200 Tamal Plaza
Suite 235

Corte Madera, CA

94925

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Peterman Psychological Services, PC & Danzig Psychological Services, PC

© 2023 by HARMONY. Proudly created with Wix.com

WHAT WE TREAT

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Generalized anxiety disorder

social anxiety disorder

separation

anxiety

disorder

panic disorder & agoraphobia

selective mutism

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Perfectionism

disruptive behaviors

OTHER concerns

Sleep, Eating
& More

 

generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

Worrying

Worrying about daily concerns and having trouble letting them go

 

Problems handling uncertainty

Jumping to the worst case scenario ("what ifs")

Health worries

Rigid Standards

Perfectionism about school, work, or hobbies
 

Persistent need to be on time

Over-planning

Indecisiveness

Discomfort

Sleep problems and fatigue

Problems concentrating

Difficulty relaxing/feeling tense

Additional in Children:

Frequent reassurance seeking
 

“What if” questions
 

Spending excessive time doing schoolwork 
 

Needing to know what will happen next

Children and adults with GAD worry about a range of topics, such as school, work, personal health, and world events, among other issues. Although everyone experiences some level of worry, in GAD the worries can last for hours and one cannot simply “turn them off,” even with distraction. The worries can be so prevalent that they interrupt the ability to concentrate, sleep, or enjoy things.

 

Treatment will help to put these worries in the background so you or your child can use your minds for more preferred activities.

 

 

Signs of GAD

 

social anxiety disorder 

 

Avoidance

 

Problems asserting self (saying "No")

Saying "No" to events or not reaching out to others

Avoiding eye contact

Inhibition

Keeping opinions to self
 

Extreme shyness

Speaking with a soft voice

Discomfort

Extreme unease with public speaking

Feeling isolated

 

Negative thoughts about self (“I’m so stupid”)

 

Physical symptoms, 

including panic attacks

Additional in Children:

Parents speaking up for kids in social situations (such as ordering for them at restaurants)

Staying nearby parents at a social gathering

Not asking teachers for help or poor class participation

Staying home on weekends or after school 

phobias

Children and adults with social anxiety have worries about saying or doing “the wrong thing” in social situations, leading to embarrassment, humiliation, or other negative consequences. To cope, people with social anxiety often avoid forms of social contact, such as declining invitations to events, holding back in conversations, and staying away from less familiar people.

 

Social anxiety can make our world feel small and lead to missed opportunities in friendship, dating, and general enjoyment of life. In adults, it can block job promotion and in children, it can impact school performance.

 

Treatment will help to build self-confidence and enhance connectedness to those around you or your child.  

Signs of Social Anxiety

Children and adults with a specific phobia have an intense fear about a specific situation or object, such as heights, dogs, elevators, spiders, the dentist, or the dark.

 

Although it is common and normal to have some fear about these things, it becomes a phobia when (1) the fear outweighs the true danger of the situation and (2) the fear interrupts one’s routine or enjoyment of life. For example, if a child is afraid of dogs and they cannot spend time at their best friend’s house because they own a golden retriever, this may indicate a phobia.

 

Treatment will help to empower you or your child face these situations with greater ease.

Examples of Phobias

Dark

 

Sleeping with overhead lights on

Not going into a dark room alone

Staying inside in the evenings

Insects

Leaving a room if there is a bug inside

Avoiding outdoorsy activities

Requesting others to kill a bug

Vomiting

Not eating certain foods that may lead to vomiting

Going to extreme lengths to avoid germs

Assuming the worst when feeling slightly ill

Injections

Avoidance to go to the doctor and not getting needed treatments

 

Needing to be held down at the doctors office 

 

Worrying about a shot a week or more before

 

separation anxiety disorder

Both children and adults can experience separation anxiety. Children may resist separation from parents, even for a short period of time, such as going to bed, school, or friends' houses. Children may also worry that something bad will happen to them or their caregiver or that their parent won’t come back. Adults may struggle to separate from their partner, parents, or children.

 

Treatment helps parents and children enhance independence while maintaining strong relationships with caregivers. 

Signs of Separation Anxiety

Worries

 

Fear of something bad happening when apart from attachment figure

Problems Separating

School refusal

Following parent around the house

Sleeping with parent

Safety Seeking

Frequent visits to school nurse or counselor

Frequent reassurance seeking ("Will it be OK?")

Excessive texts or calls to attachment figure when apart

Frequent visits to school nurse or counselor

Discomfort

Physical complaints before or during separation

Nightmares

Fatigue for attachment figure

 

Panic disorder & agoraphobia

 

People with panic attacks experience a sudden rush of very uncomfortable physical sensations that can be triggered by an event or come out of the blue. These feelings can be so intense that it can feel like we’re dying, losing control, or going crazy. In panic disorder, children and adults become very worried about future panic attacks and may modify their routines to avoid them.

Agoraphobia commonly occurs when people have panic attacks, such that they avoid places that feel unsafe or hard to get out of (such as crowded places).

 

Treatment helps one cope with physical sensations by showing that they are stronger than the feelings, and that you or your child does not need to be paralyzed by them.

