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How Can Art Therapy Help Adults Address Childhood Trauma?

How Can Art Therapy Help Adults Address Childhood Trauma?

Here at Flourish Psychology, we believe that each individual deserves their own approach for addressing their mental health. For some, that is cognitive behavioral therapy. For others, it might be EMDR. Each situation is different.

There are situations where an individual may benefit from what’s known as art therapy, which involves communicating and addressing issues through various artistic mediums. Art therapy provides a unique approach for adults seeking to address and heal from childhood trauma.

This therapeutic practice integrates the creative process of art making with psychological treatment, offering a non-verbal pathway to explore and express feelings that may be too difficult to articulate with words.

How Art Therapy Can Help Us Uncover Hidden Emotions and Memories

It can be very difficult to express our emotions or experiences with words, no matter how hard we try. In addition, childhood trauma also often involves experiences that are buried deep within an individual’s memory, sometimes inaccessible through conventional verbal therapy methods. Art therapy allows individuals to:

  • Express Unspoken Emotions – Through the creation of art, individuals can express feelings that they cannot easily discuss or may not even be consciously aware of.
  • Revisit Memories Safely – Art provides a buffer or a ‘safe distance’ from direct recollection of traumatic events, enabling individuals to explore their past with less intensity and more control.
  • Process Emotions Slowly – Art takes time. By helping the person create or recreate their feelings, they are also tasked with processing it in a way that is slow, safe, and less emotionally charged.

Art therapy can also help us understand ourselves better as we go through these emotions. How we process and discuss the art can be revealing as a way to better understand ourselves.

The Process of Art Therapy

Art therapy is conducted by one of our experienced and trained art therapists, who ensures a safe and supportive environment. The process involves:

  • Art Creation – Individuals use various mediums such as drawing, painting, sculpture, or collage to create artworks that reflect their personal experiences and emotions.
  • Reflection – The therapist helps the client reflect on the artwork produced, discussing the possible meanings and associations elicited by the art.
  • Integration – Through regular sessions, insights gained from the art and discussions are integrated into the individual’s understanding of their trauma and self.

Art therapy is a highly regarded form of therapy, and one that requires special training. Flourish Psychology in New York City has experienced art therapists to help with this approach.

Benefits of Art Therapy for Childhood Trauma

Art therapy offers several benefits for adults dealing with the aftermath of childhood trauma. Creating art helps individuals understand hidden aspects of their feelings and reactions, leading to greater self-awareness and insight. Art therapy provides a safe outlet for the expression and release of complex emotions associated with trauma, such as anger, sadness, or fear.

Through art therapy, individuals learn coping strategies to manage emotional distress and build resilience against future stressors. The therapeutic process can facilitate a transformative journey from trauma-induced suffering to emotional healing and recovery.

Start Art Therapy in New York City with Flourish Psychology, Today

Art therapists are trained to handle sessions with a trauma-informed approach, ensuring that they are sensitive to the triggers and psychological states of their clients. At Flourish Psychology, we believe that our therapy must be tailored to the individual’s specific trauma history and emotional needs, acknowledging that each person’s path to recovery is unique.

Art therapy can be an effective standalone treatment or part of a broader therapeutic plan, including talk therapies like CBT. By engaging the creative process, individuals can unlock emotional blockages, revisit and reinterpret their past, and move towards a more integrated and wholesome future. For many, art therapy is not just a treatment but a transformative experience that provides deep personal growth and recovery.

If you’re interested in pursuing art therapy to address trauma that you’ve experienced in childhood or adulthood, please contact Flourish Psychology, today.

How Can Art Therapy Help Those Struggling with Infertility?

How Can Art Therapy Help Those Struggling with Infertility?

The journey to parenthood is not always straightforward. Many couples face challenges when trying to conceive, which can lead to a range of emotional struggles including stress, disappointment, and a sense of loss. Infertility can deeply affect one’s mental health, impacting both individuals and couples as they navigate this complex and often painful path.

