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  • Group Therapy: Types and Benefits

    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, 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.

  • Russia, Ukraine & Mental Health

    Russia Ukraine War and Its Effect on Mental Health The war between Russia and Ukraine is ongoing and the effects of their conflict impact the world. Effects of War on Mental Health of General Public War affects both combatants and non-combatants emotionally and physically. The terror spread by the violence of the war can be emotionally devastating to those who both experience or bear witness to war. Injury, death, disease, malnutrition, disability, and sexual assault are unfortunately common occurrences when physical combat and violence are used to solve problems, while anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder are some of the lasting emotional effects of war. Human rights violations lead to humanitarian crises and problems of power, oppression, and opportunity give rise to generations of mental health issues. Human rights violations such as violence, lack of access to adequate resources, and displacement take away citizens’ rights to healthy and happy lives. Wars, as traumatic events, lead to specific combinations of symptoms with severe, prolonged, physical, and emotional repercussions. The potential for war-related post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression is high. Psychological damage occurs when an individual is confronted with a traumatic event that results in unbearable anxiety and helplessness combined with the belief that they will die. Although stress affects everyone and there are multiple types of trauma, traumatic events like war are particularly overwhelming. They may leave a person emotionally shattered and feeling helpless. Coping mechanisms often fail in the midst of life-threatening events, injuries, and threats to body integrity and safety. Difficulty coping with traumatic symptoms is more common in respondents who have witnessed war atrocities. Specific PTSD symptoms have been directly linked to the death of a child or spouse in war times and chronic medical conditions such as arthritis and immune issues are associated with the aftereffects of war. In today's combat, civilians suffer the most. There are multiple types of trauma that can be experienced during war. You don’t even have to be the direct victim of war to experience the negative effects. It is possible to be traumatized if you are only a witness to someone else’s trauma. It is also possible to be traumatized by simply hearing about the violent or disturbing death or harm that happened to another person. So imagine the effects that watching too much news about war can have on your mental health. How do you stay positive during a tough time? Tough times can have a profound effect on mood. Whether you are worried about global events or may have suffered an automobile injury that left you permanently disabled, maintaining a positive attitude can be difficult. It is essential to find meaning in negative circumstances in order to stay positive and deal with difficult emotions. There are helpful ways to stay positive and deal with difficult times: Minimize social media and news Although you want to stay informed, endlessly “doom scrolling” is not good for your mental health. Limit yourself to 15 minutes of negative news per day and be sure that you are not reading or watching it right before bedtime. Do not view images that are gruesome or read content that highlights the “gory details” of war. You are not doing anyone any good, especially yourself, by doing so. Treat yourself Prioritize self-care during these challenging times. Talk to yourself gently and start a new hobby to make you feel better. Read a self-help book to take care of your mental and physical health. Exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. Do what you enjoy. Spend time in nature Stop chasing people online or doing other activities on smartphones and go for a walk. Spending time in nature improves your mental health and mood and provides an opportunity to practice mindfulness, which can have many positive effects on your life. Get some sunshine if you are fortunate enough to live in a place that has it! Gratitude journal Practicing gratitude for what you have can significantly change your perspective for the better. It can be an antidote to negativity and sadness. Practicing gratitude can rewire your brain to improve your level of happiness in the long run. You may be surprised at how many things you can be thankful for. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself feel guilty though. You don’t have to feel guilty to appreciate what you have. Say "for" instead of "to." At some point, we all question why this is happening to me. So instead, create your own (positive) story as to why this is happening for me. Life happens FOR us. This one word can change your perspective on the challenges you face, as the difficult moments teach you more and make you the better version. Allow yourself have bad days Don’t force yourself to be positive all the time; it can backfire and increase negative emotions over time. Instead, allow yourself to feel your emotions and make room for them. Crying works as a great emotional release, so let the tears flow if it is needed. Surround yourself with loved ones Your friends and family can help bring light to your life. Get some time to laugh together and reach out to them for support. It can give you the courage you need to help you move forward. Address the things you can control If you find your thoughts often focused on things you don’t have control over, stop and breathe. Make a list of what you can do and work to gradually accept what you can't control. Even if you can only control your efforts and attitude, it is necessary to know what you can manage. Prolonged Exposure Therapy Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) is very effective in treating symptoms of trauma and PTSD. PE involves retelling your traumatic story repeatedly to a therapist while feeling the difficult emotions. Although it is tempting to avoid talking or thinking about a traumatic situation, this is not helpful in the long term. Eventually, it will not hurt so badly to tell your story. Prolonged exposure therapy also involves approaching situations that you previously avoided because of the traumatic event. For example, a sexual assault survivor might avoid going places alone or talking with anyone who reminds them of the traumatic event. Treatment would involve setting up gradual exposures to these avoided scenarios and doing so at a pace that they can tolerate. Conclusion Although war and other traumatic events are inevitable, focusing on resilience, healing, and processing avoided memories and emotions can heal the damage that is done. While it is difficult, finding meaning in even the most terrible of circumstances can be the key to living a happy and productive life after trauma.

