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Our Fears and Our Successes

Our Fears and Our Successes

Most of us – not only those that struggle with anxiety, but most of us that are out there in the world trying to achieve our goals – struggle with fears that hold us back. We have negative self talk, or we worry about issues that may come up and get in our way.

Sometimes, those fears and worries hold us back and prevent us from achieving these goals and dreams. Other times, we are able to overcome them. We push ourselves through the worries and concerns and we are able to succeed at the goals we set out for ourselves.

What Success Means About Your Fears

While we are often told to look at failures as learning opportunities, successes are often learning opportunities too. Successes serve as reminders that our fears are not something that needs to hold us back. They’re an opportunity to remember that the worries you had and the fears that you felt along the way ended up not coming to reality.

Let’s look at this in a different context:

There’s a treatment for phobias called exposure therapy, where a person that has a fear – for example, a fear of spiders – is placed into situations where they are forced to confront these fears. They may have to think about spiders, or look at photos of spiders, or even be in the room with a spider.

During this time, this person has fear. But, over time, when nothing happens to them, the person starts to experience less fear. The therapist then explains to the person that all those fears ended up not coming true, and shows them that fear (in this case, of spiders) shouldn’t be something that holds them back.

Success can be seen the same way. When we succeed, it shows us that the fears we had along the journey were “for nothing.” We were able to overcome them, and still able to successfully achieve our goals. By reflecting on this after successes, we can not only bathe in the feeling of success for longer, but also hopefully have less anxiety and fewer fears the next time we try to achieve goals.

Therapy for Business, Financial, and Personal Success

Though we typically see therapy as something used to treat mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, the principles of therapy are such that they can bring out the best in you in all aspects of your life. Learn more about therapy and how it can help you achieve your goals by contacting Flourish Psychology, today.

Chronic Pain, Sleep, and Mental Health

Chronic Pain, Sleep, and Mental Health

Chronic pain is not merely a physical sensation. It is an issue that permeates various aspects of one’s life, affecting emotional well-being, daily functioning, and even the quality of sleep.

A key area often overlooked in the discussion about chronic pain is the effects of its relationship to disruptive sleep patterns. While we often recognize that pain can interfere with sleep and sleep quality, we often forget about the role that sleep plays in mental health. Identifying the effects of this relationship is an important part of managing a person’s mental health and wellness when they live with chronic pain.  

It’s important to delve into this complex relationship to offer a more comprehensive approach to managing chronic pain and its ripple effects on mental well-being.

The Interplay Between Chronic Pain and Sleep

Chronic pain and sleep have a bidirectional relationship. Poor sleep can exacerbate the perception of pain, and chronic pain can make it difficult to attain restful sleep. It’s a cycle that, once initiated, can be challenging to break. Understanding this relationship is crucial, especially given that inadequate sleep has its own set of repercussions:

  • Increased Sensitivity to Pain – Lack of sleep can heighten the body’s sensitivity to pain, making chronic conditions even more unbearable.
  • Reduced Healing – Sleep is the body’s natural way to restore and heal. Without it, the body may not effectively manage pain, hindering recovery.
  • Impact on Daily Functioning – Poor sleep can lead to difficulties in concentration, decreased productivity, and impaired motor skills, further complicating daily life for someone already coping with chronic pain.

So we already know how important sleep is for you to manage both your chronic pain and your life. But we also know that poor sleep can lead to even further challenges.

Mental Health Implications of Poor Sleep

Poor sleep doesn’t just impact pain and daily functioning. It has a direct effect on mental health. Some of the mental health challenges aggravated by poor sleep include:

  • Depression and Anxiety – Both can be outcomes and contributing factors to sleep deprivation. The relationship between emotional disorders and sleep is complex and often cyclical, much like that between pain and sleep.
  • Stress and Irritability – Lack of restful sleep can elevate stress hormones and reduce one’s threshold for irritants, leading to heightened stress and emotional volatility.
  • Cognitive Impairments – Reduced cognitive functions, such as attention and memory, are associated with poor sleep, potentially impacting decision-making and emotional regulation.

These can impact a person’s quality of life as much as the pain itself, and – since mental health also affects pain sensitivity – can further increase the feelings of chronic pain.

Breaking the Cycle: Steps Toward Better Sleep and Mental Health

Addressing this intricate relationship requires a multifaceted approach. You and your physician will work towards reducing or eliminating the causes of chronic pain. But it’s also important to work on strategies to improve sleep and mental health. In therapy, we do this through approaches that include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is often effective for treating insomnia and has been found useful in addressing the mental health implications of chronic pain.
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques – Methods like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction can teach you how to become aware of thoughts and behaviors that can worsen pain and poor sleep.
  • Activity Regulation – Maintain a consistent sleep schedule and engage in regular physical activity as advised by your healthcare provider. Exercise can improve both sleep quality and mood.

