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Most Common Marital Problems

married couple having problems

Every relationship has challenges, and most individuals understand that when entering into a marriage they are exposing themselves to a whole slew of potentially difficult to navigate experiences, also known as marital problems. The marital problems that have the propensity to manifest could range from mild to extreme, and anywhere in between. Some of the most widespread martial problems include the following, in no particular order: 

  • Division of labor: research indicates that when both spouses work outside the home, the responsibility of chores and housework usually falls on the woman. An imbalanced division of labor can foster resentment.
  • Infidelity: infidelity includes short and long-term emotional affairs and physical cheating, and can corrode a marital relationship.  
  • Communication issues: communication in a relationship encompasses both verbal and non-verbal cues. Lacking the ability to effectively communicate (e.g. listening without interrupting) or falling into a habit of engaging in improper communication can fester in a marriage. 
  • Finances: arguing about money is highly common and can be particularly frustrating when a couples view on finances is not aligned. 
  • Power inequality: power can be held in many areas (e.g. parenting power, decision-making power, financial power, etc.) and when there is power inequality in a marital relationship one spouse is likely to feel powerless over time. 
  • Children and childrearing differences: every person comes with his or her own worldview and perspective, which directly inform their respective parenting styles. Raising children can be highly stressful and when conflicting parenting styles clash it can affect a married couples relationship. 
  • Boredom: the beginning of relationships are new and exciting, but without putting in effort, as time progresses relationships can stagnate and become void of excitement.  
  • Different love languages: in 1992, Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a well renowned book called The Five Love Languages. In it he defines five different ways people give and receive love (e.g. touch, time, acts of service, words of affirmation, and gift giving). If both individuals in the couple speak different love languages, it may lead to partners feeling underappreciated and/ or unloved in their relationship.
  • Sex: every person has different sexual desires and needs, and many couples struggle with sexual compatibility. 
  • Abuse: there are several forms of abuse (e.g. verbal abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, etc.) and allowing any kind of abuse in a relationship can be severely damaging to the health of each individual, separately and as a couple. 

If you experience any of the above marital problems, you are in good company. The fact is that no marriage is void of marital problems, as they will develop at some point during the relationship. Marital problems exist and they should not be stigmatized. Enduring and resolving relationship challenges can provide couples with an opportunity to learn from their experiences while simultaneously deepening and strengthening their relationship. 

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.

Anxiety Treatment For Children

boy with anxiety

Preadolescence and adolescence can be incredibly challenging periods in a young person’s life. It is both normal and unavoidable for a young person to experience bouts of anxiety, especially during their teenage years. However, severe and frequent levels of anxiety that interfere with a young person’s ability to complete everyday tasks could be indicative of an anxiety disorder. In some cases, it can be difficult to discern normal levels of anxiety from debilitating anxiety levels, especially as children endure the countless physiological changes that occur during the preadolescence and adolescence stages. It is generally best to err on the side of caution when it comes to a child’s mental and emotional wellbeing. In situations where a child’s anxiety becomes increasingly problematic to the point that it interferes with his or her ability to function socially, occupationally, and/ or educationally in daily life it is best to pursue guidance from a qualified mental health professional. Every child is different and will respond distinctly to the varied methods of treatment for anxiety.

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders are a common mental health condition that is characterized by persistent feelings of fear, worry, and/ or distress. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Children with anxiety disorders are likely to have one or more of the following: 

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Selective mutism (SM)
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • Separation anxiety disorder 

Research has discovered that anxiety disorders are more prevalent in females than males, of all ages.  

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

There are many different types of anxiety disorders, and each have their own respective set of symptoms. Some of the more general signs and symptoms that span across most anxiety disorders could include, but are not limited to, any combination of the follow, as provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating 
  • Muscle tension
  • Behavioral problems
  • Excessive worry
  • Strong startle response
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Fear of being alone
  • Nail biting
  • Frequent urination and/ or bedwetting 

The Child Mind Institute has pointed out that, unfortunately, nearly eighty percent of young people with anxiety go untreated. 

