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Norman

Benefits Of Art Therapy

women doing art therapy

Prior to delving into the benefits of art therapy it is helpful to gain a basic understanding of what exactly art therapy is and how it came about. As is defined by the American Art Therapy Association art therapy is “an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.” Art therapists are trained mental health clinicians that are educated in human development, clinical practice, psychological theories, and fine art. Art therapy sessions can be conducted in an individual or group setting. Art therapy can be used on its own or in conjunction with other therapeutic treatment modalities. British artist, Adrian Hill, coined the term ‘art therapy’ in 1942 after discovering the healthful benefits of drawing and painting while recovering from tuberculosis. Art therapy encourages participants to explore self-expression, emotions, and challenges through various art media rather than relying on verbal articulation. Art therapy is currently recognized as an effective psychotherapeutic approach that is regularly used by mental health clinicians to treat variety of mental health ailments, spanning across all ages.

Benefits

Art therapy is a therapeutic technique that is rooted in the notion that creativity and creative expression can foster healing and promote mental well-being. Findings from a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, indicate that less than an hour of creative activity can reduce stress and have a positive effect on one’s mental health, regardless of one’s artistic experience or talent. There are many benefits to art therapy: 

  • It can promote self-expression and self-discovery.
  • One review indicated that in patients undergoing medical treatment for cancer, art therapy helped to improve their quality of life and alleviated a variety of psychological symptoms. 
  • It can be a cathartic release. 
  • Research found that art therapy increased self-esteem and reduced depression in older adults living in nursing homes. 
  • The process encourages the development of healthy coping strategies.
  • It improves self-esteem and increases resilience.
  • Studies of adults who experienced trauma found that art therapy led to decreased levels of depression and significantly reduced trauma symptoms.
  • Promotes self-reliance, personal independence, and self-sufficiency.
  • It enables individuals to verbally and nonverbally communicate emotions that may otherwise be abandoned. 

Art therapy can benefit anyone, especially those that are artistically inclined and/ or those that may be uncomfortable with their ability to accurately articulate their emotions. However, it is important to bear in mind that every person is unique and different treatment modalities will resonate distinctly with each individual.

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

How Does Family Counseling Work?

a family in family counseling

Family therapy can help reduce distress and conflict by improving the systems of interactions between family members. The dynamics established in each family unit are distinct and exclusive to each family. The initial rolls assumed by the respective family members that make up a family unit often remain unchanged regardless of the age at which they were assumed. Long-time non-kin relationships are generally forced to develop, as the members’ grow older so as to accommodate the evolving relationship needs that accompany maturation. However, when left untended, family dynamics stagnate and thrive on the consistency of its members continuing to assume (often outdated) rolls. This can lead to developing unhealthy relationship habits, communication issues, and ineffective conflict resolution patterns, which can manifest both within the family unit as well as with members outside of the family unit. 

As Medical News Today explains, family counseling, synonymous with family therapy, “aims to address psychological, behavioral, and emotional issues that cause family problems.” Family therapy can help a family work through a difficult period (e.g., death of a loved one, major transition, mental health illness of a family member, etc.). The Mayo Clinic defines family therapy as “a type of psychological counseling (psychotherapy) that can help family members improve communication and resolve conflicts.” Through participating in family therapy, family members are provided with an emotionally safe environment to address and work through specific issues that are adversely affecting the functioning and health of the family unit.

