Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Adult Therapy in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Madeleine M Kunin once wrote “We see the world through the lens of all our experiences; that is a fundamental part of the human condition.” While we may not be consciously aware of it, our beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world around us can dictate the way we feel-for better or for worse-on a daily basis. That is why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT can be such a helpful tool. CBT can help you to fight back against your negative thoughts so that you can see the world more clearly. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a lasting and effective talk therapy treatment that can help lead to significant changes in every aspect of your life. It can also be used in conjunction with other therapies to help target anxiety, depression, self-esteem problems, and PTSD. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

What is your approach to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

At Washington Psychological Wellness, you’ll have the opportunity to speak with an objective, unbiased, and compassionate professional. With your therapist serving as your confidant, supporter, and guide, you’ll be free to talk about your experiences without the fear of ridicule, shame, or disclosure. Our therapists offer a confidential and non-judgmental environment where you can begin to open up about troubling issues and explore new ways of thinking and being. Your counselor can help you focus on your strengths so that you no longer have to feel defeated by perceived weaknesses. Ultimately, you can rebuild your self-esteem and take pride in your innate capacity for solving problems. 

Some of the difficulties our counselors and therapists can help you through include:

  • Adult Anxiety
  • Adult Depression
  • Anger Management
  • Adult ADHD
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Perfectionism
  • Stress Management
  • Grief & Loss
  • LGBTQ Counseling
  • Disordered Eating & Body Image
  • Self-Harm Counseling
  • Addiction/Abuse
  • Self-Esteem
  • Difficult Life Transitions
  • Personality Disorders

During individual adult sessions, you’ll discover more about yourself as a person. Besides learning about strengths and weaknesses, your therapist can help you identify your coping style, diminish unhealthy coping, and set goals for replacing unhealthy coping with healing activities that match your interests and temperament. With these important insights in hand, you can get a clearer picture of what you want out of life, explore whether your choices match your life’s ambitions, and devise a game plan for making positive change. At Washington Psychological Wellness, you’ll also be learning concrete strategies for managing emotional turmoil, including conflict resolution, anger management, compassionate communication, mindfulness, and much more.

No matter how scary or uncomfortable your current situation may be, the emotions you’re experiencing can be temporary. Although overcoming your obstacles may seem impossible at first, you do have the power to triumph over your current situation and create the life you want to live. With the help and support of a therapist who will always act in your best interest, it’s possible to accept both the sourness and sweetness of life and make healthy choices that honor your authentic self.  

How will your approach help to reduce or eliminate the my problems?

At Washington Psychological Wellness, we practice an integrative and holistic approach to healing, considering our clients’ mental, physical, and emotional health and interpersonal and spiritual well-being. We consider each individual as unique and therefore cater treatment to the client. Drawing from various modalities and practices, we can match you with a therapist who will understand your specific issues and tailor your therapy plans according to your needs. Our counselors are trained in the following psychotherapeutic treatment approaches, to name a few: 

Psychodynamic therapy is a form of depth psychology; the primary focus is to reveal the unconscious content of a client’s psyche to alleviate psychic tension.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) refers to a range of techniques that focus on constructing and re-construction of people’s cognitions, emotions, and behaviors. The therapist helps clients assess, recognize, and deal with problematic and dysfunctional ways of thinking, emoting, and behaving.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a time-limited psychotherapy that focuses on the interpersonal context and building interpersonal skills. IPT is based on the belief that interpersonal factors may contribute heavily to psychological disorders.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) combines standard CBT techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindfulness-awareness.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a therapeutic approach that facilitates and engages the client’s intrinsic motivation to change behavior. MI is a goal-oriented, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence.

Treatment progress is dependent on each individual’s unique circumstances and needs. You and your therapist will actively check-in to ensure that progress is being maintained and that your treatment goals, values, and hopes are being accomplished. We will also actively work with and consult with outside providers, teachers, clergy, family members, etc., to coordinate care.

How soon can I expect to feel better?

