WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I CALL?
I am often unable to answer calls directly during business hours. If your call is not answered directly, please leave a message including your name, phone number, a very brief summary of your issue and several good times to reach you, including how early and late I can contact you. You can expect to receive a return call as soon as I'm able. I am happy to answer any questions you may have and to discuss whether we may be a good fit. You will be asked to complete a brief phone intake prior to scheduling an initial appointment. My availability will vary. I offer evening and weekend appointments as needed. I also offer Teletherapy for clients on a case-by-case basis.
DO YOU TAKE MY INSURANCE?
I am not on any insurance panels at this time though I may be in the future. However, I can provide clients with a receipt for each session that can be submitted to your insurance company. Patients considering treatment with the OCD & Anxiety Center of Knoxville are encouraged to contact their insurance company and ask (1) what coverage they have for out-of-network providers, (2) whether there are any limits on the number of visits per calendar year, and (3) how much the company will reimburse per session. It is your responsibility to understand your insurance coverage.
WHAT IS CBT FOR ADULT ANXIETY?
There are several decades worth of research backing up the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for adult depression and anxiety. CBT includes a variety of cognitive and behavioral interventions that are typically delivered in a semi-structured, time-limited fashion to address the needs of specific patients. At its core, CBT has a foundation in cognitive theory. Cognitive theory posits that the way we interpret life circumstances (our thoughts) influence how we feel (our emotions) and what we do or avoid (our behavior). Cognitive interventions teach patients new skills, enabling them to look more closely at their thoughts and better manage negative emotions and problematic behaviors. In addition, exposure-based approaches are central to the cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders. Briefly, exposure-based approaches involve the gradual exposure to a feared object or situation in a safe and controlled environment to allow for habituation of the feared response. Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a specific exposure-based technique often used for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in which patients have contact with feared consequence and then refrain from engaging in compulsive behavior or mental rituals.
WHAT ARE CBT, E+RP AND HOW DO I GET THE MOST OUT OF THEM?
CBT is a collaborative, action-oriented, and problem-focused approach to therapy. All CBT interventions have a common goal of teaching patients new tools to manage anxiety and other problems so that they can eventually monitor symptoms of anxiety without ongoing therapy. CBT works best when patients are willing to put time in between therapy sessions to practice new skills. In short, you will get out of therapy what you put into therapy. Therapy only works if you DO therapy.
Exposure and Response Prevention (E+RP) is a variant of CBT for people with obsessive compulsive disorder. E+RP targets obsessions and compulsions by gradually exposing clients to the triggers of their anxiety and intrusive thoughts and helping them to resist engaging in compulsive rituals.
ANIMAL ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY, IS THAT FOR ALL CLIENTS?
Not all clients are a good fit for Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) but we can explore that further when we speak. AAI differs from the types of things you might see at a nursing home for example, those are Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) and can be enjoyed by everyone in the area. AAI are crafted specifically to accomplish a therapeutic goal. For someone with contamination OCD the therapeutic goal might be to touch the dog and hug it so that it's hair and coat come into contact with the client's arms, hands, chest, and neck and then after a reasonable hand washing, the client will eat a snack with his hands. Other AAI can be written to address the individual needs of each client.
A note about letters for Emotional Support Animals: I have been called and asked to write notes for Emotional Support Animals (ESA) and I will not do it. Unless you are an ongoing client of mine where I can assess your situation and do a complete treatment plan which we then implement together, I am not in a position to diagnose, determine the need for an emotional support animal, or incorporate it into a treatment plan. I'm afraid I can't help you. Also, because there seems to be some misconception about what an ESA is and what it's allowed to do, the ONLY thing an ESA can do that a companion animal cannot is be accepted into housing where pets are not allowed. They are not permitted public access. They are not permitted on planes or trains or anywhere someone's random pet is not allowed to go. And to have an ESA YOU MUST BE LEGALLY DECLARED DISABLED. That comes first.