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Psychotherapy: Types of Therapies

Unlike some forms of therapy that rely on just talk, treatment provided at the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of Orange County is structured to help you learn skills that are designed to help you reach your goals. Between sessions, you will apply these skills in your daily life and then build on those skills in later sessions.

An initial clinical interview helps the therapist gain a clear understanding of your reasons for therapy and then the therapist works with you to develop an initial treatment plan aimed at helping you reach your therapy goals. This plan may involve psychotherapy alone, or may include referrals to additional services such as a medical evaluation or more specialized treatment.

Depending on the results of the initial evaluation, one or more of several different treatment approaches may be recommended. These may include:


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The best-established of the modern forms of psychotherapy, CBT is based on a few important assumptions:

   CBT is a “here-and-now” treatment that focuses on today’s real-life problems rather than issues from the past. Past learning may affect how we think and respond to today’s problems, but the problems we can change are the one’s happening in our lives now.
  Our mood and behavior is strongly influenced by the thoughts passing through our minds.
  It is both possible and healthy to pay attention to our thoughts, evaluate those thoughts, and change thoughts that are unhelpful.
•  Thoughts are often based on long-standing beliefs or rules about the world. Sometimes these beliefs can be wrong. Faulty beliefs can lead to unreasonable depression, anxiety, anger, or other difficulties, but they can also be changed to provide a more healthful, effective life.
  When we direct our behavior toward important and enjoyable activities, this can lift our mood and help us reach our goals.

Decades of rigorous research has shown CBT to be among the most effective of psychological treatments, as effective as medication in treating depression and anxiety, and the gold-standard treatment for issues such as recurrent panic attacks and recovery from traumatic events.

Additional Reading
About Anxiety
Single-Session Treatment for Specific Phobias
New York Times: Looking at Evidence That Therapy Works

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

MBCT is a brief form of psychotherapy that lasts just eight sessions. Patients learn to use mindfulness – a practice of non-judgmentally observing the present moment rather than being swept away by one’s thoughts. These mindfulness skills stop the cycle of depressed thinking before it begins, and can produce resilience in the face of inevitable life difficulties.

MBCT and other mindfulness-based therapies can help a person to deal with concerns such as depression, anxiety, and other issues, and have also been found in rigorous research to be effective in preventing depressive relapse.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT (pronounced as one word, “act”) is a newer form of therapy that teaches people how to use mindfulness to accept their thoughts and feelings while also committing to behavior that reflects their highest values. The struggle with anxiety, depression, compulsions or other unpleasant inner experiences is replaced with greater acceptance and a greater commitment to live the life one hopes for.

Like CBT, the focus of ACT is on how to make the present moment more livable. A strong and growing body of research has shown that ACT can help patients better cope with anxiety, depression, and a number of other problems that hamper a person from fully living their lives.

Couples Therapy

Gottman Method Couples Therapy
Gottman Method Couples Therapy is a structured, goal-oriented, scientifically based approach to improving relationships. Couples are taught to:

  • Improve the friendship at the heart of the relationship
  • Manage disagreement without negativity
  • Support one another’s life dreams

More than 30 years of research with hundreds of couples have resulted in one of the most effective approaches for relationship problems. For more information on this form of treatment, visit the Gottman Relationship Institute’s Relationship Blog at (Link will open in a new tab or window.)

Please note: Sessions for couples therapy are always 90 minutes.

Cancer Counseling

The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of Orange County provides reduced rates for those going through cancer, those who have completed cancer treatment within the past two years, those caring for a loved one with cancer, or those who have lost a loved one due to cancer and seeks help coping with the loss. Please call for details.



The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of Orange County

135 S. State College Blvd., Ste. 200 Brea, CA 92821

Tel: 714-494-9409 Fax: 855-502-8887 Email: info {at}