Which Outdoor Activities are the Most Therapeutic?

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Outdoor activities are not only good for your physical health, but it’s also beneficial for your emotional and mental health too. Outdoor activities are therapeutic because they help with building up confidence and one’s self-esteem. It’s also used for many people who are suffering with various mental health issues such as: addiction, depression, trauma, stress, and other mental health issues. 

Besides outdoor activities being therapeutic, it also keeps us occupied and keeps us stress-free. Outdoor therapy is recommended by many mental health professionals and they are also used in recovery centers. It’s also good for kids who have suffered with trauma or any other mental health issues. Here’s a couple of outdoor activities that are very therapeutic:

 

Ropes Courses:

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Abseiling and zip lining are examples of a rope course. This form of therapy is being used to treat many people who are suffering with mental health issues. Rope exercises strengthens both the upper and lower body. It also improves the blood circulation, this is a huge advantage because it improves the sleep. The improvement of the blood flow also relaxes the body. Rope courses also help an individual with staying in shape and it increases both the cardiovascular and muscle strength. 

Some people might be afraid at first, but it can actually help boosting your self-confidence and self-esteem. It takes you out of your comfort zone and leaves you with a sense of achievement. It’s very good for people who have suffered with trauma.

Equine Therapy:

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According to Melissa Burns, LCPC, LLC “It is noted that the Ancient Greeks used horse-assisted therapy as early as 600BC to raise the spirits of the incurably ill.” Horses were once upon a form of transportation. They have also provided us with many things over the years, but the best one is their companionship and unconditional love. Horses are large animals and may seem intimidating, this helps with breaking fear in people. This is also good for children and adults who have suffered traumatic experience, especially physical abuse experiences. 

Building a relationship and friendship with a horse also helps people and they find that companionship and trust in horses. Working as a team with the rider and the horse brings a sense of achievement to the rider. 

People also find it easier to connect with horses. Unlike people, horses are not judgmental and they are sensitive animals. Riders are also taught how to behave around horses and how to handle them too. This not only breaks fear within people, but it can also increase one’s confidence and self-esteem. Many disturbed people have found comfort in horses and horse-riding. 

Swimming:

Swimming is one of the best exercises. It’s good for your cardiovascular health, lungs and even your mental health. Swimming can also be done at your own pace. It also relaxes the body, which makes it one of the best therapeutic outdoor activities. It’s also a great way to de-stress. “Staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.” Richard Shuster, PsyD said.

Adventure Therapy:

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Nature is not only one of the best therapy options for mental health conditions but it’s also lots of fun and good for your physical wellbeing. Some examples of adventure therapy are: hiking, camping, walking, kayaking, jogging etc. There’s a variety of adventure activities to choose from. “Nature-based/experiential interventions produce increased treatment success more rapidly than traditional talk approaches. There is a relationship between humans who connect with and spend time in nature and increased environmental awareness or stewardship.” Dr. Carlene Taylor, LMHC, LPC, CPCS, NCC explained.

Adventure therapy also usually involves being exposed to the sun. Sun exposure is one of the easiest ways to get our daily dosage of vitamin D. Vitamin D has many benefits for our physical wellbeing and it can also help us with sleeping better at night. 

Adventure therapy is also used as a therapy treatment to treat many different types of mental health conditions. It’s a stress reliever and it is very relaxing. The sights, sounds and smells also help with relaxing the mind and body. It changes the chemistry in the brain and allows you to enjoy the simplest and most natural things in life. Adventure therapy is also a great way to keep fit, which also has a positive impact on your mental health.

Confessions Of A Working Mom

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I believe that the Almighty created women to be the stronger sex. It’s not about the bicep muscles and the towering height in men that makes them powerful. Physical attributes – in this case, body strength – is not all that. I am a living proof that moms like me are more resilient, more powerful and indeed, much stronger. You know why? Because we are MOMS and MOMS not only work 8 hours a day. We take care of our kids (I have 5), tend the house and look “attractive and sexy” for our husbands, on top of working 8 hours on a serious career. I say, no man could top that and I’ll explain why. 

 

Moms work full time too, like the dads.

 

Moms, like the dads, also work 8-hour jobs. If the daddies spend 8-10 hours in their offices or businesses, the moms do that too. We wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning and then, cook breakfast. After that, we fix what the kids need to wear for school and the suit that our husbands wear for the office. 

