At Spring Behavioral Health Solutions we strive to support a resilient community by providing behavioral health solutions to optimize individuals’ performance and emotional well-being, one person at a time. Our methods to accomplish this are described below in greater detail.
Who We Are
SBHS is currently managed and operated by Dr. Paul Alan Williamson, and his wife, Elise Williamson. Elise supports the business aspects of the practice while Paul focuses on psychological assessments and psychotherapy. Lindsay Sherwood, LMFT, has also now joined our clinic. She assists with autism assessments and providing marriage and family therapy.
Methods to Accomplish Our Mission
Specialized Psychological Evaluations
Just as some cases need a provider who specializes in treatment for a specific condition (e.g., panic attacks, or PTSD), some cases benefit from working with a provider who specializes in diagnostics and identifying individualized, best-fit solutions. One reason working with a specialist for a diagnosis is that similar symptom presentations can be manifestations of different psychological conditions. Even when the conditions are the same, the causes may still be different. Precision diagnostics improves outcomes by aligning treatments with the conditions and root causes to which those treatments are best suited. When the diagnostic picture is unclear, or when previous interventions have been used without improvement, then a specialized psychological evaluation may be indicated.
Dr. Williamson’s assessment reports include recommendations for clients and for their existing providers (when applicable). Sometimes, clients can achieve the change they seek through the patient recommendations alone. In some cases, follow up appointments are helpful to fully implement those recommendations. For patients already working with a behavioral health provider, the provider recommendations can make it possible to continue working with their current provider by adding helpful insight to the treatment already in progress.
Individualized Evidence Based Treatments
Working with Managed Care (health insurance)
We are in-network providers with the following insurance plans:
- Premera Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alaska
- Other Blue Plans covered through Blue Cross Blue Shield shared administration (e.g., Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield)
We also facilitate courtesy billing with most other insurance carriers on an out-of-network basis. This means that if your insurance plan covers the services we provide on an out-of-network basis, we will usually bill the insurance directly BUT you are responsible for all the costs not covered by your plan. Usually, you will pay more than you would with an in-network provider, but often still have part paid for by your plan. It is recommended to check with your plan administrator to know for sure how much you will be responsible for paying.
Unfortunately, we are not currently paneled with Medicare or Medicaid. However, we are planning to empanel with Medicaid soon.
At Spring Behavioral Health Solutions, we don’t treat conditions; we work with individuals. Research consistently shows that one of the strongest predictors of treatment success is good rapport between a client and their therapist. There is also strong evidence showing that treatment success is optimized by matching clients to treatment modalities which correspond to their diagnosed conditions.
Scores of psychotherapeutic interventions have been researched. Those which have met scientific standards for validation and effectiveness are generally referred to as evidence-based treatments (EBTs), or empirically-supported treatments. Many evidence-based treatments are collectively referred to as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) because they share similar theoretical underpinnings. (Most of the therapies described below are part of the CBT family.) However, there are also evidence-based interventions which should not be confused with “CBT.” This is NOT to say they are less effective. Rather, their theoretical foundations or mechanisms of action are different.
In any case, it is important both to build a strong partnership and to select a treatment for which there is reason to believe it will be effective. Dr. Williamson’s approach to treatment planning is to consider the client’s treatment preferences and the unique characteristics of their condition. Then he considers the available evidence for various treatment options and recommends an intervention which is most likely to fit those individual considerations. In many circumstances, Dr. Williamson has the expertise needed to provide the recommended intervention. However, if there is a provider more specialized in the recommended intervention then he may suggest referring you to ensure you get the best-fit treatment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
An umbrella term used to convey a common theme among a large family of treatments including some of those in this list.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Also a treatment for trauma reactions, this modality focuses on finding a way to engage important activities which have been avoided because of their association with past trauma.
CBT for Insomnia (CBT-I)
Considered the gold-standard for treating insomnia (even over medication options), this approach enhances sleep hygiene, incorporates stimulus control, and in extreme cases strategically uses sleep restriction, to advance sustainable improvements in sleep quality and quantity.
A paradox of depression is that doing things which would help you feel better, can't be done because depression depletes your motivation and desire to do them. Behavior Activation rebuilds motivation and desire so you CAN do things which lead to improved emotional well-being and increased performance.
Unified Protocol for Emotional Disorders
Probably most true to the term "CBT," this treatment effectively combines elements of both cognitive and behavioral theories for the treatment of a broad range of anxiety and mood disorders.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
A treatment for trauma related conditions with a focus on thoughtful processing of traumatic events and the impact of those events.
Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy
A treatment NOT in the CBT family, this approach teaches clients to identify how developmental experiences result in life patterns that reinforce depression, anxiety, and anger. Enhanced understanding is then used to change life patterns for decreased distress and greater life satisfaction.
In-vivo and Interoceptive Exposure
Benzodiazepines were once commonly prescribed for panic attacks. Though immediately effective, they are also associated with dependence and tolerance resulting in a cycle of diminishing returns and treatment resistance in the long-term. The name is intimidating but exposure based behavior therapies have proven durable outcomes long after treatment has ended.
Automatic thoughts are so subtle, so fleeting, that most of the time we don't even realize we've had them. But they happen all the time and significantly influence our actions and emotional responses to the world around us. Cognitive Restructuring trains clients to recognize automatic thoughts and modify how the manifest for a more positive emotional and behavioral experience. It is broadly applicable to many conditions including anxiety and depression.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Sometimes a focus on distress is unproductive (e.g., dealing with chronic pain). In those situations, ACT is a valuable treatment option. By enhancing cognitive flexibility and use of mindfulness, it helps people optimize their functioning to live life to the fullest, despite unremitting emotional symptoms.