Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – A Brief Overview

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy pic
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Image: cogbtherapy.com

An experienced licensed psychologist, Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D., has been working with patients in Maryland for over three decades. Skilled in helping children, couples, and families, Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D., works to address anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other mental health issues using methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Developed in the 1960s by psychiatrist Aaron Beck, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a goal-oriented psychotherapeutic treatment that helps patients explore the ways that thoughts and feelings influence their behavior. The initial goal of CBT is to help patients identify and acknowledge the patterns of thinking that are contributing to their difficulties. Then, patients can work with their therapist to reshape negative thinking and set goals toward ultimately changing the way they feel.

Although CBT is a short-term treatment method, it involves a progressive and gradual process that requires patients to play an active role in changing their behavior. In addition to participating in regular face-to-face sessions with their therapist, CBT patients are often asked to read, journal, and participate in other activities outside of therapy sessions. An effective psychotherapeutic treatment, CBT has been shown to help individuals overcome a range of issues, including phobias, addictions, and relationship problems.

The Commercial and Critical Success of Steven Spielberg

 

Steven Spielberg pic
Steven Spielberg
Image: imdb.com

Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D., has been a psychologist in Rockville, Maryland, for more than 30 years. He has also served as the clinical director of the Center for Children’s Services in Danville, Illinois, and as a chief psychologist at the JSSA in Rockville, MD. Beyond his professional activities, Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D., enjoys watching the films of Steven Spielberg.

Following his 1974 directorial debut, The Sugarland Express, filmmaker Steven Spielberg released his first major motion picture, Jaws, in 1975. Jaws became one of the most successful and influential films of all time, giving birth to Hollywood’s summer blockbuster season and launching Spielberg on one of the most decorated career paths the industry has ever seen.

Financially speaking, Spielberg’s second-most successful effort as a director came in 1982 with ET: The Extra Terrestrial. ET grossed more than $435 million in the United States and nearly $358 million internationally, for a total gross of approximately $793 million. In 1993, Spielberg’s Jurassic Park fell just shy of ET’s domestic mark at $402 million, but impressed foreign audiences to the tune of $626 million, bringing Spielberg his first and only $1 billion film.

As a director, Spielberg has excelled with dramatic pictures in addition to his long list of summer blockbusters. He has received seven Academy Award nominations for directing, with wins for Schindler’s List in 1994 and Saving Private Ryan in 1999, and was nominated nine other times, winning twice for Best Picture. Spielberg has also seen success at ceremonies such as the Golden Globes and the Directors Guild of America Awards, among countless others.

A Brief Introduction to the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder pic
Bipolar Disorder
Image: webmd.com

Since earning a Ph.D. and licensed as a psychologist following a graduate program at the University of Maryland, College Park, Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D. has spent more than three decades providing psychological support to individuals throughout the Rockville area. Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D., treats clients for a number of psychological issues, including trauma-related stress and reactions, PTSD, and bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is primarily a disorder involving Depression, a psychological condition that is characterized also by excessive mood swings or at least a single manic episode. It is usually known to the public as excessive mood swings disorder that carries an individual from the lows of clinical depression to the extreme highs of mania. However, many of Bipolar patients do not suffer from the mood swings on a regular basis or even frequently, showing instead mostly symptoms of depression. Because of the mood swing aspect, the disorder was previously known best as manic-depressive illness. However, we now recognize that episodes of unexplained or confused elation could also be a sign of the disorder even without frank mania. Untreated bipolar disorder can result in erratic, sometimes psychotic or dangerous behavior, sometimes leading to suicidal tendencies and frequently to major disturbances in social, family and work situations.

It is best to treat bipolar disorder medically and psychologically as soon as possible. Individuals with a mild form of the disorder, called Hypomania, should, therefore, remain vigilant for the advancing symptoms of the disorder. Common symptoms of bipolar depression range from long episodes of crying to suicidal ideation. Physical clues may also include insomnia and oversleeping, low energy levels, fatigue, and changes in appetite or strong agitation, mild depressing hallucination, and delusions.

