Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Los Angeles


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in Los Angeles is a common treatment method within psychotherapy, known also as talk therapy. Initiated and structured by a psychotherapist, CBT is a method of treatment helps the patient become aware of their negative patterns of thought.

CBT helps the therapist assist the client in navigating their problems in a more effective way. If you or a loved one is in need of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Montare Behavior Health are eager to hear from you to help you in your time of need.

What Conditions Are Treated With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is usually used in conjunction with other therapies. It is designed to help mental disorders, such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and trauma.

In addition to helping treat mental health disorders, CBT helps with the stresses of life situations such as the death of a loved one or marital problems. There are times when CBT is used in conjunction with medication therapy.

Psychotherapy is an extremely successful treatment when it comes to identifying personal challenges. This therapeutic approach allows the therapist to guide the patient through sessions in a specific, directed way.

Cognitive behavioral therapy in Los Angeles can help address these challenges:

  • To help control any symptoms of mental illness
  • To help prevent a relapse of mental illness symptoms
  • To enable the patient learn techniques to cope with certain situations
  • To teach the patient control their emotions and feelings
  • To empower the client learn how to communicate in order to avoid identifiable problems
  • To learn how to control physical symptoms
  • To help the patient overcome a traumatic situation
  • To allow the patient to cope with the loss of a loved as they undergo the grieving process
  • To help cope with the diagnosis of a medical condition

Cognitive behavioral therapy in Los Angeles is a proven method of choice for many psychotherapists and other mental health professionals. Here are some disorders that CBT has proven helpful in treating:

If you or a loved one is suffering from bipolar disorder, contact us at Montare Behavioral Health.

What Are the Risks of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

The risks for CBT are far and few between. However, certain strong emotions can make the patient uncomfortable at times. Through CBT sessions, the therapist can guide the patient through the exploration of trauma and other painful feelings.

However, this exploration can make one feel physically drained. Patients may go through a gamut of emotions and feelings during intense sessions. In addition, CBT requires that patients explore memories and situations they would rather avoid, like the facing of fears. This can cause added stress or anxiety during the session. Still, an effective therapist offers the coping skills needed to help them manage their stress and discomfort.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

One  form of CBT is dialectical behavior therapy, otherwise known as DBT. Developed in the 1980s by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan, DBT aims to improve how people interact with others and empower them to express their emotions positively.

Dialectical behavioral therapy is a method focusing on changing unhealthy behaviors, teaching coping skills, and improving social interactions. In philosophy, the theory of dialectics means “balancing opposites.” By bringing together two opposite ideas (change and acceptance) in therapy, DBT counselors hope to improve a patient’s reactions to all kinds of situations.

Three beliefs guide the approach of dialectical behavioral therapy: that opposites can be brought together to achieve greater results, that change is constant and inevitable, and that everything in life is interconnected. Although change and acceptance might seem like opposite ideas, practitioners of DBT believe these two can produce positive results when brought together.

Four Stages of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

DBT teaches people to change their behaviors through four modules or stages:

Stage 1: Interpersonal Effectiveness. Interpersonal effectiveness refers to how well you interact in relationships, both professional and personal. Through interpersonal effectiveness, you learn how to be more assertive, listen, and communicate better, and handle conflict while still keeping healthy and positive relationships. Some skills learned through this strategy include saying “no” and standing up for yourself, as well as dealing with difficult people.

Stage 2: Distress Tolerance. Distress tolerance is an important skill to learn in DBT. People with borderline personality disorder and depression can find it difficult to tolerate intense emotional situations like death, career changes, divorce, and loss. When you learn distress tolerance, you can cope with long-term distressing situations through self-soothing and distraction.

Stage 3: Emotion Regulation. Emotion regulation makes up a large part of DBT. Learning how to properly control your feelings will help you improve your relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. Emotion regulation teaches you how to identify and cope with your negative emotions and pinpoint obstacles that keep you from changing your emotions.

Stage 4: Mindfulness. Mindfulness teaches us to be at peace with ourselves, accept reality as it is, and embrace change. People who are mindful are more aware of themselves in the present moment. Mindfulness in DBT teaches “what” and “how” skills. The what skills (observe, participate, describe) are what you do to practice mindfulness, and the how skills (mindfully, effectively, and without judgment) are how one practices mindfulness.

By learning these four strategies, DBT patients can learn how to be better people and have better relationships, which will improve self-esteem and behaviors.

What Does Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Treat?

DBT is especially helpful in treating borderline personality disorder, which makes it difficult for people to regulate emotions. Those with borderline personality disorder also react intensely to different situations, and DBT can help with this as well. DBT can also treat people who frequently experience suicidal thoughts. Dialectical behavioral therapy is best for people with high-risk conditions and behaviors.

