ABA equipped 
Cognitive Behavior Therapy 
(CBT)

What is ABA Equipped CBT?

 

ABA Equipped CBT is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provided by therapists trained in Applied Behavioural Analysis. Through therapy, they incorporate their expertise using behavioural skills while working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder into their delivery of manualized practical and goal-based CBT.

 


How is ABA Equipped CBT different from regular CBT?


The practitioners of typical CBT have educational and training backgrounds in general mental health often in the areas of social work, child and youth services, or general psychology and then specialized training in CBT. In contrast, our practitioners of ABA Equipped CBT all have educational backgrounds which include a degree in Autism Behavioural Sciences and extensive training in Behavioural Therapy and Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) in addition to specialized training in CBT.


Thus, our practitioners have expertise and experience in working with individuals on the ASD spectrum which allows them to adapt the CBT curriculum and provide additional specialized supports as needed for the success of our clients. Furthermore, coming from an ABA background, they are trained in goal setting, program planning, data gathering, and progress
monitoring. This allows them to ensure that practical and applicable skills are taught and generalized.

 


What does ABA Equipped CBT involve?


Our ABA Equipped CBT involves 1-2 hours per week of 1:1 therapy with one of our CBT trained Behaviour Therapists. Our programs follow research-proven manualized CBT curriculums which are structured to teach new practical skills and coping tools each week. We also provide weekly parent & teacher handouts and practice suggestions to help extend these skills to home and school. We choose the curriculum for each client often times using ASD-customized tools.

CBT is based on several core principles, including:

  1. Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.

  2. Psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.

  3. People suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.

CBT treatment usually involves efforts to change thinking patterns. These strategies might include:

  • Learning to recognize one’s distortions in thinking that are creating problems, and then to reevaluate them in light of reality.

  • Gaining a better understanding of the behavior and motivation of others.

  • Using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations.

  • Learning to develop a greater sense of confidence in one’s own abilities.

CBT treatment also usually involves efforts to change behavioral patterns. These strategies might include:

  • Facing one’s fears instead of avoiding them.

  • Using role playing to prepare for potentially problematic interactions with others.

  • Learning to calm one’s mind and relax one’s body.

Not all CBT will use all of these strategies. Rather, the psychologist and patient/client work together, in a collaborative fashion, to develop an understanding of the problem and to develop a treatment strategy.

CBT places an emphasis on helping individuals learn to be their own therapists. Through exercises in the session as well as “homework” exercises outside of sessions, patients/clients are helped to develop coping skills, whereby they can learn to change their own thinking, problematic emotions, and behavior.

CBT therapists emphasize what is going on in the person’s current life, rather than what has led up to their difficulties. A certain amount of information about one’s history is needed, but the focus is primarily on moving forward in time to develop more effective ways of coping with life.

Which curriculums are used in your ABA Equipped CBT?


We only use research-driven, expert curriculum, based on each specific clients need. Some examples of our resources include: The Coping Cat program & Tony Attwood’s ASD Exploring Feelings Curriculum for Anxiety, Depression, or Anger.

 


What is the typical schedule for ABA Equipped CBT?


Typically ABA Equipped CBT is done once a week for 1-2 hours for 8-22 sessions following an initial intake and planning session. The initial intake and planning session takes an hour and includes a half hour meeting with the ABA CBT therapist, the Clinical Psychologist, the parents and sometimes the child or youth followed by a 1/2 hour team meeting planning meeting. The

total length of therapy varies depending on the program chosen, the identified goals, and the pace at which the material is worked through. Some clients continue to come after completing the original curriculum for monthly check-ins if desired.

 


How much does ABA Equipped CBT cost?
 

1:1 ABA Equipped CBT costs are based the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO)
recommended rate of $225 per hour (last updated by the CPO in 2015).

 


What are funding sources for ABA Equipped CBT?


Funding from the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) can be used for ABA Equipped CBT. Also,
private medical insurance Psychology benefits can be used to pay for this service.

How is the ABA Equipped CBT supervised and monitored for Quality?


All of our ABA Equipped CBT is supervised and monitored by our Clinical Psychologist Dr. Amanda Morgan who specializes in Applied Behavior Analyis, Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Morgan supervises all ABA Equipped CBT cases, oversees curriculum, and provides weekly consult meetings with all of our ABA Equipped CBT therapists. 

Group Therapy For People With Anxiety 

Elements Of CBT Group Therapy

In small group CBT, participants will learn strategies and techniques to cope with anxious thoughts, worries, and rumination. In addition, they will explore different ways to help themselves cope with the support and encouragement of the therapist and peers.

The small group CBT for anxiety is a short-term treatment approach. Its goal is to helps individuals become aware of their anxious thought patterns and behaviours.  In each session, participants learn specific skills to help themselves feel better, cope with and manage their difficulties and decrease the risk of future relapse.

Participants of this CBT group for anxiety will learn how to:

  • Challenge and Stop Negative Thoughts – To recognize distorted thinking and respond to your thoughts in a different way that does not lead to anxiety or depression

  • Proven strategies – To challenge your negative thoughts and stop ruminating

  • Develop new healthy core beliefs and behaviours – How to engage in behaviours that are consistent with your values

  • Change unhelpful thinking patterns and develop new ways of thinking

  • Create behavioural experiments to overcome anxious or depressive beliefs

  • Prepare Action Plans to solve daily difficulties

  • Question own negative core beliefs, (chronic and deep-rooted thinking and behavioural patterns) such as “I am inadequate” or ”Nobody likes me”

 

Benefits Of Group Therapy

There are various benefits of attending a therapy group. These include:

  • Having the support of others with similar difficulties

  • Start Feeling Better – How to feel better and take positive actions

  • Receiving psycho-education about the mental illness and how to manage it

  • An increased sense of hope as a result of feeling in control of their own mental health

 

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