Clinical Specialties

My practice is focused on helping individuals who are struggling to cope with fears of the unknown. Such fears generally show up in the form of what-if questioning. The idea of uncertainty produces anxiety and it is common to believe that what will feel best is to try to increase certainty. This is often accomplished by engaging in behaviors that appear to prevent one’s fear/worry from occurring and seem to decrease doubt. However, since we can never be certain, such attempts lead to short-term relief at best and usually maintain and/or increase anxiety.  Additionally, these behaviors are time-consuming and can therefore negatively affect various aspects of our lives.

Anxiety

Obsessive

Compulsive Disorder

Anxiety involves the anticipation of perceived threat, along with intense and/or persistent worry that can manifest across a range of issues including:

 

  • Generalized: worries about everyday issues

  • Health focused: worrying that you have or will develop an illness, or difficulty coping with an established medical condition

  • Life changes: such as attending college/graduate school or changing careers

  • Sport performance or adjustment to life after sport

  • Social: anxiety about being negatively evaluated or judged

  • Panic: physical reactions associated with intense fear/anxiety

  • Other

Even if your main reason to enter therapy is to cope with anxiety or OCD, treatment will include addressing any co-occurring issues, such as depression or relationship stressors.

OCD involves obsessions that show up in the form of intrusive thoughts, images, and/or urges such as:

 

  • Health focused (developing a medical or mental health problem)

  • Contamination based

  • Feelings of responsibility

  • Worrying you might cause harm to someone through your actions or thoughts.

Attempts to cope with obsessions often involve engaging in compulsions. These are behaviors aimed at increasing certainty and lessening the chance of the fear occurring. Examples include:

  • Reassurance seeking

    • Thinking through the reasons why you believe the fear will not come true

    • Asking someone if they think the fear is likely to occur

    • Using the internet to determine if your health-based worry might be true

  • Trying to have specific thoughts to affect an outcome

  • Engaging in checking behaviors, such as if you locked the front door and turned off various appliances

  • Checking your written communication to be sure you did not write something offensive, such as emails or text messages

Individual Therapeutic Approach

We will work together to gain a solid understanding of what maintains your anxiety. Therapy will include gaining an understanding of the nature of the anxiety, how you have been attempting to cope, and the costs of engaging in behaviors aimed at increasing certainty. Instead of trying to prevent or control bothersome thoughts, emotions, sensations, and distressing images, we will focus on learning how to better to respond to them.  This will include learning to experience anxiety and doubt while resisting the desire to engage in behaviors aimed at decreasing them or chance of the fear occurring.

We will work on replacing unworkable behaviors with ones that foster tolerance of uncertainty and are in line with your values. You will learn to feel less afraid of anxiety and how to make important choices in the presence of anxiety leading to an enhanced quality of life.

 

Treatment requires the development of a strong therapeutic relationship. This work takes practice and patience as you learn new ways of behaving and I provide a supportive context in which this change can occur. I approach therapy from a behavioral perspective with treatment involving aspects of Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), both geared towards fostering increased tolerance of uncertainty.

Other Services

Teletherapy

I offer HIPAA compliant teletherapy services for individuals in the State of Louisiana. Please note that if you are using out of network insurance benefits you should check with your insurance carrier specifically about teletherapy coverage.

Psychoeducation for

Support Systems

Beyond individual therapeutic relationships, I also offer psychoeducation for family, partner, or other supports about anxiety/OCD.

This could include developing an understanding of the type of responses to the individual that are likely to contribute to anxiety maintenance, as well how to better recognize and respond to reassurance seeking.

 

At times, brief couples or family therapy might be recommended to enhance communication and resolve conflicts significant to the individual’s therapy. 

Contact
Office

New Orleans Anxiety & OCD, LLC

4932 Prytania Street, Unit B

New Orleans, LA, 70115