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Work Stress, and How We Normalize Our Struggle

Work Stress, and How We Normalize Our Struggle

There is something particularly stressful about work these days. There’s an argument to be made that work has always been stressful, and certainly if you asked someone 50 years ago if they found their work to be difficult, they would say yes.

But life today is much louder, much busier, and with much less time to cope. Even if work is as stressful as it was decades ago, our ability to overcome that stress has diminished. We are getting less sleep, less outdoor time, and more – all of which make it harder to cope with the challenges of work related stress.

Seeing Work Stress as Normal

One issue that often arises out of this is the normalization of that work stress. We often see work stress as inevitable and, unless it causes a diagnosable mental health issue, we often ignore it and assume that it is something that we have to live with. The idea that work is stressful has become, in many ways, a meme – a joke that we reference over and over again as a part of life.

The problem is that you spend at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week at work. That is at minimum half of your entire day, five days out of every 7 days. That is a significant portion of your day to day life that you’re spending with a great deal of stress. That is not healthy for your mind or your body. Even if you can come home and not feel the anxiety or depression that leads many people to seeking out therapy, experiencing at least 40 hours of non-stop stress per week is unhealthy.

Addressing the Causes and Finding Solutions to Work Stress

Work stress can seem normal, but it isn’t. We don’t have to love our jobs, but we should at least find them to be something that we can cope with, and something that we don’t have to find overwhelming when it occurs. We can learn not only how not to take stress home with you, but also how to identify it at work.

For people in high pressure positions – doctors, lawyers, and heavily involved executives – stress is considered a part of the job, but – when not managed properly – can impact decision making at these positions and ultimately cause mistakes or poor satisfaction at the role. No matter where you work or what you do, work stress is something that is going to hurt your ability to manage your personal and professional life.

That is why therapy for work stress is so important. It’s critical to learn tools that will help you manage your work stress. Through therapy, you can learn coping mechanisms to use while at work, how to create boundaries and develop a healthy work/life balance, how to accept the responsibilities of the position, and more.

Therapy is what will help you address and identify work stress challenges, and make sure that you’re able to manage your job accordingly with greater satisfaction in the process. Don’t let work stress be normalized. Contact Flourish Psychology today to get started.

What is Complex PTSD and How Might Somatic Therapy Help?

What is Complex PTSD and How Might Somatic Therapy Help?

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Complex PTSD) is a condition that results from prolonged exposure to traumatic events, often characterized by ongoing emotional, psychological, and physical distress.

Unlike PTSD, which can develop from a single traumatic incident, Complex PTSD arises from enduring trauma, such as long-term abuse, chronic exposure to war zones, or repeated personal violations. This condition can deeply affect an individual’s mental health, leading to a range of symptoms that can significantly impair one’s quality of life.

Complex PTSD encompasses a broader spectrum of symptoms compared to PTSD, reflecting the complex nature of prolonged trauma exposure. Individuals with Complex PTSD may experience:

  • Persistent Emotional Dysregulation – Difficulty in managing emotions, leading to sudden mood swings, intense anger, or persistent sadness.
  • Altered Self-Perception – Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or shame, often accompanied by a distorted self-image.
  • Difficulties in Relationships – Problems in forming or maintaining healthy relationships due to trust issues, social withdrawal, or a pervasive sense of isolation.
  • Detachment from Reality – Dissociation or feeling detached from oneself or the surrounding environment as a coping mechanism.

Complex PTSD often requires mental health support, because the struggle associated with the condition can be pronounced for those that struggle with it.

The Role of Somatic Therapy in Treating Complex PTSD

At Flourish Psychology, we have several distinctive approaches for addressing conditions like complex PTSD, and our goal is to determine which approach is best for you. Some of our therapists are specialists in PTSD treatment, and one of the modalities that they may use is known as “Somatic Therapy.”

Somatic Therapy is an integrative therapeutic approach that emphasizes the connection between the body and mind in the healing process. It is based on the understanding that trauma not only affects the mind but also leaves a lasting imprint on the body.

Somatic Therapy incorporates physical techniques, such as deep breathing, movement, and sensory awareness, to help individuals reconnect with their bodies, release stored tension, and address the somatic aspects of trauma. It provides benefits that include:

  • Releasing Traumatic Energy – Traumatic experiences can lead to the accumulation of stress and tension in the body. Somatic Therapy facilitates the release of this stored energy, promoting physical and emotional relief.
  • Enhancing Body Awareness – By increasing awareness of bodily sensations and responses, individuals can gain insights into their emotional states and triggers, fostering a deeper understanding of their trauma.
  • Regulating the Nervous System – Somatic techniques can help in regulating the autonomic nervous system, which is often dysregulated in individuals with Complex PTSD, leading to hyperarousal or hypoarousal states.
  • Restoring a Sense of Control – Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness and loss of control. Somatic Therapy empowers individuals by involving them actively in their healing process, helping them regain a sense of agency over their bodies and emotions.

