Anxiety Quiz

Anxiety Quiz or Is My Life Out of Balance? [WORKSHEET]

Anxiety Quiz or Is My Life Out of Balance? [WORKSHEET]

By Francesca Gentille & Edited by Amanda Pasciucco

 

Do I need an anxiety quiz or is my life just out of balance? Sometimes when life is challenging, it can feel like anxiety and depression are taking over.

One might notice:

  • Eating more or controlling/restricting food and movement
  • Sleeping more or having trouble staying focused and awake throughout the day
  • Sleeping less or having trouble sleeping
  • Shopping more and becoming present less
  • Feeling more irritable, withdrawn, depleted, depressed, or anxious
  • Feeling more aches and pains
  • Impulsively seeking substances more
  • Having a lower sex drive or feeling sexually compulsive

These could be signs of:

    • Hormonal imbalance
    • Loss and grieving
    • Systemic trauma and enculturation
    • A life that is out of balance

If it is due to a life that it is out of balance that means that there are more situations, activities, relationships, agreements, or expectations that might be inauthentic, over giving, lacking in support, high in criticism or something else. 

It might also mean that I am undernourished with situations, activities, and relationships that are replenishing. 

I may also have unresolved trauma or missed functions from childhood that have me:

  • Feel powerless and/or trapped
  • Blame others for my emotions and thoughts
  • Feel reactive, uncomfortable, and unsettled
  • Feel fearful, anxious, and / or insecure

If I am noticing that I either feel collapsed, numb, unable to make choices, overgiving, resentful, and/or reactive, then this is a sign that I have Inner Work to engage in to heal from childhood trauma.

 Not doing this Inner Work will deepen a sense of anxiety, reactivity, powerLESSness and depression. 

If I am unclear, I make 3 lists.

  1. What is not working, or not working as well as I would like. 
  2. What is working; Notice what nourishes me, gives to me, delights me, supports me, in some way. 
  3. I make notes of where I can take positive action. (Taking positive action is taking my personal power to make requests, express boundaries, and invite collaborations. I cannot make anyone else do or feel anything. My empowerment is over myself not another.)

If the list of what isn´t working is short, the list of what is working is short, I know that the issue is NOT that my LIFE is out of balance, yet that there might be something physically and or mentally wrong. Get professional help for your anxiety and / or mental health issues and instead of taking a quiz, see a psychotherapist. 

NOTE: Not all columns will be the same length. 

Anxiety Quiz

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.

Complex PTSD

What is Complex PTSD [Complex Post Traumatic Stress]

What is Complex PTSD [Complex Post Traumatic Stress]

 

Complex Post Traumatic Stress or  C-PTSD is something we see and hear a lot about in our lives. C-PTSD refers to someone who has experienced long term trauma that has resulted in a variety of symptoms and impacts on the individual and their system. 

What Is it?

Although overlapping with general PTSD diagnosis, C-PTSD is something that is chronic, long term trauma. PTSD is often related to one event or experience that results in someone experiencing various trauma symptoms. When multiple events occur or the experience lasts for a long time, people are at higher risk for developing C-PTSD.

C-PTSD can be created due to various factors from living within an abusive household, being in a toxic relationship, living somewhere where there is a lot of violence around, being a first responder, being oppressed or discriminated against, or being at war. 

One of the hardest things for people to understand in trauma is that trauma is about the individuals experience. So while something may be traumatic for one person, it may not be traumatic for another. Often, people are dismissive of people’s traumas because they do not understand which results in a lack of empathy and compassion for the person who is struggling with it. 

This dynamic and invalidation often creates an exacerbation of symptoms for the individual. Feelings of hopelessness, shame, and powerlessness are common with CPTSD.  When people do not believe or dismiss people’s experiences it certainly increases the impact of the C-PTSD for that individual. 

C-PTSD Symptoms

Symptoms can look like: 

  • Difficulty regulating emotions, (e.g. extreme anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, and quick swings from one to another)
  • Avoidance about what reminds the individual about the trauma(s)
  • Intrusive memories or thoughts (not being able to change or control their thoughts)
  • Losing memories of the trauma  
  • Reliving memories from the trauma through flashbacks or feeling like it is happening again
  • Dissociating, or feeling detached from oneself (almost like they are floating or in a movie)
  • Changes in self-perception, including feeling totally different from other people and feeling ashamed or guilty
  • Significant difficulties in relationships, including difficulty trusting others, or even seeking an abuser, codependency, difficulty trusting themselves
  • Distorted perceptions of reality or the people part of this traumatic event. (e.g. placing all the power to this person, becoming obsessed with him or her, or becoming preoccupied with revenge)
  • Difficulty sleeping or having nightmares about the event(s)
  • Loss of a system of meanings, such as losing one’s core beliefs, values, religious faith, etc.
  • Shift in presentation or the way they seem to people around them
  • High risk behaviors
  • Difficulty taking criticism or feedback from others. Experience things as personal attacks. 

Complex PTSD

Although this list includes many of the symptoms, it is challenging to name them all. Often times after reflecting on these skills it is hard to differentiate between this experience and some personality disorders.

