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The UNC Department of Psychiatry has a long-standing commitment to excellence in fulfilling our three vital missions: clinical service, teaching, and research. In each of these areas, our tradition of integrating biological and psychosocial perspectives is emphasized. One of our objectives is to provide a comprehensive array of clinical services that span the entire spectrum of psychiatric illness. One of the ways we do this is through psychological services.

It is important to note that one or more forms of treatment may be needed to help manage a person’s problems and symptoms. One of the goals of psychological treatment is to provide a person with a variety of tools that he or she can use to cope effectively. This type of treatment is tailored to the individual and tries to maximize a person’s natural abilities and skills. It is used in conjunction with the person’s other health care providers and medications to achieve optimal management of his or her symptoms.

For appointments, call 984-974-5217.

Acute Diagnostic And Treatment Clinic

The Acute Diagnostic and Treatment Clinic (ADTC) is a general adult psychiatric clinic staffed by teams of faculty and resident psychiatrists. It provides comprehensive outpatient evaluation and treatment for adult psychiatric patients. Patients may refer themselves to the clinic or their physician or therapist may refer them.

Services are offered five days a week, Monday through Friday, and are divided into half-day modules. Each module is staffed by a team of faculty and resident psychiatrists, social workers, and medical students. Rooms with two-way mirrors are available for observation and teaching. Patients may be seen for diagnostic screening, consultation, and/or for ongoing care.

Incorporated into the ADTC are a Geropsychiatry Clinic and a Consultation/Liaison Clinic. When appropriate, patients may be referred to other clinics such as STEP or they may be referred for concurrent care in the Psychotherapy Education Clinic, or Group Therapy.

Again, please note that one or more forms of treatment may be used to help manage a patient’s problems and symptoms. One goal of psychiatric treatment is to provide a variety of tools that will help the patient cope with his or her symptoms. Treatment is tailored to the individual in order to maximize their natural abilities and skills. We collaborate with the patient’s other health care providers to achieve optimal management of symptoms.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? The basic principle of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is that what a person thinks or believes can affect his or her emotions and behavior. CBT focuses on the interrelationships between a person’s thoughts (cognition), actions (behavior), and feelings (affect) and the roles they play in a person’s illness, ability to function, and quality of life. By focusing on these three components, changes can be made in how a person thinks, acts, and feels about his or her difficulties.

Research studies have shown that CBT is an effective treatment for a wide range of psychiatric illnesses and symptoms including panic disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, simple phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and agoraphobia. CBT can help couples with relationship problems, including some types of sexual dysfunction. It can also help an individual learn stress management and relaxation techniques, as well as anger management skills. Certain medical conditions, including migraine and tension headaches, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome IBS), hypertension, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) may also benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Individual CBT

Individual CBT is typically brief (6-20 sessions) and highly goal-oriented. The relationship between the patient and the therapist is collaborative in that both individuals work together to identify maladaptive thought and behavioral patterns and to develop a new set of health cognitions and effective coping skills. This is accomplished using a variety of techniques, including self-monitoring, questioning, self-disclosure, education, role-playing, modeling, exposure to feared or avoided situations, stress management, relaxation training, and homework assignments.

Intensive Outpatient Therapy (IOP)

Intensive Outpatient Therapy provides psychological services for young adults (ages 18-26) with general depression/anxiety who need a level of treatment less complex than hospitalization but more intense than traditional outpatient therapy. In IOP, patients will meet virtually for six weeks with a team of clinicians and a psychiatrist. During that period, they will meet three times a week for three hours. Key benefits of IOP include

  • IOP is virtual, so patients are able to receive therapy at home while maintaining a work or school schedule.
  • Treatments follow a schedule and routine, so patients know what to expect.
  • Patients canpractice skills at home that they are learning in treatment.
  • Since patients live at home, they are encouraged to strengthen their network of friends and family members who will support them as they recover.

Ask your doctor if Intensive Outpatient Therapy is appropriate for you. All participants must be referred by their doctors. Reach out to Program Director, Helga LeMaster with questions at

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that emphasizes behavior change and Eastern ideas of meditation and acceptance. The treatment consists of 4 modules – mindfulness (being in the moment), interpersonal effectiveness (communication skills), emotion regulation, and distress tolerance (coping skills). These skills are designed to enhance self-awareness, problem-solving abilities, and self-soothing behaviors.

The Psychotherapy Education Clinic

The Psychotherapy Education Clinic provides individual psychodynamic psychotherapy. Resident psychiatrists meet with their patients at least once a week to explore internal conflicts that may contribute to their psychiatric condition. The course of treatment may last months or years. If you are interested in being seen in this clinic, arrange an initial appointment in the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Clinic (ADTC) and ask your psychiatrist in that clinic if they think that the Psychotherapy Education Clinic would be a fit for you.