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What Is Radical Acceptance?

What Is Radical Acceptance?

Radical acceptance is tool used in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), that is designed to keep pain from turning into suffering. Psychologist Marsha M. Linehan developed dialectical behavior therapy in the late 1980s as a means to help better treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It is an evidence-based psychotherapy that is founded on principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), but places greater emphasis on the psychosocial aspect of treatment. It combines standard CBT techniques for emotional regulation and reality testing with concepts derived from Buddhist meditative practice such as awareness, mindfulness, and attentiveness to current situations and emotional experiences to encourage acceptance. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in the following four key areas, as provided by the Linehan Institute:

  1. Core Mindfulness: skills focused on improving an individual’s ability to accept and be present in any given moment.
  2. Distress tolerance: skills focused on increasing an individual’s tolerance of negative emotions instead of attempting to avoid or escape them.
  3. Interpersonal effectiveness: skills focused on increasing an individual’s communication strategies.
  4. Emotion regulation: skills focused on helping an individual identify, name, and understand the function of emotions, and increasing one’s ability to regulate emotions. 

Radical acceptance, specifically, is a skill that is addressed in the distress tolerance module. According to VeryWell Mind, “Radical acceptance can be defined as the ability to accept situations that are outside of your own control without judging them, which in turn reduces the suffering that is caused by them.” Much like every component of DBT, radical acceptance is a skill that requires practice, as it involves letting go of the need to control a situation.

How to Practice Radical Acceptance

Marsha M. Linehan provides the following ten steps for practicing Radical Acceptance using DBT:

  • Watch for thoughts that you are fighting against reality. 
  • Remind yourself that reality cannot be changed. 
  • Acknowledge that something led to this moment and think about the cause of events that you are unable to accept. 
  • When you are in a situation that causes extreme emotions, try focusing on breathing deeply and examining the thoughts you are having (and let them pass).
  • List what your behavior would look like if you did accept the facts then act accordingly.
  • Create a plan of action for events that seem unacceptable, think about what you will do, and how to appropriately cope.
  • Practice a feeling of total and complete acceptance through positive self-talk and relaxation strategies.
  • Remain mindful of physical sensations throughout your body such as tension or stress.
  • Embrace feelings such as disappointment, sadness, or grief.
  • Accept that life is worth living even when experiencing pain. 

Radical acceptance is achieved when one lets go of the urges to fight reality, does not succumb to the need to respond with impulsive or destructive behaviors, and releases the bitterness that may be trapping an individual in a cycle of suffering. 

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 to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

Borderline Personality Disorder Triggers

Borderline Personality Disorder Triggers

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious psychological condition that is characterized by pervasive instability in moods, emotions, behaviors, and interpersonal relationships. Individuals with borderline personality disorder feel prolonged, intense emotions and are unable to return to a neutral emotional baseline after facing an emotionally charged experience in a timely manner. This can affect all areas of one’s life as the duration it takes an individual with BPD to process, integrate, and recover from emotional challenges is elongated. Individuals with borderline personality disorder often struggle with relationship issues, lack self-esteem, have a poor self-image, and have an inability to appropriately self-regulate. Borderline personality disorder is not an uncommon disorder, as the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) estimates that 1.4% of the adult population in America experience BPD. 

BPD Triggers

Johns Hopkins Medicine explains “Triggers are external events or circumstances that may produce very uncomfortable emotional or psychiatric symptoms, such as anxiety, panic, discouragement, despair, or negative self-talk.” Many borderline personality disorder triggers arise from interpersonal distress. While BPD triggers can vary from person to person, there are some types of triggers that are common in BPD. Examples of commonly reported BPD triggers can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Perceived or real abandonment
  • Rejection of any kind
  • Loss of a job
  • Locations that invoke negative memories
  • Reminders of traumatic events
  • Ending a relationship

A trigger, in relation to BPD typically refers to something that precipitates the exacerbation of one’s BPD symptoms.

Symptoms

The symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder can pervasively interfere with an individual’s ability to function optimally in his or her daily life. Common symptoms of borderline personality disorder can include any combination of the following examples, provided by the Mayo Clinic

  • Ongoing feelings of emptiness
  • Risky behavior (e.g., gambling, having unsafe sex, etc.)
  • Intense fear of being alone or abandoned
  • Fragile self-image
  • Unstable relationships
  • Erratic moods
  • Frequent displays of intense anger
  • Stress-related, fleeting paranoia
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Threats of self-injury

It is not uncommon for people with BPD to feel extremely intense emotions for extended periods of time. This makes returning to a stable emotional baseline far more challenging, especially after experiencing an emotionally triggering event. The symptoms that manifest because of borderline personality disorder often mimic those of other mental health disorders such as histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and bipolar personality disorder, which can make the diagnosis process rather challenging. 