Personality disorders (PD) are a way of taking in a variety of factors to determine when C-PTSD is accompanied or surpassed into a PD.  Often with PD’s we look towards factors such as genetic, responsiveness to treatments, length of episode, and intensity and duration of symptoms. Various PD’s have other symptoms that accompany many listed above. 

If you demonstrate the symptoms listed above or any of the aforementioned information feels true for you, it is almost always helpful to connect to a mental health provider who engages in trauma work to help you manage and address your needs. 

IAM

Throughout the pandemic the Inner Aspects Method (IAM) has been my go to trauma modality as it only requires the client and a quiet space. IAM is a method of therapy that is similar to Interal Family Systems (IFS). It focuses on the various parts of ourselves that make up who we are. Just like we have multiple parts of our body, IAM identifies their various aspects of ourselves as people. 

The benefits of using this particular modal is that it allows clients to identify their younger selves and work through the trauma(s) that have happened to them throughout their lives, which as you can imagine is very helpful with those healing from C-PTSD. The idea is figuring out the ways inner aspects have been harmed and impacted by the trauma, finding the strategies that are utilized. Recognizing and holding compassion for those strategies as survival techniques. And being open to finding new strategies that are more healthy and adaptive. 

Additionally, the IAM focuses on building compassion for ourselves and our various inner aspects. This includes being able to provide and meet the needs of our own inner aspects rather than relying on external forces to solely regulate. The idea is to co-regulate within yourself and meet the needs of yourself and bring consciousness to the decisions one is making surrounding their emotional responses. This consciousness reduces reactivity, brings intention and compassion to those applying the techniques. 

For those with C-PTSD, this can help de-personalize the trauma, address feelings of shame or powerlessness, build compassion for themselves, and identify ways to regulate and respond more consciously in their emotional experiences. The concepts of providing and building self compassion, internal  validation, empowerment, and self love allow for healing to take place. 

I have also found that applying the IAM method with Compassionate Communication (Non-violent communication). Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) have also been useful supporting modalities to help others healing from C-PTSD. IAM and EMDR together have allowed for the ability to fully engage in the inner aspects and reprocess trauma. 

C-PTSD is SUCH a difficult thing to go through. It is so important for people with it to have the supports and resources needed to help address these struggles to heal. And learn how to find strategies to support your health and wellness.

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.

Setting Boundaries

Using the Inner Aspects Method for Setting Boundaries in Conversations

Using the Inner Aspects Method for Setting Boundaries in Conversations

 

Many times, clients ask how to use the Inner Aspects Method (IAM) for setting boundaries in conversations. 

When it comes to conversation, be intentional about what you can offer and what you cannot.

Boundaries within communication are important to any respectful exchange.

Yet most of us know that if we respond and engage too quickly in a conversation without awareness of our limits, boundaries, and true needs, that we often can cause a disconnect between ourselves and another.

We use the Inner Aspects Method to stop, take a breath, and observe what is going on. 

Often, our adult part, our representative is a mask of a younger self that is often more nervous, anxious. This part may be afraid of abandonment or afraid of entrapment. 

Parts Theory

To have more responsible and respectful conversations and connections, it is important to look at a situation from various angles and perspectives.

You ever see people get rageful on the road driving? What about silly and playful? What about numb and mindless. This is a quick way to discuss parts theory. Moment to moment, we can get hijacked by different parts of us.

Even though we only have one body, we have multiple parts of our identity. 

While observing, it is often necessary to take a step back from how you usually view the world to find a more observational self (a helicopter view of your life) to identify what you are feeling and what you need.

Emotions are the messenger and not the message. An emotion lets us know that we are feeling something strongly. A boundary has been crosse, something is important to us, etc. 

Our emotions are for us to know. In healthy boundary setting and conversations, the emotion is something to process with yourself or with someone who consents to hearing the emotion. 

If another person consents to hearing what you have to say, let them know up front what you are comfortable with as a response. Ask the person speaking if they want reflective listening, one of your life experiences, or something else. 

Examples of Setting Boundaries and Accountability in Conversations

  • I feel unheard and disrespected in our relationship.. 
  • I choose to share my time with those that are respectful, accountable, compassionate. And work towards their own growth and healing.
  • When I perceive to be disrespected, teased, when sarcasm is used, when my boundaries are not heard or acknowledged, it results in me feeling less connected to you and less of a desire to be with you in the future. If your goal is to create a healthy relationship with me. I ask you to find an alternative approach with me when expressing your emotions… 
  • I feel frustrated and harmed when I receive advice from you that I have not requested. Or when you tell me how much you love me and then react angrily. I feel upset and hopeless when you use guilt as I then try to set boundaries.
  • Also I would feel more willing to create connections if my requests and boundaries were value. And to see that you are dedicated to making shifts in our relationship. If you are confused on what I need, I can share that more clearly. 

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.

Social Media Therapy – “I Saw on Tik Tok [or Instagram]”

Social Media Therapy – “I Saw on Tik Tok [or Instagram]”

 

Generally speaking, and more frequently since COVID started, many individuals are engaging in social media therapy. “I saw it on Tik Tok or Instagram” is now a common occurrence. 

