Anxiety, Worry, & Stress
Anxiety often creates a vicious, painful, and perpetuating cycle: anxious feels so aversive that we often avoid situations that make us nervous, or engage in rituals aimed at reducing distress. While these strategies make sense and offer instantaneous short-term relief, people often find that the more they avoid, the more their anxiety worsens over time.
Countless research studies have shown that exposure-based treatments, which involve taking strategic steps toward fears, instead of away, can offer long-term relief from anxiety.
Depression & Mood
Major Depression is among the most commonly occurring mental health disorders, with 1 out of 5 people suffering from depression at least once over the course of their lifetimes. But Major Depression is not just a typical case of the blues. The vibrance and color of life fades and is replaced by feelings of emptiness, isolation, sluggishness, and hopelessness that can, in turn, further deteriorate the experience of living sometimes for long periods of time: relationships often suffer, functionality and general health are curtailed, and the activities once enjoyed can lose all their allure.
Bipolar disorder involves periods of clinical depression cycling with periods of mania during which a person will be abnormally energetic, exhibiting a decreased need for sleep, and may feel an increased sense of happiness, overconfidence, or irritability. Manic episodes are associated with an increase in impulsive decisions and risky or reckless behaviors which are otherwise atypical.
Individuals with mood disorders including Major Depression and Bipolar Disorder are best served when they receive treatment involving empirically supported psychotherapies, sometimes in concert with .
Family-Focused Therapy (FFT) for Bipolar Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) produces intrusive thoughts or images that cause significant distress. The person then engages in behaviors or thoughts to reduce the anxiety, called compulsions. Most teens and adults recognize that their obsessions do not make sense, but feel compelled to do their compulsions anyway in order to feel less anxious or uncomfortable.
OCD presents itself in a variety of forms; some of the more common forms are:
- fears of contamination with compulsive washing or cleaning
- distress about disorder or lack of symmetry with arranging and ordering compulsions
- fear of harming others or oneself with compulsive checking and reassurance seeking
- perfectionism and “just so” rituals
- intrusive sexual, blasphemous or horrific thoughts with avoidance and excessive reassurance seeking prayers, confession compulsions, or ritualistic religious behaviors
- magic numbers, colors or sequences of movement with superstitious avoidance
Suicidal & Self-Harm Behavior
Suicide is a major public health concern – it is now the 2nd leading cause of death among youth ages 10-24 (4th among adults 18-65), and suicide rates have continued to increase over the past decade. In a given year, 1 in 5 teens seriously considers suicide. Over 10 percent of teens engage in intentional self-harm, and recurrent self-harm increases risk of death by suicide.
Many forces drive suicidal and self-harm behavior, but the common element is often intense emotional pain. Individuals who are suicidal may feel that they are trapped in a room full of suffering with only one way out. When pain seems unbearable and no other ways of coping are available, the urge to escape can be overwhelming. People can often become trapped in a pattern of self-injury especially when this type of behavior leads to greater attention and care from their environment.
Fortunately, treatment of suicidal and self-harm behavior has advanced tremendously over the past two decades. For people who suffer from suicidal and self-harm behavior, and for their families, there is now a set of clearly effective interventions – refined by rigorous science and rooted in compassion and hope.
Child & Adolescent Disruptive Behavior
When a child is disrupting activities, breaking rules, angry arguments, irritating others, acting aggressively, or erupting in defiance at being told “no”—the entire family feels the impact. Disruptive behavior disorders are a group of behavioral problems. They are called “disruptive” because affected children literally disrupt the people and activities around them (including at home, at school and with peers). Behavioral parent training and consultation provides parents with consistent and clear parenting strategies to address and intervene with these behaviors.
Even under the best of circumstances, parenting can be hard – children do not arrive with manuals and, to make matters worse, there are numerous conflicting books and philosophies in popular culture claiming the definitive solution to any variety of problems. Parenting can be particularly difficult when your child is having challenges, whether that be with noncompliance, emotional dysregulation, depression, or anxiety.
Behavioral parent training and consultation provides parents with consistent and clear parenting strategies to address a variety of challenges.
Triple-P: Positive Parenting Program
Helping the Noncompliant Child (HNC)
Parents of Early Adolescents Conflict Education (PEACE)
Tics & Habits
Tics and unwanted habits, such as skin-picking and hair-pulling can be not only irritating, but can significantly interfere with daily life and draw unwelcome attention from others. Individualized psychotherapy that offers a combination of evidenced-based strategies such as targeted awareness, development of competing responses, mindfulness and coping with uncomfortable urges, and acceptance offer the greatest relief and promise in overcoming unwanted habits.
Behavioral Treatment for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (ComB, HRT, & SCAMP)
Eating & Body
Many adolescents and adults wrestle with painful and unhealthy behavior around food, eating, and body image. Restricting, bingeing, purging, and excessive exercise can be equal parts gripping and destructive. Those who suffer from anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders often find themselves trapped and unable to break free on their own, even when they realize the great cost to themselves and the life they truly wish to build. Friends and loved ones often feel driven to help, yet profoundly bewildered and disempowered in the face of such confounding and intransigent behavior.
Research and clinical experience has shown that outpatient treatment offers the first, best hope for freeing people from eating disorders. Although higher levels of care (such as inpatient hospital treatment) are surely needed in cases of imminent medical risk, long-term recovery always involves forging and strengthening a new relationship with food and body in the context of everyday life.
In service of that goal, we offer the leading evidence-based outpatient treatments for adolescent and adults, and their families.
Family-Based Treatment (FBT) | for Anorexia & Bulimia
Couples & Relationships
Our closest relationships offer us a completely unique opportunity for self-discovery, growth, and healing. Inside these intimate bonds, we have the chance to contact our deepest vulnerabilities, name and pursue our dreams, and discover the personal work we have yet to undertake. Often it is our own or our partner's disappointment or longing that draws attention to the important places inside our relationships and ourselves that most need acceptance, healing, and love.
Couples therapy and pre-marital counseling create the space in which you can safely pursue these endeavors together.
Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) for Couples