Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Scientific research shows that when cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and pharmacological treatments are applied, anxiety disorders are amongst the most treatable mental health problems. AOTC has over 26 years of experience providing these well-researched cognitive behavioral treatments to children, adolescents, and adults.

Our treatment philosophy involves customizing therapy for each individual client, utilizing the most current empirically-supported approaches and techniques available. When indicated, treatment may include spouses, family members, and other loved ones in addition to individual sessions. We work in close collaboration with medical professionals when medication is a component of treatment. In situations where anxiety has impaired a child or adolescent's academic functioning, advocacy meetings and consultations involving school personnel and teachers may also be included as an essential component of treatment.

What is CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy consists of a group of treatments that scientific research has shown best helps children, adolescents, and adults learn how to overcome their problems. It uses scientific research to develop the most effective methods of decreasing unhelpful thought patterns and unhelpful behavior patterns.

How does CBT work?

Cognitive behavioral therapists assume that we all learn in the same basic manner, such as trying to avoid unpleasant or painful situations or trying to do things that are immediately pleasant or reinforcing. Research indicates that those who suffer from anxiety or other disorders are experiencing symptoms that have resulted from a complex set of genetic risk factors, learning experiences, and critical events that have led to their disorder.

Your CBT journey

Cognitive behavioral therapists serve as a coach, whose ultimate goal is to make you an expert at managing and overcoming your anxiety. They help you to identify the thought patterns, mistaken beliefs, and unhelpful behavior patterns that maintain your disorder.

Practice makes perfect

Practicing new and important thinking and behavior skills is key to successful therapy outcomes. This means clients will set goals and complete related homework assignments in between sessions to practice training their mind and body to respond differently to fear and anxiety cues. Cognitive behavioral therapists also know that it takes time and practice to become skilled at managing fear. This means that you will inevitably make mistakes. This, too, is part of the necessary learning process.