Signs of Panic Disorder & Agoraphobia

Panic Attacks

 

Racing heart & shortness in breath

Sweating and/or shaking

Numbness or tingling

 

Choking feelings

Tunnel vision, dizziness, and/or feeling detached 

Avoidance

Not going to crowded places, such as theaters or busy stores

Staying close to home

Needing a trusted person to accompany to places

Avoiding exercise

Worry

Fears of dying, losing control, or going crazy during panic attack

Worries about if and when next panic attack will occur

selective mutism

Selective mutism is a condition most typically seen in young children, and it is characterized by a child being unable to speak in specific settings, despite ability to communicate effectively in more comfortable settings. Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder that is often seen in children who are beginning school or entering a novel social setting.

 

Treatment is designed to help children “find their voice” and gain greater comfort across a variety of settings.

Signs of Selective Mutism

Avoidance

Inability to speak in certain social situations or setting, though the child has the ability to speak in comfortable settings with familiar people

Social shyness

Worry

Elevated anxiety around unknown individuals

Fear of social embarrassment 

Worry related to going to school or extracurricular

 

obsessive compulsive disorder (oCd)

Children and adults with OCD can experience a range of unwanted thoughts, urges, doubts, or images ("obsessions"). Although everyone experiences obsessions from time-to-time, people with OCD are very distressed by their thoughts and struggle to distract themselves from them.

 

To cope with obsessions, people get in patterns of compulsive behaviors, such as excessive cleaning, counting, checking or arranging/organizing. The compulsions give temporary relief but they come at a price. Obsessions usually come back, leading to a stressful and time consuming cycle.

 

Treatment will help break the cycle and find better ways to cope with distressing thoughts.

Signs of OCD

Obsessions

 

Having "sticky" thoughts and trying to get rid of them

Need to follow a routine/getting upset if it’s disrupted

Excessive superstitions

Urge to tap or touch things

Compulsions

Doing things over and over to feel better or right

Excessive hand washing, bathing or use of sanitizer

Seeking reassurance or confessing

Excessive arranging and organizing

Repeatedly checking locks, appliances, or work

Disruption

Losing productivity at work or school

Arguments with family members over compulsions

Rituals take up hours a week

 
 

perfectionism

Perfectionism is not a psychological disorder but it can significantly disrupt our daily routine. Although striving for high standards is often a favorable trait, perfectionism may actually make us less productive, less happy, and less fulfilled in our lives. Perfectionism differs from high standards in that we are setting standards that are inflexible and very hard to achieve, standards that define our self-worth, and standards that sacrifice other important areas of our lives (such as time with friends or family).

 

Treatment will help to strike a balance of flexibility and achieving important goals.

Signs of Perfectionism

Hard to Achieve Standards
 

Needing to get all A’s in school

Very high standards in work, athletics, art, or other leisure activities

Getting upset over small mistakes

Working More Than Needed

Difficulty delegating tasks to others

Over-preparing

Excessive organization and list making

Disruption 

Giving up social plans to do work

Problems making decisions

 

Procrastinating

Excessive worry about the future

disruptive behaviors

 

In addition to anxiety treatment, we provide services to help parents manage difficult behaviors, such as problems with following directions, arguing, and temper tantrums. These behaviors are not specific to any psychological domain and can occur within the context of anxiety, depression, ADHD, Autism, or another condition.

 

Treatment will teach parents proactive approaches and practical tools to reduce problematic behaviors.

Signs of Disruptive Behaviors

In Children:

 

Talking back

Hitting or kicking

Yelling or whining

Excessive fighting with siblings

Refusal to promptly follow directions (chores, homework)

In Caregivers/Adults:

Repeating the same direction over and over

Trying a number of tools that don’t seem to work

Feeling burnt out

Always “putting out fires”

Using punishment or raising your voice more than you’re comfortable with

Other CONCERNS

Sleep problems, picky eating and compulsive behaviors (such as hair pulling and skin picking) can be a consequence of anxiety or separate issues. Regardless of the source, they can be highly disruptive to the individual and those around them. 
 

Treatment will help individuals and family members gain greater awareness of behavioral patterns and learn ways to better manage these issues.

Other Issues We Treat

Sleep Problems

 

Problems falling asleep independently

 

Getting out of bed multiple times at bedtime

 

Going into parents' room in the middle of the night

 

Waking up too early

Picky Eating

Refusal to try new foods

 

Eating only certain types of food (e.g.; only certain textures or colors or only a specific type of food)

 

Frequent arguments around meals

 

Needing foods prepared a "certain way"

 

Parents making different meals for different children

Hair Pulling, Skin Picking & Nail Biting

Hair pulling, leading to bald spots, or patches of missing hair on eye lids, eye brows, or elsewhere

Skin picking or nail biting resulting in infection, bleeding, or irritated skin

Taking efforts to concealing habit (such as wearing long-sleeves)

Minimal awareness or feeling out of control

Wetting Issues

Wetting clothes or bed beyond what is expected given the child's age

Wetting in certain settings