For decades, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has been an empirically supported clinical intervention that has been effective in the treatment of various psychological, as well as medical, illnesses. Designed as a time-limited, focused therapy that addresses problems in the present – the here and now -- CBT treatment sessions are highly-structured and therapists are typically very active and engaged within session. The major techniques of CBT include the use of psychoeducation, identification and monitoring of negative automatic thoughts, challenging cognitive biases, and the application of imaginal and situational exposures to situations to overcome anxiety/avoidance. Not surprisingly, CBT has been widely used in the medical context as it is an ideal intervention to facilitate coping among patients facing health-related distress in association medical procedures/treatments, health-related lifestyle changes, or chronic disease management across the disease continuum. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), created by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan, weds the change techniques of CBT with acceptance strategies from Zen practice, such as mindfulness. Other DBT treatment components include instruction in distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Both CBT and DBT strategies are intended to be practiced by patients in their everyday lives and have shown to be effective. DBT techniques, however, are often beneficial when thoughts cannot be restructured or challenged using CBT. When combined with the use of CBT strategies, DBT-related skills and techniques such as mindfulness practice may enable patients to identify and regulate their maladaptive thoughts, feelings and emotions which may, in turn, enhance their ability to cope with the moment-by-moment demands and challenges that their illness presents, as well as improve their overall quality of life.
This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB Clinical CE clock hours, and NYSED CE credit.
After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
- Describe and discuss the fundamental tenets of CBT and DBT from a theory- and evidence-based perspective.
- Identify at least 4 basic strategies associated with CBT and at least 3 DBT-related techniques, including mindfulness skills, to improve coping and reduce distress.
- Recognize how and when to apply CBT and DBT strategies into the treatment of anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as into the care of a variety of medical conditions (e.g., Parkinson’s Disease, IBS, cancer) guided by a representative 8-session treatment plan.