Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in NYC

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in NYC

Uncover the relationship between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors - and learn how to create positive change.

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is widely recognized as an effective, evidenced-based treatment for depression, anxiety, panic attacks, social phobia and many other emotional and behavioral conditions. It earned its stellar reputation from decades of scientific research with over 2,000 studies supporting its effectiveness.

CBT is based on the cognitive model: The way we perceive a situation is more connected to how we feel and react than the situation itself. Our perceptions of situations are typically so fleeting they’re called “automatic thoughts,” and we often don’t realize we’re experiencing them. Automatic thoughts lead to emotions, which drive behaviors that then reinforce our automatic thoughts—resulting in a cycle of emotions and behaviors that may be undesirable.

CBT explained on post-its next to a coffee cup

How Does CBT Work?

With CBT, you can learn to break the cycle of unwanted thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. You can observe your automatic thoughts and thinking patterns, allowing you to step back and perceive them as “just thoughts.” You can learn to identify when they are “cognitive distortions” and develop rational responses to these distortions, enabling you to be in a better position to choose how to react to them. 

With a more objective understanding and distance to your thoughts, you can design, in collaboration with your therapist, behavioral strategies consistent with your values, implemented at a pace comfortable for you.  Most people achieve significant progress with CBT in a relatively short period of time.

What Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treat?

Stressed out woman in home office


For many people, persistent worry about things in life creates anxiety. It could be fear or stress over work, relationships, health, or finances. By helping you break down your patterns of thinking and behaviors, CBT is very effective at reducing anxiety. It’s no wonder CBT is backed by multiple studies for treating anxiety and many other conditions. 


Cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven to be effective for people struggling with mild to moderate depression. CBT can help you uncover your core beliefs about yourself, the world, and the future. It can also foster healthy behavior changes to improve your mood, outlook, and self-esteem. 

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is a particular type of anxiety disorder in which a person’s fear and distress is focused on the act of socializing with others. CBT can help reduce thoughts and feelings of social anxiety, leading to greater confidence in social interactions. 

Panic Attacks

CBT can equip people with tools to manage panic attacks with less fear and distress. It can also help people who may have developed a phobia around a specific situation that is known to trigger panic attacks for them.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. CBT, combined with exposure response prevention (ERP), is well suited to help disrupt the ruminations and compulsions often associated with OCD, resulting in healthier thoughts and behaviors.


People with phobias often go out of their way to avoid situations that trigger fear, distress, or discomfort. CBT can help people explore other ways of dealing with their fears and provide tools to help with their phobias.

Job Stress & Burnout

Job stress is quite common, affecting approximately 83% of our workforce. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally recognized burnout as a diagnosable syndrome in 2019. Cognitive behavioral therapy, particularly CBT methods rooted in mindfulness, can help people who are struggling with job stress or other forms of burnout. 

What Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help With?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is well suited to help individuals dealing with a variety of struggles, including:

  • Persistent worry: Occasional worry is a common experience, but chronic or persistent worry, whether over something specific or general, is often a cause for concern. CBT can help you understand the dynamics of your worry and redirect anxious thoughts in healthier directions.
  • Fear of failure/perfectionism: Although failure can sting, it is a natural part of life. If you feel like failure is a catastrophe from which you cannot recover, or you feel pressure to be “perfect” in some way, shape, or form, then CBT can help you achieve your goals with less emotional distress. 
  • Indecision: When every choice, no matter how small, is treated as a high-stakes, all-important decision, it can lead to mental distress and decision-making paralysis. CBT can teach you how to break the cycle of indecision and start making choices with more confidence. 
  • Imposter syndrome: Imposter syndrome occurs when you feel like your success isn’t earned or that you’re a “fraud” in danger of being “found out.” Cognitive behavioral therapy can help neutralize the message of imposter syndrome and teach you how to balance confidence and humility.

What Is It Like Doing CBT?

