CTSA in the News
October 12, 2022: Dr. Lily Brown in Newsweek Magazine: Forget Weed, Wine, and Xanax: Science has Better Ways to Treat Anxiety
"Getting access to treatment was bad enough before the pandemic, and it's only gotten worse," says the [CTSA]'s director, Dr. Lily Brown. "We keep adding staff but demand just keeps growing."
"The diagnosis [of agoraphobia] is given to people who are afraid of specific places or situations that might cause them to panic or feel trapped or embarrassed", said Sandy Capaldi, associate director for the University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety. "What distinguishes agoraphobia from other anxiety disorders is the cause of the fear."
April 17, 2022: Dr. Danielle Cooper with tips on how to cope if the pandemic’s ups and downs are affecting your mental health
While for some the return of masks alleviates anxiety, others see it as “a little defeating,” said Danielle Cooper, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and director of an intensive outpatient program for OCD at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.
"Loneliness is different from social isolation," said Hillary Ammon, PsyD, an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "Loneliness is a feeling of being alone, while social isolation is a lack of social connection to others."
March 25, 2022: Dr. Hillary Ammon discusses being Anxious About Returning to the Office? Experts Offer Tips on How to Cope
Dr. Hillary Ammon, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, said a change in routine, like where you work, can be a stressor, but there are ways to manage those feelings. "What I would recommend is for people to start to try to get into some of those routines that might look similar to the workplace," Ammon advised. "So if that really is, you know, you have a very structured day at your work, and you had more flexibility working from home, can you try to structure your day so that it looks more similar to that work environment?"
CTSA's Dr. Jeremy Tyler discusses perfectionism and anxiety in this 45 minute client-oriented talk.
March 23, 2022: Dr. Hillary Ammon on Why You May Experience Social Anxiety as You Emerge from the Pandemic
“Re-entry anxiety is normal for everyone,” said Hillary Ammon, PsyD, an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “Those that chose to socially distance themselves or were encouraged to complete school or work from home became comfortable with those shifts in their behaviors.”
When you seek help from a mental health therapist, you're vulnerable. You're opening up about issues you may never have discussed with anyone else and putting it all on the table. With conditions such as depression, anxiety or posttraumatic stress disorder, your therapeutic relationship could last weeks, months or longer. So it's important that your therapist is not only professional and competent, but also the best fit for you.
"Initially, at the start of the pandemic, the motto was 'stay at home,'" said Hillary Ammon, PsyD, an assistant professor of Clinical Psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "We were being told to mitigate risk as much as possible by decreasing contact with those not in your household. Therefore, when people saw other individuals still traveling or attending concerts, opinions were being formed, like 'they aren’t being careful' and 'they are contributing to the spread of the virus.'"
February 14, 2022: Dr. Keith Bredemeier in The Personality Trait ‘Intolerance of Uncertainty’ Causes Anguish during COVID
When encountering patients with a high score on the IUS, Bredemeier may explicitly target enhancing their comfort levels with life’s unpredictability as a treatment goal. Since therapy is adapted to patients' salient personality traits, treatment for uncertainty distress may be added to their treatment plans just as treatments for eating disorders, for example, may focus on clients' perfectionism. And therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder may concentrate on patients' inflated sense of responsibility.
February 8, 2022: Dr. Hillary Ammon on What OCD is — and what it isn’t: 'There are a lot of misperceptions'
Hillary Ammon, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Penn Medicine, tells Yahoo Life that this likely stems from how Hollywood has portrayed OCD. "While some movies and TV shows have done a better job than others at accurately reflecting symptoms of OCD, the characters typically only present with OCD symptoms like a need for order or cleanliness," Ammon says. "As a result, it seems the general public primarily think of these traits as symptoms of OCD."
