We specialize in state-of-the-art Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). We are currently the only treatment center in Suffolk County with staff officially credentialed and certified by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.
Many might call themselves “cognitive-therapists” very few are credentialed to provide this scientifically researched and proven therapy.
We are highly specialized in the latest scientifically supported treatments for all anxiety disorders, phobias, mood disorders, and depression. Furthermore, we treat anger and impulse control disorders. Since several of our staff have worked as school psychologists, we also specialize in disorders of childhood, adolescence and family.
We are also specialized and trained in the latest developments in "third generation" forms of CBT such as; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), interpersonal therapies such as Functional Anayltic Pscyhotherapyh (FAP) and mindfulness based therapies such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Finally our training with the newest CBT for couples, Integrative Cognitive Behavioral Couples Therapy (ICBT), works well in improving relationships and couples problems. These are some of the very cutting edge treatments in CBT and as CBT specialists we are committed to staying up to date on these latest treatment developments.
Whether symptoms are disabling or our clients are trying to make life changes to re-vitalize their lives, our commitment is to help our patients take effective action so as to live life in a more balanced and vital way.
What are the most common disorders in which we specialize?
One out of four people will suffer from a prolonged period of disabling symptoms resembling the syndromes below at some point in their lives.
Anxiety Disorders: A group of separate but overlapping disorders (e.g. panic, social phobia, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD). Clients with these disorders often magnify the level of danger in a situation, while disqualifying their own abilities and strengths. Thought restructuring, and mindfulness are used to see ones ability to face difficult situations differently, and to facilitate new actions. These strategies encourage clients to commit to living life based on individual values not one based on avoiding fear. A willingness to face fear is explored (exposure) and allows clients to reach their longer term life goals.
Depressive problems include many forms of mood disorders such as major (unipoloar) depression, bipolar disorder, complicated grieving, and other forms of loss related reactions. Treatment includes finding new ways of reacting to our old thought patterns. Learning to do this may include, traditional cognitive tools such as identifying your thought patterns and testing or restructuring your thinking. Depressed cognitive distortions often include; "I'll never reach my goals so why bother trying" (all or nothing), "it's not worth doing until I feel better" (emotional reasoning), "I am a looser" (labeling). Questioning, neutrally observing, re-experiencing and learning to "distance" our selves from our thoughts are essential parts of cognitive interventions. The Behavior in cognitive-behavioral therapy, also emphasizes identifying and replacing avoidant behavior patterns. Behavioral strategies include: hypothesis testing, gradual activity scheduling, pleasure planning, pro-active problem solving, interpersonal skills, valued-behavior commitments.
Other types of Mood disorders (and/or personality disorders) often include difficulties with expressing anger constructively. Our culture has particulary shaped our men and young men, so that depression often appears as irritability or anger. Cognitive thearpy and dialectical behavior therapy are well suited to learning assertive communication skills and mood regulation.
Post- Traumatic Stress (PTSD) :
We have conducted psychological debriefings, acted as volunteers for Red Cross Dept. of Mental Health. Dr. Sisti is also a member of the Trauma Task Force for The Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Life threatening trauma can also include recovering not only from violence, or abuse but from natural trauma such as surviving cancer, heart attack, stroke or auto accidents. Such experiences can either become places where individuals become stuck and life shrinks permanently or eventually moments of transformation and re-prioritizing. CBT aims to eventually help individuals to achieve the latter.
Children & Adolescents :
Even under the best of circumstances childhood presents a daunting variety of developmental challenges for children, adolescents and their parents. Whether we are helping children to optimize their strengths, deal with situational changes, or manage a disorder, CBT is the most recommended type of psychotherapy for children, adolescents and their families. Since a number of our staff have either worked as school psychologists or are currently doing so, we have extensive experience dealing with the difficulties faced by children and families. One of the most common problems for children are anxiety disorders; separation anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, test anxiety, performance anxiety, social phobia, general worrying (GAD), excessive perfectionism, and compulsiveness (OCD). Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder are also better managed when children learn about their mood regulation pitfalls and strengths. CBT is also well suited to helping young individuals and families to manage difficulties with impulsiveness, ADHD or ADD. In addition, children and adolescents with Aspergers can also learn to better manage their moods, thoughts and social environment through CBT. If needed CBT can also be a powerful combination with medication, helping to keep medication compliance consistent and supplementing medication with insight, understanding and skills. CBT builds “Emotional Intelligence” (EI) which is so important for today’s high pressure childhood world. Emotional intelligence skills include; emotion regulation, thought restructuring, impulse control, social skills, expressive & receptive communication skills and problem solving. To give parents additional skills and support, family sessions are often used to supplement the individual sessions for their children.
Marital Conflict & Dissatisfaction :
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has proven itself to be an excellent form of therapy for a variety of relationship patterns and couples problems. Our staff has been trained in, Integrative Cognitive Behavioral Couples Therapy (ICBT), a type of couple’s therapy developed by leading relationship researchers at the "love lab" (University of Washington, couple research center; Neil Jacobsen, PhD, Andrew Christensen, PhD). ICBT helps relationships to balance, mutual problem solving with acceptance, while challenging our relationship expectations. These are the two of the most basic dialectical skills needed in order to develop and maintain intimate and compassionate relationships. Other skills used to help develop and maintain intimate relationships include; positive tracking, active listening, pleasure planning, mutually identifying and challenging marital assumptions and re-writing our relationship “stories” based on individual sensitivities which we paradoxically love and hate.