 

“Stress can seem omnipresent. Between working, socializing and taking care of the home, it sometimes seems we don’t have a minute to ourselves, let alone enough time to really take care of our bodies and minds.” Sonja Seglin, LCPC

 

Then, we wake all of them up – make sure they all take a bath and eat. We even drive the kids to school, and sometimes, with no breakfast eaten and make up not yet put on. After that, we go to the office to start our professional day and smile like everything is great. Only the moms can do that.

Source: theparentcue.org

Moms move faster and are more efficient than the dads.

 

“Chronic work stress, insufficient mental health resources, feeling overworked and under supported — these are issues facing too many workers, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA

 

Let’s say, the moms have an extra 30 minutes before they go to their place of work after the whole morning routine with kids and hubby. (Actually, on school days – 30 minutes is an indulgence! It’s more like 10-15 minutes extra.) What do we do? 

 

Comb hair, brush teeth, arrange clothes you’re wearing, cut nails, clean shoes, put makeup on and eat breakfast in between – all that in just 10 minutes. True! Moms can do all of that. It’s like moms are the female version of The Flash! It’s called multitasking, you know. Everything done quickly and correctly. Only the moms can do that.

 

Moms can function all-around, not like the dads. 

 

After the gruesome morning and a tiring shift at work, moms must go home and be the “all-around worker”. Yes, we clean the house, wash the dishes and laundry everyone’s clothes. After that, we must cook again because the kids will be home soon and they need to eat. And so, dinner begins and it is a noisy table. 

 

“Mom this”, “Mom that” – everybody wants to talk to mom. And even with that, US moms still have the energy. We help our kids with their homework. Our husbands need their “quality time” with us too – you know very well what I mean. We provide that, as well. Around 12 midnight, the day ends and we go to sleep. Only the moms can do that.

Source: secureteen.com

That cycle begins again the next day, and it is always like that – 365 days a year, excluding weekends. Now, do you or don’t you agree? Women… Moms are “stronger” because we can do everything and anything in just 24 hours! 

 

If not for my “textmate”, my online therapist, I would be crazy-locked-up-in-mental-institution-mom right now. My therapist would text me back the words “Hold on. You’re WONDERWO-MOM. Breathe in and Breathe out, girl!” after I say – “Hey, I’m losing it for the 10th time today.” 

 

For the most part, moms are brave enough to show their weakness and strong enough to bounce back in a snap. Only the moms can do that. If in case, “You might come away from a good self-help book with a changed attitude, different behavior, fresh motivation, or something else shiny and new to test-drive.” Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist said.

Finding Addiction Therapy

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Drug addiction is a devastating problem that’s on the increase in all communities world-wide. It’s also used among people of all age groups, that includes teens, young adults and even seniors. Addiction is a complex issue that requires immediate treatment. Not only will it affect an addicts physical and mental health, but it can also affect the people around them and many lose their careers and family members due to addiction. Addiction can also result in overdose and death. It is extremely dangerous. It’s advisable to find a rehabilitation center and get admitted immediately. “So much of mental health work is about giving people a space to be witnessed and held while sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of human life.” Lillian Harris LCPC-C said.

This a typical treatment process that is used in drug rehabs:

  • Detoxification: this helps with getting rid of all the harmful toxins that alcohol and substances contain. In some cases, the detoxification process can have severe symptoms, which is why it’s important to be under medical supervision when detoxing. 
  • Therapy and counseling: the therapists at rehab centers will work with the patient and find the root problem and also help the patient with resolving their issues. Ryan Mebust – LMFT used to say, “We all experience obstacles in life that keep us from feeling and being whole. Many have found counseling as a way to invest in themselves, their relationships, or their families in order to support a better or new meaning on life.”
  • Medication: the professionals at the centers will prescribe medications accordingly to the patient’s needs. Some might require medication to control the withdrawal symptoms, whilst some might be suffering with other mental health issues. 
  • Evaluation: some patient’s might suffer with dual diagnosis. This condition is when people have a drug or alcohol problem in conjunction with a mental health illness. 
  • After care: after a patient completes their rehab treatment, after care is required to prevent relapse.

How to Find the Right Rehabilitation Center:

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Whether you’re seeking drug treatment for yourself or for a loved one. You will need to do the necessary research. Addiction treatment is not a one size fits all kind of process. Each and every individual requires different type of treatment and therapy. When you’re searching for a rehab, ask them if they design special packages for their patients to suit their needs. Most rehabs usually do this, but find out first. 