Important Details

Family counseling is provided by a qualified mental health professional (e.g., licensed therapist, psychologist, clinical social worker, etc.). According to the Mayo Clinic, the typical duration of a family therapy session lasts about fifty minutes long. It is important to note that the term family holds a broader definition for the purposes of family counseling. As Laney Cline King (LCSW) asserts that family as “defined by the modern family therapist is anyone who plays a long-term supportive role in one’s life, which may not mean blood relations or family members in the same household.” There is a common misconception that family therapy requires the presence of every member of a family of origin. More accurately, family therapy occurs when two or more members of a family unit engage in psychotherapy sessions together. The difference between individual therapy and family therapy is that instead of focusing on an individual’s issues, a family therapy clinician views presenting problems as somewhat of a system malfunction that needs adjusting. The providing mental health professional may employ certain psychotherapeutic techniques and exercises to help the family unit heal as a whole. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

Is Marriage Counseling Effective?

couple in marriage counseling

Every couple is different and will make the decision to go to marriage counseling for distinct reasons. It would be inaccurate to suggest that marriage counseling unequivocally works for every couple. There are a variety of factors (e.g., the level of commitment each member gives to the therapeutic process, how the marriage counselor resonates with both members of the couple, etc.) that contribute to its efficacy. Marriage counseling is typically conducted with both partners present. It is a relatively short-term process, lasting between twelve to twenty sessions, in some cases longer. Most marriage counseling sessions last approximately fifty minutes long. The time between sessions will depend both on the availability of the mental health provider as well as the wants and needs of the couple. Although it is not an inevitability for all couples, marriage counseling can be highly effective for many.

How Can It Help?

The reasons why a couple decides to go to marriage counseling are wide-ranging. Psychology Today provide the following potential reasons why a couple may seek and benefit from marriage counseling:

  • Poor and/ or lack of communication
  • Trust has been broken
  • Feelings of unease in the relationship (e.g., being aware that something is wrong but being unable to pinpoint the issue) 
  • Diminished emotional intimacy 
  • Diminished sexual intimacy 
  • Conflicts regarding child rearing and/ or blended families
  • Infidelity 
  • Constant dysfunction during conflict (one or both members)
  • Feeling stuck in unhealthy and/ or undesirable patterns
  • Addressing and/ or sharing difficult to talk about information with the partner
  • Processing situational circumstances that have devastated the relationship (e.g., loss of a child, prolonged unemployment, being diagnosed with a long-term illness, etc.)

The work that occurs during marriage counseling sessions is guided by the needs of the couple. Some couples attend marriage counseling as a means to gain better understanding of their partner. Aside from the above, there are many additional nuanced reasons why a couple may decide to go to marriage counseling. 

Does It Really Work?

The reasons driving a couple to engage in marriage counseling can have a direct affect in its outcome and success. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) reported the findings of a study that indicate, “of couples who try marriage counseling, 90% feel that their emotional health improves, and two-thirds report improvements in their physical health.” By nature of participating in marriage counseling both partners engage in shared emotional experiences via the therapy sessions, which can help to foster aligned relationship goals. The marriage counseling process is not always easy and at times sessions can be emotionally charged and elicit difficult to face feelings. However, the skills, tools and emotional awareness that can come from actively participating in marriage counseling can be both empowering and insightful. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

What Type Of Therapy Is Best For Eating Disorders?

woman receiving therapy for an eating disorder

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses. They are characterized by abnormal, irregular eating habits, and an extreme concern with one’s body weight or shape. There are several different manifestations of eating disorders. The various types are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) under the Disorder Class: Feeding and Eating Disorders. The three most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Eating disorders can be debilitating and can adversely affect a person’s emotions, health, and interfere with one’s ability to adequately function in his or her daily life. If left untreated, eating disorders can result in severe short and long-term consequences. 

Every individual is different and will react distinctly to the array of therapeutic treatment modalities available. The treatment plan for an individual diagnosed with an eating disorder will be directly informed by several contributing factors, such as: the exact diagnosis, how long he or she has been actively engaging in unhealthy eating habits, his or her personal health history, and the presence of any co-morbid disorders. Some of the most frequently relied upon therapeutic treatment methods when treating eating disorders could include, but are not limited to cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and interpersonal therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) works by addressing one’s thoughts. It holds the basic assumption that one’s thoughts govern one’s feelings, which in turn affects one’s behaviors. Through CBT an individual’s unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors are challenged and disrupted, essentially prohibiting one’s ability to maintain dysfunctional eating habits.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is recognized as an effective method of treatment for an individual diagnosed with an eating disorder. DBT can help an individual learn useful self-management skills, reduce stress, minimize anxiety, and learn to control destructive eating behaviors. DBT promotes acceptance and teaches individuals how to live in the present moment and cope with emotional triggers that may otherwise perpetuate unhealthy symptoms and behaviors associated with eating disorders. 

