CBT therapy in Scottsdale: A integrated psychiatrist’s approach

CBT therapy is the first line treatment against anxiety disorders. CBT or Cognitive behavioral therapy seeks to address common maladaptive thought patterns such as worrying excessively, creating unnecessary anxiety, catastrophic thinking and negative self-talk. Many psychiatrists do not utilize any form of therapy and unfortunately many people do not get their anxiety appropriately treated. CBT is a potent tool against the entire range of anxiety disorders from generalized anxiety and panic disorder, to PTSD and OCD. With all patients who suffer from anxiety spectrum disorders, I incorporate CBT into the treatment plan.

Medications can be helpful as well and as a psychiatrist I am able to integrate selective medications and CBT in order to maximize the success of treatment. Unlike most psychiatrists however I rarely use medications without the integration of cognitive CBT since the long-term success is rarely as robust and I prefer to focus on eliminating the root-cause of the problem rather than simply applying a Band-Aid fix.

Two other types of psychotherapy are also utilize in many cases I treat:

1.Exposure therapy-This is a related therapy to CBT but is specialized and underutilized in the vast majority of cases. Often times we cannot control the thoughts that pop into our minds and if we try to eliminate the thoughts directly, it is often not successful. Instead we can stop behaving in ways that drive the unwanted thoughts. Many times one unwanted behavior comes in the form of avoidance. Avoidance of fears, negative emotions, uncomfortable emotions or guilt. A long-standing pattern of avoiding these unwanted thoughts/feelings actually ends up feeding them, which only worsens the problems. Exposure therapy sets out to stop the avoidance patterns.

2.Psychodynamic therapy-This attempts to uncover the origin of the negative thoughts; often from childhood or other past life events. It seeks to explain the “why” we have the thoughts, behaviors and patterns in life that we do.

Combining CBT with Exposure and Psychodynamic therapy allows me to target severe anxiety disorders at the very core of the issue through understanding and modification behavior. Sometimes I also incorporate medications if needed and in the end offer the most comprehensive approach to CBT and anxiety treatment.