Counseling Versus Psychotherapy

 

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The words ‘psychotherapist’ and ‘counselor’ are frequently used to imply the same things, but there are actually several valuable differences between these two. Generally, counseling is suggested for those going through particular situations like sorrow or addiction, and the sessions usually progress from weeks to months.

On the other hand, psychotherapy is focused on uncovering past concerns that could be aggravating an individual’s current issues. Sessions typically last for years and may be continuous or intermittent, depending on the case of the patients. In reality, however, these two fields of mental health overlap in so many ways.

Psychotherapy Vs. Counseling

Psychotherapy and counseling can be provided by the same counselor or therapist, although psychotherapy needs more practice and skills than simple counseling. It is done by professionals who have been specially trained in psychotherapy, like a psychologist, certified counselor, psychiatrist, or social worker.

A psychotherapist has the education and training to counsel his patients, but a counselor does not necessarily do. Hence, a therapist can counsel in certain situations while a counselor can counsel using a psychotherapeutic approach.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy involves a longer term of treatment that centers on getting insight into longstanding emotional and physical problems. The emphasis is on an individual’s thought patterns and how these patterns could affect past incidents so that they lead to issues in the present. Meaning that psychotherapy focuses on the underlying root of the present problems to make permanent changes and personal improvement happen.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychoanalytic therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy are some of the common forms of psychotherapy.

Counseling

“Counselor” literally means advisor. It encompasses two individuals that work alongside each other to resolve a problem or issue. The word is used together with several forms of advice-giving. For instance, spiritual mediation and financial preparations are forms of counseling.

Anyone can say that he is a counselor if one of his tasks is providing sound advice. Still, the word counseling can also appropriately indicate what happens in a relationship with a psychotherapist.

In mental health, counseling is commonly used to refer to a somewhat short treatment centered basically on behavior. It frequently targets a specific indication or negative incident and provides recommendations and advice in managing it. In this type of setting, the counselor guides and supports his client as they work together to find ways to handle life better and make more efficient adjustments to challenges.

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Some examples of counselors include family and marriage counselors, substance abuse counselors, and grief counselors.

Differences

Mental health providers with Ph.D. or Psy.D have a higher likelihood of providing psychotherapy, and they can also do counseling. The key differences between psychotherapy and counseling, however, include:

Psychotherapy

  • More oriented on the bigger picture
  • Emphasis is on recurrent or chronic problems
  • Experience and emotion-focused
  • Long-term therapy could be intermittent or permanent
  • Primary method
  • Targets more deeply on internal feelings and thought patterns
  • Could include talk therapy, personality tests, and others like cognitive behavioral therapy

Counseling

  • Particular behaviors or events
  • Emphasis is on current situations and issues
  • Behavior and action-focused
  • Brief treatment, about weeks to six months
  • Talk therapy
  • Secondary method
  • Provide more knowledge, comfort, and guidance to help clients recognize and figure out solutions to their current concerns.

Similarities

Needless to say, there are numerous similarities between psychotherapy and counseling, and despite the distinction, psychotherapy often encompasses counseling, and counseling often encompasses some psychotherapy. Similar points include:

  • The goal of developing a positive, therapeutic, and secure relationship between the client and the counselor/therapist.
  • The efficiency of both types of treatment for a variety of individuals, both children and adults.
  • Understanding an individual’s behaviors and emotions and focusing on matters to enhance the individual’s life.

Choosing Between A Psychotherapist And A Counselor

When choosing a counselor, it is beneficial to know more about the differences mentioned above and the experience of the particular professionals and therapy styles that they use. At times, the decision will come down to availability, insurance coverage, and personal choice.

However, the most vital move is to see a therapist or counselor that you can rely on. In fact, the degree of reliability that an individual has in their mental health provider plays the most important role in whether or not the treatment will succeed.

You might also require a consult with a mental health professional for a few meetings before knowing the kind of therapy suitable for you. For instance, with some incidents, it can be tough to be aware if it is a brief or restricted problem that you are confronted with, or if indeed, there are circumstances in the past that have caused the present problem.

When You Can Consult A Counselor

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Counseling could be a more suitable choice compared to psychotherapy if:

  • You want to learn coping strategies that can help deal with stress and enhance relationships
  • You have certain problems or matters that you want to address
  • You are dealing with addiction problems
  • You are undergoing adjustments like grief or divorce

When You Can Consult A Psychotherapist

Psychotherapy may be a more suitable choice if:

  • You are dealing with past trauma, or if you think that events in the past may have had some effect on your present problems.
  • You have issues that are tremendously affecting your relationships and your life in general.
  • You are diagnosed with a mental health disorder like anxiety or bipolar disorder.
  • You have consulted a counselor, and your problems are not improving despite actively working on the issue at hand.
  • Your current concerns are recurring or chronic.

