How Family Therapy Can Improve Your Family’s Mental Health

Believe it or not, family therapy is one of the most effective support treatments for an individual. Statistics show that a person’s recovery rate with mental health problems increases in this kind of setting. At the same time, it also provides a steady level of happiness, which contributes to lower chances of relapse. 

What Is Family Therapy?

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Family therapy refers to an interpersonal strategy dedicated to addressing family issues and overall mental health. The primary goal of this approach is to solve individual problems by revolving around the concept of family. Basically, it explores how one affects the other within that said unit. 

Some of the issues where family therapy can help are the following: 

  • Dealing with the death of a family member
  • Preparing for remarriage
  • Coping with a mental health problem of a family
  • Addressing behavioral issues of a family member
  • Preparing oneself and the family on the possibility of divorce
  • Discussing parenting issues
  • Overcoming substance abuse and addiction

The difference between family therapy and the other types of therapy is the perspective and scope applied to examine behaviors and interactions. It treats every problem and issue as interconnected. Therefore, instead of treating something as an individual concern, it addresses these problems collectively. 

Family therapy aims to solve all problems by involving every member who is a part of the treatment. 

What Are The Benefits Of Family Therapy?

  • Include Family Members In The Whole Recovery Process
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For those in the process of recovering from drugs, alcohol, gambling, and other addiction problems, family therapy is an excellent opportunity to get the support of your family. This approach will help your family members understand your situation. It will give them a brief idea of what the risks and triggers are so they’ll be able to assist you along the way. 

  • Teaches How To Better Communicate Feelings

One of the roles of a family therapist is to guide specific individuals into revealing what they’re feeling. They’re not there to tell you what to say or dictate what they think you’re feeling. Instead, their primary role is to teach their patients how to communicate their emotions better. 

The good thing with family therapy is that other family members can encourage each other to be open. If they have the same attitude, it will be easier for them to solve their problems together. 

  • Tackles The Reason Behind Each Illness

One of the main reasons why individuals fail to understand the wholeness of their conditions is that they do not know its root causes. Given that they don’t know the ins and outs, it’s difficult for them to navigate. They don’t know where to begin and how they can address these problems.

With family therapy, these people will get to understand how their issues work. The presence of their family members will be a big help just in case they get lost along the way. Once a family member understands what they’re going through, it will be easier to support and guide them in the comfort of their home. 

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  • Helps Understand Behavior Patterns

One of the models of family therapy revolves around the concept of understanding behavior patterns. This is what they call the systemic approach. The primary goal of this process is to determine both the conscious and subconscious factors leading to an individual’s behavior. It will also guide them in understanding the different behavior patterns. 

In this approach, the family therapist will act as the neutral party. He or she will play a passive role by asking questions to the clients one at a time. Keep in mind that the therapist will never tell them the causes of these behaviors. Instead, they are there to guide their patients into speculating and deducing what factors contribute to such actions. 

This model also maximizes the power of family. It explores the family’s power structures and focuses the discussion on the hierarchy of the unit. Here, the system emphasizes the importance of the role of parents. The therapists’ responsibility is to ask the parents to study their power roles in the house and as the family’s leaders. They will then need to strategize on how they’ll use this power to work together with their children. 

Keep in mind that this method does not promote having too much power. Instead, it revolves around the idea of using authority to guide the whole family. 

The Importance Of The Role Of Every Family Member

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For a therapy session to be successful, it is essential for every family member involved to cooperate. Keep in mind that each member doesn’t have to be involved. If the issues are only between the parents, there is no need to include the children unless these marital problems start affecting the mental health of the child. 

While this model promotes individual recoveries, the role of each one matters. The critical factor here is the support and love within the family. Those are two of the primary reasons why family therapy is one of the most effective therapy sessions out there.

Moving From In-Home Counseling To Online Therapy For Your Family

Therapy sessions function differently for everyone. It used to be that the ideal scenario for individuals undergoing therapy is through home visits, wherein clients can avoid the public eye and enjoy the comfort of their own houses as they receive counseling. But as technology catches up with the times, experts are acknowledging the different ways that mental health services can be delivered.

What are the benefits of in-home counseling? While outpatient therapy is the most common mode of treatment for people mildly suffering from mental health disorders, intensive in-home counseling is also an alternative usually provided to at-risk children and youth. The purpose of such a comprehensive service is to facilitate the use of community resources within the family while maintaining the home environment.

