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New York therapist, therapist in New York, NY

Joan L. Roth, Ph.D.

 115 East 57th Street (Between Park and Lex)

  Suite 1540

Clinical Psychologist For Anxiety Disorders and Mood Disorders


Cognitive - Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive - Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a much more modern version of psychotherapy than is generally depicted in movies and on television shows. It uses scientifically tested coping techniques with proven success to solve problems and eliminate symptoms. It is an action-oriented, generally short term, collaborative process between therapist and patient who are on equal terms. It also generally involves assignments to be completed betweens sessions to improve efficacy and speed of recovery.

This type of work can and should be done in an atmosphere of warmth and openness in which all thoughts, feelings and discussions are welcome and useful.

The cognitive component of CBT focuses on thoughts, assumptions and beliefs which we all have to one degree or another. For some of us, some of these thoughts, beliefs and assumptions can become somewhat distorted and leave us feeling depressed, anxious or angry. With cognitive therapy, people can learn to recognize and change faulty or maladaptive thinking patterns.

Similarly, the behaviorial component of CBT focuses on behaviors that we may be engaging in that might be causing emotional distress, difficulty in our social lives or difficulty in our school or work lives. As with cognitive therapy, we can teach you to identify the maladaptive patterns and offer more helpful behaviors as a replacement.

The two therapies often complement one another. For example, in the midst of extreme anxiety, it may feel impossible to gain control over your thoughts and apply cognitive therapy techniques. Therefore, a behavioral technique such as deep breathing or guided imagery may help you calm down and refocus on your thinking. Depending on the nature of the problems and symptoms, the emphasis on cognitive or behavioral techniques will vary.