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Mental Health Preparation for Stepping Down From Your Company

Mental Health Preparation for Stepping Down From Your Company

Transitioning away from a leadership role in a business you’ve nurtured and grown is more than a career change – it’s a significant life event. This shift can impact your sense of identity, purpose, and daily structure.

Addressing the mental health components of this transition is essential for a smooth and healthy adjustment. There will be many changes – from relief to grief to loss and more – all of which can make the transition more emotionally heavy or challenging than it was meant to be. If your company is larger or well known and you’re operating in the New York City area, chances are stepping down is also a high profile change.  

Emotional Impact and Mental Health Considerations

As therapists in Brooklyn, our role is to help you with what is likely to be a profound transition. During that time, we are going to work with you on a variety of different components to help you with this change. Some of these include:

  • Understanding Identity Shift – A therapist will help you explore how your work has shaped your identity and how its loss might affect you. You may need to grieve the loss of this part of your life and redefine your sense of self outside the business world.
  • Processing Mixed Emotions – Feelings of relief, loss, uncertainty, and even grief are common. Therapy provides a safe space to process these complex emotions, helping you to understand and accept them as part of the transition.
  • Developing New Coping Strategies – As you adjust to life outside of your company, you’ll need new ways to manage stress and find fulfillment. A therapist can work with you to develop healthy coping mechanisms that align with your new lifestyle.
  • Building a Support System – It’s vital to maintain and build a supportive network. A therapist might encourage joining groups or activities where you can connect with others experiencing similar transitions.
  • Redefining Purpose and Goals – Therapists often guide clients in exploring new interests and passions that can give a renewed sense of purpose. This might include volunteer work, mentoring, or pursuing personal hobbies.
  • Mindfulness and Reflection – Practices like mindfulness and meditation can help you stay grounded during this transition. Therapists might introduce these techniques to help manage anxiety and stay present.
  • Navigating Role Changes in Personal Relationships – Stepping down can change dynamics in your personal relationships. Therapy can help you navigate these changes, improving communication and understanding with family and friends. Ask about high-profile couples counseling if needed.
  • Managing Free Time Effectively – Without the structure of work, you might feel unmoored. Therapists can assist in creating a balanced schedule that includes productive, fulfilling, and relaxing activities.
  • Maintaining Mental and Physical Health – Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and hobbies can greatly benefit mental health. A therapist might work with you to create a wellness plan that suits your new routine.

Throughout the transition, you may also find that you’re struggling with anxiety, stress, even depression. Your therapist will help you work through those issues as well so that you can enjoy reducing those stress levels.

Embracing a New Chapter with Mental Wellness

The journey of stepping down from your company is unique and deeply personal. It involves not just a change in daily activities, but a transformation in how you view yourself and your place in the world. By focusing on mental health and working with a therapist, you can navigate this transition more smoothly, finding new sources of joy and fulfillment in this next chapter of life.

Remember, this period is not just an end but a beginning – an opportunity to rediscover yourself and reshape your life with newfound freedom and perspective.

Mental Health in the Later Years

Mental Health in the Later Years

Understanding and Nurturing Mental Well-being at Age 60

As individuals transition into their 60s, mental health becomes an increasingly important part of overall well-being. This phase of life often brings significant changes, including retirement, the onset of age-related health conditions, and alterations in family dynamics. These changes can have profound effects on mental health, making it more important to both be aware of these issues and be willing to take the necessary steps to address them.

The Mental Health Landscape at 60

The 60s are a time of life re-evaluation and adjustment. For many, this decade brings the freedom of retirement, providing opportunities to pursue interests and hobbies. However, it can also be a period of loss, including the loss of professional identity, decreased social interaction, and potential bereavement. Physical health may start to decline, leading to concerns about independence and mobility.

All these factors can impact mental health, potentially leading to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression, or a sense of purposelessness. Some of the most common mental health concerns include:

  • Depression and Anxiety – These are among the most common mental health issues faced by those in their 60s. The loss of routine, isolation, health concerns, and financial worries can all contribute to these conditions.
  • Cognitive Changes – Mild cognitive impairment or the early stages of dementia can begin to manifest, leading to concerns about memory and cognitive abilities.
  • Adjustment Disorders – Difficulty in adjusting to the changes that come with aging, such as retirement, empty nesting, and physical limitations, can lead to stress and anxiety.

