Treatment Approach: TEAM-CBT


In my 8 years of conducting therapy, I've been on a mission to find the best treatment approaches to helping people change their lives. I feel like I've found it in Dr. David Burns' TEAM-CBT (a.k.a TEAM therapy). I've been trained in a variety of approaches to treat depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and habits and addictions, but the most powerful approach has been TEAM-CBT.

You've probably heard of CBT, which is cognitive-behavioral therapy. TEAM-CBT is coined "CBT on steroids." Dr. Burns is one of the fathers of CBT and has worked diligently to discover why it works for some and not for others. Using what he’s learned through his research, he evolved CBT into an innovative, powerful treatment approach known as TEAM-CBT. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach and goes through the toolbox of many different techniques to find the ones that will help you change your life, because we are all unique and need different things to get better.

What is the TEAM part in TEAM-CBT?

TEAM stands for testing, empathy, agenda setting, and methods -- all the effective components that have been shown by research to really work in creating change and producing lasting results.

  • Testing - I use Dr. Burns' brief mood survey before and after ever single session to assess your symptoms of depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, anger, positive feelings, and relationship satisfaction. I also seek feedback about our session, so I can really see what’s working or not working for you. This allows me to give you the best care possible to help you get better.

  • Empathy - With TEAM-CBT, we've been trained to use advance empathy skills to truly go to that dark place with you, and make sure you feel, heard, supported, and understood before we try to help you feel better. This actually has a powerful effect on healing in and of itself.

  • Agenda Setting - This is a complicated step to try to explain in a few sentences, but we work together to identify what you'd like to specifically change in your life, then we use some motivational techniques to melt away the part of you that may have been hesitant or scared to change, often for good reasons.

  • Methods - Once we have a clear agenda, we dive into going through over 50 powerful techniques, failing as quickly as possible, until we find the ones that will help you have real change in your thoughts, mood, relationships, and life.

I love this therapy approach for so many reasons, but a major reason is that it honors the human being. We see every person's potential to heal and become whole. Of course, there are no guarantees with any approach for every single person, but many of my clients and I have been impressed with the results of TEAM-CBT.

I am currently the only certified TEAM-CBT therapist and trainer in Oklahoma. I love TEAM-CBT so much that my dream is to spread it across the state and provide trainings to other therapists. For more information about getting training in TEAM-CBT, visit my training for therapists page.

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You can listen to Dr. David Burns' Feeling Good Podcast for some great, in-depth information on TEAM-CBT, in addition to hearing some very moving, live demonstrations of him using the approach to heal real people who are suffering.

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