The purpose of this blog is to address this phenomenon and provide tools to identify what is actually helpful for your mental health that you might see on social media. 

Social Media Therapy

With all the social media platforms, there is a mass amount of information accessible to individuals based on what they “like” or “heart” and based on what they follow due to the algorithms.

These algorithms have set individuals up to connect with what they seem to be most interested in and what they search as most relevant to their lives. 

In some ways, this is beneficial, and in other ways, this is not helpful. 

Social media therapy matters as it is not proven as a way to benefit mental health.

Many therapists, mental health professionals, and providers (including myself and LCAT) have taken to social media to provide free resources to clients and the community. The purpose of social media therapy is to allow further connection to those who may not have been given the opportunity to engage in therapy sessions. 

Therefore, social media therapy can be INCREDIBLY useful. 

However, more often than not, when individuals share what they have learned on Tik Tok, Instagram, or Facebook, it is skewed. All social media messaging has bias – specifically the bias of the mind of the reader. 

When a client has a specific person that they have followed, and shared something meaningful, this is great. 

However, there are a few things to be skeptical about: 

  • The qualifications of the person saying it. What is their background, who is sponsoring them (if anyone), and what ethical board are they a part of (if any)?
  • The accuracy of the information taken and reframed into what you desire and the algorithms you engage with. 
  • Self-diagnosing after hearing about a disorder on a social media platform does not make that person qualified to diagnose. 

Exploring this information with your licensed therapist is not a problem.

However, taking what you see on social media at 100% face value, without exploring or understanding the context of the information, or knowing the credentials of the person sharing it perpetuates misinformation. 

What this means is that your social media therapy may be the next source of “fake news.” 

What Social Media are You Following? 

Step one is figure out who you are following. 

  • Are the people you are following “helpful” or “harmful”?
  • What is the purpose of following their page?  
  • Entertainment? Information? Memes? Growth?

If the person is “helpful” and provides one or more of the above mentioned aspects, keep following them.

Understand the value of the social media accounts you follow. 

If you are following someone for information surrounding news, health, or personal growth, etc. It is imperative that you look into their mission, certifications, qualifications, and experiences. 

If you are following them because their take on things is an entertaining perspective, it is okay, yet this is not therapy. Realize if someone is qualified to diagnose or offer treatment suggestions, because many people are not. 

You may be surprised by this; however, not everyone on Tik Tok knows what they are talking about! 

Know and understand who you are following! 

Informed consent and understanding is important for making decisions on how to use information.

Check in with Your Therapist or Coach

If individuals do not know how to take this information in, it may be helpful to contact a psychotherapist and ask how to find accurate information. 

There are many positive aspects to engaging with social media and learning about various topics. As some say, knowledge is power! 

However, knowledge without context leads to projection. It doesn’t actually lead to healing. 

Do not take anything on social media as definitive. They are speaking about a small example in limited characters and time. Work with a therapist and coach to determine if the information is relevant to your life and your goals. 

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

Life sucks

What to Do When You Think Your Life Sucks? 

What to Do When You Think Your Life Sucks? 

 

Today, we are explaining how we help clients when they say “my life sucks”.

Life sucks is a common thing heard in sessions these days and clients often ask us “why does my life suck,” in hopes that they can shift their life around.

Life Sucks in a Pandemic

First off, we are living in a pandemic that has turned our world and our way of living upside down. 

That is a legit piece of why “life sucks” right now. 

As humans, we are wired to NEED connection. The pandemic has created shifts in how we get connection and the way we can access closeness with others. 

Additionally, the pandemic has increased loss globally. 

There has been a massive loss of life, health, connection to others, employment, and even privacy. This is because many are stuck in their homes with the same people for over a year now. 

Loss and grief have continued to become a more prominent part of our day-to-day lives, and that has certainly impacted why you may think your life sucks right now.

The pandemic has caused many of us to feel hopelessness, disconnected, under-resourced – emotionally, physically and financially – and fearful. These feelings have contributed to increased rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Lifes sucks

Taking a look at the above chart, we see mental health rates were on the incline for millennials prior to the pandemic hitting. Now, imagine a crisis where most providers are at capacity for taking new patients. 

Individuals are needing more and more certainty in their lives, because the pandemic has increased the amount of uncertainty in our households, communities, country, and world.

Creating Certainty in Uncertain Times

Outside of the pandemic, I encourage people to focus on what they can control and ways that they can create certainty. 

Although it is incredibly important to look at the contextual and systemic factors at play, it is vital for each to reflect on accountability and ways that you yourself are contributing to why your life sucks. 

It is critical to empower ourselves to address what we can change rather than focusing on what we cannot. 

Parts of the “suckage” are within our control and require us to focus on the things we can create certainty in – what we can control vs. what we cannot control. 

Similarly, taking a cue from the serenity prayer, individuals must recognize the difference of what they can and cannot change.

Many clients are working hard to find ways to empower themselves in what they can do to help create more certainty in their lives. 

