A comprehensive evaluation must always be conducted before any treatment begins. Due to the variation of the impact of anxiety disorders on the patient and family, an individualized diagnostic assessment is necessary to determine the patientâ€™s specific needs. The evaluation inquires into the patientâ€™s specific symptoms, history and onset of symptoms, and psychosocial factors, such as the individualâ€™s family and larger system that may influence the treatment. Any co-occurring disorder should also be considered, since many anxiety disorders have a tendency to co-occur with each other or with other mood disorders, which would influence treatment factors. The assessment process is always an ongoing one as new data that are discovered after the initial assessment is evaluated and incorporated into the treatment plan. Each treatment plan should be tailored to the patientâ€™s individual needs, and should consider the individualâ€™s developmental level, adaptive functioning, and the family context as it relates to the disorder. Thus, the patient and family must participate fully for the successful development and implementation of the individualized treatment plan.
To schedule an initial evaluation, please contact us.
Family Systems Based Strategic Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the first line, evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders. In essence, CBT works effectively by combining 2 forms of treatment:
Behavior Therapy helps to weaken the connections between troublesome situations and your habitual reactions to them. Such reactions as fear, depression, or anger are self-defeating behaviors that cloud your ability to think logically and inhibit your capacity to resolve the situation healthily. It teaches you how to calm your mind and body, so you can feel better, think more clearly, make better decisions, and approach the problem situation with more adaptive skills.
Cognitive Therapy teaches how certain maladaptive thinking patterns cause the difficulties or symptoms. These maladaptive thinking patterns are habitual misperceived thoughts that occur automatically and create a distorted picture of whatâ€™s going on in the problem situation. Because they transpire so automatically, the distorted thoughts often occur outside of your awareness resulting in negative emotions and actions. Cognitive therapy helps you become more mindfully aware of your thinking patterns in order to increase your ability to identify the distorted negative thoughts. Once these negative automatic thoughts are identified, we can modify them to reflect the situation more realistically and appropriately.
Mindfulness Training increases the ability to be in the present moment physically, emotionally, and mentally. Being mindfully aware means â€śbeingâ€ť in the here-and-now, rather than ruminating over the past or worrying about the future. The moment-by-moment process of actively observing the environment and mindfully attending to oneâ€™s experiences is crucial to our ability to identify those irrational thoughts and faulty beliefs that trigger anxiety. In turn, being able to mindfully identify those negative thinking patterns provides the opportunity to adjust for those distorted cognitions, correct our misperceptions, and minimize the unnecessary discomfort from anxiety.
Paradoxical Strategic Interventions is one of the distinguishing features integrated with this treatment program. The strategic approach is utilized for those covert, long-standing, repetitious patterns of symptoms that do not respond to direct interventions, such as logical explanations or rational suggestions. Paradoxical strategies are specific and behavioral in terms of its treatment approach, and are actually part of and embedded into behavioral interventions. In general, the combination of standard CBT integrated with paradoxical strategies allows you to identify the negative thinking patterns (e.g., â€śthis is too hard,â€ť â€śIâ€™ll never finish all this work,â€ť etc.) that tend to overwhelm our abilities to function effectively, which then influences our behaviors. You will acquire the skills and tools necessary to manage your thoughts rationally and handle the problem situation with healthy and adaptive behaviors.
The goals of therapy are to prevent the repetition of maladaptive thinking and behaviors, and introduce more adequate alternatives. This treatment is short-term, and many of our patients complete the program within 4 to 6 months on a weekly basis with significant symptom reduction by the 6th session. This program is available for treating:
- Children and Adolescents
3-Week Intensive Outpatient Program
For those patients with more severe symptoms, an intensive approach may be necessary to benefit most from treatment. Research has indicated that an intensive treatment approach is effective for severe anxiety symptoms, because it keeps you focused on applying the acquired skills throughout the day. Change occurs more rapidly from the continuous reinforcement of the tools utilized. The intensive program is also ideal for our patients from other states and countries seeking highly individually-tailored treatment for their anxiety disorders.
Group therapy is a highly effective treatment option for various anxiety disorders. Groups last 75-90 minutes, and meet weekly. We are currently offering the following groups:
Social/Performance Anxiety Boot Camp:
Transform fear into excitement and success! This weekly 90-minute group is designed for individuals seeking rapid relief from social and performance anxiety. Sufferers of social/performance anxiety often feel that they are under the scrutiny of the public eye, and become intensely nervous when having to perform publicly or interact socially. By utilizing the most effective forms of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy proven to treat social/performance anxiety, group members will learn the necessary tools and experience the often-fun, real-life, exposure exercises within the safety of the group to combat fears. Each group lesson ends with carefully tailored assignments designed for group members to practice at a pace that is fitting to their individual goals.
**This is not your typical support group – This is a group that gets out AND gets you out!**
Panic Attacks No More:
This weekly 90-minute group is designed for individuals seeking rapid relief from panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming fear that comes without warning and without any obvious reason. When panic strickes, sufferers may feel like theyâ€™re â€śgoing crazyâ€ť with no escape, and often end up in emergency medical facilities with complaints of chest pains and difficulty breathing. They may even be wrongly diagnosed as having heart attacks. This group will provide effective, evidence-based cognitive-behavioral tools to combat the incapacitating effects of panic. Each group member will learn to evaluate bodily sensations accurately, while group outings will help members adapt to these skills across all settings. Group members will support and encourage one another in this process, and individually-tailored assignments will reinforce the tools acquired during group.
**Donâ€™t let panic attacks get you panicked â€“ Take control rather than letting panic control you!**
OCD/Anxiety Relapse Prevention:
Once youâ€™ve completed individual treatment, the tough part of maintaining those gains begins. Boost morale and motivation by participating in this group to keep OCD and anxiety manageable â€“ even fun. Through various CBT activities and peer input, members are guided to face their fears with the encouragement of a supportive team. The group dynamic builds camaraderie between members who have had similar experiences with anxiety. This group is for those at any stage of treatment or following termination of treatment who want to maintain skills already acquired.
**Maintain your skills with support â€“ Continue your journey to defeating the OCD/Anxiety Monster!**
Free OCD Parent Support Group:
OCD rarely affects just the individual without involving other family members and negatively impacting the quality of family life. In an attempt to alleviate a childâ€™s distress, parents often get trapped in the vicious OCD cycle. Both the sufferer and family members frequently feel confused, anxious, and guilt. OCD sufferers may react in distress or anger if family members donâ€™t accommodate their needs, while family members may have trouble being supportive without enabling the condition. This group helps parents and family members establish boundaries, so they can be supportive of the sufferer without accommodating OCD. Attention is focused on building effective strategies to manage frustration and anxiety, while providing a supportive environment to help battle OCD. This support group is free, and is open to all parents and family members.
**Learn to be supportive of your child, NOT the OCD â€“ Establish boundaries to end the vicious OCD cycle!**