We’ll also talk about the changes you can make in your routine or environment to help you prioritize sleep and fall asleep faster. A comfortable mattress, blackout curtains, and noise-reducing strategies can make a significant difference. Once you start addressing your sleep quality, your mental health and your chronic pain may improve as well.

Additional Support for Comprehensive Care

Chronic pain, sleep, and mental health are interlinked, requiring an integrated treatment approach. Collaborative care involving medical practitioners, psychologists, and sleep specialists can offer the most comprehensive and effective treatment plan. If you’re grappling with these interconnected issues, consider reaching out for specialized support tailored to your unique needs.

How Therapy Can Help Treat Premature Ejaculation

How Therapy Can Help Treat Premature Ejaculation

It is not uncommon for men to struggle with sexual performance issues, including premature ejaculation. Sex most typically is an intimate act of pleasure for each of the partners involved, but premature ejaculation can rob the experience of that pleasure and replace it with anxiety or even shame, neither of which have a place in a healthy sexual relationship.

Often the first instance of premature ejaculation is caused by outside factors like tension or stress, similar to an anxiety disorder. The issue is that it can become cyclical. If you experience premature ejaculation once, the stress or anxiety induced by that experience can often trigger premature ejaculation the following times. Once it has become a pattern, this sexual dysfunction can become a condition that requires treatment to break.

Potential Treatments for Premature Ejaculation

Sex therapy exists to help partners with anxieties about sex develop a safe and comfortable space to discuss their issues. Patients struggling with conditions like premature ejaculation can carry a lot of unnecessary stress related to their issue, which in turn can upset the balance between sexual partners.

Being able to sit down and have an open conversation about how these experiences are making someone feel can be a fantastic way to break through any perceived shame and begin the healing process together rather than trying to find treatment alone. Whether your are pursuing treatment for just yourself or alongside your partner, there are several different therapist approaches available for premature ejaculation. These include:

  • Therapy for Anxiety – Premature ejaculation is linked to anxiety. Addressing a person’s anxieties – both about their sexual performance and about other anxiety they may struggle with in life – can help individuals take greater control over their bodies, and in turn reduce the frequency or intensity of premature ejaculation.
  • Therapy for Self-Confidence – Confidence is another issue that has been linked to premature ejaculation. With your therapist, we can work on self-confidence in a way that can also support how you feel in the bedroom. In therapy, we deal with confidence in all facets of your life, so that you feel better about yourself not only in the bedroom, but in your day to day activities.
  • Relationship Communication – Not all premature ejaculation takes place in a committed relationship, but those in relationships often benefit from communicating better and talking through their intimacy needs. With relationship help, it becomes possible for you and your partner to address these issues together, building confidence and learning to handle intimacy concerns.

We can also support your feelings around shame, sexuality, and more. Sex therapy is not about making you more desirable, or improving your abilities in the bedroom. What it is about is helping you in all facets of your life, in a way that can also address issues such as premature ejaculation.

When healing from a sexual dysfunction, intimacy should always be kept at the forefront of the conversation. Many of the most difficult parts of premature ejaculation can be dealing with the perceived feelings of our partner, and how our experience is affecting them. There should be no shame associated with premature ejaculation, and that is why having a trusted relationship with a sex therapist to talk to about these issues can be so beneficial for somebody struggling with this sexual dysfunction.

For more information about sex therapy, or therapy for men that are struggling with these and other related issues, please contact Flourish Psychology, today.

Chronic Pain’s Relationship with Our Mental Health

Chronic Pain’s Relationship with Our Mental Health

Pain is a natural and expected part of life. We will all experience pain at some point or another, as our body gets scratches, bruises, aches, pains, along with issues related to health and aging.

Pain, defined as a physical discomfort caused by an event, injury, or illness, normally serves a protective purpose. It is a signal that you should stop doing whatever is currently resulting in that pain and prevent any further harm to your mind or body. That is what pain is meant to communicate.

However, when pain persists over an extended period of time, it may be what’s known as “Chronic Pain.” Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than 6 months. Sometimes, that pain is constant, other times it comes and goes, but the pain is persistent in its location(s) and causes. While chronic pain may also be a signal something is wrong, it may also be an issue that cannot be easily addressed – for example, an internal issue related to aging or injury that doctors may or may not be able to treat.

Chronic pain can require consistent medical attention, and while it can continue to cause physical harm, it can also contribute to a significant amount of mental harm as well.

Can Chronic Pain Affect My Mental Health?

