“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
CBT is one of a handful of therapeutic approaches that have scientific research to prove its effectiveness. Numerous research studies have shown CBT to be an effective treatment for varying issues and problems, including anxiety and mood disorders. CBT is structured, focuses on the here and now, solution oriented and time-limited (although different factors may determine the length of therapy). CBT clients learn to develop skills and strategies to be used in their daily lives. The skills learned in CBT help individuals ‘catch’ and challenge distressing thoughts, modify unhealthy beliefs, view relationships and circumstances from a different perspective, and practice new behaviors.
One of the primary concepts of CBT is that how situations are perceived can affect feelings. For instance I might tell an individual about CBT and their thought is “This is awesome”, and then feel excited and hopeful. Another individual might think, “This will never work”, and then feel hopeless and frustrated. Obviously it was not the situation that created the feeling but the thinking about the situation. When people are upset their thought processes may be inaccurate. CBT helps individuals ‘catch’ upsetting thoughts and challenge the validity of the thoughts. Individuals can learn to change their thoughts, begin to find solutions, and try more productive behaviors. When an individual thinks more realistically, they can feel better.
While CBT is the primary therapeutic approach, other therapies like EMDR, Internal Family Systems and Mindfulness may be used or integrated in counseling sessions.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is one of the most debilitating of behavioral disorders. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) OCD is among the top 20 causes of illness-related disability across the globe. One in every forty adults wrestle with OCD. One in one-hundred families are affected when a child has OCD. About 20% of the general population suffers from an anxiety disorder, and 22% of these people have a severe anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders include Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), social anxiety, phobias, panic disorder, and health anxiety.
OCD and anxiety disorders are a serious problem for individuals, and families. Many individuals with OCD or an anxiety disorder are unable to maintain healthy relationships. Often people struggling with OCD or an anxiety disorder do not attend school, are unable to hold down a job or need some form of assistance. Accompanying OCD and anxiety disorders, depression and hopelessness increases the risk of suicide. People with OCD have a significantly higher mortality rates than the general population.
Having OCD or an anxiety disorder is like trying to win a game when your opponent is the referee. OCD/anxiety makes up the rules as you play the game. With these odds there is no chance you will win. In treatment for OCD or an anxiety disorder we will turn the tables on OCD/anxiety by creating new rules to beat your OCD or anxiety disorder. With proven and effective evidenced based therapies there is hope for people with OCD or an anxiety disorder. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy are effective in treating OCD and anxiety disorders and help patients live more satisfying lives.
Technology and the internet has changed how we live and work. How people receive mental health services is also changing. While face to face counseling will always be available, Tele-Mental Health - counseling via text, email, telephone and video conferencing may benefit consumers. Research shows that delivered properly, Tele-Mental Health counseling is as effective as face to face counseling. Consumers of Tele-Mental Health counseling also report high levels of satisfaction.
Finding appropriate mental health care because of physical distance or lack of qualified clinicians is challenging for some people. Some people cannot leave their homes to attend counseling. People working full-time jobs, stay at home moms and dads, and students who are all strapped for time may also go without counseling. Given scheduling flexibility, time and cost savings, coupled with it’s effectiveness, Tele-Mental Health may be an option for people seeking mental health counseling.
My practice offers video conferencing via the internet and computer (and video camera). Preparation prior to beginning video conference counseling is important to ensure a seamless process while also protecting patient confidentiality. My training in Tele-Mental Health and the use of HIPPA (Health Information Portability Protection Act) compliant products and services helps to provide Tele-Mental Health counseling effectively, safely and confidentially.