Treatment

There are many different therapeutic modalities that can be used to treat children with anxiety. With the help of a qualified mental health professional, the nuanced mental health needs of each child will be considered and used to develop a customized treatment plan. The specific components of a child’s anxiety treatment plan could consist of a combination of different therapeutic approaches. It is highly common to include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in one’s treatment plan. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment approach. Through CBT a child can learn to replace and adjust negative self-views through behavior modification. Other treatment options that could be included in a child’s treatment plan may be creative arts therapies, group therapy, exposure therapy, and medication. It is important to note that though medication is always an option, for some children it may be unnecessary. 

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 Are Couples Therapy Worksheets?

couple in couples therapy

Talkspace explains couples therapy as “a type of psychotherapy in which a therapist with clinical experience working with couples, most often a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), helps two people involved in a romantic relationship gain insight into their relationship, resolve conflict and improve relationship satisfaction utilizing a variety of therapeutic interventions.” There are many components of couples therapy, and each is intended to markedly contribute to assisting a couple achieve their relationship goals. The work that occurs during couples counseling sessions is entirely guided by the needs of the couple. 

Couples Therapy Worksheets

Couples therapy worksheets can be a useful and effective tool, provided both parties are committed, honest, and willing to put in the needed effort. Couples therapy worksheets generally prompt uncomfortable topics. In order for them to work, it is important to carve out ample time to spend on thoughtfully completing the worksheets. While a couple’s counselor may assign couples therapy worksheets, there are also many online resources available, should a couple wish to begin tackling couples therapy worksheets on their own. Feel free to check out any of the following couple therapy worksheet resources:

  • Relationship evaluation checklist worksheet: completing a relationship evaluation checklist is an excellent worksheet to begin with as it can serve as a diagnostic test as well as help both parties understand the current state of their relationship. It is a relatively simply worksheet that requires yes or no answers to a variety of questions. Once both parties have independently completed this worksheet, the couple can compare answers and go on to develop relevant goals based on their findings. 
  • Boundaries worksheets: completing a boundary worksheet can help provide a framework for broaching the topic of boundaries within one’s relationship, and create space for each party to advocate for their respective needs and comfort levels. 
  • Communication worksheets: communication worksheets can help couples discover effective communication skills. For example, the assertive communication worksheet addresses traits of assertive communication (e.g. confident body language, listening to others without interrupting, holding eye contact, etc.), provides tips, and offers hypothetical scenarios to practice assertive communication skills. 
  • Conflict resolution worksheets: effectively navigating conflict is an essential life skill, and for some cultivating this skill does not come easily. Unlike many of the other worksheets that are formatted akin to a questionnaire, relationship conflict resolution worksheets typically provide a list of appropriate conflict resolution skills. 

There are specific couples therapy worksheets that can, respectively, help couples navigate a plethora of common relationship obstacles. 

Why Do Couples Therapy Worksheets?

Couples therapy worksheets provide an alternative means of processing, communicating, and expressing the information touched upon during therapy sessions. They can provide each party with an additional platform to express his or her feelings surrounding a certain topic addressed in or out of a couples therapy session. Although the specific reasons why a couple decide to attend couples therapy is distinct to the couple, by nature of attending every couple that participates in couples therapy has made the choice to actively work on their relationship. This work can take on many forms, one of which could be completing couples therapy worksheets. The worksheets that are assigned by a providing clinician are done so purposefully and are intended to help address the needs and achieve the goals of the couple.

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. 

Couples Therapy In Los Angeles

couple in couples therapy

Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is intended to help couples improve their relationship. Couples therapy is focused helping each party learn to effectively work through challenges, gain a deeper understanding of their relationship, and cultivate healthier ways of relating to and communicating with one another. A couple’s therapist will provide an emotionally safe environment and work with the couple to better their relationship by challenging unhealthy dynamics and enhance the couple’s ability to recognize and resolve conflicts by introducing, teaching and facilitating healthy methods of communication and effective conflict resolution tactics. At times, the work that occurs during couples counseling can be emotionally charged, provoke difficult to face feelings and seem arduously exhausting. For most, the benefits greatly outweigh the challenges, as the skills, tools, and emotional awareness that can come from actively participating in couples counseling can be both empowering and insightful.