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) a therapeutic modality that is most often used to treat individuals who suffer from psychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression, etc. Interpersonal therapy focuses on how a person’s communications and interactions with other people affect one’s own mental health. Through interpersonal therapy an individual will learn to resolve and adjust unhealthy interpersonal problems, resulting in a symptomatic recovery.

When posed with the question: What type of therapy is best for eating disorders? The answer is variable as there are countless factors that must be considered which make it is impossible to provide a definitive answer regarding the universal efficacy of any single type of therapy. In order to provide the most effective treatment, including a variety of different types of therapies into one’s treatment plan may be advantageous.

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

How To Find The Right Marriage Counselor

couple in marriage counseling

There are many different reasons why a couple may be seeking the guidance of a marriage counselor. Every individual is different, and each person contributes uniqueness to the relationship dynamics that make up a marriage. The habits, patterns, and roles in a marriage are often assumed by each party early in the relationship. Individuals are constantly evolving, and as the individuals in a marriage change and develop, so too must their relationship. As is true with maintaining any authentic relationship, marriage will require active work and dedication. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) reported the findings of a study that indicate, “of couples who try marriage counseling, 90% feel that their emotional health improves, and two-thirds report improvements in their physical health.” Marriage counseling provides a couple with an emotionally safe environment to delve into areas of the relationship that may need attention, make thoughtful decisions surrounding the status of a relationship, and help couples come to realize whether or not both parties authentically wish to work towards rebuilding and/ or strengthening the relationship or work towards separating amicably. In order for marriage counseling to be truly effective, both members of the relationship must be open and willing to participate in the therapeutic process. 

Getting Started

There are a multitude of marriage counselors available, each with differing foci and/ or specializing in different therapeutic modalities. Narrowing down the options can seem overwhelming. Below are several suggestions that can help you through the process and ensure you find a marriage counselor that is the best fit for accommodating all of your couple counseling needs. 

  • Get recommendations:
    • If you are comfortable delving into your network of trusted family and friends, ask for references.
    • Check out some online sources: many marriage counselors have websites available for potential clients to review and/ or are included in an online compilation of reputable mental health professionals:
  • Ask your primary care provider (PCP) to refer you to a marriage counselor that they recommend.
  • Understand costs: each marriage counselor will charge a fee for their services. The costs will vary, as different providers charge different rates. Some marriage counselors accept insurance as a form of payment, while others do not. It is important to understand your out-of-pocket financial responsibility prior to selecting a counselor, to ensure their services are not financially prohibitive. 
  • Interview: Call and interview potential marriage counselors: prior to scheduling an appointment make a phone call to ask a potential counselor questions, so as to ensure their practices align with your needs.
  • Give yourself options: Interview at least three marriage counselors before you make your selection.
  • Be Patient: Although you are likely eager to find a marriage counselor, take your time and be patient. Remember that this is a process, and trust that you will eventually find the right one. 

It is important to bear in mind that each marriage counselor is different, and not all marriage counselors will be a perfect match. If you and/ or your spouse finds he or she does not necessarily jive with the therapist selected, try a different one. In order for marriage counseling to work each party must feel comfortable with the professional selected.