Washington Psychological Wellness is proud to provide an integrative and holistic approach to treatment. Integrative mental health is the combination of practices and methods of alternative healing with conventional therapy approaches. It emphasizes treating the whole person, focusing on wellness and health rather than treating disease and on the patient-therapist relationship. Holistic health is a diverse field that uses many techniques and therapies. It reaffirms the importance of the relationship between clinician and patient, is informed by scientific evidence, and uses all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals, and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing. At Washington Psychological Wellness, the emphasis is on the entire person (bio-psycho-socio-spiritual model) and not just on their symptoms or presenting problems (e.g., addiction, depression, anxiety, etc.).

Will I need medication?

The therapy relationship is unique. Unlike other relationships in your life, your therapist is an unbiased, clinically trained objective supporter who will help you gain new perspectives in a way that those who are intricately woven into your life cannot. When you come to therapy, you are taking care of yourself by dedicating time to the task of taking care of you and only you. No need to fear you said too much or worry about your privacy.

What are the benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

There are many benefits to engaging in therapy! Benefits include gaining a better understanding and insight of yourself, identifying your values and what’s important to you, improving your relationships, friendships, and work. Therapy will help you identify and develop coping skills, enhance problem-solving abilities, make positive changes to problem behaviors, and boost self-esteem. Your therapist will have an unbiased and objective perspective on situations, relationships, and events in your life.  Your counselor will work with you throughout this process and offer new insights into the challenges with which you have been struggling. The benefit you obtain will ultimately depend on how committed you are to work together both in and outside of sessions. At Washington Psychological Wellness, we work to ensure that you meet all of your mental wellness goals. 

How will I know CBT will work for me?

Whether you have been to counseling or therapy before or if this is your first session, it is common for clients to feel nervous about meeting with their therapist for the first time. We recommend you carefully complete and submit your electronic paperwork before your first session. If you are using health insurance, we recommend you verify and understand your health insurance benefits. We encourage you to be detailed and honest. If there are questions that you are unsure about or that make you uncomfortable, it is okay to leave them blank and discuss them with your therapist. We encourage you to arrive 10 minutes early for your session so you can relax in our waiting area. We have coffee and tea for you to enjoy while you wait for your appointment. We recommend you carefully read the “Getting Started with Telehealth” packet that is emailed to you before your initial visit for telehealth services. Our client care coordinator will be happy to assist you should you have any questions or concerns.

What can I expect during my first counseling/therapy session?

Understandably, your first counseling or therapy session may be scarier than the problem causing you to seek it. The first session starts with you and your therapist getting familiar with each other and building a comfortable and trusting space together. Your therapist will explain confidentiality and how most everything discussed in counseling is confidential. You are protected by strict rules that prohibit discussing anything that goes on in session or that you are coming to counseling. There are some very specific exceptions to this rule, which the therapist will discuss in the first session. Your therapist will want to get to know you and what brought you to therapy so you can identify where you are and what are some goals or things you’d like to work on together. Your therapist will gently ask you some open-ended questions and give you some reflections, observations, feedback, and a summary of what you said. You may be encouraged to look at things from a different perspective. The intention is for you to feel heard, understood, and the work in session is done collaboratively with your therapist.

How does CBT differ from other forms of therapy?

There is no specific time frame when working on personal development and growth. The time you will need in counseling/therapy depends on the type of changes you are looking to make and the variety of issues you are attempting to work on.   Some find therapy extremely beneficial and choose to make it a long-term process — part of their overall self-care. Some people start feeling better right away after just a few sessions. The number of sessions depends on your goals, history, type of problem, quality of the client-therapist relationship, and your ability to engage during the session. Most clients schedule weekly appointments and some, if they are in the midst of a crisis, come in two times a week. We recommend committing to weekly meetings for two months to establish a trusting relationship with your therapist, build the rapport that facilitates the change process, and begin to notice shifts in your life.  We will regularly review your goals and treatment to assess the frequency of sessions and progress towards your therapeutic goals.

How frequently will we meet?

Because each person has different issues and goals for Therapy, Therapy is tailored to each client’s specific needs.  At Washington Psychological Wellness, we believe that you are the leading expert in your life, and so we listen attentively to your goals and help you structure a plan to meet them.  You can expect to spend the first session helping your therapist understand why you have come to therapy and what you want to achieve.  Ultimately, you will have some ideas about where you want to go and how you and your therapist will get there together.

Want to learn more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? 


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