Diagnostic Criteria

There is no definitive medical test to diagnose borderline personality disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), borderline personality disorder is diagnosed when an individual experiences “a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood” and must experience five or more of the following symptoms in a variety of contexts:

  • Emotional instability
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Efforts to avoid abandonment
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Identity disturbances
  • Inappropriate, irrational and/ or intense bouts of anger
  • Transient paranoid and/ or dissociative symptoms
  • Unstable interpersonal relationships
  • Suicidal and/ or self-harming behaviors

Due to its illusive nature, borderline personality disorder can be extremely difficult to diagnose. As such, to obtain the most accurate mental health diagnosis it is imperative to undergo a comprehensive evaluation that is conducted by one or more qualified mental health professionals. 

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 to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

 

Is Addiction A Disease?

Is Addiction A Disease?

Yes, addiction, also referred to as substance use disorder, is a mental health disorder listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). It is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli (often, dangerous, risky, and/ or unhealthy) regardless of the ensuing negative consequences. Engaging in habitual substance abuse is a slippery slope that can quickly lead to addiction. The type of substance abused, the duration of one’s substance abuse, the potency of the drug abused, one’s personal health history, as well as one’s family health history will all contribute to the length of time it may take for an individual to develop an addiction. An individual that struggles with addiction will put his or her need for satisfying a drug craving above all else in his or her life. Therefore, addiction has the propensity to affect every aspect of an individual’s life. It is important to note that addiction does not develop overnight, nor should an individual expect his or her recovery from addiction to occur instantaneously. The treatment process for recovering from an addiction will require steadfast dedication and will be a lifelong commitment.

Habitual use of any substance can lead to increased tolerance, meaning an individual will require more of the substance (e.g., higher dosage, frequency of use, etc.) to achieve the same feeling. When an individual constantly abuses drugs and/ or alcohol, his or her body must make accommodations to properly function with the substance present. When a substance that one’s body has become accustomed to functioning with is absent or has less of the substance in his or her system, it will react accordingly. Adverse withdrawal symptoms will ensue, and the individual will be unable to function optimally. When an individual is unable to stop using a substance without experiencing withdrawal symptoms, he or she has reached some level of dependence. An individual that struggles with drug and/ or alcohol dependence and continues to abuse drugs and/ or alcohol increases his or her susceptibility to developing a full-blown addiction

Risk Factors

The precise reason behind why an individual develops an addiction remains unknown. There are, however, several risk factors that have been reported to increase one’s propensity for developing an addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) these include environmental risk factors, genetics, drug of choice, method of use, and the age an individual started abusing drugs and/ or alcohol. Every individual is different and will have or lack various predispositions that can contribute to developing an addiction. Nevertheless, it is important to note that anyone can develop an addiction, regardless of social status, beliefs, or background. 

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 to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

Borderline Personality Disorder’s Effects on Relationships

Borderline Personality Disorder

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. It characterized by a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image issues, and difficulty managing emotions and behaviors, which interfere with one’s ability to function in everyday life. The symptoms of BPD will often result in reckless and hasty actions, negatively affecting one’s relationships. The cause for borderline personality disorder remains unknown. However, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) alludes to research that “suggests that genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors play a role, or may increase the risk for developing borderline personality disorder.” Though these factors can contribute to one’s susceptibility for developing BPD, exposure to one or more risk factors does not indicate an individual will inevitably to go on to develop borderline personality disorder. Most commonly, BPD develops in early adulthood, often with more severe symptoms occurring in the early stages of onset. 

Effects on Relationships

Borderline personality disorder directly affects how one feels about him or herself, one’s behavior as well as how an individual can relate to others. According to the DSM-5 key signs and symptoms of BPD that will have a direct effect on one’s relationships may include:  

  • Unstable personal relationships that alternate between idealization and devaluation, sometimes referred to as splitting
  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment by family and friends
  • Impulsive behaviors resulting in dangerous outcomes (e.g., engaging in unsafe sex, reckless driving, abuse of drugs, etc.)
  • Distorted and unstable self-image, affecting one’s moods, relationships, goals, values, and/ or opinions
  • Self-harming behavior (e.g., suicidal threats)
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness and/ or boredom
  • Periods of intense depressed mood, irritability and/ or anxiety lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few days long
  • Dissociative feelings
  • Intense, inappropriate, and/ or uncontrollable anger, typically followed by feelings of guilt and/ or shame

People with borderline personality disorder have a more difficult time returning to an emotional baseline, which can make sustaining relationships challenging. The quick changing nature of BPD symptoms (e.g., emotional peaks and valleys) can lead to conflict-filled, chaotic relationships. Hence, people with BPD typically have rocky relationships with others, both platonic and romantic.

Treatment

Although BPD is a chronic condition, there are a variety of treatment options available for a person diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. 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 increase one’s quality of life. Every individual is different and will require a somewhat tailored treatment plan when it comes to BPD. Often treatment plans include a combination of medication and psychotherapy (e.g., dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc.). Some individuals that experience severe symptoms will require inpatient, intensive care, while others may never need emergency care or hospitalization. With proper treatment an individual can have healthy relationships despite BPD. 

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 to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment. 

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.