What is existential-humanistic therapy and how does it differ from other types of therapy?
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How to Get the Most
Benefit From Couples Therapy
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Love that Lasts
Communication Techniques for Couples
Your Relationship Strong During Infertility
What it is and what to do about it (part 1)
What it is and what to do about it (part 2)
does Authentic Living mean? A. Maximizing and embracing the full potential
International Institute for Humanistic Studies:
Arizona Psychological Association:
American Psychological Association:
National Infertility Association:
American Society for Reproductive Medicine:
American Psychological Association's Help Center:
The American Psychological Association publishes this site to help individuals better understand whatever psychological issues they may face.
Includes information on specific disorders and articles written by a wide variety of professionals.
Provides a searchable drug and herb database--written in plain English and explains what each medication is used for, how it works, common side effects and interaction, how it should be taken, etc.
National Institute of Mental Health
A resource on a wide variety of disorders, including symptoms, treatments, and resources.
National Mental Health Association
A rich source of consumer information. Its fact sheets cover disorders and explain how mental health illness affects specific groups.
Offers hundreds of articles on mental health issues, symptoms, and treatments, as well as a drug database.
Dr. Swartout works on an individual and group basis with adults and couples. Her areas of expertise include:
Edges' Psychological Services
is not easily described in general statements. It varies depending on the personalities
of the psychologist and patient, and the particular problems you are experiencing.
We may use many different methods, but generally our approach invites your close
attention to your internal experience, to your perceptions of your world around
you, and to the manner in which you pursue or limit making your way. we believe
that therapy is a process of experiencing and understanding who you really are
and creating a greater sense of personal alignment.
In our work, we may invite you to explore by talking about material or experimenting
with behaviors. You always have the right to decline or agree to these invitations,
and it is appropriate at any time to question what we are doing. However, it is
important for you to understand that psychotherapy is not like a medical doctor
visit. Instead, in order for psychotherapy to be effective, it calls for a very
active effort on your part. The more honest, truthful, and genuine you are about
what you are believing, thinking, feeling, saying/doing, in your daily life outside
of our office and with us in our office, the more likely it is that you will really
understand yourself, we will really understand you, and will together help you
heal. In the same way, we will be honest with you. In order for therapy to really
work, our honesty and genuineness with each other is essential.
we provide expertise regarding how to do meaningful therapy, you are the source
of what is important to you and your level of satisfaction. Since therapy seeks
to enhance your ability to care for yourself, we will support your being in charge
of yourself. Our deepest intention is that you find within yourself a deep and
lasting sense of wholeness, worth, and esteem.
Our first few sessions will involve an evaluation of your needs. By the end of the
evaluation, we will be able to offer you some first impressions of what our work
will include. You should evaluate this information along with your own opinions
of whether you feel comfortable working with us. Most clients with whom we meet
feel their problems are adequately resolved in 8-12 sessions, and they feel capable
of working through the remaining aspects of their concerns without therapy. Some
clients return when they have encountered a new aspect of their problem and they
would like some help.
Therapy involves a large commitment of time, money, and energy, so you should be very
careful about the therapist you select. If you have questions about our procedures,
we should discuss them whenever they arise. If your doubts persist, we will be
happy to help you set up a meeting with another mental health professional for
a second opinion.
Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks. Since therapy often involves discussing unpleasant
aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness,
guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand,
psychotherapy has also been shown to have many benefits. Therapy often leads to
better relationships, solutions to specific problems, a better understanding of
yourself, and significant reductions in feelings of distress.
For more detailed and complete information on any of the above information, please download
a copy of our Psychotherapist-Patient Services
When a person suffers from depression, it can affect every part of his or her life, including one's
physical body, one's behavior, thought processes, mood, ability to relate to others,
and general lifestyle.
People who are diagnosed with clinical depression have a combination of symptoms:
of hopelessness, even when there is reason to be hopeful
or low energy
less interest or pleasure in most regular activities
or inappropriate guilt
ability to think or concentrate
distorted thoughts; having an unrealistic view of life
loss or gain without dieting
in sleeping patterns
thoughts of death
- A specific plan for committing suicide
- A suicide attempt
of restlessness or being slowed down
That Professional Treatment Is Needed
- Thinking about death or suicide. This is always dangerous and you should see a professional
symptoms of depression continue for a long time, you may need professional help.
Acute responses to events are normal, but they should not last beyond a reasonable
ability to function is impaired by your depression. Seek help before your life
situation deteriorates to a serious level.
have become so isolated that you have no one with whom to check reality. Seek
out someone to share your thoughts and feelings with.
symptoms have become severe.
If you or someone you know is depressed and exhibits any of the above signs,
it is extremely important to seek the assistance of a medical or mental health
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An anxiety disorder affects a person's behavior, thoughts, feelings, and physical
sensations. The most common anxiety disorders include the following. Social anxiety
or social phobia is a fear of being around other people. People who suffer from
this disorder always feel self-conscious around others. They have the feeling
that everyone is watching them and staring at them, being critical in some way.
Because the anxiety is so painful, they learn to stay away from social situations
and avoid other people. Some eventually need to be alone at all times, in a room
with the door closed. The feeling is pervasive and constant and even happens with
people they know.
Panic Disorder is a condition where a person has panic attacks without warning. According
to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 5% of the adult American population
suffers from panic attacks. Some experts say that this number is actually higher,
since many people experience panic attacks but never receive treatment. Some symptoms
of panic attack are:
- chest pain
- feelings of choking
- feeling dizzy
- fear of losing control
- fear of dying
- numbness or tingling
- chills or hot flashes
Anxiety Disorder is when a person worries excessively about almost everything.
