Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (“CBT”) is based on a theoretical model, which contends that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors influence each other and contribute to the development and maintenance of psychological disorders. Accordingly, cognitive behavioral approaches treat psychological problems by intervening in three areas: 1) assisting clients with increasing their awareness of thoughts and, when necessary, correcting errors in thinking, 2) identifying and labeling emotions and learning strategies to improve emotion regulation, and 3) examining and changing behavioral patterns that cause and maintain problematic thoughts and emotions.
The CBT model has been applied with success in the treatment of a wide range of disorders and problems, including depression, anxiety (e.g., social anxiety, specific phobias, OCD, generalized anxiety disorder), anger, conduct disorders, habit disorders, impulsive behaviors, thought disorders, ADHD, behavioral problems, social skills deficits, and family/relational problems. Importantly, this therapy approach has demonstrated success both alone, and in combination with medication.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (“TF-CBT”) is an evidence-based treatment that has been evaluated and refined during the past 25 years to help children and adolescents recover after a traumatic event such as domestic violence, accidents, sexual assault, witnessing homicide or suicide, and more.
TF-CBT is a structured, short-term treatment model that effectively improves a range of trauma-related symptoms usually 4-6 months with the child/adolescent and caregiver. Although TF-CBT is highly effective at improving youth posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and diagnosis, a PTSD diagnosis is not required in order to receive this treatment. TF-CBT also effectively addresses many other trauma impacts, including affective (e.g., depressive, anxiety), cognitive and behavioral problems, as well as improving the participating parent’s or caregiver’s personal distress about a child’s traumatic experience, effective parenting skills, and supportive interactions with the child.
Psychodynamic therapy is a form of talk therapy, which is designed to help patients find relief from a wide range of mental disorders. Psychodynamic therapists believe a patient’s present day problems are linked to unconscious conflicts arising from events in a patient’s past. They believe patients must identify the roots of psychological conflict in order to find relief. A therapist will promote self-reflection and self-examination and in particular, will help patients explore past family relationships and experiences, as well as defenses that one consciously and unconsciously uses to protect themselves from difficult and painful emotions. This may help patients develop a better understanding of present challenges. Therapist may also help develop coping techniques.
Psychological Testing and Assessment
If you or a family member has been referred for psychological testing, you probably have some questions about what to expect. Or you may have heard about psychological testing and wonder if you or a family member should be tested. Psychological testing may sound intimidating, but it’s designed to help you. We use tests and other assessment tools to measure and observe a patient’s behavior to arrive at a diagnosis and guide treatment.
The underlying cause of a person’s problems isn’t always clear. For example, if a child is having trouble in school, does he or she have a reading problem such as dyslexia? An attention problem such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Difficulty with impulse control? Psychological tests and assessments allow both us and the patient to understand the nature of the problem, and to figure out the best way to go about addressing it.
Psychological testing isn’t like taking a multiple-choice exam that you either pass or fail. Rather, we use information from the various tests and assessments to reach a specific diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
Group therapy involves one or more therapists who lead a group of roughly five to eight patients. Typically, groups meet for an hour or two each week. Some people attend individual therapy in addition to groups, while others participate in groups only.
Groups are designed to target a specific problem, such as depression or anxiety/panic disorder(s). Other groups focus more generally on improving social skills, helping people deal with a range of issues such as anger, shyness, loneliness and low self-esteem.
Regularly talking and listening to others also helps patients put their own problems in perspective. Many people experience mental health difficulties, but few speak openly about them to people they don’t know. Oftentimes, patients feel like they’re the only one struggling — but they’re not. It can be a relief to hear others discuss what they’re going through, and realize the similarities among members.
Raising a child presents unique challenges for parents. When children are struggling with emotional and psychological conditions, parents often find themselves confused and frustrated, unsure about how to handle a child’s emotions or behavior and themselves are experiencing high levels of stress from trying to cope with the situation.
Parents can work together with therapists to improve health and functionality in their children and families. Therapy and treatment for psychological conditions in children has proven to be effective, but sometimes treating the child is not enough. Many parents find that they need some professional guidance to assist them in their role as parents.
Coordination with Medication Management and Medical Care
Medication does not outright cure mental illness. However, it may help with the management of symptoms. Medication paired with psychotherapy is the most effective way to promote recovery. At Integrative Behavioral Health, we have close relationships with a highly select group of psychiatrists and board certified advanced nurse practitioners (APRN) that can prescribe medication for a wide-range of reasons. We, in-turn, work extremely close with a patient’s prescriber to ensure they are receiving the proper balance of medication management and psychotherapeutic care. If permitted by the patient, in addition to working with prescribers, we also work closely with a patient’s pediatrician/general practitioner and specialists to ensure presenting symptoms are not related to specific medical concerns, as well as for general coordination of our patient’s overall wellness.
School and Workplace Risk Assessments
With the growing number of campus-based acts of violence, companies and schools are continuously seeking new ways to mitigate violence and preemptively identify policies and procedures to create a safer environment. However, there are times when situations escalate and an individual’s behavior or presentation may change, causing concern for the safety and welfare of others. When these situations occur, we can work in cooperation with both law enforcement and corporate/school faculty to perform comprehensive risk assessments that help determine the viability of the perceived threat. Furthermore, we work to develop strategies to diminish and manage future risk.