October 17, 2021: CTSA's Dr. Jeremy Tyler's views on flexibility related to post-pandemic return to work
Jeremy Tyler, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said "employers should be mindful that it's not going to be a one-size-fits-all for employees. There will be some individuals very excited to get back and some folks who are going to be feeling stressed about the prospect of having to go back, potentially, full time," he said. "Both sides need to work together, communicate and understand each other’s position."
While competing on the international stage has always been daunting for athletes, it likely feels more intense this year. The pandemic disrupted a lot of training schedules and athletes are isolated and possibly scared of what could happen with COVID-19 during competition, Tyler said. Biles honestly addressed these changes in a press conference.
April 30, 2021: Dr. Jeremy Tyler discusses the role of perfectionistic cognitions in clinical anxiety
Researchers have recently begun exploring the thought patterns that characterize perfectionism - called perfectionist cognitions (PC). As study author Jeremy Tyler and his team say, perfectionist cognitions include expectations about achieving perfection such as, 'I can't stand to make mistakes.' These cognitions have been linked to dysfunctional mental health symptoms like obsessions, distress, and anxiety. However, these associations have yet to be explored among a clinical population.
On the July 24, 2020 episode of the Sanity podcast, Dr. Elizabeth Turk-Karan talks about exposure therapy for anxiety. She discusses the theory of exposure, the process of undergoing this therapy, different types of exposures, and how it is used for various types of anxiety.
Feeling angry about COVID-19 is natural, but you have to know what to do with it. Dr. Jeremy Tyler provides information and advice on dealing with anger during the pandemic.
December 14, 2019: The Lost Art of Hanging Out - Dr. Sandy Capaldi is interviewed about the impact of "scheduling" leisure activities
“Scheduling leisure activities makes sense on the surface,” says Sandy Capaldi, associate director of Penn’s Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety. “But those activities may inherently feel different due to the act of scheduling them. Research has found that scheduled leisure time tends to feel more like ‘work’ or an obligation to be fulfilled.”
October 15, 2019: CTSA’s Dr. Elizabeth Turk-Karan discusses Generation Z and Evidence-Based Treatment on The Conversationalist podcast.
Many people are not aware that there are short-term treatments that have been researched and shown to be effective for many patients. Often it is hard to find therapists who practice evidence-based treatments. Knowing that effective treatment exists is the first step to improving mental health treatment.
July 24, 2019: Dr. Sandy Capaldi, CTSA's Associate Director on National Public Radio, Inc.: How To Help Your Anxious Partner — And Yourself
Anxiety is experienced at many different levels and in different forms — from moderate to debilitating, from generalized anxiety to phobias — and its impacts can vary. But psychiatrists and therapists say there are ways to help your partner navigate challenges while you also take care of yourself.
September 6, 2018: Dr. Thea Gallagher, director of CTSA's open clinic, on Penn Medicine News: Fad Treatment Methods, Exposure Therapy, and the Importance of Data
Fringe treatments like LSD prescriptions and scream therapy improve mental health for some, but Dr. Thea Gallagher wouldn’t recommend them to patients at large due to very little evidence-based information to support them.
Kate, a former patient at the CTSA, confidently shares the story of her treatment for OCD at the CTSA.
July 3, 2018: Dr. Alissa Jerud, CTSA post-doctoral fellow, on Anxiety.org: Parent-Child Separation, Trauma, PTSD and Recovery in Children
While children typically recover quickly from the emotional and physiological sequela of brief episodes of separation, extended separation can exhaust children's bodies and brains, thus placing them on adverse developmental trajectories. Indeed, unlike the routine separations that occur at daycare or preschool drop offs, in which children are informed that their parents will soon return to pick them up and then do, forced and prolonged…
July 3, 2018: CTSA Associate Director, Dr. Sandy Capaldi, explains the psychological impacts of being trapped in a cave (Thailand cave rescue) on CNN.com
"While not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD, children and adolescents who do develop PTSD are at increased risk for other mood, anxiety, eating, and substance use disorders," she said. However, "the link between the development of PTSD and these other disorders is unclear."
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