Mania is most commonly signaled by periods of euphoria and impulsive, selfish disorganized gratification seeking behavior, such as a need for constant stimulation, travel, gambling, promiscuity. Manic episodes are usually very unsettling for the family and the individual. A manic individual can become irritated and angry, or may behave like a hungry addict, not only for drugs, and may report beautiful hallucinations and delusions, flashing colors or ‘visions’. It should also be noted that individuals dealing with bipolar disorder may struggle with depression and mania at the same time. As the reader might have noted, extreme symptoms might be classified as psychotic.

Many Ways to Learn, A Children’s Book About Learning Disabilities

Many Ways to Learn pic
Many Ways to Learn
Image: amazon.com

A Licensed Psychologist with more than 30 years of experience in Maryland, Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D., is currently a psychotherapist in private practice in Rockville, Maryland. In his post-doctoral training, he trained and became a certified school psychologist, a certified sex therapist, and a certified NLP practitioner. He received extensive training in cognitive-behavioral therapy and Trauma treatment, among others. Dr. Uzi Ben-Ami shared his knowledge of children with special needs in “Many Ways to Learn: Young People’s Guide to Learning Disabilities,” a book he co-authored in 1996.

Designed to be read by the children about whom it is written – mainly those between 8 and 13 years of age – Many Ways to Learn offers easy-to-understand descriptions outlining different types of learning disabilities and how they manifest themselves. Dr. Ben-Ami and his co-author examine the ways in which each disability affects the behavior, performance, and emotions of the child, and how these learning differences can be best managed at home, at school, and in social situations. The book provides a convincing major metaphor to be used in order to explain learning differences. The use of the book and the central metaphor would help parents explain to their child and normalize learning differences. In addition to the explanations by the authors, the book shares a personalized, first-hand account from a child with a learning disability. Other chapters supply parents with helpful resources.

Ultimately, Many Ways to Learn teaches children struggling with a disability that they have as much – if perhaps in different areas – intelligence, spirit, and experience compared with their peers and that they could find creative ways to handle and improve challenging aspects of their lives.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D.
Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D.

Child and adolescent psychologist, Dr. Uzi Ben-Ami provides an educational program, counseling and therapy services for all ages, children and young adults, parents, and groups. His training as a cognitive behaviorist using CBT, DBT, and Future Facing Trauma Therapy, lead Dr. Uzi Ben-Ami to practice Cognitive Behavior Therapy flexibly, treating generalized anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder and trauma reactions such as PTSD, which usually involves disruptive obsessive thoughts and fearful reactions.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common presentation in therapy. OCD is usually considered a symptom of anxiety, a condition characterized by repetitive symptoms such as frequent disruptive thoughts or obsessions and/or compulsions. Sometimes, to control disruptive and disturbing thoughts, the individual reacts with repetitive behaviors that are known as compulsions. For example, with OCD, individuals may have an irrational fear that a loved one will be in an accident if they do not turn the light switch off and on four times. Occasional repetitions are considered a mild ‘superstitious behavior’ and may not necessitate intervention because they may not disrupt and disturb a person’s normal life activity or might even enhance it, such as becoming very neat and organized. However, when the behavior repeats itself in high frequency it may disturb normal life activity and may increase obsessive preoccupation which in turn may increase the frequency of compulsions or cause depression and additional anxiety. Life may become difficult to bear for the individual, and bring concerns to family, friends or colleagues. OCD may force someone who is dealing with the disorder into a stressful life. A person having fearful thoughts and compulsive rituals frequently tries unsuccessfully to ease disruptive thoughts and behaviors. It should be noted that compulsive behaviors may appear without obsessions but might become just as disruptive and difficult to bear.

Although there are different approaches to managing OCD, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is usually considered the preferred, evidence-based, research-supported intervention. With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, disruptive thoughts and behavioral patterns will be altered through supportive guidance, educational explanations, habit-reversal efforts, and by teaching how to evoke parasympathetic tension-reducing reactions. Therapeutic interventions are never cold and clinical. Therapy must always involve friendliness, hope, and a strong rapport, which must be established first before a cooperative successful intervention starts.