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Image by Aleksander Vlad

Evidence-Based Treatment

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)

ERP is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that is considered the gold-standard treatment for OCD and anxiety disorders. ERP works by gradually confronting the thoughts, feelings, and objects that trigger anxiety, while letting go of the compulsions and avoidance behaviors that are keeping you trapped. In short, ERP is the empowering work of facing your fears so that you can live life to the fullest.


The “Exposure” component of ERP involves exposing ourselves slowly and systematically to the things that anxiety tells us is impossible to face. Through this practice, we gain repeated lived experience that proves how capable we are of tolerating the feared situation, which eventually helps override anxiety's false claims.


The second component of ERP is called Response Prevention. When we experience an uncomfortable thought, feeling, image, or sensation, we instinctively want to get rid of it. For instance, we might actively avoid triggers, engage in lengthy self-soothing rituals, or attempt to resolve uncertainty by checking a lock, scouring the internet for answers, or getting reassurance from others. While these avoidance tactics can bring a short-term sense of relief, the problem is that they actually keep us trapped in the endless anxiety cycle that only intensifies over time. In order to break the cycle, we work to pair the Exposures with Response Prevention, which involves doing the exact opposite of anxiety’s demands. In treatment, we create a hierarchy, or systematic plan to reduce avoidance behaviors over time and break free from the anxiety cycle. ERP is challenging, yet rewarding work, and I will be right there with you each step of the way!

Treatment for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB's)

Not only are skin-picking and hair-pulling frustrating, embarrassing, and stressful to cope with, but finding an experienced and knowledgeable provider can be extremely challenging. Rest assured, I integrate the most effective evidence-based treatment modalities for the treatment of BFRB’s, including Comprehensive Behavioral Treatment (ComB), mindfulness skills, and Habit Reversal Training (HRT). In treatment, sufferers learn to investigate the emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and environmental elements of their BFRB and then implement targeted interventions in each area. We will take a compassionate approach to understanding the behavior within context, and discover soothing strategies to replace the BFRB and meet sensory needs in healthy new ways.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an evidenced-based approach to anxiety treatment that starts with redefining the "problem" of anxiety. Rather than remaining stuck in the never-ending war against our own thoughts and feelings, ACT offers the perspective that the real problem is actually the enormous amount of mental and emotional energy that we put into trying to control anxiety, which ultimately just leaves us exhausted and distracted from the best parts of life. 


This action-based behavioral therapy focuses on letting go of the struggle to control one's own uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, and instead, offers practical skills to cultivate awareness of the experience without reacting in problematic ways. Paradoxically, these unwanted thoughts and feelings lose their power over us when we accept them as part of our lives. Through experiential exercises, clients discover that anxiety does not have to dictate our actions and call all of the shots. ACT helps provide the freedom and flexibility to act in ways that give life more purpose and meaning.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Mindfulness

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of Behavior Therapy that utilizes practical tools to help folks better tolerate anxiety and other uncomfortable emotions. In my practice, I often incorporate DBT skills to enhance the Exposure work for individuals who have marked difficulty with strong emotions and conflicted relationships. DBT teaches four crucial skillsets: mindfulness skills training, emotion regulation skills, distress tolerance skills, and interpersonal effectiveness skills.

Mindfulness has been repeatedly found to improve recovery outcomes when combined with ERP and other anxiety treatments. One important component of mindfulness is learning to strengthen the “attention muscle” so that you can better focus on the present moment, rather than feeling stuck ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Mindfulness also involves changing the relationship to our own thoughts by adopting a non-judgmental and observational perspective that can help us stay centered.

Celebrate each step in the direction toward wellness.

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