Here at Flourish Psychology in New York City, we have several evidence based therapeutic techniques we can use to address a person’s mental health, such as CBT and DBT, and together we determine what modalities make the most sense for you.

One that we may recommend for those that are struggling with infertility may be art therapy. Art therapy has been shown to be a helpful way to address infertility related issues, and is one of the many options that we have available here at Flourish Psychology.

Exploring Art Therapy as a Supportive Measure

It can be very difficult on both a couple and on an individual when they are struggling to conceive. It’s not necessarily a specifically diagnosed mental health issue (in the sense that it may not be a diagnosable condition, like depression or anxiety), but it is still extremely hard both emotionally and psychologically, and can cause substantial distress in a person’s life.

That is why art therapy is seen as useful. Art therapy is a processing and personal exploration tool. It allows an individual and their therapist to have guided conversations about worries, stresses, and other concerns related to infertility and parenthood, and then gives you strategies and tools to work through it. Advantages of art therapy include:

  • Emotional Expression and Processing – Art therapy provides a unique medium through which individuals can express and process complex feelings about infertility. Creating art can help articulate the sadness, anxiety, or frustration that often accompanies fertility struggles, offering a release and a way to work through these emotions.
  • Stress Reduction – Engaging in artistic activities is known to reduce stress levels, which is particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with infertility. Stress can theoretically negatively impact fertility, so finding ways to manage it is important. Art therapy offers a soothing, meditative practice that can help lower stress and promote a sense of peace.
  • Improving Coping Skills – Through art therapy, individuals can develop stronger emotional resilience and coping strategies. It teaches ways to handle setbacks and disappointments, which are common in the journey towards becoming parents.
  • Enhancing Relationship Dynamics – For couples, infertility can strain relationships. Art therapy can be a joint activity that helps couples communicate their feelings and strengthen their bond, making them feel more connected and supported as they face infertility together.
  • Support for Decision Making – Infertility often involves making difficult decisions regarding treatment options or considering alternatives such as adoption or surrogacy. Art therapy can help clarify thoughts and emotions, aiding in the decision-making process.

While art therapy does not treat infertility physically, it offers significant emotional support, helping individuals and couples navigate the psychological impacts of infertility. For those exploring therapy to help address infertility, art therapy is one technique that may be beneficial. For more information about infertility in NYC, contact Flourish Psychology, today.

Trying for a Baby: Can a Therapist Help?

Trying for a Baby: Can a Therapist Help?

Creating a human is challenging. If you think about the complexity of the human body, and how much needs to go right in order to turn essentially a few cells into a living, breathing person, it’s amazing that we are able to create children at all.

It is for that reason not uncommon that some couples do struggle to conceive right away. While we may hear stories of couples that get pregnant right away, many couples do take 6 months to a year or more, with many – many – factors affecting this number. If you also have any underling medical or hormonal conditions, it may take even longer.

That means, even if you’ve been trying for a baby, there is no guarantee of success right away.

But that can be hard. There is the excitement of deciding you are ready for a child, and the stress, disappointment, and worries that come from struggling to conceive.

Typically, when it is difficult for a couple to get pregnant, one piece of advice that many people recommend is looking for ways to improve sleep and reduce your stress levels. Sleep is known to affect hormone levels and fertility, as is stress. Still, that can be a challenge. After all, if you’re struggling with fertility, you’re likely experiencing stress as a result. If you also have mental health challenges, like anxiety, the idea of someone telling you to “be less stressed” can even be laughable.

So, what can you do?

Seeing a Therapist to Help with Fertility

Can seeing a therapist help reduce infertility? It’s not entirely clear. We know that stress reduction, better sleep, and other issues that are often reduced when you see a therapist definitely play a role in the ability to conceive, but as we discussed earlier, fertility is extremely complex. There are many factors at play, and it’s almost impossible to determine what exactly is causing infertility and how it can be addressed.

