Phaedra Caruso-Radin, Psy.D. 
Clinical Psychologist, Berkeley, CA

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):  Think Well.  Be Well.  Live Well.

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Treatment Philosophy

Therapy is an active process for both the therapist and the client as we identify and work on improving quality of life.
  My style is straightforward, engaged, understanding, and collaborative. 

My practice philosophy incorporates the following assumptions and principles:  


  • People are highly motivated to change when they are no longer satisfied with the status quo


 Author Anáis Nin once said, "And the day came when the desire to remain the same was more painful than the risk to grow..."  Most of my clients enter therapy when they have come to realize that despite their best efforts and motivation to change, they continue to feel "stuck" in some aspect of their life, or that some part of their thoughts or behaviors has become self-defeating.  My role as a therapist is to understand the issues you are attempting to change and create an environment in which you feel safe enough to experiment with new approaches and begin to experience more confidence in facilitating change in your life.


  • People’s problems often stem from distorted beliefs about themselves and others


In my experience, people enter therapy with certain beliefs and expectations about themselves and their relation to others which impede their ability to move forward in their lives.  An example would be the belief, “If I say what I really feel, people will be upset with me, or I will be judged for it.”  This is an example of what CBT might consider an "automatic thought".  Thoughts such as this result in emotions and behaviors that are unhelpful and not supportive of growth.  In therapy, clients often find enormous benefit in identifying these beliefs and gaining a better understanding of how these beliefs developed over time and are currently impacting their lives as well as learning how to challenge and change them into more helpful thoughts.


  • There is no single path toward healing and/or contentment


There are many paths towards healing.  Just as I believe that each person acquires his/her problematic beliefs and expectations in a unique and individual manner, I also believe that people heal in ways that are unique and highly individualized, with each person needing something different in order to move forward.  A good therapy is one that is uniquely structured and responsive to your particular situation.  


  • An essential aspect of psychotherapy is a “good fit” between the client and the therapist


Research on the practice of psychotherapy indicates that the most important factor in a positive outcome in psychotherapy is the quality of the therapeutic relationship between the therapist and client.  Each relationship is unique and offers opportunities, as well as barriers to growth.  Therefore, I would encourage you to first meet with me in order to personally evaluate your level of comfort with me and my ability to be of help to you in overcoming your problems. 


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