Posts tagged cbt therapy
Online Therapy + Coaching For New Yorkers :: How To Find The Right Therapist For You

Not sure how to find an online therapist in New York City? It can be downright overwhelming with so many experts and options. I'm a New Yorker, and I get it! You’re busy, you travel frequently, or perhaps, you and your partner are rarely in the same room. It’s a barrier to treatment to feel as if you can’t commit to regular psychotherapy session times. Just when you get some momentum, you have deadlines or you have to travel, and then you’re embarrassed to reach out to the therapist to continue, so you begin a new therapist search.

It can also be challenging to find a good therapist in New York. You also need the right situation for you to begin the process of opening up to a stranger and discussing concerns such as anxiety, depression, a crisis, feeling “stuck” or relationship challenges that many busy, professional New Yorkers struggle with. What follows is some helpful information to guide you in the process of finding a therapist who works online, doing virtual therapy, otherwise known as Teletherapy or Telehealth.

Some find professional websites such as Psychology Today or GoodTherapy.com helpful. You can scroll through and match your needs and goals with therapists who have the skills or experience to help you, examples may be anxiety or mild depression, feeling “stuck” or needing support for a crisis or relationship problem. Reviews on Google or other sites such as HealthGrades.com can be unreliable for all sorts of reasons. Some therapists offer consultations to better understand their style and whether it’s a good fit for you.

Once you find a therapist to work with online or in-person, give them a chance. Many clients are ambivalent about beginning therapy to begin with, and give up early without giving the therapy experience a fair chance. Experienced therapists welcome the opportunity for you to discuss your urge to flee and they will help you through it or help you find someone else who might be a better fit. If it really does not feel right, you can find another psychotherapist or ask for a referral.

How does finding an online therapist work? Ask a potential therapist if they are able to accommodate your needs. I am delighted to meet with my clients in-person or via Skype, FaceTime or a HIPPA-compliant platform such as Simple Practice for video and/or telephone sessions. Working with busy New Yorkers, sometimes this option is necessary when work/life demands are great, or you are ill, moving or out of town and cannot meet in-person.

In my opinion, regardless of what research tells us about virtual therapy, I believe that

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NYC + Santa Fe Psychotherapist, Kim Seelbrede, MSW, LCSW is a Licensed Psychotherapist, EMDR Therapist, Relationship Expert + Stress/Anxiety Coach who provides Psychological Consultations in-person and online psychotherapy working with individuals and couples. Specialties include: trauma, addictions, anxiety, depression, relationships, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

CBT :: Challenging Those Pesky Automatic Thoughts

Are your thoughts, both conscious and those just beneath the surface, keeping you from success and living the life you desire? Have you heard the saying, "thoughts are not facts? These thoughts that interfere with health and happiness sneak up on us fast, some louder than others, and many are like background noise wreaking havoc on your life. Many thoughts need to be challenged because they no longer serve you and actually keep you looping in misery or feeling "stuck." One successful and time-tested strategy for working with coaching or psychotherapy clients is helping them learn to notice the "automatic thoughts" that have a deleterious affect on relationships, mood, anxiety, behavior and general outlook contributing to negative quality of life and poor health. 

Automatic thinking refers to the automatic thoughts people have in response to things happening around them. The goal is not to judge these thoughts that occur, but to develop awareness and then learn to challenge and replace them with more realistic thoughts thus breaking the cycle of negative impact. I've included a helpful CBT tool from Psychology Tools, a resource that I regularly use with coaching and therapy clients to interrupt negative thinking. 

Prompts For Challenging Negative Thinking (Use the list of prompts below to help you assess the truthfulness of your negative thinking).

What thought do you notice?

Evidence

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NYC + Santa Fe Psychotherapist, Kim Seelbrede, MSW, LCSW is a Licensed Psychotherapist, EMDR Therapist, Relationship Expert + Stress/Anxiety Coach who provides Psychological Consultations in-person and online psychotherapy working with individuals and couples. Specialties include: trauma, addictions, anxiety, depression, relationships, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

CBT :: Coaching + Therapy Techniques For Changing Thoughts And Behaviors

We ALL need a little help sometimes, even when we have awareness of our challenges and difficulties. It's really hard for many to ask for help, so I thought I'd share some useful techniques that I use in my own private practice in NYC working with therapy and coaching clients. CBT techniques are very helpful tools to be used in therapy, coaching and useful when applied to everyday life situations. What follows are some of the most common problems that clients struggle with and CBT techniques that are helpful. 

  1. Journaling—This technique gathers information and data about habitual thoughts, emotions and moods. Included in journal entries can be: time of day, the source or trigger, the intensity of the feeling state and the response or action taken. You can add more helpful and adaptive coping responses that might be considered in the future.

