Got Clutter?

got clutter

Noah Clyman and his team at “NYC Cognitive Therapy” can help.
Think about the following 5 questions:
1. Because of clutter or number of possessions, do you have difficulty using the rooms in your home?
2. Do you have difficulty discarding (or recycling, selling, giving away) ordinary things that other people would get rid of?
3. Do you have a problem with collecting free things or buying more things than you can use or afford?
4. Do you experience emotional distress because of clutter, difficulty discarding, or problems with buying or acquiring things?
5. Do you experience impairment in your life (daily routine/job, school, social activities, family activities, or financial difficulties) because of clutter, difficulty discarding, or problems with buying or acquiring things?
If you answered “yes” to 2 or more of these 5 questions, you may have a problem that can be helped considerably with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).
What happens in therapy: Treatment is designed to educate clients about the diagnosis of hoarding disorder, to develop skills to address the problems, to address barriers and learn how to work with setbacks. You will learn the required skills for sorting and discarding and you will have opportunities within each session to practice these skills. Briefly, the skills and topics that will be covered during treatment include: assessment of hoarding symptoms and severity; understanding the nature of hoarding; developing a personal model of hoarding; setting goals; increasing motivation; reducing acquiring; improving decision-making; problem-solving; and organizing skills; practicing sorting and discarding; addressing unhelpful thoughts using cognitive strategies; managing barriers to progress; accessing support (e.g., through coaches); maintaining gains and preventing lapses; and wrapping up.
Understanding the psychology of the problem: Overcoming chronic clutter is often very difficult. Many people find it extremely helpful to have a support person or “coach” who can assist you with the process. Chronic clutter is not a single, simple problem, but consists of several interconnected problems. These usually include:
A. Excessive clutter. This is the most easily recognized symptom. Often the clutter becomes so overwhelming that the person has a hard time knowing where to start.
B. Problems organizing and making decisions: A person with excessive clutter may have difficulty thinking clearly and their clutter and what to do about it. They may have a hard time recognizing the difference between items that are useful vs. non-useful, valuable vs. non-valuable, or sentimental vs. non-sentimental. Therefore, to be on the safe side, they may treat all items as if they are useful, valuable, and sentimental. This leads to difficulty in deciding when it is time to throw something out.
C. Difficulty letting go of possessions: One of the most striking problems is difficulty letting go of and removing things—discarding, recycling, selling, and giving away items. This occurs even with items that seem to have little or no value. The amount of distress associated with removing clutter is often enormous.
D. A tendency to avoid or procrastinate: People with clutter problems often feel very overwhelmed by the sheer volume of clutter and the difficult task of decision-making. They may also feel depressed or nervous, which can add to a sense of fatigue and a tendency to avoid taking action. As a result, the person with clutter is often tempted to decide, “This is too big to tackle today. I’ll do it tomorrow.”
E. Difficulty resisting urges to acquire objects: For many people with clutter problems, the urge to acquire things can feel very strong, almost irresistible. Some people may feel a need to buy things; others may feel a need to pick up free things.
Not everyone with clutter has all of these problems. Every person and every clutter problem is a little bit different, but all involve strong emotional reactions to possessions, thoughts, and beliefs about saving things that may not seem rational to you, and behaviors that enable the problem to persist. As part of the treatment program, your therapist will carefully review these aspects of clutter and determine which problems are particularly troublesome. This is important, because the particular kinds of the problems you are facing will guide your therapist in deciding what interventions to use.
Want help? Ready to get started? Call today (347-470-8870) or email ( and ask for “help with clutter.”
Best, Noah
Noah Clyman, LCSW-R, ACT
Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT) Diplomate & Fellow
Certified Trainer/Consultant & Credentialing Committee Member
Clinical Director, NYC Cognitive Therapy
347-470-8870, x700
Fax: 347-470-8870

NEW: Behavioral Activation for Depression, and CBT-i for Insomnia

Brain x-ray with neurons

At NYC Cognitive Therapy, our staff are trained in two NEW and HIGHLY EFFECTIVE short-term treatments: Behavioral Activation for Depression and CBT-i for Insomnia.

To schedule an appointment, call 347-470-8870, or email us at


A powerful, empowering, and highy effective treatment for those suffering from major depression and other forms of depression. Behavioral Activation (BA) works by helping clients reengage in those aspects of their lives that bring the greatest meaning and pleasure.


BA is a proven and powerful behavioral approach that is often more effective in treating major depression than use of anti-depressant medications, and is one of the most powerful psychosocial treatments available today.


