for depression and anxiety disorders.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the first-line treatment for mood and behavior-related problems like depression and anxiety. CBT deals with the connection between our thoughts (cognitions), feelings, and behaviors. When we are feeling down, our brain automatically generates negative thoughts. For example, when we feel shy, we think: "what if other people do not like me? or what if people are judging me? Then, we avoid social situation. The tools and strategies used in CBT can provide you a major relief from burdening emotions and self-defeating beliefs.
CBT is a structured therapeutic modality. Your goals and the treatment plan will serve as a road map to your recovery with minimal distructions.
To learn how to change your thinking and utilize tools to help you feel empowered
Depression should not be treated as a minor nuisance. Depression severity can range from a low negative mood or somewhat accessive irritability to a life-threatening condition. When we feel depressed we tend to think in terms of absolute, black-and-white thinking. We believe that there is something wrong with us, with others, or with the world. We draw conclusions that leads us to think less of ourselves and get caught in a cycle of self-loathing and shame. These negative thoughts feel real even though we have no evidence to back them up. CBT is a collaborative approach, and the techniques and strategies used in CBT are highly efficient. Learning new life skills and changing the way you think will change your life.
As a CBT therapist, I have powerful tools to break this thinking pattern and help you feel happy, worthy, and connected to others.
When severe symptoms are present, patients might benefit from psychopharmacological intervention in addition to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Anxiety is a state of fear or terror that interferes with your daily functions. That fear or anxiety is difficult to endure, and you might find yourself avoiding places and situations that might trigger that state. Our avoidant behavior gives legitimacy for our anxiety to grow, and people who struggle with anxiety get stuck in a cycle of avoidant behavior that makes their anxiety worst.
Anxiety-related disorders include panic attacks, phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), social anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and more. When anxiety symptoms interfere with daily functions, it is important to get help and work on skills that would help you live anxiety free.
Trauma & Prolonged Exposure
Trauma is an emotional and psychological response to a distressing event that is life-threatening or could cause serious injury, including exposure to violence that is physical, emotional, or sexual. Trauma can be experienced immediately or can have a delayed onset. It often evokes feelings of guilt and regret and can cause psychological disturbances like anxiety and depression. Prolonged Exposure (PE) is an evidence-based treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It helps process the trauma and reduce trauma-related psychological disturbances.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety-related disorder where a person experiences intrusive, unwanted, and distressing reoccurring thoughts (obsessions). Obsessions can also present as pervasive doubts, leaving one in an intolerable state of uncertainty. The attempt to stop the distress leads to ritualistic behavior, also known as compulsions. Pure 'O' is a term for people who experience obsessions but seem to have no compulsions. In other words, no physical actions taken to reduce the distress. Nonetheless, having no compulsions is rare, and pure 'O' clients often engage in mental compulsion/rituals. For example, mental counting, or repeating mentally some word over and over to make the discomfort stop.
PANDAS is a Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder associated with Streptococcal Infection in children (even when Asymptomatic). It is characterized by a sudden flair of OCD symptoms and/or a sudden flair of Tics. PANDAS symptoms best treated with anti-inflammatory medication prescribed by the child's pediatrician.
OCD affects both adults and children and can be debilitating and time-consuming. Exposure Response Prevention (ERP, or EX/RP) is the most evident base treatment for OCD. During ERP, cleints learns to resist the urge to compulse and thereby, reduces both obsessions and compulsions.
Selective Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) can also reduce OCD symptoms and is sometimes used in conjunction with ERP. (SSRIs' are prescribed medication that could be provided by your primary physician or psychiatrist).
Exposure Response Prevention (ERP)
Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) is a treatment of choice for various anxiety-related disorders and the first line treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Using ERP, I help my clients expand their window of stress tolerance.
How does ERP work?
Once you are ready to start ERP, we will list and rank your fears based on a measured report.
We will then collaboratively decide which fear you are ready to let-go-of. We will work on conquering one fear at the time. Your input will help us determine the right "dosage" of the exposure. In other wards, we will collaboratively conclude how much exposure is enough for you. After practicing with me in session, you will practice daily exposures on-your-own.
The more you practice, the better your will get!
With the support of the ERP therapist, clients learn to A) expand their ability to cope with the distress. And B) restrain their need to respond to the urge with rituals or avoidance.
Facing your anxiety instead of avoiding it is key in treating any type-of anxiety, and you will be able to see that this monster has no teeth.
Child and Adolescent Therapy
Just like adults, children are also affected by anxiety and Depression. A depressed child may act irritable, struggle with low self-esteem, and lack motivation. An anxious child may display excessive worry, perfectionism, and disproportional shyness. I have powerful tools to help you and your child cope with such challenging emotions. A healthy parent-child bond is an important piece of children's mental health. I, therefore, employ skill training and psychoeducation for parents as part of the treatment plan. I further use the Supporting Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) treatment modality to help reduce anxiety-related disorders in children.
Contact me to discuss potential options for you and your child's unique situation.
Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE), is an evidence-based treatment modality that addresses a variety of anxiety disorders in children and young adults. Using SPACE we examine parental accessive support as a factor sustaining the child's maladaptive behavior. Supporting a child in distress is something that every good parent does. As a SPACE-certified clinician, I will help you attend to your child's emotional and developmental needs without nurturing their anxiety.