Seasonal Depression

What is Seasonal Depression?

What is Seasonal Depression?

 

Seasonal depression, officially known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, is a kind of depression that happens when the seasons change. Usually, this happens during fall or winter and tends to be the same time of year consistently for each patient.

Seasonal depression can make it difficult to complete work, take exams, or feel like you are living your life with energy and purpose.

 

Symptoms

It is important to note that a lot of the symptoms for seasonal depression are similar to the symptoms of depression in general, with a distinctive difference: the depressive episode appears and disappears around the same time each year. Major depression’s symptoms will not appear and disappear according to a seasonal schedule or seasonal factors, though it may be amplified due to certain seasonal factors at times.

The symptoms for seasonal depression can include:

  •   Feeling sad, despairing for a period of more than two weeks
  •   Impedes your ability to function properly at work, school or in relationships
  •   Losing/gaining weight
  •   Insomnia/irregular sleep
  •   Low self esteem
  •   Fatigue
  •   Pessimism
  •   Irritability
  •   Hopelessness
  •   Feeling slowed down
  •   Feeling agitated
  •   Memory problems
  •   Difficulty Concentrating
  •   Crying without concrete reason (or feeling like you want to but can’t)
  •   Excessive guilt
  •   Loss of interest in work, hobbies
  •   Loss of libido
  •   Hallucinations or strange ideas (delusions)

If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or self harm, it is important to find help right away. Either go to the hospital or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273- TALK(8255).

You may find that you experience a handful of these symptoms on occasion: this is normal! We all feel sad, uncertain and exhausted at times. What makes these symptoms a sign of seasonal depression is when it is ongoing for two or more weeks and seems to appear the same time of year or with the changing of the seasons.

 

Who Can Get Seasonal Depression?

Anyone can get seasonal depression, regardless of gender, race or social class, however some factors may increase your risk of seasonal depression.

Risk factors include:

  •   Being female/AFAB. Women are far more likely to be diagnosed with seasonal depression, though it is unclear if this is due to biological factors, social factors or both.
  •   Seasonal depression is more common amongst people who live either far north or far south of the equator, where the seasonal changes are most drastic.
  •   The younger you are, the more at risk you are for seasonal depression. Thankfully, the risk decreases with age.
  •   A family history of seasonal depression may increase your chances of experiencing seasonal depression yourself.

 

What Causes Seasonal Depression?

There is still some mystery surrounding depression in general as well as seasonal depression. Some prevailing theories believe that seasonal depression is triggered by the changes in daylight that occur with the changing of the seasons, particularly in the fall and winter when daylight hours are significantly reduced.

The thought is that the amount of daylight affects your biological clock, your circadian rhythm, and therefore disrupts your sleeping and waking patterns. It is also possible that the change in light affects your neurotransmitter functions.

Neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are chemical signals that send messages from a nerve cell to a target cell to accomplish specific functions. For example, serotonin regulates functions like sleep, learning, appetite, and mood and may play a part in depression. This is of course a simplification for the purposes of this article, just know that certain neurological functions can be deeply affected by either too much or too little of specific neurotransmitters.

While we may not fully understand what causes seasonal depression (yet!), there are many treatments available with the help of a therapist, self care and perhaps even medication.

 

How Your Therapist Can Help

A therapist can help you find ways to cope with your seasonal depression by giving you techniques and tricks to break negative thought patterns, identify issues and learn to cope with your symptoms. Many find that talk therapy can help them eliminate symptoms altogether.  

Booking an appointment with a therapist is a great way to start your journey to feeling better. You don’t need to suffer alone or feel like your problem is unimportant, there is always something that can be done and your therapist can help you create an action plan.

If your symptoms are quite debilitating and severe, a psychiatrist can determine if medication is a good way to treat your seasonal depression in conjunction with other methods.

 

What You Can Do

In addition to talking with a therapist, there are some things you can do that may help ease your symptoms.

  •   Light therapy. There are many lamps on the market that are created to help people with seasonal depression get more light exposure. It mimics daylight, and typically you use the light for 30 minutes to a couple hours during the day. Many people find this relieves their symptoms or improves their quality of life.
  •   Exercise can be a great way to increase circulation, get a boost of energy and get more light exposure if you choose to exercise outdoors.
  •   Meditation. Simple mind meditations can help you identify your feelings and better cope with the ebb and flow of emotions that can feel debilitating at times. Learning to acknowledge feelings without feeling victim to them can help with depression and anxiety.
  •   Try to cover the basics and celebrate small victories. Do whatever you can to ensure you have meals, maintain hygiene, and get to bed at a decent time. Covering your basic needs is a huge accomplishment when you are suffering from seasonal depression, so be kind to yourself and celebrate small victories. A therapist can help you create an action plan to make it easier to accomplish these basic tasks to suit your needs.

It is also important (and easier said than done) to try and maintain some sort of social connection. This can be done by a simple phone call, texting, or a video chat if you can’t or don’t feel like leaving home.

