Behavioral Disorders


A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Individuals with anxiety typically analyze a situation over and over, with a distorted sense of reality. They continue to explore the situation trying to rationalize their irrational thoughts…a continuous circle going round and round. No real sense is made from this cycle, but it continues in most cases until the individual gets the help he or she needs or decides to live life alone in fear.


An extreme or irrational fear of entering open or crowded places of leavings one’s own home or being in places from which escape is difficult.

The more one decides to avoid specific situations, i.e., social activities, there is a likelihood of an increase in isolation. Making excuses as to why one should not or cannot attend a function becomes easier as time goes on. It then becomes problematic and debilitating as one loses sight of what is real and what is perceived as fear. Unfortunately, the longer one engages in isolation and getting out of social situations, the harder it will be to regain confidence.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

A disorder in which a person feels compelled to perform certain actions repeatedly to alleviate persistent fears or intrusive thoughts, typically resulting in severe disruption of daily life.

Often when a couple comes to see me, the relationship has been built on “helping” one partner/significant other get through the day, minute, or hour without going through a ritual. Unfortunately, this type of “help” contributes to the problem at hand. In fact, it often makes the problem behavior worse. As a partner of a loved one who suffers from ritualistic behavior, it is hard to view behaviors objectively. The partners see themselves as helping. During treatment both individuals will learn new behaviors. As a couple, they are both affected by the situation, as is their quality of life.


A compulsion to damage or remove part of the surface of the skin.

Typically, when clients come in to see me concerning skin-picking, they are referred to me by a physician. The clients sincerely believe there is something wrong with their skin, psychologically. For example, they have a blemish or pimple on the skin and are adamant it is tied to a medical issue. After discussing a brief history of the problem behavior, they collect data. Then we analyze the data together to find a possible connection or triggers within their past about when the picking might have begun. From there, we begin the treatment.


A form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree with a particular object, item of clothing or part of the body.

Fetishes are very personal, secretive, and not often shared by the individual. Frequently, the person with the fetish feels ashamed and hides his or her desires. When individuals with a fetish begin to take more chances, engaging in “risky” behavior, they put themselves in jeopardy of being shamed, or worse, arrested for inappropriate behavior. The person with the fetish must change his/her behavior or learn to manage the behavior as not to affect or harm other people.

Conversion Disorder

Exhibiting psychosomatic symptoms including blindness, the inability to speak, numbness and paralysis.

Each family member plays an intricate role when living with an individual who suffers from a debilitating disorder: Blaming yourself, partner, or the sufferer is common but not productive. It is difficult to step outside your role and look at the situation objectively. Working as a family, a team, will help. Often, the role each person plays within the family contributes to the problematic behavior. Parents or partners may realize their relationship is at risk due to disagreements on how to best handle the situation. Seeking outside help to assist individuals in viewing the situation objectively and from multiple perspectives can be beneficial.

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