I am a Clinical Health Psychologist using private (HIPAA-compliant) videoconferencing with people located in Washington DC and in Virginia. I’m also the behavioral sleep specialist associated with Medstar Georgetown University’s Sleep Disorders Center for over two decades.
CBT works to change our thoughts and behaviors, which in turn help to change our moods. Although it began with Depression, literally 100’s of clinical trials have shown VERY strong evidence for CBT as a highly effective treatment for the below-listed issues.
Watch Anderson Cooper demonstrate neuroplasticity in action – how you can use your mind to change your brain – at the cellular level!
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is the most extensively studied (and most effective) type of therapy for anxiety and depression. Watch this video, by one of the foremost leaders in CBT, explaining how CBT works for both conditions.
Dennis Greenberger, PhD, addresses the differences and similarities between symptoms of anxiety and depression, how the disorders are treated with CBT, and what patients can expect in treatment.
These videos give a quick overview of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Overview Motivational Therapy helps people learn how to raise their feelings of being “ready … willing … & … able” to tackle things they may be avoiding for any number of reasons. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=107&v=n263wS6-l24
Growth v. Fixed Mindset The following videos can help you understand why you may be giving up too soon and how to not do so … when you are trying to reach your goals … in your career … with your relationships … even with recreational activities. In addition to these videos, you might also want to read how Dr. Dweck explains that people have misunderstood the concept – or people who have a pseudo-Growth Mindset. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiiEeMN7vbQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isHM1rEd3GE&frags=pl%2Cwn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1CHPnZfFmU&frags=pl%2Cwn
Overview Anyone is eligible to take 1 or a series of courses online taught by Dr. Seligman and others. These courses translate the best of research on how to be more resilient, including the components of the U Penn resilience program: Video Lectures by Scholars Watch videos spanning the gamut of positive psychology (e.g., the science – and myths – of well-being, resilience, gratitude, love, happiness, compassion, hope, grit, growth mindset, wisdom, flow, self-control, creativity & aging) by the following thought leaders: Christopher Peterson Martin E.P. Seligman Angela Duckworth Tal Ben-Shahar Barry Schwartz Ed Diener Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Barbara Fredrickson Roy Baumeister Robert Emmons Shane Lopez Sonja Lyubomirsky Carol Dweck Dacher Keltner George Vaillant Amy Wrzesniewski Online Assessments (free) Take free questionnaires at Dr. Seligman’s website to assess your: Top Character Strengths (VIA Survey of Character Strengths Questionnaire) Optimism Gratitude Grit Meaning in Life Close Relationships Depressions (CES-D) and many more
The 3 P’s of Learned Optimism An intersection between CBT and Positive Therapy is translating Seligman’s research in learned optimism. In therapy, we work on how to manage the 3 P’s of a pessimistic explanatory style. How do you explain setbacks to yourself? Permanence: An optimist will explain a negative event as temporary; a pessimist will see it as permanent. Pervasiveness: An optimist will specify that a failure is specific to particular conditions; a pessimist will see a failure in life as being a total failure in all of life. Personal: An optimist will take responsibility for a failure, in context to all the other contributors to it; a pessimist will blame himself without that other context. For more details about the research behind ‘Learned Optimism’ check out Dr. Seligman’s book.
Learning to be ‘mindful’ is a key skill for improving well-being … even with just 8 minutes of daily practice. Try it out here with a few videos.
Know Your Strengths Positive psychology is all about focusing on what’s right about us. First … assess your TOP 5 VIA Signature Character Strengths … here … (it’s free) and get started ‘spotting’ with these 3 exercises. Second … assess different types of strengths (validated by the Gallup organization) by purchasing the StrengthsFinder 2.0. (Be sure to get a new book so that the access code in the back of the book has not been opened yet!) Third … another way to understand your strengths is to take this free questionnaire (if you haven’t taken the Myers Briggs). Spot Strengths Watch a quick video that show examples of spotting Character Strengths. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3nT2KDAGOc About the VIA Strengths Inventory Take the VIA-Inventory of Signature Strengths to find out what your top 5 character strengths are. This (free) Survey has been taken by hundreds of thousands of people and some research findings from it are highlighted below. It measures 24 character strengths (also listed below). In Positive Therapy, we leverage what’s best about you – in order for you to live your most actualized life. Creativity (originality, ingenuity): Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things. Curiosity (interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience): Taking an interest in ongoing experience s afor its own sake; exploring and discovering Open-mindedness (judgment, critical thinking): Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; weighing all evidence fairly. Love of learning: Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own or formally. Perspective (wisdom): Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself and to other people Bravery (valor): Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; acting on convictions even if unpopular. Persistence (perseverance, industriousness): Finishing what one starts; persisting in a course of action in spite of obstacles. Integrity (authenticity, honesty): Presenting oneself in a genuine way; taking responsibility for one’s feeling and actions Vitality (zest, enthusiasm, vigor, energy): Approaching life with excitement and energy; feeling alive and activated Love: Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. Kindness (generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, altruistic love, “niceness”): Doing favors and good deeds for others. Social intelligence (emotional intelligence, personal intelligence): Being aware of the motives and feelings of other people and oneself. Citizenship (social responsibility, loyalty, teamwork): Working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group. Fairness: Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting personal feelings bias decisions about others. Leadership: Encouraging a group of which one is a member to get things done and at the same maintain time good