Author Archives: Brittany Starrantino

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About Brittany Starrantino

Brittany Starrantino is a Licensed Master of Social Work with experience in the mental health field as well as substance abuse at CBT Psychological Associates in Commack, New York.

EMAIL: BStarrantino@cbta-ny.com

BIO: About Britttany

PHONE: 631-486-5140

What is Trauma? What is its Impact and How Do You Treat It?
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
What is Trauma? What is its Impact and How Do You Treat It? | Brittany Starrantino

{3:30 minutes to read} People who come into the office saying they are experiencing anxiety and/or depression often have environmental traumas that have impacted them over time. Trauma can be anything perceived as “traumatic” to an individual. This could be the death of a pet or family member, an abusive relationship, a car accident, etc.

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OCD and Intrusive Thoughts
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, on .
OCD and Intrusive Thoughts | Brittany Starrantino

{5:06 minutes to read} Have you ever experienced obsessive thoughts and/or compulsions to act out rituals to relieve anxiety? Better yet, have you had a thought that was not truly yours but made you question yourself and why you had such a thought? You are not alone. The Diagnostic Manual 5, Grant (2013) defined Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as persistent, chronic, recurrent thoughts and compulsions brought on by anxiety or environmental stress.

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Tying Emotions to Situations to Actions to Coping
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Tying Emotions to Situations to Actions to Coping | Brittany Starrantino

{4:00 minutes to read} Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in that you are meeting with someone who is very defiant and stuck in their way of coping. The difference is that DBT is a softer approach. In the beginning, I have someone do a type of chart which may reveal that they:

  • Have a lot of anxiety;
  • Don’t understand what they’re feeling; or
  • Feel a lot of anger and can’t stop acting out on it.

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Harm Reduction: Addressing Behavior Realistically
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Authored by , re: Addiction, MENTAL HEALTH, on .
Harm Reduction: Addressing Behavior Realistically | Brittany Starrantino

{5:48 minutes to read} Harm Reduction. It sounds a little scary, doesn’t it? Actually, it is just a strategy to reduce negative consequences for someone. If an individual is involving themselves in high-risk behavior, like drug use or adolescent defiance, harm reduction is used to kind of reel that person in, but in a realistic way.

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Uncomfortable Territory
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Authored by , re: Therapy, on .
Uncomfortable Territory | Brittany Starrantino, LMSW, CASAC

{2:42 minutes to read} As a therapist, it is extremely important to address conflict and uncomfortable moments that may come up in a session. If we ignore these moments, we are missing out on an opportunity for great work with the client and our own self-awareness. Recently, one of my clients made a comment in passing that they had thought about becoming intimate with me. Development of an attraction to the therapist is a common and natural consequence of the therapeutic alliance because the therapist is validating feelings and providing a safe, supportive space. When this happens or is brought to the therapist’s attention by the client, it is important to address it and incorporate it as part of their work together.

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When Is It Appropriate to See a Family in Family Therapy?
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Authored by , re: Family, Therapy, on .
When Is It Appropriate to See a Family in Family Therapy? | Brittany Starrantino

{2:54 minutes to read} Have you ever thought to yourself, “My family is crazy,” or “My family makes me crazy?” Well, if you have had that thought, it is not an unusual one, and there is even some truth to it. It is natural that the family unit plays a large role in our individual lives and emotions. In a majority of cases, when the family identifies one individual in need, the other individuals in the family are also in need.

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The Difference Between Healthy Boundaries and Healthy Ways of Living
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Authored by , re: Miscellaneous, on .
The Difference Between Healthy Boundaries and Healthy Ways of Living | Brittany Starrantino

{2 minutes to read} During a recent session, a client and I were identifying unhealthy attachments in relationships and healthy coping mechanisms, one of which is accepting the importance of independence and single lifestyles. The fear of being alone is a “normal,” inherent feeling many of us experience. Because of it, we tend to repeat unhealthy relationship patterns over and over, get angry with ourselves and wonder how we ended up here yet again. Many of us have felt that need to combat the aloneness in some way, but have to agree that the quicker we rush into relationships, the more we seem to attract the unhealthy ones. In our discussion, we also explored her parallel tendency to isolate. This is an unhealthy coping mechanism used to help her manage the failed relationships.

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Honesty Really IS the Best Policy
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Authored by , re: MENTAL HEALTH, on .

{3:12 minutes to read} Recently, in session, I was asked an interesting question by a woman with 3 young children, ages 5, 8, & 12. She wanted to know how I would introduce children to a new romantic interest if I were in her shoes. Every situation is different and I take that into account before I offer my advice, so let me provide a little background information. The client reported that she and her current significant other knew each other from high school and, in fact, were highschool sweethearts. After high school, they broke up. She was married and had her 3 children, while he went his separate way as well. While in the transition of separating from her husband, she rekindled the relationship with her high school sweetheart and began dating him.

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