Ask your therapist about BA if you score mild, moderate, or severe on a depression inventory. Click here to find out Am I depressed?

To schedule an appointment, call 347-470-8870, or email us at



CBT-I is an effective treatment for chronic sleep problems. It is as effective as sleep medication in the short term and more reliable and durable than medications in the long term. CBT-I includes strategies to retrain the body to sleep, reduce factors interfering with sleep, and increase sleep drive to resume the body’s natural rhythms.


Evidence suggests insomnia is an important target in improving overall mental health. Improves sleep in 70-80% of patients.


Ask your therapist about CBT-I if you have been experiencing sleep problems for at least one month.

To schedule an appointment, call 347-470-8870, or email us at

Got Healthy Habits?


Often, we have the capability for a desired behavior -we can do (or keep ourselves from doing) a behavior if given optimal circumstances. But we can’t get it to happen reliably in all relevant contexts.

As therapists, when we see that a behavior isn’t reliably happening in all needed contexts, we default to assuming the problem is not enough motivation and intervene to strengthen motivation. Rather than rely solely on motivation, you can DESIGN and BUILD behavior change with scheduled baby steps.  I’ve been working to strengthen this core competency by playing with tiny habits and habit-stacking to support my own and my client’s behavior change.

If this is interesting to you, try a week-long experiment with tiny habits. BJ Fogg, a researcher at Stanford, gives away his method in a super helpful bite-by-bite way (and it’s free!).  You can go to this link and register for the next Tiny Habits Session 

In brief, a “Tiny Habit” is a behavior —

  • you do at least once a day
  • that takes you less than 30 seconds
  • that requires little effort

You use an already established anchor, something you already nearly always do, a well-established habit.  After I _[anchor]__, I will [tiny habit].

To get the hang of the tiny habit steps, I started with the easiest set I could think of (that still were important to me). For example:

After I start the coffee, I will:
1. drink a glass of water
2. take a vitamin
3. mindfully notice the present moment using all my senses

After 2 weeks, I’ve found that all the above are regularly happening and I am kind of smitten with how fun this is.

I also invite you to check out two exciting offerings that will be coming up (see below for details).  Space in both is limited, so definitely contact us NOW to get your spot.  Thanks!

–Noah Clyman, LCSW-R, ACT

TEAM therapy: Brief Intensive Preview Video! — Feeling Good

Register now! The San Francisco summer intensive is right around the corner!

via Brief Intensive Preview Video! — Feeling Good

Take a mental health screening tool


+changes in energy level and sleep patterns
+frequent thoughts of death or suicide
+loss of interest or pleasure in activities
+noticeable restlessness or irritability
+difficulties in concentration or decision making
+changes in appetite, eating habits, or weight
+feeling sad, empty, hopeless, worthless, or guilty

Click here to take a screening test. **If your score indicates positively for symptoms, the clinicians at our practice NYC Cognitive Therapy can help. Call today to schedule an appointment, (347-470-8870).

Mental Health Screening Tools Click here to take a screening test.

Taking a mental health screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are real, common and treatable. And recovery is possible.


Tests include:

Depression Test

Anxiety Test

Bipolar Test


Youth Test

Parent Test (for child)

Alcohol or Substance Use Test

Psychosis Test

Eating Disorder Test

Work Health Survey

**If your score indicates positively for symptoms, the clinicians at our practice NYC Cognitive Therapy can help. Call today to schedule an appointment, (347-470-8870).

*Tools are provided by



Noah Clyman, LCSW-R of NYC Cognitive Therapy has completed CBT-I training and demonstrated proficiency in the CBT-I program that was developed by Dr. Greg D. Jacobs and tested at Harvard Medical School. 


Over 50% of adults now complain of difficulty sleeping, half of these chronically. We now know that sleeping pills are not the solution to insomnia and that it is possible to successfully treat insomnia using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT has been endorsed by the National Institutes of Health as an effective and preferred method for treating insomnia.

Research on CBT shows the following:

* 75% of insomnia patients experience significantly improved sleep

* The majority become normal sleepers

* 85- 90% reduce or eliminate sleeping pills

* CBT is more effective than sleeping pills

Did you know? Sleeping pills fail to treat the causes of insomnia, which are thoughts and behaviors. By treating only insomnia’s symptoms, any improvement in sleep can only be temporary, thereby perpetuating the cycle of insomnia and sleeping pills. This cycle can become a trap that can lead to dependency. Many patients are aware of the drawbacks of sleeping pills and prefer non-drug approaches to managing insomnia but don’t know how to escape their reliance on sleeping pills. Even if the ideal sleeping pill were developed-one that had no side effects and that produced natural sleep-it would still reinforce the belief that the cure for insomnia comes from something external; and, it wouldn’t treat the causes of insomnia, which are thoughts and behaviors. So sleep may improve while taking a sleeping pill, but as the pill is stopped insomnia usually returns.

