steven-gellar-katz-lcsw-rStephen Geller Katz LCSW-R

Misophonia Cognitive Retraining Therapy

mtv-true-life-i-have-misophonia-steven-gellar-katz-lcsw-r

Misophonia Cognitive Retraining Therapy, as featured on the MTV True Life episode: “I Have Misophonia” premiering Friday, December 16th, 7:00 PM EST. See Clip >

Are you Suffering from any of these symptoms as a result of Misophonia? Call for a Free 15 Minute Consultation.

  • Mild to severe anxiety
  • Rage or Anger
  • Triggered fight or flight
  • Depression
  • Negative thinking
  • Crying spells
  • Hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Avoidance of people or places
Moderate to severe anxiety triggered by chewing sounds, including:
  • Nail clipping 
  • Brushing teeth
  • Eating sounds
  • Lip smacking
  • Breathing
  • Certain voices
  • Sniffing
  • Talking
  • Sneezing
  • Yawning
  • Walking
  • Coughing
  • Chewing gum
  • Laughing
  • Snoring
  • Typing on a keyboard
  • Whistling
  • Certain consonants


You may also be affected by visual stimuli, such as repetitive foot or body movements, fidgeting or movement you observe out of the corners of their eyes. 
Intense anxiety, rage and avoidant behavior may develop as a result of misophonia.


woman-misophonia* Do you feel your family and friends don’t understand how much you suffer?

* Do you often feel you can just suffer through a social event where there is eating present only to find that you must “escape” before you have a panic attack?

* Do you find that some people are at first understanding and make some efforts not to make the triggering sounds in front of you, but soon forget and constantly have to be reminded, causing you to feel angry, anxious and depressed?

* Are you avoiding social activities that you enjoy because of the misophonia?

* Are you fearful of losing your job and/or is the misophonia effecting your job performance?


If you answered yes to 3 or more of these questions or symptoms, then we can help.


You may be a candidate for Misophonia Cognitive Retraining Therapy, or MCRT.

Stephen Geller Katz, LCSW-R, with over 20 years of clinical experience, a New York University graduate, developed Misophonia Cognitive Retraining Therapy and founded Misophonia Cognitive Center in response to the growing number of people with Misophonia coming to his private practice from audiologists and ENTs. He discovered that by helping people to retrain and reinterpret the thoughts around their Misophonia, anxiety and depression symptoms began to improve. But even more important so did the Misophonic trigger response.

Call us at 646-585-2251 for a FREE consultation.

A Look at the Science Behind Misophonia

For many years, people living with misophonia struggled to be taken seriously by the medical profession, and patients listing their symptoms were mostly ignored or even laughed at. Even in later years, when attitudes to newer disorders became more progressive, scientists often saw misophonia as a symptom of other conditions, such as obsessive compulsive disorder.

What We Know

Misophonia may well have a genetic component, but as it doesn’t generally appear until the sufferer is at least 9 or 10 years old, a lot of research focused on it being a learned behavior; perhaps the result of associating a particular noise with an extremely traumatic incident in childhood or early adolescence.

To some extent that makes sense, especially considering the fact that a lot of noise triggers are linked to particular people or situations, and that a full on attack mimics a ‘fight or flight’ response to danger. However, this is not an entirely satisfying explanation as the therapies recommended to deal with such issues often fail to produce long term changes.

New Research Offer Hope

UK scientists have now discovered that regardless of the initial cause, there is evidence of changes to the brain which explain the unusual, and generally always excessive, response some people have to their trigger sounds. Basically, in subjects who identified themselves as having misophonia they identified heightened activity in the anterior insular cortex – the area of our brain which matches up emotions and senses.

Crossed Wires

As well as working in overdrive, this section of the brain seemed to be connecting to other sections of the brain in a different way too, as if the wires in an electrical outlet had been crossed randomly, producing a functional but unpredictable electricity supply which surges when it come across triggers. Consequently, mild and quite normal irritation becomes over the top anger. [Interestingly, anger seemed to be the most common emotion to be amplified, while others such as repulsion or disgust were there, but less marked.]

These exciting new discoveries offer fresh hope to those who currently have their lives restricted by misophonia. As research continues and we come to understand more about the causes of this change to the brain, there may soon be some effective treatment available to cure people of this condition for good.

Get in touch today to make an appointment for the most effective misophonia treatment in NYC.

Call today for a free 15min phone consultation 646-585-2251

The Most Common Treatment Options for Misophonia

The Most Common Treatment Options for MisophoniaAs misophonia is a condition still in its early infancy, research wise, there is not the same range of treatment options for it as there are for some more widely recognized health problems. Consequently, people living with misophonia tend to be offered treatments which are either therapy focused, or have a strong self-management element to them.