Seasonal depression is nothing to be ashamed of and is actually quite common, especially if you are in one of the high risk groups mentioned above. Book an appointment with a therapist and you can start to take steps towards curing your seasonal depression and increasing your quality of life during the cold, dreary months.

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


PTSD for Nurses and Doctors

Systemic Impact of Coronavirus - PTSD for Nurses and Doctors

Systemic Impact of Coronavirus - PTSD for Nurses and Doctors

 

Covid-19 has wreaked havoc in our medical system. And the systemic effect of PTSD for nurses and doctors is being overlooked. 

In addition to the “normal” exposure of trauma that first responders “sign up for,”. We must consider that since the pandemic began, first responders have witnessed more loss, fear, and / or vicarious trauma than they have ever prepared for in their training. 

For those of you who live with and love doctors, nurses, CNAs, mental health workers, military, firefighters, EMS workers, etc. We thank you for being here to gather information on how to support the ones you love.   

 

What does Trauma Look Like for First Responders: 

I work with many people in the medical field (as do my colleagues) who are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the things I focus on in my practice is trauma - and it is really clear to me that this population is undergoing trauma.

  • lack of self care
  • hypervigilance (on edge, jumpy)
  • irritable
  • constantly tired
  • perseverating or not being able to let something go 
  • depression
  • anger
  • responses that appear more intense (something is mild and it is seen as highly stressful)
  • not engaging in taking care of basic needs
  • sleep issues (too much or too little)

 

The Trauma of Treating in the Age of COVID-19

Some of my clients do not see their families due to safety concerns. Some have watched patients dying and needing to sit with them as their families are not able to be with them, being inundated with cases without support, resources, and enough gear. 

One of the biggest struggles I have heard from my clients is the level of uncertainty experienced when this pandemic hit. 

Various medical professionals were scared of transmitting the illness and having more suffer the same fate of many. Seeing the lack of resources (beds, PPE, equipment, and information) lead to high levels of uncertainty and fear resulting in many medical professionals experiencing high levels of trauma.

As the statistics reduced in New York and Connecticut, and its surrounding areas, many first responders finally began to feel the up tick in stress.

When someone is going through trauma and in survival mode, it can be VERY difficult to be able to notice the level of stress. This pandemic and the impact on the medical field is an example of this because it is a chronic trauma. 

 

How Can We All Help?

As we begin to see the numbers climbing again, I imagine our medical field will be re-traumatized. If you are a medical professional, first responder, or love someone who is here are some ways to consider supporting them:

  • Allow time to vent
  • Complete acts of service for the first responders (bringing them food or something to drink, running errands, etc)
  • Meditate 
  • Reduce stimulation at home
  • Focus on basic needs such as sleep, eating, and hydration
  • Hold compassion for the first responders
  • Focus on recharging and building a set of tools and resources to help
  • Try to be flexible and adaptive to allow your love one to check in with themselves and their needs
  • Ask for what you need and/or how you can support them
  • Do not bombard them with lots of information, try to slow things down 
  • Take care of yourselves!

These skills are important for everyone because if you are a first responder and experiencing trauma these tips will be useful for you. For those of you who support first responders, you are at risk of “vicarious” trauma or “secondary” trauma from hearing stories or experiences from your loved one. 

Please make sure you take care of yourself, knowing your limits, and communicating. Many client are seeking our support at LCAT to help learn ways to cope through this time. 

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


Why Am I Depressed?

Why Am I Depressed?

Why Am I Depressed?

 

If you have been asking yourself “why am I depressed?” you should know that with all of the curveballs 2020 has thrown at us, you are definitely not alone! 

When you ask yourself “why am I depressed?”, that is a strong sign that it is time to seek professional help from a therapist. Luckily, telehealth therapy during COVID19 has made access to counseling easier for individuals who need it. 

Don’t blame yourself if you are feeling depressed: you are not lazy, you are not a failure, and there is nothing “broken” about you that can’t be rebuilt. Let’s take a look at some reasons why you might be feeling depressed. 

 

The Pandemic

The pandemic has been a trigger for many circumstances that can cause depression. 

  • Isolation: if you are unable to see anyone in your social circle or family because they do not live with you, this quarantine will have been especially difficult. Feeling isolated from those you love can increase feelings of depression, and can make you feel far away from any support systems you had in place. 
  • The death toll: the COVID19 virus has resulted in a huge loss of life, and it is a sobering and depressing thought. Grief, fear, pessimism and rage may be some of the feelings you are experiencing around the sheer numbers of those affected by the virus. 
  • The nature of the news cycle: while it is important to stay informed, the news cycle can wreak havoc on your mental health. The constant changes, the bombardment of bad news and zero focus on positive stories can paint a bleak picture and make you feel hopeless. 
  • Losing your job: many businesses large and small have had to furlough their workforce or lay them off, or they’ve gone out of business entirely. If you have lost your job, you aren’t just losing income, you are potentially losing security, opportunities, plans and feel like your ability to survive and provide is at risk. You may also feel unimportant if you were laid off and other staff weren’t, or like your sense of self is pretty shaky when you aren’t working. 
  • Losing a loved one: grief is a natural response to the death of a loved one, and the circumstances around deaths by any cause during the pandemic have made it difficult to have closure. The inability to mourn with loved ones or pay respects at funerals or the inability to hold your loved one’s hand as they pass can be difficult to process. 
  • Cancelling plans: if you had a wedding, event or special trip that was meaningful it can be devastating to cancel plans. Non refundable deposits or constant rescheduling can make you feel stressed and depressed.Why Am I Depressed?

