Therapy Approaches

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A well-established, highly effective, and lasting treatment is called cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. It focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing thinking and behavior patterns. Benefits are usually seen in 12 to 16 weeks, depending on the individual.

In this type of therapy the patient is actively involved in his or her own recovery, has a sense of control, and learns skills that are useful throughout life. CBT typically involves reading about the problem, keeping records between appointments, and completing homework assignments in which the treatment procedures are practiced. Patients learn skills during therapy sessions, but they must practice repeatedly to see improvement.

Exposure Therapy

A form of CBT, exposure therapy is a process for reducing fear and anxiety responses. In therapy, a person is gradually exposed to a feared situation or object, learning to become less sensitive over time. This type of therapy has been found to be particularly effective for obsessive compulsive disorder and phobias.

Psychodynamic and Supportive Psychotherapy

Psychodynamic Therapy addresses interpersonal issues, anxiety and depression. It is based on the idea that behavior and mental well-being are influenced by childhood experiences and inappropriate repetitive thoughts or feelings that are unconscious (outside of the person’s awareness). Patients work with the therapist to improve self-awareness and to change old patterns so they can more fully take charge of their life.

Supportive therapy uses guidance and encouragement to help patients develop their own resources. It helps build self-esteem, reduce anxiety, strengthen coping mechanisms, and improve social and community functioning. Supportive psychotherapy helps patients deal with issues related to their mental health conditions which in turn affect the rest of their lives.


Clinical Psychopharmacology is the study of the use of medications in treating mental disorders. Psychopharmacologic medications can have effects on mood, sensation, thinking, and behavior. The field of psychopharmacology studies a wide range of substances with various types of psychoactive properties, focusing primarily on neurotransmitters in the brain. These substances include antidepressants, anxiolytics, stimulants and mood stabilizers.

Psychoactive drugs interact with particular target sites or receptors found in the nervous system to induce changes in physiological or psychological functions. These drugs may originate from natural sources such as plants and animals, or from artificial sources such as chemical synthesis in the laboratory.