Here are some strategies to consider: 

  • Acknowledge your feelings and recognize WHAT you are feeling. When we ignore our feelings, it does not help in the long run.
  • Notice your most common thoughts. If you are constantly thinking negatively or focusing on things you cannot control,you are depleting yourself of valuable energy..
  • Shift negative thoughts. To be clear, it is shifting the WAY or the PROCESS of the message or way that you are thinking, rather than DISMISSING those thoughts.
  • Take APPROPRIATE responsibility. . Recognize what piece of the circumstances are yours to own. I work with so many people who take on MORE responsibility than is appropriate and also have seen people deflect responsibility completely. RECOGNIZE the difference and be fair to yourself and to others.
  • Create something. For some, that is through building, painting, art, gardening, etc. For others, it is creating certainty and predictable structure (including meals or bedtimes). Create community or connection! When we focus on creating we are OPENING our mind to new possibilities and building ways for us to feel empowered.
  • Focus on that which is in your control.We can only control ourselves, our reactions, and the way we do things. You do not have control over the pandemic, your partner,and to some extent your kids, etc. When we focus on controlling things outside of ourselves it creates POWERLESSNESS, because we cannot control others. Focus on what you can do, which is empowering. 
  • Find the good, find the beauty, find the pleasure in your life. In our group practice, we share each day on a group chat something that brought us pleasure. For some it is about connection, others it is about love or sex. It can be something simple, or something huge, but whatever it is, sharing openly  has created a pleasure-centered culture in our practice of self care..

 

Instead of asking yourself why your life sucks, find ways to empower yourself. 

Find a voice and ways to connect. Also find ways to grow and ways to create. Find ways to love yourself and others. Find ways to build mastery. 

When you try to attend to your underlying needs, life sucks a little less each day. Does this solve all the suckage? No. Will it help if you are willing? Absolutely. 

LCAT can help you transform your problems and start experiencing a pleasure centered, self accountable, empowering 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 Deal With Loneliness

How to Deal With Loneliness

 

Many people ask how to deal with loneliness, especially during times of extreme stress and pandemics. 

Even though the number of people who experience loneliness is more than usual, we can all understand the feeling of being alone. 

Loneliness can cause emotional pain and affect people in many other ways by:

  • Affecting your physical health
  • Causing anxiety and depression
  • Leading to physical pain

 

How To Deal With Symptoms of Loneliness

Several studies support that loneliness does affect your general well-being. 

When loneliness and depression affect your emotional health, it is time to seek services. Studies show that the part of the brain that processes social exclusion is also responsible for processing physical pain. So, if you’re lonely, that part of the brain will react by causing physical pain.

Similarly, one study has shown that lonely people tend to suffer more from depression than others. They also tend to be less social and fear social interactions.

 

Signs of Loneliness

When a person is lonely, they may experience the following:

  • Mental health problems
  • Believing that no one cares about them
  • Withdrawing from those they care about
  • Reporting suicidal thoughts

Loneliness is a common issue right now, and many lonely people are looking for ways to connect to you and others online. 

 

How to Deal with Loneliness

1. Radical Acceptance that loneliness is a part of a pandemic

Accepting that loneliness is normal, and many people experience it. It doesn’t make it easier to deal with loneliness, yet it makes you normalize the experience instead of thinking you’re odd. 

About 40% of people admit to experiencing loneliness at some point in their lives. Similarly, anyone can experience loneliness, regardless of their social class, marital status, financial situation, or social cycle. You may even know a person with lots of friends and family, yet they still say they’re lonely. Honestly, loneliness is subjective so it’s important to remember you’re not the only lonely person in the world.

 

2. Join a Group

Joining any class or online group will help you meet people. Instead of avoiding, it’s important to lean into conversations with those whom you share common interests. 

It actually may help you develop a sense of belonging, thus improving your creativity and ability to innovate. 

 

3. Volunteer

You can also volunteer to be part of a cause you believe in. There are animal shelters and soup kitchens in Connecticut that are looking. That means other states and countries may have this opportunity too! By doing this, you can get satisfaction to live a healthy lifestyle.

For those who have never done it, offering a hand to those who need it does provide a sense of gratitude within you for contributing. 

 

4. Be Mindful Of Your Thoughts

Remember, loneliness can be a state of mind. Spending time alone is not a problem, yet if you drift into loneliness, it may become one. 

Be mindful of your thoughts when you’re alone and remind yourself that you’re more clever than what your inner critic may say. 

 

5. Practice self-kindness

When you’re feeling lonely and depressed due to challenges, practice self-love. Take care of yourself by taking a walk, having fun, dancing, moving your body in a way that feels joyous, or something else! 

 

6. Pay attention to what makes you lonely

If you do not pay attention, you may not discover the reason for your loneliness. Identify times of day that are more lonely and notice what leads to those moments. 

So, how you deal with loneliness is the opposite action! Find connection, support, and friendship from those online, and share any information in a journal so you feel like you can go through some of your thoughts. 

 

7. Strengthen Existing Relationships

Try to strengthen your relationship by calling or texting others more often and asking if you could send each other voice or video messages. 

 

If none of these work in dealing with loneliness, see a therapist

If you don’t get fulfillment from engaging in activities like your hobbies, you may decide to seek psychotherapy. Sometimes, overcoming loneliness doesn’t just happen; you need to put in the effort to make it work. 

