Psychotherapy Articles

6 Common Obstacles in Couples Therapy

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

6 Common Obstacles in Couples TherapyCouples therapy can help couples improve their relationship in many ways. For instance, it helps couples resolve conflict, learn how to communicate effectively, better understand each other, enhance their emotional connection and strengthen their bond.

Naturally, couples may face obstacles in therapy that stall their progress. They may have inaccurate assumptions about how therapy works, which can keep them stuck. Or they may delay seeing a therapist in the first place, which only deepens their problems.

We asked two relationship experts to share the most common obstacles along with what couples can do to overcome them.

Overcoming Family Assumptions

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Overcoming Family AssumptionsHave you ever wanted to be in a relationship but felt frustrated because no matter how hard you tried, disappointment or bad results developed?

As an example, let’s follow Joey through a few years of her life, starting from when she first entered college.

Joey was a reflective, serious, and caring young woman. She had a handful of friends whom she dearly appreciated. They had common interests, shared activities, and were available when any of them asked.

As the college years unfolded, Joey wanted to be in a relationship, similar to the ones she observed her friends starting.

How to Find a Therapist You Love

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

How to Find a Therapist You LoveWhen I was struggling with my eating disorder, I’d have particularly awful days. Often, it involved me crying into my carpet and wishing I didn’t exist. In those moments, when life was heavy and pressing, I was willing to reach out for help, but I didn’t know where to begin.

My eating disorder was a shameful secret, so naturally I didn’t want to elaborate to the random secretary who answered the phone. I did leave an awkward message or two on a voicemail.

3 More Obstacles in Therapy and How to Overcome Them

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Talk the Talk: 10 Tips for Starting TherapyLast month, in this piece, psychologist Ryan Howes, Ph.D, shared three top obstacles in therapy: feeling shame for having problems and needing to go to therapy in the first place; not knowing how therapy works; and having to trust a total stranger with our innermost thoughts and feelings.

This month we asked Joyce Marter, LCPC, a psychotherapist who pens the Psych Central blog “Psychology of Success,” to share three additional obstacles in therapy and how to overcome them.

5 Sneaky Signs of Depression You May Be Overlooking

Monday, November 24th, 2014

depression symptoms

Things have changed a lot in the past 30 years when it comes to our ideas about depression. In the 1980s and even the 1990s, people often still saw it as a moral weakness, a sign of being “crazy,” or as something to be dismissed completely.

Today most people not only know someone who has struggled openly with depression, but they can probably also rattle off a handful of symptoms just from watching the many depression medication television commercials that dominate the airwaves. The voiceover asks “Are you always sad and tearful? Have you lost interest in things you used to enjoy? If so, ask your doctor about this medication.”

Overcoming 3 Common Obstacles in Therapy

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Overcoming 3 Common Obstacles in TherapyIf you’re new to therapy, you may not know what to expect. To help you make the most of the process, we asked seasoned clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, Ph.D, to share the three biggest obstacles in therapy along with how to overcome each one.

How Mindful Analogies Can Help Kids in Therapy

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Kids in TherapySchool-aged children (6 to 11 years) often wonder why they are sitting in your office for therapy. Many thoughts and emotions are associated with coming to a mental health provider’s office, including curiosity, anxiety and even fear. In order to help kids deal with whatever may be bringing them to therapy, it’s important that they understand why they may need such a service.

Kids are most receptive to messages that are age-appropriate and stated in ways that they can make sense of and understand. For elementary school-aged children, a mindful analogy is often an excellent tool to employ. Analogies help children make sense of concepts that often aren’t easily explained.

10 Introductory Questions Therapists Commonly Ask

Friday, October 24th, 2014

10 Introductory Questions Therapists Commonly AskTherapy is about the fine art of asking directive questions. So what should you expect from your first appointment with a counselor, social worker or psychologist?

The answer is simple: You should expect easy, brain-expanding questions, questions and more questions. A “change map” (often called “treatment goals”) is then created to guide you in solving the problems that are currently plaguing you.

Here are 10 of the more typical questions a psychotherapist will ask to prime your mental pump for positive change during the counseling process. Following the question is an example of what it might sound like.

Reasons for Living: World Mental Health Day

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Reasons for LivingReasons for living never come cheap
Even your best ones can put me to sleep
What I am saying, or trying to say
Is that there must be a better way

~ Duncan Sheik

I have bipolar II disorder, which means the depressive side is far more prominent than the manic one.

Recently, when I mentioned my suicidal ideation to my psychiatrist, he challenged me to come up with five reasons to live, write them down and put them where I could see them.

Mental Health & Happiness: World Mental Health Day

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Mental Health & Happiness: World Mental Health DayOctober 10 is World Mental Health Day and the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the 2014 focus to be schizophrenia. The people at the William Glasser Institute – US (WGI-US) took to heart Dr. Glasser’s mandate that society treat mental health as a public health issue. When we do that, the focus is on prevention and mental health rather than treatment, psychopharmacology and mental illness.

Most people understand the steps they can implement to improve their physical health. WGI-US is geared toward helping people understand the habits they can develop that will improve their mental health. So on October 10, while other organizations are focusing their efforts on raising awareness for mental illness, WGI-US will be providing 24-hour programming on prevention, mental health, resilience and happiness.

7 Ways Smartphones Can Harm Your Relationship

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

7 Ways Smartphones Can Harm Your Relationship“We were texting back and forth about a project we were working on together. Gradually, the texts became a little more familiar. Over time we started sharing more, and … I guess you could say I’m involved in an emotional affair. I want to stay married, but I feel like I love this other person.”

I have heard some version of this explanation several times over the last year alone. In just the last few months, 80 percent of my new couples cases in therapy have centered on emotional affairs perpetuated through electronic communications. In every instance, a smartphone facilitated more frequent and ongoing connection than a traditional computer or laptop.

When Your Child Doesn’t Want to Go to Therapy (But Needs To)

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

When Your Child Doesn’t Want to Go to Therapy (But Needs To)Going to therapy is hard enough for adults. Stigma stops many of us from picking up the phone and making an appointment. Plus, therapy is hard work. It often requires revealing our vulnerabilities, delving into difficult challenges, changing unhealthy patterns of behavior and learning new skills.

So it’s not surprising that kids might not want to go either. This resistance only escalates when they misunderstand how therapy works. “Many children are afraid or nervous to go to therapy, especially if they have the belief that they are in trouble or because they are ‘bad,’” said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist.

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