Individual therapy can take many forms. I tailor my approach to best suit each individual. For adolescents and adults, I focus first on providing a safe, non-judgmental environment and a thorough assessment of the issues that bring you to my office. These initial sessions provide the foundation for our work together. I select the primary approach and techniques based on the unique issues that you bring to therapy, as well as the goals you set for yourself or your child.
For younger children, I may utilize creative projects, games and therapeutic play to help establish a level of comfort and rapport, making them more likely to engage in challenging approaches for the treatment of anxiety or OCD.
The symptoms of anxiety and depression effect not only the person with the diagnosis, but can have a significant impact on family members as well. Family therapy can take different forms. To help engage children and adolescents in treatment, I will educate you, as a parent, and teach you how to best respond to your child’s anxiety. You may become a partner, in your child’s treatment, helping them build coping skills that will last a lifetime.
Parents may be enlisted as coaches to facilitate homework assignments that provide the child with the tools to master their current symptoms, as well as any they may encounter in the future.
In other cases, family therapy can be a collaboration that focuses on developing constructive communication, building positive interactions and healthier relationships.
This section describes approaches that may not be relevant to your personal needs. At WELLSPRING COUNSELING, treatment is always a collaborative process, involving a combination of strategies designed to bring you or your child back to a place of optimal functioning and day to day peace.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
An extremely effective, research proven treatment that focuses on identifying, challenging and restructuring patterns of thinking and behavior that create and perpetuate anxiety and depression.
Interpersonal & Psychodynamic Therapy
Psychotherapy that focuses on interpersonal issues, which are understood to be a factor in the origin and continuance of psychological distress. The goals of this treatment, often utilized in conjunction with other techniques, include symptom resolution, improved interpersonal skills and relationships, and increased social support.
A form of CBT, exposure therapy is a process for reducing fear and anxiety. In therapy, a person is gradually exposed to a feared activity, place or object in a planned and controlled manner, becoming desensitized in a gradual way over time. This type of therapy is particularly effective for Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia, Social Anxiety Disorder and Phobias.
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
The proven approach for the treatment of OCD is ERP, also a form of CBT. In ERP therapy, people are placed in situations where they are gradually exposed to their obsessions and asked not to perform the rituals that usually ease their anxiety and distress. This is done at your pace, in a collaborative process with your therapist to minimize levels of discomfort.
When your therapist helps you plan ERP over a period of time, your anxiety and fear will decrease significantly, and in many cases, disappear.
Habit Reversal Training (HRT)
This intervention includes awareness training, introduction of a competing response, social support, positive reinforcement, and often relaxation techniques. HRT is used primarily to address OCD symptoms that present as more reflexive responses, similar to tics.
Sometimes referred to as visualization, the individual is asked to imagine an anxiety provoking scenario, until that scenario no longer evokes a response. They move gradually, step by step, in this process, over time, until they are able to visualize their most feared situation without anxiety. This technique may be used prior to Invivo Exposure as a more acceptable first option.
This type of exposure is designed to help people confront feared bodily symptoms associated with anxiety, such as an increased heart rate or shortness of breath. The individual may be given exercises to induce these symptoms, in a controlled and safe manner, increasing the frequency of practice as the associated anxiety lessens and ultimately goes away.