If you find it challenging to overcome loneliness and depression after trying out the tips above, you may want to consider seeking advice from a psychotherapist. 

You can also seek the help of an online therapist, and they’ll be more than happy to help you out. 

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

 

Crippling Anxiety

Solutions for Dealing with Crippling Anxiety

Solutions for Dealing with Crippling Anxiety

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with heart palpitations, as if you were dying due to crippling anxiety?

If you’ve ever experienced nervousness with a shortness of breath, those may be signs of an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is tricky, so if you know anyone who has it or think you are experiencing anxiety, look out for the following symptoms:

  • Aggressiveness
  • Isolation or social withdrawal
  • Agitation or irritability 
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Substance abuse

The most common signs of anxiety are often seen by the one experiencing the anxiety.

So when someone tells you that they are struggling with anxiety, be compassionate. They aren’t asking for you to argue with them about it. Instead, they are wanting empathetic connection.

What Causes Anxiety?

As humans, we respond to everyday stressors through a somewhat automatic stimulus and response. This is from our evolutionary “monkey brain,” but our excessive worry leads to anxiety disorders.

So, anxiety is a mental health disorder ranging from nervousness to fear, and an anxiety disorder is used by a therapist to submit a bill to the insurance company. Unfortunately, if there is not a diagnosis, your insurance will not cover your therapy sessions.

If you didn’t know, anxiety comes in many forms of fear and worry within our daily lives. A quick overview for those of you who want to understand the “diagnosis” part. There are a few types of anxiety that are most common.

Some anxiety disorders include: 

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Social Anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Have you ever heard of these? They are common and there are many videos on YouTube and TikTok made on the concept on how to solve these symptoms. In case you are curious about what these anxiety disorders are, here is a quick overview:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

A more common type of anxiety that LCAT sees often is GAD. Generalized anxiety disorder includes an irrational fear and excessive worry. Please take note if your anxiety results in sweating, shortness of breath, short-term memory loss, or dizziness.

Additionally, if you are having concentration and sleep problems., you may notice that anxiety is affecting your work life balance. Furthermore, those who report having GAD state issues within their interpersonal relationships, which may then lead to folks with social anxiety disorder.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is when a person has an intense fear of what others may say. This then leads to a negative effect on the person, as they will start to avoid social events. Think about those who had social anxiety, and then covid19 happened. With no more social events to attend, they could go right into their disordered behavior. Sometimes, in place of social events, a person with social anxiety will use habits and rituals to replace social connection.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

As noted, OCD is a type of anxiety that features irrational thoughts or fear that need managing. Instead of understanding the cause, a person with OCD may exhibit compulsive and repetitive behaviors that help them manage their fears. For those with OCD, nervousness is alleviated, yet they are not getting better yet. 

 

How to Treat and Recover from Crippling Anxiety

Listed above were just a few types of anxiety disorders, yet how you solve anxiety and recover is most important! The use of an anxiety treatment plan helps you have better control over your life. If you use a treatment plan with your therapist, it alleviates the crippling anxiety symptoms, instead of having more complications in the future.

So how do you get better from these anxiety symptoms and find your ability to cope? If what you have been doing isn’t appearing to work, create a new plan. Therefore, begin the search, as you may need new skills sets and quality care by a psychiatrist and/or a licensed therapist.

At our practice, Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT), treating and recovering from anxiety is possible with evidence-based therapies.

Your treatment will be customized and based on previous treatment history and an assessment of you as a client. We will take special care of your needs when deciding which type of approach may work for you. 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a highly effective treatment method for many anxiety disorders. It involves the use of several strategies that work together to determine the possible causes and triggers you may have. Skills involved in getting CBT for anxiety include:

  • Recognizing and changing the related actions and thoughts that may lead to nervousness
  • Learning coping skills for deciphering various levels of anxiety 
  • Restructuring to assist clients in cognitive thinking errors to increase new behavioral choices

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Prolonged exposure therapy is one of the best treatment for trauma-related anxiety. Why? Because it allows an individual to discuss how their anxiety started and then slowly helps them work through it somatically. 

Additional Techniques

Additional techniques that are used with therapy can improve your results. Some of our favorite include, yet aren’t limited to: 

  • Hypnotherapy
  • Art therapy
  • Medication management
  • Yoga or massage therapy
  • Guided meditation
  • Deep breathing techniques
  • Mindfulness training

If you’ve been experiencing the signs of crippling anxiety and it’s affecting your daily life, speaking with a mental health professional becomes imperative. 

If you have any questions, learn more about our Text Therapy Program to help. Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a practice focusing on anxiety for teenagers and adults, and we transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach.

 

 

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

Therapy Cat

Is it Time to Get a Therapy Cat? Emotional Support and Fur!

Is it Time to Get a Therapy Cat? Emotional Support and Fur!

 

Therapy Cat

Many people require multiple types of strategies to soothe their soul, and a therapy cat or therapy animals are no different. 

Think of it as assistance for a basic need to help the owner feel connected in a way that helps them in their life, such as with completing daily tasks 

Some people cannot live independently without the services of people and specially service pets. 

