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?
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.
Though divorce is extremely common in the USA-- the statistics in the past two decades point to over 50% of marriages ending in divorce-- it does not change the fact that when you are personally going through it, life can feel like an emotional rollercoaster. For some, the emotions that might follow separation or divorce are relief and peace, for others, sadness, shame, or anxiety. And for most clients we see struggling through this transition, all these feelings are present, and rapidly cycle over the course of a week, or even a day. Couples therapy and individual therapy are essential resources to help you find stability during this tough transition. Here are just some of the ways therapy can help you move healthily and steadily through your separation or divorce: Firstly, divorce is definitely a type of loss, and grieving is inevitable. Regardless of the reason for the separation, both partners may be feeling a sense of loss in many areas. The loss of a partner, loss of a family unit, loss of certain role or identity, loss of resources or material things, loss of a specific future life plan, loss of time with children or other family members. Therapy can help both individuals and couples process these various losses, and work through the complex emotions associated with grief such as anger, denial, depression and anxiety. Therapy allows people to gain acceptance around their separation while honoring that it is a loss and allowing themselves to grieve as necessary. Secondly, although generally divorce or a separation occurs due to a couples’ differences, therapy can actually help couples find common ground. No, this is not about mediation or negotiating who gets what from the kitchen cabinets. Therapy helps couples remain focused on the common goal of a peaceful separation. It helps couples set boundaries that are agreed upon together, and redefine the relationship between them as it evolves through the separation. Therapy helps people remain focused on their own core values as individuals, while making decisions together towards common goals. Lastly, the causes, decisions and processes of divorces can often leave people feeling lost and as though they don’t know who they are as a single person. Therapy can help you redefine who this is. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help you challenge unhelpful thoughts and behaviors that have resulted from experiences in the relationship and can empower you to move forward. Processing any trauma (physical or emotional) that may have occurred in the relationship, will allow you to heal emotionally and redefine yourself as an individual; more specifically, your priorities, boundaries, needs, values and goals for now and in the future.