Parenting is definitely rewarding and filled with lots of positives but parenting can also be one of the most difficult and time-consuming things in your life. Besides caring for an infant or child, parents are also the main teachers for their children. Kids learn basic life skills, develop social skills, and appropriate behaviors from their parents or main caregiver. Parents can easily become overwhelmed and need the support of a trained counselor, especially when faced with a difficult situation or a child's behavioral concerns.
Some typical issues that can arise from parenting include:
- Divorce and co-parenting, being a single parent
- Blended families
- Being a new parent and adjusting to the new demands and lifestyle changes that go along with it
- Parenting a child with special needs or a behavior problem, learning disability, an addiction problem, or another mental health issue
- Dealing with a high-maintenance or strong-willed child
- Parenting style clashes between a couple or with extended family members
- Balancing life between kids, spouse, and friends
- Sexual stumbling blocks and intimacy problems
- Developing healthy communication with children and spouse
- Having a healthy balance in your life between family, work, and being a couple
- Raising an adolescent
- A recent death of a child or loved one in the family
- Family discord
Outpatient psychotherapy can give you a place to vent and unload your frustrations. It can also help you improve your parenting skills and develop healthier family communication. Being a parent definitely adds strain to most marriages but it doesn't have to put a wedge between you and your spouse. Therapy can help empower you and give you the courage to handle the ongoing developmental and emotional stages each of your children will experience while helping you make sure there is a healthy balance between being a parent and making sure you are also taking care of yourself and your own needs, too.
Women's issues cover a wide-range of topics in the field of psychotherapy. They also have some different health care needs than do men, approach relationships and developmental tasks differently, and often struggle with self-esteem, body image, and sexuality concerns.
Women tend to suffer from:
- Mood disorders like depression, anxiety
- Self-destructive or self-sabotaging behavior, Self-injury like cutting on the skin
- Pressure to overachieve, perfectionism, being the *Super-Mom*
- Sexual and intimacy problems
- Body image problems, destructive relationships to food, and eating disorders
- Sexual identity issues
- Problems with an addiction including: substance abuse, gaming, compulsive shopping, and compulsive overeating.
- Being a trauma survivor of sexual/physical abuse (past or present), rape, emotional abuse, and re-victimization
- Struggling with feeling a lack of empowerment
- Relationship problems like choosing the wrong partners, staying in destructive, empty, or depletingrelationships, being overly accommodating, and feeling afraid to leave unhealthy relationships
Psychotherapy can help women manage the feelings associated with these struggles; recognize, understand and change self-defeating patterns, heal past pain, discover and foster inner strength, and learn new ways of behaving in relationships that allow them to get what they want and feel good about themselves.
Chemical Addiction and Addictive Behaviors
Problems with addiction and addictive behaviors can reek havoc on your life. Both have to do with genetics, brain wiring and being unable to stop a certain pattern, substance, or behavior. What's the difference between a "substance addiction" and a "behavior addiction?" For starters, the brain can't tell the difference between the two. Whether it's drugs, alcohol, gaming, shopping, gambling, or binge eating, your brain reads all identically. The similarities outweigh the differences. When you're doing something that you love, your brain releases dopamine, which in some. can lead to complete addiction.
Chemical addiction refers to an addiction to drugs of abuse, including drugs (both prescription and illegal), alcohol, and tobacco products, like cigarettes and snuff. When substances are taken they release a much higher amount of dopamine which is our brains natural reward center which leads to the person feeling "high" or very good and euphoric. Because this "good feeling" is so strong it then motivates people to use the substance again and again. Scientists have been known to say that drug abuse is something we learn to do. The brain can then become dependent or addicted to the substance that is being overly used. The down side is that the person starts needing to use more and more of the substance to her the "high" they crave. Things spiral out of control rapidly. Depression can set in, their life, relationships, family, career can then fall apart.
Behavioral addiction is just like it sounds: an addiction to a certain behavior. Currently, the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-5 classifies two behavioral addictions under "addictions and related disorders." These are pathological gambling and Internet addiction. Other behaviors not yet classified as "addiction disorders" but which are similar in nature, include addictions to:
- Video games
- Shopping or shoplifting
These addictions are classified as "obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.
Child and Adolescent Transition
Child & adolescent transition is the period of emotional growth from childhood into young adulthood. This is an exciting and challenging time for many.
Children react differently than adults do when they are anxious, nervous, scared, angry or depressed. While an adult has the ability to communicate their feelings appropriately to others, a child does not. Many younger children will "act their feelings out" instead of verbally communicating these feelings appropriately. Every child is different. While some may adapt to change easily, others do not and need more reassurance and support. Adjustment problems can be common in children, especially in situations like divorce, changing schools, puberty, moving to a new area, or struggling to learn a new subject.