Others can simply benefit from a visit with an animal that provides them with a sense of calm and relaxation. Therapy animals provide a special service to people that humans cannot quite understand.

Not to be confused with a service dog or an emotional support pet, a therapy cat or therapy animals are socialized and trained to provide comfort and affection to people in various stressful environments. 

Therapy animals, and specifically a therapy cat, are most commonly seen in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and disaster areas.

When I worked at the Sandy Hook shooting, there were many therapy animals there – classified as one of three types:

  • therapeutic visitation animals
  • animal assisted therapy animals
  • facility therapy animals
The most common type is a therapeutic visitation animal.

These are the pets that get brought to a facility to spend time with a person who might be missing their own pet. Bringing a therapy cat or dog to a Nursing home can spread cheer to all get a visit from the lovely therapy cat or pet. 

Although most pets who visit these facilities end up going back home with their owners each night.

I know people, even some of those on our staff, who have had family go through cancer and major surgery to remove a tumor that could have killed them. During the recovery time, two therapy cats took to snuggling a staff member’s family more during those recovery weeks. 

Similarly, their family therapy dog may also have their fair share of keeping them comfortable and in good spirits. Therapy animals and family pets help manage throughout difficult processes. 

When someone is going through chemotherapy, therapy cats and therapy dogs seem to know. And they all find a spot near the one who needs them. 

I genuinely believe that therapy animals, can help keep adults positive, boost their moods, and provide loving pressure when closeby. 

Sometimes, it is easy to grow into depression during times like coronavirus and the winter. 

Instead of diving into a further depression, it is nice to reframe the typical doom and gloom of the short days.

If you are healthy enough to caretake another, it is an amazing surprise to have a pet that is smart, healthy, and trained so that they emotionally attend to their owners.

Visit https://dollfacepersiankittens.com/
Therapy Cat

Romeo

Therapy Cat

Snowbelle

Let me share a story about a recent time… it was coronavirus and depression has set in. Being kept away from those that we care about for this long can take a toll on anyone. I realized it was time to propose a therapy cat or two of my own.

When my purebred babies were finally able to come home, 1/31/2021, it was like a light lit up in my heart again. A part I forgot was in there. 

Although the process of having cats, and to train them as therapy cats, is not easy, it is encouraging to know that in all the highs and lows I will go through. That the therapy cats will be there for me.

Once they are trained and we are out of quarantine, I will have the option of having them in the therapeutic room.

Through the lonely nights and days, therapy cats will be there. So will a therapy dog, or small hore. Even if you do not have a trained therapy animal, simply having a pet who loves you day in and day out, and is ALWAYS happy to see you, is the most magical thing in life. 

Also, no matter how bad my day was or is, my therapy cat is there to help cheer me up. Even though winter depression, they can curl up next to me, purr, and everything seems to be better.

To have an animal who is trained and able to help is a blessing. 

If you cannot take your therapy cat or pet out with you in public, because they are not a service animal. Do not worry. 

There are certain benefits to having an emotional support pet and a therapy cat or animal. That is not the same as having a trained service animal. For those who have trained service animals, that animal is just for them. It is not for those around them to be comforted by. 

So please know if you see a therapy dog or “service animal” sign, leave that animal alone. They are not a pet, and they are working. 

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.

How To Become

How Do Therapists Become Therapists?

How Do Therapists Become Therapists?

 

I am often asked how to become a therapist and what path I took to become one. There are often a lot of assumptions surrounding the process and so I wanted to offer some insight for people who either want to become one, have a therapist, or just are generally curious. 

 

There are several different paths to accomplish this. First and foremost, you have to complete a bachelor’s degree and at least a masters and in some cases a doctorate. By and large, most therapists have a Master’s degree in some specific type of therapy or counseling. 

 

Therapists who Prescribe

 

Although not as common, therapists that prescribe are usually Psychiatrists (MD) or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) or Psychiatric Nurse. Some of these practitioners may engage in some counseling, but often it seems that they work in conjunction with a therapist to help support a client/patient in the medication therapy. In order to be in either of these roles requires various certifications and training and/or medical school (in the case of the Psychiatrist). Obviously time to accomplish these certifications varies based on trajectory but can be anywhere from 3 to 8 years. 

 

Therapists who Conduct Assessments

 

Most therapists conduct some level of assessments in their practice. These can range from intake assessments and ongoing assessments to identify appropriate diagnosis and course of treatment for their clients. 

 

Psychologists (Masters or Doctor of Philosophy) and Doctors of Psychology (PsyD or PhD) often specialize in various areas of standardized assessments or testing. This can include things like neuropsychological exams, learning disabilities, mental status and cognitive testing, etc. Commonly we see these types of therapists or psychologists connected with universities, school systems, or medical facilities (hospitals, etc). 

 

Psychology is a broad field, but in terms of therapy we typically see a Masters, Psychology Doctorate, or Doctorate of Philosophy connected to Clinical Psychology. Clinical psychology focuses on treatment and assessment of emotional, mental, and behavioral disorders. In order to engage in this type of practice, you must complete a masters degree of usually 3 years or a doctoral degree of 4+ years. 

