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Brooklyn CBT for Anxiety: Why CBT is Useful for Anxiety and Stress

Brooklyn CBT for Anxiety: Why CBT is Useful for Anxiety and Stress

Flourish Psychology offers CBT in NYC. Based in Brooklyn, our CBT therapy services help clients with all different types of mental health struggles find the relief and support they deserve to manage and reduce their symptoms. CBT is an appropriate treatment for a wide range of mental health challenges, but it is best known for its role in treating anxiety.

What is CBT?

CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a highly researched approach to therapy that provides actionable solutions for both the cognitive (thought) and behavioral actions associated with various mental health conditions. Other therapeutic modalities focus on past issues and try to lead to “breakthroughs.” CBT, on the other hand, is focused on more actionable items like skills training and challenging maladaptive thoughts.

Why Do Patients and Therapists Prefer CBT for Anxiety?

Here in New York City, a different approach, known as psychodynamic theory, was the preferred option for decades. But it has since fallen out of favor for cognitive behavioral therapy, as CBT has shown itself to be a better option. That is especially true for anxiety:

  • CBT focuses less on your past, and more on your experience as a person. Though our pasts do shape who we are, CBT recognizes that what is most important is helping you become the person you want to be.
  • CBT is goal oriented and faster. While we often see our patients for years, helping them manage the stress and anxieties of life, the process for CBT for anxiety takes only a few months, helping you see measurable results in a shorter time.
  • CBT is actionable. While there is immense value in talking about your past, your personality, and other components of your life, we also know that – especially with anxiety – you’re often looking for solutions.

Cognitive behavioral therapy provides many benefits for anxiety that make it not only a popular choice for both patients and therapists – but also a recommended one, shown in the research to be one of the most effective ways to address anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, and other anxiety-related conditions.

Is CBT the Best Choice for All Patients?

Part of our approach here at Flourish Psychology is to truly get to know who you are, why you have anxiety, and what we feel – together – will be the most effective way to address and identify any challenges you face in the short and long term. Often that is CBT. Sometimes it is not.

There are many therapy modalities available to address your mental health and wellness. Our NYC therapists want to find the one that works best for you. Contact Flourish Psychology today to learn more about our Brooklyn CBT services, or connect with your own therapist for you to learn from and grow with.

Happier Living in NYC – Quick and Easy Tips for Faster Happiness

Happier Living in NYC – Quick and Easy Tips for Faster Happiness

Happiness is an emotional state, but emotion is highly tied to biology. The different hormones and neurotransmitters in your brain and the state of your entire body and nervous system all play significant roles in how happy you feel.

By making small, scientifically proven changes in your life, you can influence these biological factors and guide yourself to happier living in NYC.

How to Easily Increase Your Happiness 

The brain and the body are closely tied together. What you feel emotionally directly impacts what your body experiences physically, both at a conscious, noticeable level and at a molecular level. This connection also goes the other way in the sense that by changing what your body experiences physically, you will have a direct impact on your emotions.

Physical changes are often easier and faster to make in our lives since they do not require the willpower to push ourselves into a new emotional state or untangle complicated emotions and previous experiences. This can be one of the fastest ways to increase your day to day happiness, limit your risk of depression, and reduce symptoms of sadness and stress:

  • Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing – This breathing technique relaxes the body by increasing oxygenation, lowering blood pressure, and releasing muscle tension. It will also boost your energy and make you feel warmer through improved blood circulation, all of which will put you in a better mood. For this technique, you will breathe into your stomach. Place a hand on your abdomen and inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, feeling your stomach expand. Hold your breath for 2 seconds, and then exhale for 6 seconds. Repeat the process until you feel the effects.
  • Increase Blood Flow to the Brain – Many studies have shown that increased blood circulation in the brain raises the amount of oxygen in the brain. Oxygen is essential for producing serotonin and endorphins – two neurotransmitters tied to happiness. There are a few different tips you can use to increase the oxygenation of your brain by improving circulation, such as physical activity and limiting caffeinated and alcoholic drinks. These changes can have immediate effects on blood flow and making them routine will quickly begin to increase your overall happiness.
  • Aligning Behavioral Circadian Rhythms – Your circadian rhythms are cycles within the body that control the release of chemicals like endorphins and cortisol, both of which directly impact mood, alertness, and feelings of well being. You can align your circadian rhythms by going to bed at approximately the same time every night and waking up at the same time the next morning, including on weekends. Misaligned circadian rhythms can result in uneven production of cortisol, which is shown to lead to increased rates of depression and anxiety and means that any setbacks you experience throughout your days will have a greater negative effect on happiness.
  • Eating Foods High in Tryptophan – The body uses tryptophan, which is an amino acid, to produce serotonin, as well as red blood cells. We do not produce tryptophan on our own, so you will need to eat the right foods to make sure you are getting enough of it. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of foods that contain tryptophan, including meat, eggs, milk, fish, almonds, bananas, and peanuts. Many other high protein foods contain tryptophan as well so you can add more to whatever your diet may be.
  • Alter Fixed Routines – Daily routines result in a fixed emotional state, and while this can be effective at preventing additional stress and feelings of sadness, it also limits you from taking in novel experiences, which will cause a release of serotonin and endorphins. Introducing small adjustments to your routine that are easy to implement will start to introduce a feeling of novelty and improve resilience to make you happier. This can begin by doing something different after work, purposely trying something new, picking up a hobby, or incorporating a different step into your morning routine.

