Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a
structured, goal-oriented approach that aims to influence dysfunctional
thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Individuals are first taught to
monitor thoughts, assumptions, beliefs and behaviors that are related to
their negative emotions.
They are then helped to identify those thoughts
and behaviors that are dysfunctional, inaccurate, or simply unhelpful.
Ultimately, the individual learns to replace or transcend these
dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors with more realistic and useful
Research has proved CBT to be effective for the treatment of many
clinical issues such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating
disorders. The therapy is often brief and time-limited and can be used
in individual therapy as well as group settings.
Dr. Kristen Mulcahy, Director of CBI, conducts or supervises all therapy
sessions. To learn more about Dr. Mulcahy, click here.
Areas of Expertise
Areas we specialize in include:
• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
• Body Dysmorphic Disorder
• Eating Disorders
• Panic Disorder
• Generalized Anxiety Disorder
For the treatment of OCD, behavior therapy, specifically exposure and
response prevention (ERP), is taught. This involves gradual exposure to
anxiety-provoking stimuli and situations in order to promote
desensitization and the discouraging of compulsive or ritualistic
behaviors, which ultimately maintain OCD. Sessions may be conducted in a
variety of settings, including public places, the individual’s home, and
any other locations specific to the problem. Cognitive therapy
techniques are also taught to help the individual examine illogical or
irrational beliefs (i.e. the need to be perfect or the need for
certainty). These concepts are made simple and fun for children, while
parents are taught how to respond to their child’s OCD symptoms in the
most appropriate and effective ways.
For the treatment of eating disorders, a combination of cognitive and
behavioral techniques are taught to help the individual challenge
irrational beliefs as well as increase tolerance to uncomfortable
feelings. Nutritional counseling is often recommended to address any
nutritional deficiencies as well as develop and modify appropriate
healthy eating plans throughout the course of therapy. Family therapy to
teach collaborative problem solving skills may also be recommended.
For the treatment of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Hypochondriasis, and
Trichotillomania, a combination of cognitive and behavioral strategies
are taught in order to help the individual increase awareness, challenge
irrational beliefs, as well as increase tolerance to uncomfortable
For the treatment of Panic Disorder, a cognitive-behavioral approach is
taught which emphasizes breathing, relaxation, and mindfulness based
strategies, cognitive strategies to challenge irrational beliefs, and
behavioral exercises to increase tolerance to uncomfortable feelings and
situations that may provoke anxiety or panic.
For the treatment of Hoarding, a combination of office and home-based
therapy is generally recommended. Treatment involves helping the
sufferer challenge irrational beliefs that may be contributing to the
problem, learn organizational and other executive functioning skills
that may be lacking, and devise a plan to clear out the cluttered space.
Intensive Therapy Programs
Intensive therapy programs may be customized for individuals suffering
from severe OCD and/or OCD spectrum disorders. Programs generally
consist of intensive cognitive behavior therapy sessions 3-6x weekly,
family therapy as needed, and support group meetings for the sufferer
Yoga, meditation instruction, nutritional/health counseling, and
chiropractic for nervous system support are also available for a
holistic approach to treatment.
Accommodations can be found for those traveling from out-of –town for
extended periods of time.
OCD Support Group
Support group meetings are held at CBI the first Thursday of every month
at 7pm. Meetings are appropriate for anyone struggling with OCD or an
OCD spectrum disorder and for the parents, spouses, or friends of
someone struggling with one of these issues. All meetings are led by Dr.
Live OCD Free
Live OCD Free is an app currently available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and
iPad. Created by Dr. Kristen Mulcahy, this app guides both adult and
child sufferers through ERP for OCD and other OCD spectrum disorders.
Preliminary research results indicate Live OCD Free may reduce OCD
symptoms in as few as 3 weeks. It is recommended as a self-help tool for
those who do not have access to a specialist and as an adjunct to
therapy to make your treatment more efficient and, therefore, more
For more information, please visit www.LiveOCDFree.com.
Peace Out is an 8-Week stress management group for teen girls (ages
13-18) combining yoga and mindfulness based Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
Group meetings include 45mins of yoga flow and 45mins of group
discussion. Each week focuses on a different theme of how to develop:
• Self Acceptance & Compassion
• Inner Strength
• Peace of Mind
Dr. Kristen Mulcahy & Nicole Journalist, RYT co-lead each group.
For more information or to set up an appointment at CBI, please contact
us at (508) 457-3160. Telephone as well as Skype consults are available