7 W 36th St, 15 Fl, New York, NY
(212) 203-9792

What We Treat

The Reeds Center specializes in the treatment of anxiety and impulse control disorders. We utilize the latest research and evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT) delivered in a variety of formats and intensities.

Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD)Visit OCD Intensive

OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by distressing and unwanted thoughts, images, or impulses (obsessions) that result in strong urges to engage in repetitive thoughts or behaviors (compulsions) to reduce this distress.

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) considered to be the most effective treatment for OCD (with or without medication) based on extensive clinical research over the past 30 years. To learn more about OCD and how it is treated, see our OCD INTENSIVE website.

Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder is characterized by unexpected panic attacks that result in distressing symptoms (such as pounding heart, dizziness, difficulty breathing, intense anxiety, fear of dying or losing control) and fear of having more panic attacks. This fear can build over time and lead to a person avoiding situations, activities, or places that are identified with past panic attacks. This process often causes significant interference in the person’s life and typically leads to increased anxiety and more panic attacks in a self-perpetuating, ever-worsening cycle.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered the most effective treatment for panic disorder (with or without medication).  CBT teaches individuals to understand the nature of panic and how to overcome it by changing the way they think and respond to their symptoms of panic. The intensity of treatment can range from weekly sessions to daily sessions for more rapid change.


Agoraphobia is characterized by avoidance or sustained fear of situations from which escape might be difficult (or help unavailable) in the event of a panic attack or other incapacitating or embarrassing symptoms.  Agoraphobia is often associated with Panic Disorder.  Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), as described above, is considered the most effective treatment for agoraphobia.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by prolonged distress in response to an event that involves serious injury or death (or a threat of these) to oneself or someone else. This response includes repeated distressing thoughts of the event, avoidance of people, places, thoughts or emotions that remind a person of the traumatic event, as well as heightened anxiety or arousal that may cause an exaggerated startle, decreased sleep, poor concentration, or increased irritability. When these symptoms continue for a month or more after a traumatic event, a person may have PTSD.

PTSD is most effectively treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy designed to teach individuals about their symptoms and strategies to overcome them. Treatment includes emotional regulation strategies as well as prolonged exposure. Exposure helps the individual gain control over distressing thoughts and emotions, and facilitates a return to situations and activities that are avoided as a result of the traumatic event.

Chronic Worry (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)

It is not unusual to worry about life’s challenges, but worries can be debilitating when the thoughts are excessive and difficult to stop or control. Chronic worry is often pervasive (worrying about many different problems or challenges), and it is associated with symptoms such as muscle tension, fatigue, irritability, restlessness, and headaches, as well as problems with sleep, digestion, and concentration.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) teaches individuals mental strategies for dealing more effectively with uncertainty and worry, as well as relaxation and acceptance strategies designed to lower physiological arousal and tension. In this way, individuals are taught to break the cycle of worry and to live their lives more fully.

Specific Phobias

Strong irrational fears of specific situations, places or things (animals, heights, flying, test taking, performance, etc.) characterize specific phobias. These phobias can lead to increasing avoidance of associated places or activities that result in significant interference with a person’s functioning, goals, and mood.  Though a person with a specific phobia often recognizes that their fear is excessive, this knowledge rarely helps them overcome their fears.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered the most effective treatment for specific phobias. CBT uses graduated exposure to help individuals dramatically change their emotional and physical experience of feared situations, places and things.  This allows them to get used to these fears so they no longer interfere with living life fully. Treatment is done with the help and support of an expert therapist, and the intensity of treatment can range from weekly sessions to daily sessions for more rapid change.

Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

Social anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive fear and inhibition associated with social situations, including fears of interacting with, performing before, or being observed by other people.  Social inhibition, characterized by feelings of inadequacy and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation, is common and can have devastating effects on relationships, careers, and quality of life.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a highly effective and proven treatment for social anxiety. CBT teaches individuals to change the way they think about social interactions (cognitive reframing) and to test and disconfirm their beliefs about feared consequences through graduated exposure to social situations. Exposure is done with the support of an expert therapist who helps the individual to plan each exposure.

Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania)

Considered an impulse control disorder (or more recently: “body-focused repetitive behavior”), trichotillomania is characterized by urges to pull out hair from the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, pubic or underarm area, or other parts of the body, and often results in noticeable bald patches and/or damage to the skin.

The most effective and helpful treatment is called Habit Reversal Training (HRT), a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. HRT teaches individuals to monitor their pulling and to implement strategies designed to effectively stop impulsive hair pulling.

Note:  Habitual hair pulling is sometimes caused by another disorder such as Obsessive-compulsive Disorder or Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  In these circumstances, the hair pulling may require enhanced or different CBT treatment(s).  A careful evaluation from an expert in treating these disorders is critical for accurate diagnosis and for obtaining the appropriate and most effective treatment.

Habitual Skin Picking

Another type of impulse control disorder, chronic skin picking is characterized by repetitive touching, rubbing, scratching, picking at, or digging into skin; these behaviors often result in skin discoloration, scarring, or even tissue damage.

Again, Habit Reversal Training (a type of CBT) is often an important component of treatment, though additional cognitive-behavioral interventions are at times necessary for significant symptom improvement

Eating Disorders

The Reeds Center provides cognitive behavioral therapy for a range of eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.

Eating disorders are often characterized by a cognitive process in which shape, weight, dietary habits, and their control becomes central to how a person evaluates him or herself. For some individuals, this process generates the low weight and dietary restriction found in anorexia nervosa; for others, it leads to ever-worsening cycles of dietary restriction, binge eating, and/or purging. In whatever ways the eating disorder manifests, it is the cause of significant distress and functional impairment.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown in numerous research studies to help people regain control of their eating patterns and to address their disorders’ underlying social and emotional triggers. As with CBT for anxiety disorders, CBT for eating disorders offers patients a set of skills to manage their behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. Through these strategies, people weaken the cycle of rumination about body image, dietary restriction, binge eating, and purging. As a result they experience relief from the pain and impairment caused by the disorder.

Call or write us if you have any questions.  To learn more, go to How We Treat or Our Treatment Programs.