Positive Outlook Is Good For Your Health

CBT Skills and Your Health In A Positive Outlook May Be Good for Your Health, the New York Times reports that actively enhancing positive emotions can boost your immune system and reduce depression. Studies have shown a link between having a positive outlook and health benefits like lower blood pressure and heart disease, better weight control and healthier blood sugar levels. CBT Skills that Work In a

Using CBT Skills to Become Mindful: The Future of Mindfulness!

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Skills to Become More Mindful and Manage Anxiety Mindfulness meditation has become equated with being mindful. But there are alternate ways to build your mindfulness skills. Here’s a way to use CBT skills to become more mindful and manage worry. Read the New York Times article Achieving Mindfulness at Work, No Meditation Cushion Required on a new approach. Some of the main ideas

Caitlyn Oscarson: Now a Certified Cognitive Therapist

CBT Center’s Newest Certified Cognitive Therapist Caitlyn Oscarson, LMFT, staff therapist at the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center, recently became certified by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. This is a huge accomplishment and very few therapists are certified. It requires submitting your credentials, training and experience in CBT, completing a detailed CBT case conceptualization, and submitting an audiotape of an actual session with a real client

The Boy Whose Dreams Came True

Here’s a letter one of male teen clients wrote after successful completion of cognitive behavior therapy. It’s a very motivating letter for all ages even adults! Dear Self, The engine of my car rumbled when I came here, but the funny thing was that I didn’t even know where I was going. Then my parents said “Remember those scary pictures the kids showed you and

Does Halloween Make You Want to Hide?

Halloween’s Growing Popularity Can Lead to Social Anxiety Halloween used to be primarily a kid’s holiday. In recent years, Halloween has transformed from a kid-centric holiday into an $8 billion a year industry for everyone. Two in three adults believe Halloween is a holiday for them and not just kids. Many companies allow, and even encourage employees to wear costumes. Halloween’s creep also extends to pets.

Erica Russell: Certified Cognitive Therapist

CBT Center’s Newest Certified Cognitive Therapist Erica Russell, LPCC, LMFT, staff therapist at the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center, recently became certified by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. This is a huge accomplishment and very few therapists are certified. It requires submitting your credentials, training and experience in CBT, completing a detailed CBT case conceptualization, and submitting an audiotape of an actual session with a real

Introversion: Quiet Revolutionaries

What is Introversion? Introversion is “the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life.” According to the Myers-Briggs inventory, introverts are more likely to think, “I like getting my energy from dealing with the ideas, pictures, memories, and reactions that are inside my head, in my inner world. I often prefer doing things alone or

OCD Specialty Outpatient Clinic for the OCD Foundation

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center Designated a Specialty Outpatient Clinic by International OCD Foundation The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley and Sacramento Valley has been designated as a Specialty Outpatient Clinic by the International OCD Foundation. A Specialty Outpatient Clinic is defined as: 1) A minimum of three, licensed clinicians who maintain a professional membership in the IOCDF working in the same outpatient clinic.

Melissa Gould: Reflections on Motherhood

Now that my son, Forrest, is 5 months old, I’m just barely beginning to get a bit of perspective on life as a new parent. While I don’t have anything novel to say that someone hasn’t said before, I’ve been most surprised not by the profound but by the profoundly small everyday insights. Growing up around children and having a large extended family, I’ve done

Book Review: Same Time Next Week

Stories of Hope and Resilience in Mental Health Read Laura Johnson’s book review of “Same Time Next Week” on Positive Psychology New Daily: http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/laura-lc-johnson/2015060331717 How to Get Help for Anxiety, OCD and Anxiety-Related Problems The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley and Sacramento Valley specializes in Anxiety, OCD and Anxiety-Related Problems in adults, children and teenagers. We have two convenient locations to serve you.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center Retreat 2015

A Fun Day in Nature in Carmel Valley On Sunday, May 17, the Cognitive Behavior Therapy  Center of Silicon Valley employees and their family members spend the day in the very special nature retreat in the Santa Lucia Preserve. As a team, we enjoyed breakfast in the Hacienda, a hike on the Williams Canyon trail, a picnic by the lake and horseback riding on Garzas

Anxiety Mental Game: Paradoxical Strategies Win

An Important Twist on the Mindful Moment by Reid Wilson, Ph.D. Anxious clients enter treatment in the position of resistance. If they are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, they’ve got to be resisting. They want that discomfort to go away, which is totally understandable. But the stance of ‘I don’t want this to be happening’ gives Anxiety the upper hand, because the mind & body

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Sacramento Valley Opens in Roseville

New CBT Center of Anxiety and OCD Opening in Roseville, CA On June 1st, the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center is expanding to the Sacramento Valley with a new branch office in Roseville, CA. The name of the new office is Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Sacramento Valley. With our convenient location on Douglas Boulevard in Roseville just minutes from I-80, the new CBT Center will serve

Impostor Syndrome: Are You Discounting Yourself and Your Successes?