Make a list of all the rehabs that are close to you and get reviews about them online or by word of mouth. It’s also a great idea to visit these rehab centers. By doing this you can determine whether the rehab would be a good fit for you. Rehabs also offer different activities that are therapeutic. You should also enquire about this. You will also need to ask about payment and payment methods. 

The Difference Between Outpatient and Inpatient Programs:

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You can choose between an outpatient program and an inpatient program. An inpatient program is more suitable though and highly recommended by professionals, especially for long term users. “Making the decision to enter into treatment requires a commitment to prioritize your mental health and make some significant life changes.” Catherine “Katie” Ness, MA, LCPC explained.

Outpatient Rehab Center:

This type of treatment program doesn’t require patients to sleep in at the center. They can go back home at the end of the day, after receiving their therapy. This is a more flexible option than inpatient treatment. The professionals will offer the necessary therapy treatment and also prescribe medications as required. The first week of an outpatient program is usually intensive, thereafter it becomes less intensive. Cognitive therapy is used in an outpatient program and they also motivate the patients to live a sober life.

Inpatient Rehab Center:

Inpatient rehab programs offer a safe, drug free and stable environment which is essential in the beginning of one’s journey to recovery. It can last anywhere between 28-90 days. This usually depends on the individuals need. They also offer a variety of other therapeutic activities such as hiking, art therapy, animal assisted therapy, yoga etc. Each rehab has a different set of activities to offer. The chances of relapse are also reduced with an inpatient program. Round the clock treatment is also offered at inpatient rehab centers. 

 

What You Need to Know About Depression Therapy

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It’s perfectly normal to feel depressed every now and again. It’s a human emotion that we all experience. However, if you have been experiencing severe depression frequently and it has been interfering with your daily activities, then it’s probably time to start considering getting depression treatment and finding some therapy options. Read on for some therapy options for depression:

 

Finding a Therapist:

source: everydayhealth.com

You might want to consider consulting your primary health care provider first. Explain your symptoms, allow him to do a physical examination on you. Then you can ask him to recommend a good therapist that can help you. You can also ask around locally, get recommendations from friends or family. You can also find out at your local clinic for licensed therapists. You can also search online for counselors and therapists in your area, you can also get some reviews online. But note that “Online care is not for every patient or practitioner. Clients with more serious mental illnesses or addictions likely need more treatment than digital therapy can provide. And some clinicians may find certain telehealth modalities difficult,” says clinical psychologist Nina Barlevy, PsyD.

 

Psychotherapy:

One of the therapies that’s used to treat depression is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is also known as ‘’talk therapy.’’ This therapy allows the patient to talk about their feelings and emotions. The therapist will also help the patient work through it and cope with their feelings. The therapist will also address the root cause of your depression and will help you confront your triggers. There are different types of psychotherapy: cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, and interpersonal therapy. All three types of psychotherapy might be used to treat depression. 

 

Medication Therapy:

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In moderate and severe conditions, a psychiatrist might prescribe anti-depressants to help with treating depression. It will stabilize your condition and also help you feel better. It’s also advised to also take the medications that are prescribed for you by your psychiatrist, don’t take anything else. Apart from treating depression with medication, you should also seek other therapy options. “Research has also demonstrated that medication in conjunction with ongoing psychotherapy is the most effective treatment for depression and/or anxiety.” Dr. Karen Wolman, a Licensed Psychologist explained.

 

Individual Therapy:

One on one therapy is probably a good option to start off with when treating depression. The therapist can address the root of your depression and work on your feelings that stemmed from that. They can also help you with dealing with your issues and coping with depression.

 

Group Therapy:

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A lot of people might get put off by this because it may feel intimidating. Some people may not also feel comfortable with sharing their problems with others. However, you should give it a try. Try and attend one sessions and take it from there, you might just enjoy it. Attending group therapy, will give you an opportunity to meet other people. Sharing your problems with other people who are faced with similar problems as you can also help your condition. A social life for people who are suffering depression is highly recommended and you can also pick up tips from other members and share yours too. “[T]here is encouragement to both talk about your life outside the group and also to talk about the dynamics within the group.” Psychotherapist Ali Miller, MFT said.

 

Leading a Healthy Lifestyle:

Even if you are seeking therapy for treating depression, you should also lead a healthy lifestyle. This will help you feel better both physically and mentally. Have a balanced diet and include nutritious foods in your daily diet. Choose foods that are high in anti-oxidants. You should also get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can aggravate depression and it leaves you feeling lethargic during the day. Try and sleep for at least 8-9 hours. You should also exercise regularly.