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

Therapy For LGBTQ In Los Angeles

LGBTQ pride flag

LGBTQ is an acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning. The acceptance of individuals that identify as LGBTQ has risen steadily around the world since 1980. The 2018 Survey of American Acceptance and Attitudes Toward LGBTQ Americans found that 79% of Americans support equal legal rights for LGBTQ people, which is approximately a 28% increase from the 51% findings reported in 2006. Nevertheless, members of the LGBTQ community continue to be stigmatized and remain at increased risk for a developing mental illness. Individuals that identify as LGBTQ may seek counseling for a variety of reasons akin to those that are not members of the LGBTQ community (e.g., anxiety, grief, depression, PTSD, etc.). Additionally, LGBTQ individuals often struggle with and seek professional support for gender dysphoria and/ or sexual identity issues. Learning additional coping mechanisms, conflict resolution tactics, and effective means for integrating experiences can behoove any person. Therapy and treatment approaches that are free of judgment and inclusive of all are fundamental in LGBTQ-oriented therapy practices.

Therapy

Every individual is different and not all types of therapy will resonate with each person. Working with mental health clinicians that have received training and are familiar with the needs of LGBTQ members are better equipped to provide ample, tailored support. There are a variety of options available to people that identify at part of the LGBTQ community in Los Angeles, California. It is common practice for clinicians to integrate LGBT affirmative therapy into any treatment plan when working with an individual that identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community. LGBT affirmative therapy is a form of psychotherapy used to “validate and advocate for the needs of sexual and gender minority clients.” It can help empower an individual learn to effectively navigate the unique challenges associated with being a member of the LGBTQ community.

Due to the vast number of clinical providers in Los Angeles, beginning the search for therapy can seem overwhelming. There are, however, a variety of online resources that can help you locate a mental health provider in California. For example, Psychology Today has compiled a list of qualified mental health professionals with experience in providing services to members of the LGBTQ community in Los Angeles. It is important to note that all mental health providers are different and will offer support from a somewhat unique therapeutic perspective. Not all therapists will resonate with every person. Simply because a therapist has extensive experience working with LGBTQ members does not mean that particular mental health provider will inevitably be a perfect match. They only way for therapy to yield successful results is for the individual to feel comfortable with the mental health professional selected. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

How To Treat Bulimia Through Therapy

woman with bulimia standing on a scale with tape around her ankles

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) lists bulimia nervosa under the Disorder Class: Feeding and Eating Disorders as a complex brain disorder. Bulimia nervosa, also referred to as bulimia, is one of the three most commonly diagnosed eating disorders in America. The Mayo Clinic defines bulimia as a “serious eating disorder marked by binging, followed by methods to avoid weight gain.” Hence, bulimia is essentially characterized by episodes of uncontrolled binging (extreme overeating), typically followed by purging (making oneself vomit). An individual struggling with bulimia may also purge via the misuse of various medications related to weight loss, such as laxatives, diuretics, enemas, and/ or excessive exercise. The episodes of binging and purging is often referred to as a binge-purge cycle. Depending on the individual, eating binges can range from occurring twice a week to several times a day. Bulimia is not solely about one’s weight, but also revolves around one’s self-image. The psychological nuances and physical consequences that can arise from bulimia are what makes it such a complex disorder. The damage that occurs from prolonged malnutrition and the unhealthy cycle of binging and purging can lead to significant short and long-term physiological complications. While bulimia is a chronic disorder, with proper treatment an individual can learn the tools and skills needed to develop a healthy and sustainable relationship with food.

