Setting Goals For The New Year

Setting Goals For The New Year

 

As we’re saying goodbye to the year that’s already behind us, it’s always a good time for setting goals for the new year as well. It’s another opportunity to start over, dedicate your attention to things you wish to achieve or change. Whether you want to get rid of a bad habit or introduce a healthy routine in your life, having an entire year in front of you is sometimes all the motivation you need. 

In this blog, we’ve gathered useful tips for setting goals for the new year and ways to achieve those goals. Prepare a pen and paper, or for those who prefer everything digitized, open a new google document and simply follow our suggestions! 

New Year Exercise

If you’re passionate about setting new goals, whether they’re personal or professional, you’ve probably done some exercise on your own, however, this one combines all of your goals for the upcoming year, while also looking back at the year that’s behind us. You can do this exercise alone, with your partner, your best friend, or anybody else you wish to share it with.

What did I Accomplish in 2021?

Start thinking about your proudest moments in the past year. Maybe you’ve learned a new language, made a new friend, started going to the gym regularly, began to eat more healthily, or something completely else. This exercise is about you, so whatever you think it’s relevant to celebrate from 2021, point it out. To create more order in the way you’ll approach thinking in retrospect, make sure you separate your personal goals from your professional goals. 

Examples: 

  • I reconnected with an old friend from high school and had a great time with them.
  • Stopped drinking unhealthy beverages and replaced them with freshly squeezed juices.
  • I successfully completed a long project and everyone congratulated me on it.
  • Advocated for my boundaries and that helped improve my life quality.
  • I discovered a cafe shop in my neighborhood and I often go there to read books or work on my computer.
  • This year, I expanded my knowledge in speaking Italian (or insert any subject you desire).

What did I WANT to Accomplish yet didn’t in 2021?

When asking yourself this question, it’s important to approach it with a clear mind. 

Forget “I should have done this…” type of language. 

Instead, recognize that you are envisioning it in the next year. The point is that you are recommitting to smaller steps to help achieve success. 

Try to eliminate blaming and shaming thoughts that might arise when answering this question. The point is that you are going to recommit to what is still important to you. After all, if you care about it one year later, you have plenty of motivation to break it into steps in the next year! 

Examples: 

  • I didn’t manage to go to bed before midnight and have more quality sleep.
  • Wanted to cook more at home yet I mostly ordered in or went to a restaurant.
  • I tried spending more time with friends, however, I had too many work obligations. 

  • I wanted to learn how to use a new tool that would make my work easier and didn’t do it in the end.
  • Tried arriving at work on time, yet somehow I was late more often than I am comfortable with.

COUPLES EDITION: 

What did We ACCOMPLISH in the Relationship in 2021?

This part can be done alone or with your partner. If you’re going through this exercise with your partner, make sure that both of you have the space to voice your answers without affecting each other’s responses or getting off track. 

When thinking about these accomplishments, you will need to think about those areas of your relationships you managed to improve in some way. Whatever you feel was an accomplishment in your relationship, celebrate it with your partner.

Couple Examples:

  • We managed to spend more time together and try out new activities.
  • Improved our intimacy by hugging more and having sex. 
  • We started going to couple therapy and successfully resolved many issues from before. 

What did We ACCOMPLISH in the Relationship in 2021?

Like your personal desired accomplishments, approach this question without any resentment or frustration. What were the important things for you both at the beginning of 2021, yet you couldn’t do them? If they still seem relevant to you, make sure you talk about them as it might give you a better idea of how to accomplish them. 

Couple Examples:

  • We tried to do more outdoor activities, yet we spent too much time watching TV.
  • Wanted to cook dinners together, and often ended up ordering take out because we were too tired. 
  • We wanted to have deeper and more intimate conversations, yet we spent more time talking about our complaints and household obligations.  

New Vision & Recommitment

Here, you will need to think about what you wish to celebrate by the end of 2022. Think about the things that matter to you personally and your relationship. What do you wish to start implementing in your everyday life? What are the things or habits you wish to say goodbye to? 

The great thing about doing this exercise with your partner or your friend is they will motivate you throughout the year as they will be aware of your new year goals. Also, you can invite them to hold you accountable. For instance, if you want to spend more time with your friends, your best friend or partner can encourage you to do so by reminding you of your goals. 

When talking about committing to something, think about how you will hold yourself accountable? Having the help of others is great, yet if not doing your best, it will be hard to achieve any goal you want to set for the new year. 

There are plenty of ways you can make sure your 2022 will align with your goals:

  • If you wish to be more active, pay an annual membership instead of monthly.
  • Also if you wish to spend more time with friends, book the times in your calendar and share them with your friends. 
  • If you want to be more proactive at work, talk with your colleagues and find a way that will help you to deliver more.

Whatever it is, think about the easiest way to achieve your goals. If you think about ways to do something, it will be easier to achieve it than just focusing on goals. Please think big; you can do anything you set your mind to. 

Happy new beginnings!

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Psychological Dependence

Psychological Dependence: Definition & How To Deal With It

Psychological Dependence: Definition & How To Deal With It

 

Each psychological and emotional process has a physiological basis. And every behavior that is not simply reflex action has a vital emotional and psychological component. Therefore, thinking of mind and body as two separated entities leads to unrealistic and incorrect ways of looking at any behavior type. It is mostly seen in cases of substance use disorders and process additions. 

For instance, claiming that “gambling addiction is not a choice’’ is equally wrong as claiming it is a choice. Human beings are too complex to say their behavior is “entirely physical” or “entirely psychological”. To truly understand how addictive behavior develops, both physical and psychological dependence will need to be considered. 

Psychological Dependence Definition

Psychological dependence is a term used to describe the emotional and mental processes associated with development. And recovery from a substance use disorder or process addiction. It must be viewed as a combination of emotions and cognitions, as they intertwine in their existence. 

When talking about psychological dependence, most cases refer to the cognitive and emotional aspects of addictive behaviors or withdrawing from drug or alcohol use. This is quite different from attempting to classify certain substances or activities as addictive either in a physiological or physical way. 

Psychological Dependence Symptoms

There are several symptoms associated with the psychological components of any type of addictive behavior (psychological dependence). Not every person will have all of these symptoms and some of them will be expressing them mildly, while others more than that. People with psychological dependence will often have cravings, mostly food-related ones. Also, they might have anxiety issues that occur each time someone tries to stop their addictive behavior. Instead of anxiety, a person can have depression issues when not being able to proceed with their addictive behavior due to someone or something. 

They might also struggle with sleeping well as their sleep often is disrupted when trying to stop consuming the substance or it’s not available to a person. When not consuming or trying to quit their addiction, whichever it might be, they will probably feel irritability and restlessness. A wide variety of moods might happen each time a person is not able to use their substance of choice or is trying to quit. These mood swings are usually quite obvious externally, too. 

Besides how they feel, their behavior will change significantly as well. For instance, they will have issues with concentration, memory, problem-solving, and judgment in general. When talking about physical dependence, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, seizures, diarrhea, hallucinations are quite common. 

Substances In Psychological Dependence

It’s considered that all substances of abuse are associated with both psychological and physical aspects of dependence. Yet, numerous sources are separating the aspects related to the development of a substance use disorder and withdrawing from it into substances associated with withdrawal symptoms which are psychological. Usually, they include: 

  • Most stimulants, which include cocaine and Ritalin
  • Most hallucinogenic drugs (e.g. LSD)
  • Cannabis products
  • Numerous inhalant products
  • Numerous psychotropic medications (e.g. antidepressant medications)

When talking about substances relate to the development of strong physical dependence usually include:

  • Alcohol
  • Opiate drugs – heroin, morphine, Vicodin, etc.
  • Benzodiazepines – Xanax, Valium, Ativan, etc.
  • Barbiturates – Seconal and phenobarbital.

Psychological Dependence Treatment 

The use of drugs that are considered to lead to physical dependence, such as alcohol, barbiturates. And benzodiazepines, can lead to the development of potentially fatal seizures. Yet, this generally doesn’t occur with withdrawal from opiate drugs, which are considered to be very physically addicting. 

Individuals with a substance use disorder will need to be strictly monitored by a physician or psychiatrist specialized in addiction medicine during their recovery. Such level of care and caution is required to be able to identify and potential seizure activity and if it occurs, act on time and help the individual. When treating any substance use disorder, the initial program of physician-assisted withdrawal management is essential for recovery. 

This type of approach is recommended because initial recovery from any substance of abuse can be intertwined with emotional and physical distress that might lead to dangerous scenarios for the person. Examples of such dangerous scenarios are overdosing during a relapsed, being involved in accidents, or trying to commit suicide. 

When compared to those with physical addition or physical dependence, individuals with psychological dependence will not have much difference in the overall plan of recovery. It will be required that they are thoroughly assessed, guided by a physician. And treat for any issues that might appear as a consequence of their substance use. Also, they are often involved in substance use disorder therapy, which is crucial for their recovery. 

Most of the time, they will also get involved in social support groups or seek support from their family and friends. Understanding how challenging and frustrating at the time the recovery process can be. A strong support system is essential to recover.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, psychological dependence is associated with various emotional and cognitive symptoms. By separating physical dependence from psychological dependence, enormous damage is done in understanding this condition and, more importantly, in treating it. Treatment of any substance use disorder must be seen as with both emotional and cognitive symptoms.  

While psychological dependence is definitely associated with both emotional and cognitive symptoms. Physical dependence is usually associated with tolerance development and withdrawal symptoms that are not emotional nor cognitive. 

To understand addictive behavior means to accept the interplay of both emotional and cognitive mechanisms. Any treatment that aims to help a person recover from substance use disorder should be holistic in nature and consider all possible treatment options that lead to recovery. And, although the recovery plan might be long, frustrating. And scary, many individuals have successfully recovered from psychological dependence and are now enjoying their lives with their loved ones.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Teen Counseling

Teen Counseling: What Every Parent Should Know

Teen Counseling: What Every Parent Should Know

 

If you’re a parent of a teenager or have one in your family, you know that it can be quite challenging. And seeking teen counseling arises as a natural suggestion to help the person struggling. 

Besides undergoing numerous changes physically, emotionally, and psychologically, this young person will also go through identity formation. All of these areas might be really difficult for an individual and they might lead to different forms of pressure, while experiencing social pressure, bullying, or even questioning their gender or sexual identity as they start their first valuable relationships with other people.

Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration in today’s culture is social comparison and lower self-esteem due to the prevalence of social media. There’s no question about it, being a teenager in our modern world is quite stressful and understanding all the benefits from teen counseling as they are navigating these challenges. 

Why Do Teens Need Counseling?

It’s quite crucial to memorize that teens, although they are becoming adults, are still children. The brain is in the process of fully forming, yet they are still not able to make mature decisions or handle mature situations the same way adults can. Also, understanding their bodies are changing and all the side effects of budding hormones. All of this can tip teenagers over the edge, even if an adult doesn’t realize how stressful it might be for the teenager. 

What’s making things even worse, today’s teenagers are not spending the same amount of time with their families as 10 or 20 years ago as today’s parents work long hours. However, family time is crucial in keeping stress levels low, so the lack of family time will be just another factor why it’s so beneficial for a teenager to seek counseling. 

