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Cognitive psychotherapy comprehends several different types of psychotherapy, which studies have found to be effective particularly in the treatment of unidirectional depressive state, social anxiety, eating disorders, various types of anxiety disorders and severe mental health disorders, such as chronic depression and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Of the therapies currently in use today, cognitive psychotherapy is the most scientifically studied. A prerequisite of cognitive therapy is collaboration between the client and therapist, thus establishing a feeling of emotional warmth and empathy as well as sympathetic listening that places the focus on the client. Cognitive therapy is approached systematically. During the first sessions, the goals for therapy are set and the case is conceptualised, in which a working hypothesis is developed to determine what the source of the client´s problems are, what keeps them going and what can be changed to alleviate them.

Psychotherapy addresses beliefs, thoughts and feelings that have an adverse impact on the well-being of the client and are not constructive, determining their associations with problematic experiences and behaviours of the client. In addition to the above, new problem-solving skills are developed in therapy work in an effort to give the client tools for dealing with any problems encountered in the future.

Therapy work is practical in nature and the mutually agreed "homework assignments" are often an essential part of the therapy. These typically involve writing down one´s own thoughts and feelings or some other form of self-examination. Cognitive psychotherapy can be short in duration or last for several years. In long-term therapy, it might be necessary to examine the client´s relationship with their own developmental history and childhood experiences. Today´s problems often have a developmental background and, for example, dealing with attachments and their related emotional relationships can help the client better understand the developmental nature and causal mechanisms of their current problems.  

In cognitive therapy for children and youths, cognitive psychotherapy workshops are used in a manner appropriate to the age of the child/youth as well as their developmental stage. Therapy can be aimed at, for example, emotional over- or under-regulation when dealing with problems, social skills, support for self-control or working out harmful beliefs pertaining to one´s self or the world at large. Depending on the age of the child/youth, play, psychoeducation, exposure, relaxation and various everyday exercise may be used in therapy. 

Various forms of cognitive psychotherapy and other cognitive therapies can be found on the Finnish Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies (Finnish and Swedish only):
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