Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Program

The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Program provides state-of-the art cognitive behavioral treatment combined with education, training and innovative cognitive-behavioral research in the Department of Psychiatry at BWH.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Services

Hundreds of randomized, controlled trials demonstrate that CBT is effective in treating a broad range of conditions such as depressive and anxiety disorders, substance use disorders and chronic pain.  Our clinical psychologists and social workers provide comprehensive cognitive-behavioral assessment, consultation and treatment of psychiatric disorders—often accompanied by complex medical issues—to adult patients referred to the Brigham Psychiatry Specialties Clinic (BPS). Traditional CBT as well as acceptance- and mindfulness-based therapies (often termed "3rd wave CBT") are offered in a range of specialty areas spanning psychiatric and medical illness.  Some of these clinical services include

  • Cognitive therapy (CT)
  • Behavioral Activation (BA)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Problem-Solving Therapy (PST)
  • Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Motivational Strategies

Leadership

Christopher Ahn Allen, PhD

  • Director of Inpatient Psychology and Psychology Education, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Clinical and research interests: Serious mental illness including schizophrenia, tobacco & nicotine, recovery-based models, diversity, inpatient psychiatry, education and supervision.

Faculty

Our core clinical faculty members represent decades of experience with cognitive-behavioral treatment and research. Together, we provide evidence-based, expert consultation and treatment of such conditions as depression, panic, OCD, social anxiety, PTSD, generalized anxiety, substance abuse and trichotillomania as well as assist clients in dealing with behavioral issues that may impact their medical care such as treatment adherence, weight management and motivation for change.

Abby Altman, PhD 

  • Associate Director of Psychology & Education & Associate Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
  • Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.
  • Clinical and research interests: Geropsychology, addiction, depression, health psychology, behavior change, motivational interviewing, interpersonal therapy, multiculturalism and supervision research.

Gabe Gruner, LICSW

  • Clinical Social Worker, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital.
  • Clinical and research interests: OCD, anxiety disorders, hair-pulling (trichotillomania), hoarding, acceptance and mindfulness-based interventions, DBT.

Jessica Lipschitz, PhD

  • Associate Director, Program in Behavioral Informatics and eHealth & Associate Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital 
  • Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.
  • Clinical and research interests: eHealth and mobile application interventions, depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, OCD, couples therapy, weight loss therapy, stress management, ACT, and CBT.

Shannon Sorenson, PhD

  • Associate Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital.
  • Clinical and research interests: anxiety, depression, serious mental illness, social anxiety, acceptance and mindfulness-based interventions, suicide, diversity, DBT, and CBT.

Training and Supervision

The CBT Program provides training and supervision to psychology externs, psychiatry residents and fellows, as well as consultation to BWH/BWFH faculty and staff. We emphasize learning cognitive-behavioral theory, principles and processes of change to engender flexibility in using these approaches across diagnoses and problem sets.

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