Why Go To Couples Counseling?

There is a wide array of reasons why a couple may decide to go to couples counseling. Psychology Today provides the following potential reasons why a couple may seek couples counseling:

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

Some couples choose to attend couples counseling in order to gain a better understanding of their partner. In reality, there are countless nuanced reasons why a couple may elect to go to couples counseling.

How Do I Find One?

There are a plethora of couples counselors in Los Angeles, which for some can make the search for locating one, seem like an overwhelming feat. The process of selecting a couple’s counselor may be innately anxiety provoking, depending on the reason for attending, but it does not have to be challenging. There are fantastic online resources that offer curated lists containing qualified couples counselors, 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 possibility of couples counseling 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 couples counselor recommendations could be beneficial. It is, however imperative to be mindful of the fact that all couples are unique, and each therapist practices with his or her own distinct style, so be sure to thoroughly conduct your due diligence prior to commencing. 

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 Anorexia

anorexia spelled out

Anorexia nervosa, often referred to as anorexia, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as an eating disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, anorexia is “characterized by an abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of weight.” Though anorexia can manifest at any age, research suggests it most commonly develops during adolescence. Individuals that struggle with anorexia engage in a cycle of self-starvation that often results in malnutrition including a lack of essential minerals and nutrients. The list of adverse short and long-term effects of anorexia is extensive, and without proper treatment anorexia can lead to life-threatening consequences. 

Diagnostic Criteria

Obtaining an accurate diagnosis is essential to the recovery process for any mental health illness. Though the symptoms of anorexia can become visibly evident, a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa is reached through a thorough physical and psychological exam. Further, the evaluating provider considers the diagnostic criteria for anorexia, provided by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). To be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, according to the DSM-5, the following criteria must be met:

  • Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements, leading to a significantly low body weight in the context of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health. Significantly low body weight is defined as a weight that is less than minimally normal, or for children and adolescents, less than that minimally expected. 
  • Intense fear of gaining weight or of becoming fat, or persistent behavior that interferes with weight gain, even though at a significantly low weight.
  • Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or persistent lack of recognition of the seriousness of the current low body weight. 

Atypical anorexia is diagnosed when an individual meets the above criteria but despite significant weight loss, is not medically considered underweight. It is important to note that an individual may still be struggling with a serious eating disorder even if all of the DSM-5 criteria for anorexia are unmet. 

Treatment

Every individual is different and will require a tailored treatment plan when it comes to recovering from anorexia. Treatment plans often include a multidisciplinary approach. According to the Mayo Clinic a clinical treatment team for an individual diagnosed with anorexia could include doctors, mental health professionals and dietitians. Depending on the nuanced needs of the individual, the treatment process could include any combination of the following components:

  • Inpatient treatment: intensive, inpatient treatment can help address severe malnutrition and other physical health complications that have developed from one’s eating disorder, settings could include:
    • Hospitalization
    • Inpatient facility
  • Psychotherapy: there are a variety of therapeutic modalities used to help treat individuals with anorexia, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), interpersonal psychotherapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, creative arts therapies, and more. 
  • Medications: certain medications (e.g. antipsychotic: Zyprexa) can be prescribed to help with weight gain
  • Nutrition counseling: used to help individuals learn how to restore normal eating patterns and teach a healthy approach to weight and food

The Mayo Clinic asserts, “One of the biggest challenges in treating anorexia is that people may not want treatment.” Although anorexia is a considered to be a chronic disorder, with proper treatment an individual can learn how to effectively manage its symptoms and go to on lead a healthy and fulfilling life. 

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. 