 

Physical Factors 

If you have been ill it can be a trigger for depression, either physically or due to having a new, foreign relationship with your body and its limitations. 

If you have gained or lost weight you may be feeling depressed based on how you perceive yourself and how your body has changed in quarantine. 

There are hormonal and neurochemical factors that can trigger depression in some individuals. These factors can be controlled with medication and therapy, so it is important to seek help if you are feeling off. 

 

World Events

On top of the immediate effects of the pandemic, there have been many world events that may make you feel depressed. 

  • Racial injustice: feeling like your life doesn’t have value because of the color of your skin or feeling helpless to change the injustices of the world. Viewing disturbing footage of violence, protests and riots, wanting to attend protests but can’t for health reasons. Feeling guilty about past or present actions.  
  • The election: no matter which party you plan to vote for, the constant rhetoric and worries about trying to get your vote counted and in on time can be overwhelming. Feeling like the world hangs in the balance if your candidate does or does not get elected or re-elected, or even just having arguments with family about politics can leave you feeling isolated, frustrated and sad. 
  • International tensions: China, Russia, Iran, sanctions, threats, Armenia, the explosions in Beirut, the mass shooting in Canada, the violence happening in Nigeria- the world has been a very busy place and it is easy to feel helpless. Why Am I Depressed?

 

What Should I Do?

It can be tempting to try to battle depression on your own and without outside intervention, however you deserve to have guidance and support! 

If you are feeling depressed to the point of suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can put you in touch with someone immediately by calling 1-800-273-8255, or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. 

If you are feeling depressed and you are not in immediate danger, book an appointment with a therapist. They can assess you and help you create a plan to tackle depression, and can refer you to other mental health professionals if needed. Finding a therapist is more convenient and accessible than ever as most are offering telehealth options. You can even find a therapist outside of your own state! 

By asking yourself “why am I depressed?” you have already taken an important first step, so take some time to care for yourself and open up to a loved one and a professional. 

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

Call us at 203-733-9600 and press 0 to leave a message, or make an appointment.


Telehealth Counseling

How Popular is Telehealth Counseling Right Now?

How Popular is Telehealth Counseling Right Now?

 

Telehealth counseling is something that has been around for a few years, however it was not widely used. With the pandemic, that has changed significantly. 

According to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, telehealth counseling services went up by 2532% in March through June 2020 compared to 2019. That is a giant leap! An increase like that doesn’t just mean that telehealth counseling went up because regular counseling went down, it also means that people are in much more need of counseling than ever before. The stresses of 2020 are causing people without previous mental health concerns to seek help, and those already in treatment to need their services more than ever.  

 

Obvious Factors

Even if there hadn’t been any changes to regulations, there would likely be a sharp increase in demand for telehealth counseling based on world events alone. 

The pandemic has triggered a lot of anxiety, depression and loneliness due to the necessary isolation, the changing information as we learn more about COVID19, and the socio-economic fallout of lockdown. 

More people are having mental health crises and are in need of counseling, so it makes sense that more people would be seeking help, and due to the nature of the pandemic it must be done remotely. 

 

Legal Factors

Prior to the pandemic, telehealth counseling and other telehealth services were quite limited in their reach. Usually, telehealth counseling would be limited to rural areas, and insurance companies had strict rules about what could be reimbursed. As a result, many therapists chose not to offer these services. 

There was and is valid concern about patient privacy. We all heard the stories early in the pandemic of workplace meetings or virtual classes being bombarded by internet trolls acting inappropriately, though this has lessened as Zoom has tweaked its security vulnerabilities. 

Now, you don’t even have to have a therapist from your own state and in all likelihood your telehealth counseling will be covered by insurance. The loosening of regulations by CMS and individual insurance providers was done to give people access to telehealth services during this stressful time and allow more frontline workers to focus on pandemic response. 

 

What are the Advantages of Teleheath Counseling?

  • Convenience: Prior to COVID19, if you had an appointment with a counselor you would have to drive or commute to their office, park, wait for your appointment, then drive back home or to work. Anyone who has ever encountered a mental health crisis knows that sometimes even rolling out of bed can feel impossible, so removing those additional steps between you and your appointment can help you attend your sessions more regularly. 

  • Safety: with the pandemic still raging, telehealth counseling provides you the same benefits of in-person appointments without the risk of viral transmission. It also means you don’t have to drive on icy roads or other inclement weather if you are able to have your appointment at home. 

