All staff members at KCCAT are specifically trained in the use of Cognitive Behavior Therapies (CBT) and Exposure and Response/Ritual Prevention (ERP), a first-line, evidence-based treatment for OCD and anxiety disorders, in addition to being well-versed in other science-supported therapeutic techniques. Please see our FAQs page to learn more about CBT/ERP and other questions about treatment at KCCAT!
The first step is completing our New Patient/Resource Request Screening Form. This helps us gather a brief history of symptoms and past treatment efforts so that we can coordinate staffing needs and/or direct you to any additional resources or alternative referrals that may be a fit for your particular situation and needs. We are happy to try and assist you in connecting to resources, regardless of your location or whether you obtain services at KCCAT. To learn more about this process, visit our Getting Started page.
KCCAT’s full assessment process concentrates on taking the time to thoroughly review the symptoms, impact, and needs unique to your life situation. Before your first visit, you will be asked to complete some pre-evaluation paperwork which the assigned clinician will provide to you upon scheduling. The initial assessment appointment is scheduled for two hours and consists of structured diagnostic and general clinical interviews, as well as discussion of what other individuals may be helpful for us to coordinate and consult with in considering your evaluation and treatment needs (e.g., family members/support system, your psychiatrist or other physician, a counselor, or school personnel). This first appointment is charged as flat-fee service package of $375 and, as applicable, also includes a review of pertinent background information and past records, completion and scoring of standardized symptom measures, and initial communication contacts with your other providers/support persons.
Not quite sure if KCCAT's clinical services are the right fit? Need support and education surrounding a loved one’s symptoms, even if they are reluctant to or refusing treatment? We are able to arrange one or more consultation sessions for individuals or families separately or prior to pursuing evaluation and enrolling in clinical treatment. During a consultation you will meet with a member of our clinical staff to review general aspects of symptom education and discuss what an evidenced-based care approach or techniques might look like for a described situation. Please see our Policies & Fees for information about consultation service costs and limitations.
Treatment at KCCAT is individualized to type and levels of need and can vary substantially—ranging from brief and focused skill building and education plans to intensive home-based services. Upon completion of the assessment process and team review, we will be able to discuss impressions of what options or structure for treatment may be most likely to meet your needs, whether at KCCAT or elsewhere. Our team can provide the following treatments, and are well-versed in using elements from various evidence-based approaches to tailor treatment to an individual’s exact needs.
CBT is different from other kinds of psychotherapy or "talk therapy". Whereas some therapies focus on helping the person to discover why they feel anxious or depressed, CBT emphasizes teaching the person how to manage these challenges, ways to approach barriers to treatment, and living the life they want. While some forms of therapy assume that the main reason people get better in treatment is because of the positive relationship between a clinician and patient, the CBT (and KCCAT) approach believes that good, trusting relationships with providers are an important factor—but not enough! Our team strives to develop and bring out the most effective and lasting skills within you!
The basic principle of CBT is that what a person believes influences his or her emotions and behavior. Treatment focuses on the inter-relationships between a person’s thoughts (cognitions), actions (behaviors), and feelings (affect) and the roles they play in a person’s symptoms, functioning, and quality of life. What allows CBT to be relatively brief is its highly instructional, problem-solving approach with distinct, tangible goals. Greater treatment continuity occurs with the use of between-session homework assignments. CBT therapists believe that people change when they learn to think and behave differently. Therefore, CBT focuses on actively teaching sets of skills that patients learn to use on their own.
Exposure consists of gradual exposure to various situations that are feared and avoided due to anxiety. At the same time, patients learn how to resist engaging in avoidance ("safety behaviors") or compulsions, which is called Response Prevention (sometimes also called "Ritual Prevention"). The scientific rational behind ERP is that continuously confronting feared situations eventually leads to decreases in anxiety (known as habituation). Consider an analogy of watching a scary movie 25 times in a row—your body would actually become bored and stop responding as strongly to the frightening cues.
Patients are never asked to participate in an exposure situation that would be harmful to them, and participate in planning exposures that best match their symptoms. ERP with a properly trained therapist is very effective; depending on the study, a marked reduction in symptoms has been found to occur in 50-90% of individuals. Developed with OCD and phobias, variations have been found useful for all anxiety disorders.
ACT is another evidence-based approach to treating anxiety, mood, and other difficulties. ACT focuses on the changing the relationship with your thoughts and experiences to reduce suffering. ACT utilities many traditional cognitive and behavioral techniques in addition to the emphasis on cognitive defusion, acceptance, mindfulness, values, and commitment methods.
DBT-informed skills are often incorporated as part of services to address specific treatment challenges of emotion dysregulation, identity confusion, interpersonal difficulties and conflict, impulsivity, and risky behaviors. At this time KCCAT does not offer a comprehensive DBT treatment program, but many of our team members have training in and experience in providing DBT.
Habit reversal training (HRT) and its evolution of the Comprehensive Behavioral Model (ComB) are behavioral therapy strategies effective in reducing tics associated with Tourette’s Disorder and behaviors associated with impulse control and Bodily-focused Repetitive Behavior disorders such as trichotillomania (hair-pulling) and compulsive skin picking.
CBIT is a behavioral treatment consisting of (1) training the patient to be more aware of tics, (2) training patients to do competing behavior when they feel the urge to tic, and (3) making changes to day to day activities in ways that can be helpful in reducing tics. Research supports CBIT as an effective method for reducing tic severity.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents impacted by trauma and their parents or caregivers. Research shows that TF-CBT successfully resolves a broad array of emotional and behavioral difficulties associated with single, multiple and complex trauma experiences.
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is one specific type of CBT and is an effective treatment for PTSD. CPT focuses on evaluating and changing ways of thinking that have been impacted by trauma. Click here for more information on CPT.
Prolonged Exposure (PE), is a specific type of CBT and is an effective treatment for PTSD. PE involves gradually approaching trauma-related memories, feelings, and situations that have been avoided since a trauma. Click here for more information on PE.
A treatment for young children experiencing behavioral and/or emotional difficulties. Upheld by over 30 years of rigorous research, live behavioral coaching of the child and caregiver is a hallmark of PCIT, which focuses on improved communication styles and reduced parenting stress. Formally structured PCIT consists of weekly sessions conducted in two treatment phases; our PCIT professionals will help evaluate what specific services may be best suited to a family’s needs.
Regardless of which of the above treatments fits you or your child’s needs, treatment at KCCAT often includes several of the following components: