Are You Really Getting CBT?  | Finding A Qualified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist

At GroundWork Counseling in Orlando we provide empirically supported care, and our clinicians are specifically trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). We believe it is imperative to educate individuals seeking therapy services regarding evidence-based care, so that they can make educated decisions regarding their treatment and counseling.

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Due to the vast amount of research that repeatedly proves the efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), many therapists claim to provide CBT. For example, take a look at the hundreds of therapist profiles on Psychology Today and you will find that nearly all providers state that they use CBT. It’s important to note, however, that most of these therapists use, what they call an “eclectic” approach, which means that they incorporate a variety of therapeutic approaches into their sessions – which means, you are not truly receiving CBT treatment that has been proven effective. You can see this in the “treatment approach” section on a variety of therapist listings, where many therapists list 10 or more treatment modalities, many of them conflicting in methods and tactics.

As a client seeking therapy, it’s important to be aware that all therapists learn about CBT in their graduate or doctoral programs along with a myriad of other theoretical approaches. These theoretical orientations are designed to provide a framework for the therapist, and give the therapist a roadmap with which to base treatment approaches for their client. Differences in the therapist’s background and education impacts the therapist’s choice of theoretical orientation as well as their perspective on evidence-based treatment. Many therapists may choose to combine various treatment approaches, and call it an eclectic approach – this is more along the lines of traditional “talk therapy” and a significantly less structured approach to CBT treatment.

So when asking a potential counselor, “Do you do CBT?” the therapist may say, that yes, he does CBT because he learned a bit of it in graduate school and now incorporates it into his own eclectic approach to therapy. This may be fine and potentially helpful, however, for someone seeking CBT treatment, use caution as an “elect” approach may only incorporate minimal amounts of CBT.

Specialization in CBT almost always happens with post-graduate training courses that are designed to increase a therapist’s knowledge and expertise in CBT. Actual CBT consists of structured, directive therapy sessions that focus on the thoughts behind a person’s feelings and often include homework assignments, exposure therapy and other activities. A therapist who specializes in CBT will have received training from seasoned CBT therapists, attended post-graduate training courses, and may also have received certification in CBT.

So if you’re ready to begin CBT therapy and begin to look for a CBT therapist, remember that instead of asking the therapist if they “do CBT”, better question to ask is “Do you specialize in CBT?” or “Where were you tried in CBT?”

GroundWork Counseling in Orlando, our practice specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, depression, and other psychological challenges.