Welcome!

Thank you for visiting my site! I’d like to tell you a bit about myself, and my philosophies about therapy.

I am a cognitive behavioral (CBT) therapist, who specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders. These include: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related disorders such as Hair-Pulling and Skin-Picking (Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors, or BFRBs), general anxiety, phobias, and intrusive thoughts among others. My practice also focuses on the treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), as well as trauma disorders and grief.

My patients consist of persons of all ages. I am extremely comfortable treating children and teens, as I am also a behavioral pediatrician and social worker.

I believe that all persons must be treated as a whole. This includes addressing not only their individuality but also the family system that they live in. This is important because the family of a patient is significantly affected by the patient’s dysfunction, if not partly contributing to it. I believe that all persons should be treated without bias, respecting their individual race, culture, religious beliefs, and sexual preferences.

My role is to help my patients gain better quality of life through the acquisition of tools that they can use against those issues with which they struggle. These tools include different ways of thinking, responding, reacting, and relating to themselves, the people around them, and their environment. I also believe that parent/family/patient education about their particular disorder is a vital component of treatment.

As an essential segway to therapy and treatment, I complete a thorough intake evaluation which includes obtaining a comprehensive medical, social, academic, vocational, and family history on each patient. For students, this includes the completion of objective scale instruments by their teachers, at any grade level. It is only with this valuable information that I am best prepared to diagnose and structure an individual therapy plan and course of treatment.

Regarding medication, my opinion is that the use of psychotropic medication has its proper place, time, and patient. Medication is not the first treatment I will offer. I firmly believe that the initial approach to almost all behavioral/ mental health conditions is CBT. I am very aware that too many people are given medication as a first step and/or are told that medication is the treatment for their condition, without therapy. This type of thinking is faulty and promotes the “quick-fix” mentality. The provision of medication as a sole treatment decreases a patient’s motivation to pursue psychotherapy thereby preventing the learning of cognitive tools. These tools can empower the patient and improve quality of life. There are certain conditions, however, in which medication is an important part of the overall course of care. As a physician I also offer these services when necessary.

Finally, CBT therapy is not “talk therapy”. The latter form of therapy will not teach a person cognitive skills. CBT actively engages the patient in exercises through which the patient learns how to process, manage, and cope with anxiety, depression, trauma, and grief. Talk -or supportive- therapy has a purpose in comforting and counseling in less severe or acute situations in which cognitive or other modalities of therapy might be inappropriate. CBT provides a directive, yet collaborative, method of therapy that will teach you, your child, or your family member how they can use their brain as their “medication”.

In addition to the above, I also provide advocacy services to children, families, couples, and individuals as a certified Family Mediator and trained Collaborative Divorce Family and Child Specialist. Please go to the Divorce Pathways tab for more information on these services, which include educational advocacy and divorce and parenting planning and care.

I welcome all inquiries. Please feel free to contact me at my office number. I look forward to helping you and your family!

— Dr. Monica

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