ABOUT LARRY COHEN
LICSW, ACT, DCBT, CGP
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker | Academy of Cognitive Therapy Diplomate in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy | Certified Group Psychotherapist
Metrorail: a 0.4 mile walk from Tenleytown Metro Station (Red Line)
Metrobus: 3 blocks from Wisconsin Ave. buses
Parking: easy on-street parking for 2 hours
Handicap access: No
A CALL TO ACTION
Do you struggle with self-acceptance as a gay, lesbian, bi or trans person?
Do you feel ashamed or harshly critical of other qualities about yourself?
Are you shy, self-conscious, unassertive or easily embarrassed or self-critical?
Do you feel anxious or often avoid talking to strangers and acquaintances, speaking in groups, or socializing with new people?
Are your friendships, romantic relationships, career or social life held back by your discomfort?
Do you worry or ruminate a lot?
Do you feel unhappy with your life and your self?
Do you seek a therapy experience that helps you learn and apply concrete skills and strategies to create positive change in your life?
Are you tired of therapy that makes you feel good in session, but doesn’t help you learn concrete ways to make a positive difference in your life?
Do you want an openly-gay therapist who understands and relates to your personal experience?
I offer a practical, results-oriented approach called Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT):
You will learn and practice specific skills and strategies to help you overcome your problems and move your life forward.
You will make much progress toward achieving personal goals that you choose, such as: coming out to yourself and others; learning to accept your whole self (weaknesses as well as strengths); making friends; forming relationships; being assertive; public speaking; advancing your career; worrying less; and improving your mood and self-confidence.
You will learn to become your own therapist: learning concrete ways to take care of your own problems, present and future.
Call me, email me or visit my website to learn how you can get started:
MY APPROACH: COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT)
Most of my work with clients uses a very practical, active and goal-focused approach called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or cognitive therapy for short. During our work together, I help clients discover how your thoughts (self-talk, mental images, and underlying attitudes or core beliefs) affect your feelings and behavior. We also look at how your feelings and behavior, in turn, frequently affect the way others perceive and behave toward you. This often results in vicious cycles and self-fulfilling prophecies that worsen your mood, self-esteem and relationships, and make it very hard to get what you want in life.
I believe that, in order to be satisfying to most people, therapy must bring about concrete change. Traditional therapies (sometimes called psychodynamic or insight-oriented) believe that it is necessary to learn how a present-day problem got its start in childhood. This is usually a very long-term and expensive process. Worse yet, research has shown that this alone is not likely to change our present-day problems very much. That is because, although often originating in childhood, our present-day problems have long since developed a life of their own.
In other words, there are self-defeating cycles of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that we repeatedly engage in that result in problems in mood, self-esteem and relationships. What is crucial in therapy is that we change the cycle in the present. Knowing how the cycle first started in childhood is interesting and perhaps useful ... but seldom necessary. After all, we can never, ever change what happened to us in the past. We can, however, change the beliefs, behaviors and feelings that we have learned from our past experiences.
That is why I believe that an essential part of results-oriented therapy is the work that clients do in between sessions to put into effect what is discussed during sessions. I encourage clients to choose some type of therapeutic experiment to work on: some simple way to think about and/or handle things differently than you are used to in order to understand and disrupt your self-defeating cycles. Often, I also suggest that you use a worksheet or journal to examine and challenge your thoughts and feelings, and the resulting behavior patterns. Part of what we talk about at each session is what you can learn from the past week's homework experiments and written exercises, and how you can build upon this in the coming week.
I am a Licensed, Independent Clinical Social Worker and received my MSW degree from the University of Michigan in 1987. I have been extensively trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy, group psychotherapy, and crisis intervention. I am a Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. I am a Certified Trial-Based Therapist, a type to CBT that uses courtroom-like role plays to challenge your self-defeating thoughts and core beliefs. I am a Certified Group Psychotherapist, and am a founder of the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. I am also a Diplomate in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, the highest credential offered by the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. I am included in Washingtonian magazine's 2009 list of "Top Therapists" (in the categories of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.)
I worked for several years at the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, DC: one of the nation's largest AIDS service providers and gay & lesbian health centers. I served as their first Mental Health Services Director, as well as their first Volunteer Resources Director. I have a more than 35-year history of volunteer work in varied human service and social justice issues.
I have a special interest in therapy groups and support groups as a means of helping people with common concerns empower each other. I have led some 90 therapy groups on social anxiety, depression, relationships, AIDS, and self-esteem. I have also led many support groups on a variety of issues, and supervised a team of Whitman-Walker Clinic support group leaders for seven years.
I am a 59-year-old gay, white Jewish man.
SOCIAL ANXIETY THERAPY
Shy? Unassertive? Self-conscious? Embarrass easily? Public speaking fear? Socially withdrawn or avoidant? Uncomfortable meeting people, making friends or dating? Anxious when talking in groups? Self-conscious about being sexual, or using public bathrooms? Think of yourself as fundamentally different, not fitting in, not good enough?
If some of these things are big problems for you, you may be experiencing social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia): when the fear of judgment, embarrassment or rejection inhibits your life. LGBT people are especially prone to social anxiety, as we have often grown up being taught that we are unacceptable to others simply for who we are. (See my website for an article about this: http://www.socialanxietyhelp.com/LGBT-cognitive-behavioral-therapy.htm)
In addition to working with people one-on-one, I also offer social anxiety therapy groups. These are very structured, 20-week cognitive-behavioral therapy programs designed to help members learn how to overcome their interpersonal discomfort, avoidance and self-defeating behaviors. Members choose and work on personal goals, such as: socializing, making friends, dating, assertiveness, public speaking, advancing career, and improving self-confidence. These groups also include an extended program designed to help members identify and change the core beliefs that help cause social anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.
In addition, I offer free educational workshops on social anxiety to help people check out whether the cognitive-behavioral therapy approach is right for them. For much more information, visit my web site: http://www.socialanxietyhelp.com.
NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO STORY
National Public Radio broadcast a feature story on my use of cognitive-behavioral therapy for social anxiety on its national evening news program, All Things Considered. The story focuses on a lesbian client of mine, "Judy," and the work she did in my social anxiety therapy group. It includes an extensive interview with "Judy," and follows her as she does a therapy homework experiment at Dupont Circle, in Washington, DC. The story also includes informational interviews with myself and with an expert from the American Psychological Association about cognitive-behavioral therapy. Press this link to listen to this 8 1/2 - minute story: http://www.socialanxietyhelp.com/DC-cognitive-behavioral-therapy/NPR-on-social-anxiety.htm
PERSONAL CHANGE STORIES
Visit my website to view, hear and read the stories of personal change achieved by many former clients of mine through doing cognitive-behavioral therapy with me, including 4 LGBT men and women: http://www.socialanxietyhelp.com/DC-cognitive-behavioral-therapy/social-anxiety-story.htm
PAYMENT METHODS & INSURANCE ACCEPTED
I try to make my work affordable. I offer a sliding scale and payment plans based on ability to pay to those low-income individuals who do not have insurance coverage. I also accept credit and debit cards for payment, as well as personal checks and cash. I am a Medicare provider. For other insurance plans, I provide a statement at the time of service for the client to submit and seek reimbursement. I also offer 15% discounts to group clients who pay monthly. The full fee for individual sessions, 60 minutes in length, is $115. The full fee for group sessions (180-minutes long) is $70, or $240 if paid monthly (for four sessions).
My therapy groups and educational workshops are generally held on weekday evenings. I see individuals during daytime and evening appointments Monday through Friday.