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What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that combines analysis of thought process (cognitive) with behavior. The ultimate goal of CBT is to change negative patterns of thinking or behavior to allow for more positive emotions.

CBT helps to make sense of unbearable problems by breaking them down into smaller, easier-to-handle parts. These problems are broken down into five primary areas:

  1. Thoughts
  2. Emotions
  3. Feelings, including physical
  4. Situations
  5. Actions or behaviors

CBT sessions acknowledge that all five areas are all connected and affect one another. For example, your thoughts about a given situation can affect you emotionally and physically, which then leads to how you respond in your action or behavior.

Core Principles of CBT

CBT deals with what is going on in a person’s current life. The problems a person is having is believed to be based on the following:

  1. Negative thoughts
  2. Learned patterns of harmful behavior

CBT teaches a person better ways of coping with unfavorable thoughts which will lead to a happier and more productive life.

How CBT Changes Thinking Patterns

Thinking patterns are the core of what cognitive behavioral therapy is, and changing them involves strategies, including:

  • Recognizing the negative thinking that is creating the problem
  • Developing a greater sense of confidence
  • Understanding other people’s behavior and motivation
  • Learning problem-solving skills to deal with difficult situations

How CBT Changes Behavior Patterns

  • Facing fears instead of avoiding them
  • Learning how to calm the mind and relax the body
  • Role-playing to prepare for potential problematic interactions with others

Treatment Benefits of CBT

The goals of cognitive behavioral therapy include helping those suffering from mental health ailments, some of which include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Panic attacks
  • Phobias
  • Sleep disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Depression
  • PTSD

Steps Involved in a CBT Session

What cognitive behavioral therapy is involves a few typical steps.

  • Identify the negative situation or condition which could include:
  • Evaluate thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that occur from the negative situation
    • Finding out it is not the event or situation that is upsetting us, but rather the meaning we give them.
    • When adverse events occur, it is our reaction that makes the situation worse.
  • Identify negative or distorted thinking
    • This process will help in seeing the patterns of behavior and thinking that are contributing to the problem.
    • Recognize the emotional, physical and behavioral responses that occur
  • Alter negative or faulty thinking
    • Asking yourself if your thoughts are based on fact or an inaccurate perception
    • If this has been a long-standing problem, this step may take some time to work through.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Versus Other Forms of Psychotherapy?

  • Practical – CBT approaches issues in a no-nonsense manner by identifying specific problems.
  • Focusing on the Present – Rather than delving into past issues that brought you to this place of negativity, CBT is primarily concerned with your present thinking and behavior.
  • A Joint Effort – CBT has you work with your therapist to find logical and reasonable solutions.
  • Setting Goals – In a CBT session, you will be able to discuss the specific goals you want to achieve.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Going to Teach You?

With CBT, you will learn how to think and feel better in your daily life, including:

  • Developing a more positive way of seeing and thinking about a given situation
  • The ability to distinguish between facts and irrational thoughts
  • Being able to see a given circumstance from a different perspective
  • The ability to face fears instead of avoiding them
  • Focusing on how things are rather than how you think they should be
  • How to stop fearing the worst

We know cognitive behavioral therapy works, because we see how it can change our clients’ lives for the better. Learning how to put a stop to the negative thinking that can, if not addressed, spiral out-of-control leading to other problems down the road such as depression or even worse. By making issues more manageable and simple, we reduce their power over us and the way we feel improves.

So, what is cognitive-behavioral therapy? It is a simple approach to changing your life for the better. At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we offer a wide range of treatments, including CBT, along with neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and hypnotherapy. By utilizing an integrative blend of different forms of therapy, we help you achieve your goals at a faster rate.

Each client is unique, and we believe that the treatment plan should also reflect that, so we tailor-make a specific plan to fit individual needs. No matter what is holding you back in life, take that first step to living the life you deserve, and book your appointment today!


Behavioral Therapy Works

New Years Resolution text on Scrabble game pieces

A Therapist’s Guide to New Years Resolutions Tips for Optimal Mental Health

Making resolutions at the end of the year has become a societal expectation, and one that often leads to disappointment when those expectations aren’t realistic. Stating a goal to ourselves and others should be empowering, but if the change we want to make seems too complicated, we can end up feeling defeated.

