Dr. Thoma is a licensed clinical psychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. He offers psychotherapy for the treatment of anxiety, depression, OCD, panic attacks, social anxiety, difficulties with public speaking, phobias, PTSD, relationship problems, interpersonal conflicts, and work difficulties. With a PhD from Fordham University, Dr. Thoma did his pre-doctoral internship at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Cornell Cognitive Therapy Clinic.
A Diplomate of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, Dr. Thoma specializes in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a problem-focused, empirically based psychotherapy. His expertise and dedication to training other therapists in this method has led him to recently become President-Elect of the New York City Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Association.
Dr. Thoma combines CBT techniques and a warm, empathic approach to teach patients concrete skills that help them reduce distress, cope with difficulties, solve life problems, and work toward important personal goals. This can involve cognitive work, assertiveness training, exposure therapy, or other approaches. Dr. Thoma has also been trained in the use of mindfulness meditation techniques, which he employs regularly in his work with patients.
In addition to extensive experience using traditional CBT for a wide variety of diagnoses and patient populations, Dr. Thoma has undergone advanced training in Schema Therapy, a type of CBT developed specifically for resolving chronic mood problems and interpersonal difficulties. Schema Therapy has been shown to be highly effective in a number of clinical trials in helping patients make changes to longstanding relationship patterns, their sense of well-being, and their capacity to pursue a gratifying and meaningful life. Schema Therapy can be particularly helpful for those persons who have encountered substantial adversity early in their lives. Dr. Thoma has been certified in Schema Therapy at the Advanced Level by the International Society for Schema Therapy.
Along with his private practice, Dr. Thoma supervises psychiatry residents and predoctoral psychology interns in conducting CBT and teaches didactics in psychotherapy research. Dr. Thoma has been involved in research focusing on improving the effectiveness of psychotherapy through optimizing combinations of therapist warmth, acceptance, facilitation of emotional expression, and teaching of specific skills that allow patients to develop new ways of seeing themselves and the world. He has authored a variety of scientific articles and given numerous presentations and lectures related to psychotherapy research. His first-author publication in The American Journal of Psychiatry (the flagship journal of the American Psychiatric Association) was named by the editors as one of the 10 most important articles of 2012. Additionally, his first-author paper in Psychodynamic Psychiatry received an award by the editors of that journal as the best article of 2015. Dr. Thoma has worked to help disseminate evidence-based methods of psychotherapy to his fellow professionals, having recently published a book with Guilford Press on the various methods of engaging emotion in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (see the "publications" page on this site for more information).
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