Our Clinical Psychologists treat patients with a wide range of psychological problems, such as those noted below. we offer specialized treatments for OCD, Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, Depression and Behavior Problems in Children. We place a strong emphasis on Parent Management and family intervention when working with children and adolescents.
Anxiety disorders involve excessive, uncontrollable, and/or irrational fears and worries that have a significant impact on daily functioning and quality of life for individuals and family members. Some people worry about several different things and have a hard time shutting off the “What ifs” (generalized anxiety) and others have more specific fears, as in social anxiety, separation anxiety, phobias, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Anxiety typically involves overestimation of likelihood and risk of a negative event, along with avoidance of situations that evoke fear. In turn, the avoidant behaviors are reinforced by a reduction in anxiety symptoms, making them more likely to recur in the future. In addition, avoidance prevents individuals from learning from their experiences that fear is temporary and manageable and that predicted outcomes are rarely accurate. Thus, anxious thoughts and feelings are maintained through avoidance of fear. Recent research on Generalized Anxiety Disorder suggests that worry is also a form of emotional avoidance. CBT for anxiety disorders typically includes education about anxiety, thought challenging techniques to address thoughts that lead to feelings of anxiety, as well as gradual exposure to feared stimuli. More specific types of CBT for OCD and PTSD are listed below.
Depressive disorders have a variety of contributing factors, including problematic thinking patterns, maladaptive behaviors, situational stressors, and problems in interpersonal relationships. Symptoms may include persistent sadness, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, social withdrawal, lack of motivation and energy, guilt, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, among others. Treatment may include changing maladaptive thought patterns; increasing activities of pleasure, mastery, and productivity; improving interpersonal relationships, and building additional coping skills (e.g., stress management, problem solving). For bipolar disorder, treatment may include components of depression treatment, risk management for mania symptoms, as well as medication management.
Our practice focuses on the treatment of individual patients and sometimes this is facilitated by the participation of a spouse or other family member(s). In these cases, we include marital or family therapy as a component in the overall treatment of individual patients.
Insurance plans do not cover any type of therapy, unless there is an identified patient with a clinical diagnosis. For couples who want marital therapy only, and when there is no identified patient with a clinical diagnosis, we provide marital counseling on a self-pay basis. For these couples, we provide pre-marital and marital counseling, which may address the following areas: compatibility and mate selection; communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills; financial mismanagement; complaints of sexual dissatisfaction or infidelity; jealousy; parenting concerns; problems with extended family members; balancing career and family; adjusting to retirement and other life changes, etc
Problems in Childhood and Adolescence
When treating children, parents are often involved in therapy sessions, particularly when the child is young or when behavior problems are the target of treatment. This differs from family therapy, which focuses on the family as a unit rather than reducing symptoms of a particular family member. Note: We do not offer this type of traditional family therapy.
Children and teens face multiple challenges, and being able to effectively cope with these challenges can reduce current symptoms and prevent a variety of symptoms and problems in the future. Thus, building a “tool box” of coping skills can be beneficial for anyone, at any time. Examples of coping skills include thought challenging, problem-solving, relaxation, coping cards/statements, communication and social skills training, assertiveness training, anger management, and emotional awareness and regulation.
Child and adolescent behavior problems at home and school are a common source of referrals to mental health practitioners. Parenting practices that work well with typical children are often not effective for strong-willed and/or difficult children, who require a specialized set of parenting techniques. Thus, treatment includes a large parenting component designed to equip parents with the skills necessary to reduce oppositional, defiant, disruptive, and/or aggressive behaviors. Treatments that focus solely on the child are not effective, as motivation for behavior change requires changes in the child’s environment, particularly responses to desired and undesired behaviors. Empirically-supported treatment models for child behavior problems include increasing positive parent-child interactions through specialized attending techniques and labeled praise, planned ignoring, structured household rules and contingency management plans, effective discipline techniques, and conflict resolution (for teens). Treatment may also include various coping skills for children and adolescents (see above).