Typical Therapy Based Treatments

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)

This approach calls on a mixture of sound therapy and education, including learning about the condition and how it works.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A specific talking therapy, this focuses on how you relate to the world and others, and how your actions are related to your feelings. The major emphasis is on coping with the current situation, rather than historical events.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis can be extremely effective at encouraging relaxation and calm, and it has the added advantage of enabling the patient to tap into these coping mechanisms, once rooted in the subconscious, as and when they are needed in the future.

Self-Management Solutions

Journaling

The Most Common Treatment Options for MisophoniaRecording thoughts, feelings, details of attacks, and the circumstances leading to triggers is a good way to provide a tangible history of the condition. Some people find it useful to look back and identify patterns for both good and bad days.

Making Choices

Part of living with misophonia is about taking control of the condition, and this may involve making choices about which events and gatherings you will attend, which can be managed by wearing headphones or avoiding notable trigger people, and which will be passed on, as avoiding over-exposure really helps you in the battle to take control of this condition.

Support Groups

These exist both on and offline, and there are definite advantages to joining one, or both types. It can be a huge relief to have the freedom to chat and share experiences of a condition with those who know exactly what you are talking about. Online support is especially useful as there are fewer time constraints, so it can be accessed pretty much 24/7.

The Most Common Treatment Options for MisophoniaAlthough the possible treatment options seem a little piecemeal they can be quite effective if used in the right combinations. It is important that a bespoke approach is used, so the ideas selected are chosen to suit the individual attitude, needs and circumstances of each person seeking help.

To learn more about treating this condition make an appointment now with the top misophonia specialist in NYC.

Call today for a free 15min phone consultation 646-585-2251

Why Misophonia is Often Misunderstood

Why Misophonia is Often MisunderstoodFor many years, people with misophonia have struggled to get an accurate diagnosis, often because many doctors refused to either believe such a condition really existed in its own right, or that the symptoms described were actually real at all. Dismissed as hysterics, or with the life limiting symptoms written off as part of another condition such as OCD or tinnitus, the chances of being taken seriously were pretty slim, with the same misunderstanding being found in the general community too.

The Misleading Name

Misophonia is translated as someone who hates sounds, but this is not a fair or accurate way to label what is a much more complex condition. Misophones do not hate sounds in general, or even random noises, instead they experience distressing symptoms which exaggerate emotions in response to particular trigger sounds.

Unfortunately, few people actually know that, and instead they assume you are talking about disliking noises which are loud, annoying or unexpected – something most of the population would agree they experience themselves now and again.

Misophonia is Not a Minor Irritation

Why Misophonia is Often MisunderstoodThere’s no doubt that plenty of people can identify with irritating noise-related habits, but what those with misophonia experience is not comparable to the uncomfortable way the sound of squeaky brakes, nails on a chalkboard or whining toddlers make us feel. Their reaction to a trigger sound involves panic attacks, rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating and even violence. Sufferers generally try to remove themselves from the situation to avoid a major meltdown, as they fully understand it is just not something they can physically or emotionally manage.

It’s Too Usual for the Unusual

Part of the problem in getting misophonia to be properly recognized as a medical condition could be down to it being similar to conditions which already exist. Even leaving aside the common experiences of being annoyed by a barking dog or a faulty smoke alarm which is the most noise pollution many people have come across, there are several named conditions like hyperacusis (fear of loud noise), or phonophobia (fear of all sound), or the fairly common tendency to be sensitive to all sounds without being fearful which muddy the waters.

Why Misophonia is Often MisunderstoodThe exciting new research being undertaken in the twenty first century offers hope of more understanding and recognition for those living with misophonia.

Call today for a free 15min phone consultation 646-585-2251

How to Tell Friends and Family about Your Misophonia

How to Tell Friends and Family about Your MisophoniaIf you have decided to tell family and friends you have misophonia, chances are it’s a decision that took a long time to make. Many people with the condition have already struggled for an age to have medical personnel take them seriously, so are naturally reluctant to face the same battles all over again – and with people they care about to boot.

Where to Start?

This largely depends on your circumstances. If you were diagnosed (or showing major symptoms) from 9 or 10, which is common, chances are what you tell them won’t be a huge surprise. You may even already have parents and siblings who are fully aware, and be just looking at telling more distant relatives.

