THERAPY FOR OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD) AND ANXIETY
Obsessive-compulsive disorder used to be classified as an Anxiety disorder, but more recently, OCD has been separated into its own category. However, the treatment for OCD and anxiety disorders shares many common aspects.
OCD has been named the doubting disorder. The presentation of OCD can be variable, can change over time, and can attack the things that are most valuable to you. Common types of obsessions include fear of harming self or others, sexual obsessions, contamination, symmetry/ordering and "just right" feelings, superstitious or magical thinking, and religious or scrupulosity. Pure obsessional OCD, often times known as "pure O" is a type of OCD where people have disturbing intrusive thoughts, but there are no apparent behavioral compulsions. However, when we look carefully, we find a range of metal compulsions and avoidance. Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), the evidence-based treatment for OCD, is effective for behavioral and mental compulsions, as well as for avoidance behaviors. Other adjunctive treatments for OCD, such as mindfulness and acceptance and commitment therapy may be added as needed, but ERP remains the most active agent of change for OCD.
The treatment of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety, panic disorder, social phobia and specific phobias, shares common aspects that include cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and acceptance and commitment therapy. Some people don’t necessarily meet criteria for an anxiety disorder but may have a propensity to worry, lack the support they need to face challenges, or have difficulties problem solving under stressful circumstances, and therefore my also experience considerable anxiety and may benefit from therapy.
Besides specializing in OCD and anxiety, I am also an experienced and integrative therapist, and can help you deal with other issues that are related or contributing to these problems. I focus on treating the whole person, rather than just their symptoms.
If you believe you may have any of these issues and are interested to learn more about treatment, feel free to call me for a 15 min free consultation.
MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING FOR INDIVIDUALS AND COUPLES
Since therapy is based on an interpersonal relationship, cultural competence is an important aspect of it. We will focus on what is at stake in your social cultural world, and how your values, knowledge and experiences shape who you are and the problems you are dealing with.
As a multicultural and multilingual therapist, and having worked with international students, as well as cultural and racial minorities, I am prepared to consider the role culture may have in your experience.
I also enjoy working with multicultural couples. When two different cultural backgrounds join in together, there is much potential for excitement and new experiences, but sometimes there can also be difficulties related to different upbringings, ways of communicating and of expressing emotion. Meeting with a therapist can help navigate these differences and use them to make positive changes to the relationship.
If English is not your first language you may feel you can express yourself better in your native tongue, and that you may prefer to work with a therapist that has experience in and understands the issues related to navigating multiple cultural contexts, as well as being potentially familiar with some of the cultural issues pertaining to your particular cultural background. I can provide therapy in Portuguese, Spanish or English, and hold valuable training in cultural competence in therapy.
There is a broad scope of mental health concerns and conditions that are unique to women, and it is important to recognize the impact they can have on a woman’s well-being. Understanding these issues allows women to seek help to deal with their mental health conditions so they can improve their quality of life and find relief from emotional suffering.
Women have resorted to consulting and seeking support in each other for ages. However, in today’s fast paced world, many of us can't manage to find the support we need to help us address difficulties. I can provide assistance dealing with women’s issues across their lifespan, such as family planning, fertility, pregnancy loss, maternity and post partum support, as well as academic and career support. I am also a specialist in post partum OCD.
INDIVIDUAL THERAPY FOR UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE STUDENTS
As a staff psychologist at the UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services for nearly eight years, I have developed expertise in a wide range of issues faced by both undergraduate and graduate students. I have helped students manage college adjustment, academic difficulties, family issues, relationships, perfectionism, procrastination, mood and anxiety disorders, as well as losses, coping with illnesses and disability, and dealing with harassment and discrimination. I have worked extensively with graduate students in Arts and Sciences, as well as Law, Business, and Medical students. Another of my main focuses is assisting students in managing their lives and workloads while coping with ADHD.
I’ve found it extremely rewarding to be a part of students’ lives at such a crucial time and to assist them in making the changes they envision in themselves.
We need to arrive at a place before we can leave it.
We have to feel a feeling in order to change it.