relations within the group. Forgiveness and mercy: Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting the shortcomings of others; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful Humility / Modesty: Letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is. Prudence: Being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted. Self-regulation (self-control): Regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one’s appetites and emotions. Appreciation of beauty and excellence (awe, wonder, elevation): Appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life. Gratitude: Being aware of and thankful of the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks. Hope (optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation): Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it. Humor (playfulness): Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side. Spirituality (religiousness, faith, purpose): Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose, the meaning of life, and the meaning of the universe. The information above is based on the book Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification written by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman; Published by Oxford University Press and the American Psychological Association (Copyright 2004 by Values in Action Institute). Also … Some research findings about these strengths include … Using one’s signature strengths in a new way increased happiness and decreased depression for 6 months (Gander, Proyer, Ruch, & Wyss, 2012). Using one’s signature strengths in a new way increased happiness for 6 months and decreased depression for 3 months (Mongrain & Anselmo-Matthews, 2012). Using one’s signature strengths in a new and unique way is an effective intervention: it increased happiness and decreased depression for 6 months (Seligman, Steen, Park, Peterson, 2005). Random assignment to a group instructed to use 2 signature strengths or use 1 signature strength and 1 bottom strength revealed significant gains in satisfaction with life compared with a control group but no differences between the 2 treatment groups (Rust, Diessner, & Reade, 2009). The use of one’s top strengths leads to a decreased likelihood of depression and stress and an increase in satisfaction in law students (Peterson & Peterson, 2008). The identification of signature strengths followed by discussion with a friend about strengths and use of three signature strengths in daily life boost cognitive (but not affective) well-being at three months follow-up (Mitchell, Stanimirovic, Klein, & Vella-Brodrick, 2009). Among youth, the use of signature strengths in novel ways along with personally meaningful goal-setting led to increases in student engagement and hope (Madden, Green, & Grant, 2011). There is a strong connection between well-being and the use of signature strengths because strengths helps us make progress on our goals and meet our basic needs for independence, relationship, and competence (Linley et al., 2010). A qualitative study examined the use of VIA strengths by women in the workplace and found that in all cases, strengths led to a “virtuous circle” in which the strengths use helped them overcome obstacles that had impeded strengths use. All subjects derived unique value from using character strengths at work (Elson & Boniwell, 2011). Individuals who use their character strengths experienced greater well-being, which was related to both physical and mental health. Strengths use was a unique predictor of subjective well-being after self-esteem and self-efficacy were controlled for […]
Welcome to my practice! I work with adults in individual Cognitive Behavior Therapy to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, pain and insomnia as well as to increase positive health and well-being.
The NIH sponsored a fantastic 2-day Research Conference in October 2018 where thought leaders shared their latest research on SLEEP and WOMEN’S HEALTH. It’s a wakeup call about the importance of sleep for the health of women.
Dr. Dinges shared his top 12 reasons to have consistent, restorative sleep. Many other panelists showcased a decade of federally-funded research advances in understanding health risks, societal burden, and treatment options associated with sleep deficiency and sleep disorders in women and families.
You can watch the 2-day event in its entirety – if you missed it!
Ads say, “Ask your doctor” for a pill. But, in fact, sleep specialists say that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is the FIRST step to take … before any kind of medication.
Inadequate sleep is a national epidemic, according to the CDC. Tens of millions suffer with insomnia … despite tens of millions of prescriptions written for sleeping pills.
Values are the best motivators, according to Acceptance & Commitment Therapy research. So, it’s a good idea to assess your values periodically, to know how to motivate yourself to reach your most important goals.
Here are (mostly free) resources that you can use right away to experience more well-being.
If you’re having trouble turning your mind off at bedtime … have a set of YouTube videos ready to watch … to gently remind yourself to focus on neutral, relaxing stimuli.
Understanding Fibromyalgia (FM) Dan Clauw, MD is the Director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan as well as Professor of Anesthesiology, Medicine (Rheumatology), and Psychiatry. As a leader in Fibromyalgia research, he explains the current understanding and best practices for treating Fibromyalgia and related conditions. Dr. Clauw’s multidisciplinary team has extensively studied the use of CBT and exercise in context to Fibromyalgia and discusses his findings (in plain language). https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=241&v=B0EhNajqkdU Cannabinoids & Opioids for FM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97ff4jOMDaE Depression, FM, & Centralized Pain Depression is common among chronic pain and Fibromyalgia. However, it’s also important to pay attention to what Dr. Clauw calls the 800 pound gorilla in chronic pain – centralized pain – which he believes will be a primary focus of the future of pain research and treatment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLNPwivnmJo Computer-based (free) CBT for FM Dr. Clauw’s research team, including pain psychologist David Williams, PhD, developed an online self-paced version of CBT for Fibromyalgia. If you would like to try a do-it-yourself approach to CBT, this is a wonderful first step. Go to FibroGuide. I was part of the clinical research team (when it was based at Georgetown University) that tested an earlier, face-to-face version of CBT modules for FM. Find CBT-trained Therapists If self-help is not enough, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or look for CBT providers in the CBT Directory for providers near you. Also, many providers will conduct CBT using teleconferencing.
