How Does Therapy Help?

How Does Therapy Help?

Question # 1: Anxiety

“How can therapy help me with my anxiety?”

Answer:  As an individual you act the way you do because of your perceptions of your life experiences.  If they are not accurate today and they cause you problems your therapist would probably use a Cognitive Behavioral approach to help you understand your behaviors and then you decide if you want to change them.

Let’s say as a child your parents argued and there was domestic violence involved.  At the time in your life the best decision you could make was to leave the scene of arguing.  However, when it occurs now between you and your spouse, your marital issues are not resolved.  Your therapist using CBT can help you change that behavior.

Question # 2: Marriage and relationship counseling

“I want marriage counseling but my spouse doesn’t, should I come alone, will it work?”

Answer: The answer is “Yes”.  Marriage partners develop patterns of behavior in their relationship.  These patterns, mostly unspoken, are developed over time, some are positive and some are not.  Let’s say you try to convey how you felt to your spouse when he said or did something.  He responds by getting angry, stomps out of the room, with days of silence to follow.  Nothing gets resolved.  If you change your pattern of communicating he will adapt.  I do believe that you can say anything to another person provided you say it the right way, Communication.  Sometimes it is as simply as changing the words you use, “I feel hurt when this happens”, rather than “You make me feel….” which causes defensiveness.  Change how you act towards your spouse and he most likely will change he responds to you.

Question # 3: Unwilling to admit a problem or seek help

“My son has something wrong with him but I do not know how to describe it.  Since he graduated college and returned home to find a job, he just stays in his room on his computer.  He has no friends, no outside contacts and no job.  He doesn’t see this as a problems so he will not come into see a therapist.  What can we do?”

Answer:  This is a difficult situation when you see another person does have a problem but they are unwilling to admit it or seek help. Because he is in your home this problem now affects everyone living there. It is not just problem for him but one that affects the family as well. The best thing to do is seek a therapist to help you understand your son’s behavior. From there you can look at interventions that could be applied to get him help.  In some cases a home intervention may be needed.

Question # 4: Parenting adolescents

“My teenager is angry, testy, and defiant.  He doesn’t follow our rules, only when he wants to do so. What can we do with my teenager?”

Answer:  Being an adolescent is as difficult as being a parent.  An adolescent is caught between childhood & adulthood.  All the wants of adulthood without the maturity or life experience.  Our parenting classes can help clarify how to respond to your teenager in positive ways to develop personal responsibility and get the goals he is after.  We also tailor the information Parenting skills to fit  a 10 year old, a 5 year old or how to respond to a 2-3 year old.  They all require different age appropriate responses.  Remember, You were not given a parenting manual at birth, how should you know everything.

Question # 5: Depression and panic attacks

“I have depression and sometimes Panic Attacks.  I don’t want to take medication.  Is there another way to deal with my issues without medication?”

Answer: Yes, psychotherapy has been shown to be equally effective as medication management.  Most individuals concerned about medication will try therapy first.  If necessary you & your therapist can have a discussion later about medication if your symptoms do not subside.  Our therapists work closely with our Psychiatrist so you won’t have to explain your circumstances all over again to a new person.  Should medication be needed our in house psychiatrist will have access to your treatment record ahead of your appointment and discuss you case with your therapist.

Question # 6: Family therapy

“My adult son who had financial problems moved back into our home with his spouse of 5 years and their two children.  They do not help with anything, the house gets dirty, dishes stack up and they do not contribute money or labor.  Is just as if he never left home.  My spouse is irritable and yells at my son.  What can we do?”

Answer: This is a common pattern that has occurred because of the economy.  Families have patterns of interaction as well as couples.  Your son has slipped back into his “old” pattern of relating to you as his parents just like in his earlier years.  Mom & Dad are taking care of all his needs and now his family’s,  just like in high school!  Yes, your family would benefit from family therapy.  The structure of your family has changed, so there needs to be a “new” way of relating to each other that spells out responsibilities for all.