Covid’s Impact On Mental Health

man wwearing a mask suffering from mental illness

The 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), also known as COVID-19, is a new disease that has not previously been seen in humans. Clinical Microbiology and Infection (CMI) asserts that COVID-19 “is associated with a respiratory illness that may lead to severe pneumonia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).” The fact that the method of transmission, severity of symptoms, and long-term affects of coronavirus-19 were largely unknown not only caused worldwide panic and but also initiated the surge of a global pandemic. In efforts to slow the spread of the virus, states all across America instituted social distancing guidelines, implemented sporadic stay-at-home orders for all non-essential workers, prohibited in-restaurant dining, closed schools, theaters, exercise studios, museums, public libraries, and more. Many hospitals around the country prohibited individuals that were not there for treatment from entering the building (e.g. loved ones of patients). Further, due to its highly contagious nature a strict no visitor’s policy was established both in healthcare settings (e.g. designated COVID-19 unites) as well as in the general public (e.g. mandatory quarantine for a minimum of 14 days) for those that tested positive for the virus. Sadly, this too meant that for individuals who became terminal from COVID-19 they would be unable to be in the company of loved ones in their last living moments. 

Mental Health Impact

Nearly every person in America has experienced the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even in rare situations where an individual does not have a direct connection to someone who has contracted COVID-19, the pandemic could still negatively affect their mental wellbeing. For example, extroverted individuals that thrive on social interaction were required to adhere to the stay-at-home orders and social distance mandates for extended periods of time, which surely affected their mental state. Some individuals lost family members and/ or loved one’s to COVID-19 and were unable to visit with them, see them or be by their side as they passed, which could gravely imprint an individual’s psyche. Depending on the individual, when contracted, the physical toll the virus can take on an individual can be immense, and the recovery process from COVID-19 can leave an individual vulnerable to lingering adverse effects. Having to deal with newfound, seemingly long-term physical complications can contribute to one’s mental state, and could ignite any dormant mental health ailment. The fear surrounding the unknown was palpable, not only in the United States, but all over the world. There is an endless list of all of the known ways COVID-19 impacted society: individuals developed thorough/ obsessive cleaning rituals to avoid unnecessarily contracting the virus, people spent months on end inside their homes, people stopped obtaining medical services for pre-existing conditions for fear of contracting the virus, and many, many more. Every individual living through these unprecedented times is bound to experience a slew of emotions, some of which may be difficult to navigate as they are directly related to unparalleled times. There are countless layers of how COVID-19 could impact an individual’s mental health. Much like many of the long-term effects of contracting the virus itself remain unknown, the long-term mental health effects of living through this pandemic are unknown yet are sure to be both extensive and profound. 

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.

Common Signs Of Borderline Personality Disorder

man with borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder is one of ten personality disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Each of the ten personality disorders is categorized into one of three clusters (cluster A, cluster B and cluster C). The personality disorders that make up each clusters share similar symptoms and have overlapping characteristics. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) cluster A is characterized as odd or eccentric personalities; cluster B is characterized as dramatic, emotional, or erratic personalities; and cluster C is characterized as anxious or fearful personalities. Borderline personality disorder is classified as a cluster C personality disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health explains, “Borderline personality disorder is an illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior.” The cause of borderline personality disorder remains unknown. There are, however, certain risk factors (e.g. brain structure and function, genetics, environmental, cultural and social influences, etc.) that have been noted as potentially contributing to its development. Due to the illusive nature of its symptoms paired with the fact that many symptoms overlap with other mental health ailments, BPD is notoriously known as one of the most difficult mental health illnesses to diagnose. 

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of borderline personality disorder typically result in overarching interpersonal relationship complications and impulsive actions. The Mayo Clinic provides examples of signs and symptoms that are commonly exhibited in individuals with borderline personality disorder, some of which include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Engaging in risky and/ or impulsive behaviors (i.e. reckless driving, excessive gambling, binge eating, substance abuse, unsafe sex…etc.)
  • Intense fear of abandonment
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Self-injury
  • Severe mood swings (i.e. elation, irritability, shame, anxiety…etc.)
  • Pattern of unstable relationships
  • Irrational displays of anger
  • Distorted self image
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Stress related paranoia

Some individuals may experience numerous symptoms of BPD, while others may only experience a few symptoms. Research has indicated that individuals with borderline personality disorder may experience intense episodes of depression, anxiety and/ or anger that could last from a few hours to several days long. Every individual is different and has the propensity to exhibit a unique combination of signs and symptoms related to borderline personality disorder.

