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therapy santa barbara 21 Dr. Adina McGarr Knabke

Welcome to my practice! I am a licensed psychologist, specializing in addiction and eating disorders, while also treating a broad range of problematic issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, trauma, self-injurious behaviors, and relationship distress.

If you are considering therapy, are suffering, or are not satisfied with your life, important questions to ask yourself include “do you find yourself held back in life by your depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorder, low self-esteem, etc?  Are you waiting until you’re ‘better’ to begin certain goals, be more social, be a more loving partner/mother/friend, or start that exercise program you know would be good for you?  Are you confused by behaviors that you keep engaging in that you are not good for you, but you can’t seem to stop?   Have you been able to give up an unhealthy coping mechanism, only to have it replaced by another unhealthy one?”  

If the answer is “yes”, to any of the above then starting therapy is absolutely the first step in the right direction. 

therapy santa barbara 31 Dr. Adina McGarr KnabkeIf you decide to enter therapy with me, you can expect to uncover and address the underlying, core emotional issues that may be manifesting as symptoms or problematic behavior.  For example, perhaps it is your unconscious (or conscious) fear of abandonment that interferes with your ability to have healthy relationships and ultimately causes you to act in ways that push people away, which only reinforces your fear and belief that people cannot be trusted.  Or conceivably, below your awareness there is a deep sense of shame, which you are not in touch with, as you are so preoccupied by your depression or anxiety. Helping you to identify these core issues will provide the much needed insight to assist you in changing.  

therapy santa barbara 11 Dr. Adina McGarr Knabke

You will also become more aware of your psychological defense mechanisms and how these work to keep anxiety provoking material out of your consciousness, your patterns of relating and attaching to others, and the needs you to seek to have fulfilled.  You will learn how to disentangle yourself from problematic thoughts and feelings, while also changing your relationship to  them (accepting what is).  You will also become more in touch with your values and how to commit yourself to living your life in a manner that is congruent with them, even in the presence  of painful feelings and experiences. This is so important because living your valued life is directly correlated to your level of well-being and life satisfaction.

Therapy provides you with hands-on, immediate tools to utilize as you work through your struggles, while also holding the space to delve deeper into your psyche to bring about lasting change and personal growth.   Invest in yourself, because change is possible!

sig Dr. Adina McGarr Knabke

  • Why Is Food So Addictive?

    Posted: August 8, 2014

      What you need to know about Food Addiction   As a food addiction specialist, I often provide therapy to patients who are dealing with eating disorders such as Anorexia, Bulimia, Orthorexia, Bigorexia, and Binge Eating Disorder. These are serious conditions which wreak havoc for ...

  • Emotions

    Posted: July 30, 2014

    Emotions drive thoughts far more than the other way around (this has to do with the greater number of connections from the limbic center to the pre-frontal cortex).

  • For Immediate Release – July 3rd, 2014, Santa Barbara CA:  Many people are under significant amounts of stress and may want information on depression treatment, managing anxiety, or are interested in drug addiction treatment methods, but don’t know where to turn for trustworthy ...

  • #1. Pain is part of growing. Sometimes life closes doors because it’s time to move forward. And that’s a good thing because we often won’t move unless circumstances force us to. When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose. Move...

  • “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” —Viktor Frankl In Man’s Search for Meaning, Dr. Frankl wrote about the psychological impacts of life as a...

  • Carbohydrates Excessive carbohydrate consumption causes the insulin level in the blood to increase, which reduces the blood sugar level.  Research suggests that a decrease in blood sugar stimulates hunger and thus there is an intense desire to eat more food.  Through functional magnetic ...

  • Language and Suffering

    Posted: March 12, 2013

    How we think about our experiences is not necessarily a reality, yet our thoughts and the stories we construct from these thoughts can increase suffering.

  • People Facts

    Posted: August 6, 2012

      People’s deepest and most irrational convictions about onesself and one’s life are incredibly stubborn.  Once something is learned and then intermittently reinforced it is deeply resistant to extinction.  However, through repetition and new experiences new neural pathways are ...

  • Thoughts and Breathing Exercises

    Posted: July 2, 2012

    Through consciously relaxing tense muscles and observing your breath moving in and out, incessant thoughts can be quickly reduced (Lind-Kyle, 2009) Posted via email from My Santa Barbara Therapy Updates

  • Food Addiction

    Posted: June 26, 2012

    Research suggests that an alternating pattern of food restriction and bingeing contributes to reward dysfunction (changes in neural circuitry) and an addictive pattern of eating. Posted via email from My Santa Barbara Therapy Updates

  • Emotions

    Posted: July 30, 2014

    Emotions drive thoughts far more than the other way around (this has to do with the greater number of connections from the limbic center to the pre-frontal cortex).

  • #1. Pain is part of growing. Sometimes life closes doors because it’s time to move forward. And that’s a good thing because we often won’t move unless circumstances force us to. When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose. Move...

  • “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” —Viktor Frankl In Man’s Search for Meaning, Dr. Frankl wrote about the psychological impacts of life as a...

  • Carbohydrates Excessive carbohydrate consumption causes the insulin level in the blood to increase, which reduces the blood sugar level.  Research suggests that a decrease in blood sugar stimulates hunger and thus there is an intense desire to eat more food.  Through functional magnetic ...

  • Language and Suffering

    Posted: March 12, 2013

    How we think about our experiences is not necessarily a reality, yet our thoughts and the stories we construct from these thoughts can increase suffering.

  • People Facts

    Posted: August 6, 2012

      People’s deepest and most irrational convictions about onesself and one’s life are incredibly stubborn.  Once something is learned and then intermittently reinforced it is deeply resistant to extinction.  However, through repetition and new experiences new neural pathways are ...

  • Thoughts and Breathing Exercises

    Posted: July 2, 2012

    Through consciously relaxing tense muscles and observing your breath moving in and out, incessant thoughts can be quickly reduced (Lind-Kyle, 2009) Posted via email from My Santa Barbara Therapy Updates

  • Food Addiction

    Posted: June 26, 2012

    Research suggests that an alternating pattern of food restriction and bingeing contributes to reward dysfunction (changes in neural circuitry) and an addictive pattern of eating. Posted via email from My Santa Barbara Therapy Updates

  • Cravings

    Posted: June 25, 2012

    Research suggests that there may be a gene that makes certain individuals more sensitive to sugar and alcohol cravings. Posted via email from My Santa Barbara Therapy Updates

  • Addiction

    Posted: June 5, 2012

    Is addiction a disease or a choice? While one may not be responsible for getting the illness, it doesn’t abdicate one’s responsibility for making different choices to manage or eradicate it. Posted via email from My Santa Barbara Therapy Updates

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