These issues affect many – if not most – of those that are seeking retirement. That is why it is so important to pay attention to how you feel and make sure that you’re willing and able to address it if any issues arise.

Promoting Mental Health at 60

Maintaining mental health in the 60s requires a multifaceted approach, and one that may involve either new lifestyle changes or avoiding decisions and issues that could affect your mental health. It is strongly recommended that those that are turning or already 60 consider:

  • Social Engagement – Staying socially active is crucial. Engaging in community activities, joining clubs or groups based on interests, and maintaining friendships can help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  • Physical Activity – Regular exercise not only benefits physical health but also has a positive impact on mental well-being. Activities like walking, yoga, swimming, or age-appropriate fitness classes can be beneficial.
  • Mental Stimulation – Keeping the brain active through reading, puzzles, learning new skills, or engaging in creative activities like painting or writing helps maintain cognitive function.
  • Healthy Lifestyle – A balanced diet, adequate sleep, and avoiding excessive alcohol and smoking contribute to both physical and mental health.
  • Seeking Help – It’s important to recognize when professional help is needed. Consulting with a mental health professional for therapy or counseling can be beneficial, especially when dealing with grief, depression, anxiety, or significant life changes.

The 60s are a time of transition, but they also offer opportunities for growth and fulfillment. Embracing this phase of life involves accepting changes, finding new purposes, and nurturing relationships with family and friends. It’s a time to focus on what brings joy and fulfillment, whether it’s spending time with grandchildren, traveling, volunteering, or pursuing long-held interests.

Mental health at sixty is an integral part of overall well-being. Acknowledging the unique challenges of this age, while also embracing the opportunities it brings, is key to maintaining a balanced and fulfilling life. With the right support, strategies, and attitude, the 60s can be a rewarding and enriching phase of life.

There is No Reason to Compare Your Trauma

There is No Reason to Compare Your Trauma

Many of us have moments or experiences in our lives that deeply affect us on an emotional and psychological level. Traumas are traditionally defined as an emotional response to a “terrible” experience, such as violence, assault, or natural disaster.

But we now know that that is not exactly the case. While there are certainly levels to trauma, a person’s trauma is intensely personal and affected by factors that are not necessarily directly connected to any objective measurement of “terrible.” A person can be traumatized by a car accident, an illness, or a sexual assault.

A person can also experience trauma because of an upsetting parental experience, a scare, or witnessing the trauma of others. When we’re young, our childhood can involve many experiences we grow up to find personally traumatic, simply because at a young age we’re learning how to process the world.

Trauma is Not a Competition

One of the reasons that it is important to understand that many events and experiences can be traumas is because there are many people that struggle with the traumas of their past but refuse to get help because they don’t feel their traumas are “as bad as what other people have gone through.” We see this often, where someone is affected by a critical event in their past, but sees it as minor compared to other events that are considered more objectively “bad.”

But in the mental health world, we do not judge things based on how bad they are to others. We examine how much these issues affect you. For us, a trauma that was “only” few hurtful words you experienced in your childhood still matters a great deal if they continue to affect your self-esteem, confidence, happiness, relationships, or any other component in your life, just as we would care about any trauma you experienced.

There is no value in trying to convince yourself that your traumas are “not as bad as others.” What matters is bringing out the best version of you that we can. If a trauma of any kind has been affecting you, or you have life events that have left a strong negative impact on your life – even if you do not describe them as traumas – then you deserve to receive some form of psychotherapy to help you address and identify these concerns and experiences.

Therapy for Trauma in NYC and Beyond

You’re worth more than you think, and our role as therapists is to help you discover this worth. Part of recognizing your value and how important your mental health is comes from understanding that there is no value in comparing your traumas and your experiences with the experiences of others. What matters is you. A person can be more traumatized by something small, like an upsetting experience with their dad as a child, as they can be with war, depending on the individual.

If you’re experiencing trauma, PTSD, or any issues related to your experiences of your past that have stuck with you in a negative way, contact Flourish Psychology today to talk about it and learn to work through it.