These simple ways of using biology to improve your happiness can be extremely valuable for your overall well being or for a way to reduce depression symptoms, but they are unlikely to solve depression single-handedly. For this, reaching out for therapy in Brooklyn can give you more precise and personalized guidance in how to improve your happiness and go into greater depth on the aspects of your life that are holding you back.

Divorce Prevention and Emergency Couples Counseling in NYC

Divorce Prevention and Emergency Couples Counseling in NYC

Flourish Psychology Provides Emergency Marriage Counseling in Brooklyn and Throughout NYC for Couples on the Brink of Divorce

Flourish Psychology has a team of experienced marriage counselors in NYC, available for emergency help if you feel like your marriage is in need of immediate support. We help all types of couples, including those dating, married, LGBTQ+, and non-traditional, schedule in emergency couples counseling and marriage therapy right away. Learn more by calling us at 917-737-9475 to schedule your appointment.

Scheduling for Emergency Couples Counseling in Brooklyn and NYC

Couples counseling is a service for all couples in any stage of their relationship. It offers ideas and solutions for growing and strengthening your marriage, teaching valuable skills that will improve your communication, trust, happiness, and more. 

Yet, our NYC couples counseling services are most commonly used by those in relationships that are struggling. Many people turn to marriage counseling when they are on the brink of divorce, or their relationship is nearing an end. This may be due to situations that include:

  • Infidelity
  • Big Arguments
  • Unresolved Conflicts

These are situations when it is important to get help fast, with marriage counseling in NYC designed to provide you with the support you both need to move forward from the urgent challenges you face.

Can All Relationships Be Saved?

Marriage counseling is not a magic formula. Not all relationships can succeed. Our goal, as Brooklyn marriage counselors, is to guide you towards the outcome that is as emotionally healthy for you both moving forward as possible, able to talk through any issues you may have and figure out what the best way forward may be for your future. 

No matter where you both choose to end up, it is important to ensure that you’re in the process of healing together with mutual respect, trust, and understanding. Many marriages can be saved with couples counseling. Many others move forward in a way that is healthier and less emotionally charged.

Do You Need Emergency Couples Counseling in NYC?

Flourish Psychology is based in Brooklyn, and provides remote/online couples counseling for patients located anywhere in New York State. We have flexible scheduling available with several outstanding couples therapists, so if you need emergency support for your marriage, we’ll make sure to make ourselves available to you. 

Call Flourish Psychology Today to Get Started

Flourish Psychology offers all types of couples and marriage counseling in NYC. We encourage you to contact our front office as soon as possible by giving us a call, or using our online form to reach out and we’ll get back to you quickly to schedule an appointment.

Family Conflict: How to Navigate Thanksgiving Drama

Family Conflict: How to Navigate Thanksgiving Drama

Thanksgiving is tomorrow (happy thanksgiving!). For many, that means that it’s time for all of your families to get together and spend some quality time together.

Still, for so many of us, family time isn’t always a relaxing time. There are unaddressed tensions. There are family dramas. There are hosting challenges. There are many issues that arise on Thanksgiving that make the holiday anything but the relaxing celebration of “thanks” that it is meant to be.

What Should You Do?

There is no single, magic formula for addressing all of the many conflicts and traumas that can arise during Thanksgiving dinner. Every experience is different, and it’s possible that there may be something you can do easily to feel calmer and happier, just as it’s possible that what you’re struggling with requires regular and ongoing help.