 

 

Counseling For Depression

 

 

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Depression is a severe mood disorder, with approximately 17 million adults in the United States have at least one specific depressive illness. It impacts how people feel, how they interact with others, and how they can manage everyday living. It can lead to emotions of misery and a lack of interest or enjoyment in things you previously loved doing. Anyone can suffer from depression, and it can occur any time, but it usually starts in adulthood.

The great news is that depression can be treated, with reports of up to 90% of individuals gradually reacting well to the treatments. Among the reasons depression responds to treatment is that enhancements are found in psychotherapy, counseling, and medications. Having the right counselor or therapist that can effectively enable you to understand and overcome the challenges you are experiencing due to depression and learn coping techniques to manage the symptoms is frequently the initial step to recovery.

Managing Depression

Depression is commonly managed with antidepressants, therapy, or both. There are numerous forms of antidepressants available in the market, and it could take time to find the most suitable form for you. Hence, working intimately with your physician is crucial at this time, as even with the right medicines, it still takes time to see improvement in how you are feeling finally.

Counseling For Depression

The degree and frequency of the symptoms and bouts of depression often help identify the type of counseling or therapy. If you have been depressed and have had major symptoms, consulting with a psychologist or psychiatrist might be beneficial since they work with more concerns from the pat that might have stemmed from your current emotions. However, if the depressive symptoms are more current or not very severe, talking to a counselor may be helpful.

In a counseling session, the counselor will utilize talk therapy to help you work through and deal with matters affecting your life in unhealthy ways. One of his roles is to hear his clients out, give feedback, and work with them to create strategies that help them cope. He also assesses improvement and makes adjustments to the counseling sessions as necessary. The counselor also tries to track his clients’ feelings and moods by providing them with homework that would help improve their circumstances.

Counseling for depression entails more on current emotions, behaviors, and thought patterns and how these impact your life at the moment. That is why cognitive behavioral therapy has become a helpful tool in many counseling sessions. With CBT, the counselor or therapist is tasked to shift his clients’ negative thoughts, those that have been causing the depression to worsen. It is objective-oriented, and the client and counselor both have active roles.

Since CBT is largely known to be a short-term type of therapy, it is frequently a perfect option for therapists who are dealing with minor to moderate depressive cases that don’t require in-depth psychotherapy. Additionally, there has been sufficient proof to show that CBT works effectively in counseling for depression.

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Other Treatments

There are other treatment techniques and tools that are worth trying. Electroconvulsive therapy is helpful for the worst cases of depression. There are also alternative and complementary methods that offer further benefits.

Finding A Counselor

Finding a suitable counselor or other mental health providers to work with could take a lot of time. But when it comes to counseling for depression, the connection between the client and the counselor is vital to the success of the treatment session. Patience and open-mindedness are important values to have during the process.

If you’re uncertain about finding a counselor, an appropriate place to begin is with your physician. You may also want to consult major mental health centers in your area. They might not provide the kind of services you require, but they will most likely be acquainted with counselors close to your area that offer to counsel for depression.

You could check out one other place via one of the known organizations like Anxiety and Depression Association of America or the American Psychological Association. Many of these groups have online information that permits you to scan for mental health providers in the area.

Ultimately, take time to research the experts in your place. Search online and read about them. Email them and ask them for more information regarding their preferred types of treatment and how they respond to their clients. Many counselors and therapists provide free sessions as a trial if the patient is a good fit for the actual session.

Online therapy or counseling is another form of treatment that is worth looking into. It has become quite popular over the years and has significantly increased in the midst of the current pandemic.

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Takeaway

Having depression can become stressful and devastating at times. Being in a therapeutic relationship with a mental health provider like a therapist or counselor offers a secure environment to stay in touch with the feelings, thoughts, and behavioral patterns that are causing the depressive symptoms to worsen. Counseling also helps you expand your knowledge about coping strategies that could help you manage your symptoms more efficiently.

It is safe to say that short-term counseling, which usually covers six months or less, is frequently applied for minor to moderate depression. If you think you could take advantage of going through counseling for depression, discuss this with your physician and get help for a referral.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression Support Groups

Depression is one nasty mental health condition that, if left untreated, can change your life negatively forever. Once it turned your life around, there is no going back. All you will need to do is endure the pain and live with agony. Depression, when severe, can be cruel as it disrupts even your healthiest thoughts and feelings. It can make you suffer for God knows how long, and it can make you feel unloved and unworthy. There’s more! The mental health condition does not stop there as it can make you feel helpless and alone. It can lead you to self-harm, and sometimes it can push you to the edge of committing suicide.