In the Boston Globe, I read that four smart and talented students at MIT committed suicide within the past year. Among its efforts to help students cope with stress, MIT is encouraging students to talk about the psychological phenomenon called “impostor syndrome,” the feeling of being a failure despite a record of accomplishment. What is Impostor Syndrome? Impostor syndrome is common among high achievers, many

Best Counselor in Saratoga, CA, in 2014 and 2015

Best Counselor in Saratoga, CA, for Two Years in a Row The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley has joined the Saratoga Business Hall of Fame by being selected as the Best Counselor for two years in a row. We are honored to have been selected for this prestigious award in 2014 and 2015. We will continue to provide high quality and effective therapy

Healthy and Maladaptive Coping Styles in Schema Therapy

A New Way of Thinking about Coping Styles in Schema Therapy Cathy Flanagan, one of the original developers of the schema therapy model with its founder, Jeffrey Young, recently published an article in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Psychotherapy Integration (2014 Vol. 24, No 3, 208-222) where she describes eight modes, or coping styles, that healthy individuals experience. Modes are distinct patterns representing coping

Radically-Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT)

RO-DBT: Your Path to a More Flexible Life and Joyful Experiences Laura Johnson, LMFT, LPCC, Center Director, attended a two-day workshop on Radically-Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) led by its founder, Thomas Lynch, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Southampton, UK. RO-DBT is an evidence-based approach to help individuals become more flexible in their thinking and responding, more open to life experiences that

OCD Exposure Tips from the Experts

By Caitlyn Oscarson, LMFT and Erica Russell, LPCC, LMFT OCD Foundation’s Behavior Therapy Training Institute 2015 From January 30th to February 1st, we had the pleasure of attending the International OCD Foundation’s Behavior Therapy Training Institute at UCLA. The Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) is an intensive three-day training for clinicians who are treating clients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. As one of the most prestigious

Schema Therapy: Basics and Beyond

I just returned from a two-day Schema Therapy Workshop at the New Jersey Institute for Schema Therapy. The training was led by Wendy Behary, the Founder and Director of The Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and The New Jersey Institute for Schema Therapy and President of the International Society of Schema Therapy. While I have been using Schema Therapy concepts with some clients already,

Beck Institute on Depression

I recently attended the Beck Institute’s training on Cognitive Therapy for Depression and Suicidality in San Francisco. The Beck Institute was established by Dr. Aaron Beck, the father of CBT, and his daughter, Dr. Judith Beck. As a world-renowned resource for training in CBT, I felt extremely lucky to attend this event and receive training from some of the CBT field’s most prominent members. The three-day

Positive Strength-Based Counseling and Therapy

Note: This article was first published on Positive Psychology News Daily on August 25, 2014 Counseling Psychology is Positive and Strength-Based Many psychotherapists across many different theoretical models and client populations are already using a positive, strength-based approach to therapy. I was fortunate to graduate from Santa Clara University’s Counseling Psychology Program. The courses were diverse and included positive psychology, health psychology, mindfulness-based stress reduction,

2014 Annual OCD Conference

  OCD Foundation’s Annual Conference I recently attended the 21st annual OCD Conference in Los Angeles put on by the International OCD Foundation. The conference was well organized and had a wide variety of session topics from highly respected speakers in the field of OCD and OCD spectrum disorders with respect to research and treatment. By OCD spectrum, I’m referring to issues such as Trichotillomania,

Exposure & Response Prevention for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Exposure and Response (Ritual) Prevention for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) I recently attended intensive training in Exposure and Response Prevention for OCD at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In addition to terrific presentations by Dr. Elna Yadin, OCD Clinic Director, and staff members, we were honored with a Q&A session with Dr. Edna Foa.

Real Therapists for Real People: Laura Johnson, LMFT, LPCC

Hello there. My name is Laura Johnson. I am the founder and director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley. I was born in New York and my family moved to Miami when I was four years old. I am multicultural product of an American mother (of Polish and Austrian descent) and a Cuban father, who came to the United States as a teenager.