Did you know? The success of CBT is based on a central theme: insomnia can only be treated by addressing all of the underlying causes. In most instances, the causes of insomnia are thoughts (cognitions) and behaviors (habits) which are learned and can be unlearned. Some examples include:

*negative, distorted thoughts and beliefs about insomnia,

*feeling of loss of control over sleep,

*inadequate exercise or exposure to sunlight,

*going to bed too early or sleeping too late,

*trying to control sleep rather than letting it happen,

*lying awake in bed, frustrated and tense.

5 Sleep Behavioral Skills to DRAMATICALLY Improve Sleep

  1. Establish a regular arising time: To promote a regular arising time, pair it with a pleasurable activity: walk the dog, read the newspaper, exercise or take a morning walk, etc. By establishing a consistent arising time, you will fall asleep and stay asleep more easily, and sleep more deeply. This will improve sleep efficiency and make the bed a stronger cue for sleep.
  2. Establish a relaxing wind-down routine during the hour before bed (reading, “neutral” television, or a hobby as opposed to problem solving, computer work, finances, work-related activities, phone calls, “negative” tv). However, don’t become so sedentary during the wind-down period that drowsiness occurs. Use physical activity and light to ward off fatigue and drowsiness and don’t be a “couch potato.” Avoid computers the hour before bed and during the night since the light exposure may promote wakefulness.
  3. Break habits that make the bed a cue for wakefulness. Poor sleepers have often lain awake for so many nights that the bed and bedroom have become strong cues for sleeplessness! As a result, just getting into bed triggers a learned arousal response and wakefulness. In fact, it is not uncommon for insomniacs to find themselves falling asleep in front of the television in the living room, yet when they get into their bed to go to sleep, they become wide awake because the bed has become such a strong cue for wakefulness.
  4. Develop habits to associate the bed with drowsiness: Practice identifying the internal cues for drowsiness (eyelids dropping, head nodding, yawning, reading the same line in a book several times) rather than relying on external cues such as the clock, a bed partner’s bedtime or the end of the evening news.
  5. Follow the half hour-half hour rule. If patients don’t fall asleep within 20 or 30 minutes, or if they awaken during the night and don’t fall back asleep within 20-30 minutes, they should not lie in bed tossing and turning (since focusing on the clock only heightens anxiety about falling asleep, the 20-30 minute limit should be estimated). Instead, they can go into another room and engage in a quiet, relaxing activity such as watching television, reading a book, magazine, or catalog until drowsy, then attempt to go to sleep again.

7 Lifestyle Considerations to DRAMATICALLY Improve Sleep

  1. Alcohol: suppresses deep sleep and dream sleep and exacerbates snoring. Alcohol in the evening should be limited to two drinks and not after 7 pm.
  2. Caffeine: disrupts sleep because it produces stimulant effects (faster brain waves, heart rate, etc.) that can persist for up to eight hours in sensitive people. Caffeine should not be consumed after 3:00 pm; total daytime use should be limited to two cups.
  3. The Food-Sleep Connection: Those who desire to fall asleep more easily should eat a high carbohydrate snack and avoid high protein foods the hour or two before bedtime. Those who desire to minimize nighttime awakenings should eat a carbohydrate snack immediately before bedtime, which will increase serotonin levels during the night and help one stay asleep. Having a light carbohydrate snack before bedtime will also ensure that sleep isn’t disturbed due to hunger.
  4. Role of exercise: Moderate physical activity (lawn work, taking stairs instead of elevators, walking) and vigorous aerobic activity improve sleep by promoting greater rise and fall in body temperature that persists for up to five hours. This greater rise and fall in temperature can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. The beneficial effect of exercise is greatest when exercise occurs within three to six hours of bedtime. Try to engage in 20-30 minutes of physical activity at least every other day to improve sleep.
  5. Room temperature: A cooler room will improve sleep by producing a drop in body temperature. In constrast, a warm room will inhibit the drop in body temperature and impair sleep. (Have a spouse or bed partner use an extra blanket if they prefer a warmer room).
  6. Baths: A hot bath before bed will improve sleep. Must be kept hot for 25 minutes and should be taken about two hours before bedtime. (A great way to relax and a good substitute on days when you can’t exercise).
  7. Noise: White noise (the sound of a fan, air conditioner, or commercial white noise machine) masks noise, is relaxing to the brain, and can make it easier to fall and stay asleep.


