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  • The Performance Anxiety Struggle: Can Therapy Actually Help?

    Let's dive straight into it – performance anxiety can be the unwelcome guest that crashes your moment in the spotlight. Whether you're facing a high-stakes presentation, audition, or exam, it can feel like a surge of anxiety that completely throws you off guard. It's a common experience, and it's important to recognize when severe anxiety becomes a hurdle in your life. Understanding the Mental Health Balancing Act Performance anxiety is more than just those typical pre-event jitters. It's the kind of anxiety that can feel like a severe panic attack, with an overwhelming feeling of anxiety taking over your thoughts and emotions. And while a bit of nervousness can be normal, it's crucial to distinguish when it becomes a problem. When Anxiety Takes Over: Signs of Stress and Anxiety Recognizing the signs of stress and anxiety is vital. If it's keeping you up at night, making you avoid opportunities, or triggering severe anxiety-like panic attacks, it's time to take a closer look. Performance anxiety often manifests through a range of emotional and physical indicators. It's essential to recognize these signs early to address them effectively. Here are some common signs: Signs of Performance Anxiety: Excessive Nervousness: Feeling extremely jittery, restless, or on edge before a performance. Racing Heart: Notable pounding heart or palpitations associated with stress. Sweating Profusely: Overactive sweat glands causing damp palms, forehead, or even excessive perspiration. Trouble Breathing: Shallow or irregular breathing, sometimes leading to shortness of breath. Mental Fog: Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts, or a blank mind that makes it hard to focus. Negative Self-Talk: A barrage of self-criticism, self-doubt, and persistent negative thoughts. Physical Tension: Muscular tension, trembling, or feeling physically rigid. Upset Stomach: Nausea, stomach cramps, or digestive discomfort. Avoidance Behavior: Trying to dodge or escape situations that trigger anxiety. Panic Attacks: Sudden and intense surges of fear, often accompanied by a feeling of impending doom. Recognizing these signs is the first step in addressing performance anxiety effectively. If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms regularly and they interfere with your life or well-being, it may be time to consider professional guidance through therapy, which can make a significant difference in managing and overcoming performance anxiety. The Therapy Solution for Severe Anxiety Now, here's the game-changer – therapy can be a toolkit for tackling recurrent or worsening performance anxiety head-on. It's not about endless sessions; it's about practical strategies and real-world tools to help you regain your well-being: Cracking the Anxiety Code: Therapy can help you can uncover possible underlying causes of your anxiety, giving you an idea of how to move forward. Upgrading Your Mental Game: Therapy can aid in reshaping negative self-talk into empowering thoughts that can enhance your performance. Facing Your Fears: Exposure therapy can gradually introduces you to anxiety-inducing situations, allowing you to build mental resilience over time. Stay Zen in Chaos: Therapists can equip you with practical relaxation and mindfulness techniques to maintain composure under pressure. Taking Control of Your Performance Anxiety Performance anxiety is a common experience for many individuals, yet it can become problematic if it begins to inhibit your life or harm your well-being. Performance anxiety is a shared experience, but it doesn't have to dictate your life. If you find yourself nodding along, it might be time to consider therapy. The next time you're on the brink of an overwhelming or nerve-wracking moment, remember that there are ways to better manage these uncomfortable feelings. With the right guidance and support, you can become more comfortable with confronting intimidating situations head-on and address them with more confidence.

  • Navigating the Challenges of Social Anxiety: A Path to Confidence

    Are social situations a constant source of stress for you? Do you find yourself dreading gatherings, meetings, or even casual conversations? You're not alone. Social anxiety affects countless people, and it can be extremely overwhelming. The good news? You can take steps to conquer it. Understanding Social Anxiety Social anxiety is much more than just shyness or nervousness—it is characterized by an excessive fear of social situations. People with social anxiety often worry excessively about what others think of them and may avoid social interactions to prevent embarrassment or humiliation. Here are some common signs that you might be dealing with social anxiety: Signs of Social Anxiety Excessive Worry: Constantly worrying about upcoming social events, often days or weeks in advance. Physical Symptoms: Experiencing physical symptoms like sweating, trembling, a racing heart, or stomach discomfort in social situations. Avoidance Behavior: Going out of your way to avoid social events, public speaking, or situations where you might be the center of attention. Negative Self-Talk: Engaging in self-criticism and believing others are judging you harshly. Isolation: Withdrawing from social life, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. Before looking into the practical strategies for conquering social anxiety, let's set the record straight: you're not sentenced to a never-ending struggle in social situations. Picture social anxiety as a challenge—a formidable adversary, yes, but one that can be defeated. With consistency and the right tools, you can transform your relationship with social interactions so they can become a source of empowerment rather than apprehension. Here are some potentially beneficial ways to conquer social anxiety: Tips to Overcome Social Anxiety Challenge Negative Thoughts: Recognize and challenge irrational thoughts. Ask yourself if your fears are based on facts or assumptions. Exposure Therapy: Gradually expose yourself to feared social situations. Start with less intimidating scenarios and work your way up. Lifestyle Changes: Prioritize self-care by getting regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, and ensuring sufficient sleep. While these lifestyle adjustments can reduce overall stress and anxiety levels, they may also be a useful segue to incorporate more exposure to social situations when implemented. Professional Help: Therapy can be particularly effective in treating social anxiety. A therapist can provide guidance and support that is tailored to your specific needs. When to Seek Professional Help While self-help strategies can be effective, it's essential to know when to consult a mental health professional. You might consider seeking help if: —You're experiencing severe emotional distress, depression, or substance abuse issues alongside social anxiety. —Your efforts to manage social anxiety on your own aren't yielding positive results. In Conclusion Recognize the signs. Apply strategies. Seek the support you need. The process of conquering social anxiety may have its challenges, but it's a process towards improved well-being and fulfilling social interactions that is entirely within reach. You can regain confidence and achieve a future where you dictate the terms, not your fears.

