CBT often gets a bad rap in graduate schools that don’t really teach it. There are many graduate programs that teach from a supportive/Rogerian or psychodynamic perspective. Dr. Young attended one of these programs. Though he was lucky to have a couple of professors who were steeped in CBT, and he has taken the opportunity to immerse himself in texts and post-doctoral training in evidence-based training, most of his professors dismissed and caricatured CBT as shallow and un-empathic. It is clear that CBT is regularly misrepresented. Contrary to what is taught in these programs, Aaron Beck, the founder of CBT, was heavily influenced by Carl Rogers, and we continue to adhere to Dr. Rogers’ principles of Genuineness, Unconditional Positive Regard and Acceptance, and Accurate Empathic Understanding.
You might notice that the word “emotion” is left out of the term cognitive-behavioral. This is not an indication that we do not address emotions. No one comes to us unless they feel bad. Our real purpose is to help people feel better, unless they come to us to address a behavioral pattern that is causing them or someone else problems. The words cognitive and behavioral indicate that these are the means to the emotional healing. When we ask our clients how they feel, what we are really asking is “what are you thinking, and how to do you feel about those thoughts and about what is happening in your environment?” You cannot emotionally process anything without processing the thoughts that surround the emotions. When you exercise and get good sleep – or communicate more effectively with your attachment figures – or when you abstain from drugs – those are all behaviors.
And of course, there is the issue of childhood. We regularly ask our clients about their childhoods. When a person has a history of trauma, or they believe that their childhood is relevant to the discussion, we will spend as much time on that topic as they need.
The difference between CBT and other forms of therapy is that we do not harp on childhood when it is not relevant. When a person is suffering from daily panic attacks because they’ve had one and they are afraid of the next one, we do not try to twist the interpretation to make it sound as if it comes from some small negative event in their distant past. When a soldier returns from combat in Iraq with PTSD, we don’t focus all of our energy on their childhood, unless it is directly relevant. But if a person has self-esteem issues because their parent relentlessly put them down, we will discuss that as much as we need to. But there are two other significant differences. We do not try to recover repressed memories (which are not a thing), and we do not just talk about trauma over and over again and cause needless suffering with no end in sight. We use proven tools to get past it while still validating it.
When clients just want to be listened to, we do that. When they just need support, we do that as well. But when they want to see their problems go away, we have very good tools to help, and we can sometimes solve those problems or at least alleviate them to the point that the client can be happy. Sometimes our clients are in inescapable bad positions. We help them learn how to cope and to find as much happiness and as little suffering as possible.
Don’t let anyone tell you that CBT is shallow or boring. It is a very rich, exciting, and human field of work. We have the science to prove that our approach is the best approach. And it is not just for “shallow” problems. We change the way that people look at the world and at themselves. And we change long-standing patterns in thinking and behaving. Perhaps most importantly, we change how people feel. Just because we can sometimes do it in 12 weeks does not mean that we did not solve “the deep stuff.”
We are looking for highly motivated, intellectually curious clinicians with strong critical thinking skills who care about making a real difference – saving relationships, ending suffering, and bringing happiness into the world.
We do not expect you to know how to do CBT. But we do expect you to be willing to learn. We are looking for clinicians with the potential to be the best, because we have a mission to change mental health treatment and make it better. We believe that in order to find the best talent, we need to provide the best work environment and the best pay in town.
You will get to choose the types of problems that you work with – and you can change your mind at any time. You will not have to deal with any more red tape, including audits, needless paperwork, or dealing with insurance. Our clinicians consistently have full schedules, but they do not have quotas. That means that you can choose how many hours you want to work, and you can set your own schedule. We normally get 5-6 new client contacts a day, but we do not pressure you to take on more than you want. We want to make sure that you are happy so that it is easy for you to do good work. If you are full-time, you will have a corner office in a beautiful building at the Boars Head office park in Ivy, with endless parking and a huge waiting room.
We will provide all of the training you need, and we will pay for your CEs.