Once a teenager reaches the point where they are not able to effectively handle school, social situations, or family stress, counseling can help them tremendously in learning how to cope with it all. Parents will typically consider this option once they notice that their teenager is struggling with one of the mentioned areas. Yet the smarter decision would be to send your teenager to talk to a professional before they reach that level of stress. 

Deciding that a teenager should go to therapy will benefit them in numerous ways. Especially as they will be able to talk about their current struggles and even past events that are troubling them. 

What Can Parents Expect From Teen Counseling?

As a parent, you should know what you and your teenager can expect from teen counseling. Once your teenager begins counseling, it might surprise you that parents are typically not invited to attend. All you can do is drive your teen to the doors and wait for his counseling to finish. Another thing to keep in mind is that the counselor cannot share information on these sessions due to therapist-client confidentiality. What a counselor can do is to provide you with more general information regarding progress and diagnosis. If you don’t feel supportive about this, be aware that your teenager needs a safe place to express their thoughts and emotions without fearing consequences. And if you know even one thing about teens, that would be that they value their privacy and want to have more autonomy from their parents.  

Types of Teen Therapy

The type of counseling will usually depend on the precipitating problem. For instance, you teenager will maybe start teen counseling because they are struggling with studying and their grades. So the counselor will start from there and gradually, dive deeper. The reason for that is that establishing trust and getting to know each other is crucial for success in therapy. 

The initial intake session, however, might include parents as well, yet from the next session. The therapist will spend only on getting to know the teenager and helping them learn useful tools to make their lives easier. As a parent, you will need to accept you’re not in control over the process and have faith in it. Just because it seems to you that the therapist is taking the wrong approach doesn’t mean you’re right. After all, you are not sitting in those sessions and you’re not the patient. 

What A Therapist Needs To Report?

As mentioned above, all the information your teenager decided to share with the counselor is considered confidential. Except anything the counsel will be legally mandated to report. The examples would be the intent to harm themselves or someone else, sexual or physical abuse, and suicidal thoughts. So, if your teenager is experiencing serious issues, you can be sure they will receive the help they need and you as a parent will be informed about it. 

When it comes to everything else, teenagers will be able to discuss any concerns they have without the fear that they will be shared with their parents or someone else. 

Preparing Teens For Counseling

Don’t feel discouraged if the first time you talk to your teenager about the therapy they feel resistant. It’s quite normal, so try to understand their point of view as well. To help you get your teenager to become more open about teen counseling, consider these helpful tools: 

They Should Lead

If you think your teenager would benefit from therapy, try starting a conversation on their thoughts about therapy. Inform them about the process and tell them you think it would be great for them to talk to someone who is not their parents. And will provide them with useful tips on how to deal with some situations in their lives.

Offering Incentives

There are plenty of ways to motivate your teenager to go to a counselor if the conversation didn’t produce results. And one of them is offering a reward. For instance, you can tell them that if they attend just one session. You will buy the concert tickets to see their favorite band or their favorite sports team. 

Including Them in the Process

If you’re thinking about teen counseling, you should also consider including your teenager in the process of choosing a therapist. And allow them to decide when they would like to schedule their appointments. They will more likely think that therapy is a good idea if they are a part of the decision-making process. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Bipolar Symptoms

Bipolar Symptoms: How To Notice Them On Time

Bipolar Symptoms: How To Notice Them On Time

 

You probably think you know all about bipolar disorder, yet the majority of us are unable to notice bipolar symptoms when they start occurring to us or our close ones. This mental illness involves extreme mood changes from high to low and vice versa. With high mood being the period of mania, and low ones being the periods of depression, these changes often are mixed and too challenging to be controlled by the person going through these episodes. 

A person with bipolar disorder might feel ecstatic and depressed at the same time or these two moods can interchange. As there are more than five million people diagnosed with bipolar disorder only in the USA, it’s crucial to learn more about this mental illness, understand its symptoms so you can provide support to those who need it on time. 

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes changes of moods between highs (mania) and lows (depression). The illness usually appears in the late teens or early adult years, yet it’s not uncommon to see it in children as well. When comparing, women are more likely to have bipolar diagnoses than men.

As it is with many mental illnesses, bipolar disorder is often difficult to diagnose, so it’s important to understand the symptoms that are occurring to provide adequate treatment on time. 

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

The bipolar signs and symptoms can vary from one person to another. Not to mention that many symptoms can appear due to other conditions, which only makes it more difficult to diagnose someone with bipolar disorder.

When talking about bipolar symptoms, they are usually divided into two categories – symptoms for mania and symptoms for depression.

Mania Symptoms

Mania can cause other symptoms in a person as well, yet there are several key symptoms of this bipolar disorder phase:

  • feeling overly happy or being in a ‘’high’’ mood for a long time
  • losing the need for sleep
  • talking very fast and having fast thoughts 
  • feeling restless and/or impulsive
  • feeling overly confident in your abilities
  • becoming easily distracted 
  • engaging in any form of risky behavior (e.g. impulsive sex, gambling)

Depression Symptoms

Just like mania, depression can cause another set of symptoms in a person. These are the key depression symptoms to look for in a person:

  • feeling sad and/or hopeless for a long time
  • isolating yourself from friends and family
  • feeling exhausted or without energy
  • considering or attempting suicide

Types of Bipolar Disorder

Overall, they are four types of bipolar disorder, yet only two of them are most commonly diagnosed. Bipolar I is the classic form of bipolar disorder which was previously called ‘’manic depression’’. This form of bipolar disorder has really clear and noticeable manic phases. The behavior and mood changes of a person are extreme, and it’s followed by the behavior they are unable to control. 

