Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies Can Help

Anxiety and depression are highly debilitating and commonly co-occurring (or comorbid) disorders in children, adolescents and young adults, especially as they face major transitions and increasing stress in their lives. For youth ages 13-14, for example, lifetime prevalence rates are nearly 10% for major depression or dysthymia (a milder, but long-lasting form of depression) and roughly 30% for anxiety. Tackling these conditions as early as possible with the most effective treatment as possible is essential for mental and physical wellbeing.  

The use of evidence-based, cognitive and behavioral therapies (CBT) in real-world, psychological practice has grown steadily over past several decades, as seen in mental health clinics, community health clinics, private practices, schools and hospitals. This has led to more U.S. children and families receiving high-quality treatments and improved treatment outcomes. 

While no therapeutic treatment is 100% effective, evidence-based treatments (EBTs) in mental health—specifically cognitive and behavioral therapy (CBT)—have a proven track record for addressing anxiety, mood disorders and trauma related to major life events and natural disasters. 

Here’s how CBT can help:

    • Our CBT approach is skills-based, time-limited and goal-focused, with an emphasis on—and clear targets for—cognitive and behavioral change.
    • CBT aims to get results in a shorter period of time than talk therapy alone and, as a result, is often more cost-effective in the long run.
    • CBT is rooted in cognitive and behavioral science and has been shown for decades to be the most effective treatment for emotional and behavioral disorders in children and adults.
    • CBT is pragmatic, targeted and efficient, placing greater emphasis on current symptoms of distress rather than potential underlying causes, which may be elusive or biologically based.

Cognitive strategies can challenge negative assumptions and address intrusive thoughts and worries. 

Behavioral strategies can help counter avoidance, inactivity and hyperarousal.

    • Transdiagnostic approaches in CBT can address co-occurring symptoms of, for example, anxiety, depression and/or trauma—something that happens in more cases than not. 
    • CBT makes use of active “homework” between sessions, with families playing a vital role in modeling behavior and helping ensure learned skills are generalized and not “unlearned.” 
    • CBT has a positive framework, focusing on alleviating common symptoms of distress, thereby reducing stigma and increasing self-confidence.

Cognitive and behavioral science is the study of the brain, human cognition, language, social behavior and culture, including research on the interactions between human societies and their environments.

We specialize in the latest advances in cognitive and behavioral therapies. Some of these include (but are not limited to):

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy 
  • Behavioral activation
  • Behavioral parent training, with parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT)-informed treatments
  • Cognitive behavioral family therapy
  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Dialectical behavior therapy 
  • Executive functioning (EF)/organizational skills training
  • Exposure and response prevention (ERP)
  • Habit reversal therapy (HRT)
  • MATCH-ADTC (modular approach to therapy for children with anxiety, depression, trauma or conduct problems, as co-occurring in youth)
  • Mindfulness
  • Problem-solving skills training
  • Social anxiety training
  • Social skills training