 

Therapists and Counselors

 

When we think of therapists we more commonly think of therapists who received Masters or Doctorate Degrees in Social Work (LCSW),  Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Clinical Psychologists (PsyD or PhD) or Professional Counselors (LPC). Each of these specialities focus on providing clinical services, therapy, and counseling to their clients. Many of these therapists have different specializations and certifications to support their practice whether that is in substance abuse treatment, trauma treatment, sex therapy, couples therapy, etc. Although, each may have specialties, generally, each degree allows for therapists and counselors to be able to practice individual, group, or relational therapy in a clinical setting. In addition to case management and assessment. 

 

Below I have described the most common types of therapists noted above. 

 

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) 

      • A LCSW is someone who has completed their Masters or Doctorate degree in Social work. A licensed clinical social worker focuses on the clinical aspects of social work rather than other concentration areas of community organization, case management, or other social work tracks. Simply completing a social work degree does not necessarily mean that they are therapists or clinicians
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

      • I am totally biased on this one because this is what my degree and specialization is in. A person who is a LMFT has a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy or in a related area with a concentration in MFT. This training focuses specifically on relational therapy and systemic thinking. This degree is predominately clinical and is often connected to family therapy or couples therapy.
  • Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC)

      • A person who is an LPC may have a Master’s Degree in various fields (school counseling, general counseling, psychology, etc). LPC’s are trained in a variety of clinical practices depending on their base degree, but are predominantly clinical professionals. Often specializing in individual, group, and substance abuse treatments. 

 

These tracks vary in requirements, however on average Master’s Levels Programs take about three years to complete and an additional two years to become licensed. In addition to our degrees, licenses, and certifications we are also required to take a certain number of Continued Education (CE) courses each year to be sure we are remaining up to date with our clinical practice. This is not the case for all practitioners. 

 

Typical Requirements to be a Licensed Practitioner

 

Although this varies state to state and is also dependent on the type of clinical degree you have. Generally the following criteria has to be met: 

  • Completion of Masters or higher degree
    • Practicum (supervised clinical experience)
    • Internship (a clinical experience unpaid in the field)
    • Specific amount of clinical hours (sometimes specified by individual, group, relational, and/or case management)
    • Specific amount of supervision by licensed professional
    •  Usually somewhere around 50-60+ credits hours
    • Coursework in clinical, developmental, and theoretical models of treatment
    • Thesis or Capstone presentation on your therapeutic methods and/or research
  • Post graduate Clinical Hours (usually about a year or two of clinical or case management experience)
  • Post graduate supervision hours (supervised by a licensed clinical practitioner within your field)
  • Successful Completion of Exam (Licensure or Board Certification) with passing score

 

State Licensure

 

Each state has different requirements for licensure and are also dependent on the type of clinician/therapist you are. Some licenses are more transferable than others across states. It is important before getting licensed in specific state that you research what your state requires in way of credits from masters, hours, and Continuing Education Credits, etc (see above). 

 

In Connecticut, we pay $320 per year to maintain a license and need a specific amount of Continuing Education Credits (CEs) per year. There are also certain types of CE’s that we are required to have. For instance, in MFT we need to get a certain amount of CE’s surrounding veterans and diversity. 

 

Insurances

 

As with other medical providers, in order to accept insurances therapists have to be paneled with each specific insurance company. Each insurance company has its own contracted rate for each provider based on credentials and area of service. Credentialing with insurance companies can be time consuming and arduous for therapists. 

 

Therapists can choose to contract with different insurance companies based on their access to patients, reimbursement rates, etc. If therapists do not want to contract with a specific company, they do not have to. They are still able to work with clients with that insurance company but charge a private pay rate and the client can bill their insurance for full or partial reimbursement or bill towards their deductible if they have one.

 

Associations

 

In addition to licensure and insurances, therapists also usually associate with various associations which require their own benefits and memberships. These can be general based on educational/certifcation background or specializations such as sexuality, trauma, addiction, couples, etc. 

 

Some of the most common ones are:

 

There are also associations for people based on their specialities, some of these include: 

 

These are some examples above, however there are many that have more specifications and more general. Each association allows various benefits, resources, and membership requirements. As therapists, we maintain various certifications and associations to support having the most up to date information within the mental health field. 

 

Obviously this is a broad overview on how to become a practicing therapist and clinician. Basically, we do a lot of work to become therapists and maintain our abilities to practice clinically. 

 

If you need help finding a therapist for you, feel free to reach out and we are happy to help you here at LCAT! We are a staff of LPC, LCSW, and LMFT’s (now you know what these mean!). 

 

Learn more about CE for therapists – learn unique couples counseling and sex therapy methodologies to help you with your clients.

 

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

 

Do I have PTSD?

Do I Have PTSD? Behind the Scenes with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 

Do I Have PTSD? Behind the Scenes with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 

 

If you’ve experienced a traumatic event, or witnessed multiple trauma, you may ask yourself “do I have PTSD?” on the regular. 

 

If you feel you aren’t sleeping, having flashbacks, intrusive thoughts about trauma, and / or you wonder “do I have PTSD?” more than once a week, it would be good to see a therapist. 

