All of my services begin with an intake evaluation that assesses various anxiety and OCRDs, commonly co-occurring conditions (e.g., depression), and broad functioning (e.g., academic, family, social). This helps us determine whether my services would be the best fit and provides important information that will help guide treatment forward more effectively.
One-time evaluation/consultation. I also provide one-time evaluation/consultation services. Some families may seek help to determine whether the symptoms are normative or problematic, to receive a second opinion, or to receive some advice about how to best support the child at the moment.
Dr. Wu specializes in evidence-based psychological treatments for childhood anxiety and OCRDs. Please proceed to the About Anxiety/OCRDs page to learn more about the disorders treated in Dr. Wu's practice.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of psychological treatment that focuses on the interplay of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In CBT, individuals are encouraged to recognize how they impact one another, and learn skills to cope with their anxiety. Exposures are a large focus in this treatment, which will allow the individual to face their fears in a gradual manner and learn more adaptive ways to manage anxiety. With children, families are integrated into treatment to learn how to best support their child when they're anxious, learning helpful ways to respond to the anxiety (and also learning what isn't helpful!). Exposure-based CBT is the primary, gold-standard treatment used to treat anxiety disorders.
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
Exposure and response prevention is the gold standard psychological treatment for OCD. In this treatment, individuals will gradually face their OCD-related fears and learn how to refrain from engaging in their compulsions. ERP is a type of CBT, but it has a primarily behavioral focus in treatment and specifically targets OCD-related rituals.
Habit Reversal Training (HRT)
Habit reversal training is a type of therapy that is used to treat a variety of body-focused repetitive behaviors, such as hair pulling/trichotillomania. In this treatment, individuals will enhance their awareness regarding triggering situations and urges, learn how to manage these urges through competing behaviors, and acquire skills to prevent unwanted behaviors (e.g., hair pulling).
Starting treatment is often a daunting task for many families. Knowing who to search for, what kind of treatment to look for, whether the therapist will be a good fit, or what to expect in treatment are all just a fraction of the considerations that present a family when they start this journey. As such, I make sure to provide an initial consultation to answer any questions families may have about the treatment process and my approach. I also make sure to dedicate time at the outset to ensure everyone is on the same page and understands the rationale behind the treatment approach.
My philosophy is that therapy is meant to be:
- Collaborative. Treatment goals and activities are done in collaboration with the client to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that personal goals are met.
- Time-limited. A typical course of treatment lasts from anywhere from 12-16 weeks, though families may take longer or shorter depending on treatment goals.
- Goal-directed. By setting objective and observable goals, we will be able to track progress throughout therapy and determine if changes are being (and/or need to be) made.
- Skills-based. Families will be able to walk away with practical tools and skills learned in therapy, lasting beyond the termination of therapy.
Ultimately, I use an empathic and objective approach to empower families in treatment by helping them (1) obtain a solid understanding of the disorder, (2) restore family dynamics impacted by the disorder, (3) reduce impairment in academic, work, social, or home functioning due to the disorder, and (4) learn practical skills to manage the symptoms of the disorder.
Each intervention is always tailored to the specific needs of each family presenting for treatment. For instance, examples of factors that may come into play include the age of the client, level of family involvement, severity of the symptoms, motivation for treatment, insight into symptoms, or previous experience with therapy. Families are encouraged to share their concerns and questions, as I value a heavily collaborative approach to help families reach their treatment goals. Please don't hesitate to contact me should you have any questions about the treatments and how they may be tailored for your family.