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“Family therapy perceives an individual’s symptoms as occurring in the larger context of the family,” says Dr. Michael Herkov, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Dr. Herkov adds, “For instance, a depressive adolescent’s symptoms might be connected to her parents’ marital issues. But if a therapist only consulted the depressed teen, then they might not have shared the greater family problems that could have been a vital part of their depression.”

How To Find The Right In-Home Counselor

The job of a mental health counselor is to help people manage their mental and emotional disorders. While a handful of different professions offer therapy, it is best to adhere to licensed professionals with advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, social work, and counseling. Here are some hints to consider when finding the right counselor:

  1. Call or email the therapist and inquire about their practice. The counselor must be accessible and up-to-date with technology and critical scientific knowledge related to the symptoms.
  2. Search online for reviews and referrals. It wouldn’t hurt to ask in mental health forums and groups about their experiences with the particular therapist. But be wary of fake testimonials by anonymous accounts that sound too good to be true.
  3. Find out how much it costs and how long each session is likely to take. Preparing the logistics involved in making such a huge decision is key to developing a transparent relationship and good rapport with the counselor.
  4. List all expectations. While the chances of one therapist ticking all the boxes on the list of desired attributes are dismal, it’s still helpful to figure out their priorities when addressing mental health symptoms.

Marriage and family therapists specialize in working with children and couples to resolve conflicts and overcome behavioral challenges typically perceived as relevant to the home. Family therapy often touches on improving parenting and communication skills, which allows therapists to observe interactions between family members naturally. Such approaches help identify what kind of treatment approach is suitable.

In the United States, more than 6 million people see a family therapist every year, according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Furthermore, a 2013 study showed that 57 percent of families engaged in online therapy were successful compared to 42 percent of those who used traditional face-to-face counseling. Is it possible to transition from a home-based therapy to a virtual approach?

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History Of Online Therapy

Since the 2000s, online therapy services have grown popular and widespread, even though it received some backlash due to its unverified business model eliminating doctor-presided sessions a few years prior. Today, anyone can receive professional mental health services online in place of traditional face-to-face counseling.

Some people prefer it because it is accessible, more affordable, and just as effective. Online therapy focuses on emotional health and well-being. Indubitably, online counseling has both advantages and disadvantages from the lens of therapists and clients alike. Here are a few examples:

Advantages Of Online Counseling

    • Increased accessibility. Those people suffering from symptoms and are new to therapy can proceed to an online approach before they commit. Because of the internet, people from remote geographical locations can also experience the benefits of treatment without the necessary traveling. It also supports people who may have physical limitations and mobility weaknesses.
    • Reduce stigma. Therapy helps to treat symptoms related to social anxiety. People who find it hard to leave their homes due to fear of other people, or getting judged because of stigmatization, may find it more comfortable to conduct the session online.

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Disadvantages Of Online Counseling

  • Impersonal. Virtual connections cannot offer the human interaction that is crucial in the therapist’s office. Text-based communication is open to misinterpretation, especially if the foundations of the relationship are not firmly established. Hence, online counseling may reduce the sense of trust and commitment necessary when providing support.
  • Opportunity bias. Online counseling is available to those with internet access. Hence, therapists are limited to providing their services to those with resources and leaving out underserved populations that may need them.

Regardless of the situation, numerous studies have shown that online therapy can help support treatment plans, whether for an individual or a family unit.

For adult families, online counseling also helps when each member may be living in different states or countries, and therefore find it impossible to be in the same place. Fortunately, counselors have adapted their practices to accommodate such situations, holding people safe, albeit in a virtual space.

 

 

3 Distractions To Try Amid A Pandemic

The mere idea of experiencing a pandemic used to be enough to make people with anxiety cringe in their seats. Now that it is genuinely happening due to COVID-19, being fearful can do nothing but make your life worse than it should be. 

I cannot suggest a cure for anxiety, but I can talk about three likely sources of distraction that may give you peace of mind.

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Cooking

Whether you are an omnivore or a vegan, you need food to survive on this planet. If I am honest, you should be eating now more than ever to fill your body with essential nutrients and avoid relying on synthetic vitamins too much. Thus, the first distraction that you should try is cooking.

I know that many people see cooking as one of their weaknesses. Others are too busy with work, so they say, “I’d rather eat takeouts daily than prepare my meals.” However, considering you are not a frontline worker, you may not have much to do at home, so you can learn how to cook.