Phone Addiction and Perfectionism – Therapy and Treatments

Phone Addiction and Perfectionism – Therapy and Treatments

At this stage in our lives, most of us recognize that phone addictions exist. We also may know, or at least feel, like we might have one. Phones can typically keep track of how many hours they’re used. If that number is more than 2+ hours every day on average and not just for work, chances are you’re already struggling with one.

Phone addiction itself can be a problem:

  • It interferes with relationships.
  • It makes it more difficult for us to reach our goals.
  • It can make life more stressful.
  • It can take away our sleep.

But that alone is only part of the problem. The actions that you’re taking on your phone can also create challenges. Especially, if you’re like most people, a considerable chunk of that time is being spent on social media.

What Social Media Can Do to Your Mental Health

Social media is immensely damaging to our mental health. While its aims to keep people connected are admirable and have their place, social media itself is essentially designed around behaviors that increase mental health challenges, such as:

  • Anxiety – Posting something creates anxiety over the frequency of interactions, and can also cause you to feel anxiety about yourself and others.
  • Depression – Many people find they compare their lives to others based on what they see in the other person’s social media posts.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – While social media isn’t necessarily a sign of OCD, it does have elements that resemble OCD, such as obsessive thoughts and checking behavior (for example, checking back to see if someone liked a post).

Another issue that comes up is perfectionism. When we post something publicly, especially if it is about ourselves, it is not uncommon to feel like everything has to be perfect. We have to look perfect. We have to sound perfect. We also measure ourselves (intentionally or unintentionally) and set our worth based on the interactions and feedback we receive from what we post. We also view what others put out there, and subconsciously compare ourselves to what others are posting.

Seeing Phone Addiction as a Mental Health Issue

Phone addiction may not sound like something that is treated by a therapist. But phone addiction itself is still an addiction, and the effects of that addiction (including perfectionism, depression, anxiety, and more) are all mental health issues that benefit from psychological treatment.

At Flourish Psychology, we are here to support your overall wellness and help you become and embrace the person you are in a way that is healthier and happier. If you would like to learn more about our therapy for perfectionism, addiction, and more, please contact our team today. We are based in Brooklyn and NYC, but licensed to provide therapy in more than 30 states.

EMDR for Chronic Pain

EMDR for Chronic Pain

Introduction to EMDR and Chronic Pain at Flourish Psychology

The relationship between physical health and mental well-being is complex and multi-faceted. While advancements in medical technology have made diagnosing and treating various physical ailments more straightforward, the connection between psychological factors and chronic physical pain is something we are still in the process of discovering.

We know now that chronic pain – while it might be physical in nature – both affects and is affected by mental health. That’s why many people see therapists for chronic pain, as a way to get treatment for this potentially difficult mental health condition.

One treatment that therapists might choose to consider is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a psychotherapeutic technique primarily associated with treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR has emerged as a promising avenue for addressing chronic pain.

The Relationship Between Chronic Pain and Mental Health

Chronic pain is typically defined as pain that persists for more than 12 weeks, despite medication or treatment. It’s a condition that affects millions of people worldwide and can have a debilitating effect on daily activities, work, and overall quality of life. But beyond the physical aspect, chronic pain often has a significant impact on mental health.

Some of the psychological damage of chronic pain can include:

  • Emotional Toll – Chronic pain is not just a physical condition; it’s a full-body experience that influences emotional well-being. The constant pain can result in emotional stress, leading to conditions such as anxiety and depression.
  • Cognitive Impact – Over time, chronic pain can affect cognitive functions such as memory and concentration. This can stem from both the distraction of dealing with the pain and the emotional toll it takes.
  • Social Ramifications – Chronic pain can lead to social withdrawal and isolation, affecting interpersonal relationships. The cycle of pain and isolation can create a feedback loop that exacerbates both physical and emotional suffering.

The link between mental health and chronic pain can be bidirectional. Not only does chronic pain contribute to mental health disorders, but pre-existing mental health conditions can also exacerbate the pain. Stress, anxiety, and depression can heighten the perception of pain and make pain management more difficult. This complicated interplay between mind and body creates a need for an integrated approach to treatment, which considers both physical and psychological components.

