Research indicates that the most effective approach to treating anxiety disorders is a combination of cognitive and behavioral therapies Cognitive therapy in conjunction with medication. If one prefers to undergo psychotherapy exclusively, Dr. Freeman will support the patient’s choice not to take medication. Conversely, if a patient wishes to try medication, Dr. Freeman will work closely with his/her physician or psychiatrist, as well as provide a referral to a psychiatrist if necessary.
All anxiety is not the same and proper assessment is crucial in order to determine which interventions will be most beneficial. An accurate diagnosis is not as simple as one may think. It has been estimated that an accurate diagnosis of panic disorder could take up to fifteen years.There is a reason for this. In the healthcare field, there are general practitioners and specialists. Specialists have additional training in order to treat a specific disease. Most psychotherapists are generalists treating a variety of issues including mild anxiety. In cases of anxiety disorders, seeking treatment with an anxiety specialist will usually result in a more accurate diagnosis and treatment. The length of treatment is usually shorter because it focuses on diminishing symptoms and providing the patient with tools to combat the anxiety. Psychotherapy differs for each patient but generally, Dr. Freeman’s sessions are conducted once weekly then two times a month, then as needed. The duration of psychotherapy is usually from four to six weeks. Dr. Freeman also conducts groups that are 6-8 weeks in length. The groups are focused on specific symptoms such as health anxiety (hypochondriasis), a symptom which is common in the presence of generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, or alone. Group settings can provide an effective alternative to individual psychotherapy.