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Science-Based Therapy at Therapy Lab

What is science-based therapy?

At Therapy Lab we practice science-based therapy, meaning our clinical practice is informed by scientific knowledge. Beginning with a foundation of the best research evidence, we are able to tailor treatment as needed based on clinical expertise.

CBT-I & Third Wave Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an intervention that tends to be focused, time-limited, and active. With a CBT perspective, the clinician aims to identify factors that are contributing to a problem, and work collaboratively with their client to change those factors. CBT is an active process, and throughout the course of therapy the client will have things to try, both during sessions and outside of sessions.

With a CBT mindset, a therapist will be concerned with measuring progress and setting clear goals for desired outcomes. In CBT, we use our clinical expertise to try approaches that we think will work, and then we systematically check to see what is effective in a given situation and what is not. The foundation of CBT is good therapy, which requires paying careful attention to a client’s symptoms, history, behaviors, unique values and individuality. It’s important for therapists to demonstrate empathy, genuineness and compassion.

CBT is based on the idea that psychological problems consist of cognitive elements, emotional elements, and behavioral elements, and that these different elements have a mutual influence on each other. With CBT, practitioners will gain a better understanding of how these different elements are interacting, and will strive to influence thoughts, feelings and behaviors in a healthy direction.

At Therapy Lab we provide CBT-I, third-wave cognitive-behavioral therapies such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and a cutting edge approach to CBT called the Unified Protocol (UP). Third-wave cognitive-behavioral therapies focus on increasing awareness and acceptance of one's internal experience in order to reduce unhealthy ways of coping. A large body of research demonstrates that Cognitive Behavioral Therapies can be a highly effective treatment across a wide range of psychological disorders and concerns.

CBT is well documented and informed by a very large body of continuously accumulating scientific evidence. The growing body of research associated with CBT has allowed it to evolve over time, incorporating elements from other therapy modalities, and becoming better over generations.

Learn more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

New York Times Article: "Evidence That Therapy Works"

Los Angeles Times Article: “Anxiety Treatment: Medication, Therapy or Both Can Help”

Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at The Institute of Living- Hartford Hospital

Unified Protocol - A New Approach to CBT

Therapy Lab clinicians are specially trained in the Unified Protocol (UP), a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that has been shown to help individuals dealing with anxiety disorders, depression and other emotion related concerns. Combining such elements as mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and ACT, patients can experience relief across a range of areas. Research supports the efficacy of the Unified Protocol to simultaneously address multiple problems in treatment, which can translate to quicker and more efficient relief from psychological distress.

Based on decades of research, the UP is a form of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy that can help people who feel that their emotions are sometimes overwhelming or hard to manage. Concerns may include anxiety, depression or low mood, specific phobias, panic attacks, social anxiety, or multiple concerns at once. The UP approach can also be helpful for individuals who are simply overwhelmed by stress, relationships, life transitions and circumstances, or for those who would like to learn new coping skills. Clinicians value Unified Protocol for its cost-effectiveness, being that following only a single protocol, can provide relief across multiple areas that traditionally might be approached separately.

The ultimate goal of the Unified Protocol is to help clients learn new ways of responding to their emotional states, and thereby reduce the symptoms they are experiencing. The Unified Protocol targets the core deficits and common threads that are shared across different emotional disorders and psychological problems.

Unified Protocol has been repeatedly studied across different samples of individuals seeking treatment for anxiety and other emotional disorders. Several studies on the Unified Protocol (UP) showed the majority of participants no longer met criteria for their presenting conditions following treatment, and showed continued improvement 6 months later.

Research Support

Barlow, D.H., Ellard, K.K., Fairholme, C.P., Farchione, T.J., Boisseau, C.L. Allen, L.B. & Ehrenreich-May, J. (2011). The unified protocol for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders: Client workbook. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Barlow, D.H., Ellard, K., Sauer-Zavala, S., Bullis, J., & Carl, H. (in press). The Origins of Neuroticism. Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Barlow, D.H., Farchione, T.J., Fairholme, C.P., Ellard, K.K., Boisseau, C.L. Allen, L.B. & Ehrenreich-May, J. (2011). The unified protocol for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders: Therapist guide. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Barlow, D.H., Sauer-Zavala, S., Carl, J.R., Bullis, J.R., & Ellard, K.K. (2014). The nature, diagnosis, and treatment of neuroticism: Back to the future. Clinical Psychological Science, 2(3), 344-365

Boisseau, C. L., Farchione, T., Fairholme, C. P., Ellard, K. E., & Barlow, D. H. (2010). The development of the unified protocol for the transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders: A case study. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 17(1), 102-113.

Boswell, J. F. (2013). Intervention strategies and clinical process in transdiagnostic cognitive behavioral therapy. Psychotherapy, 50(3), 381.

Boswell, J. F., Sauer, S.E., Gallagher, M. W., Delgado, N., Barlow, D.H. (2012). Readiness to change as a moderator of outcome in transdiagnostic treatment. Psychotherapy Research, 22, 570-578.

Bullis, J.R., Sauer-Zavala, S., Bentley, K.H., Thompson-Hollands, J., & Carl, J.R., & Barlow, D.H. (in press). The Unified Protocol for the Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorder administered in a group format: A clinical replication series. Behavior Modification.

