About Michael A. Tompkins, PhD, ABPP

Michael A. Tompkins, PhD, ABPP is a licensed psychologist (PSY13822) and board certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology, co-director of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy, Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Diplomate and Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, and is a trainer and consultant for the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior. He is the author or co-author of numerous scholarly articles and chapters on cognitive-behavior therapy and related topics, as well as seven books. Dr. Tompkins treats adults, adolescents, and children with anxiety disorders (panic, worry, phobias, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, health anxiety), stress, insomnia, body-focused repetitive behaviors (trichotillomania, skin picking, nail biting), elimination disorders (enuresis and encopresis), and Tourette’s and tic disorders.   For an appointment, call 510.652.4455 ext. 3 To learn more about Dr. Tompkins, visit his profile here.
1 12, 2017

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy and Harm Reduction for Hoarding Disorder

By | December 1st, 2017|From OCD to Anxiety, Partner Perspectives|

Hoarding disorder (HD) is a complex condition that affects approximately two to five percent of the population and is a difficult problem to treat. However, researchers have developed a special form of cognitive-behavior therapy that is promising for the treatment of the condition. For those who don't seek treatment, communities have undertaken harm reduction approaches.

1 09, 2017

Responding to Ambivalence in People Who Hoard

By | September 1st, 2017|Partner Perspectives|

Ambivalence – and a great deal of it – is a typical feature of hoarding disorder. Given the considerable ambivalence of most clients with this condition, clinicians want to take care to avoid inadvertently shutting down the client’s motivation to work on the problem. Here are typical ways clinicians shut down motivation when treating hoarding disorder.

25 07, 2017

Handling Poor Treatment Response with Adolescents

By | July 25th, 2017|Partner Perspectives|

Psychotherapy with adolescents is a difficult proposition. Research suggests that adolescents do not do as well as adults in psychotherapy and that they tend to dropout or refuse treatment more often. The cognitive-behavioral treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is no exception.

25 07, 2017

Little Worriers

By | July 25th, 2017|Kid Korner, Partner Perspectives|

Worries and fears are a typical part of early childhood. Most children outgrow their fears with little or no impact on their social, emotional, or intellectual development. Little worriers, on the other hand, do not outgrow their fears and over time experience a myriad of problems.

25 05, 2017

How Families Can Help a Love One Who Hoards

By | May 25th, 2017|Partner Perspectives|

If your loved one suffers from hoarding disorder, you’ve likely tried to help. You may have offered to clean her home or to hire someone to do it. You may have suggested that your loved one meet with a therapist or talk about the problem with a doctor; you may have purchased books on the […]

9 05, 2017

Two Willingness Strategies in Cognitive-Behavior Therapy

By | May 9th, 2017|Partner Perspectives|

Although cognitive-behavior therapy helps many clients with anxiety disorders, the exposure tasks, which are central to overcoming an anxiety disorder, are not easy. Because exposure to anxiety-evoking situations is difficult, attending to your client’s willingness throughout treatment is essential to a good outcome. Here are two standard cognitive-behavioral strategies to enhance willingness.

22 03, 2017

Enhancing Adherence with Bibliotherapy

By | March 22nd, 2017|Partner Perspectives|

Self-help reading is often assigned as an extra-therapy activity and, like any homework assignment, thoughtful planning on the part of the therapist can mean the difference between a homework assignment that is completed or not. The following guidelines can improve the likelihood that clients will understand and complete self-help readings.

Never assign a self-help reading that […]

1 02, 2017

Ten Early Signs that Your Loved One May Have a Hoarding Problem

By | February 1st, 2017|Partner Perspectives|

The signs of someone with a significant hoarding problem are obvious. Floorboards rot and sag under the weight of tons of paper and garbage. Food containers litter the home and the smells of rotting food and mildew permeate the air. Every nook and cranny is filled with stuff and what paths there are in the […]

6 01, 2017

Shy Kids, Silent Kids

By | January 6th, 2017|Kid Korner|

I met Margaret when she was 5-years old. She wore faded overalls inherited from her older brother that her mother had embroidered with flowers, stars, and hearts. Her mother had to pull Margaret into my office. Once there, Margaret burrowed her head into her mother’s side and would not look at me. When I asked […]

27 11, 2016

Preventing Relapse in the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Life-Style Exposures

By | November 27th, 2016|From OCD to Anxiety|

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic condition and therefore even following an effective treatment, your client always and will forever face the possibility of relapse. Assisting the client to manage the risk of relapse is an essential part of treatment for the condition. As you taper sessions with the client, use the times between sessions […]