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Everything about depression is scary. Apparently, some people do not often understand how much damage it can cause. Fortunately, others pay attention to their mental and emotional needs. Thus, these people value and practice coping strategies that help eliminate the signs and symptoms of depression. Of course, these include getting enough sleep, maintaining proper hydration, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, meditating, and so on. But sometimes, though these coping strategies work fine, it does not guarantee to get rid of depressive symptoms. Sometimes, it takes more than a self-effort to accomplish the goal of addressing the mental health condition. That is where support groups become handy.

How are support groups effective? 

Support groups are effective because they are likely to understand and somehow provide you with an opportunity to be with the right group of people who are likely to have a common purpose in life. Benefits of involving yourself in a support group include feeling less isolated, lonely, and judged. Support groups focus on supporting each other to reduce stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression. In Support groups, there is empowerment to solve problems in more comfortable, developed, and well-improved ways.

 How do I find support groups in my area? 

Finding a support group in your area can be an easy task. However, it is vital to consider your primary needs before engaging with a group of people who will eventually share their life stressors. A mental health expert or your primary care physician is often the best place to start finding a local support group. If you have enough time, you can also search for a local meeting via the websites of the different support groups near you. You can try some organizations’ apps that can help you with finding the right people.

 What is an emotional support group? 

A support group involves different individuals who are more than willing to share their life experiences with others, such as personal experiences, emotional and mental battles, thought and feelings, coping strategies, or firsthand information about a disease or a specific treatment. A support group provides an opportunity for others to be part of an organization that shares the same purpose and to encourage members to evaluate and identify the needs of alternatives for themselves. Emotional support groups are beneficial for strengthening self-awareness and self-confidence despite having a mental health problem.

 What is mental health’s dual diagnosis? 

Unfortunately, people can have more than one mental disorder or illness at the same time. Having co-occurring disorders o dual diagnosis in mental health refers to a person with a dual diagnosis with both a psychological condition and a drug or alcohol addiction. About half of people who have a mental disorder eventually experience a substance use disorder as these conditions occur together frequently. To get an official and reliable dual diagnosis, you must get an evaluation from an addiction specialist or mental health professional.

 Are online support groups effective? 

Online support groups function as an effective therapeutic method that binds with counseling services for members who require more support than counseling offers. There is a peer-to-peer online and in-person anxiety and depression discussion that helps individuals understand their condition, mental health needs, coping strategies, and treatment. Online support groups offer individuals and their families an outlet to share information and experiences regarding their physical, mental, and emotional struggles.

 Are there online support groups? 

Yes. In fact, there are a lot of online support groups that you can choose from. All of them share the same value by providing an alternative vehicle of support for someone like you who experiences distress, emotional and mental problems, treatments and medications, and other similar issues. Online support groups potentially improve your access to reach further a wide range of people, including those who are not open to seek face-to-face support at all. Online support groups can help with stress management issues, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, negative feelings, and general mental health issues.

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 What are some types of mental disorders?

Some common types of mental disorders include eating disorders, personality disorders, PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder or mood disorder, Psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia.

 What triggers mental illness? 

Though a mental health condition differs from one person to another, certain factors in life increase the risk of developing it. These include a history of mental illness in the family. It also comes from stressful, exhausting, and traumatic life situations, such as financial problems, work or school deadlines, a loved one’s death, and abuse. A relationship issue like divorce or legal separation can be a trigger as well.

 Is overreacting a mental illness? 

Yes. In fact, overreacting or an overreaction to anything can be a symptom of bipolar disorder or anxiety. There is the tendency that hearing painful and harsh words can make people respond with extreme anger, agitation, or dark depression. Usually, some individuals cannot control this type of behavior.

 How do I know if I’m mentally unstable? 

There are ways you can identify if you are mentally unstable. However, it is vital to consult an expert to get into the root of your psychological issue and get a proper diagnosis. But for a self-assessment, you can tell that you are mentally unstable if you often feel sad or down, or extremely full of guilt, or if you have excessive fears or worries, and you often experience extreme mood changes. In some cases, you constantly suffer from confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate and withdrawal from friends and activities. Even the struggle with significant tiredness, low energy, or problems sleeping is an indication as well.

 Is mental illness curable? 

Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for mental illness because most conditions stay for a very long period. However, there are lots of effective medications and treatments that can help with damaging symptoms. Thus, people with mental illnesses usually recover and live long and healthy lives despite the overall struggle.

 What is the best treatment for mental illness? 

Some of the best treatment for mental illness is psychotherapy, medication, complementary & alternative medicine, hospitalization, support group, peer support, and self-help plan. But remember, before trying any of these, it best to have a precise diagnosis of what you are emotionally or mentally struggling with so that you won’t end up making your situation worse. It is recommended to seek advice and consult an expert to know what treatment for mental illness suits your needs.

 What is the primary cause of depression? 

