TEAM-CBT is an evidenced-based approach to psychotherapy having Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) at its core, recognizing the connection between thoughts and emotions.
TEAM is an acronym, which is described below. Each phase of TEAM therapy helps direct the patients' negative feelings toward recovery and to achieve a state of mind that is positive and "FEELS GOOD."
Testing: Each session begins by patients filling out a Brief Mood Survey, which assesses the patients' current states of depression, anxiety, anger, and even positive feelings and relationship satisfaction. These scores help both the patients and the therapists to keep an eye on the progress of the therapy. At the end of each session, once again the patients are given the opportunity to examine their scores on the same states of mind, as well as an Evaluation of The Therapy Session. The feedback that patients provide in our observation is the most accurate way of keeping track of their progress in therapy.
Empathy: When a patient seeks professional help for an issue that has been causing emotional pain, it is of utmost importance that they feel empathized with. It is very important to know that your therapist has fully appreciated your struggles and concerns, and your emotional experiences. Therapy begins with an understanding of the primary issues and concerns in your life. Through the use of advanced skills in empathy, therapists aim to gain a deep appreciation of their patient's concerns.
Often people refer to therapy to get help on an issue. However, sometimes there are conscious or unconscious reasons why certain outcomes might not be desireable, or what it takes to reach that kind of outcome might feel too scary or too effortful. The highlight of the TEAM approach is in this stage. During Agenda Setting, the patients are made aware of the “voices of resistance” or why might they not really want to change the status quo. This technique, helps patients have a chance to recognize how the new change will feel like before they reach it.
Homework is a necessary part of the work, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records of thoughts and feelings or certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life in between the sessions. For therapy to be most effective patients must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions.
TEAM uses a variety of techniques and tools to help people overcome depression, self-esteem issues, social phobia, PTSD, OCD, addictions and relationship conflicts, just to name a few.
Methods are often chosen collaboratively between the clinician and the patient. Techniques can be chosen from logic based, compassion based, uncovering techniques, role playing techniques, and many other ones. No one knows ahead of time which technique might work the best for any given person. That’s why we use something that is called a Recovery Circle, on which we put the names and descriptions of several potential techniques that might work to eradicate or reduce any given negative thought. We list the techniques in a manner in which we aim to fail as fast as possible in order to quickly try another technique that might work. Ultimately, once one technique shows to be the one that helps in getting rid of unwanted behaviors or negative thoughts and emotions, that technique is used in preventing relapses for the future as well.