Marital problems can mean more than just intimacy issues. As time goes on and relationships deepen, resentments and misunderstandings can build without being addressed. People do change over the course of a lifetime and relationships change as well. Many long-term couples reflect that they’ve been several different people and had several different types of relationships all within the confines of the same relationship. Stress, career changes, finances, jealousy, infidelity, sexual differences, sexual disfunction, boredom, and changing values are common difficulties all long-term couples face. Healthy relationships are a significant key to well-being and investing in therapy can unpack years of unfaced issues, which leads to better communication, understanding, and mutual respect.
Blended Family Issues
The movies make it look so easy, but the reality of “instant” families isn’t always so storybook. Things like sibling rivalry and step-parent disciplining are challenging to navigate. Dealing with exes, scheduling conflicts, and making sure everyone gets enough attention are just a few of the unexpected issues that can arise in a newly formed family unit. With communication, time, and effort, integration is possible. The challenges that blended families face present just as many options for solutions. Exploring new bonds, boundaries, and relationship dynamics through therapy sets the stage for the best possible experience a recently blended family can embrace.
Low self-esteem manifests itself in a myriad of ways, including feeling bad about oneself which leads to lack of confidence. Symptoms can include sensitivity to criticism, social withdrawal, preoccupation with personal problems, and even physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and insomnia. Negative self-talk is an ongoing reel riddled with self-deprecating thoughts that feed a loop of negative feelings. Sources of low self-esteem can range from childhood trauma to present day circumstances such as bullying, a demanding boss, or over-exposure to unattainable ideals presented in daily social media consumption. Therapy can improve self-talk and calm the critical inner voice.
Drug & Alcohol Related Issues
Drug and alcohol use usually begin as an effort to de-stress, let loose, and feel better. It’s easy for this to become habitual. Once drug or alcohol use, or a combination of the two, become problematic it can be difficult to sort out when and why it became a problem and how to stop. Does substance consumption cause problems with work, family, or friends? Have you tried to stop but are unsuccessful in being able to create change in this or other areas of your life? Therapy can give you the guidance you need to find your way out of physical and emotional dependence on these substances.
Sexual problems are normal and present in all relationships. Typical sexual problems include low sexual desire, lack of trust, infidelity, difficulties with sexual arousal, sexual boredom, pain during intercourse, rapid orgasm, delayed orgasm, erectile dysfunction, lack of intimacy during sexual contact, and sexual performance anxiety. There are many factors that can further complicate sexual problems in relationships including mental health issues, addiction issues, physical health problems, stress, anxiety, and depression. If one or both partners have experienced abuse, trauma, or neglect early in life this can have an impact on their ability to reach their sexual potential and intimacy with a partner. Addressing these issues and peeling back the layers with a skilled therapist, trained and capable of handling these sensitive topics is the first step toward enhanced intimacy and sexual fulfillment.
Personality disorders such as antisocial, narcissistic, dependent, and borderline personality disorders are characterized by difficulty relating to others, maintaining relationships, holding down a job, and dealing with everyday stresses. Genetics and childhood trauma potentially play roles in the development of these disorders. When symptoms cause noticeable problems with work or relationships therapy can help guide those who suffer to embrace a newfound self-awareness of their struggles leading to healthier personal and professional relationships.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) involves having thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that recur to the detriment of the person having them. When thoughts become intrusive, triggering unwanted urges, they are considered obsessive. Compulsion enters the picture as the actions one takes to rid themselves of the anxiety caused by the thoughts and feelings that obsession brings on. Repetitive actions and rituals can consume significant portions of a person’s day who is suffering from OCD. When the condition becomes disruptive and impedes someone’s ability to function at work or home, professional help is needed. Therapy is a step that brings lasting relief by addressing the causes of OCD’s uncomfortable cycles.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can affect both children and adults. A new diagnosis of ADHD can be both overwhelming and a relief. Many adults belatedly diagnosed are beginning to understand themselves better, but also may be experiencing grief from the difficulties faced from going undiagnosed while navigating their educations and early professional years feeling inadequate. ADHD impacts executive function such as the ability to perform daily tasks and pay attention which can result in negative feelings and/or negative self-concept in those who suffer from it. There’s hope for children, their caretakers, and adults who deal with the ongoing effects of ADHD. Therapy offers the support and tools needed to make informed adjustments following a diagnosis.