Ehrenreich, J. T., Goldstein, C. M., Wright, L. R., & Barlow, D. H. (2009). Development of a unified protocol for the treatment of emotional disorders in youth. Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 31(1), 20–37.

Ellard, K. K., Fairholme, C. P., Boisseau, C. L., Farchione, T., & Barlow, D. H. (2010). Unified protocol for the transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders: Protocol development and initial outcome data. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 17(1), 88-101.

Ellard, K.K., Deckersbach, T., Sylvia, L.G., Nierenberg, A. A., & Barlow, D.H. (2012). Transdiagnostic treatment of bipolar disorder and comorbid anxiety with the Unified Protocol: A clinical replication series. Behavior Modification, 36, 482-508.

Fairholme, C. P., Boisseau, C. L., Ellard, K. K., Ehrenreich, J. T., & Barlow, D. H. (2010). Emotions, emotion regulation, and psychological treatment: A unified perspective. In A. M. Kring & D. M. Sloan (Eds.), Emotion regulation and psychopathology: A transdiagnostic approach to etiology and treatment. (pp. 283-309). New York, NY US: Guilford Press.

Farchione, T.J., Boisseau, C.L., Ellard, K.K., Fairholme, C.P., & Barlow, D.H. (2009). Development of a transdiagnostic unified psychosocial treatment for emotional disorders. Psychiatric Times, 26 (7).

Farchione, T.J., Fairholme, C.P., Ellard, K.K., Boisseau, C.L., Thompson-Hollands, J., Carl J.R., Gallagher, M.W., Barlow, D.H. (2012). The unified protocol for the transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders: A randomized controlled trial. Behavior Therapy, 3, 666-678.

Farchione, T. J., & Bullis, J. R. (2014). Addressing the Global Burden of Mental Illness: Why Transdiagnostic and Common Elements Approaches to Evidence-Based Practice Might Be Our Best Bet. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 21(2), 124-126.

Gallagher, M. W., Sauer-Zavala, S. E., Carl, J. R., Bullis, J. R., Farchione, T. J., & Barlow, D. H. (2013). The impact of the unified protocol for emotional disorders on quality of life. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 6 (1), 57-72.

Gallagher, M. W., Naragon-Gainey, K., & Brown, T. A. (2014). Perceived control is a transdiagnostic predictor of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy outcome for anxiety disorders. Cognitive Therapy & Research, 38, 10–22. doi:10.1007/s10608-013-9587-3

McHugh, R. K., & Barlow, D. H. (2010). Dissemination and implementation of evidence-based psychological treatments: A review of current efforts. American Psychologist, 65, 73-84. PMID: 20141263.

McHugh, R. K., & Barlow, D. H. (Eds.). (in press). Dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions. New York: Oxford University Press.

Moses, E.B., & Barlow, D.H. (2006). A new unified treatment approach for emotional disorders based on emotion science. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15, 146-150. doi: 10.1111/j.0963-7214.2006.00425.

Payne, L. A., Ellard, K. K., Farchione, T.J., Fairholme, C. P., & Barlow, D. H. (2014). Emotional disorders: A unified transdiagnostic protocol. In D.H. Barlow (Ed.), Clinical handbook of psychological disorders: A step-by-step treatment manual (5th ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Sauer-Zavala, S. & Barlow (2014). The case for borderline personality disorder as an emotional disorder: Implications for treatment. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice.

Sauer-Zavala, S., Bentley, K.H., & Wilner, J.A. (in press). Transdiagnostic treatment of borderline personality disorder and comorbid disorders: A clinical replication series. Journal of Personality Disorders. 21, 118-138

Sauer-Zavala, S.E., Boswell, J.F., Gallagher, M. W., Bentley, K. H., Ametaj, A., & Barlow, D. H. (2012). The role of negative affectivity and negative reactivity to emotions in predicting outcomes in the unified protocol for the transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 50, 551-557.

Thompson-Hollands, J., Bentley, K. H., Gallagher, M. W., Boswell, J. F., & Barlow, D. H. (2014). Credibility and Outcome Expectancy in the Unified Protocol: Relationship To Outcomes. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 5(1), 72-82.

Wilamowska, Z.A., Thompson-Hollands, J., Fairholme, C.P., Ellard, K.K., Farchione, T.J., & Barlow, D.H. (2010). Conceptual background, development, and preliminary data from the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders. Depression and Anxiety, 27, 882-890. PMID: 20886609.

DiMaurom J., Domingues, J., Fernandez, G., Tolin, D.F., (2013) Long-term effectiveness of CBT for anxiety disorders in an adult outpatient clinic sample: A Follow Up Study. Behavior Research and Therapy, 51, 2, 82-86.

Diegenbach, G.J, Abramoqitz, J.S., Norberg, M.M., Tolin, D.F., (2007) Changes in quality of life following cognitive-behavioral therapy for obsessive compulsive disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45, 12, 3060-3068.

Ladouceur, R., Dugas, M.J., Freeston, M.H., Leger, E., Gagnon, F., & Thibodeau, N. (2000). Efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: Evaluation in a controlled clinical trial Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 6, 957-964.

LI, J.M., Zhang, Y., Su, W.J., Gong, H., Peng, W., Jiang, CL., (2018) Cognitive behavioral therapy for treatment-resistant depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychiatry Research, 268, 243-250.