Honing your cooking skills should not be too challenging, especially if you start with the basics. For instance, you may try frying eggs and bacon. Then, look up simple recipes for soup, stew, or any dish that you love. Even if it does not taste good at first, you can keep on practicing until you perfect it.

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Landscaping

It is common for hardworking individuals to hire a landscaper to make their gardens as gorgeous as possible. They spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for it, even though they may not know half of the plants there. As long as it is better than their neighbor’s, it’s okay.

While you may have done the same thing over the years, landscaping is among the best distractions that you can ever try. It is time-consuming to cultivate the soil and grow new plants; you may need to watch countless YouTube videos about lawnmowing or creating garden fixtures, too. Not to mention, you will be working under the sun for hours and sweating buckets. It won’t be pretty, but you won’t be able to think of the pandemic, so you should give it a shot anyway. 

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Woodworking

Woodworking is not a typical hobby for most people. Like landscaping, it does not offer glamour or luxury because you will be working with power tools. You may also get covered with wood dust and risk nicking your skin with the blade or hammering your finger accidentally. However, you may find this activity distracting enough to keep your mind off of current events.

If you can’t picture out what I mean yet, imagine how much work is required to build and install kitchen cabinets. First, you need to look for the best type of wood that will not expand when water touches it. Aside from that, you must measure every piece correctly and ensure that all the cabinets are not too wide for the kitchen wall. Even when the boards are ready, it takes a while to put everything together and screw them into place. Hence, this woodworking project may keep you busy for at least a week or so before needing to look for another source of distraction.

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Final Thoughts

If you have not noticed it yet, I have recommended activities that are time-consuming yet rewarding. When you cook something well, and your loved ones enjoy it, you feel happy. When your garden looks like a professional landscaper has been there, you can take pride in your work. And when you build a wooden fixture for your home, it can be a conversational piece that will make your guests appreciate you more.

Trying any of the distractions mentioned above will put you in a win-win situation, so choose one that you can do immediately. Good luck!

Understand This: People Need Mental Health Help

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The 2019 Counselors Symposium was a great venue for mental health professionals and counselors to come together and discuss some issues with regards to mental health. With the advent of new technology and having a fast-paced society, depression and anxiety are now considered as main issues that have been talked about by mental health professionals. These are real problems and are serious as diabetes, stroke, or heart ailments.

Continue reading “Understand This: People Need Mental Health Help”

How To Stay Sane During A Pandemic?

Ever since the pandemic has broken out, I have been chilling at home with my dog. I know that the reason why we need to do all this is unpleasant, but my experience so far has been excellent. For instance, I work from home, so I need not get up early to beat the morning rush. I have been eating healthier now than in the last few years, too. I never knew that I would be able to do it anytime soon.

Despite my positive experience with home quarantine, though, I am aware that not a lot of people echo my thoughts. Some of my friends are running out of ideas to entertain themselves or their kids. Others are beginning to get depressed by the isolation, to the point that they want to break the rules.

Although I will never do the latter, I somewhat understand such sentiments. Even my 50-year-old dad, who is used to going to work five times a week, spends his afternoon sweeping the fallen leaves in our backyard. If the pile is not too high on that day, Mom has told me that he shakes the tree. More leaves will then fall, and he can do the chore a little longer. It sounds crazy but also very relatable.

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If you feel like you’re about to lose your mind, here are some tips to stay sane while waiting for the quarantine to end.

Pick A Hobby That You Can Do For A Long Time

Your first line of defense against boredom is an activity that will allow you to pass the time without needing to check the clock. In my case, that is working on puzzles. A friend gave me a 2000-piece puzzle last year that I did not get to open because of my busy schedule. Now that I have nothing to do at home, I have had the opportunity to put the pieces together for days. I have enjoyed every minute that I spent on it.

In your case, it can be anything that you can do indoors. E.g., baking, painting, wood carving, or even LEGO building. The key is to choose an activity that you won’t be able to finish in a few hours. This way, you have something to look forward to the next day.

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Stop Thinking About Coronavirus Too Much

Coronavirus is the sole reason why many countries need to issue a lockdown. It is the main topic of every news, whether it is in text or visual form. Even the royalty-free image sources mostly have pandemic-related photos.

No matter how much COVID-19 information is available on every platform, I suggest that you turn your cheek away sometimes. It is one thing to get updates about the outbreak, but it is also another thing to obsess over it. Your life will be much better off if you think of other things besides that, such as what’s for lunch today or what movie you can watch with your friends next.

