Frequently Asked Questions
Is treatment with Dr. Goodman right for me?
Dr. Goodman specializes in helping adolescents and adults with problems that are “phobic” in nature. Examples include, OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, claustrophobia, emetophobia, heights, driving, dogs, and so on. What these fears have in common is that your body is responding as if it is in great danger in specific situations that, down deep, you know are not likely dangerous.
People with active…
- bipolar disorder
- suicidal ideation
…need to receive treatment for these conditions elsewhere prior to anxiety treatment.
Likewise, people in crisis for problems unrelated to their anxiety disorder (even if it exacerbates the anxiety) may need to stabilize that crisis before anxiety treatment can commence.
Treatment involves learning skills to face your fears and then rolling up your sleeves and getting to work—facing your fears directly. This may take place using imaginal exposure, virtual reality exposure, and/or real-life exposure. You practice facing your fears using an array of cognitive-behavioral coping tools.
Motivation is key for treatment success. You have to be willing to invest in short-term discomfort for a more comfortable future. Clients that make the best progress are those that take what they learn in therapy and practice, practice, practice. Clients that make the least progress are those who are “brought in” by a spouse or a parent to be “fixed” and are not invested in the treatment process.
If parent and child have the same anxiety disorder, parents will likely need to treat their anxiety either prior to or concurrently with their child’s anxiety. Otherwise, it is like asking a smoker to give up smoking while people smoke around them.
Anxiety may be caused by an underlying medical condition. See your medical doctor first to rule this out prior to beginning treatment.
How long does treatment take?
That depends upon a lot of factors including the severity level of the anxiety disorder, the ability of the person to grasp the key concepts, and the motivation to follow-through independently with treatment assignments. While ERP therapy can be very effective in treating anxiety disorders, they require hard work and commitment. You get out of it what you put into it—nothing more and nothing less.
The people that make the quickest progress are those who come to therapy ready and willing to take action and make treatment their top priority. They are people who are willing to invest in short-term discomfort for long-term benefit. They see their anxiety disorder as an obstacle to be challenged and overcome and are looking for the best treatment plan they can find. They consistently go beyond their basic therapy homework and seek out more and more opportunities to face their fears.
What are common symptoms of anxiety?
Physical symptoms may include:
abdominal discomfort, diarrhea/nausea, dry mouth, rapid heartbeat or palpitations, tightness or pain in chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, frequent urination, difficulty swallowing, trembling, numbness, light-headedness, chills or hot flashes, tight-throat or choking sensation
Psychological symptoms may include:
insomnia, irritability or anger, inability to concentrate, fear of madness, feeling unreal and not in control of your actions, worry and feeling uneasy, increased stress, sadness or depression, dread, racing thoughts
Behavioral symptoms may include:
AVOIDANCE, asking for reassurance, taking others along when you go out, looking around for signs of danger, carrying “safety” objects, tensing muscles, rituals
Types of thoughts may include:
I can’t handle this! I will collapse, go insane, become ill, be harmed by (or harm) someone, lose control, etc! This will never get better!
How much does treatment cost?
Initial visit (Diagnostic Evaluation) $200
Therapy Session (50-55 Minutes) $150
For all other services call to inquire. Any rate changes will be posted one week before they go into effect.
Cancellation fees: Appointments missed without 24 hours notice will be subject to full appointment cost (which insurance will not pay for).
Will insurance help with the costs?
The Coastal Center for Anxiety Treatment does not participate in any insurance networks, including Medicare or Medicaid, however many insurance policies provide out-of-network reimbursement back to their members. While we do not bill insurance directly, we will provide you with a statement that includes all the required information that can be submitted for reimbursement.
If you would like to use your insurance, we recommend that you verify “out-of-network” mental health benefits with your insurer prior to your first appointment. We are happy to complete any necessary paperwork that your insurance company requires.
Why doesn’t Coastal Center for Anxiety Treatment participate in insurance panels?
We did participate in multiple insurance plans for over a decade. However, it became an increasing concern that treatment considerations were too often being made by insurance companies based on cost-management rather than the most effective evidence-based practices. Being “out-of-network” means that we can develop a treatment approach based on your needs exclusively.
How common are anxiety disorders?
Anxiety disorders affect more than 19 million men and women in the United States and are also common among children and adolescents. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common type of psychological disorder in America, affecting people in all walks of life.
Isn't anxiety normal?
Yes. In fact, anxiety is hard-wired into us as a way to protect us from danger. Anxiety can also be called a “fight or flight” response, which means that when we perceive danger, our bodies give us the rush of energy we need to deal with the situation. We also need “optimal anxiety” for peak performance, such as when responding to a true crisis.
Sometimes, however, we have “false-alarms” where the fight-or-flight response is triggered in the absence of true danger and causes significant distress and diminishes our social or vocational effectiveness. In these instances, an anxiety disorder may be the cause.
Can I continue to see my current therapist while undergoing anxiety treatment?
In most cases, the answer is yes.
If you are seeing a therapist for other life issues and that therapist is willing to collaborate and is supportive of you receiving CBT/ERP, then it may be fine to see both therapists.
Insurance may not pay for you to see two therapists. It would be helpful to have your current therapist call either to make the initial referral or to provide background into their treatment approach so far.