  • Navigating Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Challenging Stigma and Getting Support

    Have you ever wondered if your constant need for admiration and occasional self-centeredness might be more than just personality quirks? You're not alone. In a world where the term "narcissist" is thrown around on social media, it's crucial to distinguish between everyday behaviors and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). This article aims to shed light on the realities of NPD, its symptoms, and the journey to seeking treatment. Understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Beyond the Stereotypes Unveiling the Complexity of NPD Narcissistic Personality Disorder is far more complicated than the stereotypes suggest. It's rooted in an excessive preoccupation with self-importance, issues with empathy, and a persistent craving for admiration. Unlike typical self-assuredness, NPD can disrupt personal and professional aspects of life. This understanding is the cornerstone of recognizing the signs and addressing its impact on your life. Recognizing Narcissistic Behavior Traits Narcissistic behavior comes in various forms that may include grandiosity and taking advantage of others. Building meaningful relationships can be challenging for those with NPD because of their difficulties forming emotional connections. Learning to identify these traits can empower you to navigate social interactions wisely, regardless of whether you have NPD or are in close contact with someone who does. Deconstructing the Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms of NPD vary in intensity, from the subtle to the glaringly obvious. While those with NPD can display charm and charisma, they may also have pretty intense mood swings when their grandiose self-image is threatened. Equipping yourself with the knowledge to identify NPD symptoms can empower you to seek support with confidence. Narcissistic Tendencies or Healthy Self-Confidence? Understanding the difference between narcissistic tendencies and healthy self-confidence can be hard. Working with an expert in NPD can help you assess behaviors non-judgmentally to improve your self-awareness and kickstart profound personal growth. Seeking Treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder Effective treatment for NPD often involves psychotherapy. There are therapy modalities which focus on fostering empathy, self-awareness, and improving interpersonal skills. While seeking help might feel daunting, taking that step can make all the difference in your relationships and overall well-being. In summary, grappling with Narcissistic Personality Disorder goes beyond simply labeling yourself or others as "narcissists." By delving into the complexities of the disorder, its symptoms, and its effects, you can make more informed decisions. Regardless of whether you're personally navigating NPD or supporting someone who is, knowledge and patience are key. If you're prepared to learn more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, its traits, and available treatment options, our therapy practice is dedicated to offering valuable resources and support. Take that crucial step towards understanding, healing, and reshaping your relationships and well-being today.

  • Embracing Change Together: Overview and Benefits of DBT and RO-DBT Group Therapy

