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David A. Hart, MD PC

Specializing in cognitive behavioral treatments
of anxiety disorders and depression


David Hart, MD PC
 

My Approach

My specialty area is individual cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for the treatment of anxiety disorders and unipolar (non-bipolar) depression. It is my goal to provide high quality, state-of-the-art treatment in a kind, supportive and respectful manner.

My therapeutic approach is active, directive and structured utilizing research-proven treatments when possible.  This is effective for motivated individuals and helps establish long-term stable recovery. As a psychiatrist, I prescribe medication when appropriate, but do not emphasize the use of medications in my practice. In most cases, I prefer to carry out my own psychotherapy with my patients.

Psychotherapy:

My three primary psychotherapy approaches are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and functional analytic psychotherapy (FAP).  These therapies primarily focus on here-and-now skill building strategies.

CBT has hundreds of outcome studies demonstrating effectiveness for a large variety of problems and conditions including anxiety disorders and depression. There is now quite a bit of information about what cognitive and behavioral strategies work for which problem.

ACT is a relative new comer to the psychotherapy world. Although new,  it interestingly incorporates ideas that have been around for thousands of years. ACT combines acceptance and mindfulness strategies with commitment and behavior change strategies. ACT now has many studies demonstrating effectiveness.  I find  ACT is sometimes more flexible and efficient than current conventional CBT approaches.

FAP is a treatment originally developed at the University of Washington.  It is a way of doing other treatments such as CBT and ACT that has been shown to enhance outcome. FAP is a behavioral therapy that focuses on improving the quality of relationships, both our relationship in the sessions together and relationships outside the  session in daily life.

Medications:

There are hundreds of studies demonstrating the effectiveness and safety of  medications for the treatment of anxiety and depression. Some people who come in are already taking medications, some are not. I tend to view medications as a tool to help facilitate other beneficial life changes rather than a stand-alone treatment. Whether or not medications are a part of treatment is decided on an individual basis. I want to hear your thoughts, feelings, concerns and preferences about the use of medication.  I can offer my opinion. We can come up with an individual plan about the role of medicines in your treatment.

Other approaches and treatments:

I keep an open mind about mental health treatments. I am always on the lookout for new approaches and treatments that are helpful, even if they are outside of my usual way of doing things or current areas of expertise. Everyone is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to well-being and quality living. 

Approaches I currently find very helpful as adjuncts to CBT and ACT include Motivational Interviewing which enhances motivation to make life changes, Positive Psychology which is the science of increasing and maintaining well-being, and Interpersonal and Emotional Processing which help with solving interpersonal problems and managing emotions. 

I look for general approaches that are more effective, faster, and easier than my current way of doing things.  For me, learning and improving in my work is something I value.

 
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