The effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for adults is well established, according to numerous studies that examine using CBT to treat anxiety disorders. Below are the types of anxiety disorders that I treat, using CBT tools and methods.
If any of these have been troubling your life, I encourage you to call (914) 768-3740 for a free consultation to discuss your options for feeling and getting better. You can read reviews of my work here.
Panic attacks are sudden spells of unidentified physical feelings such as palpitations, chest pains, sweating, shortness of breath, feelings of choking, trembling, nausea, dizziness, and chills or hot flushes. Often they include a fear of dying or losing control. The first one is usually unexpected.
In order to make a diagnosis of panic disorder, we will look to see if how often these attacks occur, and if you live with fearful expectation or concern about the consequences of an attack or having another one. Sometimes panic disorder includes a fear of being in places or situations from which escape might be difficult or help might not be available, and behaviors to avoid them (agoraphobia) or endure with marked distress.
Effective CBT for panic disorder typically involves:
- Education about the nature and physiology of the panic response;
- Breathing and self-calming techniques
- Cognitive therapy techniques designed to modify catastrophic misinterpretations of panic symptoms and their consequences
- Gradual exposure to panic-related body sensations and avoided situations.
At my office, we work on this at your pace, respectfully and with support. Read more about it here.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder is marked by excessive and uncontrollable worry. It happens when your attention and judgment focuses in on ideas or situations you find threatening or worrisome. As a result, you may start to use overly cautious behaviors as a means to avoid the stressful feelings and bodily symptoms (like nervousness, sweating, trembling, nausea, etc.)
Effective CBT of generalized anxiety disorder at my office typically involves:
- Uncovering the thoughts and feelings behind the worry
- Defeating thoughts that are overly negative or biased so you just don’t have those thoughts and feelings
- Relaxation techniques to address tension
- Gradual exposure (in real life, or just in your imagination) to catastrophic images
- Gradual exposure to stressful situations and trying different responses to overcome avoidance
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder (or social phobia) is characterized by fear of performance, excessive fear of scrutiny, and fear of acting in a way that may be embarrassing. Most clients are oversensitive to the assumed opinion of others and have a low self-esteem, although they feel their fears are exaggerated and out of proportion.
Going through the feared situations, or even anticipating them, most people suffer from physical symptoms like sweating, trembling, or blushing, and these symptoms can become a trigger on their own to worry about social consequences.
Effective CBT for social phobia typically includes:
- Relaxation training and techniques
- Identifying and changing the thoughts and beliefs behind the fear
- Gradual, in-office rehearsals and “real life” exposure to feared social situations.
You can read about how I work with social anxiety here.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is marked by having a traumatic experience (can involve violence, death, or significant loss); a sense of re-experiencing that trauma (for example in dreams or flashbacks); increased arousal, edginess, anger or “numbing” triggered by the re-experienced fear; and an effort to avoid situations that might lead to these feelings.
Effective CBT for PTSD at my office typically includes three components:
- Education about the nature of your fear, anxiety, and PTSD;
- Gradual, controlled, prolonged exposure to situations or memories related to the traumatic event; and
- Identifying, processing, challenging and replacing the thoughts and beliefs that lie behind the fears.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
If you experience OCD, then you have recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that you find distressing. And/or, you may have compulsive, repetitive behaviors or thought patterns that you use in an attempt to prevent the anxiety you feel about these thoughts.
My clients say that these compulsive behaviors are excessively time-consuming (taking more than an hour a day) or the behaviors themselves have come to cause distress or significant negativity in their lives. They know that these patterns are excessive. Effective CBT treatment of OCD includes:
- Identifying the unrealistic thoughts behind the fears
- Relaxation techniques and training
- Gradual exposure to fearful or worrisome situations and thoughts, and
- Replacing or preventing compulsive behaviors triggered by obsessive thoughts
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In session, we’ll use proven and effective CBT tools and methods to treat these conditions. I know that working on fears is difficult, so we will work on this at your pace, respectfully and with support. I hope for you to experience the freedom and happiness I’ve had the pleasure to witness for so many of my clients.
If any of these conditions have been troubling your life, I encourage you to email me, or call (914) 768-3740 for a free 20-minute office or phone consultation to discuss your options for feeling better and getting better.