Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Does doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy mean that I can’t discuss general life problems?

No, in fact CBT takes a problem-solving approach, and uses techniques that can be very useful in tackling general life problems.

How long will therapy last? What is the time commitment?

CBT is known to be a comparatively short-term treatment in terms of how quickly a person can see results. Although specific number of sessions varies between patients, the average is about 16 sessions.

How to decide if you should seek professional help?

In order to decide if you should seek professional help, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your mental health impacting your daily life?
  • Is your mental health getting in the way of your interpersonal life (i.e. your relationship with your family, significant other, friends, etc.)?
  • Is your mental health impacting your professional life?
  • Is your mental health causing you distress?

If you answered yes to most of those questions, it might be beneficial for you to seek professional help.

Some further questions to ask yourself to help in your decision are:

1. What is your anxiety level?  How long have you been there?

  • An effective way to check your anxiety level is the GAD-7.  If you score above a 10, then I would suggest you seek help from a mental health professional.  If, for six months, you’re in the almost anxious range and have been taking measures to reduce your anxiety – such as ones described in my book, Almost Anxious – and yet you continue to find yourself scoring at higher ends of spectrum on the quiz, I would recommend that you seek additional help.

2. What is your social support network suggesting?

  • Check with your support network – they, in some cases, have a clearer perspective and are able to identify when you are struggling.


If I am on medication, should I stop before starting Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

You should consult your primary care provider or psychiatrist before stopping starting or changing medications

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a blend of two therapies: cognitive therapy (CT) and behavioral therapy. CT was developed by psychotherapist Aaron Beck, M.D., in the 1960’s. CT focuses on a person’s thoughts and beliefs, and how they influence a person’s mood and actions, and aims to change a person’s thinking to be more adaptive and healthy. Behavioral therapy focuses on a person’s actions and aims to change unhealthy behavior patterns.

CBT helps a person focus on his or her current problems and how to solve them. Both patient and therapist need to be actively involved in this process. The therapist helps the patient learn how to identify distorted or unhelpful thinking patterns, recognize and change inaccurate beliefs, relate to others in more positive ways, and change behaviors accordingly.

CBT can be applied and adapted to treat many specific mental disorders.

What should I expect during my first therapy session?

The first therapy session will serve as an initial evaluation and interview, this may include assessments and questionnaires, as well as your past and present mental health concerns. The first session will also be psychoeducational, and explain a bit about how the therapy works.

Why choose Cognitive Behavioral Therapy versus other therapeutic approaches?

CBT has been empirically proven to be a successful short-term therapy for a variety of mental disorders.

Please limit your questions to be about general topics because Dr. Marques cannot provide clinical advice online.

Patient Testimonials

“I always tell everyone that Luana saved my life. I cant possibly recommend her highly enough. I had struggled with an acute panic and anxiety disorder for over two years. I worked very hard at trying to fix myself. I tried everything barring medication, REBT, psycho – analysis, hypnosis, homeopathy, meditation, but nothing clicked. It was to a point where i could barely leave my home. I was introduced to Luana through a YPO friend of my family. Luana immediately understood my situation and the constraints I was living with. She realized I wasn’t going to make it to her in Boston and decided to come out to India during her time off and help me through my problem. For me the results were nothing short of magical. In 4 days of working with her I was half way to being myself and by the time she left a week later I was nearly all back. This was 4 years ago. Since then I have helped solve a major business crisis, moved countries, married an amazing woman, followed my passion, started a new career and traveled all over the world. I cant give Luana all the credit :), but working with her was instrumental; a pivotal moment for me that helped me when I most needed it. Not everyone will be have the same sort of results in the same time frame as I did. But I have and always will recommend Luana for anyone who finds themselves having the challenging task of tackling tough mental health related issues. She is a great resource and one I value very much.”

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“I worked Dr. Marques in a personal and a couples settings. She was able to accommodate week long intensive sessions in India which made things much simpler for me logistically. Dr. Marques was able to help me to first understand and then fix deeply ingrained patterns that were irrational and counter-productive to my larger goals in life. I began with what I thought was an addiction and temper problem, and once we peeled away enough layers, it became apparent that the true problems were deeper and actually simpler and required me to relook at some of my basic assumptions and reactions. To that end, the CBT method is a powerful and science based method. It helps zero in on what is truly “broken” within your thinking and emotions and offers you the tools to build it back up. I also loved the fact that Dr. Marques and CBT has a holistic view of mental and physical wellness. It dovetailed perfectly with the meditation practice I began around the same time and helped me connect with what I defined as personal happiness. As I say to Dr .Marques – “you guys (CBT practioners) are the modern day scientific spiritual healers”.

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My one week CBT course with Dr Luana was nothing short of life changing. An intense week spent introspecting, unpacking my own habits and behaviour, coming to a deep understanding of why I do what I do. The experience was completely draining, but at the end of the week I felt lighter. I had come looking for the answer to a single question, and left with answers to many other hidden quagmires. More importantly, the week left me with vital tools to apply once I returned to my ‘normal life’. The results have shown in every aspect of my life, both personal and professional. I would advocate this course for anyone and everyone. Whether you have a nagging problem or not. This chance to remove the layers of habit building/patterns to expose who we truly are and what we truly want, is a gain for life.

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“I have been unable to fly short or long distances without a sedative as the experience of being in a flight aroused both panic and anxiety. This has been my condition for the last 18 years. I could have gone on like this for the rest of my life, but the dependency has made me feel like I had lost control of my life and my freedom. When I decided to do the CBT intensive exposure therapy with Dr. Marques I knew that it would not be easy. But the thought that maybe I could overcome my fear of flying and learn to handle anxiety and panic propelled me to undertake this exercise. I was diagnosed by Dr. Marques to have Claustrophobia. Dr. Marques taught me the skill of being “comfortably uncomfortable” and facing my fears and anxiety. I realized that there is no magic in handling panic but a rigorous practice of correcting one’s thinking and learning to identify the emotional and physical triggers that trigger the thoughts that feed panic and anxiety. Dr. Marques taught me how to prime my limbic brain so that it stops firing when the stimulus is a false alarm. This was a transformative experience.

Today I am flying short and long flights without any medication and though there may be some discomfort now and then I have learnt to cope and handle my thoughts and have a comfortable and often enjoyable flight. I still have some way to go to consolidate my wins, but I know for sure that there will be more wins as I keep working at it.

CBT has been a liberating and transformative experience and I would recommend it to all who seek to be free of panic and phobias.”

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“Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for your support and expert care over the past 18 months. I wanted to let you know how much your availability, expertise and ability to be both frank and compassionate helped us move forward as a family. On a personal level, I’m thankful to have added new cognitive behavioral strategies to my repertoire, finding they enable me to respond with greater discernment and wisdom. I feel more confident of my role within our family, understanding better how to communicate, listen and yet also hold my own within the dynamics of our unit. These are all things to be thankful for and I know they are a result of our willingness to all work hard under your tremendous guidance and support.”

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“Thank you again for your help and support with changing my life for the better in ways I didn’t think were possible. I can’t thank you enough for all you have done to help me work through my PTSD. You are an amazing person and Doctor. Thank you again for everything.”

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Almost Anxious


It is only human to worry about problems in our lives - but for some, obsessing for weeks and months, avoiding social events and situations due to feelings of panic can become a regular part of our lives. If any of these describe you or a loved one, then you or they may be almost anxious.
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