To be diagnosed with bipolar I, a person will need to have manic episodes. For an event to be defined as a manic episode, it needs to: 

  • include mood or behavior changes that are unlike that person
  • be present the majority of the day, and almost every day 
  • last at least one week or be so extreme that hospital care is required 

Those who are diagnosed with bipolar I will usually also have depressive episodes, yet they are required for the diagnosis of bipolar I.

The second most commonly diagnosed type of bipolar disorder is bipolar II. It’s considered even more common than bipolar I. This type involves depressive symptoms, yet its manic signs are less severe, so they are called hypomanic symptoms. Hypomania typically gets worse if the person doesn’t receive treatment which can lead to severe mania or depression. 

With both of these types, the support of friends and love ones will be of tremendous value as most of the time, a person with bipolar symptoms is unaware of it. Usually, they are not the ones who seek professional help on their own, so it’s vital to have a good support system. 

Rare Bipolar Types

As bipolar I and II are the most common types of bipolar disorder, we will need to mention the other two types of this mental illness. One of them is cyclothymic disorder which also involves mood changes, yet these changes will be less dramatic in nature. A person who was diagnosed with cyclothymic disorder can function without their medication, yet it’s not easy for them. More importantly, without proper treatment, this diagnosis may develop into bipolar I or II. 

Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified involves a person that only has some of the mentioned bipolar symptoms. However, these symptoms are not enough to be diagnosed with one of the three bipolar types.

Being Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder

If a person doesn’t have severe mania, bipolar symptoms might be difficult to spot. A person with hypomania might feel more energized or more confident than usual. As we all tend to experience these feelings, it’s difficult to diagnose a person with a mental disease. Not to mention that a person will rarely complain about being more confident at work or having more energy and being physically active, for instance. 

People will more likely seek help if they feel depressed, and that might take away your doctor’s focus from the manic side of the illness. Yet, once your doctor has given you a diagnosis, they will decide on what’s the best treatment program for you. Some of the most common bipolar disorder treatments include: 

  • medication
  • behavioral therapy
  • electroconvulsive therapy
  • substance abuse treatment 

Seeking Help 

If you are suspecting that you or someone close to you might have bipolar disorder, the best advice is to talk to a professional. Only a trained medical professional will be able to diagnose bipolar disorder and prescribe proper treatment. Any of the treatment options a person will be given can tremendously help to get all of the symptoms under control and live a fulfilled, happy life. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

High Functioning Depression

High Functioning Depression: Everything You Need To Know About It

High Functioning Depression: Everything You Need To Know About It

 

High-functioning depression is in many ways similar to major depression, but the signs and symptoms are less severe. Some of the most common signs a person can notice would be changes in sleeping and eating habits. Fatigue, lower self-esteem, and lack of concentration and hope. These symptoms will be present on the majority of days, causing a low mood that can last two years or even more. People who are struggling with high-functioning depression usually don’t show it externally so it’s not that easy to detect it.

Luckily, those who are dealing with this type of depression can go under treatment, which consists of medications and therapy, and it can be treated successfully. Another term that science is using to refer to high functioning depression is persistent depressive disorder (PDD). Here is everything you need to know about it. 

Definition of high functioning depression

Many mental disorders can make it difficult for a person to function as others do. Actually, it’s one of the most important diagnostic criteria for many mental illnesses. Such impairment implies that a person is not able to function fully in one or more areas of their life due to a certain mental health condition. For instance, they are not able to perform successfully at their job for long, or they are not able to ace their exam although they studied so hard for it. High functioning depression can also affect your personal life. So someone with high functioning depression will not be able to manage healthy relationships and will also avoid social activities, to name just a few examples. 

The people struggling with this form of depression will be able to function normally most of the time, yet they will experience most of the depression symptoms. That’s why it’s called persistent depressive disorder (PDD). 

High functioning depression symptoms

If you or someone in your life suspects of having a high functioning depression, or persistent depressive disorder, it’s best to reach out to a psychiatrist or any other mental health professional. High functioning depression should be diagnosed in order to be treated, and certain criteria need to be met for a diagnosis. When going through them, you will notice they are very similar to symptoms used to diagnose major depression. However, with high functioning depression, they are less severe. 

The first criteria are that the person is experiencing a depressed, low mood most of their days for at least two years. Also, this depressed mood should be present for most of the day. And it includes two of these symptoms below or more: 

  • Weak appetite or overeating
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Lack of energy and fatigue
  • Lack of self-esteem
  • Concentration difficulties and struggling to make decisions
  • The feeling of sadness and hopelessness

Besides these symptoms, a psychiatrist or another mental health professional will also check other criteria that need to be met to diagnose a PDD. These are: 

  • The person has never experienced mania or hypomania, which is what unusual euphoric and energetic moods are called.
  • There is no better way to explain the depression symptoms by another mental illness, medical condition or substance abuse. 
  • The symptoms a person has in their depressed mood have to cause some impairment in at least one area of the person’s life, including significant distress.
  • A person with PDD as a diagnosis might also meet the criteria for major depression.

Do you have high functioning depression?

As it will be difficult to respond to these questions with the help of a professional, There are other moments you might recognize in your life that might indicate you have a high functioning depression. While going through this list, if the majority of these things sound close to you, you should consider seeking adequate treatment and support. 

