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Straight Up Guide to Exposure Therapy

These guides were born out of Noah and Christine’s frustration with overly complicated and jargon-filled articles, newsletters, books, and therapy websites. Our mission is to create clear and practical guides in order to learn, grow from challenges, and lead more meaningful and impactful lives.   Exposure and Response Prevention, or ERP, is a highly specialized form of behavioral therapy in the CBT school that was originally developed to treat phobias and OCD, but is now used across a variety of anxiety disorders. Exposure means gradually moving closer to what you fear or are avoiding – this could be dirt, germs, spiders or heights, but also more abstract things such as mistakes, unevenness, or even “bad” thoughts. Response Prevention means that you modify or “prevent” your usual response to these fears. The usual, maladaptive responses tend to be either compulsions such as hand-washing, rituals such as counting, mental compulsions such as thought-stopping, or...

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Straight Up Guide to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

These guides were born out of Noah and Christine’s frustration with overly complicated and jargon-filled articles, newsletters, books, and therapy websites. Our mission is to create clear and practical guides in order to learn, grow from challenges, and lead more meaningful and impactful lives.   Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT, is a relatively new form of CBT that posits psychological flexibility as the key to mental health. ACT is part of what’s known as the “third wave” of CBT along with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and it incorporates a more Eastern/Buddhistic outlook on psychological pain and suffering. ACT views pain as an inescapable part of life, and believes that any attempts to control or avoid pain only make it worse. However, ACT believes that we can still lead meaningful lives in spite of pain and suffering. Acceptance means not trying to control events, people, or internal...

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Straight Up Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

These guides were born out of Noah and Christine’s frustrations with overly complicated and jargon-filled articles, newsletters, books, and therapy websites. Our mission is to create clear and practical guides in order to learn, grow from challenges, and lead more meaningful and impactful lives. Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT: Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a therapeutic approach that addresses distorted thinking, dysfunctional emotions, and maladaptive behaviors through goal-oriented interventions. The name refers to the integration of cognitive therapy and behavior therapy that CBT practitioners use with their patients. CBT is based on the cognitive model of psychopathology, which proposes that dysfunctional thinking, which influences the patient’s mood and behavior, is the source of psychological disturbances (Beck, 2011). However, CBT is almost always practiced with behavior therapy principles, and behaviorists would add the idea that maladaptive behavior reinforcement also produces psychological problems (Gehart, 2013).   As proposed by one of CBT’s leading theorists, Aaron...

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Straight Up Guide to Types of Therapy

These guides were born out of Noah and Christine’s frustration with overly complicated and jargon-filled articles, newsletters, books, and therapy websites. Our mission is to create clear and practical guides in order to learn, grow from challenges, and lead more meaningful and impactful lives.   If you go to a western medical doctor with the flu, chances are you will get antibiotics. However, in the world of psychotherapy, things are more complicated. There are a number of different “orientations,” or styles, that view human beings in different ways, and provide different models of how to treat anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. While there are apparently over 400 different orientations, this article will review a number of the most notable ones, and what their mechanism for change is.   Psychodynamic This is what therapy is traditionally thought of, deriving from Sigmund Freud, and focusing on the unconscious. The traditional form of this is called...

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Straight Up Guide to Mental Health Professionals

These guides were born out of Noah and Christine’s frustration with overly complicated and jargon-filled articles, newsletters, books, and therapy websites. Our mission is to create clear and practical guides in order to learn, grow from challenges, and lead more meaningful and impactful lives.   When we first began looking at graduate schools in psychology, we remember being confused as to what the various titles, degrees, and licenses all meant. This is the article we wish we could have read at that time. The mental health field and the various labels of mental health practitioners are organized around the amount of education and degree earned, as well as the license is given on a state level. Psychiatrist  This is someone who went to medical school and then specialized in mental health. They typically go to medical school for four years, and then attend residency for an additional four years. Psychiatrists primarily treat their patients...

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