Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) / Behavior Therapy
CBT is the primary form of treatment I use. CBT is a broad category of psychological interventions that aim to illustrate how a person’s thoughts, behaviors, and physical sensations are related to one another and maintain or exacerbate one’s psychological difficulties. After thoroughly assessing these factors, the objective of CBT is to modify unhelpful patterns and connections by blocking problematic behaviors and then learning and practicing healthier, more effective, habits of thinking and behaving. CBT is an active and problem-focused approach to treatment, centered on addressing current challenges and obstacles to having the life one wants.
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
ERP (also often referred to as “exposure therapy”) is a type of CBT that is very behaviorally focused and is considered by experts to be the most effective type of treatment for anxiety disorders, as well as OCD and PTSD. Exposure therapy helps people challenge and overcome their anxieties by approaching feared situations or stimuli in a measured and step-by-step manner. In other words, exposure therapy involves gradually doing, experiencing, or risking the situations or things one fears. Exposure therapy is very collaborative and the therapist and client form a team and often face a client’s fears alongside one another. The objective of exposure is to decrease the role that avoidance plays in the maintenance of anxiety-related problems. While, at first glance, exposure therapy seems very focused on a particular feared object or situation, participating in exposure therapy can be extremely powerful and lead to the “opening up” and freeing of one’s life in unexpected and welcome ways.
Habit Reversal Training (HRT)
HRT and Stimulus Control are a set of techniques that together constitute the most evidence-based method for treating hair pulling and skin picking, which are often referred to as “body-focused repetitive behaviors.” This approach is also the treatment of choice for tic disorders. In short, HRT and stimulus control help people learn to block the target behavior (the action they are trying to stop) and illuminates and modifies aspects of a person’s environment that contribute to their problem – contributions that are often outside of that person’s awareness.
Behavioral Activation is an evidence-based treatment for depression and it’s strategies and tactics are very useful for decreasing avoidance and increasing a person’s desire, willingness, and confidence to approach what scares them. It is also a very useful approach to increase health-related behaviors like exercising, eating healthfully, and engaging in meaningful work, hobbies, or volunteering.