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  • PSYCHē PLLC | Find Your Perfect Therapist Today

    Get paired. Do therapy. Licensed therapists, chosen BY therapists. Book a Consult PSYCHē is a private network of therapists throughout the country. See How It Works We’re here to help. Period. Online therapy. In-person therapy. How do I find a great therapist in my area? A directory tells only part of the story. Just because your neighbor likes someone doesn’t mean they’re a fit for you. The fact is, finding the best therapist isn’t easy. That’s why we’ve done the work for you. We pair you with your perfect therapist. We know what makes a great therapist versus a bad or “just ok” therapist. Our vision is to raise the bar on the expectations of the behavioral healthcare industry as a whole. See how we’re different. Learn More About Our Services Services Quick Links DBT and RO-DBT Skills Groups Weekly DBT and RO-DBT Skills Groups are like a class, not therapy. Learn More Psychological Testing PSYCHē offers Psychological & Neuropsychological assessments. ​ ​ ​ Learn More Child & Adolescent Therapy Finding the right therapist to help your child shouldn’t be left to chance. Learn More Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) PSYCHē is owned by a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification Certified Clinician. Learn More Radically Open DBT (RO-DBT) RO-DBT is recognized for effectively treating disorders of overcontrol. Learn More Read. Listen. Learn. ‘PSYCHē Says’ Podcast PSYCHē Says ​ Let's face it, most therapists won't say what they really think. We are a group of Psychologists and Licensed Counselors who have real lives and real opinions. We promise not to use cringy "woo-woo" catch-phrases or whispery soft voices when we talk about difficult topics like self-harm, suicide, parenting out-of-control teens, and more. We combine irreverent humor with information and believe in getting right to the point. Listen PSYCHē Blog Group Therapy: Types and Benefits Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Russia, Ukraine & Mental Health Want a peek behind the curtain?

  • Group Therapy | PSYCHe PLLC | Find Your Perfect Therapist Today

    Group Therapy Enroll in a Group For group enrollment information please sign up using the form link above or contact us at NOW is the time to use Skills. DBT Skills training Weekly online DBT-Skills Groups cover specific skills to increase mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. RO-DBT covers skills to assist with issues related to over-controlled temperaments. Both DBT and RO-DBT Skills Groups are like a class, not therapy. Virtual setting We host multiple Adult (ages 18+) and Adolescent (ages 13-17) DBT and RO-DBT Skills Groups. Each group is held conveniently online via Zoom. Led by experts Each group is led by a licensed clinician with experience in leading DBT or RO-DBT groups to fidelity. Each group leader was chosen by PSYCHē’s Owner and DBT-Linehan Board of Certification certified clinician, Stephanie Vaughn, Psy.D. and/or RO-DBT intensively trained clinician, Sally Roesch, LPC-MHSP. Choose a DBT Skills Group Choose a DBT Skills Group Adult DBT Skills Group Weekly Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills Training Groups cover specific skills to increase mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT Skills Groups are like a class (not therapy). Material covered is from Marsha Linehan's "DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets." Adult DBT Skills Group Schedule Mondays 5-6:30pm CT Mondays 5-6:30pm ET Wednesdays 7-8:30pm ET Thursdays 5:30-7pm ET Altered Group Holiday Schedule Enroll Now Enroll Now Adolescent DBT Skills Group Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills groups for adolescents & teens gives them practical coping skills for responding to their rapidly changing emotions, self-esteem challenges, and peer relationship issues that arise during what is likely to be one of the most stressful periods of their lives. Adolescent DBT Skills Group Schedule Please note that for our Adolescent Group, we require new enrollees to commit to 6 months of group. This is to preserve the integrity of the group and ensure that adolescent members have adequate time to adjust, build rapport with their peers, and learn how to apply the skills. RO-DBT Skills Class Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) is a specialized treatment for clients struggling with issues that involve overcontrol (OC). RO-DBT has been helpful for clients with chronic depression, anxiety, Anorexia Nervosa, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. RO-DBT Skills Class Schedule Mondays 5:30-7pm CT Altered Holiday Group Schedule Enroll Now About Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Learn About DBT What is DBT? ​ Validation Quiz ​ ‘Mindfulness of Thoughts’ Mediation ​ Mindfulness in DBT: Marsha Linehan ​ Behavioral Tech Resources for Clients & Families in DBT DBT Group Resources DBT Diary Cards ​ DBT Diary Card App ​ DBT Skills Group Worksheets ​ DBT Skills Group Handouts ​ Order DBT Worksheets & Handouts RO-DBT Class Resources RO-DBT Manual ​ Resources on RO-DBT ​ What is Overcontrol (OC)? ​ Help with Self-Inquiry ​ RO-DBT Diary Card More Resources

  • FAQs | PSYCHe PLLC | Find Your Perfect Therapist Today

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