Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that has proven to be very effective for people who suffer from mild to moderate depression. In cases of severe depression, it can also be helpful when combined with medication therapy.
What is CBT?
CBT is a course of therapy that focuses on identifying negative thinking and replacing those thoughts with a healthier way of seeing things.
Cognitive therapy begins with an awareness that you are having negative or harmful thoughts. This could be feelings of worthlessness or a tendency to blame yourself and obsess on bad things that have happened to you. Once these thoughts are identified, they are exchanged for more positive ones, leading to a positive change in attitude and behavior.
With practice, these positive actions can lead to healthier ways of thinking and ease of depression symptoms. In some cases, it can help the patient avoid medication or other, harsher forms of therapy.
CBT can help you in many ways:
Helps to manage the symptoms of depression
Prevents relapse of major depressive disorders
Provides support for medication therapy
Gives you the tools to manage stressful and emotional situations
Improves relationships through better communication
Provides coping techniques for grief
Helps overcome psychological effects of trauma and abuse
Better management of chronic physical and mental symptoms
Does CBT really work?
Based on research conducted over the past three decades, CBT is considered the current gold standard in psychotherapy. This means that it is the best and most effective therapy currently available. Though there are many other potential avenues to explore in terms of treatment for depression, no other single type of psychotherapy has proven to be superior, especially for depression with co-occurring conditions like substance abuse or chronic pain.
Since CBT is a non-medication therapy, there are no side-effects to worry about. However, you may have to confront thoughts, situations, and experiences that you would prefer to avoid. This, in itself, can be emotionally taxing, but your therapist will work with you to minimize any risk.
Statistically, CBT is effective for depression treatment in 50 to 75 percent of cases. Medication alone carries a similar success rate, but there are inherent risks with taking these drugs over the long-term, not the least of which is a high potential for relapse if the drugs are discontinued.
CBT has the lowest relapse rate over all other psychological solutions such as treatments for anxiety and depression treatment. This makes it a more sustainable approach, especially when combined with other forms of therapy.
Empirical support for CBT
Much research has been conducted to prove the case for CBT in depression treatment. As a stand-alone therapy, it has helped many people overcome mild to moderate depression without medication.
When combined with medication and other interventions, CBT improves clinical outcomes for severe depression. It also improves the outlook for recovery from co-occurring conditions like chronic pain, substance abuse disorders, trauma, and PTSD.
No two patients are alike
Roots to Recovery uses CBT in conjunction with individualized treatment plans. We work closely with each of our patients to ensure they are receiving care that is tailored to their unique circumstances. Our ultimate goal is to help you heal and find your way back to a healthy, happy, and productive life.
From bike trails and yoga on the bluff to farmers markets and kayaking, Long Beach offers a uniquely diverse community where people can thrive while enjoying life to the fullest!
Roots Through Recovery, located in Long Beach, California, offers treatment for those coping with addiction and mental health issues. We embrace the culture of wellness that is at the heart of this city, and create a place for healing the mind, body and spirit.
See for yourself why Long Beach is the ideal place to start or continue your journey of recovery.
Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors National Recovery Month in an effort to increase awareness and understanding of substance use and mental health disorders, and to honor and celebrate the people who recover. The theme for 2017 is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities”.One of the most prevalent issues individuals and families face in their journey of recovery is trauma, or the way in which they perceive and experience major life events. As we’ve written in the past, trauma is completely subjective and, if untreated, can lead to the use of behaviors and substances to escape the effects of trauma.
This year, Roots Through Recovery is honored to celebrate Recovery Month with a special speaking event with Deborah Sweet, Psy.D.: “The Nuances of Trauma Treatment: What to use, how and when”. Treating trauma is it’s own specialized area of psychotherapy. Specific tools and modalities are needed to help people recover from the effects of trauma. Trauma is held in the subcortical region of the brain therefore traditional therapy, though wonderful, will not move traumatic incidents the way that EMDR, Brainspotting, Somatic or Havening therapies do. In this talk, Dr. Sweet will provide information on types of treatment and when and how to use them.
Title: “Nuances in Trauma Treatment: What to use, how and when” Date: Wednesday, September 27th Time: 11:00am to 1:00pm Location: 3939 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 102, Long Beach, CA 90807
Deborah Sweet, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist, trauma expert and Founder of the Trauma Counseling Center of Los Angeles. Treatment at TCCLA focuses on helping people recover from the overwhelming effects of trauma using modalities that are specifically designed to help people recover from trauma. These cutting-edge modalities include the Somatic therapies of Somatic Experiencing, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and the Trauma Resiliency Model; EMDR, Brainspotting and the Havening Technique. At the Trauma Counseling Center of Los Angeles, the team helps individuals clear traumas by engaging the subcortical regions of the brain to restore resiliency to the nervous system, enable clearer thinking and an ability to enjoy life more fully.
