For information and inquiries about the New Canaan / Weston Urgent Assessment Program, please visit its webpage.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that was developed in the 1960’s by a psychiatrist, Dr. Aaron Beck. In addition to identifying problematic thought patterns, the clinician helps patients understand how those thoughts affect their feelings and behaviors. CBT is used to help manage a variety of mental illnesses including, but not limited to:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Addiction
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder


What to Expect
You may feel a bit nervous or awkward when you start therapy, especially if it’s your first time, but that’s normal. Your therapist will help you feel comfortable and ask questions to facilitate the conversation. Most likely your first session will focus on gathering information about your current situation, what problems are bringing you to therapy and your physical and mental health history. You and the therapist will also set a goal for what you would like to get out of CBT. During your first session make sure you also ask questions to determine if the therapist is a good fit for you. It’s crucial that you are comfortable and trust the person in order to get the most out of CBT.
Unlike other forms of therapy, CBT is a short-term psychotherapy. CBT doesn’t work overnight, but most problems can be resolved in 6 to 12 months. However, if a person has persistent mental illness, CBT sessions may be needed on a regular basis in order to manage/minimize symptoms. Patients usually see the therapist on a weekly basis for a 50-minute session; additional sessions may be added if you or the therapist feels it is needed. During your sessions, you will work towards achieving the goal(s) you identified. As you go through CBT, you will work with your therapist to:

  • Identify what is troubling you, such as a medical condition, relationship problems or mental illness symptoms.
  • Discuss your thoughts and beliefs about the problems you are facing or life in general.
  • Identify any negative or inaccurate thoughts about the problem(s) that may be contributing to your emotional distress.
  • Determine ways you can reshape your troublesome thoughts, beliefs and problematic behaviors so they have less power in your life.


All conversations between you and your therapist will remain confidential unless you consent to releasing information. If there is an immediate threat to your safety or the safety of another person, the therapist is required by law to report the concerns.

How to Find a Therapist
It can seem like an overwhelming task to just pick a name off of a list. One of the best ways to find someone is to ask for a recommendation. Ask your primary care doctor, OBGYN, or trusted friends and family members. You can also consult the following professional organizations for recommendations:

  • American Psychiatric Association (APA)
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)


Keep in mind that the first person you see may not be the right person for you. If you don’t feel like you connect with the person or you aren’t comfortable, there are many others to choose from. Mental Health America has compiled a list of resources to help you find mental health services in your community, including affordable treatment for those who don’t have insurance.

Getting to Know Silver Hill Hospital

Our Clinicians

From their first day on campus through outpatient follow-up, Silver Hill patients receive thorough, clinically astute treatment from a staff of expert clinicians.

Meet our clinicians

Levels of Care

Silver Hill offers three levels of care: inpatient, transitional living and outpatient treatment. Take a look at these programs to see where you might fit in.

Explore our levels of care

What We Treat

Our broad range of services and therapies allow flexible treatment planning specific to each patient’s needs.

Learn more about what we treat