Depression is an entirely complicated mental health problem. There are multiple causes of it. Factors such as severe life stressors, genetic vulnerability, death or loss of a loved one, medications, drugs and alcohol abuse, and other medical conditions can affect how the brain regulates moods.

 What happens to the brain during a depression?

Depression affects a person’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It causes feelings of hopelessness and sadness that can last anywhere from a few weeks to even years. Usually, when people are depressed, part of their brain associated with emotional responses enlarges. When this happens, changes in other hormones, activity levels, brain inflammation, and sleep disturbances occur.

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Insight

Knowing that there are people who are willing to listen and be there for you in times of your most devastating mental health battle is helpful when you think about it. Not only because you get to feel surrounded by people who truly love and care for you, but also because you know your situation is valid. Take advantage of the individuals who are willing to listen to your problems and accept you for who you are. Because, in the end, their presence is all that matters.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Animal-Assisted Therapy

Many of the animals have become domesticated through the years. Dogs, cats, birds, horses, and others began living with humans as pets. Through this human-animal relationship, science got the idea to use them as a part of therapy. Therapy is a useful medical practice to treat both physical and mental health conditions.

The animal kingdom has shown a lot of significant contributions to society and our history. Many animals had already inhabited the planet long before men even existed.

Science believes humans diverged from a common ancestor with a particular species of animals. Over the centuries, humankind has evolved alongside animals.

Animals have served plenty of purposes, both for the environment and for the people. They are an essential part of the ecosystem and play a vital role in the world’s ecological balance.

From food, clothing, medicine, and even as a means of transportation, they have become the resources for almost everything. They provide security and companionship.

In some religions and cultures, they are even considered holy and sacred. Now, they can even help with therapies.

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The utilization of animals in the medical field has been around since the Middle Ages. Ancient Greeks and Romans have discovered the benefits of animal interactions. Studies observed that animals could provide comfort and relief for many ill patients.

In fact, they aid in fast recovery. Since then, researchers have continually developed various treatment approaches using animals. It took many decades of studies, but by the 1960s, they coined the term animal-assisted therapy.

Below, you will find a few of the frequently asked questions regarding animal-assisted therapy.

What does an animal-assisted therapist do?

An animal-assisted therapist works with therapy animals in a myriad of settings. They provide their service in hospitals, private homes, and nursing homes, among others. Together with therapy animals, they typically help clients deal with conditions such as anxiety, PTSD and improving self-esteem and social skills.

Animal-assisted therapists can provide help and support to children with behavior problems and the elderly suffering from dementia.

What conditions disorders does animal-assisted therapy treat?

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) can be integrated into the treatment plan for physical and mental health conditions. The therapy is specifically helpful for depression, anxiety, cardiovascular diseases, epilepsy, ADHD, PTSD, and ASD.

How effective is animal-assisted therapy?

Studies have shown that animal-assisted therapy can lower blood pressure and cortisol, our body’s stress hormone. This presence of therapy animals has also been found to reduce anxiety and elevate mood.

AAT sessions are particularly useful for children who are resistant to therapy. Furthermore, it also boosts mental stimulation for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

 When was animal-assisted therapy first used?

The history of animal-assisted therapy goes as far back as 600 BC. Early Greeks used the presence of horses to raise the spirits of ill patients. By the 1600s, doctors had started using horses for improving both the mental and physical health of patients.

It was not until the 1960s that formal research in animal-assisted therapy started, led by Dr. Boris Levinson. He found that dogs’ presence in therapeutic settings positively affected young patients with mental impairments.

 What are the highest paying jobs working with animals?

The highest paying jobs involving animals are typically related to research, training, and direct care. It includes animal trainer, zookeeper, veterinarian, veterinary assistant and technician, animal control officer, animal nutritionist, and animal biologists.

 Can any animal be a therapy animal?

Therapy animals are common domestic animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, etc. To qualify as a therapy animal, they must be well-behaved, trained, and have undergone interaction screening with humans and other animals.

How many years does it take to become an animal physical therapist?

To become an animal physical therapist, you have to have a master’s degree, at least. Completing a master’s degree generally takes 2 ½ years. There are also doctoral programs under the field of physical therapy, which typically takes three years.

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Who uses animal-assisted therapy?

Animal-assisted therapy is useful for people with mental health disorders, children undergoing medical procedures, and elderly residents in residential facilities. It can also be an integrated program in physical therapy sessions and chemotherapy.

How do I become a pet psychiatrist?

To become a pet psychiatrist, you must first earn your undergraduate degree related to animal behavior, psychology, or biology. It would also be helpful to undergo internships in settings like animal research facilities or animal shelters.

You will then need to take a master’s degree, doctorate, or a degree in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Depending on your level of training, you will either get licensure or certification for applied animal behaviorists.

When was the first therapy dog?

