Services & Treatment
They have had the experience of their anxiety taking over their bodies and leaving them shaking, heart pounding, out of breath, and very confused about what is happening to them.
They are spending a lot of time replaying conversations or interactions they had with others, concerned that they upset someone and wondering about what others think of them.
Their worry gets in the way of the life they want in so many ways. They’re avoiding things they used to love and care about doing. They don’t feel confident when making a decision or learning something new. They don’t trust their own judgement and aren’t sure how to successfully take the next step in their lives.
Before they came to see me, they assumed that they were just “a worrier,” it was just a part of their personality. They couldn’t imagine sharing the sometimes embarrassing or scary things they were obsessing about or what they were doing to try to keep anxiety at bay. They were spending a lot of time and energy worrying and it was overwhelming. They were exhausted by it.
I help teens and young adults who are constantly worrying. It is like a “What if…” reel is running in their minds.
My clients get stuck (often in their heads) and despite being smart, thoughtful, and hardworking they are struggling.
When they first come into therapy, they feel paralyzed by anxiety. They tend to have active minds and are often imagining various worst-case scenarios playing out in their lives.
Like my clients, you deserve to do the things you most enjoy in life without the “what if…” reel directing the show.
Trusting your judgement and connecting genuinely with friends and family and enjoying your time with them is not out of your reach.
If you are tired of anxiety controlling your life and you want to take charge again (or maybe for the first time!) please contact me to find the answers and strategies you need to make positive changes.
Teens & Young Adults
The parents I work with want to encourage independence in their kids, and they want to support them, be there for them, and advocate for them. While these seem like straightforward ideas, when my clients are “in the weeds” of parenting they often feel confused. When (and how?!) should they encourage their children to face their fears? When should they help their kids take a break from or avoid stressful situations?
Parents tell me that they feel as though they are walking on eggshells in their house. It is as if their child’s anxiety is another (demanding!) member of the family and a lot of energy is going into appeasing those demands.
Some have tried individual therapy for their kids without much success. Sometimes this is because the child wasn’t really invested or wouldn’t even agree to it in the first place.
Parenting a child with anxiety or OCD is hard work! I help parents build independence and confidence in their child.
Parents I work with are juggling a lot. On top of all the typical demands of modern parenting, they are also trying to anticipate the needs of their anxious child and prevent or respond to the crisis of the moment.
Parents catch glimpses of their child connecting with their friends and family or enjoying their activities and they want those moments to be the norm, not the exception.
By focusing on their own behavior, the parents I work with learn to respond to their child’s symptoms in a way that increases their independence and confidence. I often use the empirically validated treatment program Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) when working with parents.
Like the parents I work with, anxiety or OCD does not have to have a hold over your child and your family.
If you are feeling like you could use support and direction regarding parenting your child with anxiety or OCD, please contact me.
Research based Therapy for Anxiety and OCD
I enjoy working with people on their anxiety and OCD in part because we have such well researched treatments. I utilize evidence-based treatments that are tailored to your specific needs.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors. Oftentimes, as we work on modifying thoughts and behaviors individuals find that their emotions change as well.
Research has demonstrated that CBT is helpful for a wide range of problems, including anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive and related disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, mood disorders, and more.
CBT is a directive, skills-based treatment that relies heavily on our collaborative relationship. Between sessions you (or your child) can expect to complete assignments to help put our in-session work into real world practice. CBT tends to be short term, but treatment duration will vary depending on the presenting problem and your preference.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
ACT is a type of psychotherapy that incorporates mindfulness, values guided committed action, and acceptance (as opposed to avoidance). When engaging in ACT, the goal is not to eliminate difficult feelings - the full range of emotions are part of being human. Rather, we strive to be present with what life brings us and make choices so that our behavior is in line with our values.
There is strong research evidence that supports the use of ACT in treating depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, trauma, stress, and more.
Through ACT therapy, you will learn psychological flexibility. This includes learning to handle emotions as they come and not having them dominate you, noticing what your mind does without being hooked by it, spending your time and energy doing what is important to you and more.
Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions
SPACE is a parent-based treatment program for children and adolescents with anxiety, OCD and related problems. It is unique because only parents attend sessions and are provided with the tools and guidance to change their own behavior to help their child overcome anxiety, OCD or other related problems. Although the child may be in separate individual treatment, child participation is not necessary.
Through this treatment parents learn to respond more supportively to their child in a way that both validates their experience and communicates that the child can handle these difficult and distressing emotions. Parents are also guided to gradually reduce the accommodations they have been making to the child's anxiety symptoms. As a result, children and teens are better able to cope with anxiety independently and function better in their lives.
SPACE was developed at the Yale Child Study Center by Eli Lebowitz and has been found to be efficacious in the treatment of child anxiety disorders. You can learn more about SPACE here.
Exposure and Response Prevention
ERP is a key component of treatment for many anxiety disorders, OCD, and PTSD. In ERP treatment, you will learn to fully experience the different situations you avoid because of anxiety without engaging in a compulsion or safety behaviors. We work collaboratively in treatment and take baby steps as needed.
ERP involves psychoeducation, identifying and challenging anxious thoughts and changing your behaviors with the goal of being fully present while engaging in what you care about. We work to identify and test out what you believe will happen in your feared situation and over time you will gain the confidence to know that you can handle both what might happen and the distress you feel when facing that fear.
Although ERP may feel intimidating, my goal is to find a pace where you or your child feels stretched and challenged, but not overwhelmed. Clients who engage in ERP as part of their treatment often feel such a sense of accomplishment and pride, because they did the hard work and see the tremendous benefits!
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder in which a person has difficulty falling, staying asleep, or experiences early waking without being able to fall back asleep.
CBT-I is a well researched treatment that is as effective as medication in the short term and considerably better outcomes in the long term.
Through CBT-I, we will find out which thoughts and behaviors cause sleep problems or make them worse. You learn how to look for and change beliefs and behaviors that keep you awake and develop habits that support sound sleep.
As part of the treatment, you will keep a detailed sleep diary which will allow us to customize your treatment and adjust as your sleep improves.