Frequently Asked Questions

Please click a question below to see the corresponding answer

General

Where is the office located?

Our office is located in Manhattan at 50 E. 98th Street. Please see the "Contact Us" tab for a map of our location.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Call 212-659-5606 or email the program coordinator at rachel.jespersen@mssm.edu.

How much does it cost to participate?

Participation in our research studies is completely free of charge. For pricing information about services offered in our clinic please look here.

Will my transportation costs be compensated?

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer compensation for transportation expenses.

CBT Study

What is CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that analyzes the connection between thoughts, beliefs, and actions in order to treat mental illness. In contrast to other forms of psychotherapy, CBT is more focused on problem solving, teaching patients specific skills that they can use in their daily lives, such as those involved in modifying beliefs and changing behaviors. CBT encourages patients to challenge their own problematic beliefs in order to prevent the detrimental behavior those beliefs would normally cause. It is an active form of therapy where the patient must engage with the therapist in targeting the issues in order to achieve results. The patient comes away from the therapy with the skills necessary to manage their negative thoughts on their own. In a sense, they learn to become their own therapist.

How is CBT different from other kinds of therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is not like traditional psychotherapy because the patient and therapist work together in exploring distressing experiences and beliefs in an effort to reduce suffering. It is structured around achieving goals the patient, not the therapist, identifies and sets. CBT is more short-term than most other brands of therapy because it gives patients the tools to deal with their negative beliefs on their own.

What is CBTp? How does it differ from CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy for psychosis (CBTp) is a treatment program for schizophrenia and other related disorders. CBT can be used to treat a wide range of psychological issues, but has to be adjusted to address the individual challenges each disorder poses. For our purposes, we use a version of CBT (CBTp) adapted to target the specific obstacles paranoia presents.

What is a typical therapy session like?

During each therapy session, therapists help patients identify the problems they have encountered throughout the week, or expect to encounter in the upcoming week. Patients are actively engaged in the process and work with the therapist to develop an “action plan” and possible “homework” for the patient that may assist them in making changes to their thought process. This process allows the patient to become actively involved in their own treatment, thus causing the patient to recognize how to get better by making small changes in their thought process and actions. When the therapy session ends, patients are able to utilize the skills and tools they have learned during therapy in their daily lives.

What does prodrome mean?

The term prodrome refers to a group of symptoms that are premonitory of a disorder or illness. Someone who is prodromal hasn’t developed a mental illness, but is exhibiting symptoms that put them at risk. It is important to note that a prodrome stage doesn’t always develop into full-fledged disease. Our goal is to keep prodromal symptoms of psychosis from progressing into more serious psychological issues. Possible prodromal symptoms of psychosis include: social isolation, paranoia, unusual ideas or behaviors, difficulty functioning, disorganized thoughts or speech, and a loss of interest in activities.

What is the goal of the study?

Our main goal is to diminish the risk of psychosis in adolescents by providing them with CBT skills that will enable them to monitor their negative thoughts and beliefs.

Am I eligible to participate in the study?

For questions related to eligibility, please see our brochure by clicking here. Additionally, you may take our eligibility questionnaire by clicking here. If you have any other questions, please visit the "Contact Us" page.

How long does CBT last?

The CBT program is 15 weeks long.

How often is CBT?

For the adolescents, there is one group session and one individual session every week. For family members, there is one group session every week. For more information, click here.

Will everyone receive CBT?

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the study, we are unable to provide treatment to everyone. Participants will be randomly assigned to either an intervention group that will receive CBT or a control group that will not. However, though the control group will not receive therapy, their progress will still be monitored by Dr. Yulia Landa through assessments. Even without CBT, simply speaking with a therapist has been shown to have a positive effect on some participants.

Will I have to discontinue my current medication/therapy?

No, you will not need to discontinue your current medication or therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is offered adjunct to your existing treatment, as a supplemental therapy. We do not in any way interfere with your current treatment plan.

Will I be compensated?

Compensation of up to $500 total per family will be provided upon completion of assessment interviews.

Communications Study

What is the goal of the study?

The goal of this study is to improve the communication of schizophrenia diagnoses and prognoses to patients and family members affected by the illness. We hope to acquire enough knowledge through first hand accounts to offer information as to how clinicians might better inform their patients about their disorder.

Am I eligible to participate in the study?

For questions related to eligibility, please see our brochure by clicking here. If you have any other questions, please visit the "Contact Us" page.

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