mindfulness-Integrated cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
  • Integrative Behavioral Couples Therapy
  • Functional Analytic Psychotherapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Behavioral Activation

 

In short, CBT helps individuals take incremental, constructive steps towards replacing automatic and learned behaviors with positive new ones. CBT teaches: 1) tools for tolerating and relating to thoughts and feelings differently and 2) testing out new behavioral responses. Through identifying distorted/negative thinking processes and schemas that influence behaviors, the therapist and client work together to replace old behaviors with alternative behaviors that are more effective, positive, and based on values. The goal is to develop skills to cope with your internal experiences so that they don’t stop you from taking actions towards creating the life that you want.

 

Personal Treatment That Works

At the Bay Area CBT Center, we dedicate ourselves to integrating an interpersonal approach to a wide variety of evidence-based treatments. We base our therapy on the notion that psychological symptoms occur within an interpersonal context. The way we interact with others around us maintains and reinforces anxiety, depression, trauma, OCD, chronic pain, and other conditions. And just as our relationships impact our moods, our moods also impact our relationships.

We can help you find a path through the often bewildering maze of interpersonal relationships and life’s challenges by developing healthier and more effective ways of relating—not only to others but to yourself as well.

Relational Approach:

We base our therapy on the notion that the relationships in your life including your relationship with your therapist are of central importance and are a primary motivator for behavioral change. Psychological symptoms occur within an interpersonal context. That could be your relationship with your partner, your boss, your family, your coworkers, or your therapist. Therefore we focus on creating an authentic and healing relationship with you. To understand your relationships and how they work (or don’t work) and how they impact your life, we explore not only how you feel but also what you think and how you behave.

Active Approach:

We need more than insight to create behavioral change. Understanding the root of your struggles is not enough to create long-lasting change. Knowing where you are stuck is just the beginning. Creating behavioral flexibility and taking deliberate and meaningful actions, even in the face of fear is our ultimate goal. We need to learn specific tools and practice new skills in order to develop more effective coping strategies in our daily life.

Integrative Approach:

There isn’t one type of treatment or therapeutic approach that is equally effective for everyone. An integrative approach is necessary for effective treatment outcomes. We consistently integrate tools and techniques from various treatment approaches to co-create a method that specifically works for you.

We can help you overcome your difficulties and start living a more fulfilling and vital life. Our goal is to provide you with effective, collaborative, and integrative therapy that is specifically tailored to you and your situation—in short, to help you learn the skills you need to live the kind of life your desire.

 

Take Steps Towards Improving Your Relationships

For those who want to know a bit more about our theoretical foundations, we provide an interpersonal approach to the practice of empirically- supported treatments and offer a variety of evidenced-based therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and schema therapy. We apply the principles of evidence-based treatments while considering all aspects of our clients’ lives by utilizing a relational frame.

A Relational Approach to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A common myth is that CBT does not prioritize the importance of the therapeutic relationship. The psychotherapy field has become split into two major schools of thought—psychodynamic therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. The common misconception is that the former prioritizes the therapeutic relationship and takes a more relational approach. While the latter, CBT, prioritizes the client’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Although some CBT therapists do not explicitly focus on the therapeutic relationship or on making interpretations about the dynamic between the client and the therapist, the Bay Area CBT Center aims to integrate these two schools of thought in a consistent way by emphasizing a relational approach to cognitive behavioral therapy.

What does this mean?

Simply put, we combine notions from both interpersonal and cognitive behavioral therapies. We believe that relationships in your every day life, as well as your relationship with your therapist, are of central importance and are primary motivators for behavioral change.

People require genuine, supportive connections and relationships. It is an essential human need. Yet, these relationships can maintain and even exacerbate psychological conditions. The way we interact with others around us preserves and reinforces anxiety, depression, trauma, OCD, chronic pain, among other disorders and conditions. And just as our relationships impact our moods, our moods also impact our relationships.

This is why it is fundamental that we aspire to establish authentic, healthy interactions and maintain them. Studies show that individuals who identify having a stable, supportive relationship in their lives are physically, mentally, and psychologically healthier, and actually live longer.

In relational CBT, your therapist uses himself/herself as a tool to motivate, reinforce, and experiment with new behaviors and explore their outcome with you. The therapeutic relationship is used as a safe space to practice new behaviors as a model for other healthy relationships. The therapist and client discuss the behaviors that the client wants to work on in his/her relationships. Through cognitive behavioral approaches, those behaviors are identified and explored openly and honestly when they arise with the therapist. Additionally, the therapist encourages the client, to practice newly learned skills in an emotionally activated state. With the trust and collaboration of the therapist, the client can practice new behaviors, for example, being assertive, saying no, making a request, setting a boundary, etc. in an authentic environment.

At the Bay Area CBT Center, our goal is to help you become the healthiest you strive to be. We trust in your ability to make changes for the better.