Acceptance and Mindfulness

What is Acceptance? Acceptance is willingness to experience pain as an inevitable part of human life. If we understand the reality that pain and discomfort are going to occur in this lifetime we can learn how to react differently to our pain. So, acceptance is a crucial part of change. Accepting something about one’s life does not mean giving in to,...

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Anger

Anger is an emotion everyone has felt at times. There will always be moments (and people) in life that push our buttons and try our patience. There is nothing wrong with feeling anger. It is how we react to it and express it that gets us into trouble. We hurt the people we love most with our words and behavior. We hurt ourselves, physically and...

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Anxiety

Anxiety is a combination of physical and psychological symptoms that emerge when we are faced with a threat. Anxiety may range in intensity, frequency, and impact on the person. When a person is struggling with anxiety, he or she may experience intense fears coupled with physical arousal, including rapid heartbeat, quick and shortened breathing, and...

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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder, which used to be known as manic-depression, is a brain disorder that causes atypical changes in energy and activity levels, mood, and the ability to fulfill day-to-day obligations. Bipolar disorder is characterized by severe symptoms. They are different from the normal mood swings that we all experience from time to time. Bipolar disorder...

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, is a diagnosis given to individuals who display many or all of the following behaviors: Fear of being abandoned or left aloneHaving unstable relationships that alternate between love and hate for anotherHaving an unstable self-image or no identityEngaging in impulsive behaviors (gambling, spending, shoplifting, sex,...

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Chronic Depression

Depression is a strong feeling of sadness. Often people experience depression in response to a loss or sad event, such as divorce or unemployment. However, if the strong feelings of sadness, disconnection, and loss of interest in enjoyable activities persist past six to nine months, professional help may be needed. Unlike more common forms of depression,...

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Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than 3 months and can be caused by a specific set of conditions. These conditions are as follows: the presence of a chronic disease, damage to the pain nerves, and changes in the brain and spinal cord. Although for many of those who suffer from chronic pain the exact cause remains unknown. Even if there may be no...

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DBT Friends and Family Program

We at CBT California are aware of the difficulties of having a loved one with emotional and behavioral difficulties. While many of these people are often described as “difficult” or “manipulative,” the CBT California team perceives them differently and understands the core of their emotional struggles. Our Friends and Family program is designed to help the...

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Depression

Everyone experiences periods of time when they feel sadder or more down than usual. This is both normal and expected—decreases in mood are natural responses to certain life experiences (e.g. stress, the death of a loved one, or the end of a significant relationship). But when is a decrease in mood a sign of depression? Depression is not the same as simply...

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is proven in clinical research to help people with the following problems: Borderline Personality DisorderSuicidal AdolescentsSubstance abuse/Implusive behaviors (i.e., shoplifting, high risk sex, etc.)Suicidal Behavior/Self-Injurious BehaviorIntense emotions (i.e. anger, sadness, fear)Difficulty building and maintaining...

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Divorce/Breakups

Ending relationships can be a major stressor in anyone’s life. Divorce or breakups can lead to increased depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and increased stress. Sleep problems are also common and can lead to problems with concentration, memory, irritability, and physical illness. Substance use behaviors, gambling, impulsive sexual activity can all...

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Dysthymic Disorder

Dysthymic Disorder, or Dysthymia, is a depressive disorder characterized by chronic, low grade depressive symptoms. These symptoms persist for two years or more without symptom remittance, or with only brief symptom-free intervals. Dysthymic Disorder generally has an early onset and is particularly pernicious; individuals with dysthymic disorder are at...

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Eating Disorders

An eating disorder is serious and potentially life-threatening problem characterized by extreme attitudes, behaviors and emotions about eating, body image and weight. Behaviors can include extreme restriction in food intake, overeating, compulsive exercise, and various methods of purging. What are the symptoms of eating disorders? Anorexia Nervosa (AN): A...

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Emotion Regulation Problems

Everyone experiences emotions—whether enjoyable or painful, our emotions make us human. However, some individuals can experience emotions in an intense, labile (quickly changing) way. Depending on how one is taught to understand and cope with feelings, some emotionally sensitive individuals may have developed difficulties regulating their emotions....

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Grief

Grief is a natural response to losing someone close to you or something you value highly. Grief can result from several types of losses, including diagnosis of a terminal illness, job loss, end of a relationship, loss from theft or natural disaster. Feelings may be intense and can be debilitating at times, often resulting in sadness, anger, anguish, ache...

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Health Anxiety/Hypochondriasis

Health anxiety, also known as hypochondriasis, is preoccupation or excessive worry about one’s physical health or a particular body part. Often times individuals may worry they have a disease or life-threatening illness, causing a great deal of distress. The level of worry and preoccupation often interferes with other aspects of the person’s life, such as...

