Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome”- Brene Brown

Your mind won’t turn off.  It’s constantly going, coming up with worst-case scenarios, ruminating.  Can’t slow down.  These thoughts go down the rabbit hole of worries.  Intrusive thoughts.  Self-doubts.  All of this keeps you up at night.  Of course, you’re going to worry about what’s going to happen in the future.

Woman on a swing looking at the sunset. Anxious women can get CBT Therapy Westfield, NJ at Brave Minds Psychological Services in Scotch Plains, NJ

Right now, it may be hard to imagine that anything will ever improve. You’ve tried a few different things. Perhaps you’ve tried taking a deep breath or counting to 10.  Distraction. Oh my have you ever tried distraction! Yet, the thoughts come back. Maybe you’ve tried essential oils, getting a massage or yoga. Maybe even medication. Still…the anxiety and depression is there.

You know it’s time to try something new.  And here you are. Looking at a counseling website.

The Good News: CBT Therapy can help with Anxiety and Depression

At Brave Minds, we believe that you deserve to feel better. Our therapists understand that it can be difficult to convince yourself to even try therapy. However, we are confident that through counseling, you can calm your spiraling thoughts and find relief.  In other words, you can feel better.

We want to truly help you feel better and that is why our therapists often use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in counseling sessions as part of anxiety treatment. CBT was one of the first counseling methods that were researched intently and started the “evidence-based practice” movement. In other words, CBT was one of the first things that we have evidence to show it really helps people!

Who Benefits From Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

The truth is that most people would probably benefit from CBT therapy. Because, it helps you really look carefully at your own thinking patterns.  All of us have anxious thoughts at times.  However, CBT helps you take back control over your own thoughts and emotions when those anxious thoughts are starting to impact your happiness, work, school or relationships.

Some of the common reasons people begin CBT Therapy include:

  • Anxiety &/or panic attacks
  • Health anxiety for self or loved ones
  • Difficulty Sleeping: Insomnia, excessive sleeping, waking up frequently & other sleep issues
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Food anxiety or an unhealthy relationship with food
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Generally feeling stuck and frustrated with life
  • Fear
  • Social anxiety or social phobia

Maybe you just feel like you’ve lost control over your life recently.  Or your afraid that you will lose control.  Perhaps you’re just burnt out.  If your day-to-day life is impacted by any of this, it’s time to seek professional help from a therapist.  We’re here to help.

Common reactions to anxiety and depression

Everyone responds to stress, anxiety, and depression a little bit differently. However, our therapists have found that people’s responses often fall into one or more of these categories. While not specific to anxiety only, we often see these themes in our practice:

Avoidance

Woman with head down on a stack of papers on her desk, holding a sign up that says "help" due to anxiety. CBT therapy in Scotch Plains, NJ and online therapy in New Jersey can help alleviate anxiety symptoms in Fanwood, Cranford and Westfield, NJ.Nobody likes to feel anxious or depressed. Therefore, it’s natural to avoid the things that cause you to feel anxious. Unfortunately, avoidance generally makes anxiety worse.  For example, one night Joe feels anxious about driving in the dark and Joe responds by deciding to just stay home.  Now, Joe’s anxiety will probably go down big time.  Joe’s brain takes note of that.  It seems that “Oh if I just don’t do that thing I was nervous about, I feel better.”  So, the next time, Joe feels anxious about driving at night again and his brain immediately reminds him, “You’ll feel better if you just stay home.”  Joe tries to fight it, but his brain already knows this avoiding thing will make him feel better. Therefore, his brain fights back harder by giving him even MORE anxious thoughts. And so the cycle continues where each time he think about driving he feels more anxious.

Avoidance due to anxiety can look very different depending on the situation. It may like simply not attending to tasks, not returning texts/emails; canceling plans or missing days from school/work. Perhaps you are falling behind and cannot catch up or you are frozen by fear. If the anxiety is about something specific, you could be avoiding going to certain places or being with certain people.

Physical

Anxiety can also present in a physical way.  For instance, feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, upset stomach, headaches, muscle pains, clenched jaw, racing heart, fatigue, loss of sleep/appetite, dizziness, and intense panic attacks can all be signs of anxiety.  

Sometimes, a person may not even realize they are dealing with anxiety. Maybe it starts out as you’ve been complaining about a lot of headaches or had difficulty sleeping. Perhaps you’ve noticed that you frequently have stomach aches and the doctors just haven’t been able to find anything wrong.  Now, a friend or family member has suggested it might be anxiety. So, here you are considering therapy.  But you still aren’t sure whether or not anxiety is the issue.  That’s ok. Through working with a therapist, you can take a closer look at these physical symptoms and get a better feel for what’s going on.