Sign Up To An Online Counseling Platform

I know how some people have shown doubts about the effectiveness of online counseling over the years. A few of them say that it’s a fluke; others are quick to assume that it’s an outright scam. However, now that you cannot even meet your therapist in person, online counseling may be the best way to keep your sanity during these uncertain times.

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The primary benefit of signing up for an online counseling platform is that mental health professionals are available 24/7. You may be dealing with a panic attack at 3 A.M., for instance, and someone will reply to you if you call or text them. Help is highly unlikely to come from a conventional therapist in this scenario, though.

 

Let’s all focus on surviving this pandemic with a healthy body and mind. Cheers!

A Counselor’s Life

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The 2017 Counselors Symposium was what I needed, at that time, to push through with my chosen career. I am a school Guidance Counselor by profession, and I thought I was ready to face angsty teenagers right after I got my certification in 2017. But I was not emotionally prepared for what came to be the first month I was on duty. I met Melinda. She is sixteen years old, and she told me that she was pregnant. And that she did not want her baby.

Continue reading “A Counselor’s Life”

How To Overcome The Stigma Of Counseling

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The 2018 Ohio Counselors Conference had a 3-day convention emphasizing the importance of counseling in a variety of issues we are facing today. As mental health issues became more prevalent, the prevention of stigma on counseling needs promotion. But how can we overcome the stigma of counseling and allow ourselves to acknowledge that we might need help from coping with our struggles without the fear of being shamed? 

Counseling is a beneficial tool that can provide people with coping skills and a safe place to process their emotions and feelings. Despite all the efforts to end the shaming on seeking mental health support by promoting its benefits, there is still a stigma that deters people from giving counseling a try. This stigma, however, shouldn’t stop you from prioritizing your health and find ways to attain clarity in your life. No one should stop you from being happy. Here are some ways to help you overcome the stigma of seeking counseling.  

Understand that seeking help is a sign of strength

People don’t always admit that they’re struggling. It’s a culture that we must end because it will only hurt us in the long run. All people need help, and seeking a way to find a solution to your distress is a courageous thing to do. It would be best if you were congratulating yourself for finally having the strength to address your problems. 

If you have depression and other mental health disorders, you must silence the stigma of seeking help that surrounds you. As with a man who acquired a leg injury, he would go to a doctor, wouldn’t he? 

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You are not “crazy.”

The stereotypes placed on people with mental illness by popular culture limits people to understand what counseling is. Counseling is a process that includes reflection, exploring choices, and finding ways to cope with mental or emotional stressors. You are not crazy for seeking contentment and happiness in your life. Everyone’s journey is different, so is yours; you’re not “crazy” for trying a different route.

Know that you are not alone.

Isolating yourself because you think you’re the only one going through the problem you’re facing is harmful and is untrue. Many people are hesitant to discuss their struggles, but it is common to seek professional help. Everyone goes through something at some point. So, do know that you’re not alone in your fight.  

Marriage Counseling: Techniques And Methods Used

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Most of the time it’s difficult to admit that you and your partner don’t have a perfect relationship. It is a constant work in progress, since every person varies and responds differently to situations. If you’re a couple in distress, lacking in intimacy, or considering separation, marriage counseling may be able to help address the issues in your relationship.

Continue reading “Marriage Counseling: Techniques And Methods Used”

6 Signs That You Might Not Be So Good In Bed (Opt For Online Therapy To Feel Better About Yourself)

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It used to be every 12 hours. After a few years, it became once a week. Add some kids in the bedroom and a busy day schedule, our sexual intimacy was limited to once a month. After that, I refused to count. I don’t know if it’s because we’re getting old, he has meds to take, I am a depressed individual or all of the factors combined. It seemed impossible that the once sexually eager couple like us became too cold. Is it because of life? Or is it because I lost touch with my sexuality and he feels I’m not that good in bed?

 

Sex plays a vital role in every intimate relationship. It is a human’s way of expressing their affection to a significant other and is an act that leads to procreation. Both parties should enjoy sex and it should also be fun and satisfying.

 

However, fun and games in the bedroom aren’t always the case for all. In fact, many couples experience sexual dryness and dissatisfaction. Several factors correlate to this, and it is very alarming since this can lead to relationship trouble or even separation.

 

The question is: How do I know that I do not sexually satisfy my partner? Here are the signs.

 

You’re Too Insecure About Your Body

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If you are too conscious about your body, your focus on your partner will waver. Being so aware of how your body looks for your partner or how you will look in a specific position will get your mind off the intercourse which will then decrease the satisfaction level of the other.