Facing the Fears

If your symptoms appeared and a diagnosis was given later in life, but you haven’t actually told anyone yet it is worth thinking about the fears and worries which surround taking this step. While you cannot make people react the way you’d like, (supportive, understanding, positive), or totally understand your situation, the fear of rejection or ridicule can be punishing.

Bear in mind that while you are concerned about people not believing you or offering the care you need, those being told may worry about letting you down, or be unable to comprehend the science behind it.

Prepare Well

How to Tell Friends and Family about Your MisophoniaConsidering that responses may be based on fears equal to, albeit different from, your own means it is well worth investing some time in preparing properly for the big reveal. Decide who to tell first, obviously avoiding those who you recognize as being triggers if at all possible

You can explain through talking, or if you feel more comfortable write a letter. It’s okay to ask some people to explain your condition to others, especially if they are talking to those on the periphery of your life.

Be Honest

It’s best to say upfront what you want to get across and how you want people to deal with you. If you’d prefer it wasn’t mentioned in group situations then say that, but if your door is open for questions and discussions then that is fine too.

How to Tell Friends and Family about Your MisophoniaIt isn’t easy to share news of a lifelong condition of any kind with those closest to you, especially when it is not well known, so plan to do it in the way you find most comfortable.

Why not contact us today and make an appointment to find out about NYC’s best misophonia treatment option.

Call today for a free 15min phone consultation 646-585-2251

How to Get a Diagnosis for Misophonia

How to Get a Diagnosis for MisophoniaAlthough doing so is important to ensure the best possible treatment and quality of life, it isn’t generally very easy to get a definite diagnosis of misophonia. This is largely due to factors such as a lack of substantial research on the topic, the tendency to confuse it with other sound-based conditions, and sometimes a general skepticism that the symptoms are as severe and debilitating sufferers claim.

Consult a Professional

A diagnosis of misophonia will generally be made by any one of a dozen health care specialists, which includes those in the fields of psychiatry, speech therapy psychology, and medical social work. Depending on their specific role they will either refer someone for testing, or conduct those tests themselves.

Ruling Things Out

How to Get a Diagnosis for MisophoniaNaturally, it is important to be sure the person in question isn’t suffering from one of the related conditions mentioned earlier, or indeed from something like auditory hallucinations (hearing imaginary voices and noises), which would suggest a problem like bipolar disorder and be a psychiatric issue. Tests may also be carried out to remove the possibility of the symptoms being relating to autism, depression and anxiety, as well as brain scans to check for tumors or lesions.

Key Identifying Factors of Misophonia

    • Not all sounds are a problem
    • The sounds made by one person can trigger it, but the same sounds by another may not
    • The volume of the sound is not a factor
    • Other senses (touch, taste, sight, smell) are not affected
    • The reaction occurs after one incident of a trigger sound
    • Soft sounds are more likely to be triggers
    • Once the trigger sound occurs, it consumes all of your focus
    • Some people report experiencing physical illness during a trigger period
    • The responses to triggers are not voluntary
    • It is impossible to control emotions in most cases
    • People with misophonia feel extreme (negative) emotions such as anger, rage, and fear when encountering a trigger sound,
    • The feeling of wanting to run away or be violent is common following a sound trigger episode

How to Get a Diagnosis for MisophoniaIf you suspect that you, or someone close to you may have misophonia and the symptoms mentioned here seem to fit it is best to talk to an expert in the field for confirmation, and further details of the treatment which may be available.

Contact us right now to make an appointment for excellent NYC based treatment to help with misophonia.

Call today for a free 15min phone consultation 646-585-2251

Misophonia Coping Strategies

Misophonia Coping StrategiesAlthough there is currently no known cure for misophonia, there are various ideas and suggestions around on how to manage the condition. In some cases, these may reduce the distressing symptoms, and in others help those affected deal with the feelings and reactions which an attack triggers.

Keep Believing

Research, ask questions, do whatever it takes to understand that this is a real condition and not a hysterical reaction – which is something some will still mistakenly have you believe. This knowledge will help you teach your friends and colleagues about it too. If your physician doesn’t support you, switch them out for someone who does, and do the same with friends. You need to stay focused and positive to have a decent quality of life.

Make the Most of White/Background Noise

Misophonia Coping StrategiesVarious apps and CDs are available which play background noise intended to [hopefully] block the frequency of sounds which trigger an attack. This approach can be used when wearing headphones while out and about too. Some people find having the radio or TV on in the background provides the same relief.

Manage Stress

Breathing exercises, along with meditation, are fabulous stress busters. Ideally, have someone with experience teach you, although there are lots of online resources. Sleep at regular times and get enough of it. If you struggle to sleep, resting can also work. Avoid sugar, processed foods, caffeine and alcohol in excess quantities, indulging instead in fresh, colorful and tasty foods.

