Anxiety and Trauma

We have deep expertise in treating the full range of anxiety disorders including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, as well as trauma-related disorders such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. These challenges are often experienced as problems with overwhelming thoughts (e.g., obsessive worries or intrusive memories) and emotions (e.g., stress, panic, fear, guilt, and shame).

The common thread that runs through these challenges is the universal instinct to avoid painful emotions. This is seeded in the very basic, natural motivation to keep ourselves safe and alive. Paradoxically, the more we try to push away painful emotions, the stronger and more persistent they become. This, in turn, can lead us to try harder to push them away - and the cycle continues. We help people reverse the cycle by switching from running away from pain, to running toward peace, fulfillment, and living a life that is in line with their values. 

We'll tackle these challenges in the order and at the pace that makes sense for you, using techniques based on evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapies (e.g., exposure and response prevention, prolonged exposure, cognitive processing therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy). We'll look at developing a strong motivation for change and reorientation to your core values. We'll discover which behaviors and thoughts make the problem worse in the long run and which make it better. And we'll also practice more helpful coping skills and challenge unhelpful thoughts. We believe strongly in emotional education (something we are never taught in school) because fully experiencing and understanding your emotions is the first step to changing them. 

This process is highly dependent upon providing a trusted space where clients can feel safe and supported to experience and process strong emotions. 

Primary Disorders Treated using CBT (both diagnosable and subclinical):

               

               Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

               Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

               Panic Disorder

               Agoraphobia

               Specific Phobia

               Generalized Anxiety Disorder

               Social Anxiety Disorder

                

                                                             

© 2019 by J. Ben Barnes. Eastern Massachusetts Personalized Behavioral Health