What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses more on the present, than the past. It is relatively short-termed, focused and structured.

In therapy, you become aware of how you are thinking. You learn how these thoughts affect your feelings and in turn how these feelings affect your behavior. For example, if you criticize and undervalue yourself by negative self-talk, you might feel sad and anxious, and that might lead to your withdrawing from or avoiding uncomfortable social situations.

Research shows that CBT is effective for relieving depression, anxiety, obsessions and other fears. For further information, please visit the website for the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies: www.abct.org

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a state of focused attention and concentration in which you learn to use your mind to help relieve distress, such as anxiety. Hypnosis is also used to relieve physical symptoms such as pain and nausea, and can reduce anxiety not only in phobias, but also during dental procedures and for pre and post surgical recovery. Empirically validated studies have show that hypnosis can reduce or eliminate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. Hypnosis can be effective for habit control such as in smoking and overeating and for performance enhancement such as in public speaking and test taking.

There are many myths and misperceptions of hypnosis. Without realizing it, you likely have experienced a state of hypnosis or trance when you became so absorbed in a movie or book, that you were unaware of anyone around you.

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis; therefore, no one can make you do anything that you don’t want to do. Hypnosis is not something that is done to you; rather, it is a tool that you learn how to use to help yourself. While hypnosis is not a form of psychotherapy, it is a technique used within the framework of other psychotherapeutic approaches.

For additional information, please visit the website for the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis at www.asch.net

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic approach that uses eye movement or other directional stimulation of the brain to help process disturbing events. Dr. Francine Shapiro developed this theory in 1987 while observing that eye movements can lessen the intensity of disturbing thoughts under certain conditions.

When someone becomes upset, the brain sometimes cannot process the information in its usual manner. Memories of traumatic events, for example, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can remain with its associated sights, sounds, smells or feelings. These memories can be re-experienced when an event in the present reminds that person of some aspect of the past trauma. These memories can interfere with viewing the world and relating to people. EMDR seems to help the brain resume normal processing of this information so that the person no longer relives the images, sounds, smells or feelings whenever that event is brought to mind.

For additional information, please visit the EMDR International Association at www.emdria.org

I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the courage to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. In our work together, I’ll help you explore and identify your strengths and how to implement them to reduce the influence of the problems you are facing.

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, counseling is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

Medication can be effective but it alone cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with counseling. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing and expand on your strengths that can help you accomplish your personal goals.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Because each person has different issues and goals for counseling, it will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.

How long will it take?

Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time counseling can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek counseling in the first place.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success.

4921 Seminary Road, Suite 119
Alexandria, VA 22311

(703) 550-1140
*Email is not confidential, please, call Dr. Brosky for an appointment.

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