Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley
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Finding Peace & Joy

In This Issue
Playing the Anxiety Mental Game
Teen Depression
Emetophobia: Fear of Vomiting
Meet Caitlyn Oscarson
Deepening Our Expertise
Our Websites

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Past Newsletters

Fall 2012

Autumn 2012 Fall has arrived but you wouldn't know it with this past week's heat wave. I think this is what they call an "Indian Summer." I hope you are enjoying some time outside before it starts cooling off and the days get shorter and wetter. With the holiday season approaching, don't forget to brush up on your CBT skills to manage holiday stress.

We have a new addition to the team at the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center. In July, Caitlyn Oscarson, LMFT, joined the CBT Center. Caitlyn is a highly skilled therapist with excellent training and knowledge in CBT and evidence-based therapies. Caitlyn works with all age groups but has a special interest in children, teens, families and young adults. You can learn more about Caitlyn in the article below.

In this issue of the Finding Peace and Joy newsletter, I am highlighting several articles Caitlyn and I have written recently about paradoxical strategies to embrace anxiety and uncertainty, CBT for teen depression and a relatively common but mysterious phobia called emetophobia. This year, we've continued to deepen our expertise in treating anxiety, OCD and eating disorders and you can read a little about what we've done and how this can benefit you.

If you have feedback about the topics in the newsletter, feel free to email me at



Playing the Anxiety Mental Game
Embracing Anxiety and Uncertainty

Anxiety Mental GameAnxiety creates two problems for people: physical arousal, or uncomfortable bodily sensations, and mental discomfort, usually tied to overly negative interpretations or catastrophic predictions about the self, other people or the situation. The way in which you respond to anxiety determines if you win or anxiety wins. You might think the way to win is to defend yourself against anxiety by learning to relax or breathing your way out of it, by distracting yourself so you don't think about what's making you feel anxious, or by avoiding those people or places where you feel anxious. Paradoxically, the only way to win against anxiety is by taking an offensive strategy - to step into the darkness by seeking out distress and uncertainty and learning that "whatever happens, I can handle it."


To learn how to play the Anxiety Mental Game, click here.

Teen Depression

How CBT Helps Teens with Depression

Teen Depression Depression in teens is relatively common with about 1 in 5 teenagers experiencing a major depressive episode at one point during their adolescence. While mood changes can be a normal part of adolescence, frequent periods of sadness, irritability and crying spells, along with withdrawal from friends and family, changes in sleep and appetite, and, in some cases, hopelessness and thoughts of suicide, are indicators of a more serious problem. Low self-esteem, poor body image, high self-consciousness substance misuse and academic difficulties are also common among depressed teens.


Emetophobia: Fear of Vomiting
A Common but Mysterious Phobia

Emetophobia: Fear of Vomiting Emetophobia is an extreme fear of vomiting that interferes with daily life functioning. Estimates of its prevalence range from 1.7% to 3.1% for males and from 6% to 7% for females. While the fear of vomiting is quite common, it is one of the least studied phobias. Emetophobia often has a childhood onset following traumatic experiences of vomiting or seeing others vomit and follows a chronic course that worsens with age in the absence of treatment. Safety-seeking and avoidance behaviors (e.g., checking food expiration dates, avoiding alcohol, avoiding poultry and seafood, and choosing not to have children) are common among people with emetophobia. 


Read the full article about CBT for Emetophobia by clicking here.



Caitlyn Oscarson, LMFT
Meet our New Therapist at the CBT Center 

Caitlyn Oscarson LMFT Caitlyn Oscarson, LMFT, specializes in issues of childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Caitlyn's approach to psychotherapy is client-centered and strength based, with an emphasis on cognitive behavioral interventions and other evidence-based practices. She is trained in a number of empirically supported psychotherapy practices including Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Behavioral Activation, Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, the Adolescent-Community Reinforcement Approach, and Motivational Interviewing. Caitlyn has a master's degree in Clinical Psychology from San Jose State University and a bachelor's in Psychology and Child Development from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

CBT Center News
Deepening Our Expertise 

One of the hallmarks of the CBT Center is our passion for CBT and continued training in evidence-based therapies so we can bring you the best treatment possible for your problems. In the winter/spring of 2012, Laura completed the advanced Behavior Therapy Training Institute in San Diego sponsored by the OCD Foundation. This included a three day workshop on advanced topics in OCD presented by OCD experts as well as follow-up private case consultation sessions with Gerald Tarlow, Ph.D, former Director of Psychological Services at the UCLA OCD Program from 1994 to 2006.

For the third consecutive year, Laura attended the OCD Foundation's annual summer Conference in Chicago. This year, Laura spent five full days immersed in OCD and Anxiety research and treatment issues including the pre-conference intensive workshop on motivation and treatment resistance, two full days of conference workshops, and observing a two-day treatment group where Dr. Reid Wilson, Ph.D., taught patients how to win against anxiety. Since returning from Chicago, Laura has been teaching the Anxiety Mental Game to those clients who are ready to accept the challenge.

Currently, both Caitlyn and Laura are participating in an 8-week training in CBT/DBT for Eating Disorders with eating disorders expert Lucene Wisniewski of the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders. For our clients with eating issues, this program will allow us to bring greater structure and new tools to our eating disorders treatment program.

I hope you enjoyed this newsletter and found at least one idea that will help you make some positive changes in your life. Feel free to forward this newsletter to others who may benefit. 


Warm regards,


Laura L.C. Johnson, MBA, MA, LMFT, LPCC
Director, Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley
Diplomate, Academy of Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley provides counseling and therapy for adults, children and teenagers with anxiety, OCD, eating and sleep problems.