Treatment

Every individual is different and will require some form of customized treatment when it comes to bulimia. There are many different mental health treatment options and distinct forms of therapies used to treat bulimia. The nuanced needs of a person diagnosed with bulimia will greatly inform which psychotherapeutic methods are included in one’s treatment plan. In order to treat bulimia through therapy, a person’s treatment plan could comprise of one or more of the following types of therapy:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is based off of the notion that one’s thoughts govern one’s feelings, which in turn affects one’s behaviors. According to the Society of Clinical Psychology, “In CBT, the therapist works collaboratively with the patient to disrupt the factors maintaining the binge-purge cycle with the goal to achieve abstinence from these behaviors.”
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a therapeutic modality that is most often used to treat individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression, as well as other psychiatric disorders, including bulimia nervosa. Interpersonal therapy focuses on how a person’s communications and interactions with other people affect his or her own mental health. Through interpersonal therapy an individual will learn to resolve and adjust unhealthy interpersonal complications, resulting in a symptomatic recovery.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that places greater emphasis on the psychosocial aspect of therapy. DBT can benefit an individual diagnosed with bulimia by helping to foster self-management skills, lower stress, reduce anxiety, and learn to control destructive eating behaviors. The goals of DBT are to help an individual learn to establish healthy coping mechanisms that can be applied to environments that would have otherwise provoke destructive eating behaviors. It helps individuals learn how to reduce emotional reactivity and improve their interactions with others. DBT promotes acceptance and teaches skills to enable an individual to live in the moment and cope with emotional triggers that may otherwise perpetuate the binge-purge cycle and other unhealthy symptoms and behaviors associated with bulimia. 

A treatment plan for bulimia will be carefully tailored so as to effectively accommodate all of the individual’s mental health needs. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

What Type Of Therapy Is Best For Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder abbreviated

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, mental health disorder. As defined by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), “borderline personality disorder is an illness characterized by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, behavior, and self-image.” It is highly common for individuals with BPD to lack the ability to foster and maintain meaningful, lasting relationships. The symptoms that are associated with borderline personality disorder make it difficult to diagnose. In order to secure the most effective treatment an individual must obtain an accurate diagnosis from a qualified mental healthcare provider. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve a medication explicitly designed to treat borderline personality disorder. While there are other types of therapeutic modalities that can be helpful in treating someone with BPD (e.g., schema-focused therapy, mentalization-based therapy, etc.), the most frequently relied upon type of psychotherapy used to treat BPD is called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Treatment for BPD will help an individual learn strategies, techniques, and tools to effectively manage the symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder, reducing the severity of symptoms experienced and increasing one’s quality of life. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that places greater emphasis on the psychosocial aspect of therapy. Marsha M. Linehan initially developed it in the 1980s, to help treat chronically suicidal people with borderline personality disorder. Since its inception, dialectical behavior therapy has been and remains the gold standard method of treatment for individuals diagnosed with BPD and has also proven effective in treating individuals with other mental health conditions. DBT utilizes four main strategies for teaching individuals’ skills that help with effectively changing their behaviors. They include the following, as provided by Behavioral Tech

  1. Core mindfulness: the practice of being completely present and aware in the moment. 
  2. Distress tolerance: becoming tolerant of pain in difficult situations instead of attempting to change it.
  3. Emotion regulation: decreasing emotional impulsivity, learning to manage and shift intense, problematic emotions. 
  4. Interpersonal effectiveness: authentically advocating for one’s own wants and needs in a relationship in a way that is both self-respecting and non-damaging.

DBT is comprised of three distinct settings: weekly individual therapy sessions, weekly DBT group skills training sessions, and as-needed phone coaching. The entire DBT program (provided skills modules are not repeated) usually lasts about six months long, as approximately six weeks are allocated to each of the four skills modules. DBT is based on the notion that change can be balanced with self-acceptance. It can help people learn how to regulate emotions and foster change. This gives individuals struggling with BPD the opportunity to build meaningful and stable lives. Although BPD is considered to be a chronic condition, there are a variety of treatment options available to a person diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

Diagnosing Social Anxiety Disorder

woman with social anxiety disorder

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) explains that, “anxiety refers to anticipation of a future concern and is more associated with muscle tension and avoidance behavior.” Anxiety disorders involve excessive feelings of nervousness, anxiousness, fear and anxiety. Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic mental health condition. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), social anxiety disorder “is characterized by persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others.” An individual with SAD will avoid social situations due to a fear of being negatively evaluated (e.g., embarrassed or judged) by other people. Individuals with social anxiety disorder will experience a stronger and more intense sense of anxiety surrounding uncomfortable social situations than that of an individual without SAD.

