Category: In the Loop

5 Couples Therapy Techniques You Can Do at Home

Connection is the most important part of any intimate relationship, however, it is usually the part that is most neglected.  If your connection to your partner isn’t fueled, the fire can go out.  When the relationship was new the connection got fed by the excitement, the hormones and the unlimited possibilities.  Then, life happened and things got in the way and before you knew it, the connection began to get weak. The good news is that you can awaken and energize your connection and have some fun while doing it. Below are 5 couple’s therapy techniques you and your partner can do at home: 1. Teach Something New to Each Other. Think of something you are good at that your partner has little or no experience in.  Maybe you are a great cook or you’re good at archery or you can juggle.  Whatever it is both of you will agree to set aside time and teach each other.  Make sure to have patience and make it fun. Why? One of the fuels for connection is seeing our partner through new and different eyes.  Allowing your partner to be an authority on something and becoming the student can bring about a… Read more »

What You Need To Know About Anxiety

anxiety

If you want to control your anxiety, you first have to understand what it is and what it does to you. Symptoms of anxiety can include feeling tense, having a rapid heart rate, increased breathing, sweating, racing thoughts, trembling, digestive issues, and muscle twitching.  While the physiological symptoms are the most noticeable, they aren’t causing the cause of anxiety, but rather the effect that anxiety causes on your body. Understanding the Basis Anxiety is caused by a rush of adrenaline. A very basic and easy to understand example occurred thousands of years ago, when humanity was no more than a hunter-gatherer society. At that point in human history, we were not the top of the food chain, and therefore were in real danger when certain animals came near. Let’s say as a prehistoric human you saw a pack of saber-toothed tigers. You would realize the clear and present danger that you are in, and your body would naturally responds to this danger by producing adrenaline. Without that adrenaline, you would not be able to go into fight or flight mode, and would not be able to save yourself from the tigers. That adrenaline would cause a primitive form of anxiety…. Read more »

How To Cope With A Spouse Or Partner’s Depression

Depression can be a debilitating disease, and when it begins to affect a marriage or relationship it can sometime cause irreparable damage.  It’s estimated that 16 million adults in our country have experienced at least one major depressive episode.  If you feel your partner or spouse may be experiencing depression it’s important that you take action. Where Do I Start? The first step is for you to learn about depression. Chances are that your partner or spouse may not even know that he/she is depressed. Depression can show itself slowly, with more than just feelings of sadness. Symptoms of depression can include; feelings of guilt, loss of pleasure, lack of interest, irritability, changes in sleeping or eating habits, feelings of sadness, self-blame, anger, feelings of being punished, frustration, difficulty concentrating, lack of self-care, isolation, and even thoughts of suicide. If your partner or spouse is experiencing even just a few of these symptoms, it’s time for a supportive and heartfelt conversation. Lovingly let your partner know about the behavior changes you have noticed and that you are aware that it’s not his/her fault.  Acknowledge the pain that your partner or spouse may be feeling and that nobody chooses to be… Read more »

What to Look for When Finding the Right Couples Therapist

Statistically, couples seek out therapy on average 7 later than they should have.  While that may sound daunting, it is never too late to save your relationship – if that is what the both of you want.  As with individual therapy, finding the right couples therapist is key.  Here are some guidelines to help you do just that: -You are not looking for somebody to have coffee with so whether or not your therapist is nice has nothing to do with it. By the end of your first session, you should feel like your therapist has a grasp on the problems, has a method to help you solve your problems and that both of you feel comfortable working with him or her. -Couples therapy is very different from individual therapy and specialized training is required. While most therapists will tell you that they work with couples, ask your therapist what specific training he or she has received.  In addition, you don’t want a therapist who practices one specific type of couple’s therapy, you want one with an eclectic therapeutic background.  All couples are different and do not all require that same therapeutic approach. -Couples go into therapy for different reasons…. Read more »

9 Signs Your Child May Need to See a Psychotherapist

Just like adults, children can experience occasional problems and difficulties as they navigate their way through life.  Among the tasks of childhood is to grow and mature, to establish a personal identity, to learn how to relate to others and to learn how to react to things they may encounter out in the world – it’s a pretty tall order.  It is normal for children who are dealing with all of this to experience emotional highs and lows as well as feelings of anger and sadness. However there are occasions where life’s pressures become too much for a child to handle and a parent may need to seek out professional help for child psychotherapy.  Because children have a difficult time understanding and expressing their emotions, changes in behavior are usually the best indication that something may be wrong.  These changes may include: Increased worry or sadness:  If sadness or worry is interfering with your child’s ability to function at school or socially, this may be a sign of something  more serious. Isolation: If your child is someone that is usually social and he or she begins to isolate, explore with him if it is situational with a certain group of… Read more »