Somatic therapy is a specialty, and often benefits from someone that has experience in this specific therapeutic approach. It is also not right for all patients, some of whom may benefit from other approaches, such as EMDR. We will work together to determine what the best option is for you.

Contact Flourish Psychology Today

Complex PTSD is a multifaceted condition that extends beyond the psychological impact of trauma to encompass physical and somatic symptoms. Somatic Therapy offers a promising avenue for addressing the embodied nature of trauma, facilitating a holistic healing process that integrates the body and mind. By focusing on the somatic experience of trauma, this therapeutic approach can help individuals with Complex PTSD navigate their healing journey, fostering resilience, and promoting overall well-being.

For more information, or to get started, contact Flourish Psychology, today.

“Only in New York, Baby” – New York City’s Unique Challenges with Mental Health

“Only in New York, Baby” – New York City’s Unique Challenges with Mental Health

New Yorkers have a lot of pride. And they should. New York is a fascinating place to live. It is the densest city in the United States. It is the city with the highest GDP. It one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world. It is headquarters to the most Fortune 500 companies, the largest library, world art, and so much more. There is a reason this is the City That Never Sleeps.

So we know that New York is unique in its economy, its people, and its lifestyle. But what many people don’t realize is that NYC can also be unique in its mental health challenges. Although the conditions affecting New Yorkers are essentially the same as they are everywhere else, there are issues that can arise here that may be less likely in other places in the United States.

Examples of Mental Health Related Issues Specific to New York City

To be clear, New Yorkers do not have higher mental health issues than other states. Here, we have better access to mental healthcare, better access to social programs, and other advantages that make it possible for New Yorkers to manage their psychological wellness. But there are also issues unique to New York that can affect both people and couples. For example:

  • Cost of Living – The cost of living in New York is so high that many people, including those that otherwise have fairly high paying careers, can find that there is significant financial pressures on them that may be difficult to cope with.
  • High Profile Issues – New York has more CEOs than any other city in the country. It has almost as many celebrities as Los Angeles. It has fashion models, lawyers, doctors – people that are faced with unique, high profile pressures, all in a city that also houses the most widely distributed news.
  • Social Issues – Because of its density, New York is a place where many people socialize at all hours of the day, where there are always loud activities going on, and where people are expected to be able to socialize often.
  • Hustle Lifestyle – Many people here in NYC also live a hustle lifestyle, getting by with multiple jobs and multiple businesses, always looking for new opportunities. That type of lifestyle can lead to issues like stress and burnout.

Many of the issues affecting New Yorkers are also the same as they would be anywhere else – anxiety, depression, addiction, and relationship issues – but have causes or are fueled by experiences that tend to exist more in New York.

Receiving High Quality Mental Health Treatment

New York may be unique. But one thing that New York has is access to some amazing therapists. If you feel like you’re struggling, and you’d like to connect with a therapist that is available to help you, please reach out to Flourish Psychology, today.

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.

What Is Compassion Fatigue?

What Is Compassion Fatigue?

Compassion is at the heart of many professions. From healthcare workers to therapists, teachers, emergency responders, and even family caregivers, the act of extending empathy and understanding is a daily part of their roles. But what happens when the very thing that fuels their work begins to wear them down? This is where compassion fatigue comes into play.

Understanding Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue, also known as secondary traumatic stress, is a condition characterized by emotional and physical exhaustion leading to a diminished ability to empathize or feel compassion for others. It’s not a sign of weakness or failure; rather, it’s a natural consequence of the intense emotional demands placed on individuals in caring professions.

Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue can manifest in various ways, each affecting both personal well-being and professional effectiveness. The symptoms may be subtle at first but can become more pronounced over time:

  1. Emotional Exhaustion – This is often one of the first signs, characterized by feeling drained, irritated, or overwhelmed by the emotional needs of others. It may begin with a sense of being emotionally ‘worn out’ at the end of the day and can progress to a constant state of emotional depletion.
  2. Reduced Sense of Personal Accomplishment – Compassion fatigue can lead to feeling ineffective in your professional role. This isn’t just about not meeting goals or achieving success; it’s a deeper sense of dissatisfaction and cynicism. You may start to question the value of your work or feel like what you are doing doesn’t make a difference.
  3. Depersonalization – Developing a detached or impersonal response towards those you are caring for is another alarming symptom. It often starts subtly, with a decrease in empathy and understanding. Over time, this can grow into a more significant detachment, where you may find yourself treating those you care for as tasks rather than individuals.
  4. Physical Symptoms – Compassion fatigue doesn’t only affect the mind; it also takes a toll on the body. Chronic physical ailments like headaches, gastrointestinal issues, or sleep disturbances may arise. These are not just isolated incidents but ongoing problems that persist, further draining your energy and ability to cope.