  2. Catastrophizing—This tendency is to go immediately to an irrational thought that something is far worse than it actually is. Catastrophizing generally takes two different forms: making a catastrophe out of a current situation or a future situation. Step one is to identify when your are doing this. Next, use your smartphone or journal to write the thoughts down throughout the day and add a corrective statement to counteract the negative belief.

  3. Cognitive Distortions—Alone or with a therapist, you practice identifying harmful or negative thoughts that are automatic for you, then challenge these thoughts that lead to vulnerability or distress in your daily life.

  4. Cognitive Restructuring—Once you identify the distortions or inaccurate views, you can begin to learn about how this distortion took root and why you came to believe it. When you discover a belief that is destructive or harmful, you can begin to challenge it. Instead of accepting a faulty belief that leads to negative thoughts about yourself and poor self-esteem, you could take this opportunity to think about something in a different way.

  5. Write Down Self-Statements to Counteract Negative Beliefs—This is a challenge especially if your belief is strong or it has served you in some way. Confront these negative thoughts by introducing a positive more correct thought. Positive thoughts or self-statements help to interrupt old patterns and create new neural pathways.

  6. Exposure and Response Prevention—If you suffer from OCD, you can expose yourself to whatever creates the compulsive behavior that follows. Avoid doing the behavior by writing about it instead in a journal or notepad.

  7. Interoceptive Exposure—If you struggle with panic attacks or anxiety, this technique involves exposing yourself to bodily sensations that elicit responses that lead to distress and panic symptoms. As you experience unpleasant symptoms, unhelpful thoughts arise and you can learn to tolerate the experience, reduce avoidance and develop a different way to view these symptoms such discomfort, but not dangerous.

  8. Play the Script Until the End—This technique involves imagining the worst case scenario, letting it play out in the mind. For those who struggle with fear and

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NYC + Santa Fe Psychotherapist, Kim Seelbrede, MSW, LCSW is a Licensed Psychotherapist, EMDR Therapist, Relationship Expert + Stress/Anxiety Coach who provides Psychological Consultations in-person and online psychotherapy working with individuals and couples. Specialties include: trauma, addictions, anxiety, depression, relationships, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

#shrinkthinks - Banish Those Negative Thoughts And Emotions

Interrupt those negative, life-draining thoughts that serve to maintain faulty brain wiring AND keep you looping in the familiar. The next time a negative thought, or the memory of pain or anger comes to mind, simply say to yourself "stop," "go away," or “I release you” and visualize yourself free and without this negative distraction. Learning to interrupt habitual, repetitive thoughts or distortions, called "thought stopping" or "thought interrupting" in CBT, can be a challenge, and definitely takes practice. So what do you do with the empty space once you decide to banish unhelpful thoughts? It's important to replace the negative cognitions with a more realistic thought or experience that is reassuring, beneficial and more aligned with the changes you'd like to make for yourself.

Okay, so sometimes thought stopping doesn't work. Why? For some, the CBT strategy of "thought interrupting" backfires, to such an extent that all they can think about is the thing, thought or feeling that they're trying to stop. If this describes you, then end the struggle because, for now, acceptance may be the most helpful solution.

What does acceptance look like? One example is: "I tend to worry about things a lot because I 

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NYC + Santa Fe Psychotherapist, Kim Seelbrede, MSW, LCSW is a Licensed Psychotherapist, EMDR Therapist, Relationship Expert + Stress/Anxiety Coach who provides Psychological Consultations in-person and online psychotherapy working with individuals and couples. Specialties include: trauma, addictions, anxiety, depression, relationships, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

About Co-Occurring Disorders

When clients present with addictions and substance abuse, we typically find that other problems exist in addition to the substances and behaviors, and are part of a larger, more complex picture. Substance and process addictions are often the solution that clients use to manage a range of emotional states as well as early traumas.  Co-occurring disorders or COD refers to mental health problems that are combined with alcohol or substance abuse. The addiction or substance use aspect is often used to self-medicate a mental health issue such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, Asperger's, PTSD and personality disorders. Common examples of COD's include alcohol addiction with panic disorder, poly-substance use with schizophrenia and personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD and major depression or Bipolar disorder with cocaine abuse. It's not uncommon for individuals to have more than two disorders such as

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NYC + Santa Fe Psychotherapist, Kim Seelbrede, MSW, LCSW is a Licensed Psychotherapist, EMDR Therapist, Relationship Expert + Stress/Anxiety Coach who provides Psychological Consultations in-person and online psychotherapy working with individuals and couples. Specialties include: trauma, addictions, anxiety, depression, relationships, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.