Franklin Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Learning to Control our Thoughts and Actions

You have an important examine scheduled for the following day. You have read the material and studied hard. Though you are prepared, as you lay in bed you can’t stop thinking about the test. The more you think about it the more anxious you get. You realize you are losing sleep which only makes you more nervous because you know that without an adequate amount of sleep your performance on the test will suffer. You wish you had a way to control your thoughts, so you wouldn’t continue to worry yourself into such a state.

On another occasion, you are looking forward to seeing a certain friend whom you haven’t seen for a long time. The day before your scheduled get together, your friend calls to say that an emergency has come up and she can’t make the date. At first you feel badly for your friend. But then you wonder if your friend ever had any intention of meeting with you at all. You continue to wonder if it was something you said. You can’t stop feeling guilty that maybe you have contributed to the very reason she is canceling these appointments. Eventually though, guilt turns into resentment.

These harmful thought patterns or cognitive distortions, can have serious consequences that affect many areas of our lives.

Cognitive Distortions and Dissonance?

Cognitive distortions are thoughts or beliefs that are not based on credible evidence but can negatively affect a person’s emotions and/or behaviors. Further, a person may have two conflicting opinions or a belief that conflicts with their behavior. This condition is called cognitive dissonance. Though the person may not be aware of these contradictions, cognitive dissonance, if left unresolved, will create disturbing emotions with persistent anxiety. Examples of cognitive distortions include:

  • Blame Shifting: Having a need to assign blame in every situation, usually deflecting the blame from one’s self;
  • Catastrophizing: A tendency to see situations from a worse-case scenario with a sense of eminent doom;
  • Control fallacy: Responding to one’s own insecurities regarding a situation by attempting to micro-manage;
  • Emotional reasoning: Creating a sense of reality based on one’s personal feelings, usually from a negative perspective;
  • Fallacy of fairness: Frequently comparing and/or contrasting one’s self or one’s current situation to those of other individual, usually in an arbitrary manner.
  • Filtering: Only attending to the negative aspects of a situation and disregarding the positive aspects.
  • Overgeneralization: Developing a universal principle from one’s own personal experiences;
  • Polarized thinking: Seeing the world in the terms of strict dichotomies, e.g. either yes or no, black or white;

Effects of Negative Thought Patterns

We often find ourselves in situations where we develop conclusions with little or no information. These conclusions may be influenced more by past experiences rather than the present situation. The problem is that these conclusions can trigger emotional responses that effect our well-being, both mental and physical. Faulty thought patterns can lead to a host of aberrant conditions and behaviors such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Generalized Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks
  • Explosive Verbal Outbursts
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Tendencies
  • Mood Swings
  • Sense of Helplessness
  • Poor Self-Worth
  • Decreased Motivation
  • Disruptions in Personal Relationships
  • Self-Medication with Alcohol or Illicit Drugs
  • Over Eating or Under Eating
  • Other General Health Issues

When we experience this distortion in our thoughts we can experience a sense of disconnect, loneliness and hopelessness. However, there is hope. There are a range of exercises and techniques that, when trained by an experienced professional, can help us manage our thoughts and behaviors. This type of training is known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a widely used evidence-based approach to psychotherapy that focuses on identifying environmental triggers to certain thought patterns and developing healthier, more productive responses called coping skills.

The CBT Process

The trained counselor or therapist at Thriveworks-Franklin, utilizing CBT, will help the client identify unhelpful cognitions (i.e. thoughts, beliefs and/or attitudes) that may lead to emotions and/or behaviors that may lead to maladaptive, often serious, negative consequences. After developing a relationship with the client based on mutual trust and acceptance, the therapist will help teach the client to:

  • Identify these harmful cognitions
  • Identify environmental triggers to these patterns
  • Teach methods of using an evidenced based approach to assess the merit of these cognitions
  • Train alternative ways of addressing these thoughts and feelings
  • Recognize the more positive consequences for these alternate responses.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy generally has six phases:

  1. Assessment or Evaluation
  2. Reconceptualization;
  3. Skills acquisition;
  4. Skills consolidation and application training;
  5. Generalization and maintenance;
  6. Post-treatment assessment follow-up.

There are clinicians at Thriveworks-Franklin with many years of training and experience helping others using Cognitive behavioral therapy. The are various forms of CBT techniques that include:

  • Relaxation Training
  • Cognitive Restructuring
  • Exposure Therapy
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy
  • Stress Inoculation
  • Guided Imagery
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

The cognitive behavioral therapists at Thriveworks Franklin will work with the client to select a method or combination of methods that will be right for that individual. Thriveworks-Franklin therapist use CBT to treat a variety of conditions and challenges including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Relationship issues
  • Drug and/or alcohol abuse
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Self-abuse
  • Anger management
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Conduct Disorder

Get Help Today

If you are ready to try cognitive behavioral therapy, Thriveworks-Franklin has counselors who are ready to help. When you contact us at (617) 360-7210. You may have your first appointment within 24 hours. We do not maintain a waitlist, but we do offer weekend and evening sessions. We also accept most insurance plans. So, call Thriveworks-Franklin today.