  • Comfort: You can have your appointment in any room and in any outfit you choose! Lay down in bed, or your comfy couch in your favorite pj’s. Your therapist won’t judge, and you never know, they may be in their favorite pj’s too! Plus, you can have snacks, light a delicious smelling candle, and really make your hour about self-care. Feel free to make your environment as enjoyable as you need for your appointment. 

  • Accessibility: If your community is lacking in counseling services, telehealth counseling during COVID19 allows you to seek help from therapists in other communities or even other states. 

 

How Does it Benefit the Therapist? 

  • Safety: in a typical day, a therapist may see half a dozen unique individuals each day. That is a large circle of people, not to mention co-workers, office staff and any family members who may be waiting in the lobby. During a pandemic, it makes sense to reduce the amount of people we are exposed to and offering telehealth counseling is an easy way to drastically reduce risk of exposure to COVID19. 

  • Wider reach: A great part of my job is meeting so many different people and helping them live their best lives. Telehealth counseling helps therapists meet a wider range of people, and help people who may not otherwise have access to counseling services. 

  • Convenience: Your therapist is a person too, and who doesn’t love avoiding a long commute before and after work? While workloads for us have been heavy during the pandemic, less travel time means more time to fit in new patients. Telehealth counseling gives us more flexibility, giving us more opportunities to fit to your schedule. 

 

What to Expect 

If you’ve ever had a regular counseling session, a telehealth counseling session will be almost exactly the same, except from the comfort of your own home. 

We will spend some time getting to know each other, evaluate your needs and create a plan to make it happen. 

You will need to have all relevant healthcare information handy for us to process, and usually once we have your info we won’t need to ask for it again. 

Different services and different service providers may have different policies or capabilities for direct billing, so try and figure out those details before your appointment. 

 

Is Telehealth Counselling Here to Stay?

While there’s no way to know for sure, telehealth counseling will likely never be as inaccessible or restricted as it was pre-pandemic. Frankly, it is too lucrative and gives access to too many individuals who would otherwise have to suffer in silence or seek help outside of their communities. 

There is also the reality of the ripple effects of COVID19 causing a mental health crisis in our country. We won’t know the full effect of 2020 on our collective mental health until much later, though many people are having to isolate themselves. 

Many people have lost jobs, and many people have lost loved ones. This collective stress, grief, anxiety and depression will require access to counseling like never before, and telehealth counseling makes seeking help a possibility for many who would otherwise have limited options. 

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

Call us at 203-733-9600 and press 0 to leave a message, or make an appointment.


Trauma Informed Care

What is Trauma Informed Care?

What is Trauma Informed Care?

 

Trauma informed care is a type of treatment that focuses on helping clients, customers, or patients heal from traumatic events that have happened in their life. Trauma informed care does not mean just “talking” about trauma; rather, it means sitting with and feeling through the parts that you often may run from, hide from, or fight with. 

There are a variety of trauma informed care that have been shown to help people heal from trauma. So how can you find a therapist that can help me with trauma? 

I am sure you don’t want to feel this way anymore, what do you do?

 

What is Trauma Informed Care?

What does it mean to have trauma informed care? Trauma informed care has the health care provider focus on providing safety in the space, allowing for choice, and asking for consent.

Health care providers that are trauma informed show ways that they are mindful of how trauma may be impacting the individual in their relationships and other various contexts.

Trauma informed health care providers are vital to the health care system because for those who have experienced trauma, it is necessary for them to have providers that are trauma informed. 

This process allows for collaboration and self-advocacy, which is important to people who have when you have experienced trauma. The thing is that many in the medical field are not trained, like psychotherapists (LMFT, LCSW, LPC, PsyD, PhD). 

As a practitioner in behavioral health, much of what we learn is through a lens of systemic thinking. We realize that individuals heal through safety, choice, and consent. 

In the past medical model, often medical practitioners are seen as the expert. Patients are not able to advocate and speak up for themselves, and thus, the patient ends up perpetrating themselves by being with someone who may remind them of their trauma.  

Similarly, the medical model is: 

  • Confusingly diagnosis based
  • Secretive and changes yearly
  • Racist and ableist
  • Cisgender and heteronormative (therefore, it is homophobic and transphobic)
  • Shaming and denigrating

The healthcare industry in the United States is the only system that I actually know.

I know it as a client, and I know it as a behavioral health provider, and a group practice owner. 

What I know is that there are many mental health providers who want to take insurance, yet cannot because they cannot understand how to get reimbursed for their services. 

As a trauma informed care provider, I know that we have multiple calls a day coming in looking to schedule with our clinicians. It is a blessing, and also the fact that there are so few places that are trauma informed is startling. 

Please, be mindful of where you go for your medical services. Trauma Informed Care

Ask questions and set up a first appointment as a “meeting,” yet don’t force yourself to stay with a provider that is not meeting your needs. 

See a trauma informed care provider today at Life Coaching and Therapy. 

We are a group practice and we can help you get to where you need, if we can’t help you ourselves. 

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

Call us at 203-733-9600 and press 0 to leave a message, or make an appointment.