The National Problem of Pain Dr. Mackey is Chief of Stanford’s Division of Pain Medicine, Director of the Systems Neuroscience and Pain Laboratory (SNAPL) and Redlich Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Neurosciences and (by courtesy) Neurology. In this video, Dr. Mackey kicks off the 2016 Back Pain Day by discussing pain as a chronic disease itself and a how we can address it clinically and as a public health problem. He broadly describes what’s involved in pain management – a team sport. Then, the other 8 Pain Medicine faculty members describe their roles on the pain team in their videos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmZj2GdsE3Y&list=PLsQ1C3NKyyyEVSJWFp8ieCgWjrukfwt3m Sean Mackey, M.D., Ph.D Dr. Mackey explains, in terms patients can understand, the state-of-the-art understanding about how pain actually works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otUVzK4hToM Beth Darnall, PhD Clinical Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Dr. Darnall is a pain psychologist and scientist. Her research investigates how to best treat and prevent chronic pain. She is a principal investigator for $14M in federal research awards. Dr. Darnall explains the importance of using CBT to manage ‘catastrophizing’ – a common reaction to chronic pain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO4Wj6R5mfg Heather Poupore-King, PhD Clinical Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Dr. King’s interest is in providing interdisciplinary care and specializes in comprehensive functional rehabilitation for chronic pain patients, using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (a form of CBT), and Biofeedback. Dr. King explains how care team members work together – with you at the center – to manage chronic pain best. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Em77B6ulwkQ Fiona Barwick, PhD Clinical Assistant Professor in Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences – Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, Dr. Barwick specializes in the assessment and treatment of insomnia, sleep apnea, circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, and parasomnias from a Health Psychology perspective. Dr. Barwick explains the role of CBT and augmented therapies for addressing problems with sleep and chronic pain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0TIPzuQyxY Ming-Chih Kao, MD, PhD Clinic Chief at Stanford Pain Management and Clinical Assistant Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. Kao’s mission is to offer all of his patients comprehensive interdisciplinary diagnosis and treatment, leveraging the full extent of what is known in state-of-the-art Pain Medicine. Dr. Kao discusses the variety of meds used and their role in pain management. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbr_ECocuJY Michael S. Leong, MD Clinical Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and Neurosurgery (by courtesy), Dr. Leong’s clinical foci are in radiculopathy; spinal, abdominal, and cancer pain; postherpetic neuralgia; and workers compensation cases. Dr. Leong explains the role of the use of spinal cord stimulation and how it works to reduce chronic pain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk_HtxuBDkU Jordan Newmark, MD Dr. Newmark is the pain division’s Associate Division Chief of Education, and Pain Medicine Associate Fellowship Director. His clincal interests are in chronic and perioperative pain management, headache and orofacial pain management, and interdisciplinary / procedural treatment. Dr. Newmark teaches us about the safe use of opioids for chronic pain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8obzSi6tm_o Corinne Cooley, DPT Ms. Cooley, a member of the Pain Physical Therapy staff, explains the role of physical movement in managing chronic pain – “Movement as Medicine” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ivfEO7oh5o J. Drew Sturgeon, PhD A Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr. Sturgeon explains the importance of managing social relationships and shows their impact on the brain and on chronic pain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puesZhibIDk&t=140s Questions and Answers (Video 1 and 2) The entire panel participates. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmqoo3408wA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80N_qtoU0Fk The Future: ‘Personalized’ Pain Management This video, not part of the 2016 Pain Day, outlines how the Stanford team is developing an extraordinary diagnostic and treatment tool that will inform clinicians (throughout the world) how to better ‘personalize’ pain treatment for their patients. Perhaps your physician could participate with this project, CHOIR, in the future. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=SU4-WGZN3MU
Here are (mostly free) resources that you can use right away to experience more well-being.
For anyone who doesn’t like their job (90% of us!) … please listen and take note of the 5 important concepts shared by Dr. Lopez, a leading positive psychology researcher.
Learn more about the science (and myths) of well-being, resilience, gratitude, love, happiness, compassion, hope, grit, growth mindset, wisdom, flow, self-control, creativity & aging by the leading positive psychologists.
Dr. Frederickson explains what she means by Love 2.0 … and how to make love happen more in your life.
For 25 years, I’ve provided brief & time-limited, goal-directed & structured psychotherapies (with individual adults) that are scientifically proven to work. The following are short descriptions of these therapies.