Vita Recovery

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) Miami

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Miami

If you or your family members are concerned about mental health, our concierge treatment center in Miami, FL, can meet your specific needs. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you address emotional challenges, depression, and negative thoughts.

Our psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists use effective, evidence-based treatment methods centered around cognitive behavioral therapy.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most popular psychotherapeutic approaches. It combines two treatment methodologies:

  • Cognitive therapy

  • Behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavior therapy recognizes that the way we feel emotionally is affected by our thoughts. It centers on a client's current thinking, communication, and actions, rather than their past experiences, to begin problem-solving.

Behavioral therapy utilizes principles of learning and conditioning to reduce symptoms and change unproductive or dysfunctional behavior patterns. It focuses on a client's actual behavior and any life circumstances reinforcing negative actions.  

These empirically proven approaches to mental illness acknowledge the link between our thinking, feelings, and behavior, particularly in challenging situations.

During sessions of CBT therapy, a client gains a clearer understanding of their own attitudes, expectations, and thinking. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions are fundamental to our sense of well-being. CBT counseling helps a client recognize and overcome distressing, false beliefs that undermine mental health.

Life events can cause us great distress, but where mental health is concerned, it is frequently how we think about ourselves, our life, and our problems that are causing unhappiness rather than the situations and things we experience. CBT psychotherapy helps a person focus on positive change.

Counseling with a therapist at the Vita Recovery facility in Miami, FL will counteract unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors and help you implement lasting changes to enhance your daily life.

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History of CBT

The noted psychiatrist Aaron Beck developed cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) at the University of Pennsylvania during the 1960s. He observed that many clients treated for depression had profoundly negative thinking patterns.

Beck concluded that these negative thought streams arose spontaneously. He called them automatic thoughts and categorized them as negative ideas about the self, world, and future.

Beck recognized the interrelated nature of these thoughts and identified them as a cognitive triad. By using therapy to become aware of and challenge these concepts, Beck was able to help patients change their thoughts about themselves and their life experiences. In turn, this helped to change behavior and improve patients’ emotional health.



Mental Health Disorders Treated With CBT

In subsequent years, the initial research into CBT therapy was modified to treat additional mental health conditions.

Amongst other mental illnesses, CBT counseling is an effective treatment approach for:

  • Addiction

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Bipolar disorders

  • Depression

  • Insomnia and other sleep disorders

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

  • Phobias

  • PTSD

  • Sexual disorders

  • Substance use disorders

CBT has been studied extensively and found to be effective in eliminating or reducing the symptoms of mental illness. It is effective for all age groups . Frequently, cognitive behavioral therapy is combined with medication to treat severe mental health conditions like major depressive disorders.

A therapist at Vita Recovery Miami, FL can help you identify negative emotions by building a positive therapeutic relationship with you during counseling sessions. A medical illness such as anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, or substance use can be overcome using CBT and other types of psychotherapy.

How Does Talk Therapy Like CBT Help?

In general, talk therapy, often called psychotherapy, helps a client's mental health condition by providing a safe, confidential space to talk through:

  • Feelings

  • Life experiences

  • Thoughts

CBT and other therapies help a client or patient dealing with mental illness for many reasons:

Cognitive Understanding:

A therapist can help a client gain awareness of thinking patterns and behavior. Importantly, underlying psychological issues prompting negative behavior can be brought to light and healthily resolved.

Emotional Expression:

Airing thoughts and feelings with a trained therapist helps clients to better understand and process their experiences. Repressed negative emotions contribute to poor mental health.

Informed Mindfulness and Self-Awareness:

Participating in talk therapy helps clients better understand their conscious thoughts, subconscious reactions, and unconscious programming and be more cognizant of factors influencing their attitudes toward themselves and their relationships with others.

Heal Relationships:

Therapy helps clients understand and improve their essential relationships. Social and family connections are vital for mental health and well-being.

Strategies for Success:

Under a therapist's guidance, clients can learn or develop new coping skills and improved modes of behaving, reacting, and thinking that help them better manage their mental health.


More specifically, as a form of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy concentrates on identifying and changing negative behaviors, beliefs, and thoughts that contribute to mental wellness. The aim is to challenge and overcome harmful patterns and develop new ways of acting and deeper understanding.