Understanding these symptoms is essential for early detection and intervention. It’s not unusual for these symptoms to overlap with other conditions, such as burnout or depression, making professional assessment and support vital in identifying and treating compassion fatigue. The more aware you are of these signs, the better positioned you’ll be to seek help and implement strategies to protect and rejuvenate your compassionate self.

Who is at Risk?

While compassion fatigue can affect anyone in a caring role, it’s particularly common in professions that involve high emotional labor. Some of those most at risk include:

  • Medical Professionals
  • Teachers and Educators
  • Social Workers
  • Emergency Responders
  • Family Caregivers

Even therapists can struggle with compassion fatigue, which is why many therapists also see therapists proactively as a way to manage their emotions and stress.

Preventing and Managing Compassion Fatigue

Preventing and managing compassion fatigue involves recognizing the symptoms and taking proactive steps to care for oneself. Strategies may include:

  • Regular Self-Care – This includes exercise, healthy eating, adequate sleep, and engaging in hobbies or activities that rejuvenate the mind and body.
  • Professional Support – Seeking therapy or counseling can provide a confidential space to explore feelings and develop coping strategies.
  • Peer Support – Connecting with colleagues who understand the unique challenges of your profession can be incredibly validating and supportive.
  • Setting Boundaries – Recognizing one’s limits and learning to say no is crucial in preserving emotional well-being.

As mental health specialists, we make sure to help our clients recognize these symptoms and learn ways to manage their emotional burdens.

Compassion Is a Renewable Resource

Compassion fatigue is a very real and common challenge faced by those in caregiving roles. It’s not a personal failing but rather an occupational hazard that requires understanding, recognition, and proactive self-care.

If you recognize the signs of compassion fatigue in yourself or a colleague, reach out for support. Whether through professional therapy, self-care, or the embrace of a compassionate community, remember that compassion is not finite. With proper care, it can be renewed, allowing you to continue your essential work with renewed empathy and energy.

Examples Of Mental Health Issues That Specifically Affect Medical Doctors

Examples Of Mental Health Issues That Specifically Affect Medical Doctors

Medical doctors play a vital role in our healthcare system, often working under intense pressure and demanding circumstances. While their expertise and dedication save lives, the unique stresses they face can lead to specific mental health challenges.

At Flourish Psychology, we understand the distinct needs of medical professionals, and also how challenging it can be to seek professional help, especially given your position. We encourage anyone working as a doctor or other medical professional to seek out care, as there are specific mental health issues that affect those in the medical community, including:

1. Burnout

Burnout is a prolonged response to chronic stressors in the workplace, marked by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. For medical doctors, long working hours, high patient loads, and the emotional toll of dealing with life-and-death situations can all contribute to burnout.

2. Depression

The intense demands of the medical profession can lead to feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and an ongoing sense of sadness. The combination of work pressure, administrative burdens, and the personal sacrifice required in the medical field makes doctors especially susceptible to depression.

3. Anxiety Disorders

The high-stakes nature of medical work can generate chronic anxiety. Whether it’s worry over patient outcomes, concerns about medical malpractice, or the ongoing pressure to keep up with ever-changing medical knowledge, anxiety can become a constant companion.

4. Substance Abuse

Unfortunately, the pressures faced by doctors can sometimes lead to substance abuse as a coping mechanism. The ready availability of medications and the intensity of the work environment can be contributing factors.

5. Compassion Fatigue

Caring for patients in pain, distress, or nearing the end of life can be incredibly taxing emotionally. Compassion fatigue, also known as secondary traumatic stress, occurs when caregivers feel overwhelmed by the constant need to provide emotional support.

6. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Doctors are frequently exposed to traumatic situations, from emergency cases to witnessing patient deaths. These experiences can lead to PTSD, manifesting as flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and increased emotional arousal.

7. Imposter Syndrome

The constant pursuit of perfection and the life-and-death nature of medical decisions can sometimes lead to imposter syndrome. Doctors may feel as though they are not competent or capable, despite evidence to the contrary.

Flourish Psychology: Support For Medical Doctors

Flourish Psychology is committed to supporting medical professionals in their mental and emotional well-being. We offer specialized therapy and counseling tailored to the unique challenges faced by those in the medical field. Our services are designed to provide a safe, confidential space for doctors to discuss their struggles and seek professional guidance.

A Call To Care For The Caregivers

Doctors are at the frontline of our healthcare system, providing essential care to those in need. Recognizing and addressing the specific mental health challenges they face is not only crucial for their well-being but also for the health of the patients they serve.

If you or a medical professional you know is struggling with these or other mental health challenges, please reach out to Flourish Psychology. Our dedicated team of mental health professionals is here to support you throughout the state of NY.