Psychotherapy, or what is often referred to as “talk therapy”, is a field of medical practice where a licensed professional – a counselor, psychologist, or social worker – uses a number of methods to help a person tackle a broad variety of mental illnesses and psychiatric disorders. It is very effective in assisting clients in better understanding their own thoughts, feelings, moods, and behaviors and finding solutions to improve those, if desired. There are many conditions that can be helped with psychotherapy, including the following:
Sexual Abuse and Assault – Sexual abuse and/or assault is defined as any sexual activity that occurs that you do not agree to. This includes, but is not limited to, rape, inappropriate touching, kissing, molestation, fondling, vaginal, oral, or anal penetration of any kind, and anything else that makes you feel uncomfortable in any way. Never feel ashamed to admit that you have been a victim of unwelcomed sexual abuse and/or assault. It can be committed by a complete stranger, or it can happen with someone that you know very well. This doesn’t make it any more or less easy to deal with, and speaking with a professional is the first step on the road to recovery.
Trauma – There are several different types of shocking and painful situations that are beyond our control but can have the potential of causing negative effects on our psychological stability if left ignored and unchecked. This trauma can come in the form of an unexpected illness or death of a friend or family member, experiencing a violent or unexplainable act, loss of personal property, suffering a great disappointment, or a number of other scenarios that play out in our day to day lives. If you have found yourself in an overwhelming position, your first step should always be to speak to someone who can assist you in making better sense of the bigger picture. Therapy is a great answer.
Relationship Problems – No matter what age, we all face relationship issues all throughout our entire lives. New relationships present new challenges, and established relationships develop even more complex and deeper issues. Whether we are talking about familial issues between siblings, parents and children, extended families, or blended families, or if we are discussing relationship squabbles between married couples or singles who may be simply dating, there will always be hurdles to climb when it comes to relating to one another. A trusted counselor or therapist can be the unbiased mediator that brings a fresh outlook to a sensitive situation.
Interpersonal Skills – Every one of us is expected to interact with others on a professional and friendly level each day to achieve goals, whether that may be to forward our careers or to make new friends. Our interpersonal skills, or how we carry out those behaviors to effectively make those interactions successful, will determine how far we get in our lives. Sometimes it only takes the gentle guidance of a skilled counselor to adjust our approach in a few areas to change the outcome that we have been receiving.
Schizophrenia – When a person has been diagnosed with a long-term mental disorder such as schizophrenia, it can be a very scary process. Understanding how to cope with a disorder that causes you to perceive reality differently than others and interpret things abnormally requires a very detailed and consistent approach to treatment by a licensed a caring team of professionals. The hallucinations, delusions, and fractured thinking that often come with this mental disorder can often impair daily functions and become disabling.
Bipolar Disorder – Manic-depressive illness, or bi-polar disorder, can cause very unusual and unpredictable shifts in mood, emotions, energy, and activity levels. Characterized by the manic (happy) or depressive (irritable) episodes, this serious mental disorder has symptoms that have been highly improved through consistent and thorough medication and psychotherapy treatments.
Depression – Many people wonder if they are actually depressed, or if they are “just sad?” The definition of clinical depression as a mental health disorder is being in a persistently depressed mood or having a complete loss of interest in usual activities, to the point where it is impairing the way that you feel, think, and behave. When your depression is affecting your daily life, you know that you should be speaking to a counselor or therapist about your feelings to be sure that you have a hold on them and they haven’t gotten out of your control.
Anxiety – Feelings of impending doom, nervousness, fear, or worry about things to come are classified as anxiety. Although we all experience these feelings at some point in our lives, extreme stress brought on by anxiety is unhealthy and can be helped. Meditation and therapy have proven to lessen the increased heart rate, sweaty palms, racing thoughts, and even insomnia that this disorder can bring on.
Grief/Loss – Losing a loved one, experiencing a divorce, losing a job, or even becoming homeless are all ways that we experience grief and loss in our lives. There are many other ways that we can feel grief and loss, and having a knowledgeable medical professional guide you through the steps of grief will better help you understand what you are going through in your own experience. The process is a difficult one, but simply understanding it can be very helpful to your healing.
Behavior and Impulse Control Disorders – There are many ways that we deal with our feelings and emotions outwardly by acting in ways that may seem strange to others, such as over-cleaning, impulsively stealing from shopping malls, or starving ourselves. The originating thought process that created the action that resulted from the thought must be discovered, explored, and dissected, in order for you to fully understand where behavior and impulse control disorders like anorexia nervosa, obsessive compulsive disorder, or kleptomania come from, for example.
Memory and the Brain – The amygdala, hippocampus, cerebellum, and the prefrontal cortex are the sections of our brain that are involved with the memory process. We know that the amygdala is the part of the brain most involved with fear and memories involved with fear, and the hippocampus is involved with episodic and recognition memory. The cerebellum controls the procedural memories, and the prefrontal cortex is involved in semantic tasks. Through this knowledge, we can use therapy to actively use, create and manipulate our memories to positively affect our lives for the future.
Cultural Diversity Related Issues – The current political atmosphere can cause a lot of people to feel discouraged, stressful, or worried about the status of the world. Minorities are concerned about raising children in a climate where they are unsure of the safety of the police who are supposed to be there to protect them. People who are not minorities are confused as to how to help the situation, and they don’t want to be lumped in with other people who have a negative racial outlook. Creating a safe environment and social situations where people can come together and speak on cultural diversity without fear of judgment or hatred improves the mental health of all involved.
Biofeedback Therapy - therapy allows you to gain more control of bodily functions such as heart rate, skin temperature, and blood pressure. Traditionally these bodily functions are considered involuntary actions. As an example, you do not think about increasing your heart rate when you exercise, your heart rate increases as a result of the stress you are placing on your body. Our biofeedback therapy will allow you to take more control of these bodily functions in an effort to reduce migraine headaches, chronic pain, and even high blood pressure.