I recently told my parents and their old-time friends that I would take them back to the city that we visited together 18 years ago. After all, my birthday was coming up at the time, and it would be like my special treat for them. Some of them expressed their excitement, but others showed their discomfort towards the splurging that I wanted to do. Judi Cinéas, Ph.D. and LCSW is a psychotherapist who points out that splurging should be viewed as a reward. “When working on goals, I always recommend that clients set a reward schedule,” she says. “Those rewards can include splurging on things they normally don’t get.” Continue reading “Why You Should Splurge Sometimes”
At least once in our lifetime, we all face challenges that require the help of a professional. By explaining what we feel and experience, the emotional and mental pain diminishes, and you will be guided accordingly through expert advice. The question now lies on whether we need to go to a therapist or a life coach.
Life coaches are commonly mistaken as quack therapists or unlicensed practitioners. Although life coaches and therapists often assist clients with the same struggles, their work differs from each other. It is vital to distinguish the difference between the two to get the appropriate professional help.
What They Do
Therapists are healthcare professionals who diagnose and help resolve negative thoughts, behavior, feelings, and issues within relationships. On the other hand, life coaches help clients determine their goals, identify where problems usually arise, and create action plans to realize their goals.“Life coaching helps you identify and change those areas of your life which you find unfulfilling or unsatisfactory,” said psychotherapist Norman Munro.
Therapists focus on the previous traumatic experiences and issues of patients to help understand the past and create a better future. Life coaches, in contrast, take the clients’ current state as a starting point to take control of their lives and go forward. Therapists seek to know why specific behavioral patterns occur while life coaches focus on how to set and achieve a goal.
What They Need To Have
There are set standards for therapists and life coaches to distinguish how different the requirements are for the two. These include formal education, license as a prerequisite, code of ethics, scope of practice, location and format, and fees and coverage.
A therapist needs at least 6 years of formal education, which consists of a 4-year college degree and at least 2 years in graduate school. They are licensed and regulated by the state in which they practice with proper training and continuing education. As Patricia Ravitz, MFT, puts it, “Once you complete all the education and training involved to be a therapist, you become a different person. You’re transformed.” A life coach does not need a college degree but is encouraged to obtain certification through an accredited life coaching program.
A licensed therapist becomes eligible to take the licensing examination after earning a masters or doctorate and undergoing at least 2 years of supervised clinical internship. A life coach does not need a license nor any level of training. Anyone who intends to be a life coach can do so as the industry is currently unregulated.
A therapist must adhere to a code of ethics, unlike a life coach. However, life coaches who are members of the International Coach Federation (ICF) do have these ethical standards to follow. Regulatory boards like the Board of Behavioral Sciences exist to help therapists maintain their license to practice, investigate complaints, and lay down disciplinary measures if necessary.
Some of the most common challenges clients face that are encountered by therapists include:
- Mental health conditions
- Substance abuse
- Relationship issues
- Grief or loss
Meanwhile, life coaches work not only with individuals with mental health issues but also anyone who needs life coaching techniques to reach their full potential.
Therapy usually takes place in an office setting, with sessions typically going on for about 45 to 50 minutes a week. It is crucial to note therapists can only operate in the state where they are licensed. A growing number of therapists have also been offering sessions by phone or online, but these depend on state regulations.
Life coaching sessions most often take place over the phone but can be done online or in an office setting. Coaching services are available on any channel such as mobile phone, video chat, email, or even text message due to the lack of regulations and standards in the industry.
In terms of fees and coverage, life coaching usually varies in pricing, which means it could cost less than a therapy session or considerably more. The worth of therapeutic services depends on the cost of living, the number of therapists in a particular state, and its population density.
Therapists tend to charge according to sessions while some life coaches set their price as packages, ranging from 6 weeks to more than 6 months. Health insurance often covers therapy. Therapists can use reimbursement codes for the treatment of specific mental health problems. In contrast, this does not apply to life coaches as they do not assign diagnoses.
In the end, both therapists and life coaches help clients in making positive changes in their lives. As what Marcia Naomi Berger, MSW, LCSW, said, “Practitioners in both disciplines may be good listeners, supportive, and encourage clients to set goals.” They may differ in their focus, approach, educational background, and scope of practice. But these should not be a big deal. What matters most is that people get help to grow, deal with their problems, and become more emotionally stable.