    Among copious amounts of therapeutic approaches, two particularly impactful forms of group therapy stand out: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT). These specialized therapies offer unique tools and techniques for individuals seeking to manage emotions, build resilience, and foster connections. If you're new to these terms, let's explore what DBT and RO-DBT group therapy are, how they differ, and how they can bring profound positive changes to your life. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Group Therapy: Balancing Acceptance and Change What is DBT? Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, is a comprehensive therapeutic approach that combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness principles. DBT is particularly effective for individuals who struggle with regulating emotions, managing distress, and navigating interpersonal relationships. DBT Group Therapy Essentials: DBT group therapy typically consists of weekly sessions led by a trained therapist. It focuses on four key areas: Mindfulness: Learning to be present in the moment without judgment, which aids emotional regulation and stress reduction. Distress Tolerance: Developing healthy ways to cope with distressing situations without making them worse. Emotion Regulation: Gaining skills to identify, understand, and manage intense emotions. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Enhancing communication and relationship skills to foster healthier connections. Benefits of DBT Group Therapy: Enhanced emotional regulation and reduced impulsivity. Improved coping skills for managing stress and distress. Enhanced communication and relationship skills. Greater self-awareness and acceptance of emotions. Increased resilience in the face of life's challenges. Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) Group Therapy: Cultivating Emotional Flexibility What is RO-DBT? Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) is an evolution of traditional DBT that focuses on individuals who struggle with overcontrol – a pattern of behavior marked by emotional inhibition, perfectionism, and difficulty expressing emotions. RO-DBT Group Therapy Essentials: RO-DBT group therapy emphasizes cultivating emotional flexibility, openness, and social connectedness. Key components include: Skills for Openness: Learning to be more flexible, expressive, and open in emotional expression. Social Signaling System: Understanding nonverbal cues and enhancing social connectedness. Self-Enquiry and Discovery: Exploring personal values and creating a sense of purpose. Benefits of RO-DBT Group Therapy: Increased emotional flexibility and spontaneity. Improved social relationships and connections. Greater willingness to take risks and try new behaviors. Enhanced overall well-being and life satisfaction. Reduction in symptoms related to overcontrol behaviors. Choosing the Right Group Therapy for You: Both DBT and RO-DBT group therapy offer transformative experiences by providing practical tools, a supportive community, and the guidance of skilled therapists. Whether you're seeking to manage overwhelming emotions, improve relationships, or develop emotional flexibility, these therapies can be instrumental in your journey towards a healthier and more fulfilling life. When considering whether DBT or RO-DBT group therapy is the right fit for you, it's essential to consult with a mental health professional that can assess your needs and help guide you toward the therapy that aligns with your specific challenges and goals. That's where we come in. Reach out to us today and we'll help guide you in exploring which therapy aligns best with your needs. We host both virtual Adult DBT groups and virtual RO-DBT Skills Groups. These sessions are designed as interactive classes, not therapy. Groups are readily accessible through the online Zoom platform. email us at: *For more information on groups/meeting times, visit our page dedicated to groups by clicking Services/Groups from the home page. Check out our DBT group social media pages: Instagram: @psychedbt Facebook:@PSYCHē DBT

  • All or Nothing: Is Perfectionism Holding You Back? Recognizing Signs and Overcoming Perfectionism