The first officially recorded and recognized therapy dog is a Yorkshire Terrier named Smoky. Her therapy dog service began when her owner, a corporal in the U.S. Air Force, got hospitalized from dengue fever.

The nurses at the hospital noticed the positive effect that Smoky had on her owner and other patients. When it was brought to Dr. Charles Mayo of Mayo Clinic’s attention, he permitted Smoky to participate in rounds.

It marked the start of Smoky’s journey as a therapy dog that lasted 12 years after the Second World War.

How do I become an animal-assisted therapist U.K.?

There are no regulated qualifications in the U.K. to become an animal-assisted therapist. However, professionals usually perform the intervention with disciplines such as psychotherapy, occupational therapy, counseling, animal handling, etc.

Higher education courses and training can lead you towards a broader understanding of the field.

How do you train a dog for animal-assisted therapy?

Training a dog to become a therapy dog requires both the handler and the dog’s dedicated work. The initial thing to do is to ensure that the dog is adequately socialized by various people, objects, and places.

You can then start training the dog for behaviors needed for therapy sessions and enroll them in therapy dog class. These classes will involve evaluations that will help the dog pass the test and register as a qualified therapy dog.

What is the difference between a service dog and a therapy dog?

A service dog is trained to perform tasks to support people with disabilities. Their job limits their interaction with other dogs and people to ensure that they’re fulfilling their duty. They are granted protection of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), allowing them to access public spaces.

A therapy dog has training that enables them to provide psychological support to individuals in hospitals or nursing homes. Unlike service dogs, therapy dogs have a more friendly temperament, and they don’t have the ADA privilege.

How can I certify my dog as a therapy dog online?

First, you must ensure that your dog is fully trained to become a therapy dog. It is generally voluntary to obtain a certification or register your dog as a therapy dog.

However, you can acquire I.D. cards or vests from recognized organizations and programs to let people know that they’re on-duty.

What breed of dog is best for depression?

Certain dog breeds are best for handling depression. The top on this list is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with its natural affectionate temperament.

Other dog breeds best for depression are Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, Pug, and English Bulldog.

Conclusion

Pet therapy is another name for animal-assisted therapy. It certainly has become a popular complementary treatment alongside other forms of psychotherapy. It caters to both physical and psychological disorders.

AAT has dramatically helped many mentally-ill patients become stable and improve their moods. Animals in therapy have also worked with many patients with physical health conditions, such as epilepsy and cancer, to recover.

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A lot of people are now also training their pets to assist in the medical field. Dogs are often the animals chosen as healing companions for AAT. Aside from being man’s best friend, dogs possess useful qualities and skills. They can carry out a friendly social interaction with humans, and they are calm and are easy to train.

But still, all animals need to pass a certification program before they can qualify for animal-assisted therapy.

It is great to see how animals and humans co-exist continuously. The bond between these creatures grows stronger and tighter as many years pass. Animals have become our valuable assistants. Their generous contributions to science are something we will always be grateful for.

The Type Of Therapy You Need Depending On Your Mental Health Condition

Therapy has long been an essential part of mental health treatment. It refers to various counseling methods and medications to improve an individual’s moods, feelings, and behaviors to help them live and function normally. 

There are numerous types of therapy available, but it is vital to know the appropriate type for a specific condition.  While the process is indeed beneficial, failure to receive the proper treatment for your situation may result in adverse risks.

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Choosing The Right Therapy For You

Research shows that about 75% of people who receive psychotherapy manifest improvement and stability. Listed below are the different types of therapy available based on various mental health conditions.  

Talk Therapies

It is the most common and most popular method of psychotherapy. Under this category falls several techniques.

Talk therapy involves counseling and meaningful dialogue between the individual suffering from a mental disorder and a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist.

  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) 

It is a short-term talk therapy treatment. This type of therapy is for those suffering from depression. Through IPT, the physician helps the patient understand his/her issues that affect the emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 

This type treats a variety of psychological issues such as but not limited to eating disorders, traumas, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is a technique, whereas physicians give out tasks that the patients will carry out to break them away from unhealthy and dangerous patterns.

  • Supportive Therapy

It may involve support groups an individual may seek, so those suffering will not feel isolated in what they are going through. It is crucial for people with mental health illness, not to think that they are alone.  It is a treatment often recommended to alcoholics and drug abusers.

Occupational Therapy

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While this therapy method is more often associated with physical well-being, it also brings several benefits in the mental health sector.

Occupational therapists are not only trained to help restore the bodily functions of a patient, but they are also well-versed in promoting mental wellness and preventing relapses.

This therapy is a process recommended to people with post-traumatic stress disorder, like victims of war crimes and sexual abuse.

Benefits Of Therapy

Psychotherapy can be a long, arduous process. It can become challenging and uncomfortable. But the long-lasting benefits you will get from it are indeed worth all the time and dime spent.

