NEW YORK LICENSED PSYCHOTHERAPIST
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Patricia Escudero Rotman, Ph. D., LCSW, Clinical Psychologist (Arg.)

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a research based clinical approach for overcoming a large spectrum of emotional problems. Its efficacy in symptom reduction has been shown by hundreds of multi-year studies involving thousands of patients. Unfortunately, most lay people are not familiar with the difference between regular, general therapy and CBT.

General talk therapy is not the treatment of choice for some clinical problems (e.g. Panic Disorder, Depression, Chronic Worry, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). People who seek help from these practitioners are likely to end up frustrated and hopeless as they often feel they have “wasted their time and money” and not have made significant or any progress during treatment.

As a Cognitive Behavioral therapist, I will provide you with a short-term, goal oriented therapy that will help you to overcome your suffering by teaching you effective new skills. I will be using the latest research based techniques to address your specific problem.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) argues that the way we think (cognitions) affects the way we feel which in turn affects the way we act. The latter once again will affect the way we think. Therefore as a CBT therapist I will teach you to identify and successfully change your maladaptive thinking patterns (cognitive distortions) and self defeating behaviors that lead to your difficulty in achieving your personal and work related goals while prolonging your emotional suffering.

Cognitive Behavioral therapy also includes specific, individually tailored weekly assignments that will expedite your progress in therapy.

Important features of CBT:

• You can change and overcome an emotional problem even if you do not have a total understanding of its causes.

• The focus is primarily on the present even if sometimes some background information is necessary.

• CBT focuses more on “concrete changes” (modification of faulty thinking and maladaptive behavior) than on an intellectual understanding of the problem.

• Sessions are more organized and relatively structured and include a preliminary “agenda setting” where patient and therapist choose the goals for that particular session.

• Therapist and patient work as a team testing hypotheses (e.g. validity of a way of thinking)., setting behavioral experiments (e.g. going to a job interview) and so forth.

• Therapy is time-limited and not long term or endless. Therapist and patient plan to work together for a determined period and evaluate the progress and the need to continue or they both decide to terminate therapy if all goals have been attained.

• CBT can be complemented with medication. Together we will do a cost-benefit analysis of the use of medication and you will make the final decision about whether or not to use medication during treatment.