Why Couples Therapy Fails

Why Couples Therapy Fails & What To Do About It

Why Couples Therapy Fails & What To Do About It

 

We often get asked why couples therapy fails, and the truth is, most couples have failed long before they get to couples therapy. 

Think about how annoyed you have to be at a partner to even ask them to go to couples therapy. 

And if that doesn’t satisfy you, we will answer the common reasons why couples therapy fails here. 

As a couples therapist, I have seen many couples and/or relationships struggle, replenish, and also fail.

The main reason why couples therapy fails though is something that I studied as a graduate student. 

I even presented on how to ensure couples therapy succeeds at an AAMFT Conference in 2010. 

Many reasons on why couples therapy fails come to therapists making suggestions that don’t work for different types of couples:

  • Egalitarian or traditional marriage
  • Religious or arranged marriages
  • Long distance relationships 
  • Interracial relationships
  • Consensual non-monogamy
  • Polyamory and / or swingers
  • BDSM / kink / fetish sexualities
  • Open arrangements
  • Tantric and spiritual aware partnerships

 

Common couples therapist mistakes:

  • Increased time together isn’t going to work when there is no foundation of trust
  • Increased date nights do not work if the couple has sexual difficulties
  • Reading and doing the love language test is great until one partner is resentful
  • One partner overgives and the other continues to take
  • Discussing symptoms instead of the underlying problem
  • Lack of systemic awareness leading to presenting issue

So how do you ensure that your couples therapist is right for you? 

Instead of asking why does couples therapy fail… especially during a time like a pandemic and a systematic shift in the culture… begin to look for solution-focused answers!

Here are some questions to ask:

  • Do you have any positive reviews written online with clients willing to share their experiences?
  • Are you a marriage and family therapist?
  • What was your undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate education in? 
  • Do you have a license to practice psychotherapy? 
  • What specific courses have they taken as a couples therapist? 
  • What is their experience in studying sexuality? 
  • Does the couples therapist give homework?
  • What are their expectations and outcomes with clients who do all their homework?

First of all, changing the language from “failing” to “struggling” or “avoiding” or “stuck.”

When we focus on failure, it helps no one and frames our circumstances in a losing situation. 

Generally speaking, couples and couples therapists should work together to identify the willingness to work on the relationship or end the relationship (ideally with a conscious completion). 

Amazing skills to begin before seeking couples therapy is our recommended reading of other blogs we have written, reading Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenburg, and The Gottman Institutes resource as they focus on conflict and communication in relationships. 

These tips can help, and yet the best thing to do is to work with a clinician or psychotherapy who has experience in couples therapy success, to help you guide you and your partner in this process to continue or complete your relationship.

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

Call us at 203-733-9600 and press 0 to leave a message, or make an appointment.


Couples Counseling Near Me

Couples Counseling Near Me

Couples Counseling Near Me

 

Have you looked online recently for “couples counseling near me”? Whether you’ve recently moved or are completely new to therapy, finding the right counselor to work with you and your partner is so important.

The right therapist is like a bridge between the couple you are now and the one you want so badly to be. They can guide you through the fog of learned behaviors, past trauma, and communication roadblocks into a healthier and fuller relationship.

The bottom line is, don’t stop your search for a therapist until you know you’ve found the right one. If you hold back or enter into couples counseling being guarded, then it’s going to impede your progress.

Knowing exactly what you want from counseling isn’t absolutely necessary at first. Most couples turn to therapy when they start to fight more, the sex isn’t great, or your goals aren’t aligned.  

Eventually, you’ll want to focus on things that make the most difference and areas where your therapist can help you most effectively.

Couples Counseling Near Me

 

Improving Communication in Your Relationship

Managing communication in your relationship is one of the most important aspects of building a good foundation. That means monitoring and improving your communication patterns, as well as adjusting to how your partner communicates.

Many couples who say they aren’t communicating well are simply talking past each other and dealing with residual resentment that prevents you from being vulnerable.

When you resent your partner on some level, getting candid feedback can be a challenge. When resentment levels are high, then even things like receiving compliments on your physical appearance or professional accomplishments becomes hard.

You think your partner is being sarcastic or question their motives when they make overtures. You wonder, whether secretly or aloud, whether they mean it or if they’re trying to manipulate you.

Those things may be true, but before you go to bed with those convictions, you should do some self-inventory alone or with the help of a therapist. A quick online search for “couples counseling near me” can get you started in the right direction.

People I meet with are often surprised at how deeply they’ve fallen into poor communication habits. Learning to speak with the right emotions and message is a skill that takes practice. It doesn’t come equally for everyone.

In my experience, it’s important to arm ourselves with strategies that we can use in real-time when dealing with conflict or confusion. We also need to learn how to reaffirm and uplift our partners, especially if words of affirmation is one of their love languages.

Couples Counseling Near Me

Couples Counseling for Intimacy

Along with finances, sex is one of the biggest reasons that drive couples apart. It underscores how important deep intimacy, meaningful touch, and the occasional wild sexcapade are to our emotional and physical health.

If you find yourself searching for couples counseling near me because you’re having trouble in your sex life, here are some tips that can help your search.