Carry Headphones or Earphones

Use resources like talking books, music, podcasts and the radio to create calm, joy and relaxation. Don’t be afraid to use them when you need to, though this may need to be explained or given permission for at work.

Create an Emergency Plan

Misophonia Coping StrategiesIf you are able to recognize triggers, and contain the resulting reactions for long enough to remove yourself, this will really help boost your confidence in managing misophonia. Having a fallback phrase which will let you exit the situation gracefully is a life saver. Use something like ‘Please excuse me, I must go to the restroom/get a drink of juice/get something from my desk’, or pretty much whatever works in your situation. Practice it enough to make it kick in automatically when you feel a meltdown approaching.

Living with misophonia isn’t always easy, but with these coping tips and techniques it can be managed.

Call us today and schedule a time to learn more about the best NYC based treatment for this condition.

Call today for a free 15min phone consultation 646-585-2251

Lifestyle Changes That Can Help with Misophonia

Lifestyle Changes That Can Help with MisophoniaAlthough misophonia cannot be actually cured, there are ways the condition can be effectively managed, so making some lifestyle changes is generally a productive path to take.

Different things seem to work better for different people, but the following are some of the most common lifestyle changes worth trying. [It helps to keep a record of what you are doing to avoid, combat or cope with triggers and symptoms, as this may well prove to be a valuable resource to monitor what is effective in your case.]

Reduce Stress Where Possible

This may mean changing the type of work you do, or at least reducing the hours you spend doing it. Basically, you need to identify your personal stress points and do something to change them.

Make Dietary Changes

Lifestyle Changes That Can Help with MisophoniaTry cutting back on sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Some people report following a gluten free diet improves their condition.

Pursue Relaxing Activities

Things like meditation are extremely useful for learning to harness and control feelings.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Misophonia can be more effectively managed when you are at maximum health, so make sure you are sleeping, eating and exercising, as well as penciling in time to do fun things.

Create a Sensory Lifestyle Plan

As misophonia has its roots in misfiring, or over sensitive, internal brain communications, the use of specific sensory exercises and activities can help to calm and organize the mind. Possible activities include swinging (or aerial yoga); swimming in a calm, peaceful environment; walking outside, especially near a beach or the countryside, lighting/watching a bonfire and kayaking. Simply choose those you like the sound of and give them a try.

Design a Coping Template

This basically means troubleshooting to develop a plan you can then simply put into place with minimum fuss. For example, if you use public transport, knowing which seats are easiest for you to cope with helps, and the same is true for restaurants and cinemas.

Open Up to People

Lifestyle Changes That Can Help with MisophoniaWhile there’s no need to share details of this condition with random strangers, it is important to build a network of family and friends who you can explain it to, and garner support from. It can be hard for some people to speak up about personal situations, but in most cases you will find the response is supportive and productive.

For an appointment to discuss NYC’s best misophonia treatment, contact us today and we will schedule one for you.

Call today for a free 15min phone consultation 646-585-2251

The Most Common Treatment Options for Misophonia

The Most Common Treatment Options for MisophoniaAs misophonia is a condition still in its early infancy, research wise, there is not the same range of treatment options for it as there are for some more widely recognized health problems. Consequently, people living with misophonia tend to be offered treatments which are either therapy focused, or have a strong self-management element to them.

Typical Therapy Based Treatments

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)

This approach calls on a mixture of sound therapy and education, including learning about the condition and how it works.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A specific talking therapy, this focuses on how you relate to the world and others, and how your actions are related to your feelings. The major emphasis is on coping with the current situation, rather than historical events.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis can be extremely effective at encouraging relaxation and calm, and it has the added advantage of enabling the patient to tap into these coping mechanisms, once rooted in the subconscious, as and when they are needed in the future.

Self-Management Solutions

Journaling

The Most Common Treatment Options for Misophonia

Recording thoughts, feelings, details of attacks, and the circumstances leading to triggers is a good way to provide a tangible history of the condition. Some people find it useful to look back and identify patterns for both good and bad days.

Making Choices

Part of living with misophonia is about taking control of the condition, and this may involve making choices about which events and gatherings you will attend, which can be managed by wearing headphones or avoiding notable trigger people, and which will be passed on, as avoiding over-exposure really helps you in the battle to take control of this condition.

Support Groups

These exist both on and offline, and there are definite advantages to joining one, or both types. It can be a huge relief to have the freedom to chat and share experiences of a condition with those who know exactly what you are talking about. Online support is especially useful as there are fewer time constraints, so it can be accessed pretty much 24/7.