It is no secret that our lives come with a lot of struggles. We often have problems in financial, social, educational, emotional, romantic, and family relationships. Sometimes, there are instances that all of these burdens are intangible. That no matter how tough we try, these unwanted life issues continue to harm us in various ways we could ever imagine. With all the energy deceleration, motivational downfall, and decreased willingness to try, we become a prisoner of our negativity. And because we get pressured with all the things we can’t seem to handle, we begin to practice unnecessary habits that ruin our happiness. But what are those habits that move us away from enjoying our lives? Here’s a psychologist’s guide.
It is people’s nature to often look forward on things that either matter or not. That is okay. In life, we don’t get to choose and have anything we want. But what ruins the flow of handling tomorrow are the expectations we instill in our heads. There is this assumption that when we work hard, we always achieve better things. We rely on what we think is about to come positively. Psychologist Dr. Barbara Fredrickson has concluded that “positivity helps “broaden our ideas about possible actions, opening our awareness to a wider range of thoughts and actions than is typical.” But when we fail to meet the established desires, we begin to lose control of everything.
One of the best characteristics of sustaining happiness is thinking through things that create an impact on life. However, overdoing it is harmful. Sharon Martin, LCSW, and a psychotherapist said, “People who overthink feel like their brains won’t turn off.” It is understandable that we feel worried about stuff that is going on in our lives. We want to evaluate things so we can work on solutions for any particular matter. But the problem lies in our method of handling and coping. We often create scenarios in our head that are most likely irrelevant and unrealistic. As a result, we end up doing nothing at all.
Too Much Sensitivity
It is nice to know that we care about stuff around us. We know how to think critically, and we value life as it is. However, too much involvement in everything is something not all of us can handle all at once. Some individuals seem not to care about things in their lives. And there are ones like us who feel overly sensitive about every detail of our lives. That particular habit of having too much sensitivity creates an unpleasant emotional and mental instability. Yes, some may find it a reliable quality, but others may also feel it as a burden to achieving happiness.
It is not that bad to think about negative things for some instances. It can be a significant way to picture out resolutions to a life issue. But what makes it undesirable is consistency. According to Scary Mommy website, when we often look out for problems even though there’s entirely nothing wrong, it moves us away from the good things of life. We begin to disregard our capability of handling what is in front of us. We start to believe that all the efforts we do are not enough. We lose our sense of worthiness. We become dependent on what other people say. We stick to the cause of problems and avoid looking for answers.
Perhaps some of us can use selfishness in reaching specific goals. We might never know, there might be a lot of people who already made it through success with its help. However, the danger of selfishness is endless. It can break good relationships, it can tear down emotional and mental strength, and it can take away happiness and fulfillment. It can also destroy a positive personality, it can become a social burden, and the list goes on. Selfishness is never a good thing. And even though there are people who master the art of using it for personal achievements, there is a guarantee that they are not happy. You can find a similar discussion in The Bump website.
In life, there are things we still don’t know. But it does not mean we have to stop leaning towards what is best for us. Licensed psychologist and marriage and family counselor Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker said, “What all this means on a practical level is that deciding to emphasize the positive is the key to a happy and productive life.” If we ask ourselves what one thing would we like to achieve in life, I get the vibes it would be happiness. The idea of feeling great and fulfilled in life is incomparable to what goes beyond it. So for us to be able to appreciate things we are living for, we need to have a willingness to change these habits.
There are three facts most people would agree on at this time. (1) Coaches with depression or anxiety should not be allowed to coach others. (2) Some coaches are not competent to coach because of their mental health issues. (3) Some coaches have a history of a mental health problem and cope with it.
