Dr. Aspen has had a greater impact on my health than anyone I have ever met. I had been suffering from daily anxiety and panic attacks and had been taking anti-depressants and clonazepam several times/day for nearly 20 years. Within weeks after starting CBT sessions with Dr. Aspen, I had been able to effectively taper my medications and after 9 months have stoped completely. Today I have zero panic attacks and any anxiety I do feel I have the cognitive tools to handle my feelings effectively. I no longer fear certain situations which used to overwhelm me and can now effectively transform feelings of anxiety into energy and excitement to be used to positively engage with life circumstances. I cannot thank Dr. Aspen enough for changing my life and would strongly recommend her to anyone suffering from anxiety, panic, or depression. Thank you Dr. Aspen!!
I suffered from major depression and thought for sure that I was hopeless after years of medication and mostly unsuccessful therapy. However, I decided to try cognitive therapy with Dr. Aspen. With her expert and compassionate guidance, I learned new thinking skills that helped me to make fundamental changes for the better. I am amazed by what this has enabled me to achieve: my mood has been stable and happy even through some difficult and stressful life events, I have a wonderful new job, and I have been able to reduce the amount and types of medication that I take. This was time and money very well spent.
In less than 2 months, our 13 year old daughter lost 20 lbs. and with the weight loss also withdrew from her life. Not knowing what to do to help her, we were referred to Dr. Vandana Aspen who specializes in eating disorders. She quickly diagnosed our daughter with Anorexia Nervosa, and we started a 6 month journey of Family Based Therapy. Each week we met with Dr. Aspen as a family unit with my husband and I focused on our daughter’s food consumption and our oldest daughter serving as her confidante. Through FBT, Dr. Aspen equipped us with the skills to separate the disease from our child and not focus on the “why”, but rather the “what and how” to get her well. She compared the disease to cancer yet food served as the medicine. The therapy was very disciplined with very specific goals at each phase of the treatment with the ultimate goal of giving our daughter back the responsibility of managing her own food choices. Dr. Aspen provided us a safe environment and gave us the strength to fight the disease. We will forever be changed by this disease and may face this challenge again as our daughter matures, but feel confident that as parents we know what we need to do to prevent the eating disorder from taking over again. Dr. Aspen has made the study of eating disorders her life’s work and is an expert in her field; she was instrumental in giving us back our daughter and for that we are forever grateful.
We met Dr. Aspen when our son started experiencing serious depression and anxiety as a teenager. She was recommended by a psychiatrist he was seeing and they were an amazing team for him. If you have any experience with the mental health field, you know how frustrating it can be to find the right help for your children. Dr. Aspen is amazing. When she first told us she used cognitive behavioral therapy, we thought… so what, we have done that before. But it’s different with her. Many other psychologists just talk to their patients about CBT, with Dr. Aspen it is an interactive learning experience. She holds her patients accountable to learn the tools they need to get better and stay better. She teaches life-long lessons. Our son only went to her for a short time before transferring to a therapeutic boarding school. But several years later our teenage daughter experienced a traumatic event that trigged anxiety, depression and eventually led to cutting. We were so thankful that we knew where to go for help! Dr. Aspen wasn’t afraid to try different/unusual therapy methods on her either, it was so much more than talk therapy. It was customized for our daughter and targeted to help her with specific anxiety triggers. Our daughter credits Dr. Aspen for making her life better and livable again. She continues to take medication and, while she no longer see’s Dr. Aspen, she completely relies on the tools Dr. Aspen taught her. When you mention Dr. Aspen’s name, our daughter always smiles and says she misses her. Dr. Aspen gave us back our girl and we will forever be grateful for her time and patience!
--Grateful Parents of Teenage Children
I am so thankful for having Dr. Aspen as my CBT therapist. Before having my first session with her, I know nothing about CBT. But only after a few months, I learned new thinking and communication skills that I have never thought of. With her great expertise and compassionate guidance, I am able to understand how to communicate and understand better of one’s feeling and their emotion needs. During each session, Dr. Aspen listened patiently and carefully of what I said, then we worked together to find out the best way to communicate with the “difficult” people in my life. It worked out very well. Now I have the tools to prevent depression relapse because she gave me the confidence and tools that I need. Learning new skills is easy but finding a good and understanding therapist who cares about you is hard.