    In a world where success is top priority, the intense pressure to be perfect can become overwhelming. Perfectionism has indeed become a significant aspect of today's society, driven by various cultural, social, and technological factors. It continues to thrive in our ever-changing and constantly progressing society which validates over-working and overachievement. The expectation to perpetually better ourselves coupled with the weight of sustaining a perfectly maintained exterior can quickly become all-consuming. While striving for excellence and setting high standards can be motivating and lead to personal growth, the relentless pursuit of perfectionism can have detrimental effects on one’s well-being. What can perfectionism look like in today’s society? What are the impacts? Let's address some of what influences perfectionism and how it can be a detriment to your well-being. Social Media and Comparison Culture: Social media platforms often present curated and idealized versions of people's lives, fostering an environment where individuals compare themselves to seemingly flawless images and achievements. “Hustle culture” (an intense focus on productivity, ambition, and success, with little regard for rest, self-care, or any sense of work-life balance) comes to mind as a popular phenomenon that may promote harmful patterns of behavior. This constant comparison can fuel perfectionistic tendencies, as people strive to project an image of perfection to gain validation and acceptance. High Expectations and Pressure: Modern society places a strong emphasis on achievement, success, and constant improvement. As a result, individuals may feel compelled to meet impossibly high standards in various areas of life, such as academics, careers, appearance, relationships, and more. The pressure to excel in all these areas can lead to chronic stress, anxiety, and burnout. Fear of Failure and Risk Aversion: Perfectionism often involves an intense fear of failure and a need to avoid making mistakes at all costs. This fear can paralyze individuals, preventing them from taking calculated risks, trying new things, or pursuing creative endeavors. This risk aversion can hinder personal growth, innovation, and the development of new skills. Negative Impact on Mental Health: The constant pursuit of perfectionism can contribute to the development or exacerbation of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. The unrelenting pressure to be flawless and the fear of falling short can lead to chronic feelings of inadequacy and self-criticism. Impaired Relationships: Perfectionism can extend to interpersonal relationships, where individuals may set unrealistic expectations for themselves and others. This can strain relationships, as the pursuit of perfection may lead to dissatisfaction, criticism, and an inability to appreciate the strengths and imperfections of oneself and others. Diminished Creativity and Innovation: Perfectionism can stifle creativity and innovation, as individuals may be hesitant to experiment or take risks that might lead to imperfect outcomes. The fear of not meeting high standards can prevent the exploration of new ideas and limit the potential for breakthroughs. Time and Energy Drain: The pursuit of perfection often demands significant time and energy, leading to a preoccupation with details and an overemphasis on minor aspects of tasks or projects. This can detract from the bigger picture and prevent individuals from allocating resources effectively to achieve meaningful goals. Unrealistic Goals and Discontentment: Perfectionism can perpetuate a cycle of setting unattainable goals and experiencing chronic dissatisfaction, as the goalposts of perfection are constantly shifting. This can undermine feelings of accomplishment and contentment, as individuals may never feel they have truly achieved success. How can you identify this in your own life? There are some things you can look for to identify some possibly harmful patterns. Signs That Perfectionism Is Holding You Back Fear of Failure: Perfectionists often avoid taking risks due to an intense fear of failure. This fear can feel paralyzing—ultimately preventing you from pursuing new opportunities. Procrastination: Striving for perfection can lead to procrastination as the fear of not meeting high standards can make starting a task seem daunting. Harsh Self-Criticism: Perfectionists are often their own harshest critics. Constant self-criticism can erode self-esteem and hinder progress. All-or-Nothing Thinking: Viewing situations in black and white terms can limit your options and prevent you from seeing the nuances and possibilities in between. Burnout and Stress: The relentless pursuit of perfection can lead to burnout, stress, and even physical health issues. If this seems to apply to your own life, it may be worth considering the idea that perfectionism is keeping you from reaching your goals. Luckily, there are skills you can implement to try and prevent the negative impacts of perfectionism. Overcoming Perfectionism Challenge Your Inner Critic: Start by becoming aware of your self-critical thoughts. Challenge them by asking yourself if they are based on reality or if they are exaggerated. Set Realistic Goals: Instead of striving for perfection, set achievable and realistic goals. Celebrate small victories along the way. Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer to a friend. Remember that nobody is perfect. Embrace Mistakes: Mistakes are opportunities for growth. Embrace them as chances to learn and improve. Focus on the Process: Shift your focus from the end result to the process. Enjoy the journey and the learning that comes with it. Seek Support: Consider gaining support from a mental health professional or therapist. Bringing up your concerns in therapy could help to explore the roots of your perfectionism and develop healthy coping strategies. How Therapy Can Help One option to address and manage perfectionism is through therapy. Whether it be individual therapy, group therapy, or even family therapy, individuals can gain insights into the underlying causes of their perfectionistic tendencies and learn strategies to shift their mindset and behaviors. Therapists can provide valuable guidance and support when discussing your concerns and can assist in navigating the challenges of perfectionism. Therapists can also help you develop healthier ways of coping with stress, managing expectations, and setting realistic goals. Taking The Next Step Finding a Therapist: If you're considering therapy for perfectionism, it can be helpful to find a therapist who specializes in this area. From Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), or Radically Open DBT (RO-DBT), determining the right therapy for your personal needs can seem daunting. For this reason, it may be helpful to discuss your specific concerns with a mental health professional who can help guide you in the right direction in determining the type of therapy skills and techniques that may work best for you. A qualified therapist can tailor their approach to your specific needs and help you work towards overcoming perfectionism. *If you're in need of a DBT therapist in Tennessee, we're here to help. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) has proven to be incredibly effective, particularly for individuals grappling with perfectionistic inclinations. Our team consists of esteemed online DBT therapists who excel in guiding individuals through life's challenges. Allow us to take the reins. Our commitment is to match each client with a therapist that is the best possible fit. Reach out and contact us at 615.274.8400 or via email at to access further details. Telehealth and Online Therapy: Finding therapists near you may also be a challenge. Your options are not limited to in-person therapy. In today's digital age, accessing therapy has become more convenient through Telehealth and online therapy platforms. These options allow individuals to connect with therapists from the comfort of their own homes, providing flexibility and accessibility. Telehealth and online therapy may be a beneficial route for those who have busy schedules or if you are struggling to find a therapist in your area. *Need assistance with locating an online therapist? Fed up with hitting roadblocks during your search to "find a therapist near me"? Allow us to take the reins. Our specialty is in discovering the ideal therapist for every individual we serve, particularly those facing challenges in finding a therapist locally or managing hectic schedules. Reach out to us at 615.274.8400 or send an email to for additional details. Recognizing the signs of perfectionism is an important step towards reclaiming your well-being and happiness. Figuring out the balance between success and well-being is key to living a fulfilling life. The journey to overcoming perfectionism involves embracing your imperfections and creating a life filled with authenticity, growth, and joy. By learning to embrace imperfections and cultivate self-compassion, you can unlock your full potential and thrive in both personal and professional spheres.

  • A Journey Through Tennessee: Getting Therapy with the Best Therapists in the Volunteer State