The Most Common Treatment Options for MisophoniaAlthough the possible treatment options seem a little piecemeal they can be quite effective if used in the right combinations. It is important that a bespoke approach is used, so the ideas selected are chosen to suit the individual attitude, needs and circumstances of each person seeking help.

To learn more about treating this condition make an appointment now with the top misophonia specialist in NYC.

Call today for a free 15min phone consultation 646-585-2251

What is Misophonia?

What is MisophoniaMisophonia, (pronounced ‘miss-oh-phony-uh’), is a term used to describe a condition characterized by serious negative reactions to particular sounds.  This should not be mixed up with the natural aversion humans have to noises such as a low flying aircraft or a crying baby. Those with misophonia react to certain sounds with an extreme level of negative emotion, and often need to remove themselves from the trigger noise to cope.

Medical Skepticism

Misophonia wasn’t even recognized as a medical condition until the late 1990s, although there’s no doubt people have suffered from it for a lot longer. Since then, research has come on leaps and bounds, and current findings show misophonia is a neurological problem caused by a blurring of boundaries between emotions and sensitivity to sound. Consequently, certain noises, known as triggers, will cause extreme and over the top emotional reactions to what can be innocuous noises like biting into an apple or clicking a pen on and off.

Who is at Risk of Developing Misophonia?

Although it can occur at any age, it is more commonly first seen in children aged 9-13, and, for reasons as yet unknown, it affects more females than males.

Typical Symptoms

What is MisophoniaPeople with misophonia may experience mild or extreme symptoms of anxiety, fear, panic, rage, and, and in rare cases even feel suicidal or murderous when exposed to their personal sound triggers. They may cry, shout or scream.

Typical Consequences

Sufferers often withdraw, they may prefer to avoid social gatherings or situations which could trigger an attack, and as many people are affected by eating related triggers like chewing and swallowing, they may find it difficult to function as part of a regular household when it comes to meal times and parties.

Personal relationships can be difficult to form or maintain, especially as triggers often tend to be linked to those closest to the person with misophonia. School and work can also be difficult spaces for sufferers to navigate, causing many misophobes to underachieve, and making the need for more publicity on this condition and easily accessible support and treatments a priority.

What is MisophoniaDespite being relatively unknown less than two decades ago, the growing interest in misophonia, and the related knowledge banks being compiled, suggest at some point in the future much more about this still mysterious condition will be revealed, and more help will be made available for those who really need it.

Call today for a free 15min phone consultation 646-213-2321

Do You Have Misophonia?

Do You Have MisophoniaMost people will have moments where they feel irritated or angry by things like a neighbor’s loud music, someone mowing the yard early on a weekend morning, or a constant horn honking. And, if you have ever endured a meal eaten in near silence, the magnified sound of people chewing and swallowing can be pretty uncomfortable, but in the majority of cases such incidents are fleeting and quickly forgotten.

Someone with misophonia, however, will experience particular sounds, (known as ‘triggers’), in a different way. The noise itself, and sometimes even the anticipation of it, can lead to severe anxiety, withdrawal. fear, and loss of control resulting in shouting, screaming and even violence.

Typical Signs Suggesting You May Have Misophonia

It’s fairly likely that those with the most extreme symptoms will have an idea their reactions are not natural, but misophonia can also be much milder, or escalate over time to become life impairing, so figuring out you may have this condition early can only be a good thing.

A Dislike of Eating with Others

Do You Have MisophoniaSounds associated with food and drink are very common triggers amongst those with misophonia, so if you find yourself irritated by slurping, biting, chewing or lip smacking when people around you are eating to the point where you leave the area, or avoid such situations altogether, that’s a strong signal that you have a problem.

Sensitivity to Sounds Others Don’t Seem to Notice

Pretty much any sound can be a trigger with misophonia, so if quite common noises like sniffing, tapping fingers on a table, cracking joins or clicking a pen on and off only ever seem to bother you that’s another positive indicator.

Losing Control

Do You Have MisophoniaRegular noise sensitivity provokes irritation, but misophonia often makes people either lose their temper, cry, scream, and wail, or come very close to such reactions. People with this condition report feelings of terror, and the urge to make the sound stop – by whatever means necessary, or to run away from it. Identifying with any of these things suggests you could have the condition.

If you are still not sure if you may have misophonia, keep a daily record of any uncomfortable reactions to sounds, and if possible find out how those around you feel about them, so you can monitor what is happening.

Call today for a free 15min phone consultation 646-585-2251