Preparing for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): 3 Steps to Take

Your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are all connected at a deep level. Types of psychotherapy counseling like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can support you in transforming your mental health, helping you deal with problems like depression, anxiety, and stress.

At Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates, LLC, of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, our team of mental health providers uses a full range of techniques to help you heal. Under the leadership of Dr. Ronald P. Winfield, we often recommend CBT treatment for our patients, sometimes as part of a larger overall treatment plan.

What can you expect from CBT treatment, and what should you do to prepare? Here are the answers you need to keep you confident as you seek the mental health support and healing you need to embrace your full quality of life.

1. Thank yourself for starting treatment

Starting CBT is an act of courage and self-care. Your provider at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates may recommend this form of treatment if you struggle with mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, or phobias.

CBT and other forms of talk therapy are all about helping you better understand and direct your thoughts and behaviors. You might be able to identify connections, cycles, or past experiences of trauma that illuminate questions you’ve always had about why you act, think, or feel the way you so often do.

Once you understand these connections, you can start making choices and changes to improve your mental health, and take your life in the direction you truly want to go.

2. Talk to your therapist about the structure of your therapy

CBT is a structured form of treatment. Over the course of a predefined number of sessions, you work through steps to learn more about your thoughts and assumptions, and how they affect your daily life.

You may be able to identify false concepts or blocks that hold you back. Or, your therapist may work with you to gain comfort and resilience around triggers that set you off or stress you out. Your treatment plan is unique to you, but uses structured concepts to guide your therapy.

3. Prepare for effective, gentle self-care

The process of undergoing CBT can be emotionally intense, and even, at times, uncomfortable. You’ll be looking at difficult topics, and may explore painful memories or frustrating situations with the help and support of your therapist.

When you’re getting ready to start CBT, give yourself lots of kudos for your efforts so far, and prepare to care for yourself fully as you process, learn, and heal. Intense CBT sessions can leave you feeling emotionally and physically drained. You may want to set up self-care strategies before your first appointment, or let a loved one know that you’ll be beginning therapy.

To learn more about all the ways CBT could help you, and to find out more about what you should do to get ready for treatment, contact Dr. Winfield and the team at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates today. Schedule your initial consultation appointment online or over the phone now.

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