  • Most of the time, you feel down or depressed. Your friends and family notice it as well and they have pointed it out to you several times already.
  • When you are feeling happy, these moments usually don’t last long and you go back to your low mood. 
  • You also feel tired most of the time, although you get enough sleep and are not sleep deprived in any way.
  • When talking about energy, most of the time you feel like you lack it and that’s preventing you from even doing the things you want to do.
  • You don’t feel good about yourself. Also, you feel as if you don’t deserve happiness or are unworthy of connecting with others.
  • Your weight is changing without your willingness to change it; it’s simply a result of having no appetite or overeating.
  • You might also lack hope or you will need to cry a lot without a real, concrete reason. 
  • Your performance at school or work might be really good. Yet you are facing difficulties when it comes to concentration and focus.  
  • You need to force yourself to participate in social activities because you don’t feel the actual need of going. 

Coping with depressive episodes

When talking about high functioning depression, there are many coping mechanisms. One of the most recommended techniques is journaling. Once you start writing your feelings and thoughts onto a piece of paper or in a document on your computer. You will feel like you can manage them with more ease. This, of course, doesn’t imply that just by journaling you can achieve improvement, yet it’s a good way of documenting how you feel every day and not having to have all these emotions and thoughts bottled up inside. 

Another great coping mechanism is exercising. Besides being a great, healthy activity, exercising can also make you feel more relaxed, energized and satisfied. With a wide variety of activities, you can choose whichever one you prefer – yoga, pilates, jogging, cardio, kickbox, swimming, hiking, etc. 

For those looking for more indoor activities, the perfect option is cooking. We often overlook all the positive sides of a cooking process and skip to conversations about the importance of good nutrition, yet cooking is such a valuable activity for everyone. The feeling of achievement when you prepare a meal for the first time, the creativity of combining different ingredients, the mesmerizing smell spreading around your kitchen, … All these things can elevate your mood easily, and maybe next time, you’ll be even ready to invite your friends over for dinner. 

As much as working or studying can be productive activities for you, don’t spend your free time on it. You should have hobbies and activities that make you feel good. Improve your self esteem and decrease the fear of not being worthy of something. Once you decide what makes you feel good about yourself. Make a promise to yourself that you will always find time for it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Anger Management Therapy

Anger Management Therapy

 

To recognize and avoid anger triggers in people, psychologists and clinicians will often recommend anger management therapy. 

This type of therapy serves as a tool to successfully manage your anger and prevent it from affecting areas of your life. The target of that anger might be anyone, from you and your loved ones to a stranger in the street. 

Most of the time, you will find yourself furious over different events you can’t even control. 

So, when does anger become more than just a standard human emotion?  

 

Understanding Anger

We all get mad, and that’s completely normal. 

However, if your anger is misplaced or uncontrolled, then consider seeking help to manage it better. 

When talking about how this uncontrolled anger looks, it’s important to know that it depends on the person. 

Someone will feel furious on the inside, yet people around them will not be able to see signs of anger.

Another person might have a quick temper and they might even exhibit aggressive behavior. 

Although uncontrolled anger is common, it can be quite dysfunctional, especially because those who experience it are not aware of the impact it has on their lives and the people around them.

The reason why anger leads to bigger problems is because at first, it seems effective. 

For instance, you might lose your temper with your team members at work and it leads to better employee performance. 

Or, you might scream at your kids because they haven’t made their bed or brushed their teeth. In these and similar scenarios, you may get what you want, yet not for long.

People will often overlook the long-term consequences when it comes to anger. 

It can easily lead to undesired health effects such as high blood pressure and even an increased risk of heart disease. 

Yet, the most important effect uncontrolled anger will have is on your social life, including your family members, friends, coworking and everyone else close to you. 

 

Uncontrolled Anger Signs

Before talking about anger management therapy, let’s take a look at some of the common signs of uncontrolled anger. 

If you or someone close to you is showing these signs, consider anger management therapy:

  • More than one person has already told you that you have an anger problem.
  • You have distanced yourself from family and friends because of your behavior.
  • There are business establishments or private gatherings you’re no longer invited to.
  • You feel anger most of the day.
  • You often have a grudge or think about getting revenge. 
  • When angry, you act aggressively or violently or have aggressive or violent thoughts. 

 

Seeking Help

As already explained, it’s not so common that a person with uncontrolled anger is aware they need help. Often, they will be suggested to seek help from their loved one, a family member or a friend. When it comes to treating anger, the therapy has proven to be very efficient with most people.

A therapist will treat anger by focusing on cognitive-behavioural therapy mostly. For a person with uncontrolled anger, this means they will learn how to identify patterns that are harmful in any way. This way, they can change their inaccurate thoughts on how anger solves their problems. 

You can even expect to be exposed to imaginary events that usually provoke anger for you, which is known as Stress Inoculation. 

With this method, a counselor can see your anger in action and help you find coping methods that will work for you. 

Of course, the chosen method will depend on the therapist and the client’s emotions. The point is though, that to overcome uncontrolled anger, you will need to dive into it. 

You have to feel it to heal it!

 

Anger Management Therapy

The core of anger management therapy consists of learning how to handle your anger in a positive way. As much as we all want to completely destroy anger as an emotion, we tend to forget that every emotion we experience can be good for us, it only depends on how we react to it.

So, if the coping mechanisms you have are not serving you, regardless of whether we’re talking about sadness, loneliness or anger, you need to change them. To change the way you feel or react when you’re feeling angry, you need to understand what exactly are your triggers and the ways you reach in these types of situations. 

In most cases, you will need a clinician who does anger management therapy with their clients. 

They can help you learn how to manage your anger constructively and positively by staying calm. As it is with everything else that causes dysfunction in our lives, it will take time until you replace your old coping mechanisms with new beneficial ones.

