How do I know if what I'm experiencing is anxiety or OCD?
The spectrum of anxiety disorders encompasses many different symptoms and experiences. Whether you experience OCD, social anxiety, a specific phobia, panic attacks or generalized anxiety, anxiety disorders tend to have similar characteristics. Generally, anxiety functions as an "internal warning system" (think of it as your body's version of a fire alarm). For someone without clinical anxiety, this fire alarm is triggered at appropriate times (i.e. stress at work, going through a major life change, etc.). For someone who experiences clinical anxiety, it's as if the fire alarm is hypersensitive and therefore goes off when there isn't smoke or a fire. Our job in therapy is to retrain the alarm sensors to help your body correctly interpret stress signals.
How will I know if you are the right therapist for me?
Finding a therapist that you feel comfortable with is the most importance part of the therapeutic process. Studies consistently show that having a strong and positive relationship with your therapist is one of the most powerful interventions in creating client change. I always recommend that clients approach the process of finding a therapist like an "interview." I encourage you to think ahead about what qualities you are looking for in a therapist, what personality traits will help you feel most comfortable, and what questions you have for your provider. I would always rather a client find a therapist that they are comfortable with, even if that person isn't me, because that is a necessity in making real and lasting progress.
Do you see clients in an office, online or both?
At this point in time, I am only seeing clients virtually. I have found telehealth sessions to be highly advantageous. In fact, research conducted during the COVID pandemic has indicated that many evidence based therapies that are delivered virtually are just as effective at helping clients change when compared to therapies completed in an office.
Do you prescribe medication as part of your treatment?
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I am not qualified to prescribe medication. My goal is to work on the thoughts, perceptions and emotions that impact our behaviors. If I feel during the course of treatment that medication could be beneficial for you, I will discuss it with you at length and provide you with a referral if needed. You will never be required to take medication as part of our treatment process.