    As the old old adage goes, life can sometimes feel like a country song — full of joy, sorrow, triumphs, and challenges. In these harmonious highs and bluesy lows, the expert guidance of a therapist can strike the right chord. From Memphis to Nashville, let's talk therapy in Tennessee. Whether it's navigating life changes or tackling anxiety, there are several Nashville therapists renowned for their expertise. Among them, you'll find specialists offering therapy tailored to your unique journey and experts who pair you with the best therapists in Tennessee. They can provide the support you need to find the rhythm in the dissonance. If you're searching for a DBT therapist in Tennessee, you're in luck. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a game-changer for many, especially for those dealing with emotion regulation and distress tolerance issues. We have online DBT therapists renowned for their skill in helping people navigate life's struggles and their own personal concerns. Your options are not limited to in-person therapy. In today's digital age, online therapy has become a beneficial option for many Tennesseans. It offers the convenience of engaging with an expert therapist from the comfort of your home – or anywhere you like. Tennessee online therapists who serve the entire state from Memphis to Knoxville are just a few clicks away. They provide high-quality care with a flexible schedule that fits your busy lifestyle. Speaking of Knoxville, let's shift our spotlight eastward. If you thought that Nashville held the exclusive rights to Tennessee's expert therapists, Knoxville would like to have a word. Known for its beautiful architecture and vibrant art scene, Knoxville also hosts an excellent pool of therapists. It doesn't matter where you live in Tennessee, you can meet with a Knoxville DBT therapist or a Nashville DBT therapist because we have them both online. So whether you're a Nashville native, a Knoxville local, or hail from the iconic music city of Memphis, rest assured that expert therapists are abundant in Tennessee. From a Memphis DBT therapist, an RO-DBT therapist in Nashville, or a trauma therapist in Knoxville, there are professionals equipped with various therapeutic strategies to help guide you. Thankfully, finding the right therapist can be a breeze because online therapy in Tennessee is readily available. Expert therapists licensed in Tennessee are just a click away, offering flexible, high-quality care that fits into your busy schedule. Let PSYCHē pair you with your best Nashville therapist, best Knoxville therapist, best Memphis therapist, or best whatever city therapist today!

  • Overcoming Emotional Disconnection with Radically Open DBT (RO-DBT)

    Are you struggling with emotional shut-down? Do you find yourself purposefully (and sometimes accidentally!) disconnecting from your emotions? You may be lonely but you are not alone. Many people struggle with recurring patterns of detachment and disconnection that can be difficult to overcome. Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) classes teach skills to help you understand what is happening so you can break free from toxic patterns and connect with others. Emotional shut-down, also known as emotional avoidance, is a common defense mechanism many over-controlled individuals use to protect themselves from uncomfortable emotions. The benefit is that it works—but only temporarily. The downside is that this coping strategy can lead to a sense of disconnection (and actual disconnection) from others. RO-DBT class is an essential part of full RO-DBT and is specifically developed to help those with over-controlled personality styles. It focuses on increasing emotional expressiveness and openness, which can be particularly helpful in preventing emotional shut-down. According to RO-DBT, an over-controlled coping style can result in difficulty trusting others and may lead to a tendency to withdraw from social interactions. Over-controlled individuals may also have difficulty coping with stress and may be prone to depression, anxiety and eating disorders. If you're looking for an RO-DBT class online, contact us today!

  • Find the Right Therapist

    When it comes to therapy and counseling, it can be challenging to know where to start. With so many different options available, it can be difficult to determine which type of therapy is right for you and how to find the right therapist. Whether you're seeking therapy for yourself, your child, or your family, it's important to understand the different types of therapy services available and how they can help you. Online therapy and virtual therapy have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. These types of therapy allow you to receive counseling from the comfort of your own home, using video conferencing technology. Online therapy can be a great option for those who live in remote areas or for those who have difficulty leaving their homes. If you're experiencing relationship issues, couples therapy, parent coaching, or family therapy may be the right choice for you. These types of therapy and coaching focus on improving communication, changing behavior, and resolving conflicts within relationships. They can also help families navigate difficult situations, such as the loss of a loved one or a child's behavioral problems. Anxiety therapy and depression therapy are designed to help individuals who are struggling with mental health issues. These types of therapy can help you understand and manage emotions, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve overall mental well-being. Adolescent therapy and teen therapy are specialized forms of therapy designed to help young people navigate the unique challenges of growing up. These types of therapy can help teens develop healthy coping mechanisms, improve their social skills, and build self-esteem. When searching for a therapist or counselor, it's important to find someone who is licensed and qualified to provide therapy services. Look for a therapist or counselor who has a Master's degree or higher in psychology or a related field, and who is licensed by your state's professional licensing board. They should be able to answer specific questions about the model of psychotherapy you are seeking. If you're looking for therapy services in your area, you can use the keyword "therapy near me" to find local providers. You can also search for therapy services in your city or state to find providers who specialize in the type of therapy you're interested in. In conclusion, when it comes to therapy and counseling, it can be overwhelming to navigate through the plethora of options. But why waste your time searching through countless therapists when you can trust the experts at PSYCHē to pair you with YOUR perfect therapist? Whether you're looking for couples therapy, family therapy, teen therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, online therapy or virtual therapy, PSYCHē's team of experts understand the importance of finding the right therapy match to achieve your goals. Don't waste any more time searching, let us take the burden off your shoulders and expertly pair you with the perfect therapist for you.

  • Why the HELL Would I Validate?