All pain is difficult. But chronic pain can start to affect our mental health. The persistent inability to stop the pain can lead to challenges that affect our emotions, our ability to cope with other stresses, and more. The link between chronic pain and mental health is a well-studied one, and there is a lot that we can learn about how chronic pain affects our mental health over time:

  • Depression and Anxiety – Besides chronic pain creating a constant uncomfortable state, it can also cause a considerable amount of undue stress. This stress can significantly impact your mood, and result in abnormal chemical reactions if that pain is not managed. These hormones and neurochemicals can bring about onset anxiety symptoms or lead to eventual bouts with depression. This can make it that much harder to live with chronic pain in the first place. These sorts of mental health conditions unfortunately can form a cycle with chronic pain, as the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and chronic pain can reinforce each other over time.
  • Inability to Concentrate on Responsibilities – When it comes to concentration, even a small injury can make it incredibly difficult to focus on one task at a time. When struggling with severe chronic pain, focusing on individual moments can become next to impossible. The effect chronic pain can have on our attention to our responsibilities is also quite severe. Work, family, friends, and other parts of life become that much harder to manage when we are struggling to concentrate on anything other than the pain that we are in. These experiences can then make it more difficult for us to be productive or connected with those around us, which in turn can lead to some of the other mental conditions that we have already discussed.
  • Prone to Pain Relief Addictions – The relationship between chronic pain and addiction is also a cause for concern. When you are in constant pain, relief of any form can become a desired option. Addictive painkillers, such as opioids, can be abused when a person relies on them to address chronic pain.

Because of the relationship between chronic pain and mental health, it is often not enough to treat only a person’s chronic pain. Often, a person needs to address their mental and emotional health as well.

Therapy for Chronic Pain-Related Mental Health Issues

Psychotherapy can be effective at treating your mental health, and can complement any chronic pain treatments that you receive from a doctor. If you feel like you might benefit from therapy to address depression, anxiety, and other conditions related to chronic pain, please contact Flourish Psychology, today.

Do Celebrities Get Different Therapy Than Everyone Else?

Do Celebrities Get Different Therapy Than Everyone Else?

The lifestyle of celebrities may seem glamorous. But, behind the scenes, many celebrities struggle with the same mental troubles that others do. As a therapist that works with many celebrity and high profile clients, the anxiety, depression, and other struggles that celebrities face is often very similar to the rest of the population.

However, their presence in the public spotlight can not only compound issues or create unnatural relationships with mental health, it can also rob them of their ability to communicate their mental struggles or victories with others. This means that many of those in the public eye often struggle to address their mental health, while also finding themselves under intense pressure to continue performing as though they are not struggling.

Are Celebrity Therapy Needs Unique?

Every person of any age goes through struggles at times, and – when they need a bit of extra help – deserves to have someone by their side they can trust to help them through their own mental process of healing. This means that regardless of someone’s reputation or status in our society, confidentiality and discretion should still be offered to them regardless of their issues

Therapy for a celebrity is largely the same as therapy for anyone else. It involves solutions like CBT, DBT, and other approaches that are known to support a person’s mental health and wellbeing. These are extensively researched solutions, and that is why it is so important to make sure that we utilize these approaches.

However, as therapists for high profile clients, we also have to be aware of unique needs that may arise.  Celebrities often deal with specific mental health struggles as well. Although they are not completely unique to those who would be considered famous, it is still important to have an understanding of these needs. Some of those struggles include:

  • Lifestyles of Constant and Intense Activity – The life of a celebrity can be intense. Whether it is running to interviews, projects, traveling, or more projects, celebrities often don’t have time to stop. A big part of counseling a celebrity is making sure that they are taking the time to manage their own mental health despite the expectations that culture is putting on them.
  • Scrutiny into Their Marriage or Relationship Status – Private romantic relationships rarely exists for celebrities. Who they are dating, who they are married to, and how that relationship is going is often placed under incredible scrutiny by many people who have never met the celebrity in question. This form of a parasocial relationship is one that can damage a legitimate marriage or family, and therapists have to be able to walk a celebrity through that process of emotional management.
  • Emotional Management of Negative and Critical Comments – Most people spend their lives wondering what other people think about them, while celebrities hear about these opinions every day and are forced to confront their feelings about those comments. It is very easy to learn what your reputation is if you are celebrity, as social media comments are right there at the press of a button. Being able to manage the potential damage that society can do to a celebrity is one of the primary challenges of a celebrity therapist.
  • Limited Time for Personal Growth – Because of their busy schedules, celebrities often have very little time to focus on themselves despite their personal life seemingly being on display at all times. That is why a celebrity therapist can often have pressure put on them to consistently create effective therapy sessions. Limited time means limited treatment, and many of the issues that celebrities need healing for can take significant time to work through.

Celebrity treatment may be similar to how we would treat anyone else’s mental health needs. But the issues that arise can be unique and different. That is why it is often helpful to work with a therapist that understands these unique needs. Contact Flourish Psychology to learn more. We are licensed in multiple states.