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LDS Counselor: About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

If you’re considering getting the help of an LDS counselor who uses cognitive behavioral therapy in treating their patients, as I do at Insight Child & Family Counseling, you should know a little more about this type of therapy and how it can help.  Here are the answers to some questions you may have:

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that has been found to be effective in treating a variety of disorders.  Unlike other forms of psychotherapy that can last many years, sometimes decades, without concrete results, cognitive behavioral therapy is usually more focused on the present, more limited in duration and more problem-solving oriented.  Additionally, patients learn skills they can use for the rest of their lives, even after therapy has ended, that help them to identify distorted thinking, modify beliefs, relate to others in different ways and change behaviors.

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Based On?

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts:  situations, thoughts, emotions, physical feelings and actions.  Cognitive behavioral therapy is based on the idea that these five areas are interconnected and that they affect each other.  For example, if you have thoughts about a particular situation, it can affect how you feel physically and emotionally and it can determine how you respond to the situation.  

What Can I Expect To Happen In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be done one-on-one, with groups of family members or in groups of other people with similar issues.  Therapy often includes learning about a patient’s mental health condition and learning and practicing techniques such as relaxation, coping, resilience, stress management and assertiveness.  Your first session may involve gathering information and asking about things you’d like to work on.  You will probably also be asked about your current and past physical and emotional health so that the therapist can gain a deeper understanding of your situation.  In subsequent sessions, you’ll be asked to talk about your thoughts and feelings and what’s troubling you.  As you go through therapy, your therapist may ask you to work outside of your sessions on activities, reading or practices that build on what you learn in therapy.  You’ll also be encouraged to apply what you’re learning in your everyday life.  Your therapist’s specific approach will depend on your particular situation and preferences.

How Long Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Last?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is considered a short-term form of therapy and usually lasts about 10 to 20 sessions.  As an LDS counselor, I can tell you that the number of sessions you’ll need depends on a variety of factors that includes your type of disorder or problem, the severity of your symptoms, how long you’ve had symptoms, how quickly you progress in therapy, how much stress you’re under and how much support you receive from friends and family members.  

To find an LDS counselor who can tell you more about cognitive behavioral therapy and how it can help you, call me, Jody VanDrimmelen, at Insight Child & Family Counseling at (972) 426-9500 or visit me online at

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