Characteristics

For some reason, many people assume someone who is anxious will be the person who never leaves their house or sits in a corner unable to get anything done.  That could be true.  However, it’s also true that many very anxious people are also high achievers, sensitive, intelligent, cautious, planners, “thinkers”,  emphatic, desire to succeed, may have procrastinating tendencies OR workaholic tendencies.  

Perhaps you fall into this category. On the outside, it looks like you have everything. You know that.  And you feel like you should be happy and grateful.  However, what nobody knows is how much you second guess yourself.  People don’t see how stressed out you get the night before you have to talk in front of people, how you practice what you’ll say at least a thousand times before your say it or just how emotionally draining things are for you.  You hide it so well that all most people see is your success.  If you could only find a way to still do the things that matter most to you but to feel less anxious and more confident you know life would be easier.  In fact, lately, you’ve been thinking that things simply cannot continue the way you’ve been going.  You have to find some sort of relief.

Beginning CBT Therapy in Scotch Plains, NJ

At Brave Minds, we take a whole-person approach to depression and anxiety treatment. Your therapist will meet with you and complete an assessment where we ask a million questions about your past and current experiences with stress, anxiety, and lifestyle. This is how your therapist gets to know you and come up with a plan to help you.

Then, together with your therapist, you’ll start setting specific treatment (i.e. decreasing avoidance, learning coping techniques for panic attacks, decreasing self-doubt, etc) to meet your needs. It’s possible we’ll even explore Mindfulness-Based CBT Therapy, if appropriate. We’ll talk about a specific plan to help you achieve the goals you’ve set.

What to expect during CBT Therapy sessions

CBT involves exploring the connections between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Your therapist will teach you about thought patterns. Then, you’ll learn specific skills to help you challenge your negative or anxious thoughts. The truth is, sometimes CBT therapy is hard work.  You’ve spent years listening to your depressed and anxious thoughts. And now, you and your therapist will put those thoughts under a microscope in counseling sessions.  However, our therapists help people through this every day and will provide you the support and guidance you need.  

As you move through therapy, you’ll start to have a new perspective on things.  You’ll learn new ways to look at old thoughts.  You’ll be given very specific homework assignments to practice these new skills so you can manage your daily stress.  And through your CBT work, you’ll begin to feel relief and have more and more success in managing your anxiety.  Our therapists enjoy CBT because it’s solution-focused and practical. Furthermore, you’ll be able to use the skills you learn throughout a lifetime.

We now offer effective, private and secure CBT with Online Therapy in New Jersey.  You can now see an online CBT specialist from the comfort of your home.

Woman using a tablet with her therapist on the other side. Online therapy in New Jersey can help alleviate anxiety symptoms with CBT Therapy in Scotch Plains, NJ at Brave Minds Psychological Services

Life after CBT Therapy near Westfield, Cranford, Fanwood, and Scotch Plains, NJ

After attending CBT counseling sessions, you’ll feel heard and understood.  You’ll feel relieved to know that you finally have a solution to your anxiety and depression.  Using your new skills, you’ll be empowered to live life to the fullest with less self-doubt.  It is then time to face the rest of your life with this newfound confidence.

CBT is solution-focused and practical. The tools learned in therapy can last a lifetime. Let us help you change your life today.

Start Depression and Anxiety Treatment with CBT Therapy in Scotch Plains, NJ

At Brave Minds Psychological Services, we can help you manage the worst symptoms of anxiety and depression through CBT. In fact, we can come into your home, on your time with online therapy in New Jersey! Our compassionate therapists at our offices in Scotch Plains are waiting to give you the best anxiety treatment available. To begin counseling, there are a few simple steps:

  1. Connect with Brave Minds Psychological Services for a free phone consultation.
  2. Get your questions answered by our compassionate therapists.
  3. Feel more confident and calm with CBT today!

Other Counseling Services at Brave Minds Psychological Services

At Brave Minds Psychological Services, we offer a variety of services from our licensed therapists in order to get you on the right path to healing. In fact, we can meet you in the comfort of your home, for online therapy in New Jersey. Our therapeutic services include therapy for childrenanxiety treatment for childrenchild sexual abuse therapytherapy for teensanxiety treatment for teensteen social phobia therapyadult anxiety counselingcouples counselingcounseling for parentstherapy for birth trauma, postpartum depression therapy, sexual assault counseling for adults, and food allergy therapy. We also have a blog where we write about a variety of different mental health subjects, including parenting tips for new mothers. To learn more about our services here at Brave Minds Psychological Services, please contact our Scotch Plains counseling office!