First, you want to find a certified sex therapist with experience dealing with similar situations. Of course, the kind of experience you’ll need depends a great deal on where you are personally.

Some people going to couples counseling to deal with intimacy issues are confronting difficult pasts that inhibit sexual expression. Others are trying to find new ways to push the boundaries of their sexuality with things like roleplaying, BDSM, anal sex, and other types of kink.

I can’t stress enough how vital it is to work with someone who knows how to use pleasure in healing relationships between partners. I work with people to set and achieve sexual goals, something many people haven’t done in their lives even though everyone should!

The right therapist will work with you to improve the sexual dynamics in your relationship, and also dig deep into any issues like shame or problems with body image that are holding you back. We can open up new parts of your sexual experience by exploring power dynamics, toys, and things like tantric breathing to inject excitement into a sex life that’s become a bit bland.

 

Couples Counseling Near Me and How to Choose

You should know that a good therapist will be feeling you out as much as you are. This alignment starts from the first phone call and emails into the early sessions. We want to see your progress, and after some time meeting and talking with couples, we have a good idea of whether we’ll be able to see change.

A therapist and the couples they counsel need to be on the same page. For example, I take a flexible, open approach that often focuses on sex-positivity to help you improve your sex life and your connection with your partner. I communicate directly and sometimes combine therapy with tantric techniques for deeper immersion into learning.

With over 15,000 client hours, I know that approach doesn’t work for everyone. It’s part of my job to recognize early on if there is enough progress to indicate future success.

My passion is helping use physiology to improve sexual satisfaction in an environment free from judgment. If you’re dealing with desire discrepancy with your partner, or you’re eager to experiment with bondage or an open relationship, I have sexual strategies that can help you manage change.

Wherever you’re at in your relationship, there is always hope. I see people in dire situations where it seems like all is lost and therapy is their last gasp at saving a marriage. I also meet with people all the time to talk about our bodies and how we can use sex to improve our quality of life.

Every couple who enters therapy is different. There may be slight similarities in the motivation for seeking counseling. The strategies and techniques you will use to better yourself and your relationship will be unique.

Learn about how you can become a better partner by finding a counselor who speaks to your body and mind. Break the patterns you find yourself stuck in and carve a new path for the future.

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

Call us at 203-733-9600 and press 0 to leave a message, or make an appointment.


Telehealth Therapy

Is Telehealth Therapy Right For You?

Is Telehealth Therapy Right For You?

 

What Is Telehealth Therapy?

Telehealth therapy is kind of an umbrella term that encompasses any remote therapy that uses telecommunications. 

In other words, telehealth therapy means you and your therapist are having sessions via confidential Skype, Zoom, telephone, FaceTime, app services or even via text.

Telehealth therapy has originally been used to provide behavioral therapy for people who live in more remote areas without access to a therapist locally.

Obviously during the COVID19 pandemic telehealth has become a lifeline for many people dealing with mental health issues. Since mental health issues are only bound to increase given the amount of fear, uncertainty and hardships that have accompanied this difficult time, telehealth therapy will only become more prevalent and essential moving forward.

 

How Do I Access Telehealth Therapy?

If you are already working with a therapist, call their office and see what telehealth options they have implemented for their patients. Hopefully, they have already reached out to you about this!

Telehealth Therapy

Depending on your own telecommunication set up, different options may be right for you.

  • Text therapy on your cell phone
  • Online chat
  • Therapy via phone call (landline or cellular)
  • Video conference apps like Zoom, Skype, FaceTime. The privacy and security of these apps vary, so choose one that you are comfortable with. These can be used on your laptop, smartphone or home computer.

There has also been a boom in telehealth therapy services via apps, such as BetterHelp and Talkspace, which will match you with a licensed professional therapist. This is an option if you don’t know where to start or are on a tight budget and need counseling, though the therapists are unable to make any official diagnoses, fulfill court orders or prescribe medications.

 

Is Telehealth Therapy Covered By Insurance?

This will of course depend on your individual insurance provider, so it is worth checking out. Many insurance companies have waived their co-pay or changed their remote telehealth therapy policies temporarily to accommodate COVID19 restrictions.

If you are covered under Medicare, many of the restrictions on your use of telehealth therapy services have been suspended for the duration of the public health emergency.

The use of phones and apps has previously been restricted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), so now you can not only have sessions over the phone or internet with your therapist, you can actually select a therapist from any distance, including out of state. Therapy has never been more accessible than now, so hopefully this will continue beyond the pandemic!

 

Who Can Benefit From Telehealth Therapy?

Before the pandemic, telehealth therapy was primarily intended for use in rural areas with little access to mental healthcare professionals. Now, telehealth therapy can help anyone with a phone or internet connection.