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Insight and Support

I was pleased with the quick and easy access to services through the Thriveworks website. My own HMO had a long process and wait list during these times of Covid. I chose Jane Eagles to work with because I wanted a mature therapist with lots of experience. She was able to tune right into my situation and my goals for the sessions. She raised great questions for me to consider and always took time to reiterate the main takeaways of our time together. I appreciated her wisdom and clarity as well as her sense of humor.
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Opened a New World of Healing

I can't speak any more highly of Thriveworks. Mikkah has truly been such an important person in my life since I started coming to therapy. I was skeptical at first, knowing that "the first therapist you see may not be the right 'fit' for you," but I was lucky enough to have immediately clicked with Mikkah. It took a bit of time for me to really open up and start to dig deep in my own emotion, but Mikkah was so patient and made me feel so comfortable. She truly has helped me identify a lot of different things I was feeling, but couldn't understand why. I originally came to therapy for adult ADD, recommended by my PCP, but I used therapy as a healthy outlet to start talking about things I have experienced that has caused my mental clarity to fog. Mikkah has truly been such a savior in my life and I can't express my gratitude I have for her. She is extremely professional but makes me feel so comfortable talking about literally anything - almost like we've been best friends for years, even though I just met her a few short months ago. I am so happy with how my therapy is going and I always leave a session feeling better than how I went in. Thank you Thriveworks and thank you especially to Mikkah! You are incredible!!
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Greg has made a difference in my life , he’s very understanding of what I’ve be through, makes suggestions to help me deal with my anxiety and depression. We are very blessed , to have him as our counselor, these past few years .
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Dr Jane Eagles

As a close professional colleague for 20 years I have seen Jane Eagles assist many children, adolescents, and families with a variety of life challenges achieve improved health and well being. Dr Jane Eagles is insightful, knowledgable, kind, patient, and helpful. I highly recommend her.
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Dr. Jane Eagles

Jane is a highly skilled and experienced clinician who has worked with people of all ages. Combined with her empathy, dedication, and respect for those with whom she works, Jane has proven to be extremely effective in helping others work on and achieve their goals. Her professionalism is undisputed and I recommend Jane without any reservation.
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Jane Eagles

Jane is an experienced, dedicated counselor who has worked with all age groups. Her commitment to whomever she is assisting is exemplary. Her professionalism is of the highest quality; compassion, confidentiality and respect are at the forefront. A wonderful counselor who has my personal and professional admiration.
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Jim Gardner helped me immensely

Jim helped me get through a rough patch in my life. He has a lot of wisdom from his past and his experience as a gay man. I came to him crying everyday and mopey, and by the end I had really seen a huge change in my overall mental health. I was not in the area for very long and he was excellent at making sure I got as much as possible from my limited number of sessions. I would absolutely recommend him to people in their early twenties struggling with their transition into adulthood as well as anyone struggling with general anxiety and depression. jó, én hiányozni fogom!
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Honest & Supportive

Jim Gardner helped me through the darkest time in my life. He was direct & honest while being compassionate and supportive. It’s like talking to a life long friend. I felt like I could talk openly without judgement. So thankful for you Jim!
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I wanted to chat to ask a question regarding insurance, a simple one I thought. The chat time said 2 minutes I waited longer and no response. A little discouraged now on getting a therapist.
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Having the pleasure of working with Ralphi, the first word that comes to my mind is comfort. When I think of Ralphi, my heart smiles. She is a talented and experienced therapist who makes every person that comes through her door feel hopeful. I have observed her in action with her clientele, collaborated with her on family therapy, and admire her immense knowledge of the human condition and difficulties. There is always a hopeful path to take in Ralphi's approach to life. Lucky are the clients who have her as their therapist!
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I have been seeing JIM Gardner for quite some time. He is a wonderful counselor who listens and cares. He has been a great help to me with many of my family problems and anxiety.
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Todd Letitia is a great clinician!

I have had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Letitia for over 10 years. He is a skilled clinician and offers his patients support and encouragement. He is a dedicated professional who has many years of experience in the field.
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I've had the pleasure of having Todd as a clinical supervisor and he was great!! He's very knowledgeable, insightful and most importantly he loves what he does. He has always been professional and ethical. Wonderful person to work with.
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Todd Letitia

I found Todd to be empathetic, understanding and receptive. He creates an environment where you can confide in someone without the fear of being judged.
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Todd Letitia

Todd Letitia is an amazing clinician. He is extremely easy to talk to and makes you feel welcomed from day one.
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Dr. Greg Handel

I have experienced Dr. Greg Handel to be a uniquely empathic and sensitive psychologist who brings clarity and hope for the challenges we face in our life journeys. The warmth and confidence that he exemplifies in his interactions distinguish him as a remarkable mental health clinician. All of these positive attributes contribute to the inspiration that allows one to believe that facing challenges and changes is doable. I may not like the thought of changes, but I can see them as less intimidating when reminded of my own strengths and capabilities. Dr. Handel reminds me that although I may need to sharpen them from time to time, I own these tools for success and joy in my life.
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Dr. Gregory Handel

Dr. Gregory Handel exemplifies the dignity and insight into human behavior that is required to provide caring and lasting help for others. His ability to listen and respond, to disstill often complex problems, and to offer a way forward is a welcome and refreshing approach. It can seem daunting today in our fast paced world to cut through the noise and listen to ourselves and our family and friends. Dr. Handel is someone I trust and I've always appreciated the feedback and support he provides.
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Dr. Handel – Exceptional Character

Dr. Gregory Handel is not only an exceptional psychologist but is an exceptional human being as well. Always going above and beyond to provide support, care, and love for those in need. This man exemplifies all the right qualities of a counselor, he is patient, listens intently, and is honest, always. No matter what struggle or conflict you may have endure or are enduring, Dr. Greg Handel will always do everything in his power to help you through it. Filled with compassion, empathy, and wisdom, there is no one in the therapeutic industry better qualified.
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