Individual Counseling For Behavioral Health
Traditional therapy services is offered at this practice. We place emphasis on your overall Behavioral Health, which means in therapy we will focus on the habits and behaviors that you do in your daily life, and the way you think about things, both of which can contribute to the intensity of your felt emotions and to decreased physical and/or emotional health, as well as significantly make or break your interpersonal relationships. You may be unaware just how much your daily/routine behaviors, and your habitual perspective on life, impacts your overall health and wellness.
HOW THERAPY WILL ASSIST YOU IN IMPROVING YOUR PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL HEALTH
In therapy, your treating provider will assist you in modifying some of those behaviors and thoughts that have become engrained patterns, as well as learn how to access emotions that need to be worked through in order to become “unstuck.” Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the specialty practice of using both cognitive science and behavioral learning principles to effectively treat psychological symptoms (i.e., panic attacks or nightmares) and physical manifestations of symptoms (i.e., stress induced headaches or lack of appetite). Therapy includes behavior modification and skills training in order to address stress, sleep difficulties, weight management, diabetes management, tobacco cessation, goal setting when motivation is low, medication adherence, grief/loss, general anxiety/depression, or you may have a desire to change careers or to improve your relationships. Improving your daily habits and behaviors is very important in the prevention of chronic illness and physical health problems such as insomnia, obesity, Diabetes Mellitus (DM), hypertension, IBS, headaches, chronic pain, and more. Below are some examples of different areas that may be your desired focus for therapy.
Read Dr. Lucia’s blog THE WORRY MONSTER: GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER.
Anxiety tends to be a common response to the stressors of daily life. Anxiety can serve a useful purpose at times, such as propelling you into action in the face of life events. However, anxiety can cross a line when it is no longer growth producing but instead immobilizing. Anxiety can impact appetite, sleep, mood, daily functioning, and life enjoyment. An estimated 31.1% of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives.
Therapy for general anxiety involves providing education on common anxiety symptoms and what tends to cause anxiety. You will learn the many ways that anxiety can impact your mental health and physical health. Anxiety has likely been part of your life for a long time. You have probably noticed that over time your anxiety has spread like an infection, in that it may feel out of your control and it is now interrupting more areas of your life than it did in the past. There is hope, because you can take control of your anxiety, instead of your anxiety controlling you!
In therapy, your treating provider will assess the duration, frequency, and severity of your anxiety symptoms. The recommended approach for treating general anxiety is using a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach. In addition to providing education about anxiety, therapy will also include learning techniques to challenge unhelpful and extreme thoughts, breathing retraining to decrease arousal, building healthy coping skills and problem solving strategies, and learning how to take care of your body so that your physical health is not impacted.
A traumatic experience may include, but is certainly not limited to, a traumatic car accident, natural disaster or mass violence (active shooter), sexual assault, domestic violence, military related trauma (combat or non-combat related), and more. You may have directly experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, or learned that a traumatic event occurred to a close friend or loved one. Common symptoms of trauma may include hyper-vigilance, feeling on-edge and irritable, anger, sadness, guilt or shame, feeling fearful and scared, helplessness, having nightmares or bizarre dreams, recurring thoughts or images of trauma, avoiding thoughts/places/events that serve as reminders of trauma, decreased intimacy with partner/friends, desire to isolate, lacking trust in others, not feeling safe in the world, and/or problems with focus and concentration.
Therapy will involve a Cognitive Behavioral approach. Your treating provider will assess your coping skills and make sure that before trauma discussion occurs, you have healthy ways to cope with traumatic memories (i.e., increasing support network or starting exercise routine). You will be assisted in replacing unhealthy forms of coping (i.e., increased alcohol use, smoking, emotional eating) with healthier and more adaptive forms of coping. You will be guided in approaching thoughts and feelings that you tend to avoid as related to your trauma. Your treating provider will assess the duration, frequency, and severity of your symptoms, and determine if it is warranted to implement Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). CPT is an evidenced-based manualized treatment protocol for trauma.
Certain sleep behaviors can contribute to insomnia, and sleep deprivation can impact daily mood, work performance, and motivation. Therapy will involve Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, teaching you new skills to reset your sleep cycle and learn healthy sleep behaviors so that your mind and body start to associate the bed and nighttime hours with sleep as opposed to alertness.
The prevalence of obesity affects over 93 million of the U.S. population. Obesity primarily results from a combination of behaviors and genetics. Eating habits and behaviors around meal time, dietary patterns, and inactivity can contribute to weight gain and lead to obesity. Consequences to physical health can included Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high LDL cholesterol, coronary heart disease, joint pain, and mental illness such as depression.
Therapy will involve setting specific behavioral goals for exercise, diet change, and weight loss, as well as learning new behavioral strategies around meal times. Sometimes emotions can be intimately paired with food; in this case therapy will also address emotional eating and how to cope with emotions in a more productive manner.
DIABETES MELLITUS (DM)
DM affects over 29 million people of the U.S. population. DM is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower limb amputations, blindness, and a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Perhaps you are diagnosed with DM and you continue to have elevated A1C levels, a test that is used to gauge how well you are managing your diabetes regime.
Therapy will involve learning how to make necessary lifestyle changes as related to monitoring blood sugar, changing eating habits and food choices, setting behavioral goals for exercise, medication adherence, and also will include examining your thoughts and beliefs that may be impacting your ability to successfully manage your Diabetes.
Stress can result in chronic worry thoughts and rumination about daily events. Stress can also result in physical symptoms, such as headaches, teeth grinding at night, muscle tension, and stomach/GI upset (i.e., IBS). Prolonged and unmanaged stress can lead to increased heart rate, shortness of breath, and tightness in your chest, otherwise known as a panic attack. Maybe at some point you presented to the ER thinking you were having a heart attack or you talked to your physician about wanting an EKG and cardiac monitoring. Symptoms of panic are often associated with stress and general anxiety.
Therapy will involve learning the early warning signs of stress (emotional, behavioral, and physical). You will learn skills to challenge upsetting thinking that results in chronic worry, learn relaxation skills in order to control breathing and reduce muscle tension, as well as receive assistance in setting specific behavioral goals for increased valued activities, exercise, proper nutrition, and adherence to sleep routine.
To learn more and get started with traditional therapy services to improve your behavioral health, please contact us today, we would love to hear from you!