1. Better Quality Of Life

First and foremost, therapy allows the patients to improve their overall quality of life. Many psychological problems come with symptoms that are difficult to manage.

With the help of therapy and medication on the side, individuals can begin living their life in normalcy again, which may include better performance at work or in school, happier days, and increased activity.

2. Improves Relationships

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Therapy can also bring a significant improvement in relationships. Mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety, sometimes make it hard to socialize and communicate.

With therapy, you will be able to develop your intrapersonal skills so that you can maintain healthy relationships with your families, friends, and other groups of people.

Many who struggle with mental disorders result in alcoholism or other substance abuse. The aim of therapy is to prevent that from happening. However, if it ever occurs, there is an available treatment provided to help with both conditions.

3. Healthy Physical Health

Lastly, having a good mental state also reduces your chance of getting physically sick. As doctors always say, the mind and the body are wondrous things connected in ways that amaze us. If one part of it is sick, the rest may follow.

Finding The Right Therapist For You

Choosing the right treatment plan for you is only the first step to your mental health battle. Another vital factor to consider is finding the right therapist to help you. Building a rapport with someone you can trust and share comfortably is key to a significant recovery process.

Look for a therapist who has the experience and specializes in the area you are having a problem with. This way, you will adjust well, and the physician can suggest to you the correct treatment and medication you need to take.

Credentials are also fundamental so make sure that the physician is indeed licensed and has a good standing with his/her profession.

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A Glimpse Of Hope

Recent studies indicate that mental illness is the leading cause of disability in the entire world. It brings out several problems that may hinder a person from capably doing his/her daily life or routine.

But because of the stigma surrounding the matter, a lot of people refuse to seek professional help. You may feel vulnerable with the mental illness clouding your mind, your thoughts, and your emotions. But you need to overcome that and start asking for assistance.

The path to recovery, through therapy, awaits you, so you can fully, truly enjoy life once again.

Benefits Of Family Therapy

The family is where we experience a lot of firsts in our lives – first education, first love, early teachers, first playmates, and many more. Unfortunately, not everyone experiences this joy. Some families always enter into disagreements and conflicts, leading to separation and broken families. 

Thankfully, family therapies are offered at clinics. Some family members may feel embarrassed to visit a family therapist. But truth to be told, family therapy can bring wonders in keeping your family relationship intact and healthy.

If you live with a dysfunctional family, here are some reasons why your family should undergo a family therapy session.

What Is Family Therapy?

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Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy that deals with different issues within the family. A licensed psychologist, family therapist, or a licensed clinical social worker will help the family by providing treatment plans.

It employs interpersonal strategies to address issues, such as getting through a difficult period, resolving conflicts between family members, how to handle the mental health condition of a family member, etc.

However, family therapy is not only limited to blood relatives. According to the Laney Cline King, LCSW, the term family as 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.

Family therapy includes techniques and exercises like cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, or other types of individual treatment that will depend on the family members’ situation.

Why Should Your Family Undergo Family Therapy?

Aside from improving the relationship among family members, families can also reap these benefits from family therapy:

Goes Hand In Hand With Other Mental Health Treatments

In case one of your family members has a mental health problem, they need support from their immediate family members. Family therapies can help you better understand and cope with these kinds of issues so that you’ll know how to handle them.

When the rest of the family supports the family member with this condition, the road to recovery will be much faster because of the determination and love that they get.

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It Helps In Addiction Treatment

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence considers addiction a family disease as it affects the whole family. A member addicted to drugs can bring family members stress, depression, and frightening experiences.

Family therapy aids in curing drug abuse of a family member. Family therapy decreases the family member’s chance of relapse, helps develop a positive attitude, and promotes long-term recovery in addiction treatment.

Family members will also establish trust and forgiveness for the past actions and experiences done by the addicted family member.

Helps Us Understand Group Dynamics

You may have established a family of your own, but do you know how each family member functions?

Family therapy sessions can help each family member what to do and what to expect from each other. This way, there will be cooperation and respect among yourselves, and it can prevent future conflicts.

The aims of family therapy cannot be successful without understanding its group dynamics. Group dynamics can provide a good understanding of how a specific group functions. With this, a family can find better ways to work together better to solve problems.

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Improves Communication Among Family Members

A misunderstanding can occur among large groups most of the time, such as a family. Also, some family members find it hard to open up about themselves because of communication difficulties, and they’re afraid they won’t get anything useful from it.

Family therapies provide insights and tools that will improve your communication with each family member without being misunderstood.

Behavioral and emotional problems in children are some of the reasons why most families undergo family therapy. For instance, if a child experiences academic difficulties, family therapies can sort out the family’s problems that may contribute to the child’s behavior, rather than assessing the child’s behavior alone.