DBT patients are prone to self-harm, financial problems, risky sex, and legal problems. People with troubled thinking, relationships, self-image, and moods are all good candidates for this mode of mental health treatment. In addition to borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavioral therapy is also effective in treating the following conditions:

People recovering from mental illness can benefit greatly from Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Since DBT teaches coping mechanisms and lets you live your life as efficiently as possible, it can also help people with mental health issues lead more productive lives. It does this by emphasizing acceptance and change, which can often be difficult for those with mental health disorders to comprehend.

Mental illness is often fueled by destructive behavior. In addition, those suffering from mental health issues tend to experience low self-esteem as well as mental and emotional instability. This leads to poor relationships and trouble dealing with conflict. Through the emotion regulation and mindfulness taught via DBT, people can learn how to handle the triggers that can lead to relapse, as well as control cravings and urges.

Benefits of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Patients who complete DBT notice improvements in their moods, social interactions, and everyday behaviors. People experience fewer hospitalizations, less anger, and less severe suicidal behaviors. Relationships are also known to dramatically improve. DBT also helps patients to accept reality, makes them realize that change is inevitable, and helps them to be less judgmental. Therefore, it forces people to move forward with their lives despite any negative events that might be happening.

Benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy in Los Angeles

Finding a Therapist or Qualified Treatment Facility for CBT

When finding a therapist to provide cognitive behavioral therapy in Los Angeles, it is a good idea to get a recommendation from your primary care physician, a trusted friend, or your insurance company. in addition, many employers offer referral services for psychotherapy or counseling.

A psychotherapist is a term that is used for a wide range of mental health professions, including:

  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Social workers
  • Licensed marriage and family counselors
  • Licensed counselor
  • Psychiatric nurses
  • Other licensed mental health professionals

Keep this broad list in mind when considering a mental health professional. Before scheduling an appointment with any psychotherapist, look into their credentials and educational background. Psychologists are medical doctors who specialize in mental health. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in mental health that also have the ability to prescribe medications.

Most psychotherapists have either masters or doctoral degrees, but all therapists specialize in mental health counseling. When considering a therapist, make sure they are licensed with the state. Ask about their area of expertise to see whether they coincide with the symptoms you are experiencing.

What to Expect During Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Los Angeles

Cognitive behavioral therapy can include individual therapy, therapy in groups with those experiencing similar mental health symptoms, and family therapy. In dealing with your mental health symptoms, the psychotherapist can impart methods of stress management, coping, and relaxation techniques.

In the first couple of sessions, the therapist will gather information about the patient and their specific needs. During these sessions, the therapist may also be interested in present and past medical and mental health history. In addition, the therapist will assess whether medication is needed.

Some questions you may ask your therapist during your first session may include:

  • What type of treatment approach do you do during sessions?
  • What type or types of therapy is right for me?
  • How long is each session?
  • How long will therapy be needed?
  • What are your credentials?
  • Will there be any out-of-pocket fees?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • Is your licensing and schooling up to date?

During your a typical session, the therapist will gently guide the patient toward talking about their feelings. Even if you are uncomfortable opening up, your therapist should help you achieve confidence to do so. In addition, CBT sessions can include activities, role-playing, and doing some kind of

What are the Steps of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

There are certain steps in cognitive behavioral therapy. These steps help the therapist guide the patient in getting better. Here are some of the steps used by psychotherapists:

  • To identify situations and conditions that are troubling in the patient’s life. The therapist and patient take time to collaborate on the goals needed to be focused on. These discussions and goals may include issues of medical conditions, loss of a loved one, or even divorce or separation.
  • To become aware of the client’s emotions and thoughts and establish which problems to work on. This includes the therapist observing the patient, as well as self-observation by the patient. Journaling is sometimes recommended by the therapist.
  • The therapist will observe the patient for negative thinking and behavior. The therapist will also observe the client’s behavior and responses during different situations.
  • The therapist attempts to reform the patient’s negative thinking and behavior. However, this step can be long and frustrating. Changing anyone’s thinking can be a difficult process. Still, with changing behavior patterns, it can become easier with each session.

Cognitive behavioral therapy in Los Angeles can range from only a few sessions to more than two dozen. However, the length of cognitive behavioral therapy depends on many factors. These include:

  • The type of mental disorder or situation
  • The severity of the condition
  • How long the patient has been dealing with symptoms
  • The stress the patient is experiencing
  • Whether the patient has a support system

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Montare Behavioral Health

If you or a loved one is struggling with a mental disorder or going through a hard time or situation in life, it may be time to engage in cognitive behavioral therapy in Los Angeles. Contact us today to begin your journey to a more fulfilling life.