Psychology Therapy in Edmonton
Psychotherapy and Counselling
Individual Psychology Therapy
Edmonton Psychology Therapy
What is Psychology Therapy or Psychotherapy?
Psychological therapy, psychotherapy, or “talk therapy” is the use of psychology methods to help you change your thoughts, beliefs and behaviours to overcome life’s problems. Psychotherapy seeks to improve your mental health and well-being, resolve behaviours, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts and emotions, as well as to improve your relationships.
What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive Therapy and Research defines Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) as a popular approach in therapy designed to reduce “maladaptive cognitions”, which are misleading beliefs about the world, self, and future that impair your ability to deal with problems in your daily life. In changing these beliefs, CBT therapy addresses the emotional distress and hurtful cognitive behaviours that can arise from them.
How Does CBT Work?
According to the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addictions, cognitive behaviour therapy teaches behaviours, coping mechanisms, and skills that help you deal with events and be aware of your thinking patterns.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health explains that by monitoring thoughts during upsetting situations, you can recognize how your thought patterns may lead to emotional issues. To reduce these problems, CBT therapy teaches you how to:
- Identify distortions in thinking
- Recognize thoughts as ideas about a situation, as opposed to facts
- Consider situations from different viewpoints
Ultimately, cognitive therapy addresses the relationship between behaviours and the three levels of thoughts:
- Conscious thoughts: Rational thoughts and choices made with full awareness
- Automatic thoughts: Rapid thoughts you may not be aware of, meaning you might not be able to determine their accuracy or logic—especially for people with mental illness
- Schemas: Core beliefs and personal rules for processing information that are shaped by childhood and life experiences
CBT helps you recognize negative automatic thoughts and the triggers that cause them. As a result, you can better manage your future reactions and feelings.
What Are the Scientific Benefits of CBT?
The National Association of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapists (NACBT) notes that cognitive behaviour therapy has clearly defined goals and clearly defined techniques. These strict guidelines mean that CBT can be easily examined using science and evidence-based research.
The Academy of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies lists a wide range of conditions where CBT therapy has proven to be an effective treatment, such as:
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
- Body dysmorphic disorder
- Marital discord
- Borderline personality disorder
- Atypical sexual practices
- Erectile dysfunction
- Chronic pain
- Sleep disorders
CBT for Anxiety
Anxiety is a common condition that impacts your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It may be a signal of fear that demands attention, but it can also be distorted by past trauma and experiences that make it difficult to know what to do with the signal.
The journal Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience details how the strategies and skills you will learn in your CBT therapy depend of the kind of anxiety disorder you have, such as:
- Panic disorder: Focuses on your body’s panic response and behavioural therapy techniques for properly interpreting feelings of panic.
- Generalized anxiety disorder: Includes cognitive therapy to address worries, relaxation to address tension, and preventing overly cautious behaviours.
- Social anxiety disorder: Instructs you to identify and challenge beliefs about your social competence and the chance of being judged poorly.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Emphasizes learning about the nature of fear and PTSD, controlled exposure to images related to trauma, and challenging damaging beliefs.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Involves gradual exposure, response prevention, and cognitive interventions.
CBT for Depression
Depression is more than feeling sad—it is a distorted way of thinking that affects how you see yourself and others.
According to the Journal of Clinical Case Reports, cognitive behaviour therapy is well-documented as an effective treatment for depression. In fact, recent findings suggest that CBT for depression could be as effective as medication in moderate to severe cases.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America details how CBT therapy corrects the way that people with depression think by modifying dysfunctional thinking about the world, self, and future.
To accomplish this change in thinking, there are several core elements that behavioural therapy uses in treating depression, such as:
- Psychoeducation: Cognitive therapy typically involves providing information, education materials, and advice on depression.
- Behavioural activation: With this aspect of CBT, we help you plan enjoyable (and often social) activities and improve your problem-solving skills. Behavioural activation helps draw the link between behaviour and emotions.
- Cognitive restructuring: This step is about identifying and correcting inaccurate negative thoughts that can lead to depression.
CBT for Trauma
Cognitive behaviour therapy is proven to be an effective treatment with both short-term and long-term benefits for people with a wide range of traumatic experiences.
The American Psychological Association explains how several theories inform behavioural therapy’s approach to trauma:
- Emotional processing theory: This theory suggests that people with trauma develop associations with objectively safe reminders of the event, meaning, and responses. Therefore, CBT therapy focuses on changing these associations that lead to unhealthy functioning.
- Social cognitive theory: This theory asserts that people who try and make sense of their traumatic experience through their existing beliefs often end up with hurtful understandings about the world, self, and others. As a result, some steps of cognitive therapy are designed to unravel these ideas.
While there are many different methods used in CBT for trauma, two primary steps have been repeatedly found to result in symptom reduction:
- Exposure therapy: This intervention helps you to face and control fear by exposing you to traumatic memories in a safe environment. Over time, exposures make you less sensitive to triggers.
- Cognitive restructuring: This method helps you to make sense of bad memories. Many people do not remember their trauma correctly, or experience guilt for aspects of their trauma which were not their fault. By looking at what happened, cognitive restructuring helps to develop a realistic perspective on the trauma.
Psychology Therapy in Edmonton
Individual Psychology Therapy Cost
Most health and wellness plans offered by your employer may cover the services offered by a Registered Psychologist. Contact your insurance company for more details.
Individual TherapyIn Person
Individual TherapyOnline Counselling
We are here to support you and your family during these challenging times by offering secure online therapy and counselling options in Edmonton. Our telehealth feature uses secure infrastructure where all data is encrypted and fully compliant with the College of Alberta Psychologists’ Practice Guidelines.