Therapy is emotional support and guidance from a licensed clinical professional who assists his or her clients in emotional and psychological wellness. Therapy is especially useful during times of transition or when a person is struggling with family and/or relationship problems, grief and loss related issues, addiction (self or family member), employment changes or losses, or any other situations or relationships causing stress, anxiety, or despair.
Just like there is a difference between stress and anxiety there is a difference between use, abuse and dependence (addiction) on a substance or a behavior. Using a substance or engaging in certain behavior does not always mean that a person is addicted to it. The behavior may be a choice, not an addiction.
There are diagnostic criteria to determine addiction but the simplest explanation of addiction/dependence is:
When a person knows that something (or someone) is bad or unhealthy for them, and has, or will have negative consequences but feels like it is something (or someone) he or she just can’t live without...that's addiction.
Suffering from anxiety is not the same thing as being "stressed out". Being stressed out means that you are reacting to life’s stressful or difficult situations.
Suffering from anxiety means that you are more than stressed. An anxiety disorder occurs when the anxiety you are feeling interferes with your ability to function in one or more areas of your life (i.e. relationships with your partner/spouse, child, boss, co-worker etc.).
A person who is suffering from anxiety often experiences both emotional and physical symptoms. Emotional symptoms might include:
Physical symptoms might include:
As time goes on, changes and challenges occur in all relationships. Often, when these changes and challenges arise, couples struggle with being able to communicate in a loving and healthy way.
All couples experience conflicts. A normal and healthy part of relationships, conflict occurs when two (or more) people don’t agree with each other. Conflict becomes unhealthy when the couple is no longer able to communicate or resolve the conflict in a healthy way or when the conflict escalates into verbal or physical violence. In a healthy relationship, each partner wants to solve the conflict not “win” an argument.
Long term unresolved conflict is often the catalyst to thoughts of ending a marriage or relationship.
Couples counseling can be helpful by teaching couples to communicate in healthy and more effective ways. healthy conflict resolution skills. Couples counseling can also be helpful to couples dealing with post extra marital affairs and trust related issues, perception of choice of pornography/internet over partner, parenting children after divorces, differences in parenting styles (especially when combined with step-parenting issues) as well as a number of other intimate partner related issues.
When one partner is caught cheating, struggling with addiction or just doesn’t always tell the truth, then trust in the relationship is broken. Love by itself, is often not enough for couples to communicate in a healthy way. They must also have mutual respect, trust and a willingness to listen, take responsibly and tell the truth.
Everyone feels sad sometimes, but being sad is not the same things as being depressed. Sadness is an emotion; depression is a state of being that includes feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and being overwhelmed. A person does not have to be suicidal to be depressed.
A person suffering from depression often experiences the following symptoms:
Types of Domestic Violence & Abuse in intimate partner relationship:
Regardless of the type of abuse the purpose for the abusive behavior is to gain or maintain control over the abuser's victim.
Abuse is not always only physical it is purposeful manipulative and controlling behavior that one partner perpetrates on the other in an attempt to gain or maintain control over them. Just because you can’t see “bruises” doesn’t make emotional or psychological abuse any less real…or any less painful. Emotional and psychological/mental abuse leaves bruises on the inside, on the soul and spirit. It effects the victim's self-esteem and often lasts as long or longer than physical abuse.
A person’s sexual orientation, relationship status, or gender identity may not be a source of distress to everyone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or questioning (LGBTQ). However, they may find that the social stigma of living as a sexual minority is a source of stress or anxiety. When seeking therapy, whether for issues associated with one’s relationship, sexuality, gender identity or for everyday concerns, finding a qualified mental health professional who has experience and familiarity with issues that confront the LGBTQ community can be critical to a positive counseling experience. Dr. Laura has been providing counseling services to those in the LGBTQ community for over 20 years.
Sex without consent is rape. Coerced or forced sexual activity, even without vaginal or anal penetration, is still a sexual assault. When it comes to having sex, co-operation is NOT consent. If a person has sex (co-operates) because they are afraid of what will happen to them if they don’t ,that is not free will consent.
Questions to ask to know if you are able to give free will consent:
Liking sex, having a lot of sex (or sexual partners), watching more than occasional pornography, even engaging in non-traditional sexual or sexual fetish behaviors, does not make a person a sex addict. Like drug and/or alcohol addiction, sexual addiction has diagnostic criteria that needs to be met. Just like every person who has a drink is not an alcoholic, not everyone who looks at pornography or has an extra marital affair (even more than one) has a sex addiction. When a person has a sexual addiction, the compulsion to have sex (with themselves or others) has more control overthem than they have over themselves. Like other addictive behaviors, a person struggling witha sexual addiction can develop a tolerance (requiring more and more sex) and may experience withdrawal related symptoms when they stop or are unable to have sex.