This way, the family members can resolve the issue by minimizing their former habits or behaviors and learn to support the child to become the best version of themselves in any way possible.

Helps Resolve Family Conflicts

Family conflicts can tear your family apart, and this situation can be traumatic, especially for young children.  Family conflict is another reason why some family members undergo family therapy sessions.

Therapists can help understand the dynamics within the client’s family and trace the root cause of the conflict. Once identified, they will address these problems through counseling strategies and education.

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Creates Stronger Bonds

Undergoing family therapy sessions can be tedious. But once everything has been settled and overcame, family members will understand each other better and communicate more effectively.

As long as they still apply the methods and exercises within the household, familial relationships will become stronger and healthier in the long run.

Happy Family With Family Therapy

Visiting a psychologist for family therapy might be awkward at first, but their intervention will help each family member become more understanding of their family.

In essence, the goal of family therapy is to heal as one from any mental, psychological, or emotional problems that can tear your family apart.

 

 

How Can Nurses Protect Themselves Amid A Coronavirus Outbreak?

It is with utmost displeasure to announce that my aunt has been diagnosed with COVID-19. She is a nurse at a senior home on the East Coast and has possibly contracted the coronavirus from her patients. Her symptoms started with a sore throat, followed by high fever, muscle ache, and breathlessness even when merely talking. Worse, by the time the results of her test came back, my aunt’s husband and three little girls became infected.

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In other circumstances, most people want to look for someone to blame for the spreading of the virus. However, because of my aunt’s profession, we all knew that it was only a matter of time before it happened. There was no one to blame; in truth, no one deserves to be blamed for getting the coronavirus. And since there is no cure for COVID-19, we can only pray for their early recovery day and night.

Fortunately, it has been two weeks since my aunt and her entire family have done their last swab test after quarantining for 21 days. The results came negative, to everyone’s relief. Although my aunt still found it a little challenging to talk or walk without feeling like she had been moving all day, we were glad to know that she survived and beat the coronavirus.

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If you are also a nurse who works actively amid a coronavirus outbreak, let us start by thanking you for your service. You are doing an excellent and brave job by being in the front line, helping patients deal with a medical condition with no effective treatment. Despite your dedication to work, though, we hope that your fate won’t be the same as my aunt’s and her family’s. We are far from being experts on the matter, but here’s how you may be able to protect yourself during a pandemic.

Keep Your Protective Gear On All The Time

Regular people like us have a tough time keeping our face masks all day long because it is hard to breathe while wearing one. We can only imagine how much more difficult it is for the medical staff to put on PPEs and stay in it for as long as you need to be. After all, the air conditioners in the hospital may not get rid of the heat you experience when you are also stressing out because of the patients.

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Nonetheless, you should try not to remove even your face mask at work. The hospital is where most—if not all—infected individuals end up, so there is a high chance of catching the virus. It may be on the metal railings, bed sheets, or the very air you breathe in; it will help if you can avoid touching or inhaling all that without protective gear.

Eat Healthily

I know how busy it can get in hospitals right now due to COVID-19. If you are not attending to patients, you may be receiving calls from various individuals who think they might have the symptoms. Because of that, it is easy to forget that you are a human who needs to eat three times a day or so.

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Still, no matter how easy it is to do that, you should not forget to eat on time. Stick with healthy foods, to be specific, to boost your immunity and keep you from dealing with illnesses.

Final Thoughts

These tips cannot protect you against the coronavirus 100%, of course, but you may be able to reduce your chances of getting it or having severe symptoms once you follow them.

Let’s all pray for COVID-19 to go away so that everyone will be safe from danger soon. Good luck!

Qualities That A Nurse Practitioner Must Have To Succeed

 

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One of the goals of the 2019 Nurse Practitioner Conference was to gather different nursing practitioners and other healthcare professionals across the country to help them learn strategies and tools needed to improve their skills and expertise. The American Association approved the event of Nurse Practitioners, and participants can get 33.5. hours of continuing education credits to them. Seasoned speakers from reputable universities graced the conference to give lectures on pharmacology, radiology, and other fields of medicine. The roles of the nurse practitioner and the qualities that help them succeed were also stressed.

Qualities Of A Nurse Practitioner

Honesty. It is an outstanding quality that everyone must possess. For the nurse, mainly, she must be trustworthy and ethical in interacting with her patients and discussing with them their concerns. As Albert Einstein said, “Whoever is not careful with small truths cannot be trusted with bigger matters.” Being honest means prioritizing your patients and standing up for their rights.

Empathy. It is one’s capacity to feel for someone, trying to be in another’s shoes. It is understanding and caring for a person’s condition. Research has proven that there are about 20% of the population who have a special awareness of other people’s emotions. Empathy is important as it allows the nurse to be compassionate and kind towards their patients.