Treatment

Although borderline personality disorder is considered a chronic mental health condition, there are a variety of treatment options available for individuals diagnosed with BPD, which can help individuals, learn to manage their symptoms. The most common method of treatment for borderline personality disorder is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Marsha M. Linehan developed DBT in the late 1980s, specifically to better treat chronically suicidal individuals with borderline personality disorder. Dialectical behavior therapy is based on the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach, and places greater emphasis on the psychosocial aspect of therapy. With proper treatment, an individual diagnosed with borderline personality disorder can learn to effectively navigate his or her symptoms of BPD and go on to lead a happy and fulfilling life. 

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 Is Substance Abuse?

abusing drugs

Johns Hopkins Medicine asserts, “substance abuse is the medical term used to describe a pattern of using a substance (drug) that causes significant problems or distress.” Every individual is different, and each person will react distinctly when foreign substances are introduced to his or her system. The way an individual processes drugs and/ or alcohol will depend on a variety of factors. These can include, but are not limited to: the type of substance ingested, the personal health history of the individual, the individual’s metabolism, if a mixture of substances is ingested, the presence of any co morbid disorders, and more. Some individuals will innately have an increased tolerance to substances, while others may not (e.g. those known as “light-weights” when it comes to drinking alcohol). When individuals abuse substances in a social setting this can lead to dangerous consequences, as some individuals may be unable to “keep up” with others and could be at increased risk for overdose

What Constitutes Substance Abuse?

There are a variety of ways an individual could abuse substances. Some examples of substance abuse are as follows:

  • Habitually engages in illegal substance use
  • Taking legal medications in a way other than prescribed
    • Snorting pills that were intended to be swallowed
    • Increasing the frequency of ingestion
    • Increasing the amount of pills ingested
    • Taking the medication for a longer duration than prescribed
    • Mixing the medication with other substances (e.g. taking medication while drinking alcohol)
  • Taking medications that were prescribed to another individual
  • Drinking alcohol excessively, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes males drinking more than five standard alcoholic drinks within a two-hour period and females drinking more than four standard alcoholic beverages within a two-hour window.
    • One standard drink as provided by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to be:
      • 12 ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol content) 
      • 8 – 9 ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)
      • 5 ounces of unfortified wine (12% alcohol content)
      • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard liquor (40% alcohol content)

When an individual engages in habitual substance abuse, he or she is at increased risk for developing substance use disorder. Substance use disorder, also known as addiction, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic brain disorder. It is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli without regard for consequence. Individuals that struggle with addiction will prioritize satisfying drug cravings above all else. This can lead to detrimental consequences affecting all areas of one’s life. 

Most Commonly Abused Substances

There are a variety of both legal and illicit substances that are frequently abused. The substances that are most often abused, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) include the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Alcohol
  • Methamphetamines 
  • Cocaine
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Opiates 
  • Prescription medicines (e.g. stimulants, anxiety medication, pain pills, etc.)

It is important to note that even individuals with a valid medical prescription for certain controlled substance medications could end up abusing the medication if it is not taken exactly as prescribed. 

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. 

Marriage Counseling Options In Los Angeles

a couple receiving marriage counseling

Every person is different and each contributes uniqueness to the relationship dynamics that make up a marriage. Much like the roles of each member that make up a family of origin are often firmly established early on, the habits, patterns, and roles in a marriage are often assumed early in the relationship. Few individuals that enter into a marriage fully understand the gravity of the commitment they are making and the personal and combined effort it will take to maintain the sacred bond of marriage, or exit a marriage amicably. As is true with maintaining any authentic relationship, marriage will require active work and dedication. Individuals are evolving people, and as the individuals in a marriage grow and develop, so too must their relationship. As humans age, all will experience shifting desires and changing needs, and the marriage relationship is no exception. A healthy marriage demands the same amount of attention that is reserved for individual evolution. In order for marriage counseling to be truly effective, both members of the relationship must be open to or at the vary least, willing to participate in the therapeutic process. 

