What is Cognitive Therapy?

In Cognitive Therapy, clients learn to modify thinking patterns that contribute to life problems. When we are depressed or anxious for example, we tend to see ourselves, other people, and the world through a negative lens. When we are anxious, we tend to view situations as dangerous or threatening. When depressed, we tend to view situations as hopeless. Over time, these perceptions tend to become ingrained and difficult to change.

Clients are taught to challenge their negative thinking and develop more realistic and healthier ways of thinking. Self-defeating behaviors (e.g., avoidance, poor communication, and procrastination) are also targeted for change. Therapists take an active role in the therapy and work collaboratively with the client to set treatment goals. Clients are also active in the change process. Clients are strongly encouraged to practice what they learn in treatment. Examples of such exercises may be keeping logs of thoughts and moods, practicing new ways of communicating with others, and confronting situations that are typically avoided. Research overwhelmingly supports the notion that doing these “homework” assignments is one of the best predictors of making lasting and meaningful changes.

We at the HVCCT believe that our goal is to help our clients become their own therapists. We strive to empower our clients so that they can cope more effectively with life challenges.

Effectiveness of Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive Therapy is one of the few forms of psychotherapy that has been scientifically tested and found to be highly effective in hundreds of clinical studies. Results clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of Cognitive Therapy for a wide range of problems — most notably depression and anxiety disorders. In addition, a growing number of studies have shown the efficacy of Cognitive Therapy in treating such problems as ADHD, sleep disorders, and relationship difficulties, among other issues.