Archives for Psychotherapy
Your Belief System: The Longer-Shorter Path In the last post, we focused on coping skills and strategies, which are the emotional scaffolding upon which your life reconstruction can begin. In this post we'll discuss your general belief system. This may include beliefs about who you are, how much self-determination you believe you have, spirituality/religious beliefs, what your life is truly about, and so on. These are the foundation upon which your life actually rests. A dysfunctional belief system is a set belief or group of beliefs that impair an individual’s ability to function in a mentally, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically healthy manner.
Your Emotional Scaffolding: Developing Coping Skills The systematic, yet personal approach that I believe really works is a combination of the use of proven treatment methods and the therapist’s techniques. Effective therapists primarily use proven treatment methods supported by their own studiously developed personal techniques. Whenever possible (and that is the vast majority of the time), it's important for your therapist to first help you improve—or, if necessary, develop from scratch—your emotional scaffolding comprised of your coping skills and strategies, before digging up and exploring your past.
*Let's begin answering this essential question: What is therapy, really? By definition, psychotherapy is “The treatment of mental or emotional problems by the use of techniques that are tailored to the unique problems and backgrounds of the individual and that may include talk therapy, behavioral modification, medication, and other treatments.” The goal of psychotherapy is to help resolve an individual’s mental and emotional problems and, at the same time, teach that individual how to attain the skills needed to deal with life on life’s terms. Therapy is also an inner journey with the therapist as guide. With a good therapist assisting you, your emotions (what you feel) begin to get in sync with your intellect (what you know). When your head leads and your heart follows, the world becomes an easier, more meaningful place in which to live. Therapy is not about
A therapist I supervise came to me with a case: F. struggles with relationships and socializing. The sensory processing and cognitive issues she's struggled with since childhood cause her to misunderstand or miss social cues. Therefore, her responses to people's words, gestures, or tone of voice often were often wildly inappropriate and misfire. One of the biggest issues for her used to be her inability to read when someone was belittling or bullying her. Her social awkwardness made her an easy target. With the guidance of her counselor as well as support in developing a healthy response to bullying, she began to be able to assert herself and even stand up for herself, too. She learned about healthy boundaries and in cases where she used to get overly involved in other people's lives, especially people who were using and/or abusing her, she began to be able to recognize
Your thoughts and feelings are not, as some suggest, your interface with reality. They are your reality. That's why understanding that you can change your thoughts and feelings is so important, because once you believe you can change them, you give yourself the freedom to do so. Gaining mastery over your thoughts and feelings changes your life. Of course, this is easier said than done.
It’s safe to say one of the main goals of therapy is to teach you how to help yourself so you don’t actually have to be in therapy, at least not for a moment longer than necessary. If you don't have a diagnosis which requires ongoing therapy, then ask yourself:
If you've found yourself in therapy with more than one qualified, experienced, compassionate and committed therapist, and you've chosen to move on, again and again, you may be derailing your therapy for reasons other not finding the right therapist. What can you do to avoid bouncing from one therapist to the next, never finding what you are looking for?
A clinical philosophy or style is the general approach a therapist subscribes to, believes in, and/or uses in treatment. Some common clinical approaches therapists may take include: reality oriented (therapy that focuses on counseling and problem solving in the here and now as well as offering instruction in how to create a better future)
(A God in Therapy post) This New York Times' article went viral yesterday: A Drug to Cure Fear. But are yet more psychiatric drugs really the answer? A 19th century Jewish mystic, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, said "no."