Think of anger management as a new skill you will need to develop. It will require commitment, effort and more than anything else, time to build the patience to manage your anger. Once you recognize the trigger patterns and behaviors that come out of them, it will be easier to be in control of your anger. 

 

Managing Anger Without Therapy

If you are unable to see a therapist, there are still a few techniques that might be useful when trying to manage your anger. Make sure you remember them and use them anytime you start feeling the anger coming in. 

  • Breathe and while exhaling, think of the anger coming out of your body.
  • Do tension release exercises which move focus to your muscles by contracting and releasing them.
  • Start meditating to shift your mind from anger to a more neutral state.
  • Find a channel that works well for your anger such as running or exercising.
  • Boost your creativity with writing, drawing or listening to music as art.
  • Sleep at least six to eight hours because sleep deprivation leads to irritability!

When it comes to anger management, the most important thing to do is not to suppress it. 

Try expressing it from the moment you notice your anger kicking in as it still allows you to be in control. Express to yourself what this may mean for you. 

The more you practice it, the easier it will become. Once you learn how to manage your anger, you will be able to build quality relationships, be more concentrated on your work and lead a healthier life. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

How To Quit Porn: A Step-By Step Guide

How To Quit Porn: A Step-By Step Guide

 

Let’s be frank, we have all explored the world of sexual fantasies in our own ways, yet how to quit porn for good if it’s no longer serving your curiosity and creativity? You’ve probably consumed enough porn materials and now you feel like it’s time for a porn detox. 

However, this is easier said than done. As it is with all the habits, once you are used to something, it’s not that easy to just kick it out of your life. And don’t get confused, nobody is saying porn is bad! There are no good and bad sites to it, the only deciding factor about it should be how YOU feel about it. 

So, if you no longer feel the same level of curiosity when consuming porn content. Maybe it’s time to rethink it and create some space for other habits that will make you happier. Here are the things you should do to make your porn detox a bit easier for yourself. 

 

Embrace the Rollercoaster

You might think that once you decide something, all you have to do is stick to it until that habit disappears, yet unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. In reality, some days will be a success, while others will seem like a complete disaster. Once you try to get rid of any habit, your emotions will become very intense and it will be really challenging to feel in control. Therefore, you will need to let go of the need to control. 

Two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward. When you have a bad day, just embrace it as something that needs to happen and know that day will end. It will be difficult to stay away from porn content, however, once you accept that this is not a linear process, you will feel a bit relieved. 

 

Set Small Targets

Don’t think about how to quit porn forever, think about quitting it first for one week. Forever is a very frustrating concept when you are trying to either adopt or kick out a habit. Instead, set smaller targets for yourself. Why don’t you just quit porn for one week? And then one more? This way, you will also experience mini achievements with your habit project and feel good about it. 

The reason why this battle ‘person vs. habit’ fails is that there is nothing positive and encouraging for you during your habit change. You are trying to stop consuming porn content and giving yourself some credit on this difficult path is surely a motivating trick. 

Below, you can find a few useful tips for those who have decided to quit porn:

  • Create your calendar and mark the days you haven’t been consuming any porn content. Seeing it all in one place can help you see how much you’re accomplishing every day.
  • If you usually watch porn in the evenings. Plan something interesting at that time (going for a jog or cooking dinner).
  • Try to stay away from all devices in your home as this will remind you too much of your addiction. Use your computer and mobile phone only when needed. 
  • Celebrate your first week of being porn-free with something that will motivate you. E.g. dinner with friends, an expensive massage or a new pair of sneakers.

 

Reboot Your Brain 

If you’re addicted to porn, just like any other addiction, there is a chemical response in your brain when you are consuming it. The number of dopamine receptors is being reduced due to the dopamine attack which happens while watching porn. This chemical reaction is to blame when a person starts having problems such as erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation, anxiety, depression, etc. 

So, to reboot your brain would mean to allow your brain to restore those dopamine receptors which were lost during overconsumption of porn. The idea of rebooting is to get you to that point of your life where there was no pornography. The bad news is rebooting your brain takes more time than rebooting your mobile device or computer. Expect to spend weeks or even months to see an improvement. After the rebooting process has been successfully completed, you should also get your sex urge back.

 

Creating Your Own System

People are not equally addicted to, let’s say, smoking, drinking, drugs or even porn. This means that addiction triggers also differ from one person to another. In other words, a system that worked for your friend struggling with the same addiction may not work for you because you are addicted due to different reasons, have different triggers and consume differently.

When do you usually watch porn? On which occasions do you feel you need more of it? Deeply analysing your addiction will help you fight it and ultimately win it. For instance, if you watch porn in the evening because you are bored alone at home, find hobbies in the evening or schedule more events with your friends at that time. 

If you turn to porn each time something bad happens at work and you want to escape the real world, find a person you can talk to about the work situations. It can be a colleague who is going through the same thing or your friend who is simply a good listener. The key is to understand why and when you need pornography in order to quit it successfully. 

 

Action!

It’s very admirable if you’ve decided to quit porn, however, in the majority of addiction cases, it simply won’t be enough. There is so much porn addiction around us because it’s so easy to find and consume it. What can you do to make it harder for yourself to consume porn content? Is it maybe canceling the subscription to your prefered websites? Deleting all the porn content you have downloaded on your computer? Blocking the free websites where you used to go when you had porn cravings? 

Anything you can do to prevent yourself from watching porn, you should do it. It might seem exaggerated at the beginning, yet keep in mind it’s very easy to fall into the addiction trap again. It’s not easy to free your mind from pornography, you will have to be persistent. With time, you will think less and less about porn and find other things that will bring you excitement in life!