Real Therapists for Real People: Caitlyn Oscarson, LMFT

Caitlyn Oscarson’s Personal Journey of Becoming a Therapist My name is Caitlyn Oscarson and I am very proud to have worked at the CBT Center of Silicon Valley for the past two years. I grew up in the Willow Glen area of San Jose and graduated from Lincoln High School. I attend undergrad at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and lived there very happily for

Real Therapists for Real People: Melissa Gould, LPCC

Melissa Gould’s Personal Journey of Becoming A Therapist My name is Melissa Gould. What a great opportunity to share a bit about myself both personally and professionally. For starters, I was born in Michigan but moved to Florida after only a few short years. I was raised in Southwest Florida but moved to the state capital, Tallahassee, for college and graduate school. Like many college

Real Therapists for Real People: Erica Russell, LPCC

Erica Russell’s Personal Journey of Becoming A Therapist My name is Erica Russell and I am excited to have a chance to share a little bit about myself. I was born and raised in the Evergreen neighborhood in San Jose. Growing up, I always loved school and was probably a bit of a “nerd”. I was never great at traditional sports, but loved dancing and

Laura Belknap, Assistant to the Center Director

Laura Belknap, BA Assistant to the Director Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center Laura Belknap is the friendly voice who greets you when you call the CBT Center’s main line. Her responsibilities include answering questions and educating new clients about CBT, scheduling initial evaluation sessions, and assisting the Center Director with special projects and administrative work. Education Laura is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley where she

Not Your Grandmother’s Therapy

My Personal Experience with Cognitive Behavior Therapy I’ve had a passion for cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) since the late 1990s when I experienced how broadening my perspective improved my life. I came across CBT in an unusual way. I was attending a four day leadership development seminar. As an introvert, I was struggling in a highly political corporate culture and needed help improving my confidence

Train your Brain for Social Success

CBT and Mindfulness for Social Anxiety Did you know that by practicing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness, you can create new circuits in your brain? You can actually change your brain so it’s more flexible, focused and compassionate. We’ve known for a while that CBT and mindfulness work for many problems especially stress, anxiety and depression. New research is emerging from Stanford University and

How Lucky Are You?

Growing up, I did not consider myself to be a lucky person. I often heard my father saying things like “Everything I buy breaks. I have the worst luck.” When I was nine, I won a holiday raffle at school for a plastic candy cane filled with M&Ms. I was sick that day, the only day I missed that year, and the teacher re-drew names.

We are in the Mercury News!

CBT Center in the Mercury News Read about the opening of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley in the Mercury News.  

A Mindful Approach for Chronic Depression

Chronic Unhappiness is Hard to Change It’s challenging to try to help people change who have had a lifetime of mental suffering and hold deeply-entrenched negative beliefs about themselves and the world. The other day I was working with a client who yelled out in pain, “There’s nothing positive about my situation!”  I sat there feeling helpless because I could see his strengths, but my

Schemas in Schema Therapy

What is Schema Therapy? Schema therapy is an extension of cognitive behavior therapy designed to treat a variety of long-standing emotional difficulties with significant origins in childhood and adolescent development. The goal of schema therapy is to help clients get their core needs met in an adaptive manner by enhancing positive schemas and developing healthier coping responses when negative schemas are triggered. Negative schemas develop when core

OCPD vs. OCD: What’s the Difference?

What is Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)? Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is a type of “personality disorder” with these characteristics: Rigid adherence to rules and regulations An overwhelming need for order Unwillingness to yield or give responsibilities to others A sense of righteousness about the way things “should be done” What are the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)? Excessive devotion to work

What Does an Expert CBT Therapist Do?

Many therapists integrate cognitive-behavioral techniques into their therapy approach. However, there are 11 skills that therapists who are experts in CBT try to practice in nearly every session. The list below is from the certification criteria of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. In order to get certified, therapists must submit an audio tape of a complete session demonstrating competence in all 11 skills. I went

10 Ways to Manage Anxiety, Worry and Stress

Anxiety is Sneaky You’re doing fine, and then suddenly you feel like you can’t breathe. Maybe your chest hurts, and you’re convinced you’re having a heart attack. Maybe something happened, like your car won’t start or you heard layoffs might be coming at your company. Or maybe you can’t pinpoint why you are feeling like you are – you woke up in the middle of the

Parents: Is Your Child Gifted?

How Can You Tell If Your Child is Gifted? The process of identifying gifted and talented children is a very complex and highly controversial topic. Much of the available literature focuses on the recognition and identification of intellectually and/or academically gifted children. Schools that have programs for gifted students are often able to identify gifted kids by using traditional screening methods like group IQ tests, review of

Do You or a Loved One Have OCD?

OCD Quiz: Do You Have Symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? The following questionnaire will help you identify the types of problems and symptoms that most trouble you. Don’t be surprised if you check more than one item in several groups. Many people have more than one type of OCD symptoms. In addition, OCD can appear in many different forms so it is possible that your particular symptoms

Are You Ready to Change?