    "Why would l validate? Especially when they don’t deserve it!" There are multiple reasons to validate. Yeah, one reason is to make the other person feel better, but there are several other options as to why you might want to do it even when you don’t feel like it. Here are a few that might help you stomach the idea a little easier : Reason #1: Because it allows you to establish your personal limits/boundaries Maybe you didn’t know that validation isn’t just the “warm and fuzzies” of communication. In fact, sometimes it can involve actual confrontation. According to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), the highest level of validation (“Radical Genuineness”) is about being real, and at times, calling out “the elephant in the room.” When I call out a salty adolescent who is working hard to upset their parent by yelling, cussing, or behaving rudely, I am actually validating them in a weird sort of way. How? I’m validating that one of their goals (to behave badly) hit the mark. In essence, I am saying (without saying it) that “Yes, you are correct, that is generally established in society as an inappropriate way to behave. I do not like it.” If I ignored or downplayed it, it would be INvalidation because it fails to acknowledge the obvious truth of the situation: The kid is acting like a shit…and knows it. If the parent doesn’t acknowledge the obvious, the kid can only conclude a few things: the parent is insane or weak, the parent is a fake poser, or they are just a bad kid (but the parent is too angelic to notice). None of these are optimal conclusions. Reason #2: Because this is not the Twilight Zone When a patient shows me self-inflicted cuts on their body, I can promise you I will display a cringe-face. Why? Because that is a normal reaction and this is not the Twilight Zone. Could I control that if I wanted to? Yes. But to do so would be going against my natural (human) response of empathizing with pain. The patient has stopped reacting to physical pain in this way. Why in the world would I control my reaction to match theirs? Some people worry that doing so would reinforce a patient’s need for attention. The problem is, if that hypothesis is true, then the patient will need to increase the severity of the cutting in order to gain my attention…not a great setup. My grimace is a validation that yes, that looks painful. Yes, you hurt yourself. And yes, it is abnormal. Stop trying to change people’s behavior by inhibiting your own normal, natural reactions. That’s just weird. Reason #3: Because it’s easier than fighting Once you get the hang of it, you’ll see you can pretty much validate in your sleep. Even if you mess up, you can always recover immediately by validating how much it must suck for them to have to deal with your mess up. This can be super helpful in bringing strong emotions down a notch. The key is to take yourself (and your ego) out of the equation. If you fully commit to not taking anything personally, you can save a ton of effort you would have wasted in trying to win. It is literally possible to validate ANYTHING. Reason #4: Because they are more likely to hear you out You have a point to make and they have a point to make. Let them go first. If they say “you don’t understand,” trust me, you don’t. Try again. If they say a thing more than once, I can assure you they don’t think you got it. Try again. Most people have to feel like they are heard and that you somewhat “get” their point before hearing the other person out. It’s like we each have a performance prepared and want an engrossed audience. We don’t want the one audience member jumping to upstage us with their song and dance. Pay attention, validate, and wait your turn. You’ll want an attentive spectator, so do your part and hopefully, they will do theirs. Yes, to validate is mostly about communicating like a decent human being to others, but it also has some great side effects for us too. I mean, after all, we deserve it ;)

  • Not Just DBT Group: Types and Benefits of Group Therapy

    One of the hardest parts about dealing with a mental health condition is the isolation, loneliness, and lack of connection one struggles with. It's the exact opposite of what's required when going through a difficult time. This is where group therapy comes in. What is group therapy? Simply put, it’s a form of psychotherapy involving one or more therapists working with a group of individuals struggling with similar issues. While it can provide the often-needed support to the clients, on the flip side, it might seem intimidating and scary to open up to strangers. What’s important is for the individual to join the right kind of group at the right time to be able to realize the many benefits of group therapy. Types of Group Therapy A person can join different types of group therapy depending on their preference and mental health condition. This is one of the reasons why group therapy can be so effective. Let’s explore the four main types of group therapy: Psychoeducational Group Therapy As the name suggests, psychoeducational groups are aimed at providing knowledge to clients about their condition and help them cope with it. These groups work well for conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and phobias. Support Group Therapy Support group therapy has unconditional acceptance and encouragement as its goal. People in this type of group share their stories and challenges while seeking support from other members. Alcoholics Anonymous is an example of a support group. Process Group Therapy Process groups, while led by a licensed therapist, are more unstructured in nature. Unlike psychoeducational groups, they don’t focus on a single topic. The focus is on the interpersonal processes. People encourage each other to develop self-awareness and foster deep connections. Skills Development Group Therapy Skills development groups are highly effective in cultivating and honing specific, constructive skills. Members can practice these skills with each other in the group setting and later implement in their real life. An example of a skills group is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group. Benefits of Group Therapy Group therapy isn’t as popular as individual psychotherapy and thus its many benefits aren’t widely known. However, people who do go through group therapy come out with fresh perspectives, better strategies to cope with their condition, and even new friendships. Here are some ways in which group therapy can prove to be highly beneficial: Reduces the feelings of loneliness and isolation Struggling with a mental health issue is an incredibly difficult experience. What makes it worse is the feelings of isolation that accompany it. Group therapy helps one realize that they are not alone and there are many others who can truly empathize with them. Offers support and encouragement Since the people in the group understand what it’s like to deal with a mental health condition, they are highly supportive and encouraging towards others. Every small victory is cheered and every setback is met with support. Opens you to new perspectives Hearing others talk about their situations, challenges, and how they cope with it can provide a unique perspective on the problems one is facing. It allows you to be open-minded and think differently. Gives you a safe space Group therapy lets everyone freely talk about their problems and deepest emotions without any fear of judgment. Every voice is heard and respected. Just as in individual therapy, groups remain confidential so that each member can be their authentic self. Instill hope and optimism In the throes of a mental health struggle, the light at the end of the tunnel is barely visible. Hearing stories of others who have overcome similar challenges can make that light seem a bit brighter, reigniting hope and optimism in recovery. Teaches you adaptive strategies A trained therapist is often there to guide the group therapy session and teach adaptive strategies to cope with issues one is facing. Learning also comes through other people who share what helps them overcome certain challenges. Group therapy comes with a myriad of advantages. It can seem a little daunting at first, which is natural for everyone in the beginning, but as you meet others, that feeling of awkwardness fades away and a sense of belonging sets in. We at PSYCHē provide virtual group therapy covering various skills. Every group is led by a handpicked licensed clinician who is an expert in their field.

  • Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

    When it comes to true Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), not all therapy is the same. The gold standard of psychotherapy for the treatment of OCD is Exposure & Response Prevention (EX/RP) and it is essential to find someone who is trained to do it well. With OCD, alternative models of therapy can actually cause harm. Complicating matters further, clinicians who are unfamiliar with the multiple varieties of OCD often have difficulty identifying the disorder due to lack of training and experience. As seasoned OCD therapists know, patients do not always present as a person who washes their hands repeatedly or lines up shoes with a measuring tape. Subtypes OCD can manifest in a variety of different ways, but always includes thoughts or urges that an individual has attempted to control without success. There are several different themes that obsessions can reflect and few people are aware of all of the variety that exists. Some examples include hoarding, fears of contamination, existential types, homosexual/heterosexual fears, repugnant obsessions, and more. It seems that if it is something that can be thought, there is an OCD version of it. One of the most difficult types of OCD to diagnose is a variety called “Pure-O.” This is basically OCD that involves mental gymnastics instead of physical ones. For more about Pure-O: What it looks like There are multiple formal instruments that can assist with diagnosing OCD, but the real key is finding someone who knows the subtle way it can hide and how to listen (and watch) for the signs of OCD in an evaluation. The commonality for all OCD is that there is an avoidance of certain internal experiences—anyone who has OCD has at least one idea, thought, urge, image, sensation, or emotion that they work very hard not to have. They work very hard trying not to have the thought, image, idea, etc. It is exhausting and it takes up a great deal of their mental energy and actual time. The method that they use to stop the process determines what their type of OCD actually looks like. For example, they may have an image of themselves becoming ill and the work they put into it is disinfecting everything, researching illnesses, and avoiding touching people. Another person may have the same fear of becoming ill, but the work they put into it is praying hundreds of times a day, getting tested for illnesses, and checking their blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature daily. It is common for individuals to be completely unaware that they have OCD. Instead, they think of themselves as chronic worry warts, as “hypochondriacs,” or as a “bad” person who is able to fool everyone around them. The Danger Treating OCD the wrong way can lead to disaster. EX/RP involves identifying the fear and allowing it to be fully present without the individual “doing their usual.” If “their usual” is washing, then they would get dirty instead. If “their usual” is arranging things perfectly, then they would mess them up. If “their usual” is to reassure themselves that they aren’t actually sick, then they would imagine, in excruciating detail, the specifics of having a terminal illness and their own impending funeral. This may sound cruel, but in actuality, the most harmful thing that a treatment provider can do to a person with OCD is reinforce their compulsion by encouraging them to do it, or avoiding it alongside them. Avoidance only leads to worsening of symptoms. As an example, a young woman experienced thoughts of harming her child and her “usual” response to the thoughts was to overprotect her child. She hid knives, avoided her child, and made sure she was never alone with her. She was terrified of hurting the baby but had no actual desire to do so, in fact, she spent the majority of her waking hours trying to figure out how to keep the infant safe. When she finally summoned the courage to seek mental health treatment, instead of identifying the issue for what it was and providing her with assistance, her child was summarily removed from her custody. Thankfully, she located a treatment provider who was familiar with EX/RP who was able to coach her through a series of imaginary scenarios in which she killed the baby. Read the last sentence again. What healed her in the end was a combination of imagining horrific scenes involving her stabbing her child along with holding a knife in her hand while her daughter lay beside her. She, nor her thoughts, were dangerous; but she was led to believe differently by the very people who were supposed to help. Imaginal exposure to the idea that was feared (killing her child) combined with exposure to the avoided objects (knife and daughter) led to the alleviation of symptoms and this mother and daughter could go on with their lives without the burden of fear and shame. Accurate diagnosis and informed treatment are key. Don’t compromise when it comes to choosing a therapy or a therapist. Although “supportive therapy” may feel good and EX/RP may be uncomfortable, when it comes to the treatment of OCD, it’s like your grandmother used to say, “if it hurts, that means it’s working!” Are you looking for an expert therapist who specializes in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? We have Clinical Psychologists and Licensed Therapists with training and experience in modalities proven to treat OCD. We can pair you with someone near you so you can get started in online therapy.