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Infertility Stress

Many doctors today believe there is a link between stress and infertility. The notion of “trying too hard” may actually be true! In fact, some doctors believe that up to 30% of all infertility problems may be caused by stress related to infertility. For example, researchers at the University of California, San Diego reported that, among patients undergoing...

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Insomnia and Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are common to the general population and can have a variety of effects on individual’s mood, performance, and health. Insomnia is the perception of poor quality sleep due to difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently with difficulty returning to sleep, and/or early morning rising. If you suffer from sleep disorders you may be...

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Low Self-Esteem

Self-esteem refers to the attitudes or judgments people hold about themselves and their worthiness. Individuals suffering from low self-esteem doubt their worth, skills, and ability to be successful. They may feel badly about themselves and expect to fail or be rejected by others in a variety of situations. Low self-esteem not only negatively impacts mood,...

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

As the name suggests, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by the presence of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are intrusive, often disturbing thoughts or images that are difficult to get rid of and cause a lot of anxiety. Compulsions are behaviors or rituals that a person performs to temporarily reduce the anxiety...

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Panic Attacks

Panic Disorder involves experiencing repeated panic attacks and being preoccupied with the fear of future panic attacks. Panic attacks can occur unexpectedly and “out of the blue,” sometimes even during sleep, or they can occur in situations where you expect them to happen. A panic attack is thought of as the body’s “alarm reaction.” In a truly dangerous...

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Panic Attacks/Agoraphobia

A Panic Attack, as described by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorder, is a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort that develops abruptly and reaches its peak within approximately 10 minutes. What are the symptoms of Panic Attacks? Heart palpitationTremblingSweatingShortness of breathFeeling of chokingDizzinessFear of losing...

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Perfectionism

Have you ever set the standards so high that they are either hardly achievable or impossible? In addition, did you feel like a failure if you did not meet those high expectations? If you answered positively on the previous questions, you may be a Perfectionist. It is important to distinguish perfectionism from high standards. There is nothing wrong with...

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Post Traumatic Disorder

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a diagnosis for people who were exposed to traumatic events or situations but have a difficult time moving past it. Specifically, PTSD is a persistent anxiety or emotional response that continues long after the traumatic event has passed. Approximately 8% of individuals who are exposed to such trauma will experience...

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Procrastination

A person who procrastinates will put off doing an activity until the last minute as a way of coping with the anxiety or negative feelings associated with that activity. Procrastination can occur in many areas of life including social activities (e.g., returning or making phone calls), work or school (e.g., finishing an assignment), health-related...

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Relationship Issues

Relationship issues are patterns of interaction between people that affect their lives in a potentially negative way—especially when the relationships involve significant partners or family members. Relationship issues can result in a number of mental health issues and can contribute to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and panic. They can also affect daily...

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Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders

These disorders include schizophrenia, psychotic disorders and schizotypal (personality) disorder. They are characterized by abnormalities in one or more of the following five domains: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, abnormal motor behavior and negative symptoms (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Schizophrenia is generally typified...

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Smoking Cessation

Nicotine is a substance that can be highly addictive. For a person to be considered to have nicotine dependence, the user must display at least three of the following criteria occurring at the same time during a 12-month period: Tolerance—Signs of tolerance are a need for more nicotine to get the same effect or diminished effect from the same amounts...

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Social Anxiety

Social phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder) is a fear of one or more social situations where there might be unfamiliar people or judgment by others. Typically people with social phobia worry that they will embarrass themselves in such a situation, either by showing symptoms of anxiety (e.g., blushing, sweating) or by otherwise acting in a way that will be...

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Social Phobia

Social phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder) is a fear of one or more social situations where there might be unfamiliar people or judgment by others. Typically people with social phobia worry that they will embarrass themselves in such a situation, either by showing symptoms of anxiety (e.g., blushing, sweating) or by otherwise acting in a way that will be...

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Substance Use Disorders

Based on the different theories surrounding the causes of addiction, the definition varies across schools. Addiction: A primary, chronic, and neurobiologic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired...

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Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is a disorder that involves recurrent, hard-to-manage urges to pull out hair from the scalp, eyebrows or other areas, despite efforts or a desire to stop. The frequent hair pulling can leave bald spots on the scalp or eyebrows, which may cause significant distress and can interfere with social or work functioning. People with...

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Weight Problems and Obesity

If you’re struggling with weight problems, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 69.0% percent of American adults age 20 years and over were either overweight or obese (2011-2012). In 2010, the CDC reported that 35.7% of American adults and 17% of American children were obese. Obesity is a medical condition in...

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Work Stress

If you are experiencing stress at work, you are not alone. According to the 2013 Work Stress Survey, more than 80% of employed Americans report feeling stressed out at work. Some of the most common sources of work stress include poor work-life balance, having an unreasonable workload, difficulty with coworkers, and low pay, among others. Though a moderate...

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