With all the information you can get from the internet and other sources, you know that there are lots of types of therapy. With that, you probably think which of those work better with your mental health needs. Let’s try to understand the most commonly used therapy that perhaps you or someone you know already tried once in life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
According to clinical psychologist Ben Martin, Psy.D., “Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving.” Regardless of where your location is, CBT is often the recommended choice. That’s because it is the only therapy that shows a statistically proven result in a short-term period. Sessions only take up five to eight meetings depending on your mental health needs. In some events, it allows an excellent chance of seeing improvements in mental health over time. That’s perhaps the reason why most socialized areas of medicine in the world use the method. It is best in treating generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or any substance abuse issues. CBT works so well with those specific mental issues because the core of the process supports the correction of a faulty way of thinking. So when there’s an automatic negative thought that lingers in your head, the therapy works and tries to figure out where that negative thought is generating from, so it can change it.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D., “DBT emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment — how a person interacts with others in different environments and relationships.” DBT is typically intended to treat borderline personality disorders. It works perfectly better with that particular condition. But another good thing about DBT is its essentials as CBT where it addresses emotional regulation. Since most people are getting burnt with their emotions and become super sensitive about almost everything, the method becomes the best fit for that. The emotion regulation component is so vital in clearing those things that control your action and hurt you emotionally. Aside from that, DBT is also great in addressing conditions like eating disorders and substance abuse problems. In fortunate circumstances, some therapists use the method to help those people with schizophrenia to allow them to get better as well. DBT helps in finding and working through past experiences too. These include early childhood memories that affect the current emotional, behavioral and mental state. It merely allows people to process through what’s happening with their lives and situations.
Talk therapy tries to encompass what most treatments do, and that is to have a mutual conversation with a patient. And the reason why most therapists often find it comfortable to use is because of its natural social approach. Professionals usually attempt to have talk therapy sessions because of significant factors. Perhaps they don’t have a complete diagnosis of the person’s condition, and they may not know precisely why people seek help. Yes, these professionals know that their patients are struggling with something, but still, it is not enough foundation to conclude a mental health issue. We can assume that talk therapy addresses mood disorders. That’s because the process is not mainly for severe mental health conditions. There’s a comprehensive and full treatment for that situation. However, if you are feeling anxious and depressed, of having communication issues with people, talk therapy is an excellent fit for those needs. The reason why talk therapy works great is that most of us are not exactly looking for answers. We are only looking for someone who will listen without a biased judgment.
As you can see, there is always a full category of therapies. There are always some new ones that are coming out. That’s because it is a changing field and there’s still something new with the approach. So no matter what type of therapy is available to you, all of them are beneficial for all issues in their particular ways. Yes, there are some that get specialized, and it’s highly recommended to look out for those experts. But for those situations that you think is different, don’t think you can’t find the right therapy. Just because some methods are not specially designed to cater to what you are currently struggling with, it doesn’t mean it won’t help in addressing your issues. It will still help out and create a difference. “In general, regardless of the therapist’s preferred way of working, people find therapy to be most useful when therapists are responsive, engaged, and offer feedback,” said psychologist Lynn Margolies, Ph.D. As long as you’re working with the right process with your therapist, you can expect that things will somehow get better.
Are you having difficulty in connecting with your online counselor? Do you think it is challenging to open up to the said professional because of the remote environment? Is it a struggle to make the online sessions advantageous on your part? If you answered yes to these questions, then it is proper to conclude that you are struggling in online counseling. Do not worry because what you are going through at the moment is only a phase.
Keep in mind that everything is just new to you, which is why you have a high tendency to encounter problems in this kind of arrangement. In this article, we are going to provide you on how to make online counseling work on your part. Before anything else, you must understand the fact that everything is not going to happen according to your will. You must know how to follow instructions thoroughly. Use the guidelines below to improve your sessions with an online counselor:
Get Proper Introduction
Even if your connection with the professional counselor is made only in a virtual environment, it is still best if you will find time to get a proper introduction for each other. Michelle Ward PhD said, “You want to make sure this is someone who you’d feel comfortable and confident talking to, who you’re really sure will ‘get’ you, and who you feel is worth the investment.” During the first session, do not hesitate to talk to the counselor all the interesting things about yourself. Do not be afraid about what they might say because, at the end of the day, you are the one who is in control of your fate. Moreover, make sure to get as many details about your online counselor so that you can start formulating better ideas to improve your professional relationship.
You need to start thinking that everything is possible, especially when it comes to talking to a smart and effective counselor in the online world. “Effective counselors should have excellent communication skills,” according to Ashley Miller, a licensed social worker and psychotherapist. Unfortunately, there are days when you will doubt the efficiency of technology in transmitting messages and calls for online sessions. Such kind of thinking can prevent you from enjoying the perks of online counseling. As such, it is time to let go of barriers such as negativity. Believe that you can still have an excellent session even if you do not have a face-to-face encounter with the counselor.
