Collaborative treatment, active approach, measurable results
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Approach
My therapeutic work is rooted on principles of compassion, collaboration, and empiricism. First, I strive to create an environment of trust and support where you can share your hopes and struggles authentically. Second, I work jointly with you to set therapeutic goals and treatment strategies that fit your immediate and long-term needs. Lastly, I draw from scientifically proven psychological approaches to identify interventions that can successfully challenge your problems and change your life.
Psychotherapy is a highly personalized health care service that must match your needs and your personal style. Thus, each client will have a different experience. In general terms, however, the treatment course is comprised of:
Phone consultation: If you are interested in hearing more about my services, you can contact my office and schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation. This will be an opportunity for you to share your main concerns about your mental health at a high level and for me to assess whether I may be able to assist you. If I am not the right person, I may offer suggestions of other services or providers. If you would like to schedule an in-person meeting to explore treatment in more details, I will ask you to read the office policies and fill out a new client questionnaire before your first appointment.
Intake and assessment: The first meetings will be an opportunity for us to discuss your needs and goals and for me to assess your current circumstances, consider possible diagnoses, and offer treatment recommendations. Together, we will decide whether it makes sense for us to partner up to address your problems and how we will tackle them. This consultation can usually be completed in one or two sessions, but occasionally more sessions are required.
Treatment interventions: I usually meet with my clients weekly or biweekly for 50- to 80-minute visits. At times, longer or more frequent sessions can be arranged if they are clinically indicated. Each session should provide the appropriate mix of support, empathy, warmth, and tangible results to help you move towards your goals. To maximize the impact of your visits, you will be asked to apply concepts or exercises introduced in session to your daily life as out-of-session practice.
Termination: Treatment lengths vary considerably, from a few weeks to several months. Typically, CBT treatment aims to deliver significant distress reduction in a relatively short period of time. Once we have made significant progress toward the goals that you set for yourself, we will discontinue weekly treatment. I will remain available for consultation and additional support whenever necessary.
There are several schools of psychotherapy, each with different explanatory theories for psychological issues and specific techniques to overcome them. I practice under an overarching approach known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a modern orientation that focuses on the “here and now” and strives to deliver significant symptom reduction and long-lasting change in short periods of time. CBT affirms that how we interpret and appraise the world around us determines our feelings and actions. These appraisal patterns are often automatic, over-learned, and unconscious. Many times, they are very useful. Nonetheless, sometimes they lead to overly negative thinking and excessive worrying, sadness, anger, self-criticism, resentment, etc. When those patterns persist for long periods of time, they can lead to chronic distress. In CBT treatment, you will learn skills to identify your personal patterns of relating to the world, evaluate their usefulness, and modify them when necessary. This will allow you to face your present challenges more effectively and better equip you to deal with any future ones.
I am trained in and employ several types of CBT treatments. I draw largely on the work of Dr. David Burns from Stanford University, a renowned psychiatrist who devised powerful cognitive and behavioral techniques to address depression, anxiety, relationship problems, problematic habits and addictions. I also use Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy that add elements of mindfulness, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness to my therapeutic toolkit. Finally, for patients struggling with trauma sequelae, I use Cognitive Processing Therapy, another evidence-based approach developed specifically for victims of traumatic events.
If you’re interested in discussing your needs and finding out if I may be able to assist you, please contact my Menlo Park office at (650) 434 3455.
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