Telehealth therapy may be right for you if:

  • You already have an established therapist and want to continue your treatment plan/routine
  • You are experiencing increased anxiety, depression or any relapses of other mental health conditions brought about by the pandemic
  • You are grieving the loss of a loved one, job or major plans such as a cancelled wedding.
  • You are experiencing relationship issues due to stress, job loss, or simply being stuck at home together all day
  • You are having trouble establishing a healthy routine
  • You are struggling with many aspects of working at home, whether this be productivity, loneliness, stress or feeling like it is difficult to turn off “work mode” when the workday is over
  • You have fear and anxiety around getting sick or are unable to leave your home to go for a walk or safely run errands
  • The political climate is giving you fear, anxiety, depression or exhaustion, especially as a person who is racialized
  • You have stress, anxiety and/or depression due to health concerns related to a disability or chronic illness that is affected by COVID19 restrictions/lack of accessibility
  • Your children being home all the time is overwhelming. Your children can also access telehealth therapy if they are struggling to adjust to new routines, can’t sleep, feel scared, miss their friends or are struggling with homeschooling. Therapy can truly be for the entire family.

This is not an exhaustive list, so please know that if you are feeling unable to cope in any way about anything, there is a therapist out there who can help you and they are more accessible than ever.

Telehealth Therapy

What Are The Disadvantages of Telehealth Therapy?

At its core, telehealth therapy depends on certain privileges: a phone, an internet connection, and the means to pay for services whether out of pocket or through insurance.

Accessibility to mental health care is an ongoing issue, and while the pandemic has made it more accessible and affordable, there is still a long way to go for everyone to get the support they need.

Telehealth therapy can be adapted for deaf and blind, but often requires some extra settings (and potential extra costs) to make it accessible.

Telehealth therapy can be less than ideal if patients require a more tactile experience, which can be the case for various reasons.

 

Are There Alternatives To Telehealth Therapy During COVID19?

As some restrictions are lifted, you may find that certain therapists are allowed to open their offices back up. This is dependent on state and local laws, as well as their own level of comfort.

It is important to realize that every person, including your therapist, will have different levels of anxiety and caution when re-opening, and it may not align with your own needs. If you feel really safe and want life to be as normal as possible, you may find it frustrating if your therapist has chosen to keep their office closed and only provide telehealth therapy.

This is their prerogative, and if you truly need in person sessions you should discuss getting a referral to another therapist that is open to in-person appointments, or discuss what your therapist’s reopening plans are for the near future. Telehealth therapy can be as effective as “regular” behavioral therapy, so keep an open mind if possible!

On the other hand, if your therapist has decided they no longer are providing telehealth therapy, it is worth discussing what measures they have in place to ensure your safety and theirs. Maintaining a six foot distance, mutual masking, having hand sanitizer available and frequent cleaning are all preventative measures that can be taken to ensure your safety. If they are unable to accommodate your needs, see if they can recommend a colleague who is still conducting telehealth therapy.

As the pandemic wears on, it is important to practice self care, and that includes therapy! 

It is hard to say how long restrictions will be in place or how long telehealth therapy will be unrestricted, though hopefully the accessibility and convenience of telehealth therapy will prove to be worth keeping beyond this crisis. 

At LCAT our certified therapists are all available to help you and your loved ones, so we encourage you to give our telehealth therapy options a try, whether you prefer video, phone or even text. 

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share 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. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

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

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Feeling Lost - Hello, My Name is Uncertainty

Feeling Lost - Hello, My Name is Uncertainty

Feeling Lost?

Over the last several years, and especially the last several months, there has been a lot of uncertainty for many of the clients I work with. What I have noticed is that with this level of uncertainty, people feel lost, confused, and overwhelmed. People are expressing more and more stress at the current state of our world between the civil rights/social justice call to action and the pandemic.

People are reporting feeling “trapped,” “lost,” “overwhelmed,” and even paranoid. All these feelings, I liken to the level of uncertainty in our world right now. Many of my clients symptoms of trauma are flaring up and I am noticing a lot of regression in people. As a therapist, all of these things make A LOT of sense to me given looking at the greater factors at play in our world and the systemic impact this has throughout our world, our communities, our families, and ourselves.

For many clients who have been marginalized or oppressed - the uncertainty is bringing a resurgence in the feelings of “learned helplessness.” When we unpack this dynamic, it is a feeling of extreme difficulty and people often feel stuck because they have so many barriers to access change. This concept is used in a variety of ways, but to me it makes most sense as we are looking at it through the eyes of those who have been oppressed by the way our world works. For many clients in this category, I am noticing that any movements they have felt at a personal or community level have been removed, recreating the intense feelings of uncertainty and learned helplessness.

 

What is Uncertainty? Why do we need it?lost and confused

Uncertainty can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and trauma. This often results in people engaging in strategies that have been unhelpful in the past when they have had these feelings of loss or uncertainty. These strategies to get people’s needs met that are no longer adaptive can look like overcontrolling, secrecy, impulse spending, explosive emotions, avoidance, isolation, chasing or pursuing people, eating disorders, self destructive/injurious behavior, addiction, affairs, and numbing. 

People who experience symptoms anxiety, depression, and trauma often feel needs for the direct opposite of uncertainty - certainty. Certainty allows people struggling with these disorders to feel more control and predictability. When uncertainty increases, it often results in feelings of chaos and disorder around people - this unpredictability results in stress. 

