Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Psychotherapist Dr. Chantal Gagnon offers Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT Therapy)
in Plantation FL (West Broward and Greater Fort Lauderdale).

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

CBT Therapy combines the principles and techniques of both cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy to treat a variety of mental disorders and help reduce certain types of emotional difficulties, including fear and phobias, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, trauma and PTSD, and anger.

CBT Therapy has also been used successfully to address other issues and concerns such as weight loss and low self-esteem.

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy was initially made popular by psychiatrist Aaron Beck in the 1960’s. The main idea behind cognitive therapy is that how we think about the situations in our life helps to determine how we feel.


For example, if you are laid off from your job and think to yourself “This is terrible. I will go broke and lose my house!”, you are likely to feel pretty scared and depressed.


But if instead you think “This is certainly unexpected, and I will have to cut back on expenses for a while, but maybe this is a good opportunity to go back to school and improve my career in the long run”, then you will not feel as bad. You may even feel excited about going back to school.


Sometimes, cognitive therapy is confused with “positive thinking” but they are not the same. Cognitive therapy helps you learn very specific ways to recognize your unhelpful thinking patterns and change the core beliefs that underly the thoughts that create unpleasant emotions.

Cognitive Therapy
Psychiatrist Dr. Aaron T. Beck is globally recognized as the father of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and one of the world’s leading researchers in psychopathology. He is credited with shaping the field of mental health, and The American Psychologist has called him “one of the five most influential psychotherapists of all time.
Therapy for Phobias like fear of flying or claustrophobia
Behavioral therapy can help individuals overcome their fear of flying by gradually exposing them to flight-related situations while teaching them coping strategies to manage anxiety and fear responses.

Behavior Therapy

Behavior therapy involves taking specific actions that help you feel better.


There are different types of behavior therapy, such as:

EXPOSURE THERAPY: Exposure therapy is a method to gradually face and conquer fears, reducing anxiety and enhancing individuals' ability to handle stressful situations. Its benefits include overcoming phobias, reducing anxiety, and regaining control over one's life by gradually confronting and mastering sources of fear.

BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION: Behavior modification is a psychological approach that uses reinforcement and consequences to encourage desired behaviors and discourage unwanted ones. Its benefits include helping individuals develop healthier habits, improve self-control, and make positive changes in their lives by systematically shaping and reinforcing behavior.

SYSTEMATIC DESENTIZATION: Systematic desensitization is a therapeutic technique that gradually exposes individuals to feared stimuli while teaching relaxation strategies to reduce anxiety. Its benefits include helping individuals overcome phobias and anxiety disorders by desensitizing them to triggers and enabling them to manage their fear responses more effectively.

BEHAVIORAL ACTIVATION: Behavioral Activation Therapy is a treatment for depression that involves doing enjoyable and meaningful activities to improve mood and overall well-being.

Each of those types of behavior therapy are use for different problems. For example, systematic desensitization is very effective for phobias, while behavioral activation works well in the treatment of depression.

The Importance of the Therapeutic Alliance: When the patient knows that their therapist genuinely cares about them and their well being, they are more receptive to therapy and can benefit from several different counseling or therapy approaches.

CBT Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy combines methods from both cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy, and has been shown to be a very effective counseling approach.


Sometimes, CBT therapists will tell you that CBT is "proven" to work. The truth is that nothing is proven in therapy! But decades of research shows that people who participate in therapy for at least six months experience significant improvements in their lives, emotions, and overall well-being.


What we do know is that there are many types of therapy that can produce good results, but what really makes a difference is the quality of the relationship (therapeutic alliance) between the therapist and the client. In other words, when the patient knows that their therapist genuinely cares about them and their well being, they are more receptive to therapy and can benefit from whichever counseling approach the therapist uses.


So basically, be sure to pick a therapist you like and trust! And one that pays attention to feedback in the literature (research) on the effectiveness of psychotherapy, we call these therapists "SuperShrinks" - 20 % of therapist are actually responsible for 80% of quality outcomes in therapy.

SuperShrinks: The Most Effective Psychotherapists - Discover the top-rated therapists who excel in providing effective psychotherapy
Psychology BrainResearch
CBT Therapy has been show to lead to brain changes. Studies using neuroimaging techniques, such as fMRI and PET scans, have shown that CBT can lead to changes in the activity and connectivity of different brain regions involved in emotion regulation, learning, and memory.

CBT for Depression and Anxiety

CBT can be very useful for individuals who are experiencing depression or anxiety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has proven to be remarkably effective in alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety.


This evidence-based therapeutic approach empowers individuals to identify and challenge negative thought patterns and replace them with more constructive ones. By helping patients gain insight into their emotions and behavior, CBT equips them with valuable coping skills to manage their anxiety and depressive symptoms.


Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of CBT, often leading to significant reductions in symptoms and an improved quality of life for those struggling with these mental health challenges. Its structured and goal-oriented nature makes CBT a practical and widely recommended choice for individuals seeking a path toward better mental well-being.


To read more about depression treatment, click here. More information on anxiety treatments and anxiety counseling I offer can be found here and here.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Plantation FL

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was the very first specialized counseling method and learned and used as a young therapist. While I've learned many other counseling approaches since then, CBT remains one of my favorites.

My office is located in midtown Plantation Florida, just steps away from Weston, Davie, Cooper City, Sunrise, Tamarac, and Fort Lauderdale.

Making your first appointment is easy! Just call 954-559-2936 24-hours a day (a live person will actually speak with you and schedule your appointment), or schedule an appointment yourself using my online scheduling tool!