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Debra Kissen
Debra Kissen, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist, is the Clinical Director of the Light on Anxiety Treatment Center of Chicago.. Dr. Kissen belongs to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and she is a member of its Public Education Committee. She has a special interest in mindfulness-based treatment for anxiety disorders and has presented her research at many conferences.

In her practice Dr. Kissen provides offers cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to children, adolescents and adults with a focus on anxiety and stress-related disorders, including OCD, PTSD, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias, separation anxiety disorder, compulsive skin picking, and trichotillomania.

Entries by Debra Kissen

Harm-Related OCD

(2) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 10:37 AM

My favorite clients to work with are individuals struggling with harm-related obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD).

Without exception, every client I have seen who has sought treatment for this has been conscientious, kind and loving. These are people I would trust as babysitters, teachers and caretakers. The sad irony is that...

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Ebola and the Anxious Mind

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 8:28 AM

Google "can I get Ebola" and many questions immediately arise: "Can I get Ebola from a bowling ball?" "Can I get Ebola from shaking hands?" "Can I get Ebola from mosquitoes?" and the queries go on and on.

If you read the expert responses to these questions, they all say...

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Losing and Finding My Mind: My Journey Through (and Most Days Past) Panic Disorder

(1) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 9:46 AM

I will never forget the day my battle with panic came to a head. I set up an appointment with a lovely, seemingly well-informed psychologist to attempt to get help with a maddening array of mysterious symptoms I was experiencing. I fearfully described the strange and terrifying sensations that took...

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Because I Said So: Old School Parenting in the Age of Choice

(1) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 3:43 PM

As an overindulgent parent of three young kids as well as a clinical psychologist, I never thought I would see the wisdom of the phrase, "Because I said so," but I have slowly but surely become a believer. We are living in an age of excess choices and options. "Do...

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Anxious Parents Raising Anxious Children

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 12:53 PM

There is a high likelihood that anxious adults will pass their anxious chemistry to their children. But don't panic. This is not a death wish for your child. This simply means that some people are more sensitive to danger than others. Therefore, for parents to model facing fears and not...

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When Kids Refuse to Go to School

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2013 | 1:47 PM

I have been seeing an increasing number of school refusal cases in my clinical practice. I have yet to read any studies that provide empirically based findings as to why this challenging set of behaviors is on the rise, but I do have a few (unsubstantiated) theories:

1. Children and...

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Confessions From an Anxious Mind

(1) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 10:57 AM

I have a confession to make. I have not been to the gym in many years. As a busy mom of three young children and a clinical psychologist, I have justified my lack of formal workouts by telling myself that I rarely have a moment to sit or eat, so...

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To Medicate or Not Medicate

(19) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 1:09 PM

If you are like 23 percent of woman, you may be taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) to manage your anxiety or depression. You may also be contemplating getting pregnant, and you're confused about tapering off or staying on your medication. You are not alone, but your...

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The Key to Moving Past Anxiety: Take Baby Steps Forward

(1) Comments | Posted September 2, 2013 | 9:57 PM

Exhausted and frustrated, clients come to me hopeful that freedom from anxiety is still somehow possible. As an anxiety specialist, I offer them something quite simple. I am an outside observer who can see all of their strengths and potential. I can call out from the sidelines, "You can do...

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Time to Hit the Anti-Anxiety Gym

(2) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 5:29 PM

In my last post, I discussed the benefits of putting your anxiety monster on a diet. Building on this theme, it is time to take our anxiety-management fitness plan to the next level. Yep, you guessed it. It is time to hit the anxiety gym. Don't get me wrong, it is...

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How to Put Your Anxiety Monster on a Diet

(4) Comments | Posted July 11, 2013 | 7:00 PM

My clients often ask me if they will ever be cured of their anxiety disorders. My short answer is "no." But the longer and more helpful answer is that panic disorder, OCD, and others can get smaller and smaller until it is only a shadow of its former...

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