When working with my clients, I work hard to support them in creating ways to balance their need for certainty and uncertainty. Here are some ways to help create more certainty and uncertainty in your life.

 

Ways to Create Certainty

Certainty is the need for structure, predictability, and organization. Often people use inappropriate attempts to control their surroundings as a strategy to access certainty. The problem with this is that we cannot control anything other than ourselves, our reactions, and our choices. When we work to do that for others we create a false sense of security and conflict in our relationships.

Here are some strategies that you might find useful to create certainty: 

  • Creating hobbies
  • Predictable routines (waking, bedtime, etc)
  • Scheduling connection points with friends, family, or partners
  • Journaling
  • Organizing your space
  • Organizing your time 
  • Engaging in self-care
  • Planning a meal
  • Healthy connections with people you trust and are rejuvenating for you
  • Exercise
  • Watching movies or shows with people in your life, video calls, intentional shared time 
  • Join cause that you believe

 

Ways to Create Uncertainty

Often times we associate uncertainty with things “that are not good.” Uncertainty is the need for creativity, adventure, spontaneity, and chaos. Often times people can be stuck in uncertainty if they are unable to be reliable or may engage in addictive behaviors and/or relationship patterns to meet this need. With too much uncertainty people do not have any structure, predictability, and often live in chaos.

Here are some strategies that may be useful in meeting this need healthfully: 

  • Creativity or artistic endeavors
  • Exploring a new area of where you live or somewhere outdoors
  • Unplanned trips or adventures
  • Sex
  • Meeting new people (consensually)
  • Role play
  • Learning a new skill
  • Pushing your comfort zone
  • Work on your own healing
  • An activity that increases adrenaline (in a safe way)
  • Engage in a debate

 

Although these suggestions are helpful in a microlevel, it may allow to create some self-efficacy and mastery. This will not cure the feelings of learned helplessness or the uncertainty in the world, but these suggestions may offer some ability to have some personal empowerment. Steps towards personal empowerment can help each of us take steps towards change and hopefully if all of us take steps this change can make the changes that are NECESSARY at the macro level. As Margret Mead said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”

If you are looking for extra support during these tough times, we offer tele-therapy sessions here at LCAT and are happy to help!

YouTube page where she provides free information at The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share 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. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

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

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Covid-19

Therapy in the Age of Covid-19

Therapy in the Age of Covid-19

 

Here at Life Coaching and Therapy, LLC (LCAT) we have practiced telemedicine to support emotional and relational healing . LCAT has utilized this non-traditional technique before the pandemic and were able to make the transition to predominately telemedicine seamlessly. 

Telemedicine (teletherapy or telehealth) is virtual therapy most commonly phone or video sessions (as this is what is currently covered by most insurances… especially during COVID). Texting therapy is another modality used but not covered in most insurance plans. 

 

Teletherapy in COVID-19

Covid has reshaped the world. There is a lot of suffering, a lot of fear, a lot of loss, and a lot of frustration. In addition to the challenging emotions in all of this, there have been changes in the way the healthcare field that have allowed for varying accessibility to support the safety and health of patients and their practitioners.

Many of my clients have had worries about telemedicine prior to COVID, but during this pandemic have begun utilizing and have found it to be better than they expected. Some cite it’s convenience while others identify it not “feeling much different.” 

As a therapist, I have enjoyed being able to be in people’s environments with them and utilize technology to intervene differently than I could in the past. In my opinion in some cases, it has made a cognitive shift to make those connections within their homes. In my practice, I have been able to utilize telemedicine to share screens, have clients sit in different rooms on different devices, show me their environments to come up with reasonable solutions, utilize EMDR, completing tasks together rather than making plans to do them, and workbooks. Clients have in many cases reported enjoying this more and finding it more effective. 

The ability to utilize these different interventions in technology have allowed for further connections between couples, families, and individuals. Challenging couples and families to have difficult conversations and face differing realities - allowing for an opportunity for relationships to find new strategies to meet the needs. Telehealth has allowed for closer connections to be fostered in all of the difficulty that is in our world right now. 

Sometimes that has allowed relationships to also see what is not possible and making conscious and intentional decisions to end the relationship (“conscious uncoupling”). This conscious decision allows for relationships to work amicably at collaborating to end a relationship. Telemedicine allows for these opportunities to work through this with more emotional safety and coaching around communication. 

 

Come to LCAT

Although telemedicine is not for everyone it can provide new opportunities for emotional and relational healing. Video, text, and phone therapy can be just what people may need if they are feeling stuck and have not found traditional models helpful. 

At LCAT each of our staff has been doing these modalities from the start. If you are interested in working on emotional healing through telehealth we are here for you, we take some insurances and offer sliding scales as well. Please check insurance plans to see what is covered under your plan. 

We are continuing to offer telehealth services to support the safety of our patients, staff, and community. Please contact us for more information!

YouTube page where she provides free information at The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share 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. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

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

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.