The new year means a fresh start, and clients often seek to improve their health by eating better and working out more, so they sign up at a gym. After a few workouts, they stop going and then feel bad because they made a resolution but did not stick to it. Enter the spiral of defeat. Let us help you define healthier ways to pursue New Years’ Resolutions for your mental health.

New Year’s Resolution Tips That Will Help Turn Your Words Into Actions

      1. Set Reasonable and Attainable Goals — Rome wasn’t built in one day, so if you set unreasonable and unattainable goals, you are bound to end up feeling bad in the end. An example is the oh-so-common goal of “getting fit”:
        • If your ultimate goal is to shed pounds, realize that it will take some time, so set up smaller mini-goals that aim to get you closer to that finish line.
        • Maybe your goal is to hold a plank hold position to strengthen your core for 5 minutes. Each week, try holding it 30 seconds longer than the week before, and before you know it, you will have your goal attained.
        • Or, maybe your goal is to start working out in general. Start small. Go on a walk everyday. Wait to join a gym (where you may over-commit and over-spend) until you’ve established a routine with daily walks and other free forms of exercise.

    Blank post it notes on a bulletin board for setting healthy goals

    1. Keep Resolutions to a Minimum — Getting overzealous can lead to feeling overwhelmed and ultimately giving up, which can be followed by guilt. Guilt can infiltrate your New Years’ Resolutions and your mental health.
      • New behavioral patterns take time, and if too many goals are made, the focus will be scattered instead of united.
      • Focusing on one specific goal will allow you to make the necessary behavioral changes toward that desired intention.
    2. New Year, New Resolution — If you find yourself making the same resolution year after year, maybe it is time for a new one?
      • Trying something new will help avoid repeating past failures because if you tried and failed, your self-belief can become diminished.
      • If you decide to repeat a past resolution that didn’t pan out, take time to go over your strategies and what worked best, and ask yourself what prevented you from achieving your goal.
    3. View Setbacks as Opportunities As with anything we do in life, there will be setbacks, and things will go wrong.
      • A great New Year’s resolution tip is, instead of looking at setbacks as failures, look at them as opportunities to learn from your mistakes and grow from them.
      • Understand the challenges you face so you can be better prepared to deal with them in the future.
    4. Ask for Support — It’s ok to ask for help, because putting extra stress on yourself isn’t going to be a positive mental health New Year’s resolution solution.
      • A trained therapist can help you understand the connection between the body and the mind.
      • There may be something holding you back from achieving a resolution that is deep within your mind.
      • Having a compassionate therapist shed light on ways to attain your goals while changing unhealthy behaviors is a recipe for a winning resolution all on its own.

    Person on top of a mountain arms spread wide

  1. Make the New Year Your Year to Shine

    The best New Year’s resolution tip is not to let self-doubt or other negative thoughts derail your goals in life. At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we offer a vast array of treatment options that are integrated individually for each client in our Miami Beach community. Some of the life-transforming therapies we offer include:

    • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) — A powerful form of psychotherapy that is based on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors being interconnected where a change in one will affect the others.
      • For example, if you think you can’t do something, you may then feel fearful, which can lead to giving up.
      • CBT can help change the way you think, and ultimately feel and behave.
    • Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) — This form of psychotherapy deals with altering the negative behavior patterns we have established over time and developing new healthier habits that can be learned or “imprinted.”
      • NLP focuses on strengthening the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious mind.
      • You can also increase your problem-solving skills as well as your creativity with NLP.
    • Hypnotherapy — This widely used form of psychotherapy allows self-limiting beliefs and negative behavior to be addressed by the therapist.
      • When a person is under hypnosis, they are far more receptive to having negative thoughts or behaviors altered into a more positive state.
      • Hypnotherapy allows things that might be holding you back to be addressed and put to rest.

    Bring in the new year with healthy goal setting, and don’t let anything hold you back. Let Miami Hypnosis and Therapy help you reach any goal you want with new year’s resolution tips you can adhere to.

    Contact us today and take that first step in creating an empowering resolution for your new year and making that goal stick!

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