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro in the late 1980s. Initially created to treat individuals with PTSD, EMDR has since been applied to various other conditions, including anxiety disorders, depression, and most recently, chronic pain. Some of the core principles of EMDR include:

  • Bilateral Stimulation – The most distinguishing feature of EMDR is the use of bilateral stimulation, often in the form of guided eye movements. This stimulation is thought to activate both hemispheres of the brain, facilitating the reprocessing of traumatic or troubling memories.
  • Desensitization and Reprocessing – EMDR works by helping individuals desensitize their emotional responses to painful memories or experiences. The bilateral stimulation aids in reprocessing these memories, allowing individuals to integrate them more adaptively.
  • Phases of Treatment – EMDR is structured around eight phases, beginning with history-taking, progressing through the preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and finally, reevaluation. Each phase has its purpose and helps the individual move toward psychological healing.

While EMDR was not initially designed for chronic pain management, its mechanisms offer an intriguing possibility for treating both the psychological and physical components of chronic pain. The process of desensitization and reprocessing can help break the cycle of pain and emotional suffering, providing relief on multiple fronts.

How EMDR Can Treat Chronic Pain

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is steadily gaining recognition as a viable treatment for chronic pain, albeit one that operates differently from conventional medical interventions. It’s crucial to understand that while EMDR may not “cure” the physical causes of chronic pain, its psychological approach can often make the pain more manageable and less debilitating.

With EMDR for chronic pain, we take an approach that includes:

  • Identifying Triggers – Often, chronic pain is associated with specific triggers that can be either physical or psychological. EMDR begins by identifying these triggers as the “target” memories or experiences.
  • Desensitization – The core of the EMDR process is desensitization, where patients are encouraged to confront these memories or experiences in a controlled environment. The use of bilateral stimulation helps in restructuring the emotional response associated with these memories.
  • Reprocessing – Post-desensitization, the reprocessing phase encourages the individual to integrate the now-neutral memories, altering their response to pain triggers in the future.

The mind-body connection is essential in understanding how EMDR provides relief from chronic pain. By reducing psychological stress and emotional distress related to pain, individuals often report a correlating decrease in physical symptoms.

Limitations and Considerations

While EMDR has shown promise, it is essential to note that it’s not a standalone treatment for all kinds of chronic pain. It’s most effective when used as part of a multi-disciplinary approach that may include medication, physical therapy, and other forms of psychotherapy when warranted. Working with your therapist, we’ll look at what makes the most sense for your wellness and recovery.

Psychotherapy Alternatives to EDMR for Chronic Pain

EMDR is just one of the various psychotherapeutic interventions available for treating chronic pain. Other alternatives include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – This is one of the most widely used psychotherapy methods for pain management. CBT focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to chronic pain.
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – This approach combines mindfulness meditation and yoga to help people become more aware of their thoughts and feelings and make it easier to manage their pain.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – ACT helps individuals accept their pain and commit to actions that improve their quality of life despite the pain.

Each of these therapies has its merits, and sometimes, a combination approach yields the best results. Consult your healthcare provider to assess which treatment options are most suitable for your specific condition.

Chronic Pain Treatment with EDMR at Flourish Psychology

Chronic pain is a complex condition that calls for an equally multifaceted treatment approach. While medications and physical interventions remain essential, the potential for psychotherapeutic treatments like EMDR cannot be overlooked. EMDR offers a unique way to manage the psychological aspects of chronic pain, thereby reducing the physical symptoms.

Although EMDR is still a growing field in the context of chronic pain, early evidence suggests it can provide meaningful relief to those grappling with the debilitating effects of chronic conditions. As our understanding of the mind-body connection continues to evolve, treatments like EMDR stand to become increasingly integral to comprehensive chronic pain management strategies.

Given the complexity of chronic pain and the limitations of any single treatment approach, EMDR is most effective when used in conjunction with other therapies. If you’re experiencing chronic pain, contact Flourish Psychology in NYC to create a balanced, tailored treatment regimen that addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of your condition.

We are also licensed in more than 30 states. Please review our locations page if you’re outside of the Brooklyn and New York City area.

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.