 

You Don’t Know How To Get Yourself Off

 

A significant part of sex has a lot to do with body exploration. If you are not doing it with passion, your partner will notice it, and your insecurities will kick in.

 

You’re Not Hygienic When It Comes To Your Private Parts

 

If you seldom wash your armpits and other prone-to-smell body parts, chances are you’ll turn your partner’s sexual urge off. Once he detects an annoying smell on you, it will take his mind off the sexual activity and turn him off.

 

You Use The Same Move Every Single Time

 

Sex should always be exciting and full of pleasure. Treat it is an adventure, not an obligation or a chore. If you only know one trick and have been using it ever since, it will bore your partner.

 

You Never Talk About Sex

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Communication should work hand-in-hand with sex when it comes to intimate relationships. If both of you are not open to talking about what you want from each other, then you will have a difficult time finding ways on how to get your partner on fire.

 

You Try To Mimic Adult Films Way Too Often

 

Sex you see in adult films are orchestrated and choreographed for the audience, so don’t expect that you can duplicate it and get the same thing. You’ll only end up frustrated and unsatisfied.

 

I feel the need to make another blog about this topic. It will be published shortly after this part one, and it will cover six more signs. But you know what, years of therapy made me realize that it’s not just about me. It’s about us, as a couple. Sex is supposed to be natural, and there are no standards to that. It’s an expression of your lust, commitment, longing, thirst, and love for your partner. Anyway, with professional help, you can stop overthinking and start feeling good about yourself amidst this issue.

7 Factors That Affect Orgasms In Women (Online Therapy Can Help)

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According to studies, women are more likely not to experience orgasm during sexual intercourse. This condition is not considered an abnormality since women have different body compositions compared to men, who tend to be very sexual.

 

Here are some factors that can affect orgasm in women.

 

Critical Thought Toward One’s Body

 

Women have this tendency to be too demanding of themselves – their body image in particular.  Social norms and even how parents raise their daughters may have influenced this. We always find something wrong with our bodies, which can make way for insecurities and issues in self-confidence. And this doesn’t help in achieving maximum sexual pleasure during the intercourse.

 

Seeing Sex As Something Morally Wrong

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Most of the time, women exposed to distorted perceptions about sex can impact their views on sex. In fact, this can be taken from the community where she grew up and from her parents. Sex, especially for more conservative people, is considered dirty and a sin which can affect a woman’s view. The tendency is, sex has become an obligation to fulfill for their husbands’ desires instead of an act of self-pleasure and joy.

 

Guilt Over Severing The Connection With A Mother Who Was Sexually Repressed

 

A woman, no matter how old they become, is always a mother’s little girl. In fact, from physical features to philosophies in life, a daughter usually takes after her mother. So if the mother has a negative attitude towards sex, the child adopts it and suppresses herself from enjoying it to the fullest.

 

Fear Of Awaking Hidden Sadness

 

Women who experience emotional pain during their childhood will have higher chances of not enjoying intimacy during sex. Women who suffer from such in their past cut any emotional attachments in time of the intercourse disallowing them to experience the fullest essence of sex.

 

Fear Of Vulnerability

 

Emotional pain due to a broken intimate relationship can hold a woman from experiencing the joy brought by sex. Because of that experience, women tend to withdraw, avoid and even refuse emotional attachments with other individuals. And since sex has to do with emotions, women with this problem cannot break through the wall they built themselves, disabling them to experience climax during sex.

 

Fear Of Remembering Memories of Abuse And Trauma

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Women who experienced abuse and trauma in the past have very slim chances of experiencing orgasm during intercourse. Being in contact with another person may open or bring in old memories of the abuse which will make the woman utterly uncomfortable during the whole intercourse. Situations like these will prevent her from experiencing the pleasures sex can bring.

 

Fear Of Lack of Control

 

Women who are always in control or command usually experience difficulties regarding intimacy. They have this notion that once they gave in to the affection bought in by sex, they would lose control of themselves, refraining them from experiencing the maximum level of sexual pleasure.

 

These are just some of the many factors that can hinder women from experiencing the ultimate pleasure of sex. However, these can be overcome with the help of their respective partners or by getting professional help.

 

Don’t worry about therapists or counselors. They are professional people who will help you address these problems. You can even try online therapy for anonymity if traditional counseling makes you uncomfortable. Eventually, with treatment, you will get over these factors that affect your carnal pleasures.