When you show up for therapy, it’s natural to assume you are ready to change, right? Otherwise, why would you be paying a therapist to help you work toward a solution? However, sometimes after a few sessions, you may find your motivation is uneven and you aren’t sure you want to do the work involved in getting better and changing your life. That’s where an

Be A More “Perfect” Perfectionist: Coping with Failure

If you are a hard core perfectionist, you’ve probably been criticized at some point for it and your perfectionism might have even annoyed or been intimidating to others. There are lots of advantages to being a perfectionist like striving to do your best, producing great work, being successful, paying attention to details, making fewer errors and being someone people can count on. Some disadvantages of

Resilience: The Art of Bouncing Back

Definition of Resilience: the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens   What is Resilience? Resilience is the process of adapting positively in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems,  health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences. Being resilient does not

Pediatric OCD Treatment for Children and Teens

OCD Treatment for Children and Teenagers I just had the honor of attending the OCD Foundation’s first-ever Behavior Therapy Training Institute on Pediatric OCD, which was held at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin in mid-September. The treatment for children and teens with OCD is not all that different from adults. The main components of OCD treatment include: Education/Rapport Building (what is OCD? building the client’s

Mindful Behavior and Mindful Choices

Making Mindful Choices What is Mood-Dependent Behavior? Mood-dependent behavior is when you act on a feeling or an urge without pausing to consider the consequences or whether the behavior is appropriate to the situation. Often, mood-dependent behaviors will feel automatic and like they happen too quickly for you to have a choice. Mood-dependent behaviors may seem out of your control and difficult to change because

Practice Makes Permanent

When potential new clients call me, they often ask if cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) works and what the success rate is. I say, “It depends on your motivation level and whether you are willing to practice the skills in between sessions.” Fitness for the Brain CBT is fitness for the brain. There are many different skills you can learn, like mindfulness, awareness of emotions and

Teaching and Supervising CBT

I just got back from a three-day workshop at the Beck Institute in Philadelphia on Teaching and Supervising Staff in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. While the content of the workshop will help me improve the CBT staff training program at the CBT Center, the most invigorating part of the workshop was the opportunity to learn from the other participants. There were about 50 professors and expert

Summer Self-Soothing Ideas

Soothing with the Five Senses Self-soothing is a key part of self-care. The goal of self-soothing is to comfort yourself emotionally and physically by doing things that are sensually pleasant and not harmful. Self-soothing is a mindfulness practice when you are focusing your full attention on the feelings being experienced by your five senses. By being fully present on what you are experiencing in the

Evidence-Based CBT or Dim Sum?

The New York Times recently published an article that examines the difference between evidence-based CBT and what they call the “dim sum” approach, which is the eclectic approach many therapists use when they integrate strategies from a variety of different types of therapies. Here’s a quote from the article: “CBT refers to a number of structured, directive types of psychotherapy that focus on the thoughts

Be Good or Get Better?

Are You Focused on Learning to Be The Best or Trying to Prove You Already Are? “Be Good” goals are about proving yourself (being good). When you are striving to “be good,” you are focused on showing yourself and others that you are already completely competent. You are focused on the end result of your performance and showing everyone that you are already the best

Smaller Goals for Bigger Results

Baby Steps Can Lead You Down the Road of Success. Set smaller goals and get bigger results? This might seem counterintuitive to you. And if it does, you are not alone. We’re all used to hearing about stretch goals, and when you feel empowered, stretch goals are inspiring and motivating. But when you feel overwhelmed, stretch goals can create paralysis and result in procrastination. When

How To Help Your Teen Set Goals

January is often a time for us to reflect on the past year and set resolutions or goals for year ahead. In addition to having goals for themselves, parents of teenagers may also hope for their teenagers to change behaviors or make improvements in the new year. Whether your teen wants to learn to drive, improve his or her grades, go to bed earlier or

Playing the Anxiety Mental Game

In July, I had the privilege of traveling to Chicago to observe a two-day intensive live Anxiety & OCD treatment group led by Reid Wilson, Ph.D. There were eight people in the group with anxiety and OCD, many of whom had been suffering for years with chronic anxiety, panic, social anxiety, depression, obsessive thoughts, mental rituals and/or compulsive behaviors. I was skeptical the morning of

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center Opens in San Jose

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center Opens in Convenient West Valley Location The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center, Adult & Child Counseling Inc. is a professional corporation providing evidence based treatments for anxiety, OCD and related issues such as eating and sleep problems. “I opened this Center because there is a great need for places where consumers can get real cognitive behavior therapy in the Bay Area. CBT