Talk Therapy

Talk therapy generally refers broadly to one of the modes of  psychotherapy.  However, when discussing the most effective forms of “talk therapy” mental health professionals will often be talking about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (including Schema), DBT and Interpersonal Therapy.  Many mental health professionals borrow treatment techniques from cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT), Dialectic behavior therapy (DBT), Psychodynamic therapy and Humanistic therapy.  All can be classified as talk therapy, so that phrase doesn’t tell you much about the treatment modality.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is similar to existential psychotherapy in that the focus is in the present and on increasing conscious awareness. CBT, however, is more structured; the emphasis is on the problems in thinking and behavior that lead to disturbed emotions and poor choices, rather than a more general or diffuse exploration of the existential crises being experienced.

Cognitive therapy that has been demonstrated by many research studies to be the most effective approach for a variety of psychological problems. The therapy relationship is collaborative and goal-oriented, and the focus on thoughts, beliefs, assumptions and behaviors is key. In CBT, the goal is for a person to develop more realistic and rational perspectives, and make healthier behavioral choices, as well as to feel relief from negative emotional states. Specific techniques, strategies and methods are used to help people to improve their mood, relationships and work performance.

Schema Therapy is similar to cognitive therapy in that the focus is on correcting problems in a person’s habitual patterns of thinking and feeling, and corresponding difficulties in his or her behavioral coping style. The focus is on identifying and understanding, and then challenging and overcoming the long-standing maladaptive patterns in thinking, feeling and behavior that create obstacles for a person in getting needs met and attaining life goals. As with standard CBT, the goal is for the person to feel better and enjoy greater life satisfaction.

CTA is a network of experienced therapists in the NY metro area who provide Cognitive Therapy and Schema-Focused Therapy. To inquire about an appointment, please call us at 212-258-2577.

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