We were referred to Dr. Aspen from our eating disorder specialist, Dr. Buckelew. At that time our daughter had just been released from UCSF Medical Center and had just received some the best medical treatment available in the country. Upon being discharged it was strongly recommended that we pursue FBT (Family Based Therapy) for several reasons. One, it has a high success rate and two, it involves every member of the family which doesn’t allow “Anorexia” hide in the dark shadows or keep its unwelcome presence a secret. Dr. Aspen was clear that we would need to fight together as a family. She also repeated some startling facts about the mortality rate for people with this disease. The FBT was absolutely integral to our daughter’s recovery. I recall one particular moment for us where I was terrified that our daughter was going to slip right back into the arms of Anorexia and we had a session with Dr. Aspen, after 40 minutes with our daughter we walked back into the room to find our child was open, willing to listen and with Dr. Aspen’s help able to communicate what she wasn’t able to communicate on her own. It worked, and it worked quickly. Now our daughter is healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. After our FBT sessions ended I asked Dr. Aspen if I could continue working with her one-on-one. I was left with a tremendous amount of anxiety, my own set of body image distortions, a little bit of anger coupled with what I now know was terrible communication skills. Dr. Aspen introduced me to David Burns Five Secrets of Communication which is really awesome! At the end of our sessions Dr. Aspen asked me what made the biggest impact for me in feeling better and I came to realize that is was the work on communication. I believe it's this communication that makes Dr. Aspen so successful in working with our daughter, our family and me.
I highly recommend Dr. Aspen and here's why: I found myself in a place of uncertainty. At 55 years old, a husband nearing retirement, a young adult son, elderly parents, and siblings battling serious illnesses, new territory for me to say the least that I was finding harder and harder to navigate on my own. I knew I didn't want to just go and talk to someone, I wanted to learn skills that I could use to help myself. I found Dr. Aspen's website online and decided to take a chance and I am so glad I did! When I first met Dr. Aspen, I immediately felt comfortable which enabled me to be open and be honest with myself to figure out the tools and life skills I needed. Dr. Aspen is such a great teacher. Using CBT She taught me skills and tools on how to communicate effectively with anyone in almost any situation, change and conquer emotional eating, and how to handle anxiety and dismantle worrying. Each session Dr. Aspen was always well organized, well-prepared and professional. We would discuss real situations that were happening in my life and we would plan, strategize and practice using the skills I learned to deal with each situation. Her in-depth knowledge was invaluable. Each week she would assign homework to help cement the new tools and skills into my daily life. I honestly appreciated Dr. Aspens real concern and genuine interest in helping me.A few months later, I can proudly say I am confident and well equipped to deal with all life has to offer. My last day of meeting with Dr. Aspen, we even came up with a tools cheat sheet so I have something readily available to refer to. I feel emotionally lighter and genuinely happier. My time spent with Dr. Aspen was certainly a life changer. Thank you Dr. Aspen!!
During my time with Dr. Aspen, I have made significant progress that I am sure I would not have made using any other technique. Rather than using medication, Dr. Aspen focuses on cognitive therapy. I truly believe this type of therapy is one of the most effective forms of overcoming any type of disorder. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety for some time now and have been through numerous types of treatments, including medication and your standard therapy. Before meeting Dr. Aspen, I was pretty much a wreck and not at all in a good state of mind. However after working with her for a couple months, I began to see significant results, and quickly too. Dr. Aspen is determined and kind and is very open to using various techniques to help her patients achieve the best results they possibly can. At this point in my life, I am the happiest I have been in a long time and I owe that to Dr. Aspen and her work. I would recommend her to anyone and everyone that needs any type of help. --Kate (Teenager)
She is truly amazing! After working with Dr. Aspen I have overcome all of my problems (depression, low self esteem, anger). She taught me the tools to use and now for the first time in my life I am confident and I know how to be happy on my own. I am so grateful I found her.