Home Health

Source: aginginplace.org

Creativity. Being creative involves being inventive and has the ability to think of fresh and unique ideas that can be applied to her job as a nurse. While creativity is often associated with art, it also applies to individuals who are equipped with efficient strategies to solve problems and communicate well with those around them. Creative nurses are keen on finding innovative ideas and solutions for patient care.

Enthusiasm is an eager and intense excitement that tends to accompany many questions. Nurse practitioners are among the most enthusiastic and successful healthcare professionals. They want to know everything about their job and experience what they must so that they can better serve their patients.

 

 

Why Nurses Need Therapy After The Pandemic

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I have an immeasurable amount of respect for nurses all over the world. Both of my aunts are in the nursing field, too, doing their best to help ill patients get better. They will stop at nothing to be of service for the people who need medical assistance. This selflessness has been emphasized when the COVID-19 patients have started trickling into the hospitals.

When I heard the news about the coronavirus, I called my aunts to know how they were doing. One of them said that they were running out of Hazmat suits at work;  the other mentioned that there were already a few cases under her wing. They could go home after their shifts, but no one was doing it in fear of exposing their loved ones to the virus. All the hospital could do was provide temporary accommodation for them.

During those short conversations with my aunts, I realized how tough a person must be to become a nurse. Imagine, you don’t get paid as much as a doctor, but you may be at risk of acquiring the viral disease more than anyone else. You also need to be able to think fast whenever there is an emergency (which can be all the time during a pandemic). Sometimes, you have no choice but to do a double shift if the hospital is understaffed.

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Despite this high level of resilience that nurses show, I encourage my aunts and their colleagues to get therapy after this pandemic. Here’s why.

The Stress May Be Too Much To Handle

Being a nurse during a viral outbreak entails that you are always needed in multiple places at once. For instance, a doctor requests for you to come during their rounds, patients require you to deliver medication in their rooms, and you have to take blood samples from the new patients.

Working under pressure can only be accepted one or two times. If you must do it every single day, your stress level may go over the roof, and your life may fall apart.

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They May Deal With Survivor’s Guilt

A lot of medical professionals have been unfortunate enough to pass on because of the coronavirus. The folks that they used to work with tend to continue their job flawlessly. However, deep down, some of them feel guilty about being able to avoid the virus.

In such a circumstance, a therapist can help you understand how to get over survivor’s guilt. After all, you did not place the virus in your colleague’s body. No one can predict who gets COVID-19, so try not to blame yourself for anyone’s death. Insisting on the opposite of that may cost your sanity.

Final Thoughts

Nurses, just like doctors, law enforcers, and philanthropists, deserve to be known as modern-day heroes. They always seem to know what to do in every situation despite not getting enough rest daily.  They sacrifice their time for themselves and their family to look after the individuals who need medical care. The fact that the viral disease can get transmitted to them and take their lives does not faze nurses, either.

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Still, if there is anyone who may be carrying too much emotional baggage right now, it’s the nurses, for sure. You may be present when the patients try to overcome the symptoms of COVID-19. You may have seen more people die in a day than at any other time during your career because of the coronavirus. Neither of these experiences can assure that you won’t have nightmares about them at night, though.

Once your duty to all the COVID-19 patients is done, therefore, don’t hesitate to get therapy.

The Role Of Nurses In Society

woman wearing nurse uniform

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We all appreciate how our nurses are helping our hospitals and families – that is a given – but at the 2017 nursing conference, it was further emphasized with praise and accolades. Nurses all over the world were acknowledged for being advocates of healthcare, educating the public on how to take care of their well-being and providing guidelines for preventing injury and other illnesses. What are the other roles of the nurses?

Nurses help families promote health by teaching them ways on how to tackle physical, emotional, and mental difficulties. They also provide cure and care at home, coordinate with therapists in home health, and provide different kinds of support.

Nurses innovate in order to discover ways to collect and provide appropriate data for certain epidemics or pandemics, including causes, signs, and symptoms of illnesses. They find measures to reach out to their communities and convey information on how to do proper sanitation to prevent infection.

Nurses assess people’s health. In hospitals, they are required to be present and observe their patients’ status. This helps them develop and hone their observation and communication skills, and their vigilance enables physicians to give a better diagnosis of their patients. A lot of lives have been saved because of a compassionate and dedicated nurse who has determined early on the warning signs of a heart attack or respiratory failure.

Nurses instruct patients on the proper way to take their medications. Doctors entrust nurses to convey to their patients what their medications are, when they should take them, and how they should be taken. Nowadays, nurses are also knowledgeable about several medical apps that can help patients improve home care. They can teach their patients how to track their own blood pressure, monitor their glucose levels, or observe the rest of their vitals on their own.

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Nurses actually do more than what is on their job description. They do more than just take care of people. And they are and always have been among the frontliners amidst almost any healthcare-related situation.