Anxiety treatment San Mateo/Peninsula: Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for San Mateo CBT Clinic about CBT therapy for anxiety disorders. Conditions treated include: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), panic disorder, phobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder/social phobia, agorophobia, emetophobia (fear of vomiting), illness anxiety disorder, trichotillomania (hair pulling), & excoriation (skin-picking).
What age range of clients do you see?
Children (ages 4+), adolescents, and adults.
What kinds of issues do you help people with?
The San Mateo CBT Clinic was founded for the purpose of providing evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders across the lifespan. We also provide treatment for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) such as Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling Disorder) and Excoriation (Skin Picking) Disorder. There are limited spaces available for clients who desire CBT treatment for other issues.
I've already seen other therapists. Will this be any different?
Almost every client we see has seen a therapist before finding me. Many of these individuals worked with a therapist who did not utilize CBT. As such, they are typically surprised by how different our work may look when compared to their past therapy experiences.
If you or your child has not tried CBT for anxiety, our work will be quite different from prior therapy experiences. CBT teaches a client skills to gradually face anxiety provoking situations in a safe environment so that they can increase their comfort level and reduce their fear.
We do see a handful of individuals who saw other CBT therapists before, as well. Although the techniques may be highly similar, sometimes therapy is ineffective simply because the client and therapist don't connect. Therefore, if you previously underwent CBT for anxiety but didn't feel understood or didn't connect with your previous therapist, trying again with someone else is a logical next step.
How much does each session cost?
The San Mateo CBT Clinic offer rates that are competitive for the areas we serve. Please give us a call at (650) 532-3666 to discuss fees.
Do you take insurance?
We are not in-network with any insurance providers. We can provide the necessary documentation to send to your insurance provider in order to seek reimbursement.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Despite its name, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is not a single therapy. Rather, it is a group of therapies that focuses on changing people's thoughts and/or behaviors to improve the quality of their lives.
All Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies share a certain set of characteristics. They are:
- Based on the premise that change occurs through modifying behavior
- Quick; CBT works far more rapidly than alternative therapies
- Empirically supported
CBT is based on the premise that months or years of detailed analyses of one's past life experiences aren't necessary to move forward.
What does it mean that CBT is "empirically supported," and why does that matter?
That CBT is empirically supported means it has been shown to be effective in Randomized Control Trials (RCTs). These are the same standards that pharmaceutical companies must meet to show that their drugs are providing true benefits.
Empirical support ensures that the techniques being used in therapy have worked for other people with similar issues. While this is never a guarantee that they will work for every individual, it is reasonable to assume that they can help. To better illustrate the need for empirical support and the problems with utilizing untested psychotherapies, please see the New York Times article from 2013 on this very issue, as well as our full discussion of this issue on our blog.
What should I expect from therapy?
CBT is based on modifying current behavioral patterns in order to improve your life. You should expect that during the first few sessions, we'll focus on a thorough understanding of your presenting problems. Once we agree on our formulation of the problem, we'll discuss a treatment plan. From there, we'll begin treatment - which will include regular practice of skills between sessions. Such tasks may include filling out worksheets, or gradually approaching anxiety-provoking situations. Once goals have been met, the final phase of treatment focuses on ensuring that your success will continue after therapy ends.
How long does CBT take?
This is one of the most common questions we're asked, and unfortunately, the answer isn't quite precise. We do have significant scientific evidence to show that major changes can occur within 12-24 sessions. The total duration of treatment depends heavily on both the number of presenting problems and the client's ability to complete work out of the therapy session. A highly motivated individual with one clearly defined issue may easily meet their goals in 12 sessions (or less). A less motivated individual with 3-4 presenting problems would likely exceed the 24 sessions time-frame.
Have more questions? Contact us.