I have struggled with eating issues for over twenty years. I have seen therapists, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and sought in-patient treatment. I have never had more success with any of these attempts at recovery than I have had with Dr. Aspen. She has helped me to find success that I never dreamed I could experience. My progress has not been overnight. I have worked hard and I have never hurt so much, but I have seen real change as I have never seen before. Dr. Aspen is patient and compassionate while challenging me to do things that stretch me to my limits and push me to achieve my ultimate goals.-- Grace
I have struggled with anxiety and panic attacks for as long as I can remember. When I first met Dr. Aspen I had no hope of ever getting better. Within a few months of seeing her I was excited about life and free of the painful anxiety that held me back from the world. If you are really ready to change your life Dr. Aspen can help you get there. -- Chen
Dr. Aspen helped my teenage daughter overcome an eating disorder that she had struggled with for a long time. My daughter worked with other health professionals who were not able to help her. Dr. Aspen was able to help her resolve this problem in just a few months. It has made an incredible difference in our lives. -- Kim, Mother of a Teenage Client
We met Dr. Aspen through a referral by Dr. Sue Knight, a medical doctor specializing in eating disorders (EDs). Dr. Knight recommended Dr. Aspen for her expertise in EDs and also for her skills in working with younger age clients. At the onset of our daughter's ED treatment, she had just turned thirteen. Dr. Aspen made an immediate impression regarding the seriousness of our daughter’s condition and the need to prioritize her recovery above all else. We (my wife, our daughter, and I) had weekly sessions with Drs. Aspen and Knight and a nutritionist. Dr. Aspen communicated with the therapeutic team continuously so the messages to our daughter were consistent in each session. Our daughter's ED was dramatic but thanks to the Dr. Aspen and therapeutic team, her recovery period was blissfully short. Throughout the ordeal, Dr. Aspen was our coach providing guidance and ongoing encouragement. After completing a full course of family based therapy our daughter is back to a normal weight and we feel empowered in handling her recovery moving forward.-- Larry, Father of Teenage Client
I was struggling with anxiety about going to college. Typically, Dr. Aspen and I would spend the first half of the session talking about my feelings about going and then the second half working on feeling better. She showed me a technique I could use when I feel anxious and it made me feel relaxed and more confident in my decision to go to college. I can use this technique on my own whenever I feel anxious, and now I'm not so worried about going to college. -- Sally (Teenager)
Dr. Aspen brought about a tremendous change in how I see myself and the world in a very short period of time. We used cognitive behavioral therapy to recognize the negative thoughts that caused my depression, understand the errors in those thoughts, and counter and replace those thoughts using positive beliefs. Even as a psychology major, I was convinced my depression was incurable and permanent, and something as (seemingly) simplistic as understanding my thought processes couldn’t possibly help me. But it did. Dr. Aspen has a flair for understanding her patients’ feelings, their needs, and the best methods to help them. She gave me the tools I need to keep fighting and winning against depression. I know it’s difficult to believe you can get better, but if you practice everything Dr. Aspen advises, I guarantee you will be so much healthier and happier. -- Linda
Working with Dr. Aspen has been life changing for me. When I started seeing her I was struggling with depression, anxiety, communicating with my husband, as well as body image and eating issues. I felt like I was in a dark hole with no hope of getting myself out. Over the course of 6 months Dr. Aspen guided me through a process that taught me how to enjoy life again. Her focus on cognitive behavior therapy was perfect for me because there were specific tools that required me to work to change my mood. Dr. Aspen was kind but firm and I always felt like she genuinely cared about me. Her knowledge and expertise in eating disorders helped me to change in a way I never thought was possible. I am grateful Dr. Aspen led me out of that dark hole and that she taught me the tools I need to stay out. -- Hannah
I am one that uses photography to express my feelings. I have been wanting to write a testimonial for Dr. Aspen for sometime now. I kept finding the words I was coming up to describe my respect and appreciation for Dr. Aspen to not describe my feelings and emotions. It wasn't until I took pictures at Muir Woods and I saw a shot of the canopy of redwoods from the ground that I realized what the right words were.
Dr. Aspen helped me to look up again. I can see that the world is beautiful. I can see that the anxieties and items that depressed me are still real items, but I am able to see that I can handle them now. I can smile and mean it. I have spent a lifetime believing that I needed to hide my issues from everybody close to me. Dr. Aspen helped me see that my friends and loved ones weren't going to run from me if they knew what I was dealing with. Dr. Aspen helped to show me that I can have confidence in myself again. Most importantly, she helped me see that for the first time, I actually liked myself. --- Matt