Be Honest At All Times
During the online sessions, be sure, to be honest in everything that you will tell to the professional counselor. Avoid making false statements so that you will not end up being disappointed. Keep in mind that the words of advice from the counselor are primarily dependent on your words. As such, you can never get an honest opinion from him if you will keep on lying. If this continues to take place for a long time, there is a high tendency that the online counseling sessions will fail. Remember that you can always trust the said professional when it comes to your secrets and thoughts. Take note that he is not allowed to divulge any information to third parties.
Always Show Up On Time
One crucial mistake that you need to avoid in online counseling arrangements is canceling a booked appointment or meeting. Take note that it is unprofessional to do such thing especially if you make such cancellation on the last minute or for a small cause. Keep in mind that you will still be charged for any canceled booking. At the same time, it is also recommended to always show up on time for the online sessions. Do not let the online counselor waiting for you. Take note that once the time starts; you will automatically become obligated to pay for the professional services. There are no excuses at all unless the online counselor himself causes the delay.
Now that you are aware of the tips and tricks on how to deal with an online counselor be sure to follow them immediately. Consider yourself lucky if you can find a skilled counselor who can provide the best kind of assistance or support. “Clinicians who do online therapy would benefit from some basic research in this area which back up the effectiveness of this modality and ensure the disadvantages outlined above do not hurt clients more than the advantages help them,” said John M. Grohol, Psy.D. As long as you know how to follow the tips, everything is going to be okay. If for some reasons, online counseling fails without your fault, feel free to check for a refund from the company provider. However, be sure to do it calmly. Remember that you can still get what you want without acting disrespectful.
Accepting that you have a parent, brother, sister, or another family member who suffers from substance abuse is not easy. According to Steven Gifford, LICDC, LPC, “For family and friends of drug- or alcohol-addicted individuals, addressing the addiction is one of the most difficult aspects of helping the addicted person seek treatment.” It tends to make you think as if you had failed to support them when they needed you. Hence, they resorted to depending on alcohol, drugs, gambling, and more addictive stuff to feel alive.
The good thing is that getting help from any addiction treatment center in the world has changed dramatically over the years. “Recovery from addiction is more than possible, but requires a person’s strong commitment to change,” said John M. Grohol, Psy.D. If going to this kind of institution used to carry a stigma, it is no longer a taboo to enter such a facility. In truth, many praise individuals who are not afraid to say that they need help and sign up for rehab themselves. They deserve to be given credit for wanting to turn their life around, become a productive person once more, and leave their addiction in the past.
Nevertheless, before you take your family member to an addiction treatment facility, here are a few things to understand regarding their problem.
How Addiction Starts
Addiction can be rooted back to substance abuse. Abuse = abnormal + use. When you are a first-time user of the drugs or alcohol, for instance, the chemicals trigger certain parts of your brain that contribute to mood changes. In a sense, they make you feel happy even at small dosages.
The issue with overusing such substances, though, is that your body tends to adapt or get immuned to its effects. That’s the reason why you may want to keep on increasing the doses you take feel ‘high.’ You might do it until you become dependent on the material without realizing it.
Causes Of Addiction
Several factors can push an individual to rely on drugs, sex, gambling, cigarettes, alcohol, et cetera. The old belief is that it is due to a person’s lack of strong will to say no to temptation. Others used to think that the folks who develop addiction turn out that way because they don’t have respect for their lives, their body, and the people around them. It is only recently when studies revealed that it is a likely “brain disease” that enables individuals to do harmful things regardless of the consequences.
While more researches need to be conducted to pinpoint the real causes of addiction, it is no secret that peer pressure and genetics may have a hand at the matter. Folks who want to belong to a specific group tend to agree to try something dangerous, you see. The kids who grew up watching their parents or guardians engage in addictive activities have a great chance of adopting the same behavior as well.
Can Addiction Treatment Centers Help?
Simply put, they can. None of the facility’s personnel will force you to sit down or stay in the facility if you do not want to. Some people fear that they will be more miserable when they go to rehab, but it is far from reality.
Still, you have to help them help you. It is like when there are two of you on a boat, and the oars are fixed on both ends. If only one person is rowing, and the other is too busy taking selfies to at least hold the paddles beside them, then you will both be in the middle of a lake or ocean for hours. After all, that boat will not move much with just one rider doing all the work.
