You’ve been on great vacations together. Faced the ups and down together. Losing jobs, promotions; new cities, new friends, new paths. Making discoveries you never imagined. You’ve loved. Lived. Fought. Loved again. Lived some more. Fought some more. Loved again, more. Yet somehow, here you are, asking (or at least considering…) this question: Is my marriage (or relationship) worth saving? Being in a marriage, or relationship, you will have felt that it offers both some of the most deeply rewarding experiences and some the most challenging ones. Intimate relationships require honesty, in all things. This relationship asks of us friendship and joy, especially to ourselves. And it asks of us courage, to love wholeheartedly and allow ourselves to be wholeheartedly loved. For reasons you are able to name (or may not be able to find words for) you may find yourself thinking... Your marriage never felt quite “right” from the start; Your relationship went through a tough challenge and doesn’t feel the same anymore; You changed, or your partner changed, and it’s no one’s fault, but now you’re moving in different directions; You or your partner have met someone new; Time and growth has made you aware that you want a different life from the one you’ve been living. What do you do when you face these questions: Is my marriage worth investing in? Is my marriage worth saving? Do I want to stay? There is nothing wrong with questioning the future of your relationship. But how you use these doubts to help you understand what you are needing more of, and find ways to strengthen yourself and your relationship can make all the difference. Questions and doubts can offer the impetus to deepen into your marriage and commitment with each other, and to deepen into your relationship and commitment to yourself. Questions can invite you both to explore your relationship’s contours. We are here, and ready to roll up our sleeves with you and figure out what happens now.
The step-by-step approach we will take together: In the beginning of our work together I will be assessing your overall functioning. We will likely discuss what life was like before your loss, and identify what areas of your life have been directly and indirectly impacted as a result. The next step is to make a plan for treatment together. Grief and depression can often interfere with your ability to meet your basic needs (physiological and safety), which can have a negative ripple effect on your relationships with others, as well as on your self-confidence. We begin by creating a plan based on how severely your symptoms are impacting your daily life. We begin by addressing basic needs and building goals around meeting those needs. We view CBT for grief and depression as having two overarching goals for symptom reduction and our work in therapy: Restore healthy functioning in thoughts, perceptions and beliefs Restore healthy functioning in ability and behavior In trying to meet these goals, we may assign homework to attempt between sessions, and then act as an accountability resource for this homework. This homework will likely include using coping skills we have discussed in session together. We often provide you with a few options for homework assignments, and then empower you to choose the one that seems both doable and still somewhat challenging. In session together, we will discuss how the loss or depression has affected your thoughts and perceptions about yourself, the world and how can function in it. We will work to challenge thoughts and perceptions that may have been negatively skewed by your experience. Examples of these may be: “The whole world is unsafe.” “Everyone is out to get me.” “I will never feel normal/like myself again.” “I’m not worthy of….” “I need this (unhealthy habit) to escape how I feel every day.” As we go along, we will continue to acknowledge and celebrate your successes as well as re-evaluate what parts of treatment are helpful, and what parts of treatment need fine tuning to better meet your needs. Together we will get you back to living the life you deserve.
ANXIETY & INSOMNIA NOT SURE IF ITS ANXIETY OR ADHD? ANXIOUS SYMPTOMS AFTER TRAUMA Are you prone to excess worry? Do you feel like your worry is disproportionate to the issue at hand? Anxiety is incredibly common, and along with it are some other challenges you might be living with: post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or phobias. First, it’s important for us not to vilify anxiety. Anxiety is a normal part of life; it gives us the energy to focus a little harder when studying for that big exam, taking care of a new baby, or in preparing more thoroughly before a high-stakes job interview. But it’s important to distinguish between those times when it gives us a much-needed boost of energy to allow us to circumvent a threat, and those times when the anxiety itself is more real than the supposed threat. In short, anxiety can take on a life of its own if not proactively managed. Where anxiety becomes a problem in your life is when it takes over the whole show, and actually leads to crippling effects rather than good performance. When it is so overwhelming that you feel paralyzed, or totally panicked. The “fight, flight, or freeze” nervous system response, aka "stress response," helps our brains and bodies prepare for some perceived danger, up ahead. The problem with anxiety disorders, is that the brain is triggered to initiate a stress response to when there is not imminent danger. Sometimes your brain triggers this response at relatively mundane challenges, like traffic, a move, or starting a new job. And at other times, your brain starts triggering your stress response when there is no clear reason. The variety and degree of symptoms are unique to each individual’s history and physiology, but some symptoms are pretty universal (e.g. muscle tension, sweating, rapid heartbeat or breathing, dread, or difficulty sleeping).
HOW DOES THERAPY FOR ANXIETY WORK? At Oasis, we will teach you to tame your anxiety. If you experience panic symptoms or panic attacks, we will arm you with tools to manage these moments, and over time come to fear them less. Secondarily, we will help you work on the deeper challenges that may be contributing to your anxiety, so over time, you experience fewer panic symptoms. If you anxiety is connected to big life decisions, we will help you build resilience, and confidence in your choices. We’ll do this by shoring up your strengths and tackling the obstacles. You will learn to better assert your needs to yourself and others, and create healthy boundaries. Over time, your brain and nervous system will learn that they don’t need to create a stress response every time a new transition or big decision comes your way. We have seen this approach work time and time again to help reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress both for individuals and couples. When you feel more mental and emotional safety, you are freed up to move through life more mindfully, and less anxiously. The way we do this practically in therapy... First, we want to know all about your strengths and how we can build on them. I want to know how you’ve gotten out of tough times before. Then we want to know what’s getting in your way? Where are you getting stuck? We use a really practical approach of teaching skills and tools that you can start using right away. By lowering your day to day stress, we will free up space to work on the root issue of building confidence. Our goal is long term change, so you can tackle any challenge life throws at you. What about medication? If you are currently on medication, we are happy to work with your psychiatrist or physician to coordinate treatment planning. And if you think medication might be necessary, we will refer you to one of our trusted medical partners. While medication is a common treatment approach for symptoms of anxiety, studies show that therapy is as effective as or more effective than medication alone. And, psychotherapy has been found to offer benefits that last long after treatment has ended. Ready to get started?