 

Other Alternate Depression Therapy Options:

 

Acupuncture:

Acupuncture is a form of therapy that uses fine needles on some parts of the body. It’s said to have helped people who are suffering with depression. If you decide to try out, ensure that you find a licensed acupuncture therapist.

 

Relaxation Activities and Techniques:

It can be a simple as going for a long walk on the beach or the park or even taking a long soak in the bath tub. There’s also other relaxation techniques that you learn such as yoga, meditation and some breathing techniques that can relieve both depression and stress.

 

What is Psychotherapy?

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Psychotherapy is a common therapy treatment that is used in today’s time to treat various mental health conditions. It’s also trusted and used by many mental health professionals. The psychotherapy treatment process usually goes on for under a year, depending on the needs of the patient. Most psychotherapy sessions are typically around 1 hour and take place once a week.

 

Which Conditions is Psychotherapy Used to Treat and Who Can Benefit From it?

source: medicalnewstoday.com

A few conditions that psychotherapy is used for: depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, addiction issues, low self-esteem issues and other mental health issues. People that suffer with mental issues, typically find it difficult to understand and express their feelings. Psychotherapy helps people with expressing their feelings and helping them to deal with it in a healthy manner. Psychotherapy is also used to help families with dealing with their issues, conflicts and disputes. Robin D. Stone, LMHC says, “Today, more people are making psychotherapy a part of their self-care practice. In the same way they have personal trainers, they are investing in therapists — and that’s a good thing.”

 

People who are unable to cope with sadness, everyday problems, stress, the inability to concentrate, people who drink or abuse substances excessively and people who worry and stress unnecessarily. 

 

How Does Psychotherapy Work?

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Psychotherapy is also known as ‘’talk therapy.’’ It focuses on allowing the patient to talk about their problems, rather than prescribing them with medications. Sometimes psychotherapy is one on one and sometimes in a group. It all depends on the situation. The psychotherapist will help the patient get to the root of the problem and they will also help the patient to deal and cope with their problems. 

 

How to Choose a Psychotherapist

 

If you’ve decided that psychotherapy might be the answer to your problem, then you’ll need to consult your primary care physician. Your doctor will need to do a thorough and complete examination in order to determine any physical conditions. You can also ask your doctor to refer you to a psychotherapist. In some cases, consulting a psychiatrist might be necessary. As some may require medication to help with treatment along with psychotherapy treatment. Once you’ve found a therapist, you will need to be able to feel comfortable with them and they must also have the necessary qualifications to help. “A good therapist should be open and willing to understand your concerns. If your counselor doesn’t take your concerns seriously or is unwilling to accept feedback, then it’s probably in your best interest to consult with another therapist about it.” Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC explained.

The Types of Psychotherapy:

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Cognitive Therapy:

Cognitive therapy focuses on the individuals present, rather than the past. It begins with what the patient thinks, which shapes the way they feel. Individuals usually feel useless, helpless and negative thoughts about oneself. Cognitive therapy usually goes hand in hand with behavior therapy, which addresses both behavior and thoughts.

 

Behavior Therapy:

People who are emotionally stressed usually have behavioral issues. Behavioral therapy helps patients behave in a healthy and positive way. It also teaches patients how to replace negative behavioral patterns with positive ones.

 

Psychodynamic Therapy:

This therapy is used when all the others have failed. It also goes deeper than the other therapies. It addresses issues and incidents from the past, which have affected an individual. It also allows the patient to realize the impact that the past issues have on their present day. The therapist will also help the patient with dealing with all unresolved issues from the past, such as: relationship issues, addiction etc. “Psychodynamic therapy is insight oriented. In other words, this approach focuses on helping you gain insight into how your early life experiences” Hannah Goodman, LMHC said.

 

Group Therapy:

Many people don’t want to go down this route. However, talking in a group and knowing that there are others who are facing the same problems as you can actually help. It also helps those who feel isolated and lonely. 

 

Interpersonal Therapy:

This type of therapy is done to evaluate specific issues in a patient’s life. It focuses on the patient’s relationships with others and conflicts with others too. It helps with improving relationships, communicating better and coping with any issues. It’s beneficial for those who have social issues and relationship issues. 