Many people say doing CBT is different from traditional therapy in that it’s more practical, interactive, and structured, and yields better results. CBT sessions typically are:

  • Collaborative/interactive: In CBT, you and your therapist work together as a team. You’ll collaborate to identify your aspirations, values, and goals for treatment. Together, you’ll discuss what changes you’d like to make, how best to achieve those changes, and the thoughts, feelings and behaviors involved.
  • Present-day problem-solving: CBT typically focuses on tackling the problems you’re having in the present. While your therapist might help with understanding how the past relates to your present concerns at certain times and with certain conditions, CBT is designed to help you make desired changes and healthy improvements in your day-to-day life.
  • Attention to thoughts: Our thoughts can have a powerful effect on our mood, our level of anxiety, and other emotions. CBT teaches you ways to identify unhealthy thought patterns, challenge those patterns, and develop healthier ways of thinking and reacting to life situations. CBT, along with ACT, can also help you gain a healthy distance from your thoughts, which puts you in a better position to implement healthy and productive behaviors.
  • Acquiring skills: Gaining tangible skills is one of the most empowering aspects of doing CBT. Over time you can learn to 1) recognize cognitive distortions, 2) understand how to challenge or diffuse those thoughts, and 3) adopt healthier behaviors that align with your core values. You can use these skills to tackle your issues today, and long after therapy is over.
Therapy for Anxiety

Common Techniques

Some common CBT techniques include:

  • Cognitive reframing
  • Behavioral activation
  • Thought journaling
  • Uncovering core beliefs
  • Guided exposure
  • Mindfulness

You and your therapist will work together to determine which CBT techniques are most effective for you.

Benefits of therapy

Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • Higher self-esteem: Becoming aware of automatic thoughts we have about ourselves, learning when those thoughts are distortions, and doing things we value in life can help increase our self-worth and confidence.
  • Decreased stress: Stress and anxiety can result in physical conditions, such as stomach issues, headaches, and muscle tension. CBT can help lower levels of anxiety and stress, resulting in healthier minds and bodies.
  • Actionable strategies: Sometimes, certain therapies stop at the awareness or analysis stages, simply focusing on what’s happening internally and why. CBT includes actionable strategies and coping skills that you can use in your daily life, resulting in tangible improvements.
  • Versatility: CBT is useful for a variety of conditions, from anxiety to depression to OCD. 
  • Faster improvement: Other therapies can often take years before seeing tangible results. With CBT, you can gain greater clarity and understanding in just a few weeks, and often see results in a few months’ time. 
  • Long-lasting results: Even after your CBT sessions are over, you’ll still be able to implement what you learned for years to come.

CBT at Behavioral Health of New York

1. Contact Our Office

Give us a call 212-722-3434, or message us through our contact form. 

2. Consultation with Dr. Levy

Each of our new clients has an initial consultation with Dr. Mitchell S. Levy, the director of our practice at Behavioral Health of New York.

3. Schedule your sessions

We’ll do our best to set up your sessions at a time most convenient for you. Our office manager is readily available to answer any administrative questions you may have.

Photo taken in Bangkok, Thailand

Feel Better with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Get started with a consultation for cognitive behavioral therapy at Behavioral Health of New York.

Find BHNY CBT Therapy Near You

Serving NYC, Westchester, and Long Island

Frequently Asked Questions

Does CBT Work for Anxiety?

CBT is effective for the treatment of anxiety for most people. It’s one of the most widely used therapy methods for many types of anxiety such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, phobias, and panic attacks.

Can CBT Help ADHD?

CBT can provide several strategies to improve ADHD, such as learning how to better manage one’s time or how to create a more structured environment.

How Long Is CBT Therapy?

CBT therapy is a relatively short-term treatment that often ranges between 10 and 20 sessions. It can be longer or shorter depending on the person’s needs. You and your therapist will determine how many sessions are best suited to you.

What Is the Goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to teach people the skills to challenge or diffuse negative thoughts, the ability to respond to life events in healthier ways, and the tools to develop more productive behaviors—all which can lead to creating more positive life change.