HOW A GENDER SPECIALIST CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR TRANSITION

Imagine if you went to a restaurant and ordered a burger from the menu and the chef came out from the kitchen and asked you to teach him how to make that burger. He goes on to say that he knows there is beef involved but that’s about it. Chances are you would find someplace else to eat – or in the very least get something else to eat! If your Ferrari needed a tune up, would you take it to the same place that you would take your lawn mower? If you said “yes”, than you either have a poorly running Ferrari or a lawn mower that can take down the neighborhood. As you can see, areas of specialty require a specialist. When choosing a therapist, you may find one that’s a great clinician but if he or she doesn’t specialize in gender related issues, chances are some things may be missed. Here’s How a Gender Specialist Can Help You with Your Transition: A gender specialist spends a lot of time working with the transgender community. Because of this, they understand the many different types of gender expression. You will never be forced into a binary box and you… Read more »

What is a Session with a Gender Specialist Like?

Transgender? Gender non-conforming? Gender fluid? Non-binary?  What’s the difference?  Is there a difference?  Well, to a traditional therapist, these terms may seem foreign or interchangeable but to a gender specialist these terms are not only familiar but are important aspects of your identity. What is a Gender Specialist? A gender specialist is a psychotherapist with specific training in gender identity.  With a gender specialist, you will be completely supported in where you are in your life now and in where you want to go regarding your gender identity.  In addition, a gender specialist utilizes a gender affirmative treatment model, meaning you will be validated and supported in finding your authentic gender identity and gender expression. For clients where transition is an option to explore, a gender identity specialist will work within the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) ethical guidelines, providing the support you need in order to move forward in your journey.  And, although not all clients choose or need medical intervention, all clients will be helped in figuring out their own unique path. What is a Session like? So what’s a session like?  Well it begins like any other session where the client and the therapist get to know… Read more »

Keeping Secrets from Your Therapist

So, you’ve decided to go to therapy, you’ve chosen a therapist and as the sessions are moving on you discover that you are keeping some secrets from your therapist – which is never a good idea. Let’s say you took a big fall and now your arm is hurting.  You know it hurts when you move it and wiggle your fingers.  Your arm is not starting to turn different shades of blue and it is beginning to swell.  So, you go to the emergency room and you explain what happened.  The physician is probably going to ask some questions, ask you to wiggle your fingers and then order an x-ray to find out exactly what’s going on in there. Stay Truthful to Your Therapist Your therapist does not have the benefit of an x-ray machine.  In other words, if you withhold important information you are not going to get the correct or appropriate treatment.  If you tell your therapist you are depressed, your therapist will use specific types of therapy to help you.  But, if you are depressed because you’ve begun drinking again but withhold that piece of information, the therapy you get will not address the problem and you… Read more »

The Different Sex Addiction Therapy Options and How They Work

Once you have determined that you or someone you love has a sex addiction, or out of control sexual behavior, leaving it untreated is as harmful as leaving any other addiction or out of control behavior untreated. In treating any addiction, or out of control behavior, there are many different therapies commonly used and it is important to review them to choose the best option. Oftentimes a combination of two or more options is the most helpful since the goal is not abstinence but rather it is developing healthy sexual practices. Individual Therapy Many people seek out Individual Therapy to deal with sexual addiction or out of control sexual behavior. The benefits of individual therapy is that the underlying issues causing the unwanted behavior can be identified and addressed. Once the contributing factors are addressed, managing the triggers becomes easier. However, the downside is that it may take time to address the issues and there is no daily assistance in managing triggers or peer input on behaviors. In-Patient Treatment Some people opt for In-Patient Treatment allowing for a more concentrated treatment in a controlled environment, eliminating opportunities to engage in addictive or out of control behavior. In-patient treatment usually utilizes… Read more »

7 WAYS TO BEAT THE HOLIDAY BLUES

By Susan Menahem Stockings are not the only things that will be filled this holiday season — so will most therapist’s waiting rooms. The truth is that many people have difficulties during the holidays. To beat the holiday blues, keep these seven things in mind: TRADITIONS are wonderful, but they usually change as our lives do. Be open to creating new traditions, either for yourself or with other people. What makes traditions special is the meaning that we attribute to them. Even a new tradition can be special and meaningful if we decide that it is. EXPECTATIONS around the holidays will only lead to trouble and hurt feelings. Rarely is an expectation grounded in reality, and having expectations does not leave room for circumstances to change. Lastly, expectations block us from being able to appreciate whatever does occur. Rather than having expectations, we need to allow our mind to become a blank mental canvas, open to whatever unfolds. SELF PITY only creates more sadness. So your life may have taken a twist and a turn and it is not how you want it to be right now. Accept that you are in a transition and things won’t always be this way…. Read more »