About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Vascular doctors in Long Island use risk modification programs to modify an individual’s risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Risk modification programs incorporate lifestyle changes that may be quite drastic for some individuals. Patients are educated on the changes, how to make them and why to make them. However, many individuals return to their unhealthy lifestyles after a short period of time. Cardiologists in Long Island now employ cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps patients change their behavior and maintain the new behavior.

The aims of cognitive behavioral therapy include:

  • Reducing negative thoughts
  • Overcoming depression
  • Managing stress
  • Improving decision making skills
  • Increasing social support
  • Preventing and managing relapses.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Various types of cognitive behavioral therapy programs are available and your heart doctor in Long Island will help you select a program that is most appropriate for you. You can either undergo cognitive behavioral therapy with a therapist or self-help tools that are available both as computerized programs or reading material.

The most effective cognitive behavioral therapy sessions between a patient and therapist are usually face to face, and may be reinforced by real-time computer links. Typically the program consists of 6-20 one-hour sessions over a period of a few months. The sessions may be more intense in the beginning and spread out towards the end. Some individuals find it useful to reinforce the therapy with booster sessions once the initial therapy has been completed.

Computerized programs are available for those individuals that do not have access to a therapist for various reasons including cost and availability. Programs that are guided by medical professionals are also available – these tend to have higher success and completion rates than ones that individuals complete on their own. Self-help guide books are available for individuals that do not have access to a computer or prefer not to use a computer program.

All the above methods can be reinforced by group therapy sessions and group courses for maximum benefit.