Cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven time and time again to be an effective approach in treating a range of psychological concerns with the young and old, across gender and ethnicity. It’s advanced methods and techniques have been tested to meet the highest standards of care and therapy.
Because of this, there is an increasing number of psychologists specializing in CBT. Dr. Tory Tomassetti is a licensed psychologist specializing in CBT, she is one of the trusted psychologists practicing CBT. But what makes a good cognitive behavior therapist? Read on to learn why it takes more than just techniques to be one.
Competency and Expertise
Being a licensed therapist does not necessarily mean that you are the best in your field. When a therapist has had substantial experience in treating clients and supervising trainees, he or she may be knowledgeable enough and effective in the clinical sphere.
However, even novice practitioners have shown credibility and competence in CBT. You can therefore get the same quality of approach and level of competence from both experienced and novice psychologists specializing in CBT.
Considering the level of experience does not dictate competence, therapists can always find ways to amplify their competence to get the best clinical results from their clients. Here are some ways CBT psychologists work on their competency:
- High in empathy and low in defensiveness
Cognitive behavior specialists are able to tolerate strong emotions in their clients and encourage new coping skills to be developed. Empathy behind the care is clearly evident in a good psychologist specializing in CBT.
Since they will always encounter individuals with disturbed characters, they know how and when confrontation is helpful and needed. If issues have to be met head-on, they are completely benign. This means that it is free of any malice or ill intent and should only be done because of a sincere and clear desire to help make things better.
- Maintain healthy interpersonal boundaries
A CBT specialist has the capacity to maintain professional boundaries while still being friendly, attentive, and personable. He or she can handle uncomfortable requests in a calm way that shows respect for the other person and self-respect as well.
- Gently confronts clients with problematic or contradictory behaviors and attitudes
A CBT therapy specialist incorporates specific and personalized cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to be sensitive and responsive to cultural identity and related issues in helping their clients and getting the best outcomes.
- Comfortable with strong emotions
Cognitive and behavioral counseling involves dealing with an individual’s feelings. You may feel lethargic, distracted, helpless, and hopeless. But a CBT psychologist can “lean in” and speak in a way to give you hope and confidence by:
- Expressing a commitment to help you even when you are having difficulty making a commitment to treatment
- Giving positive feedback even when you can’t believe it yourself
- Being a role model for persevering in the face of obstacles and adversity, and for not giving up
- Sharing some appropriate humor at the right time to make you laugh and smile
- Adding more positive energy to the therapeutic dialogue
- Rewarding and reinforcing even your smallest and seemingly insignificant positive efforts
- Open and eager to learn
CBT specialists are always open to the lessons that people provide them during therapy sessions. They embrace the idea that people are their teachers. They take experiences with their clients as an enriching process where the meaningfulness of their profession is magnified.
- A directive general approach
An important quality of a psychologist specializing in CBT is having a good sense of direction. He or she is able to let his or her clients see and do things in adaptive ways.
If the client sees where the road is leading to and the outlined small steps necessary to keep on moving forward, it will be easier for them to return to the path when they inevitably stray. And a good CBT specialist will be there to help in this redirection process.
See What it Feels Like to Sit With a Psychologist Specializing in CBT
When you are choosing and looking for a CBT psychologist to work with, it is a helpful strategy to go beyond the cognitive behavioral techniques that they use, and instead to focus on the mentioned therapist qualities that are most strongly related to the success in any cognitive and behavioral counseling. This will mean that you will have to first see what it feels like to sit with a psychologist specializing in CBT so you will know.