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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment. There are decades of evidence for the usefulness and success of CBT for many conditions. It is the treatment of choice for several conditions including anxiety disorders, OCD, depression, and related conditions.

The diagram below illustrates the relationship between thoughts, feelings/physical symptoms, and behaviors. It is the CBT model. Each relationship is bidirectional. We work on changing how you think about your thoughts and behaviors and a change in your feelings and physical symptoms is a by-product. 


At Willow Anxiety & OCD, we specialize in using Cognitive Behavior Therapy to treat our clients. Our clinicians have extensive training and experience in CBT, and we are able to adapt CBT approaches to your unique situation to help you effectively overcome anxiety, OCD, and related issues. 

Cognitive behavioral model of change
10 things to know about CBT

We work on changing unhelpful thinking patterns

Integration of CBT with other modalities

Your treatment will be tailored to your specific needs. It is sometimes beneficial to integrate other treatments with CBT. We may choose to use certain techniques and principles from acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness.

In ACT, we focus on acceptance of your present experience for change to happen and committing to living your life according to your values. Mindfulness is focusing your attention on something on purpose, non-judgmentally.

A note on treatment for OCD within the realm of CBT


Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a cognitive behavioral approach for treating OCD. In OCD, you are faced with intrusive thoughts, images, and impulses (obsessions) that make you anxious. Your response is to think certain things and/or engage in certain behaviors (compulsions) to get rid of the obsessions and the anxiety. The compulsions maintain the loop for OCD. In ERP we work on facing the obsessions and giving you tools to cope with the anxiety so you're not engaging in the compulsions any more, thereby breaking the loop that maintains OCD. You will learn to live with uncertainty. In these ways, you will become well versed in changing your thoughts and behaviors to cope better.

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