Our primary mission is to empower our clients to take control of challenging/ difficult areas in their lives through the use of skill-based, present-focused, goal-oriented, and scientifically-proven treatments.
This approach to eating disorder treatment has been widely studied and proven to be the current gold standard treatment for bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, and is applicable to anorexia nervosa as well. This treatment aims to be short-term (approximately 20 sessions) and is structured around stabilizing eating behaviors and weight; it does not focus on past events in childhood or answering the question of what led to the disorder. Instead, CBT-E focuses on current variables that continue to maintain the disorder. CBT-E encourages clients to take an active role in their treatment by engaging in food monitoring, collaborative in-session weighing, food challenges, exploration of body image, self-esteem and other behaviors that serve as barriers to symptom reduction and stability.
Prolonged Exposure is a short-term (approximately 8-15 sessions) treatment for PTSD. It is the most widely studied treatment for PTSD and has been proven to be successful in remitting the symptoms of PTSD in a short amount of time. PE targets PTSD symptoms directly by utilizing techniques that challenge the primary maintenance variable of PTSD: avoidance. Avoidance of the traumatic memory and situations that are trauma-reminders is combated by a series of exposures. Exposures are conducted both through imagination in session in addition to in one’s life outside of session for homework. For the optimal result, exposures will occur repeatedly and for a prolonged period of time. Thus, this treatment will require clients to face the trauma memory in and out of sessions. Clients will also work with their therapist to process the memory by engaging in dialogues after exposures.
Exposure and Response Prevention is a very thoroughly researched and widely agreed upon treatment for OCD. Countless research studies have proven EXRP to be the treatment of choice for those struggling with OCD. As OCD can be quite debilitating, this treatment aims to improve clients’ functioning and quality of life by reducing the intensity, frequency, and duration that clients deal with obsessions and compulsions in their daily lives. This is achieved by therapists helping clients to expose themselves to their feared/avoided stimuli while preventing their ability to engage in anxiety-reducing compulsions or rituals. Exposures are conducted in sessions and for homework, and include real-life action-based situations and imagined situations. Exposures are also conducted repeatedly and for prolonged periods of time. The cycle of avoidance and rituals is directly broken in EXRP, allowing clients’ to empower themselves against the otherwise all-encompassing voice of OCD.
The primary treatment approach utilized at CHH is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Developed in the 1960’s and created by Dr. Aaron T. Beck, CBT was the first form of psychotherapy to be empirically examined. Early examination of CBT showed efficacy for the treatment of depression. It has since developed into the most empirically-supported form of psychotherapy. While it is the gold standard treatment for depressive disorders, CBT has been adapted into effective treatment models for anxiety disorders, eating disorders, perfectionism, substance abuse, and many other psychiatric disorders and clinical issues. Models have also been adapted to adolescents and children populations.
CBT as a psychotherapy is scientific in nature, and it is problem-centered, goal-focused, and strength-based. Although it is not exclusive to the practice, CBT is typically time-limited and present-focused. CBT therapists strongly value the therapeutic relationship and strive to create a safe, supportive environment that is conducive to active collaboration between the client and clinician. This relationship is the primary vehicle for change.
The practice of CBT is grounded in the theory that our perceptions and interpretations of events largely impact our emotional experiences and behavioral responses. The basic premise of CBT is that our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors function in a cyclical relationship, impacting one another interdependently. As individuals, we all have our own unique stories that shape the way we view the world, others, and ourselves.
Therefore, the primary strategy in CBT is to increase insight into our perceptions. By creating more helpful and realistic interpretations, our emotional distress can be lowered and our behavioral responses can be more adaptive and effective. Another primary strategy in CBT is behavior change and alternative ways of coping. By embarking upon experiences that create new learning, our previously held perceptions can be challenged in ways that will impact future interpretations and emotional experiences.
CBT is often used as “an umbrella” that encompasses various types of cognitive-behavioral models. Although the providers at CHH have received specialized training in more traditional CBT models and exposure therapies (Exposure & Response Prevention, Prolonged Exposure, and Interceptive Exposure), they also utilize techniques found in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) to aid in distress tolerance and coping, emotion regulation, and radical acceptance of unpleasant or anxiety-producing circumstances.