What To Expect From Rehab
The treatment begins with naturally removing the substance in the person’s body. Then, the patient will get assessed for depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses, which often co-morbid with addiction (more information available in sites like verwellfamily.com and whattoexpect.com). Once their true condition becomes clear, they can meet counseling professional.
Medications may or may not be used throughout the whole process. The decision to prescribe pills to the patient depends on how difficult it is for them to endure the withdrawal stage. Some individuals cannot receive drug treatment, though, especially if they entered the facility due to substance abuse.
Furthermore, there are cases in which the patient may sign up for an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation program. The former means that they need to remain at the center for a fixed amount of time, while the latter entails that they only have to go there a few times a week. According to Kathleen Smith, PhD, LPC, “Many people find that intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment is necessary to curb addiction and learn healthy coping strategies for depression.” After the treatment, the counselor may ask them to come back for follow-up checkups to avoid setbacks.
How Much Rehab Costs
Rehabilitation programs cost a few thousands of dollars, depending on the number of days you sign up to. The usual programs last from 30 to 90 days. Generally, patients who wish to stay in the center pay more than the outpatients. Hence, whether it is you or a loved one who has to get help from an addiction treatment center, you need to consider getting the support of a trustworthy insurance company that can share your expenses.
Your family member can let go of addiction – it is not impossible. They merely need to open up to themselves and to the people who can assist them in doing so.
Go through the things mentioned above before heading to an addiction treatment center. Good luck!
Nobody cares about what you want to do with your life. However, some people think that what you do and don’t do affects your future. Perhaps it’s true. But the whole point of creating life-long decisions is all about you reaching for success. Therefore, everything you desire will remain as is if you will not find yourself working through the things you want to achieve. “Family values are key factors in shaping ideas around success,” said Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW.
Most people quit their dreams due to disappointments. The collection of pain and failure makes them weak and unaware of their capabilities. That is because they end up doubting themselves. The constant self-questioning takes every positive thing away. It pulls people down and brings them back to the start once again.
Identify What Success Means To You
There will be a time that you’ll experience hardships. It’s inevitable and out of your control. But it doesn’t imply you should stay away from what currently inspires you. Identify what you want, learn about the things that you need, and look forward to the dreams you want to achieve. Always remember what success means to you and how great it will affect you. Avoid concentrating on “what ifs” and “I can’t do it” because it DOESN’T help at all. As what Kirsten Brunner, MA, LPC., said “We spend so much of our time upright, rushing around with tense shoulders.”
Think About Starting The Process
You already know that reaching for something is not going to be easy. There are times that it will make you crawl up in bed and not wanting to get up. The procedure is deteriorating, exhausting, depressing, and somehow not at all worth it. And sometimes, the changes you want to make in your life become impossible due to the unpredictable situations. But, will you allow it to hold you back?
Let’s assume you already have something that you desire. Don’t just picture yourself attaining it without doing anything. Don’t complain and do something about it. Success will never fall right into your hands if you won’t spend time looking, working, and struggling for it. Instead of thinking how exhausting and damaging the whole process will be, plan your way through it little by little. Take chances and don’t be afraid of acquiring the risk.
Change The Way You See Things
Yes, there is a tremendous certainty that you will fail in an attempt to gain success, but don’t let it define you. You are more than that. Instead of crying and keeping yourself broken from the worst things in your life, pick up the piece and rebuild yourself again. Change the way you see things and positively use the negativity. “Try to get in touch with the reasons you joined this relationship or accepted this job in the first place, and try to view the obstacles as opportunities for growth instead of harbingers of the death of the relationship or job,” explained psychologist Ryan Howes, Ph.D. It’s essential for you to believe in yourself because your mental strength depends on it. When no one else is going to stand by you, you still have “YOU.”
Since your mind works in surprising ways, your thoughts become the foundation of your whole success. So do not limit the things you can do because you can create and live in it. Your dream or aspiration in life is nothing but a godforsaken desire. But if you choose to make it real, then you have to work your way through it.
I’ve been with Chad for seven years now. We go way back in college, and we had our future all planned. I’m an interior designer, and he’s a freelance computer programmer. Lately, I feel stuck, and I feel like we’re not growing anymore.