  • How does social media affect mental health?

    Side Effects of Social Media on Mental Health If you spend too much time on social media and feel frustrated, dissatisfied, sad, or lonely, now is perhaps the time to analyze your social media engagement. We, as human beings, are social creatures and need others' companionship to thrive. Our connections greatly affect our mental health. A good social relationship reduces anxiety, stress, depression and adds years to your life by preventing loneliness. On the other hand, a lack of healthy social connections can be a severe threat to emotional and mental health. We rely on social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook to connect with others. Although all these are beneficial in some ways, social media can never be a substitute for human connections in the real world. In-person contact is vital to activate hormones that reduce stress and allow you to feel joy. Spending large amounts of time on social media leads to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Side Effects of Social Media Everyone has their frequencies to spend time on social media; often, you check for updates or make posts to indicate your use, but how this usage impacts your mood is the concern. Like, it may be trouble if social media usage causes you to distract from work, ignore real-life relationships, or make you angry, jealous, or depressed. Also, if you turn to social media because you feel lonely or bored, or post something to put others in an inferiority complex, then this is a sign of your social media habits, and you need to replace them. Here are some signs that your mental health is affected by social media: You spend excessive time using social media than spending time with real-world friends. Using social media has become very popular even if you are out with your family or friends. You constantly check social media and feel like others are having more fun than you. You often compare yourself with others on social media, feel low self-esteem, or get into an inferiority complex. You become worried about cyberbullying that you can’t control what people post about you. You feel distracted at work because you have to post regular content, get likes or comments, or quickly respond to friends' posts. You can’t manage time for self-reflection as you are more engaged with social media and have little or no time left to reflect on you, your thinking, or your actions — the most important things that help you grow as a person. To get more likes or shares on social media you engage in risky behavior such as playing dangerous pranks, cyberbullying others or posting embarrassing content. You are facing sleep problems. You check social media first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, or even when you wake up at night. The phone's light interferes with your sleep, which can seriously affect your mental health. You feel an increase in depression or anxiety symptoms. Instead of overcoming them, you feel more sadness and feel lonelier. How to Cope With It? Change Your Focus Focus on your motivation to log in; this helps you avoid many negative aspects of social media and can improve your mood. This way, you will also spend less time on social media. Use social media for specific purposes like to contact a friend who is ill, find some information, or share your family photos. If you're logging in just because you're bored or want to see likes from the previous post, your experience may be very different. The next time you use social media, just focus on your motivation to log in. You may ask these questions yourself: Are you using social media as a real-life alternative? Are you an active user? Does social media make you feel frustrated about your life? Decrease Social Media Usage A study from the University of Pennsylvania shows that decreasing the use of social media to 30 minutes daily decrease sleep problems, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and FOMO levels. But to improve your mental health, you don't have to cut back on your social media use. The same study concluded that just paying more attention to your use of social media can benefit your focus and mood. Reducing the use of social media to 30 minutes daily may seem a tiny target, but we can still benefit from it. With the emergence of new apps like the Truth social media platform, Get social media platform and DWAC, its more important than ever to stay focused and conscious of these habits. Spend Time with Offline Relationships To be healthy and happy, we need the face-to-face company of our loved ones. Ideally, social media helps in the best manner to connect with real-life relationships. But virtual connections are not healthier than real-life friendships in your life; there are various ways to have more beneficial connections without relying on social media. You can set aside some time to interact with your loved ones every week. Arrange a meet-up with your friends for face-to-face interaction. Find a hobby that you enjoy and join a group of like-minded people you meet regularly. If you don't have someone to spend time with, contact someone you know, or you may interact with strangers. Connect with the people you meet on the coffee shop, public transport, or grocery store. Practice Mindfulness Comparing yourself with others keeps you focused on the frustrations and disappointments of life. By practicing mindfulness, you can be more focused in the present moment, avoid negative thoughts and improve your overall mental health. Practice Gratitude Practicing gratitude for things you have can relieve the frustration, anxiety, and dissatisfaction caused by social media. Take some time to reflect. Keep a gratitude journal and write three things you are grateful for every day. Write your great memories and people you will remember if they suddenly disappear from your life. Volunteer As human beings, we need social connections for a happy life, so we love to help others. Helping others assists you in improving your relationships with others and makes you feel grateful and more joyful. You can help teens and children to use social media responsibly: First, keep your children away from social media by encouraging them to pursue physical activities including real-world interaction. You can monitor and limit the use of social media of your child. Parental control apps can help you restrict your child's data usage or restrict the use of phone usage to a particular time. Teach your child that social media is far from people's lives. Talk to your child about various issues, like is your child experiencing social anxiety? Are home problems a source of stress for them? Problems with the use of social media can mask deeper issues. Restrict social media until your child has finished their homework, done their dinner, etc.

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