Areas of Expertise
OCD and Related Disorders
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety-based disorder characterized by recurring, unwanted thoughts that result in anxiety, and associated behaviors (e.g., repetitive or ritualistic behaviors, avoidance) that are intended to reduce anxiety or other discomfort.
Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP) is highly effective in treating OCD and is the gold standard therapeutic approach for the disorder. ERP is a challenging treatment, and the effectiveness is enhanced by ensuring that the core fear is addressed and that the treatment is carried out within a strong therapeutic relationship that emphasizes collaboration.
In addition to years of experience treating patients with OCD in residential, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment settings, I am also one of a handful of psychologists in the United States certified in the Bergen 4-Day Treatment for OCD, a condensed exposure-based treatment well-established in Norway, Iceland, and Sweden.
Anxiety is a natural and adaptive human experience, but as many as 1 in 5 individuals will experience anxiety that interferes with work, school, relationships, or life satisfaction in a given year. How one responds or relates to their anxiety can contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders, and this is what is targeted in anxiety disorder treatment. Excessive worry, recurring panic attacks, and debilitating fear in social situations are some of the reasons individuals seek therapeutic support. Common anxiety disorders include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia
Social Anxiety Disorder
The good news is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable! As someone who has dedicated my academic and professional career to understanding and treating anxiety disorders, I have had the privilege of walking along side hundreds of individuals as they seek and find freer life.
Trauma and PTSD
Most people will experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime, but with time, the support of family and friends, and emotional processing, a vast majority of individuals will recover without formal therapy. However, for a variety of reasons (e.g., avoidance and numbing that inhibits emotional processing, inadequate social support), some individuals become "stuck," as the natural process of recovery is blocked.
Fortunately, there are effective treatments for trauma and PTSD. Extensive research on both Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) supports the effectiveness of these approaches. I was highly trained in these methods while working with military veterans, treating both combat and non-combat related trauma. In addition to these treatments, I have training and experience in non-trauma-focused approaches that are often used in conjunction with or as a precursor to trauma-focused therapy.
Grief is a universal experience; it is the response to loss that each person will face in his or her lifetime. Over time, with the support of other loved ones, and as a result of emotional processing, grief changes. It becomes less acute and the person grieving is able to rebuild a life that is different, but meaningful, despite significant loss. Grief is considered "complicated" when the natural healing process is blocked. Similar to the blocked recovery process exhibited in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Complicated Grief is also a disorder of non-recovery and affects 2-3% of the population.
While there are many helpful resources for grief, Complicated Grief can be effectively addressed with Complicated Grief Therapy. This approach aids individuals in moving through the pain of loss with a focus on emotional processing and rebuilding a meaningful life.