Signs and Symptoms

Every individual is unique and will have his or her own set of challenges in regards to social anxiety. There are certain common signs and symptoms an individual struggling with SAD could exhibit. These include the following examples, provided by Healthline:

  • Muscle tension
  • Agitation 
  • Excessive worry and or fear
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Shaking
  • Poor eye contact with others
  • Low self-esteem/ low self-worth
  • Sadness
  • Crying
  • Refusing to attend school and or social engagements
  • Anger

In addition to the above, an individual with social anxiety disorder may have frequent self-deprecating thoughts and thoughts of inadequacy. In order to secure the most effective treatment, it is essential to obtain a proper diagnosis from a qualified mental health professional.  

Clinical Diagnostic Process

According to the Mayo Clinic, a social anxiety disorder diagnosis will be determined after conducting a thorough physical exam, a psychiatric evaluation, and will be informed by the diagnostic criteria provided in the DSM-5. It is also common for an evaluating clinician to request an individual to complete self-report questionnaires regarding one’s symptoms of social anxiety, as well as review a list of situations to see if they elicit anxiety. The diagnostic criteria for social anxiety disorder, according to the DSM-5, provided by the Mayo Clinic, include:

  • Persistent, intense fear or anxiety about specific social situations because you believe you may be judged, embarrassed or humiliated
  • Avoidance of anxiety-producing social situations or enduring them with intense fear or anxiety
  • Excessive anxiety that’s out of proportion to the situation
  • Anxiety or distress that interferes with your daily living
  • Fear or anxiety that is not better explained by a medical condition, medication or substance abuse

The exact scientific cause for developing social anxiety disorder remains unknown. Research has shown that it is likely due to a combination of contributing factors such as psychological, environmental, genetic, and developmental factors.  

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

EMDR Therapy In Los Angeles

EMDR written out

Psychologist Francine Shapiro developed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in 1987. According to the EMDR Research Foundation, “EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR therapy includes a set of standardized protocols that incorporate elements from many different treatment approaches.” Though it was initially developed as a means to treat individuals suffering from anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic and/ or trauma, research has indicated that it has since become an effective means of treatment for individuals diagnosed with substance use disorder and other mental health ailments. EMDR incorporates a variety of principals from other therapeutic modalities, including behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

EMDR Basics

EMDR is based on the notion that physiological symptoms occur as a result of trauma or challenging experiences overwhelming the brain’s natural ability to heal. EMDR works to relieve one’s brain of certain coping mechanisms that have been developed to help an individual cope with a traumatic event or events. EMDR therapy facilitates the healing process through bilateral stimulation where an individual can revisit a previously experienced trauma and learn to re-process and reintegrate it in a way that is both healthy and disarming, alleviating physiological stress. EMDR is an eight-stage therapeutic process, which includes: 

  • Initial history discovery and treatment planning
  • Preparation
  • Assessment
  • Desensitization
  • Installation
  • Body scan
  • Closure
  • Reevaluation 

A typical EMDR session lasts between sixty to ninety minutes long. EMDR can be used on its own or used to supplement other types of therapy.

EMDR Therapy In LA

There are many highly trained EMDR practitioners in Los Angeles, California, which for some can make the search for locating a therapist, seem like an overwhelming feat. There are fantastic online resources that offer curated lists containing qualified EMDR providers, serving the Los Angeles area (e.g. Psychology Today). Often the best recommendations come by word of mouth. An excellent place to start your search is to consult your primary care physician as they should be able to point you in the right direction, and many may even offer recommendations from within their professional network. For some, openly discussing the need for a mental health professional with family and friends may not be comfortable, but for those that are open to broaching the topic with outsiders, asking family and friends for recommendations could be beneficial. It is advantageous to be mindful of the fact that even though EMDR practitioners follow a set of standardized EMDR protocols, each therapist practices with his or her own distinct style. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.