Being a parent is one of the most challenging tasks in life. The ideals for parenting are always changing and the way we parent is ever evolving. Just some common areas of difficulty include: tantrums, sibling rivalry, lying, aggressive behavior, refusing to eat or eating too much junk food, and digital device addiction. When children present these revolving issues, it can bring about self-doubt in a parent. It’s easy to blame yourself for becoming angry or frustrated with the difficulties that raising children inevitably occur. If any of the above areas have given you cause for worry, working with a therapist can support your growth as a parent and build rapport with your little ones. This can pave the way for a much more effective and satisfying parenting experience.
Panic attacks can seemingly come out of nowhere. With no apparent warning or triggering event, a panic attack can include multiple physical symptoms such as any one of the following: sweating, shaking, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, dizziness, tingling, numbness, nausea, and fear of dying. Panic attacks are frightening and can take a while to recover from fully; they are physically and emotionally depleting. Typically lasting only a few minutes, panic attacks are such an intense experience that once having experienced one many live in fear of experiencing them again. Therapy can help you get to the root of what’s causing the panic attacks. In collaboration with a thoughtful and experienced professional, therapy explores practical ways to cope with symptoms and even prevent them.
Trauma is a result of ongoing circumstances that cannot be remedied except through adaptation of the self or from an extreme instant during which the victim has no control over outcome over the physical or emotional fallout of an overwhelmingly negative event. Witnessing or experiencing an act of violence, ongoing domestic violence, acts of nature, premature death of a loved one are common sources of trauma. If suppressed or denied, the symptoms of trauma will lay dormant until triggered, a triggering event may cause unexpected emotional and physical reactions. If the traumatic event continues to impact the ability to function in present day, it may be time to seek relief through the counsel of a professional who can help you process and mitigate the impact of the trauma.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme ups and downs. The high times are referred to as mania, examples of which include the inability to sleep, compulsive spending, and delusions of grandeur. Manic episodes are cycled in with depressive episodes characterized by lethargy and a pervasive sense of hopelessness. It is not yet known what causes bipolar disorder; however it tends to run in families. A more mild form of the disorder is classified as cyclothymia, which can be more difficult to diagnose. Treatment outside of pharmacological intervention includes therapy to aid in self-management of symptoms and monitor shifts in moods as precursors to future episodes.
Depression presents itself with a variety of symptoms such as low-energy, a vague sense of impending doom, lack of interest in formerly enjoyable activities and can affect normal daily activities such as working, eating, and sleeping. If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, it's time to seek treatment. Depression can stem from life events such as death, divorce, or loss of a job but often arises and persists with no specific catalyzing event. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Postpartum Depression are other forms of depression that are effectively treated with therapy. Therapy plays a crucial role in unpacking any hidden causes of depression and gives clients the tools needed to cope with and alleviate ongoing symptoms.
Social anxiety, panic attacks, and general panic disorder present symptoms of overwhelm, racing heart, changes in digestion, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, or restlessness of varying severity. Anxiety is one of the most common disorders for which people seek therapy. Therapy is the first step to externalizing the thoughts and feelings causing anxiety which helps to calm the physical symptoms of unrelenting hypervigilance. Anxiety for an upcoming exam, job performance review, or first date are normal, demonstrate a level of concern for a situational outcome, and dissipate once the event is resolved. When anxiety is ever-present and begins to interfere with work performance, relationships, and social life for more than a few months, it’s time to seek help.
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