Still, there are many reasons to believe that seeing a therapist can help, with benefits to both you and – potentially – to the baby as well. For example:

  • Stress Reduction – No one can say with any certainty that reducing your anxiety and stress will help you conceive, as human bodies are far more complicated than that. But we do know that stress reduction is important for fertility and for healthy pregnancies, and so reducing stress now has the potential to support the body and make sure that you’re able to sleep better, regulate your hormones better, and feel better physically overall. That has real value.
  • Next Steps – Sometimes, conception does require additional help and decision making. You may need to speak to doctors, or you may need to figure out what your goals are and what may need to change. These are much easier when you are in better mental health, with coping tools to help you navigate these decisions.  
  • Relationship Help – Infertility can be stressful on a relationship. Even though no partner is at fault, the frustration and process of trying for a baby can cause rifts that need to be healed in order to both give you the best chance of success, and also make sure you’re both connected and ready to bring a baby into the world.

It’s also important to acknowledge that, when you do struggle to conceive, the stress and anxiety you feel even after you become pregnant can last into childhood. These are, in some ways, minor traumas that we sometimes carry with us. If and when you bring a baby into this world, you want to make sure you are becoming a parent as emotionally and psychologically healthy as you can be. Children are stressful as well, and the better your stress coping tools and the stronger your mental health, the easier parenting will be.

So, Does Seeing a Therapist Help?

Therapists may not be a cure for fertility issues, but the benefits of therapy for those that feel like they need it can be substantial. If you’d like to inquire about mental health treatments that benefit those looking to become parents, please give Flourish Psychology a call today.

What is the Joy of Missing Out? (JOMO!)

What is the Joy of Missing Out? (JOMO!)

FOMO has become a mainstream phrase. It stands for the “Fear of Missing Out,” and – while most references to FOMO are humorous or casual in nature, it can have clinical significance. For example, a person that struggles with their mental health may experience negative emotions due to FOMO if they skip out on an event, or someone that struggles with something like addiction may attend an event they should not attend because of this fear.

Fear of missing out is also the cause of many technology addictions. Many of us frequently check social media, for example, concerned that we might miss a post we do not want to miss. Even as most social media websites deteriorate in quality, we still check these sites regularly to see if something new or interesting has been posted.

FOMO may not be a medical term, or even a technical one, but it is something that can affect people on a regular basis and sometimes in a negative way.

Embracing the JOY of Missing Out

Rather than focus on the fear of missing out, it may be a good idea to embrace the joy of missing out, or JOMO. JOMO celebrates the decision to engage less with social activities and more with personal well-being, emphasizing the importance of finding satisfaction in solitary pursuits and simpler pleasures.

The Concept of JOMO

JOMO is, in theory, the psychological state of finding contentment with one’s own company and activities, without the compulsion to participate in every social event, broadcast every life detail online, or feel the desire to always discover what you may have missed. It involves an intentional shift from being hyper-connected to appreciating moments of disconnection, where one can recharge and reflect away from the noise of the external world.

The concept of JOMO can potentially have many benefits, especially for those that have found themselves struggling with their mental health. In theory, JOMO can provide:

  • Enhanced Self-Awareness – Stepping back from social obligations allows individuals to reconnect with their interests and passions, often leading to a deeper understanding of themselves.
  • Increased Mindfulness – By reducing the noise of constant connectivity, JOMO fosters a mindful approach to everyday life, enhancing engagement with the present moment.
  • Improved Mental Health – Lessening the pressure to be socially active can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, all of which are often exacerbated by the non-stop nature of social media.

Many of us would benefit from more time not only alone, but also learning to love being alone – especially in our hyperconnected world. In theory, JOMO could provide that, as yet another tool to help people struggling regain a sense of control over their lives.

Implementing JOMO in Daily Life

Adopting JOMO involves more than just occasional disengagement from social media or turning down a single outing. It is about cultivating a lifestyle where one does not feel the need to compare themselves with others, meet unrealistically high social standards, or sacrifices their mental health needs to make sure that they don’t miss anything important. A person can embrace JOMO through activities such as:

  • Setting Boundaries with Technology – Designate tech-free times or zones within your home to encourage periods of disconnection.
  • Cultivating Solitary Hobbies – Engage in activities that can be enjoyed alone, such as reading, gardening, or crafting.
  • Prioritizing Personal Relationships – Focus on fostering deeper, more meaningful connections with fewer people, rather than maintaining a broad, superficial network.
  • Learning to Love Yourself – The joy of missing out also requires a mindset shift, where you become someone that you want to spend time with.

