Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBTCognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment. CBT’s aim is to change the maladaptive patterns of thinking and behavior that lie behind a person’s difficulties. It is used to treat a wide range of issues in a person’s life, from anxiety and depression to sleeping difficulties or relationship problems.

Cognitive behavioral therapy contains elements of both psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. Psychotherapy emphasizes the importance of the personal meaning we place on events and relationships. Behavioral therapy pays close attention to the relationship between one’s problems, behavior and our thoughts. CBT focuses on both.

Based on the concept that it is not events themselves that upset us, but the meanings we ourselves give them, CBT addresses the thinking patterns we use to assign meanings to events. Clearly, negative things can and do happen, but when we are in a disturbed state of mind, we base our predictions and interpretations on a biased view of the situation, making the difficulty that we face seem much worse. CBT helps people to correct these misinterpretations.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy differs from many other types of psychotherapies because sessions have a structure. Typically, at the beginning of a session, the client and therapist jointly decide on the main topics they want to work on this week. They will allow time for discussing the conclusions from the previous session; they will look at the progress made with the homework the client set for him- or herself last time; and the end of the session, they will plan another assignment to do outside the sessions.

Working on homework assignments between sessions, in this way, is a vital part of the process. What this may involve will vary. For example, at the start of the therapy, the therapist might ask the client to keep a diary of any incidents that provoke feelings of anxiety or depression, so that they can examine thoughts surrounding the incident. Later on in the therapy, another assignment might consist of exercises to cope with problem situations of a particular kind.


Mindfulness is the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment.   Mindfulness is an attribute of consciousness long believed to promote well-being.

Clinical Psychology has developed therapeutic applications based on mindfulness for helping people who are experiencing distress. Research shows its usefulness in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and in the prevention of relapse in depression and drug addiction.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy uses traditional CBT methods and adds additional psychological strategies such as mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. The goal of MBCT is to teach the clients to focus less on reacting to incoming stimuli, and instead observe and accept them without judgment.

Brief Psychodynamic Therapy

mind-head-leftPsychodynamic therapy, insight-oriented therapy, focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior. Its aim is to produce insight, self-awareness and an understanding of the influence of the significance of formative relationships on an individual’s present behavior.

Practitioners of brief psychodynamic therapy believe that change can happen through a more rapid process or that an initial short intervention will start an ongoing process of change, one that does not need the constant involvement of the therapist. Brief therapy is more focused and less exploratory than tradition psychodynamic treatment. In brief therapy the client and therapist collaborate in deciding what the most important issues are thus creating goals and a structure for the treatment. Once a goal is set, the therapist is active in keeping the session focused on the main issue, making it possible to do productive work in a relatively short time.

Family System Therapy

Family therapy is useful in dealing with relationship problems within the family and can, in combination with more specific types of therapies, be useful in treating eating disorders, ADHD, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse/ alcohol use problems. It can be both a primary, and an adjunctive treatment.

Family Therapy has been used to successfully treat many different types of families in many different situations, including those in which:

The parents have conflict within their relationship
A child has behavior or school problems
Children or teens have problems getting along with each other
One family member has a long-term (chronic) mental illness such as severe depression
One family member has a substance abuse or an alcohol use problem

A Family Therapist:

Teaches family members about how families function in general and, in particular, how their own functions.
Helps the family focus less on the member who has been identified as ill and focus more on the family as a whole.
Helps to identify conflicts and anxieties and helps the family develop strategies to resolve them.
Strengthens all family’s members so they can work on their problems together.
Teaches ways to handle conflicts and changes within the family differently.

Family therapy is a very active type of therapy, and family members are often given assignments. The number of sessions required varies, depending on the severity of the problems and the willingness of the members to participate in therapy. The family and the therapist set mutual goals and discuss the length of time expected to achieve the goals. Not all members of the family attend each session. During therapy sessions, the family’s strengths are used to help them handle their problems.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is a form of counseling or psychotherapy used with children. Using play as means to communicate with and young persons it aim is to to prevent or resolve psychosocial challenges, and to a child towards better social integration, growth and development, emotional modulation, and trauma resolution.

Play therapy can also be used to explore. A play therapist observes a client playing with toys (play-houses, pets, dolls, etc.) to determine the cause of the disturbed behavior. The objects and patterns of play, as well as the willingness to interact with the therapist, can be used to understand the underlying rationale for behavior both inside and outside of therapy session.

Play therapy can also be more focused; one can use games and toys to re-enact, and resolve conflict and trauma. Through the language of symbolic play, desensitization takes place, as an integral part of the therapeutic experience.