Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


CBT is a structured, short-term, present-tense, goal-oriented psychotherapy which is directed toward solving current problems you are facing and modifying inaccurate or unhelpful thinking and behavior.  


By nature, CBT Therapy has a beginning, a middle and an end; depending on your underlying thoughts and emotions, you would be able to reach your goals in a just a few short months and once you achieve your goals, you are done with therapy.

While Dr Pihlgren is a Naturopathic Physician and does practice general medicine, she also recognizes the need for mental health support in these unprecedented times. 

CBT teaches us first to become aware of underlying patterns of thought that may exist, then to question the validity of this pattern of thinking and finally to change the pattern of thought and therefore behaviour. 

The power of cognitive therapy lies largely in its focus on the automatic, distressing thoughts that fuel anxiety and depression. 

Working with Dr. Pihlgren:

  • You will learn to recognize, evaluate, and correct thoughts that may keep you up at night but fail to alleviate your worry. 

  • You will gain the ability to reduce and even prevent panic attacks. 

Anxiety has many faces, but for some people, anxiety becomes overwhelming, characterized by excessive and persistent feelings of apprehension, worry, tension and nervousness over everyday situations that most people face with little concern or thought.  

According to Kline (1964), more human suffering has resulted from depression than from any other single disease affecting humankind. 


Depression is second only to schizophrenia in admissions to mental hospitals in the US.  Furthermore, it is estimated that the prevalence of depression outside hospitals is five times greater.  This disease has been plaguing humans since the beginning of time.  In fact, the cardinal signs and symptoms used today in diagnosing depression are found in the ancient descriptions: disturbed mood (sad, dismayed, futile); self-castigations ("the accursed, hatred of the gods"); self-debasing behavior ("wrapped in sackcloth or dirty rags... he rolls himself in the dirt"); wish to die; physical and vegetative symptoms (agitation, loss of appetite, weight loss, sleepiness); and delusions. 


That is to say that depression can now be defined by the following attributes:

  1. A specific alteration in mood: sadness, loneliness, apathy.

  2. A negative self-concept associated with self-reproaches and self-blame.

  3. Regressive and self-punitive wishes: desires to escape, hide or die.  

  4. Vegetative changes: anorexia, insomnia, loss of libido.

  5. Change in activity level: retardation or agitation.  

​CBT has been well researched and has been found to be effective for a wide variety of disorders:

  • CBT is considered a reliable, first-line approach for anxiety disorders, which means it is the first approach that should be considered, or the gold standard, for treating anxiety disorders (Hoffman et al., 2012).  

  • While most research studies ues an adult population, CBT has also demonstrated to substantially improve symptoms of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents, where improvement was maintained when measured as long as two years after treatment ended (Ishikawa, Okajima, Matsuoka & Sakano, 2007). 

  • Because research studies often exclude individuals based on certain criteria, such as having a comorbid diagnoses, studies have also examined the use of CBT in real-world settings and found it to be an effective treatment under those circumstances, as well (Stewart & Chambless, 2009). 

  • Research has found CBT to be efficacious treatment for:

    1. Panic Disorder - with some research suggesting that it may be superior to medication (Mitte, 2005)

    2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) - reducing the prominent symptom of worry (Hanrahan, Field, Jones & Davey, 2013)

    3. Social Phobia with patients experiencing better outcomes after treatment than compared to those who only received medication (Fedoroff & Taylor, 2001)

    4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - highly effective for relief from obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior (Olatunji, Davis, Powers & Smits, 2013)

    5. PTSD - superior to non-directive counseling and psychodynamic psychotherapy (Bisson & Andre, 2008)

    6. Generalized Depression - with significant impact on both short- and long-term effectiveness (Mark Reinecke and colleagues, 1998)

    7. Major Depressive Disorder is one of the most common and debilitating mental disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression has received ample empirical support and is considered one of the most effective modes of treatment for depression. (Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci Vol 46 No. 4, 2009)

The Center of Balance Clinic

Dr. Lauren Pihlgren

1785 W. State Route 89A

Suite 1-B

Sedona, AZ 86336

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