Areas of practice

Our specialties

Anxiety

Types of anxiety and related issues

Generalized anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety, phobic reactions

Our approach

Once we gain a full understanding of the specific nature of an individual’s problem, we often help the client understand the “mental mechanisms” of anxiety. Anxiety is often best countered by learning to recognize limits of control, and directing focus to immediate and concrete reality instead of to the “what-ifs” that create worry.

Depression

Types of depression and related issues

Dysthymia (low grade but persistent sadness or apathy), major depression, post-partum depression, situational depression

Our approach

Understanding how depression works on a cognitive level (how we understand our experience and the meaning we give to it) is typically helpful in learning how to recover from and prevent its recurrence. Often, we will work to identify legitimate reasons for feeling sad, hopeless, or helpless. Learning to find ways to redefine the causes of deep frustrations, reframe problems, and be more active in how one sees one’s own role can be an effective part of treatment.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Our approach

Treatment involves learning not to fight persistent, unwanted thoughts, but to accept and understand them. Using cognitive treatment methods, we look at the meaning or significance assigned to disturbing ideas, and to change how they are perceived. With compulsions (repetitive or ritualized behaviors used to reduce anxiety), we practice ways to tolerate the emotional tensions without having to act on them, a process sometimes called mastery.

Couples’ Conflicts

Types of conflicts and related issues

Difficulty resolving conflicts, poor communication, parenting differences, infidelities, lack of intimacy

Our approach

Different types of problems bothering couples require tailored approaches. Most frequently, though, problems can be traced to poor communication and misunderstandings about roles and expectations. We help couples express feelings and wishes more precisely and in ways that invite appreciation rather than argument. We also work to improve active listening skills. We focus on resolution instead of blame. Finally, we strive to clarify roots of dissatisfaction and motives for hurtful behaviors so that these can be addressed productively.

Substance Abuse/Dependence & Other Addictions

Types of problems treated

Alcohol abuse, alcoholism, drug abuse, drug dependency/addiction, codependency and impact on families, sexual and pornography addictions, compulsive spending or gambling.

Our approach

Most addictions and compulsive behaviors involve common factors. The understanding and treatment of each type of condition or problem is unique for each case. Also, addictions are multi-faceted problems, which may also involve both physiological as well as psychological elements, and these must be seen as interactive, not simply as co-existing.

In any case, we look to identify behavioral and emotional triggers that contribute to a desire to engage in the problem behavior. It is often important to recognize that behaviors work to limit emotional tension that feels overwhelming and threatening, and then to identify more positive strategies for handling such feelings.

For most, education about and participation in 12-Step programs is a valuable adjunct to treatment.

Teen and Young Adult Issues

Types of problems treated

School adjustment, relationships, conflicts with parents, anxiety, depression, social issues, identity and gender concerns, oppositional behaviors, substance abuse.

Our approach

Obviously, teens and young adults can experience a wide range of problems and concerns, and it is not feasible to discuss the approaches to all of them here. In general, many of these difficulties are addressed much as they would be with adults, and the discussions above provide some information about treatment methods.

The key to helping this population, even more than others, is to establish a strong rapport based on respect for these clients’ autonomy, intelligence, and growing independence. We draw on our experience as therapists and parents to listen carefully without being quick to offer solutions or advice until the clients are engaged and open. Often, they possess the skills to figure things out themselves with some reframing and guidance. When appropriate, parents can be involved and exposed to alternative approaches to helping their older children.

A full list of issues we’ve treated

Addiction

  • Alcohol abuse/dependence
  • Drug abuse/dependence
  • Impact of addictions/alcoholism on families
  • Gambling addiction
  • Pornography fixation/obsession

Trauma

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Childhood trauma
  • Physical/sexual abuse

Relationships

  • Couple’s conflicts/marital problems

Disorders

  • Asperger’s/autism spectrum disorders
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Panic disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Attention Deficit Disorder/ADHD
  • Oppositional-Defiant Disorder
  • Eating disorders (Anorexia, Bulimia)
  • Acute Stress Disorder
  • Body Dysmorphia
  • Adjustment disorders

Other issues

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-partum depression
  • Behavioral problems
  • Impulse control problems (children & adults)
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Social anxiety
  • Motivational issues
  • Self-harm/self-mutilation
  • School refusal
  • School performance problems
  • Conflict avoidance
  • Family conflicts
  • Business/organizational conflicts
  • End of life issues
  • Chronic pain (adjustment to)
  • Extended grieving
  • Procrastination
  • Gender identity
  • Domestic Abuse/Violence
  • Anger Management