My Own Approach
When speaking with current and past clients, many of them have remarked that they appreciate the work we do because it goes beyond talk therapy to address the root of an issue rather than focusing on managing the symptoms. They have been surprised to learn that my emphasis on evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders does not mean that I subscribe to a highly structured protocol for treatment. I am often saddened when I hear this because I think that kind of thinking about evidence-based treatment is inaccurate and gives it a bad rap. I truly believe that we all have the innate capacity for change, and the catalyst for change is different depending on an individuals needs and their prior story.
And, what is CBT?
CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and it is based on the cognitive model in psychology. Aaron Beck, the pioneer of this theory states “the way that individuals perceive a situation is more closely connected to their emotional, cognitive or behavioral reaction than the situation itself.” (Beck, n.d.) CBT teaches one to re-examine their own perceptions through a more objective lens, challenging thoughts and assumptions that are usually shaped by development, personal experiences and/or beliefs.
I think that there is a common misconception about evidence-based practitioners—that they are closed minded about the types of therapies that work the best. I agree with the way Kevin Polk, PhD—an evidence-based ACT therapist and writer addresses this. He states, “Using science to prove effectiveness is not a reason to be closed-minded about what works; instead it’s a reason to be open-minded in working with established evidence-based methods.” (Polk, 2017)
I go beyond talk therapy to address the root of the issues rather than focusing on the symptoms.
Previous clients have often remarked that they appreciate my down-to-earth yet compassionate approach that emphasizes forming a lasting relationship for change. I like to be authentic in my relationships with clients because I believe that the therapeutic relationship can be a mirror for the ways in which our beliefs and patterns manifest. Most importantly, it can also be the safest and most supportive way to incite long-term changes in a person.
Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity. – Pema Chodron
My passion for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) comes from being a lover of human stories. As a kid and a young adult, I was never able to remember random details unless I could fit them into a story or a narrative that made sense within my own frame of understanding. As a grad student and intern, mental health pathology just seemed to make more sense to me (and to my clients) when I could understand someone’s story and the beliefs and coping behaviors that came from an individual’s cognitive framework. With CBT, it is imperative to understand the ‘story’ or automatic assumptions that one holds onto about their life, as well as the functions of the behaviors that they engage in. (Don’t worry—I can explain all this to you in session). Otherwise, we don’t understand the mental obstacles holding one back from change and recovery. If you’d like to learn more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, please click here.
I use the cognitive model as a foundation for therapy and I have specialized training in behavioral treatments for anxiety such as Exposure & Response Prevention (Ex/RP). But, I draw upon other modalities including:
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Somatic Therapy
- Relational Therapy
- Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
- Family Systems Therapy
Today, I strive for an individualized approach to therapy grounded in evidence-based treatment. I want to provide my clients with what will work best for them – amidst a blend of evidence-based practice, compassion, knowledge, AND a sense of humor.
Email me to schedule a time to connect
Jameson Halberg, LCSW
96 CENTRAL AVENUE
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA 28801