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What is the Concept of Restructuring in Emotion Focused Therapy?

What is the Concept of Restructuring in Emotion Focused Therapy?

Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) is a therapeutic approach primarily applied in the treatment of individuals and couples. It is particularly noted for its emphasis on the role of emotions in human functioning and therapeutic change. One of the key components of EFT is the concept of “restructuring,” a process integral to achieving lasting emotional change.

Understanding Restructuring in EFT

Restructuring within EFT is rooted in the theoretical framework that emotions are not merely internal experiences, but also play a crucial role in organizing our thoughts, behaviors, and interactions. Restructuring, then, is a way of modifying the emotional experiences and expressions that lead to problems in a person’s life. EFT itself involves:

  • Identifying Core Emotional Issues – EFT begins with a clear identification of the core emotional issues that are at the root of a client’s distress. This involves exploring and articulating the emotions that underlie dysfunctional patterns of behavior or thought.
  • Accessing and Exploring Emotions – Clients are encouraged to access and explore their emotional experiences. This step is crucial for understanding the impact of these emotions on their behavior and interpersonal relationships.
  • Transforming Emotions – Restructuring is not just about identifying and understanding emotions but also about transforming them. This involves helping clients alter their emotional responses and develop healthier, more adaptive emotional experiences.
  • Promoting Emotional Engagement – Clients are guided to engage with their emotions in a more direct and profound way. This includes facing fears, resolving internal conflicts, and addressing unmet needs.

Once a client has gained a better understanding of what their emotions are and how they affect them, they may be asked by their therapist to start restructuring those emotions.

The Process of Restructuring in EFT

The restructuring process in EFT occurs in stages, and is completed with your therapist to help you understand more about your emotions as you move forward. The process includes techniques such as:

  • De-escalation of Negative Interaction Patterns – In the context of couples therapy, the therapist helps the couple recognize and de-escalate negative interaction patterns that are fueled by underlying emotions.
  • Reframing and Reinterpretation – Clients are encouraged to reframe their emotional experiences and reinterpret their significance in a more adaptive manner.
  • Creating New Emotional Experiences – The therapist facilitates the creation of new, positive emotional experiences that can counteract the effects of negative emotions.
  • Consolidation and Integration – Finally, the new emotional experiences and understandings are consolidated and integrated into the client’s daily life, promoting lasting change.

Restructuring in Emotion Focused Therapy is a multi-layered process. It involves identifying, accessing, transforming, and ultimately integrating emotions in a way that promotes emotional health and wellbeing.

By focusing on emotions as key agents of change, EFT facilitates profound and lasting transformation in clients, aiding them in navigating their emotional landscapes more effectively. This therapeutic approach underscores the centrality of emotions in personal growth and relationship repair, making it a valuable tool in the realm of psychological therapies.

Why Pay in Cash? Advantages of Therapy Without the Burden of Insurance

Why Pay in Cash? Advantages of Therapy Without the Burden of Insurance

At Flourish Psychology, we genuinely believe that everyone deserves to receive comprehensive mental healthcare. Yet, over the past few years, we have moved away from accepting insurance for our services. We often qualify as an “out of network” provider, so patients that choose to work with Flourish Psychology can often receive reimbursement for many of our services. But many patients still wonder why we have chosen not to accept insurance for our mental healthcare.

We do this for several reasons, but one of the main motivations is that it offers several benefits for the patient. Patients that choose to work with a cash therapist often find that everything from the quality of the care to their engagement improve when not bound by insurance.

Advantages of Working Outside of Insurance

Insurance companies do not typically have the patient’s best interest at heart. Although they do pay for mental health treatments, every time they pay for a service, they lose money. In order to prevent that loss, health insurance companies have many requirements in place before they will accept insurance:

  • They will only pay for specific therapies in a set timeframe.
  • They will only pay for services with a specific diagnosis.
  • They will only pay allow a patient to receive therapy when they are still diagnosed with the condition.

What we find in therapy is that most people do not fit into this type of box. Many people need a combination of approaches that change over time depending on what is occurring in the person’s life, yet therapists are limited to choosing a specific treatment (for example, CBT) for a set period of time.

Similarly, imagine a patient is able to reduce their depression, but is still at risk for other stresses and anxieties. That patient would no longer be covered once they no longer qualify. Any diagnosis a patient has also goes on their permanent medical record, something that is not typically true when a patient chooses to pay for services out of pocket.

Insurance companies also limit how much they are willing to pay, which limits the number of therapists available and pushes people towards inexperienced providers. That is not always ideal for those struggling with more severe mental health challenges.

Benefits of Out of Pocket Therapy

Patients that pay out of pocket are often able to receive better treatment that caters to them. They are not bound by a diagnosis and they can continue to speak to a therapist that offers them support as long as they need to. They are also able to work with the best therapists – those that specialize in specific issues – without limiting themselves to interns and new providers.

At Flourish Psychology, our goal is to make you feel whole. We believe this approach can help provide that. For more information about our services or connect, please contact us today.

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.

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