Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Orange County, CA



Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly practiced psychotherapies. In fact, CBT is arguably the gold standard of the psychotherapy field according to many experts. CBT combines two therapeutic techniques, referred to as cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy.

The principle behind cognitive behavioral therapy remains the same: How we think, feel, and behave are all related. The three factors have a critical influence on our mental health. Cognitive behavioral therapy effectively treats mental health conditions such as anxietydepressioneating disorders, and other severe mental illnesses.  At SoCal Empowered, we specialize in diagnosing and treating these mental health disorders. Our Orange County mental health facilities are staffed with an outstanding professional care team. We provide the tools you need to overcome mental health issues to take back control of your life.

What is Cognitive Therapy?

Cognitive is a term that stems from the Latin word “cognoscere,” meaning “to recognize.”

Cognitive therapy aims to develop a clear idea of the individual’s thoughts, attitudes, and expectations. The goal of this psychotherapy is to recognize destructive thoughts and to change those false beliefs. That way, the individual can think more clearly and take control of their thoughts.

The psychology term “over-generalizing” refers to a dangerous thought pattern. For example, when an individual immediately draws negative conclusions from an occurrence, that situation becomes generalized, and the same false conclusions are applied in similar events.

“Catastrophizing” is another distressing error in reasoning often seen with people suffering from anxiety or depression. This happens when an individual has exaggerated thoughts and feelings about the reality of the situation.

Having thought patterns such as over-generalizing and catastrophizing can make life difficult for the people involved. These negative emotional and behavioral patterns can be replaced with less harmful and more realistic thoughts.

Cognitive therapy helps individuals come up with alternative methods of thinking and behaving that decrease psychological distress. Engaging in tactics to question, correct, and conquer false and distressing beliefs is what cognitive therapy is all about.

What is Behavioral Therapy?

Behavioral therapy, or behaviorism, is a type of therapy assuming human behavior is learned and can therefore be unlearned or changed. This goal-oriented therapy digs deep to find whether certain behaviors make life difficult or intensifies problems. The next step would be to transform these behavioral patterns.

For anxiety disorders, behavioral therapy teaches techniques that help calm oneself down. Focusing on breathing, instead of the cause of anxiety, can help the individual calm down instead of experiencing the opposite.

Many psychotherapists who are trained in cognitive behavioral therapy refer to themselves as behavioral therapists.

How Does CBT Work and How Long Does it Take?

CBT is based on the principle that the understanding of knowledge, formation of beliefs/attitudes, and decision making are all intertwined. In other words, thoughts, emotions, and actions influence each other greatly.


  • Thoughts – what we remember upon affects how we perceive and behave
  • Emotions – what we perceive affects how we remember and behave
  • Actions – how we act affects how we remember and perceive

Finding a therapist that’s a good fit is essential. The first session usually consists of discussing the individual’s current problems and expectations from therapy. The plan can always be adjusted throughout therapy, but it all starts with defining goals.

Overall, CBT is typically a short-term therapy compared to analytical psychotherapy approaches. However, there is no standard length of treatment. Some individuals feel improvement after a few sessions, while others may need months. The length of treatment also depends on the severity of the problems.

Many times during CBT, an individual will have to record their thoughts in a journal. The person will write down whether they perceive things realistically and appropriately as well as what would happen if they behaved in a different manner than they normally do in that situation. These problems, along with progress, are discussed regularly with the therapist.

Cognitive behavioral therapy incorporates relaxation techniques, stress and pain-relief exercises, and problem-solving strategies.

How is CBT Different From Other Psychotherapies?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a problem-oriented strategy with a focal point on current, specific problems and finding solutions. CBT does not focus on the past, unlike psychoanalysis. However, this does not mean CBT ignores the influence of past events.

Individuals should be able to cope with their problems without therapy as soon as possible. Identifying and dealing with current stressors and behavior patterns makes this achievable. The most important goal of CBT is to help individuals help themselves.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at SoCal Empowered


CBT is often the first-line treatment for many mental health disorders, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidelines and American Psychological Association.

Here in Orange County, our mental health facilities can help you identify goals, evaluate thoughts, and achieve long-term recovery. Our inpatient mental health treatment program is designed to help treat a wide range of mental disorders such as anxiety, depression,  schizophreniaPTSD, and more. Don’t let disordered thinking get in the way of your life and your loved ones. Give us a call today if you or someone close to you could benefit from CBT in Orange County.\