For teens, It is especially hard avoiding the pressures of "fitting in" and wanting to be liked by peers. Parents want their teens to do well in school and get along with family and peers. This can be difficult when hormones are changing, rapid growth spurts occur, and lots of increased pressures are being placed on teens today. As their stress levels increase, this can cause many to become moody, argumentative, and even depressed.
Allowing your child to engage in outpatient psychotherapy can be just the thing that they need. Therapy can help kids mature, improve their problem solving, change unwanted behavior, and learn to take more responsibility for their own actions. It is also important that the family have good communication so that the children have a strong support system within their family.
Mood and Anxiety Disorders
Everyone experiences "the blues" or increased worrying every now and then. When depression, anxiety and "moodiness" seem to cross a line in your life, and becomes ongoing, it is time to get help.
Engaging in outpatient psychotherapy will help you uncover the "why's" and "how's" that have contributed to your mood swing. Maybe it is situational, like a divorce, moving to a new city, starting a new school. Others with mood problems can trace this back to their family history. If you have a chemical or a genetic predisposure to an affect disorder, we can help find the right treatment for you.
Types of mood disorders include:
Major Depressive Disorder
A person has had one or more major depressive episodes.
(formerly manic-depression) Alternating, and sometimes rapid cycling, periods of mania and depression.
Substance/Alcohol Mood Disorders
A change in one's mood cycle largely contributed to a substance or alcohol.
Some mood disorders may actually include periods of psychosis or psychotic episodes where there can be a split from reality. If psychosis is is a part of your diagnosis, I require my clients to work with a treatment team, including a psychiatrist who manages medications. Doing so can greatly increase stabilization
Types of anxiety disorders include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Not focused on any one thing or situation. Being overly concerned about a nonspecific fear.
Brief episodes of intense apprehension. This causes physical symptoms like: shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sweating and feeling shaky.
Fear and anxiety being triggered by a situation or stimuli.
intense fear of being embarrassed or humiliated in public. Many tend to handle social anxiety by avoiding the situation all together thus leading to withdrawal from social settings.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Experiencing repetitive thoughts or images and urges to act on these thoughts through ritualistic behavior.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Anxiety following a traumatic experience (examples include: rape, abuse, a natural disaster, a serious accident, combat).
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Experiencing increased anxiety following separation from a person or place.
General Childhood Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety, worrying and fear in children.
What Exactly Is Autism?
Autism is a complex pervasive mental disability, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.
Autism typically shows up in early childhood between the ages of one and three.The causes of autism remain unknown, although most research states that that autism is a strongly inherited disorder. Many studies have implicated a variety of developmental genes but none have been found consistently across affected individuals. Males with autism out number females four to one.
Examples of Possible Symptoms
- Problems with communication
- Have obsessive interests
- Moderate to severs social skills
- Poor eye contact with others
- Problems understanding what others may think or feel
- Having a hard time expressing themselves
- Repetitive body movements
- Rigid thoughts and beliefs
- Possibly having sensory integration problems with the 5 senses meaning hypersensitivity or being under-sensitive
- Limited interest in activities
- Preferring to stick to a "normal" routine and not good with change
How Can Therapy Help Someone with Autism?
Someone with ASD will have to learn how to read others social cues, body language, and improve communication with others. This does not come easily to someone with ASD due to their unique brain wiring.
There are a wide range of different treatments that have been shown to be helpful for someone with ASD. Because there are so many different levels to ASD, different types of treatment are common, including a variety of methods used for one person based on where they fall on the spectrum. After the initial evaluation, your therapist will put together a package that best suits your loved one.
Types of Therapies Commonly Used for ASD
- Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) teaches children how to form relationships with other people by starting at home with parents and family.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Social Skills Interventions
- Educational and Behavioral Therapies
Grief, Loss of a Child or Loved One
Types of Grieving/Bereavement may include
- Childhood bereavement- a child losing a parent, grandparent, another family member, friend, or pet.
- Death of a child- this includes loss during infancy: stillborn, miscarriage, abortion, a neonatal death like SIDS, or the death of an older or adult child.
- Death of a spouse, parent, or sibling
- Other losses- a divorce (including losing custody of your children), a breakup of a relationship, losing a job, "letting go" of an addiction or eating disorder, experiencing "empty nest syndrome" when the children have grown and no longer live at home, pet loss or the tremendous loss after a house fire. These are just a few examples of typical losses that many people experience.