Lee Shields Therapist Seattle
Psychotherapist and Counselor in Seattle, Washington  
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Leland Shields

2800 E. Madison, Suite 206
Seattle, WA 98112
Phone: (206) 568-0062
Fax: (206) 325-0098


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

For present clients, this page has some resources to support cognitive behavioral therapy tools. Other interested readers will find general information about CBT and samples of approaches.

CBT provides a variety of tools that can help us change habits of mind and behavior. This approach has less focus on insight, causes or history. Rather, CBT is problem-oriented, and focuses on concrete ways we can do things differently now that facilitate healthy, functional lives. In using this approach, we also work together to  incorporate new habits into daily life.

Although seemingly simple, our experience in the world can be greatly enhanced by attention to the needs of our bodies:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Rest and sleep

When we care for our bodies, we often feel different. Over the years it has been almost universal that clients who were able to exercise regularly felt that their lives were better.

Other CBT tools that help us change maladaptive habits include:

  • Tools for stress reduction and regulation of emotions

Mindfulness and meditation approaches are helpful to many.  Each of us may find a fit in a different form since everyone is unique. 

  • Awareness of mistaken beliefs and distorted thoughts

All of us sometimes have distorted thoughts or interpretations of our world. Bringing attention to this fact:

  • helps us understand how and when our minds mislead us,

  • allows us to catch our automatic responses, and

  • allows us to make corrections or new choices.

For a list of common types of distorted thoughts, click here. You may find it helpful to review the list and circle the one's you commonly use.

  • Reinforce new habits

Creatively explore supportive routines, reminders built into your day, or any means fitting to you that reinforce new habits and long-term change.

  • Daily log of tools used, mood, or other relevant factors
  • Keeping a log of daily experience can help you track what works and doesn't work for you, and build awareness of habit patterns during the day. For example, when you write down relaxation techniques that helped you today, you may more easily remember to use them again tomorrow. With daily tracking of mistaken beliefs, it can be easier to catch them before we act on them.

    For a general log form, click here.

    • Make adjustments to the plan

    If some or all of these tools are unproductive, we make adjustments, explore new ones, and try again.

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