 

Family Therapy:

This type of therapy is beneficial for families who have had conflicts and disputes. The therapist helps the family members to communicate with one another in a positive manner. It also helps with identifying the issues and can help them with breaking destructive and negative patterns. 

 

Reference: Medical News Today

 

What is a Bipolar Disorder and How to Find Treatment and Therapy

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Bipolar disorders are more common than most people think. Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year. Bipolar has affected both male and females equally across all nations, races, economic classes, and ethnic groups. Bipolar is a lifelong mental illness. It consists of episodes of mania and depression. The causes of bipolar disorders are unknown. However, it appears to be hereditary. Bipolar is often misdiagnosed and overlooked, which worsens the condition.

“Bipolar disorder is probably the main psychiatric disorder where medication is absolutely essential.”John Preston, PsyD.

 

The Symptoms of Bipolar Disorders:

source: medicalnewstoday.com

“Bipolar Disorder is a mental health issue where neurological differences can be observed between those who have and do not have this diagnosis.” Catherine “Katie” Ness, MA, LCPC

 

There are different types of bipolar disorders. The symptoms of bipolar can vary from person to person and each type of bipolar disorder. The severity, patterns and frequency can also vary. There are four types of bipolar disorders: mania, bipolar depression, mixed episodes and hypomania. 

 

It’s also a common misconception that bipolar disorders only have a negative impact on the mental health and behavior. Here’s some of the physical symptoms:

 

  • It can affect your sleep patterns.
  • Appetite changes.
  • Lethargy and low energy levels.
  • Low concentration levels.
  • Memory loss.

 

The Symptoms of Bipolar Depression:

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There are some similarities between the regular depression and bipolar depression. People who are suffering with bipolar depression are not treated with anti-depressants. Here’s some of the symptoms of bipolar disorders:

 

  • Irritability.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Sleep and appetite changes.
  • Weight problems, either losing or gaining.
  • Memory loss and lack of concentration.

 

The Symptoms of Hypomania and Mania:

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Hypomania is less severe than mania. People who suffer with hypomania can go on with their day to day lives like normal. They are usually in abnormal good mood. They’re also productive, energetic and they feel euphoric. Hypomania can also interfere with your decisions and can have a negative impact on your relationships and career. It can also lead to bipolar depression or mania.

 

Mania or manic episodes can have a variety of symptoms such as: 

 

  • Impulsivity: spending money impulsively, making bad decisions, engaging in sexual activity, etc. 
  • Lack of sleep, but still having high levels of energy.
  • Delusional thoughts: feeling powerful. Hallucinations can occur in severe cases.
  • Lack of judgement and the inability to concentrate.
  • Speaking at an unusual rapid pace.
  • Sometimes feeling irritable and acting aggressively.

 

During the winter seasons, some feel depressed and very low and during the summer seasons, they feel more alive and tend to have more manic episodes.

 

The Symptoms of Mixed Episodes:

source: ibpf.org

Mixed episodes are a mixture between all three different types of bipolar disorders: hypomania, mania and bipolar depression. Mixed episodes can also consist of suicidal thoughts and they usually have both low and high moods. The symptoms include: depression, anxiety, insomnia, agitation, the inability to concentrate and racing thoughts. 

 

Therapy and Treatment for Bipolar Disorders:

If you suspect that you might be suffering with bipolar disorder, its best to consult a psychiatrist. It’s best to get is diagnosed and treated as early as possible, as it can worsen. Bipolar disorders also require long term treatment. 

 

Medication:

Your psychiatrist can prescribe medications that can help you with treating the symptoms. It can also help with controlling and preventing manic episodes and depression. 

 

Keep Your Stress Levels Down:

This might sound impossible. However, you can avoid unnecessary stress such as finding a less stressful job. Making time for yourself to relax. You can learn some relaxation techniques such as yoga, breathing exercises etc. 

Lead a Healthy Lifestyle:

Eating the right foods can stabilize your mental health and emotions too. Include a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet. You should also get as much exercise as possible, as this can improve your mood. Try running, walking, swimming, dancing etc.

 

Join Support Groups:

Search online for support groups or join group therapy sessions. It’s always good to get support from others who are faced with the same problem as you.

“If an individual is willing to accept treatment, long-term talk therapy or psychotherapy, can help. Sometimes these approaches are combined with medication if the person is dealing with debilitating symptoms or related conditions, such as depression or anxiety.” Marc Browning, RN, Psy.D