November 25, 2009 — Coral Gables — New research suggests that behavioral therapy can provide a safe, effective alternative treatment for anxiety and depression. These programs seem to work as well as--or better than--medication treatments. The University of Miami (UM) is now providing these evidence-based, quality treatments for anxiety and related disorders to the public, at low or no cost.
The programs are located in the Psychology Department at the University of Miami Coral Gables campus. These clinics are free of charge for those that qualify through one of the research-based treatment studies. For people that don’t qualify, but who can benefit from the types of cognitive-behavioral treatments, such services are provided on a sliding scale fee basis.
‘We use treatments that have been shown to be effective in treating anxiety disorders,’ says Craig D. Marker, professor of Psychology and director of the Psychological Service Center at UM. ‘Furthermore, we are attempting to improve these treatments with our rigorous research. Therefore, someone coming to our clinics will have the best possible therapy at a very reasonable cost, or no cost at all.’
The first program, called The Child and Adolescent Mood and Anxiety Treatment (CAMAT), is designed to help children and adolescents ages seven to 18 who have anxiety disorder or depression, explains Jill Ehrenreich-May, professor of Psychology and director of the program.
?We want families to know we have potentially effective, short-term approaches available for the many youth in the Miami-Dade community with anxiety and/or depression,? says Ehrenreich-May. ?We have often heard from families how difficult it is for them to find, or receive specialty treatments such as this for their children, and we want them to know they have non-pharmacologic treatments at UM that can genuinely and quickly help them, at the small cost of their time to participate in the research-based aspects of our studies.?
The second program, called the Anxiety Research and Treatment Clinic, is geared towards adults experiencing anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorders, excessive worry and general anxiety, explains Marker,
‘Anxiety seems to be something that many people attempt to ’live with.? Nevertheless, there are significant costs to the individual, as well as society,? says Marker. ?Therapy is often thought to be expensive and long-term. However, our programs are relatively short-term (around 12 weeks on average) and I am constantly amazed to see the big change in a person‘s life following treatment’
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