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Anxiety, OCD, and Eating Disorder Treatment.
Tired of Anxiety Calling the Shots?
Experiencing anxiety can feel like living on the edge of a cliff. You’re constantly waiting for something bad to happen, even when things are going well. This may be experienced as intrusive thoughts, physical sensations of shortness of breath and racing heartbeat, complicated relationship with food, or engaging in compulsive behaviors that rule your life. Often it is hard to talk about or even explain why you constantly feel overwhelmed.
Anxiety can be normal in stressful situations such as public speaking, a life change, or taking a test. However, Anxiety can become problematic when worry is excessive, pervasive, all-consuming, and interferes with daily living. The symptoms of anxiety include:
- Anxious thoughts or beliefs that are hard to control. They make you feel restless and tense and interfere with your daily life (sleeping, eating, going to work, attending school, friendships, romantic relationships, etc). They do not go away and can get worse over time.
- Physical symptoms, such as a pounding or rapid heartbeat, sweating, chills, unexplained aches and pains, dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath
- Changes in behavior, such as avoiding everyday activities you used to do
My approach to anxiety treatment:
Individual psychotherapy that utilizes ACT, CBT, DBT, and mindfulness to reduce distress and learn to effectively deal with Anxiety. I also utilize ERP (exposure and response prevention) therapy to gradually build confidence while exposing client to feared outcomes. I teach practical tools such as mindfulness and reframing thoughts to help you become more flexible and able to manage anxiety successfully.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is marked by experiencing unwanted and often disturbing intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings. Compulsions are behaviors an individual engages in to attempt to get rid of the obsessions and/or decrease distress. A hallmark of this disorder is intolerance of uncertainty, thus the individual spends time trying to obtain certainty of the future through structured mental or physical behaviors that bring relief. OCD can manifest around many different themes including:
Sexual Orientation OCD
Just Right Feeling OCD
Scrupulosity or Moral OCD
Obsessing about Obsessing
My approach to OCD treatment:
I am trained in and utilize ERP (exposure and response prevention) therapy which is considered the “gold standard” evidenced based therapy for OCD. ERP therapy is a behavioral therapy that gradually exposes people to situations designed to provoke a person’s obsessions in a safe environment. A key component of ERP is that is doesn’t completely remove distressing situations and thoughts, rather the client learns to tolerate distress and build confidence in their own resilience to handle hard situations. I incorporate ERP with ACT (acceptance and commitment) therapy which is an empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies along with commitment and behavior-change strategies to increase psychological flexibility.
Eating disorders are serious mental and physical illnesses that involve complex and damaging relationships with food, eating, exercise, and body image. They can life threatening conditions affecting physical, psychological and social function. Typically someone struggling with an eating disorder connects their self worth with a number on a scale or their eating behaviors. Types of eating disorders I treat include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and eating disorders not otherwise specified (eating disorder does not fit full criteria of other diagnosis).
My approach to Eating Disorder treatment:
Individual psychotherapy that utilizes ACT, CBT, DBT, and mindfulness to reduce attachment to body image and weight as measure of self-worth. I incorporate the tenants of Intuitive Eating to teach a relationship of peace and trust with our bodies. When working with eating disorders, I prefer a team approach of incorporating registered dieticians, MDs, and/ or psychiatrist to ensure client health and safety for outpatient level of care. My goal is to help clients to live a full, bold life where they are in charge of making decisions free from disordered eating.
Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors, or BFRBs, are a cluster of habitual behaviors that include hair pulling, skin picking, nail biting, nose picking, and lip or cheek biting.
My approach to BFRB treatment:
Individual psychotherapy that utilizes the comprehensive behavioral (ComB) model, developed by Dr. Charles Mansueto. This treatment is based on the assumption that a person engages in their BFRB because it meets one or more need in the individual (e.g., helping to relax, to fall asleep, or to feel like a goal was accomplished). This model focuses on understanding why, where, and how a person engages in their BFRB so that individualized interventions can be selected to help the person achieve what they want to achieve without engaging in the BFRB. I also incorporate mindfulness, distress tolerance, and ACT modalities to effectively reduce frequency of engaging in BFRB.
A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal. Phobias are more pronounced than fears. They develop when a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object. Common phobias that I treat are: emetophobia (fear of vomiting), agoraphobia (fear of leaving home), acrophobia (fear of heights), and social phobia.
My approach to anxiety treatment:
Individual psychotherapy that utilizes ACT, CBT, DBT, and mindfulness to reduce the distress and learn to effectively deal with feared situation. I also utilize ERP (exposure and response prevention) therapy to gradually build confidence while exposing client to feared outcomes or object. A hallmark of ERP is that is doesn’t completely remove distressing situations and thoughts, rather the client learns to tolerate distress and build confidence in their own resilience to handle uncomfortable situations