Dr. Cadow has had formal training and professional experience in psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), relaxation therapy, hypnosis, mindfulness, and play therapy models of treatment. She works with children, teens, couples, and families as well as individuals. The type of treatment chosen for each patient is a collaborative decision based on the presenting problem, psychological history, and comfort level. Each person has unique needs and is evaluated and treated accordingly.
Depression & Life Dissatisfaction
Dr. Cadow co-authored a number of research studies (see Vita) on depression at the USC Medical School. Working with over 250 depressed patients over a two year period provided her with an invaluable glimpse into the many faces and symptoms of depression. She has years of teaching and training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the empirically validated treatment of choice for depression; she currently teaches this method to graduate students in clinical psychology in the Department of Clinical Psychology at USC.
CBT is a useful technique because it helps people identify the often automatic negativity in their thoughts and provides a framework for converting irrational pessimistic thoughts into more reasonable and emotionally neutral thoughts. People have their own way of generating these negative thoughts and often need help recognizing how they have become an integral part of their internalized dialogue, forming an almost seamless feedback loop between triggering emotional stimuli and behavior. Certain negative, depressing thoughts may never completely disappear, but they can be significantly minimized and managed.
Dr. Cadow’s private practice patients quite often present with depressed feeling due to a life event (e.g., divorce, breakup with loved one, school or work problems, relationship or family problems, health issues) and/or have a long history of depression. She works with a number of psychiatrists who can prescribe medication for depression, if needed.
Dr. Cadow has worked with many patients who “have everything”, but are not happy. Especially in Los Angeles, often the people who are the envy of the rest of the population can actually be disenchanted with their lives. These individuals may not have symptoms of depression, but they are unhappy about the choices they have made and the general direction of their lives. Dr. Cadow’s book, “Rich and Famous but Not Happy: An Inside Look at Therapy in La La Land,” describes their journeys to happiness and offers useful tools for those of us who are not rich and famous. (See Home page)
It is not always obvious what path will make us happy; in fact, often we are uncertain about what experiences we actually enjoy. Some people have discovered a newfound joy at just eating something they really crave, like a simple pastrami sandwich, instead of the food they thought they “should” eat. The simple pleasures of life may often be missed in the rat race of urban life.
Upon examination in psychotherapy sessions, the source of dissatisfaction may be a job, career, a major relationship, or a lack thereof, or a negative outlook on the world. Determining the cause of dissatisfaction is often a complex process with no easy solution; instead, a number of interacting factors may be involved that need to be sorted out. Within the privacy and safety of the therapy session, alternative options and plans can be explored with minimal risk.
Grief and Loss
How will I live without her/him? How long will I feel like this? Will I ever get over the loss? These are some of the questions often asked after the death of a friend or family member. Dr. Cadow has worked with grieving patients and families for 30 years and has provided expert testimony in legal proceedings involving the loss of a child.
Dr. Cadow has had post-doctoral training in child and adolescent psychology and has worked with teenagers for over 25 years. She was a staff psychologist at the USC Medical School/Los Angeles County Hospital Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and a consultant to two Los Angeles area child guidance centers and a juvenile diversion program for teens with legal problems.
For over four years on the USC main campus and medical school, Dr. Cadow provided workshops on stress management to students and staff. She developed programs specifically for students in the School of Business as well as students in the School of Law.
Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state which produces feelings of uneasiness, fear, or worry. Anxiety may not have any identifiable cause or trigger, distinguishing it from fear, which occurs in the presence of an actual external threat.
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Small amounts of anxiety may help a person deal with a difficult situation at work or at school, by increasing focus on the problem. When anxiety becomes excessive, it can interfere with life tasks and may fall under the classification of an anxiety disorder. Some commonly reported symptoms of anxiety include worry, restlessness or a feeling of being "keyed up", fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and difficulty sleeping.
Anxiety can be accompanied by physical effects as the body prepares to deal with a perceived threat. Blood pressure, heart rate, sweating, and blood flow to the major muscle groups are increased, and immune and digestive system functions are inhibited (the fight or flight response). Accordingly, some people report chest pain, shortness of breath, stomach aches, trembling, twitching, headaches, sweating or chills, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath and diarrhea when they get anxious.
Some examples of anxiety disorders are generalized anxiety disorder, test or performance anxiety, panic attacks, specific phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
As its name suggests, PTSD is the psychological fallout from experiencing a life-threatening event such as violence, war, an accident, or emotional and physical abuse. Individuals with PTSD are likely to react to any experience that reminds them of the trauma (e.g., firecrackers sounding like gunshots). They are likely to suffer from nightmares about the trauma, feel at times like they are reliving the traumatic events all over again, and stay away from places or events that are reminiscent of the trauma (e.g., not driving a car after an accident); they may also be unable to remember details of the event.
Our temperaments are formed in utero. It is estimated that about 20% of the population is highly sensitive (see Aron, Elaine, The Highly Sensitive Person, 1996: New York, Broadway Books). Sensitive types often wear their socks inside out because the socks feel itchy, notice slight changes in temperature or hunger, can be devastated by teasing or name-calling, and can “feel the pain” of another human being acutely. The sensitive type was memorialized in the fairy tale about the princess who could feel a single pea under 20 mattresses and 20 beds.
Dr. Cadow trained at the graduate and post-graduate school level in psychological testing and assessment. Some of her research, including her doctoral dissertation, examined the MMPI, the most widely used and accepted psychological test of personality. Her clinical assessment experiences with the MMPI, as well as other instruments, include testing the following populations: children of all ages, applicants for asylum, couples seeking fertility treatment, bariatric surgery candidates, inpatient psychiatric patients, prison inmates, transgendered individuals, sexual addicts, post-traumatic stress and sexual harassment victims, and veterans of war. Her evaluations have been used in order to measure intelligence and academic potential in school and non-school settings, determine the presence of attention deficit disorders in children and adults, and provide evidence for personal injury claims. She also uses measures to evaluate the stress levels, depression, and trauma of her psychotherapy patients.