Evidence-Based Cognitive and Behavioral Interventions
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of evidence-based psychotherapy that combines acceptance and mindfulness strategies with commitment and behavior-change approaches to increase psychological flexibility. Rather than removing difficult feelings, ACT focuses on being present and accepting what is out of one’s personal control and committing to action guided by values. The emphasis in ACT is to improve and enrich one’s life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment made up of an interrelated set of treatments which assume that our emotional experience is fundamentally related to our cognitions (thoughts) and our behaviors (actions). Strategies in CBT typically involve setting manageable and realistic goals to engage in healthier forms of behavior, challenging maladaptive thought patterns and beliefs, and practicing coping strategies to deal with intense emotions (e.g. relaxation) when appropriate. In the case of anxiety disorders, CBT treatments for anxiety typically include some component of Exposure Therapy, which focuses on exposure to the feared object or context, without actual danger, in order to overcome one’s anxiety.
Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) are both cognitive and behavioral therapies that are evidence-based treatments specifically for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). CPT focuses on helping you learn how to identify, challenge, and neutralize unhelpful thinking. PE focuses on helping you reconnect with the traumatic event in a safe and supportive environment and engage in avoided trauma related activities that are otherwise safe, in order for you to regain control over your life.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based intervention that focuses on treatment of problems associated with emotion regulation, believing that these problems arise from environmental and biological factors. DBT combines cognitive behavioral emotion regulation and distress tolerance strategies with acceptance and mindfulness practices. The overarching goal of DBT is to “create a life worth living” by balancing acceptance with a push towards change. DBT has been found to be effective for several problem areas including impulsivity, suicidal behaviors, substance abuse, interpersonal conflict and emotion dysregulation.