 

Many people who have PTSD have had to deal with life-threatening situations like accidents, war, natural disaster, assault, sexual coercion, and / or any other event that gets stuck in the body triggers and responses. 

 

Generally, the fear and shock that comes with experiencing any of these events does fade over time. However, when you have PTSD, it gets replaced by constant flashbacks, shock, and fear… to name a few symptoms.

Do I have PTSD?

 

How to Answer “Do I have PTSD?” 

 

You can tell if you have PTSD when you notice the following:

  • You must have had a serious injury, sexual violence, near-death experience, been threatened with death, or experience rape. It could be a first-hand experience, or you might have witnessed a friend or family member go through such an experience.
  • You’re experiencing trauma in the form of nightmares, emotional distress, flashbacks, and other thoughts or symptoms that show when you’re thinking about the event.
  • You try as much as you can to avoid situations, thoughts, or feelings that will make you remember the trauma. For instance, if the event happened in a particular place, you try to avoid going to such a place.
  • You start having frequent negative thoughts or feelings that get worse by the day. You can not remember how the whole event unfolded, and you blame others or even yourself for the trauma even when you’re not at fault. Your favorite activities no longer interest you, and you feel lonely and alone.
  • Find it hard to see positivity in situations.
  • You become unreasonably angry and very irritable. You also engage in dangerous activities just to harm yourself or even have suicidal thoughts. Cannot enjoy sleeping like before, and staying focused becomes a problem. 

 

Treatment for Symptoms of PTSD

 

Psychology therapies and medication are the common treatments for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. 

 

These methods are used because they help you come to terms with your feelings and seek professional help. There’s a treatment for PTSD regardless of how long you’ve been suffering from it so it’s not too late!

 

Before a professional recommends any type of treatment for PTSD, you will have to go through the assessment and watchful waiting process.

 

  • Assessment: Your doctor or a mental health professional will carry out a thorough assessment of your symptoms and the right treatment will be recommended. After that, you will meet a mental specialist for more assessment and treatments if your symptoms are severe or you’ve been experiencing it for over four weeks.
  • Watchful waiting: Your psychiatrist or APRN may recommend watchful waiting if you’ve only been experiencing the symptoms in less than four weeks. The process involves careful monitoring of your symptoms to know if it will improve or become worse. You will likely then be asked to do a follow-up appointment within 90 days. 

 

Psychological Therapies

 

If your PTSD will require treatment, the first treatment that your doctor or professional will recommend is the psychological therapies. If it’s a severe or persistent case of PTSD, a medication will be recommended alongside the psychological therapies.

Do I have PTSD?

 

Three types of psychological therapies used in treating people with PTSD include:

 

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
    • It helps you deal with PTSD by helping you to change your thinking and how you act. 
    • For example, your therapist can help you face your fear and change what you think about what happened. You might have been blaming yourself for something that wasn’t your fault, and your therapist will help you see that.
    • Your therapist will also encourage you to start doing the things you’ve avoided since you had the traumatic experience. 
    • For instance, driving (if you’ve had a car accident), or other things you’ve avoided depending on your experience. The general period for Tf-CBT may be between 12 weeks or more. 
    • Each session usually lasts for 53-60 minutes.

 

  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
    • This is a new treatment for PTSD that involves tracing your therapists’ finger by making side to side eye movement while remembering the traumatic incident. Also, therapists use theratappers, the light bar, or butterfly hugs and taps to get through. 
    • This method has been proven to reduce PTSD symptoms. It is a long and methodical process with amazing outcomes. Seek an https://www.emdria.org/ specialist today. 

 

  • Group Therapy for PTSD
    • Group therapy has shown to be helpful as people can easily speak about their experiences with other people regarding their PTSD symptoms. 
    • It can help you understand your condition better and find ways of managing it. 
    • Many charity organizations provide counseling and support to people with PTSD

 

If You Answered Yes to “Do I have PTSD?” Consider Medication 

 

Medications are recommended in severe cases or when psychology therapies seem not to work.

  • You can choose medication if you do not want to undergo the psychological therapies or if it hasn’t been effective.
  • If you also have an underlying condition like depression, you may not get the needed results from psychological treatment.
  • Medication is usually used for a minimum of one year before it will be gradually withdrawn. 
  • Your doctor will inform you of the possible side effects of taking any medication, and they’ll let you know if you have to continue or stop it at a point if the symptoms reduce or when there’s no improvement.

 

Why Treating PTSD is Important

 

Many people that leave PTSD untreated do so because of many reasons:

  • They may not be aware that they have the condition.
  • They may feel it’s a temporary feeling that will wear off with time.
  • They may be scared of undergoing the treatment due to the fear of their traumatic experience.
  • They may fear being labeled with a “mental health diagnosis” 

 

PTSD affects people of all ages, including in vitro babies whose parents are under constant emotional stress during pregnancy.

 

PTSD can have devastating effects on those who have it and the people around them. 

 

It affects the relationship with your friends, family, and people around you. If you have asked yourself “do I have PTSD?” chances are that you can seek an intake appointment with a therapist. 

 

Don’t suffer any longer, as PTSD can also lead to severe emotional problems and health issues that may arise over time. Seek assistance today. 

 

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