Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT Therapists Chicago

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a popular therapy for treating anxiety, depression, addictions and PTSD. It is an empirically supported treatment that usually yields results after a short few months.

​CBT explores the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. CBT is a very practical treatment aimed at helping individuals identify and alter dysfunctional thinking patterns and change their maladaptive behavioral patterns.

​If you struggle with some of the common “faulty” thinking patterns below, you will probably benefit from some CBT strategies such as cognitive restructuring.

cognitive distortions

Catastrophizing: Immediately assuming the most catastrophic outcome. For example: You notice you have a headache and then immediately assume it must be a brain tumor.

Personalization: Taking full blame for a situation that in reality involved multiple factors: For example: Your parents get divorced and you are convinced it is entirely your fault when in reality there were likely many different factors leading to their divorce.

Polarized Thinking: Also known as “black and white” thinking or “all or nothing” thinking. For example: If you’re usually a straight A student and you receive a B on a test, you conclude that you are stupid.

Emotional Reasoning: Believing that feelings are facts. For example: I feel worthless therefore that must certainly mean that I am actually worthless.

Behavioral Activation

One of the effects of depression, a common mental health concern treated by CBT, is feeling immobilized. It’s hard to push yourself to do normal self-care activities, and pleasure might seem all but absent from your life.

Feeling immobilized/stuck is not only a symptom of depression – it’s a cause. The fewer activities you engage in, the more depressed you feel; and the more depressed you feel, the less you do and want to do. It’s a negative spiral that maintains avoidance and prolongs depression.

The solution is to push yourself to higher levels of activity-even though you don’t feel like it. You can’t wait to feel motivated to get out of bed, or go to school, or go hang out with your friends, but rather, you need to act first (opposite action and behavioral activation) and in doing so, the motivation will eventually follow. Activity scheduling can help you identify what activities you can engage in to re-energize yourself and offer significant help in overcoming depression.

It’s important that you engage in a variety of activities that will bring you both a sense of enjoyment and a sense of mastery – feeling like you’ve accomplished something as this will raise your self-esteem and belief that engaging in activities can help to relieve your depression.

While the above paragraph discusses the use of CBT in the treatment of depression, CBT is a highly effective treatment for anxiety, OCD, trauma, eating disorders and various other mental health issues.

Cognitive behavioral therapy chicago

​Our CBT therapists at Cityscape Counseling in Chicago incorporate cognitive behavioral treatment interventions to address classic depression and anxiety symptoms. CBT for anxiety, CBT for depression, and other interventions such as CBT for OCD and CBT for insomnia, are aimed at helping individuals identify unhelpful thought patterns, evaluate data for and against the conclusions your mind has drawn, monitor how these thought patterns are influencing your moods and behaviors, and reconstruct more helpful thinking patterns.

if you’re looking for a CBT therapist in chicago, Cityscape counseling would love to work with you.

We know that seeking out therapy can be a daunting endeavor so we’re dedicated to helping you each step of the way. Start by calling or emailing us to set up your first appointment.