Psychotherapy and Psychological Services

The Department of Psychiatry is committed to providing the highest quality care for patients in a comprehensive and compassionate manner. Our approach to psychotherapy services across both outpatient and inpatient mental health treatment settings is collaborative across specialties and disciplines, including social work and psychology.

About our services

Psychotherapy and psychological services are available to meet our patients' social, emotional, diagnostic, and therapeutic needs. Our social work and psychology teams offer evidence-based clinical care and support, psychological and diagnostic evaluation, individual and group-based treatments, education, training, and research.

Our social work team is comprised of licensed clinical social workers who specialize in care management protocols and short-term supportive and skills-based therapies.

Our psychology team is comprised of expert clinical, counseling, and health psychologists who specialize in the use of evidence-based treatments for a wide range of psychiatric conditions.

Our therapists are trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a type of psychological treatment that has been shown to be effective for many clinical conditions, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, depressive disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sleep disorders, panic disorder, psychotic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and agoraphobia.

Our providers are also trained in other short-term, skill-based, empirically-supported treatment techniques, such as Motivational Interviewing (MI), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Illness Management and Recovery (IMR), Behavioral Activation, and Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR). Approaches also include psychodynamic therapy and expertise.

We provide clinical treatments and education for many psychiatric disorders and medical issues, including:

  • Adjustment Disorders, including adjustment to medical illness/diagnosis or other life transitions
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Illness Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Perinatal Anxiety Disorder
  • Behavioral Health, including weight management, tobacco use disorder, adherence to medical recommendations and lifestyle change
  • Caregiver strain and grief
  • Chronic Pain
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Hoarding, Binge Eating Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Trichotillomania, Compulsive Skin Picking
  • Perfectionism/procrastination
  • Psychotic Disorders, including Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Disorder with psychotic features
  • Substance Use Disorders, including Alcohol Use Disorder, Tobacco Use Disorder

Types of services

  • Care management (SW TO ADD OR EDIT)
  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Diagnostic Consultation (Psychology)
  • Psychological Assessment (Psychology)
  • Telehealth and in-person visits

Our Approach

Our approach is collaborative, team-based, focused, and comprehensive. We also offer doctoral-level clinical training programs in clinical psychology and masters-level clinical training in social work.

Individual Psychotherapy

Individual therapy services at the Department of Psychiatry outpatient clinics are available for adults ages 18 and up with a Brigham Primary Care Physician or for individuals undergoing treatment in a specialty medical setting. Inpatient individual psychotherapy services are also provided within our inpatient psychiatry unit. Psychotherapy is structured, goal-oriented, and time-limited with an identified treatment target or goal. This requires a collaborative effort between the therapist and patient. This means that both the patient and therapist take an active role in understanding the issues and identifying goals to be accomplished. Individual therapy is offered both in-person or via a secure telehealth platform.

Group Psychotherapy

In addition to virtual and in-person individual therapy, we offer virtual group-based treatments as well. The outpatient group therapies we offer typically run for eight consecutive weeks in an ongoing basis or multiple times per year. Our group therapies use primarily a “workshop style” cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) approach designed to offer skills training for managing symptoms and gaining a better understanding of how our thoughts can influence our emotions and our behavior. Participants learn and apply a working knowledge of basic CBT skills that are transferable to a wide variety of challenging life situations and circumstances. These skills may include cognitive reframing, problem-solving, time management, and assertive communication. Behavioral change and relapse prevention strategies are also commonly offered.

The inpatient group therapies we offer are integrated into the psychosocial programming schedule of the inpatient psychiatry unit. These therapies include CBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Illness Management and Recovery (IMR), ACT, and other empirically supported interventions for those with acute and serious mental illness.

Psychological Assessment/Testing

We also offer both outpatient and inpatient psychological evaluations that are multi-method in nature and include a comprehensive clinical interview, review of collateral information from medical providers and/or family members (where possible), and full battery of cognitive, psychological, personality, performance-based, and other psycho-diagnostic measures - all of which may be used to provide important information about diagnosis and treatment planning.

CBT Training Clinic

The CBT Training Clinic provides clinical training for our psychiatry residents, psychology interns, and advanced psychology graduate students. Services are provided by these clinicians under close supervision by our Psychology faculty. We offer evaluations and individual cognitive behavioral treatment for anxiety, depression, and OCD. The CBT Training Clinic is committed to empirically-supported interventions—practices and strategies that are supported by research-based, scientific evidence. CBT services are typically time-limited, present-oriented, and focused on building skills that clients can apply across life situations.

Gender Diversity Clinic

The Department of Psychiatry provides a clinic that serves the needs of gender diverse individuals for assistance with readiness for surgery evaluations and individual psychotherapy. Evaluations are consistent with the standards of care guidelines specified by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Services are coordinated with allied health specialties, including surgery and endocrinology. Please see a description of other services provided for our gender diverse individuals here.

Our clinics are also experienced with LGBTQ patients and issues.

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