What therapy approach does Dr. Tripp take with her patients?
Dr. Tripp’s primary therapy style is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the role that the patient’s thoughts play in his/her feelings and behaviors. Just as it sounds, CBT focuses on cognitions (or thoughts) and how they affect behavior or actions. By identifying and then changing patterns of negative or un-useful thinking that continue to lead to dissatisfaction, patients are able to consider alternative options for how to handle situations and ultimately achieve different ways of handling themselves.
CBT is a structured therapy style, whereby the patient and Dr. Tripp collaborate together to examine how various changes to thoughts and behaviors can better enable the patient to obtain his/her intended goals. Dr. Tripp relies on her many years of training, experience, and ongoing review of current research to navigate this process with the patient. Dr. Tripp believes in teaching patients how to assess their own faulty thought processes and actions, in order to maintain therapeutic change after formal treatment ends.
What issues does Dr. Tripp treat?
“Anxiety” is a global term characterized by worry, fear, and avoidance of activities or opportunities, as well as, physiological reactions such as, rapid heart rate, and changes in breathing. For many individuals these feelings and fears interfere with day to day living, but by developing skills to manage this anxious response, patients can tackle their worries and fears and conquer these situations. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for anxiety focuses on reducing the anxious symptoms and conquering the anticipation of anxiety each time it occurs.
Dr. Tripp provides treatment for managing anxiety, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Social Phobias and specific phobias such as School Avoidance and Selective Mutism.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD, a type of anxiety disorder, deserves its own category. Obsessions are intrusive thoughts, urges, or ideas, that cause an individual to feel uncomfortable or anxious. Compulsions are the intentional behaviors, often performed in a ritualized way, that feel like the only relief from the uncomfortable obsessive thought. These obsessions and compulsions can be distressing because of how urgent they feel, as well as time consuming because of how often they must be repeated in order to feel ‘just right’ again. As with anxiety treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is used to target specific OCD symptoms and reduce compulsive and avoidant behavior that is driven by obsessive thinking. Dr. Tripp provides manualized, empirically-supported CBT, including Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), for OCD.
Adjustment Issues and Disorders
Day to day management of symptoms has been emphasized as Dr. Tripp’s treatment focal point. Therefore, distress and discomfort due to changes in day to day life or due to larger life transitions can also be managed by assessing thoughts and behaviors that occur in response to significant events. Dr. Tripp provides treatment for managing feelings and reactions to significant events, such as school adjustment, college transition, relationship break-up, separation, divorce, and family blending.
Behavioral Medicine and Chronic Illness Management
Behavioral Medicine or Health Psychology is the provision of psychological treatment and support for medical/health issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Dr. Tripp provides interventions for behaviors interfering with health, including: adjustment to new medical diagnosis, treatment compliance, pain management, anxiety associated with medical procedures, and family adjustment to chronic illness. Often medical diagnoses can interfere with typical activities, such as school, work, or sport participation, worsening the patient’s view of him/herself and the circumstances. Dr. Tripp offers help with handling these disappointments and helps parents to transition their child back into age-appropriate activities when necessary.
Toileting Troubles / Potty Training
Failure to potty train to urine by age 5 (Enuresis) or stool by age 4 (Encopresis) can be treated. Dr. Tripp provides behavioral intervention including progressive behavior-based steps to break soiling or withholding poop habits and re-train appropriate physiological toileting signals and responses. This treatment includes collaboration with the child’s physician to differentiate medical vs. behavioral problems and ensures more consistent use of the toilet, overcoming toilet avoidance, and increasing competence by mastering toileting difficulties. Dr. Tripp has extensive experience in this area and believes strongly in collaboration of all medical specialists involved.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) strategies are effective in the treatment of common habit disorders, such as Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling), Thumb Sucking, Nail Biting, and Skin Picking. Dr. Tripp provides treatment for these habit disorders through progressive, behaviorally-based steps to alter unwanted habits and replace each with more appropriate outlets for self-soothing and sensation-seeking habits.
Sleep Issues and Disorders
Sleep hygiene, or good sleep habits, are critical for consistent sleep patterns and restful sleep. Any individual who is sleep deprived because of their own inability to sleep or because of a sleep troubled child can attest to how difficult sleep is to “fix” once it’s not going well. Dr. Tripp provides treatment for sleep issues, including evaluation of factors contributing to poor sleep, and emphasizes sleep research findings in her efforts to assess and change poor sleep hygiene.