What is CBT and is it Effective for Individuals with Neurodiversities? An Interview with Dr. Nicole Pickering

Hello, Dr. Nicole Pickering

It's wonderful to be surrounded by wonderful colleagues who like to geek out with me. I've known Dr. Nicole Pickering, Director of the CBT Treatment Center, in the Los Angeles area for many years and she's always generous with her time and talent. I've been hearing lots of chatter in my sphere about whether Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment modality for individuals with neurodiversities, so I asked Nicole if she'd come on my YouTube channel to chat about it. Lucky me. She did. 

The nuts and bolts

Let's start with what CBT is. CBT is an evidence-based approach that has been scientifically proven to relieve anxiety-based (and other) disorders. Anxiety-based disorders include Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), phobias, tic disorder, and body-focused repetitive disorders (Trichotillomania, skin picking). 

CBT focuses on...

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Squashing Fear and Reclaiming Life for Neurodivergent Individuals | An Interview with Arolyn Burns

Whiteout

What is trauma? In my line of work, I've run across this repeatedly and see the paralysis it delivers to my clients. It seriously breaks my heart. So, with the desire to improve my own skills, I reached out to one of our local experts and a wonderful colleague of mine to talk about trauma.

Arolyn Burns is a Licensed Therapist and the Director of The "A" Treatment Center. She specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, fears, and phobias. Arolyn's bag of therapeutic tricks reminds me of Mary Poppins' carpetbag, unbounded, and without limits. From hypnotherapy to EMDR to using rocks for grounding, Arolyn is a creative and masterful therapist, individualizing treatment to help her clients face their fears. 

Arolyn uses the term "whiteout" to describe what fear feels like when traumatized. When triggered by fear at this level, it's like snowfall is blocking a person's entire vision, the person can't think, and then shuts down. Trauma is an event that...

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What is a Speech and Language Therapist? An Interview with Justine Navid Mufson

Bring people towards each other

This is Justine's superpower. In my interview with Justine, who is a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) or Therapist, she shares all the things that SLPs do and the pressure points that SLPs ease. Justine is passionate about eliciting connection through language and communication. She highlights communication subtleties like eye contact and smiling and how these little things elicit connection on a deeper level. Justine is obsessed with bringing people together and figuring out how to create a bespoke system for any kiddo and their family. 

Empower the system

Justine is all about building skills to close gaps. She and I have this in common as professionals and we jive with empowering all parts of a system -- moms, dads, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, best friends...you get it. When everyone is involved, everyone is elevated. Skill-building communicates an unspoken message of hope. Despite delays or deficits,...

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