The person is aware that his or her worrying is affecting the quality of his or
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with losses of all kinds, loss of loved ones through death and divorce, for instance,
are difficult for everyone.
are some predictable stages that most people pass through after losing something
or someone important. In her work on death and dying, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
outlined five stages of grieving.
and Denial: The first reaction to loss is often the inability to feel anything.
This may include feeling numb, weak, overwhelmed, anxious, not yourself, or withdrawn.
- Anger: Blaming
yourself or others.
If you'll just let him live, I'll promise to go to church every Sunday for the
rest of my life.
Feeling deep sadness, disturbed sleep and eating patterns, thoughts of suicide,
Beginning to look for the lessons of the experience.
said that the grieving process involves experiencing all five stages, although
not always in this order. She also said that people often cycle back and forth
through a number of the stages before coming to the stage of acceptance.
examples of significant losses are:
of a person through death
of your good health when you are diagnosed with a disease
of a body part through accident or surgery
of an ability, such as blindness
of a friend who has moved
of everything familiar when you move away
to Help Someone Who Is Grieving
try to get them to feel or be anything but what they are.
reward them for acting cheerful or "like your old self". This teaches
them to suppress their feelings around you.
avoid them. They need your support.
them tell about the loss again and again, if they need to.
that unexpected, perhaps inappropriate behavior is part of the grieving process.
It means the bereaved person is moving forward.
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to alcohol and other drugs is a chronic disease. It is progressive, continuous,
and long-term. Alcohol or drug abuse means that a person has control over whether
he or she drinks or uses. Alcohol or drug dependence means that a person has lost
all control over his or her drinking or using behavior.
who suffer from addictive diseases engage in compulsive behavior and gradually
lose control of their lives. They continue to drink or use drugs, even when they
know it will lead to negative consequences. They tend to have low self-esteem
and almost inevitably suffer from anxiety and depression.
If someone in your life suffers from addictive disease, you have experienced his
or her extreme behavior, ranging from depression to exhilaration. You probably
have also experienced the person's state of denial ("I can quit anytime"
or "I don't have a problem"), dishonesty, frequent disappointments,
and the series of ruined relationships. These are the hallmark behaviors when
a person suffers from addiction to alcohol or drugs.
Alcoholism and drug addiction affect people from all parts of society. Addictive disease
affects rock stars, writers, artists, and homeless people. Victims also include
stay-at-home moms, teenagers, and corporate executives. There are addicts who
are students at top universities and physicians in your local hospital. They may
be teachers at your neighborhood school or salespeople at the local hardware store.
What to Do When an Alcoholic or Addict Won't Stop
Sometimes the alcoholic or addict is in such a strong state of denial that the best alternative
is to arrange an intervention. This process involves arranging for a professional
interventionist to organize a meeting of the family, friends, and employer of
the patient. The interventionist helps the group prepare a confrontation that
will be followed by the patient entering a treatment center. The patient's family
and friends usually write a brief statement describing how the drinking or drug
use has affected them. The interventionist and the group then meet with the patient
and read their statements to the patient with the guidance of the interventionist.
These interventions, when managed by professionals from respected treatment organizations,
often result in successful treatment of the addiction.
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Life transitions can include any of the following:
loss (of a person, job, pet, or anything important)
moving through a life transition usually means experiencing the following stages:
a range of negative feelings (anger, anxiety, confusion, numbness, self-doubt).
a loss of self-esteem.
to accept the change.
that you need to let go of the past and accept the future.
to feel hopeful about the future.
an optimistic view of the future.
process of moving through a transition does not always proceed in order, in nice,
predictable stages. People usually move through the process in different ways,
often cycling back and forth among the stages.
transitions are often difficult, but they have a positive side, too. They provide
us with an opportunity to assess the direction our lives are taking. They are
a chance to grow and learn.
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inability to have children can be one of the greatest challenges that a person
or couple will ever face. It affects people emotionally, physically, and financially.
It can place tremendous stress on a couple's relationship and on their relationships
with family and friends.After
each expensive procedure or round of treatment, when no pregnancy results, the
disappointment turns to devastation. Many infertile people become depressed
and anxious, and feel loss of control. The strain in the marriage and among family
members sometimes becomes unbearable. The self-esteem of one or both partners
plummets. They often feel lonely, sad, and angry. The long series of disappointments
that many experience can cause a numbing effect, and
depression can result. If one partner has the medical problem that is causing
the infertility, he or she often feels guilty and may even offer the other a divorce.
At the same time, the infertile person may fear that the other partner will leave
the relationship. All of these changes can make people feel emotionally distant
and needing to avoid intimacy.
no one expects to be infertile. Most people think they will grow up, get married,
and have children, just like everyone else around them. So when a couple learns
that they are infertile, they are often surprised at how devastated they feel.
After all, they reason, they don't have cancer or a deadly disease (in most cases);
it's just infertility. So why do they
feel so badly? Most couples gradually come to realize that it is a distressing experience. Many eventually seek the help of a team of professionals,
realizing that it is a good idea to create a support network and take advantage
of the help that is available.
one or both partners start to feel the impact of infertility, it can be a good
idea to seek the services of a mental health professional, especially one who
has experience working with the issues of infertility. Since these issues are
so complex, it is important to find a counselor who has experience and training
in dealing with the impact on individuals, couples, and families. Many couples
also find relief in support groups where they can meet regularly with other infertile
couples, share experiences, and support each other.
a mental health professional cannot influence the outcome of the medical treatment,
he or she can help the couple get through the process by helping them communicate
better with each other and gain support from family and friends.
our newsletter on the topic: Keeping Your Relationship
Strong During Infertility.
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