The Joy of Missing Out is not about isolating oneself but about making selective choices to enhance personal happiness and well-being. In a world that often values quantity over quality, JOMO helps individuals find balance and fulfillment in their own terms, proving that sometimes, the best place to be is exactly where you are – away from the crowd.

If you feel like you’re struggling in life and that “FOMO” is causing you problems and challenges, contact Flourish Psychology, today. Our boutique private practice offers therapy and support for those in New York that need more positive time alone. Contact us today to learn more.

Phone Addiction Therapy in NYC with Flourish Psychology

Phone Addiction Therapy in NYC with Flourish Psychology

Being present, happy, and productive is important for our mental health. At Flourish Psychology, our team of therapists is available to work with patients that struggle with this, whether it’s caused by anxiety, depression, or more recently: phone addiction.

Phone addiction can be a surprisingly challenging problem that affects relationships, parenting, and happiness. Flourish Psychology can support your “recovery” from phone addiction and help you reclaim control of your time. Based in Brooklyn, our therapists can address the causes of the addiction, what’s holding you back, the emotions created by too much phone use, and more.

If you are struggling with phone addiction in NYC, please contact Flourish Psychology today at 917-737-9475 or fill out our online form to get in touch with our team.

About Phone Addiction and Therapy

Most of us are on our smartphones too often. Based on our own analytics, about 75% of the people reading this are reading this from their phones. Most of the activities that we used to do in person or via computer now take place on small, handheld technology that we keep with us in our pockets.

But this type of technology is different.

Studies have shown that excessive smartphone leads to anxiety, depression, poor happiness scores, and – depending on what a person does online – issues like low-self esteem, eating disorders, and relationship difficulties.

Smartphone addiction is an addiction. People cannot seem to help checking their phones and spending time on there, and may experience withdrawals or anxiety if they put their phone away. Many also find that they get irritable when questioned about their cell phone use.

This addiction can have many causes and can also cause many additional difficulties:

  • Some people are overwhelmed by life and work and use their phone as a crutch to escape, without any other coping mechanisms.
  • Some people get addiction to scrolling social media, always looking for the next laugh, story, or “likes.”
  • Some people work too hard, and their phone becomes a tool they feel they need to be on at all times to manage their work life.
  • Some people find they crave the feedback and attention of likes, shares, and other engagement on social media in a way that occupies their time and thoughts.

There are any number of reasons that a person might find themselves become addicted to their phone, but the effects can be very real and very difficult. People may struggle with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, relationship difficulties, parenting difficulties – all while the time they do have in the day to care for themselves and enjoy life gets sapped away.

It’s easy to understand why many people would benefit from a therapist for phone addiction.

Phone Addiction Therapists for Mental Health

Therapy is about addressing our mental health to live happier and emotionally/psychologically healthier lives. It’s about reclaiming our time and our happiness, and not allowing anything to stand in the way. That is why it can be helpful to speak to a therapist about phone addiction, and why it is so valuable to know that you have someone that can help you get your time back.

Through therapeutic approaches, like CBT, we can work on helping you find ways to put the phone down and keep it down. Our therapists also specialize in conditions like trauma, anxiety, relationship difficulties, and disordered eating – all the issues caused by phone addiction. We can make sure that not only are you no longer on the phone as often, but you’re also feeling happier again and finding yourself free to pursue passions and be present in your life.

Start Today with Flourish Psychology

Phone addiction causes issues, and can also be a symptom of other problems. If you’re someone that feels like you’re on the phone too often and would benefit from a therapist to help you re-claim your time again, contact our therapists at Flourish Psychology today.

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