Cyndi Lowe, Ph. D
OCD/ ERP specialist
CA license # PSY 27710
real people therapy
510. 705. 3015
WHY GO TO THERAPY?
World getting smaller
Doing rituals/ compulsions
Can't stop thinking about something bad happening
Rituals isolating you from family & friends
Depressed. Anxious. Alone.
Need someone to talk to
Having problems you're not sure how to resolve
Having thoughts, feelings, images, sensations or acting in ways you don't understand or are afraid to share
Not sure where your life is going
Avoiding feelings, situations or aspects of your life
Want to change but don't know how
WHAT CAN THERAPY PROVIDE?
Building tolerance for difficult feelings, including fear, frustration, disgust
Someone to bounce new ideas off of
Help & support for change
Deal with old problems
Learn to work with challenging situations.
Help managing difficult feelings.
Homework: Practice new skills outside sessions
Guidance, structure, education--based on standards of research and practice
HOW IS IT DONE?
Setting & meeting goals
Doing exposures &
Stopping rituals (ERP)
HW between sessions: reading, writing about symptoms and solutions
Learning to stop rumination
Talking it through
Understanding your thoughts, feelings, actions
Examining your life: deciding what you want to change and how to change it, and what you want to keep.
Breathing, mindfulness & meditation exercises
Exploring how your childhood may affect you now.
Using technology to help you understand your habits/body better & stay on track with your goals.
Listen. Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life? -Mary Oliver
Hello and thanks for visiting my site!
I'm a licensed psychologist working with adults with different life problems and diagnoses. I am currently devoting about 95% of my practice to OCD clients. I do evidence-based ERP, CBT & mindfulness training. I have/do consult(ed) with a variety of experts, including a senior member of the IOCDF Scientific Advisory Board, am a graduate of the IOCDF's Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI), and I attend yearly conferences & trainings to keep my skills sharp.
Real People Therapy:
I came from the east coast 25+ years ago, and it took time to realize that even though we live in the same country & speak the same language, people in NY and CA express themselves very differently. I call my approach "Real People Therapy" because though I have lived in CA for most of my adult life, I still have an "east coast communication style:" I tend to give honest opinions, am comfortable talking about difficult issues, and don't always adhere to rules of social correctness. I can sometimes be "no-nonsense" and very practical. Additionally, I am a real person who has dealt with problems that may be similar to yours, and I relate to people in genuine ways.
I tend to dress and behave casually. I am not particularly business-like. I want to be comfortable, and I want you to be, too! I prefer friendly and equal relationships with clients and try to make myself available between sessions for questions or check-ins (not compulsions!) about the work we're doing. With OCD work, sometimes we need a little help to stay on track!
One Approach Does Not Fit All:
Every person is unique. Because of this, I have trained in many styles of therapy, am happy to share with you what I've learned and can work with you in a variety of ways. I originally trained as a depth psychotherapist, and my graduate work focused on childhood trauma. However, I am now primarily doing CBT & behavioral work in the form of exposure therapy--a complete 180 from where I started. My true love is ERP: I see more people make greater improvements in their symptoms and quality of life using ERP. OCD is treatable with ERP!
I also bring my pup to sessions sometimes; please let me know if you'd like him to come to yours!
You are the expert on your own life:
I can make suggestions or give my opinion, but ultimately, no one knows what's better for you than you do. For me, therapy is a collaboration.
Who, What & How?:
I see individual adults, couples and, families. I provide both long- and short-term therapy. Office, Skype, telephone, & onsite sessions are all possible. (During the pandemic, it's telehealth only!) OCD & mindfulness workgroups available, based on need/ interest. We can figure it out together to get you what's right for you!
What you seek is seeking you. -Rumi
Louie, the therapy dog
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakes. -C.G. Jung
Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is the gold-standard of treatment for OCD. It's also used for a variety of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety and phobias. In the beginning of (& throughout) therapy, learning about OCD and ERP is necessary. Luckily, there are some great resources out there you can access to get you started right now! (Yes! this very minute!) Whether or not we work together, you can jump-start your therapy by reading books, listening to podcasts, or watching videos. (But don't over-do! That can be a compulsion.) Some of my favorites are listed below:
IOCDF: International OCD Foundation: https://iocdf.org/
Jon Hershfield & Tom Corboy: The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD, 2nd edition
Jonathan Abromowitz: Getting Over OCD, 2nd edition
Reid Wilson: Stopping the Noise in Your Head
Jonathan Grayson: Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Patrick McGrath: The OCD Answer Book
Shala Nicely: OCD newsletter, books, psychology today articles
Katie d'Ath: You Tube course available to all: Understanding OCD
If you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself. - C.G. Jung
FEES & INSURANCE
My current fee is $190/ full hr. I raise rates about $10/ year, and bi-annually for current clients. OCD therapy can be expensive. While I am not a low-fee therapist, I provide ERP below market rates compared to other therapists with education & experience commensurate to mine in the SF Bay area. I do this with the intent to make care accessible to a wider range of private-pay clients.
I am an out-of-network provider and can provide you with a "Superbill" to submit to your insurance company. Many PPO insurance plans will reimburse some portion of your payment after you have met your deductible for out-of-network providers.
Offices in SF, Oakland & Berkeley:
1918 Bonita Ave., 2nd floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
842 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
2940 Summit St. Suite 2D
Oakland, CA 94609