Still, there are some strategies that can help provide some relief. Consider the following:

  • Journal Your Rapid Thoughts – If you find yourself stressed over the holidays, it’s common to feel like you have many things to say and no way to process them or get them out. Try writing them down. Writing them down in some type of journal will give you an opportunity to process your thoughts/feelings and think about what you want to say.
  • Have a Plan – It’s ultimately your choice if you want to address these concerns or not. We can talk about this more in therapy, but there are some situations where you’ll want to share your thoughts/feelings and some situations where you will not. That said, if you decide you would like to talk about them, make sure you have a plan. Decide when and where the conversation will occur, so that it doesn’t bubble up and explode at an inopportune moment.
  • Take Breaks – It is perfectly okay to give yourself some “me time” in order to de-escalate a situation or calm down when you’re feeling particularly high emotions. Even in the middle of a busy Thanksgiving, prioritize yourself any time you need to by taking some quiet breaks where you can calm yourself and feel more comfortable going back to dinner.
  • Sleep and Exercise – Better sleep and regular exercise are always important. But it is especially important during stressful holidays. Sleeping a bit earlier the night before can help make sure you’re ready to take on the stresses of the day, and some morning exercise today or early tomorrow can reduce some of your tensions.

It’s also important to consider seeing a therapist to help you process some of your family traumas. Your mental health is always important, and it is easier to navigate family issues when you have someone you can talk to about your mental health. 

No matter how you celebrate, who you celebrate with, or how difficult or easy the holidays feel to you, we at Flourish Psychology in NYC hope that you have the best Thanksgiving possible, and of course, please give us a call if you feel you’d benefit from any ongoing help.

Brooklyn Therapist: 5 Unexpected Ways We Can Make a Difference

Brooklyn Therapist: 5 Unexpected Ways We Can Make a Difference

Many of our patients come to therapy with a cursory understanding of what therapy is and what it can do. You have a struggle, such as anxiety or depression, and your therapist uses evidence-based practices (like CBT) to help you cope with stress, change your thought patterns, alter behaviors, and better understand yourself.

We at Flourish Psychology are always happy to talk to you about therapy: what it is, why you might benefit, and how we can help. But today, we wanted to talk about some of the benefits of therapy that you may not expect. These are benefits that often extend beyond therapy, and are a consequence – both intended and unintended – of seeing your very own Brooklyn therapist.

Additional Benefits of Therapy

  1. Healthier Breathing – Anxiety and stress can trigger the activation of your fight or flight system. This system speeds up your heart rate and causes you to breathe faster, leading to hyperventilation. People that hyperventilate often may find themselves developing bad breathing habits that cause them to tire more quickly, experience weakness, or feel unwell. By addressing the anxiety, some people find that their breathing seems to be under control as well. 
  2. Better Sex and Intimacy – There is, of course, far more to a person’s ability to enjoy intimacy than mental health alone. We work with many patients that struggle with intimacy, libido, and other conditions. But while curing anxiety or depression does not always make someone more capable as a lover, it does tend to increase a person’s own personal enjoyment, as they are less distracted by negative thoughts and better able to focus on the present.
  3. More Morning Energy – People with anxiety and depression often complain about feeling low energy in the morning, or more tired at night. Part of that is because these conditions are very draining. But another reason for these feelings is that people with mental health challenges tend to have less restful sleeps, so they’re drowsier in the morning. 
  4. Less Flatulence/Bloating – Your mental health has an effect on the gut, and the symptoms of many mental health disorders can do so as well. Stress can affect gut flora, making it more difficult to process food. Sleeping and breathing better both reduce bloating and gas. Anxiety and depression slow down digestion. Managing your mental health means reducing these discomforts.
  5. Noticing More Around You – When a person struggles with their mental health, they are often “in their own brain.” That can make it difficult to pay attention to the world around them. A person that sees a Brooklyn therapist and has their anxiety and depression under control is able to process more information. This means they can often see more of what’s going on, enjoy and appreciate the beauty of nature, and even hear sounds they may not have heard before.

Learn More – Come See Our Therapists at Flourish Psychology

These only touch on some of the potential benefits of seeing a therapist in NYC, and while they may not hold true for everyone, one thing that we like to emphasize here at Flourish Psychology is that therapy is so much more than just “managing anxiety” or “reducing depression.” It has life-altering benefits in ways both big and small.

If you’re interested in getting started, please call Flourish Psychology, today.