Lunch will be provided, thanks to our event sponsor WEconnect Recovery. The event is completely FREE, but you must RSVP, and seats are limited.
This is an officially-registered SAMHSA Recovery Month event. Find more Recovery Month events here.
EMDR has received some notable attention recently thanks to its effectiveness in treating trauma. There is a lot of information available online and in academic literature of the therapy, so we put together this article as an overview of EMDR to help you understand what it is and how it works.
So what exactly is EMDR and how does it work?
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and it involves 8 phases including the use of eye movement, or bilateral stimulation, which appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. As we wrote about in past blogs, when a person experiences a traumatic event, their brain goes into defense mode and changes its function.
One of these functions includes the hippocampus, which usually works to store memories in a neat filing system that allows us to easily and accurately recall these memories. When faced with a threat, the hippocampus takes on the role of pumping cortisol throughout the body so that we don’t feel pain, and puts the memory storage on the back burner. So it’s no wonder it’s incredibly difficult to recall a traumatic event, or we recall it inaccurately by filling in the blanks later on.
EMDR allows us to go deep into the brain and file these memories with the appropriate meanings and emotions attached to them. According to the EMDR International Association, the goal of EMDR is to:
“Process completely the experiences that are causing problems, and to include new ones that are needed for full health… That means that what is useful to you from an experience will be learned, and stored with appropriate emotions in your brain, and be able to guide you in positive ways in the future. The inappropriate emotions, beliefs, and body sensations will be discarded… The goal of EMDR therapy is to leave you with the emotions, understanding, and perspectives that will lead to healthy and useful behaviors and interactions.”
One of the leading experts on developmental trauma and author of The Body Keeps the Score, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk recalls the experience he had using EMDR on a patient when he realized the power of the therapy. Watch below:
What are the 8 phases of EMDR?
Phase 1: The first phase is a history-taking session(s). The therapist assesses the client’s readiness and develops a treatment plan. Client and therapist identify possible targets for EMDR processing.
Phase 2: During the second phase of treatment, the therapist ensures that the client has several different ways of handling emotional distress. The therapist may teach the client a variety of imagery and stress reduction techniques the client can use during and between sessions. A goal of EMDR therapy is to produce rapid and effective change while the client maintains equilibrium during and between sessions.
Phases 3-6: In phases three to six, a target is identified and processed using EMDR therapy procedures. These involve the client identifying three things:
1. The vivid visual image related to the memory
2. A negative belief about self
3. Related emotions and body sensations.
In addition, the client identifies a positive belief. The therapist helps the client rate the positive belief as well as the intensity of the negative emotions. After this, the client is instructed to focus on the image, negative thought, and body sensations while simultaneously engaging in EMDR processing using sets of bilateral stimulation. These sets may include eye movements, taps, or tones.
Phase 7: In phase seven, closure, the therapist asks the client to keep a log during the week. The log should document any related material that may arise. It serves to remind the client of the self-calming activities that were mastered in phase two.
Phase 8: The next session begins with phase eight. Phase eight consists of examining the progress made thus far. The EMDR treatment processes all related historical events, current incidents that elicit distress, and future events that will require different responses.
Does it actually work?
At least 20 positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR therapy. According to the EMDR Institute, which hosts a comprehensive list of EMDR-related research, some of the studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions. Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six, 50-minute sessions.
EMDR International Association reports on the same topic, “Clients often report improvement in other associated symptoms such as anxiety. The current treatment guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies designate EMDR as an effective treatment for post traumatic stress. EMDR was also found effective by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, the United Kingdom Department of Health, the Israeli National Council for Mental Health, and many other international health and governmental agencies. Research has also shown that EMDR can be an efficient and rapid treatment” (www.emdria.org).
Who does EMDR?
Only Masters-level or Doctoral-level professionals–therapists, nurses and doctors–who have gone through approved EMDR training can provide EMDR to people. Roots Through Recovery is proud to have two clinicians on our team that are trained and certified to provide EMDR. Clients who have undergone EMDR therapy for trauma have seen great improvement in their management of traumatic experiences, and how that plays a role in their addictions and mental health.
Roots Through Recovery opened its doors in January 2017 and in the last four months, the program has grown to include daytime partial hospitalization and morning intensive outpatient to meet the various needs of our clients. There has been a lot of interest in recent weeks for an evening intensive outpatient program for the working professionals in Long Beach and the South Bay.
In response to this growing need, Roots Through Recovery is excited to announce the start of its evening IOP program beginning the week of May 15th!
CALL NOW (562) 473-0827
Much like our daytime programs, the evening IOP program will focus on addressing underlying trauma and mental health needs of community members who are coping with alcohol or drug addiction. Our compassionate and highly trained therapists provide trauma-informed care in small groups and individual therapy.