Techniques taught in CBT include:

* changing sleep thoughts and behaviors

* lifestyle habits that improve sleep

* relaxation techniques


* individuals with problems falling asleep or waking during the night

* individuals who wish to reduce or eliminate sleep medications

To Get Started Using Powerful CBT Methods to Conquer Your Insomnia, Call us at 347-470-8870, email, or visit our website, NYC Cognitive Therapy. 


Free training: Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Recidivism with Court-Involved Youth

Please register now for this new Court-Involved Youth Initiative training:  


Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Recidivism with Court-Involved Youth

** This is a two day training; participants must be able to commit to attending both sessions. **

When:  April 18 and 28, 2017 | 9:00am – 4:00pm | Doors open at 8:30am

Where: 123 William Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10038

Cost:     Free

Register online now, to reserve your seat >> 


Information for Social Workers:

This course is approved for 12 social work CE hours. Participants must arrive on time and stay for the full workshop in order to receive full credit. No credit will be provided for partial attendance. All participants must submit an evaluation and document their attendance via the Social Work CE sign-in and sign-out roster in order to receive full credit.



As the name suggests, Cognitive Therapy (CT) focuses on the way people think (“cognition”). The concept behind CT is that our thoughts about a situation affect how we feel (emotionally and physically) and how we behave in that situation. When people are in distress, the way in which they process information may become distorted, which – if uncorrected – may also lead to dysfunctional behaviors.
CT is a well-researched and evidence-based form of therapy. It has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of psychiatric disorders and psychological problems in more than one thousand studies. In contrast to other forms of psychotherapy, cognitive therapy is focused on the present, practical and problem-solving oriented. Clients learn specific skills that they can use for the rest of their lives, including: identifying, distorted thinking, modifying beliefs, relating to others in different ways, and changing behaviors.

In this experiential workshop, licensed social workers with 1-2 yearas of CT clinical experience or clinicians new to the tools and techniques of CT will learn how to use a cognitive formulation to conceptualize a client’s “stuck” points in therapy; learn how to implement behavioral experiments & action plans in session; and learn a powerful tool for conquering indecision, avoidance, and fear.

Specifically, participants will:

  • Learn the theory undergirding the design of the Cognitive Conceptualization Diagram (CCD) and pinpoint the therapy-interference (intermediate beliefs & safety-seeking behaviors).
  • View demonstrations of how the CCD is used in a therapeutic/clinical setting to help clients uncover their intermediate beliefs and safety-seeking behaviors.
  • Customize behavioral experiments towards ethical/assertive behavior facilitated by the Color-Coded Symptoms Hierarchy (CCSH), and Action Plans
  • Practice using all techniques in roleplay scenarios with other participants
  • Use the Consensual Role-Play (CRP): a decision making exercise for overcoming ambivalence, indecision, and building motivation.

Workshop Leader:
Noah Clyman, LCSW-R, ACT 
is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, certified in cognitive therapy by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Noah is the first clinical social worker in the state of New York to become an Academy-certified Trainer Consultant. He is in the Academy’s Membership Committee and the Credentialing Committee, evaluating the work samples of therapists applying for certification in CBT. In November 2012, he founded NYC Cognitive Therapy, the first CBT center that places particular emphasis on diversity, serving populations such as the LGBTQ community, and those living with HIV/AIDS. Noah’s mission is to make quality, culturally-competent CBT available to the public. The Center offers individual, couples, and group therapy, and has a sliding scale to make therapy affordable. Along with providing psychotherapy, Noah enjoys teaching clinicians the art of CBT. He has lectured about CBT at the graduate level for major universities around the country, including Boston University and Columbia University. Noah also provides weekly, individualized clinical supervision and case consultation for clinicians of all backgrounds and skill levels. He helps clinicians prepare to become ACT-certified including detailed written and verbal feedback on their case write-ups and audio work samples.


This workshop is suitable for clinicians of all ages in the NY area who have a master’s degree in social work, or related field. Some basic knowledge of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is strongly encouraged.

Register online at:

Important Notice: The Coalition for Behavioral Health SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0098.

For questions about CE credits please contact: 

Bradley Jacobs

Director of the Center for Rehabilitation & Recovery

The Coalition for Behavioral Health

123 William St.,19th Fl.| NY, NY 10038

For any questions please contact:

Teyana Reed 

Training & Special Projects Coordinator