Have you re-enrolled for Medicaid? Learn more about changes that could affect your coverage.
Call 24/7 for a no-cost Confidential Assessment at (757) 941-6410

Health Library

What You Should Know About CBT

Cognitive behavioral therapy,

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of therapy that can help people manage their mental health. We offer CBT at The Pavilion in Williamsburg, Virginia, as a way to help our patients change patterns of thinking and behavior. CBT helps patients recognize the power of their thoughts to affect their feelings and behaviors, empowering them to control their own well-being.  

Benefits of CBT

There are several different ways that CBT can support a person who is trying to manage their mental health, depending on their unique needs and goals. A few examples include:

  • Relapse prevention
  • Providing an alternative or complement to medications
  • Teaching stress management strategies
  • Identifying ways to manage interpersonal conflict
  • Tools for coping with grief and loss
  • Managing medical issues

Conditions CBT Can Treat

CBT has been successfully used to treat many mental and physical health concerns, including:

What CBT Does

CBT builds on a patient’s trust in their therapist and helps them to identify where they might be engaging in ways of thinking that are not helpful for them. Unlike some types of therapy that focus on healing wounds from the past, CBT focuses on solving current problems by identifying the following types of unhelpful/inaccurate thinking patterns:

  • Dichotomous thinking – being unable to see shades of gray between two extreme options
  • Overgeneralization – applying information from isolated cases to dissimilar situations
  • Focusing too much on negatives/too little on positives
  • Mind reading – presuming to know the thoughts and intent of other people
  • Predicting how things will turn out, generally with a negative expectation that sometimes fixates on the worst-case scenario
  • Basing decisions on feelings instead of facts


What a CBT Session Involves


Each CBT practitioner and each patient are unique, so there is some variation in practices, but these are common techniques:


  • The first session often focuses on discussing expectations and goals for therapy.
  • Sessions are typically around 60 minutes long and occur about once per week.
  • The therapist may use a variety of exercises to teach the patient about:
    • Relaxation
    • Stress management
    • Pain relief
    • Problem-solving
  • Therapists may assign patients “homework,” such as journaling, which will then be reviewed at a later session.
  • Common locations for sessions include:
    • Outpatient therapy offices
    • Hospitals
    • Rehabilitation clinics
  • Sessions may be offered individually or in a group setting.

How to Get the Most Out of CBT

If you are using CBT to manage your mental health, there are several steps you can take to ensure you get as much benefit as possible from your treatment:

  • Be open and honest with your therapist – tell them what you are thinking and feeling and be receptive to their input.
  • Keep your appointments – when you least feel like going to therapy might be the day you need it most.
  • Be patient – results do not happen overnight.
  • Do your homework – when your therapist asks you to read, journal, or do other activities outside of your session, failing to complete these will only slow down your progress.
  • Tell your therapist if you don’t feel therapy is working – your therapist might be able to make some changes, or you may need a different therapist, depending on the nature of the problem.

What Patients Like About CBT

The things that people like about CBT include:

  • Brief duration of treatment – compared to other types of therapy that can last for years, CBT tends to wrap up in 20 weeks or less. Sometimes issues can be resolved in as little as five weeks.
  • Adaptability – not only can CBT be used to treat mental health conditions, but also physical health diagnoses, sleep problems, and more. It can also be used with nearly any age group.
  • Focus on now – people who have previously attended therapy may get tired of rehashing old traumas and appreciate the present-day focus of CBT.
  • Collaboration – in CBT, your therapist should not be telling you what to do or how to live your life. They should be working with you and asking questions to learn how you think and make decisions. 

CBT is just one type of therapy we offer at The Pavilion. We also offer recreational therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy to address mental health in different ways, and we can support therapeutic interventions with medication management and evaluation.

Learn more

About programs offered at The Pavilion at Williamsburg Place

Scroll to Top