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

How To Respond to Verbal Abuse

How To Respond To Verbal Abuse In a Healthy Way

How To Respond To Verbal Abuse In a Healthy Way

 

This blog discussed how to respond to verbal abuse, when you are not in a dangerous situation.

If you are in a dangerous place and there is abuse, get out of that situation!

Most of us were NOT taught how to relate with clear or compassionate communication. Therefore, if you are in a place wondering how to respond to verbal abuse, you will get the tips you need here.

In our culture, we weren’t taught about healthy boundaries, on how to make requests (instead of demands).

What this means is that we will be spending our lives training in these NEW skills, and practicing them.

We start here in the AASECT Model of PLISSIT. P is for permission! A therapist will tell you that YOU are precious. You are perfectly imperfect in all human ways. Which means that ALL of you deserves to be seen and loved. In other words, ALL of your Inner Aspects deserve to be seen and loved by ourselves – by you!

Each of your inner parts have a purpose and need at the Boardroom Table in your mind… when these internal parts of us are recovered, discovered, uncovered and loved unconditionally by you.

The person who is verbally abusing you has a right to their parts too; however, you are allowed to request that they share those parts with themselves and find a new way to talk with you.

These parts of me have been given some chance to transform, heal, and these wounds can become wisdom for a new future as I sit and take the time to do the work.

So… I literally practice SELF Care. Really. Daily. I even talk to myself in my mind in a loving manner which I didn’t used to. It used to be seeing someone I cared about with someone else felt like I was LOSING something.

What I realize now, which I didn’t then, is that OTHERS may or may not be “up” for knowing my Inner Aspects. Not everyone wants to hear all inner parts unfiltered. That’s ok because our primary love relationship isn’t with another… it’s with yourself. To me, it is HEALTHY to move toward spending time with those with whom I can collaborate (in a healthy manner) on getting both of our needs met.

It is healthy to spend LESS time with those we cannot (including family and / or friends).

I work to lead my life as a centered, mature adult which sounds to me DIFFERENT than being in a relationship with those who continue to use verbal abuse when talking to me.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

10 Things To Do When Feeling Lonely

10 Things To Do When Feeling Lonely

 

Have you been feeling lonely or a bit down lately? Maybe you’ve noticed a lack of energy… 

Don’t worry, you are not the only one. 

The world is changing so rapidly, and adapting to it is becoming incredibly challenging for the majority of us. 

With the COVID pandemic around us, it’s really not a surprise that isolation led to more and more people feeling lonely.

But, this loneliness is definitely not something you should ignore. It’s one thing to feel sad or down a day or two due to the recent events in your life, however, when it affects your perspective on life, it’s time to do something about it.

Here are ten things you can do to not feel lonely and improve the quality of your spare time.

 

#1 Discover something new about yourself.

Is it time to take a paintbrush into your hand and start painting again like you used to do when you were a child? Or, maybe start writing short fiction stories which you used to love reading during your spring breaks? We’re not talking about hobbies or interests here, we’re talking about the activities that will wake up the creative, curious and content part of you. Just think about all those things you were always postponing to do and do them now. 

 

#2 Adopt an animal.

As much as animals are a responsibility, having them around can reduce the feeling of loneliness. They are great company, love to cuddle, go for walks and you’ll be thrilled once they learn a trick or two. If you’re not that sure it’s a smart move, why not provide a lovely cat or a dog with a home for just a few weeks? You will easily find this option in many animal organizations and shelters. 

 

#3 Reach out to an old friend.

Feeling of loneliness can sometimes appear when we don’t have anything new or exciting in our lives to connect with. Instead of going for a coffee with your best friend who knows you inside and out, how about reaching out to an old friend from your hometown or your school? You can use social media to reach out to them casually and ask them if they are available any time soon. And don’t worry if you don’t live close, you can always connect over a video call!

 

#4 Start volunteering.

You are probably passionate about a thing or two. How about you start investing your time in making the world a better place? When feeling lonely, sharing your time with those who need it will make you feel really fulfilled and connected with them. In the end, the feeling of belonging and seeing your value in the community will show you that you are never actually alone. You can even look for online volunteering opportunities, such as writing articles about women rights or helping launch creative eco-friendly campaigns.

 

#5 Create your wishlist.

Maybe you are feeling a bit stuck in this period of your life, but you can always use your imagination to escape. Where would you like to be in one year from now? How would you like your free time to be spent? Who would you like to be around? Is there any new sport or hobby you’d like to learn? Don’t limit yourself, write down everything that comes to mind. Once done, store it somewhere safe and wait for the next year to see how much of it you have accomplished.

 

#6 Write letters to your loneliness.

Treat the feeling of loneliness as your friend. Acknowledge it’s here and start writing letters to it. Write how it’s making you feel and what you like and don’t like about it. Not only will you feel better because you got all of that out of your system, but you will also start to differentiate that feeling from what you truly are. With time, you will understand that feeling lonely is only one part of you, but that it doesn’t define who you are. 

 

#7 Find you happy music, movies and shows.

What’s your favorite TV show that always makes you laugh even after watching it several times? What’s the music you will play if you want to dance and just jump around like nobody’s watching? Well, create your own list and once you feel lonely, blast that music or stream your favorite comedy and give yourself some time to laugh and simply to feel good. 

 

#8 Take a walk.

The majority of people will advise you to fight your loneliness with physical activity and although they are not wrong, it’s not that easy as it sounds. If you’re feeling lonely, you will probably not be inspired to go to the gym and spend 2 hours there. Instead, go for a walk and play a podcast you like or put on mediation music when you’re walking in the park or any other place that you like. If it’s one of those days where it’s difficult to even get out of bed, why don’t you walk to the restaurant in your neighbourhood and eat your breakfast there? As you probably won’t feel motivated to cook on days like these, walking to a restaurant is definitely a great idea!

