Treatment Process at the Oakland CBT Center

First steps

If you are interested in being treated at our Center, please reach out to us by phone at 510-662-8405 or send an e-mail to any of the therapists at the Center. The therapist will return your call or work with you via e-mail to set a time to talk in order to spend 10 minutes or so answering any questions you might have and asking a few questions of our own to determine whether the difficulties you are seeking help for are likely to be ones that we can help with. If therapists at our Center are not a good fit for your needs or are not available to take new patients, the therapist you speak to will provide you with referral options.

The Consultation

Treatment at the Oakland Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center begins with a consultation. The goals of the consultation can usually be accomplished in a single session, but sometimes more than one session is needed. The therapist will collect a lot of information from you before the session, and then will use the consultation to determine what sort of treatment (e.g., individual cognitive behavior therapy, couples therapy, or another type of therapy) the therapist would recommend for you, and whether any of the therapists at our center can provide it. The therapist will also provide you with at least some initial information about the treatment, so you can determine whether the therapist’s recommendation makes sense to you and is something you want to do. And both you and the therapist use the consultation to evaluate whether they feel comfortable with one another and able to work well together.

Fees and Insurance

Dr. Persons is currently (2018) setting her fee at $270. She does not accept insurance. However, she is happy to provide a statement that can be submitted to your insurance for possible reimbursement. Individuals hoping to receive reimbursement are encouraged to contact their insurance provider for the details of their coverage for out-of-network providers.

Treatment

If you and the therapist elect to move forward to work together in treatment, you will generally meet with your therapist on a weekly basis. The average patient stays in cognitive behavior therapy for approximately 20 sessions, but of course some stay for more sessions and others for fewer.

A Typical Therapy Session

Your therapist will often begin the session by asking you to review how things have gone since the last session and whether you were able to complete the homework assignments from the previous session and what you learned from them. You and your therapist will also review your progress monitoring data (see the next section) to evaluate your progress. The therapist will work with you to set an agenda for the session. Typically, the therapy session focuses on current, concrete, and specific problems with which you would like some help. Your therapist will work actively to offer some new perspectives and to teach you some skills and tools to help you address these problems.

  • Some examples of strategies the therapist might use to help you are:

  • Teaching you how to evaluate thoughts and beliefs

  • Helping you identify and shift behaviors that may be contributing to the problem

  • Teaching you skills to respond differently to situations that you cannot change

  • Helping you evaluate pros and cons in order to make a decision

  • Helping you identify and address obstacles that get in the way of your doing things that you know are in your best interest

  • Role-playing a new way of handling a troublesome situation

  • Working to help you build compassion for yourself in difficult situations

The session will usually end with you and the therapist collaboratively setting a homework assignment for you to implement over the course of the week. Because cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) involves learning new skills, practice outside the therapy session is an essential part of treatment.

Setting Treatment Goals and Monitoring Progress

Your therapist will work with you to identify your goals for treatment and to monitor your progress toward those goals. To monitor progress, your therapist will ask you to complete one or two scales or logs each week to report on your symptoms or progress. You and the therapist can use the monitoring data to guide your work together and to determine whether the therapy is helping you achieve your therapy goals.

Feedback

Successful treatment requires a collaborative and trusting patient-therapist relationship. As part of building a good relationship, consolidating your learning, and tracking progress toward therapy goals, we find it important to get regular feedback from our patients about what they are learning and how they are feeling about the therapy. In addition to inviting you to give feedback in session, your therapist might also suggest that you complete a written feedback form between sessions.

Ending Treatment

Ideally, treatment ends when you and the therapist mutually agree that you have accomplished your therapy goals. However, treatment can end for other reasons as well. You might decide to end your treatment if you feel you are not making progress or if your working relationship with your therapist has deteriorated. If you are considering ending your treatment, we would recommend that you discuss this with your therapist so that the therapist has the opportunity to address any concerns you may have, and to offer referral options if they are needed. If your therapist experiences difficulties in working with you, such as if the working relationship with deteriorates, therapy seems unhelpful, or you are unable to pay your bill, your therapist will work with you to resolve these difficulties. If they cannot be resolved, your therapist will work with you to bring the therapy to an end. Your therapist is ethically obligated to end the treatment if she believes she is not being helpful to you. If your therapist ends your treatment, the therapist will offer, at minimum, a termination session to discuss the termination decision and to offer referrals to other providers.