Where To Look

Each marriage counselor is different. Not all marriage counselors will resonate with each couple, and when in a situation where the relationship between couple and counselor is less than optimal, it may be best to seek a new marriage-counseling therapist. Los Angeles, California is home to a plethora of qualified couples counseling therapists. Depending on the needs of the couple Los Angeles has many mental health professionals that specialize in marriage counseling, each with differing levels of education, backgrounds, specialties, and experience. When searching for a marriage counselor in Los Angeles, due to the overwhelming number of options, the process could quickly become tedious and for some even anxiety provoking. In effort to alleviate some of the pressure related to the search, consider the following two suggestions:  

  • Ask your network of trusted family and friends for references: even if the recommended therapist is unable to take you on as a client, he or she will likely be able to refer you to someone in his or her professional network.
  • 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): check with your primary care provider to see if they are able to refer you to a marriage counselor that they recommend.
  • Ask us for help: We have years of experience in marriage counseling. And if we are unable to help, we can refer you to someone who can.

The nuanced needs that present in each individual that make up the marriage, respectively, that affect the relationship as a whole will greatly inform the scope and therapeutic strategies used in couples counseling. It is important to bear in mind that not all couples that enter marriage counseling are necessarily in crisis or experiencing relationship fractures. Some may feel that they would simply like to improve certain areas of their relationship, increase communication efficacy, or preemptively learn useful tools to maintain their healthy marriage. Ultimately, the reason behind why a couple enters marriage counseling is entirely personal. There are a variety of benefits that can develop as a result of marriage counseling. Marriage counseling can help individuals learn coping mechanisms, effective communication strategies, and healthy conflict resolution tactics, all of which can be implemented in the couples relationship to enhance the marriage. 

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. 

Treatment Options for Alcoholism

male alcoholic

Alcoholism, also referred to as alcohol use disorder, is a chronic disease that will affect all areas of one’s life. According to the Mayo Clinic, “it is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptom when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.” An individual that is addicted to alcohol will prioritize satisfying his or her alcohol cravings above all else. This can invariably lead to physical complications, relationship fractures, financial strain, legal problems, and more. There are a variety of treatment options available for individuals struggling with alcohol use disorder.

Detox

Prior to attending a formal substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program, an individual that has struggled with alcohol abuse must undergo detox. Detox is the process that rids one’s body of all abused substances. When an individual has habitually abused alcohol, his or her system will become accustomed to functioning with it present. When alcohol is removed from one’s system it will react accordingly and withdrawal symptoms will ensue. Though the withdrawal symptoms that accompany detoxing from alcohol are not inherently life threatening, many can cause severe discomfort, and support throughout the duration of the detox program via a medically supervised detox is recommended. Subsequent to the detox process, an individual that has struggled with alcohol abuse should seek formalized substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment. 

Treatment Options

Every person is different and will require a somewhat customized treatment plan when it comes to recovering from alcoholism. There are two main types of substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment programs, which are inpatient treatment programs and outpatient treatment programs. Inpatient treatment options require an individual to reside at the treatment facility for the duration of the program, whereas outpatient treatment options do not. Though the structure of the programs differs, both have the same primary goal: to help an individual become sober and healthy. Treatment programs can vary in length, typically ranging between twenty-one days long to three months long, in some cases longer. Each inpatient and outpatient substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program is different. Substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment programs are often comprised of a variety of treatment methods (e.g. individual psychotherapy, group therapy, creative arts therapies, etc.). Both options, inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment, can yield successful results, depending on the needs of the individuals. 

Aftercare

Developing an aftercare plan is an integral component of any type of formalized substance and/ or addiction treatment. An aftercare plan provides general suggestions and personal recommendations for an individual to refer to after he or she has completed the substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program. An aftercare plan can be an excellent resource as it often includes relapse prevention strategies as well as provides tailored guidance for an individual to maintain continued sobriety.

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.