 

#9 Invite a friend.

You will not feel lonely with company. And, as much as you are not motivated to invite someone over when you are feeling down, you should really do it. Invite them to prepare lunch with you, talk to you over a cup of coffee, help you organize your closet and get rid of the old clothes, fix broken things in your home, etc. Adding a purpose to it will bring additional value and create some good memories for both of you.

 

#10 Talk to a therapist.

When all of the above doesn’t work and you really don’t know what to do to stop feeling lonely, you should consider talking to a therapist. A professional will find the reasons why you are feeling like this and give you the best tools to manage it to have an exciting, healthy life. Talking always helps, but talking to someone who knows how to manage the situation you are in will be extremely beneficial for you in so many ways. You will already notice this after the first session, and be even more inspired to do all the other things from this list.

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Anxiety Therapist

When is the Time to Visit an Anxiety Therapist?

When is the Time to Visit an Anxiety Therapist?

 

Nowadays, everyone is talking about anxiety and, although it’s generally a good thing, we tend to forget that people struggling with it deserve proper care and help. If you’re noticing signs of anxiety. Maybe it’s time to consider visiting an anxiety therapist who will provide you with the tools you need to successfully manage all areas of your life.  

To help you understand what anxiety is, how it can be treated and what are the first steps to take once you realize you have anxiety, read through all the important information about it below. 

 

First Signs of Anxiety

Anxiety symptoms usually will start in early childhood, but more than often they will not be detected on time. That’s why the majority of people get diagnosed with anxiety many years later. So, once a person is more aware of this disorder and how it’s affecting their everyday life, it’s much easier to find the right treatment and act accordingly.

These are the most common first signs of anxiety:

  • Feeling nervous or restless
  • Having unpleasant experiences such as panic or danger
  • Sweating
  • Increasing in the heart rate
  • Hyperventilating
  • Trembling
  • Having trouble concentrating

 

Different Types of Anxiety

Once you start researching this disorder, you will notice it has several types, and you have probably heard of almost all of them. Panic disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress and generalized anxiety disorder are the six principal types of anxiety.

To be considered a disorder, anxiety has to cause distress which will make it difficult for the person to keep up with some or all areas of their lives. Anxiety disorders will not disappear on their own and if not treated on time, there’s a potential risk of developing depression as well. Luckily, many treatments have proven to be successful in people with anxiety so the person can get adequate care right away. 

 

Anxiety Treatments

With anxiety, the crucial thing to know is that every use of medication needs to be supervised. But, before even considering medications, you should be aware that therapy is the most effective treatment for people coping with anxiety.

An adequate therapy will give a person all the tools they need to successfully manage anxiety in all of their daily activities. The therapy is focused on making the person stronger and giving it the feeling of control which lacks when the first signs of anxiety appear. 

As there are plenty of therapists applying different therapeutic techniques. A person with anxiety disorder should always seek an anxiety therapist as they are solely focused on that particular area and work only with patients coping with anxiety. Talking to an anxiety therapist will provide them with exactly what they need from the first session.

 

Finding the Perfect Anxiety Therapist

For those who are struggling with anxiety, having a professional who is experienced in treating patients with anxiety is what gives hope and motivation to start the treatment. After all, one of the reasons why people don’t seek help is because they believe they will not receive the help they need.

Instead of treating all mental health problems, anxiety therapists have chosen anxiety as their area of interest. They are well experienced in the existing treatment methods and understand which is the adequate method for each of their patients. 

While searching for the right anxiety therapist, it’s vital to make the decision based on personal preferences. After all, a person will talk regularly with their chosen therapist and personal preference is an important factor of progress. To check if they have experience in treating anxiety, you can search their website or look for their interviews or published articles. 

Most importantly, check what their previous patients say about them. Good therapists will always be recommended on forums, social media groups and other platforms where people are sharing this type of information.

 

Tips for Coping with Anxiety 

Before sharing a few valuable pieces of advice on how you can make it a bit easier for yourself if you’re coping with anxiety, be aware that without professional help. It will be incredibly challenging to achieve progress. There will be days where you will feel good, but don’t forget that anxiety is a disorder and it needs to be treated. By ignoring it, you will only make it worse for yourself.

That being said, you will probably not be able to run to see your anxiety therapist immediately after experiencing an unpleasant event. So, what can you do?

  • Notice your anxiety and become its friend. Don’t try running away from it.
  • When you feel anxious, always remember to take 10 breaths slowly as it will relax you and reduce the tension in your body.
  • Anxiety has its triggers. Once you learn which are yours, try to be aware of them when you’re near them. This way, you won’t be so overwhelmed by your triggers.
  • Accept you cannot control the outside world. The one that you can control and can become more comfortable is inside you.
  • Share how you are feeling with a friend or family member who understands and conversation with them makes you feel better.
  • Start practicing meditation. Even 10 minutes per day can be beneficial for your mind and soul.
  • Don’t isolate yourself. To avoid diving into your anxiety, become more active and go for walks, runs or plan a dinner with friends.

 

Acceptance is the act of courage

If a person is struggling with anxiety, the first step to recovery is accepting it. Be brave enough to determine you will do everything it takes to have the great life you deserve. Anxiety can be successfully treated and just by talking to an anxiety therapist, you will notice incredible progress. 

Anxiety is only one part of your life, and just how you learn to manage other aspects of your life, you can learn to manage anxiety as well. In the end, you don’t have to control anxiety, you should only learn how to stop letting anxiety control you. 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do