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Cesar Melendez-Villegas, PsyD - Behavioral Health

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“We have a lot of resources here for people who struggle with anxiety.”

While growing up in Puerto Rico, Dr. Cesar Melendez-Villegas noticed the need for good behavioral health care. “There were a lot of people that I grew up with that struggled with many different issues, from substance abuse to depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, without proper treatment these struggles can affect your entire life.”

One of the techniques Dr. Melendez-Villegas uses to help people is cognitive behavioral therapy. “Studies have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy is highly effective, and sometimes even better than medication at treating people,” he explains. “It really works well for a variety of issues.” Dr. Melendez-Villegas has found that by practicing social and coping skills people can better manage their problems. “If people practice their skills to help them deal with something such as panic attacks, they will often be able to stop their medication and just rely on the skills they have gained. Even people who have a serious mental health disorder can benefit from the coping skills that therapy provides.”

In his work at Reliant Dr. Melendez-Villegas also uses acceptance and commitment therapy to help patients. “We have a lot of resources here for people who struggle with anxiety. People need to know that behind anxiety there is always fear,” he explains. “Fear and anxiety can become a constant cycle that cause people to self-isolate and become depressed. The more they self-isolate the more depressed they usually become – good psychotherapy can change that.”

Dr. Melendez-Villegas enjoys being part of a team at Reliant that allows him to work closely with primary care providers, nurses, and other clinicians in the care of patients. “Reliant is very cohesive and integrated in the way we care for behavioral health patients. It’s really makes a difference,” he explains.

In his spare time Dr. Melendez-Villegas likes going to the gym, running, reading, dining out, as well as spending time with his family.

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