Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one form of psychotherapy that has proven effective in structuring a therapeutic path toward resolving stress, managing trauma, and changing patterns of conduct. As a CBT practitioner, Dr. Jaymie Albin knows how effective this method can be, as a singular therapy or in combination with other techniques, in the treatment of countless mental health ailments as well as those looking to adopt a more mindful and positive lifestyle. Dr. Albin offers some tips on optimizing your CBT experience.

Do your research

Once you have made the decision to try CBT, or a doctor has suggested it as a good course of action for you, ask around for references and referrals. Talk to friends and family about your needs. Call your health insurance to see if they have any therapists available; some employers offer these types of services for employees. You will want to look in to a therapists area of expertise, licensing, availability, and pricing to find the best match for you. 

Come Prepared

Before your first CBT session, Dr. Albin advises that you make a list (mental or physical) of the issues you want to resolve in therapy. This type of starting point helps to focus the conversation and guide the therapist toward helping you achieve your goals. CBT involves a lot of talking and self-reflection. Come ready to share and verbalize your feelings. The therapist will likely ask a lot of initial questions; it can take a few sessions to establish a comfortable rapport and feel like you are making progress. 

Practice Makes Progress

CBT applies a goal-oriented strategy and, like any other goal, you will need to do the work to see results. Your therapist will likely give you some work to do at home—exercises, reading or mental practices—that further the work you are doing together. The benefits of CBT can’t be achieved if you only rehearse them once a week. Doing the necessary work will keep you motivated and prevent you from skipping sessions or receding.

Speak Your Truth 

If after you have given CBT your best, you still feel like you aren’t seeing the results you want, bring it up with your therapist. You and your therapist can adjust the game-plan and incorporate different therapeutic measures that might heighten or hasten your progress. 

CBT is a groundbreaking and worthwhile tool in the pursuit of mental health and stability. Dr. Albin recommends it for anyone trying to overcome a trauma, combat an eating disorder, or manage stress levels. Doing CBT with the right trained and skilled professional, she says, will give you lifelong resources and capabilities that are well worth the effort.