As a goal and solution-oriented form of treatment, a client works with their therapist to set SMART goals (specific, meaningful, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) during CBT counseling sessions.

These goals motivate clients and give them a definable sense of progress. The therapist can evaluate the treatment's effectiveness by tracking a client's breakthroughs and challenges.

During a session of cognitive behavioral therapy, the following core steps are employed:

  • Cognitive restructuring: the therapist helps a client identify and then challenge negative thinking patterns and beliefs

  • Exposure: the therapist gently encourages a client to gradually open themselves up to and experience the situations, people, and things they currently avoid or fear

  • Relaxation: the therapist helps the client discover new ways to cope with anxiety and stress


To help a client understand the interconnected way their behavior, feelings, and thoughts affect their mental health condition, a cognitive behavioral therapist may use the following techniques:

Activity Scheduling:

A client is encouraged to plan specific, enjoyable activities each day to improve overall mood and well-being. Additionally, feared activities can be introduced as the patient's confidence improves. 

Behavior Activation:

By identifying and changing patterns of inactivity and avoidance, the client increases their engagement in positive activities.

Behavioral Experiments:

Through goal-oriented, structured activities, a client tests the truth of negative beliefs and develops positive alternatives.


This therapeutic technique is frequently used to treat anxiety disorders, phobias, and PTSD. Clients gradually expose themselves to the people, situations, or things they fear in a safe, controlled environment. Methods like imaginal exposure allow a patient to visualize the object of fear mentally. In contrast, in vivo exposure involves a client's physical experience of the situation. During these procedures, the therapist helps the patient develop anxiety management strategies and overcome fear.

Guided Discovery:

the therapist leads the client through a process of recognizing and challenging negative assumptions, beliefs, and ideas.


The patient writes a daily record of their experiences, emotional challenges, and thoughts. This is a tool for self-reflection through which the patient can explore inner emotions and thoughts. As a method of self-expression, it encourages personal growth and self-awareness. It helps many mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and stress.

Relaxation and Stress Reduction:

Through a combination of deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation, the client gains control of their stress response and reduces anxiety.


A procedure for cognitive restructuring that identifies and changes negative thought patterns. Catastrophic thinking is a form of negative forecasting that assumes the very worst outcome will occur. For example, a client might overgeneralize, so cognitive distortions lead to negative assumptions—"I always do badly at job interviews."


The therapist and client play out specific problems and challenging situations to improve assertiveness, confidence, problem-solving, communication, and social ability.

Successive Approximation:

A client is encouraged to break a task or desired behavior down into small steps and to take each one successively. This technique is sometimes called shaping. It is particularly valuable when a client finds the thought of the complete task overwhelming, as their confidence improves with each step taken.

How Can CBT Improve Your Life?

CBT is possibly the most widely researched form of psychotherapy. It is proven to help a wide array of mental illnesses.

Amongst the ways CBT counseling can improve your life are:

  • Boosting self-esteem: CBT helps clients to evolve a more positive self-image by challenging negative patterns of thought and belief.

  • Enhancing and repairing relationships: CBT develops a client's social and communication skills. This improves and heals relations with friends, family, and life partners.

  • Improved problem-solving and coping: CBT teaches clients effective ways of identifying and solving problems, thereby helping them achieve career, educational, and interpersonal goals

  • Increased life satisfaction: CBT improves clients' quality of life by helping them better manage mental ill health symptoms.



Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for Miami, FL

At our quality, inclusive and compassionate space in Miami, Fl, you can experience the benefits of CBT. Our therapists have honed their cognitive behavioral expertise through years of experience and practice.

Recovering from addiction, or substance abuse requires a multidisciplinary approach. Our therapists are joined by expert clinicians and case managers, ensuring your every psychological and physical need is met.

Our programs for drug, alcohol, and mental health recovery include group and one on one individual therapy sessions, education and ready access to specialist psychiatric care. We combine CBT tools with different therapeutic modalities, including dialectical behavioral therapy.

At Vita Recovery, you discover a transformative, healing experience for body and mind. You can identify unhealthy thought patterns and make good health and abstinence a specific goals.

Recovering from substance abuse and regaining good mental health can be challenging.

Contact us today to discover how Vita Recovery can aid you on your path back to health, well-being, and sobriety.

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