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A stressed man leaning against a wall with forehead on his fists

Understanding Acute Stress Disorder Criteria

The criteria for acute stress disorder (ASD) can include any stress reaction occurring in the initial month after exposure to a traumatic event. Acute stress disorder is an unpleasant reaction that starts shortly after an overwhelming traumatic event and usually lasts less than one month. If the symptoms persist longer than one month, it is then deemed to be more chronic, and the diagnosis changes to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Differences Between ASD and PTSD

Person looking worried and stressed in a window sill

Both ASD and PTSD are reactions to traumatic events, but there are a few differences with acute stress disorder vs. PTSD.  An acute stress reaction occurs initially, with the chance of its manifesting into post-traumatic post disorder after. That being said, sometimes you may develop post-traumatic disorder symptoms that last more than a month without having had that initial acute stress reaction.

PTSD symptoms start slower than ASD symptoms but can last longer up to several years if not treated. Another disorder that also has similarities to ASD is adjustment disorder, but like PTSD, there are subtle differences.

Differences Between ASD and Adjustment Disorder

An adjustment disorder is similar to acute stress disorders in that it is an emotional or behavioral response to a stressful event in a person’s life. With acute stress disorder vs. adjustment disorder, the criteria for adjustment disorders involve an unhealthy and potentially excessive reaction within three months of the stressful event. 

Adjustment disorders are also caused by more broadly stressful events such as job loss, a marriage, or the birth of a child. In contrast, acute stress disorder criteria include more extreme causes of trauma.

Causes of Acute Stress Disorder

The causes of ASD can include a wide range of issues, including:

  • The death of a loved one
  • The threat of death or severe injury
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • A physical attack, mugging, rape, or other sexual violence
  • Natural disasters

Risk Factors for Acute Stress Disorder

Many factors may contribute to a person’s risk of developing ASD, and a few include the following:

The symptoms that may develop also vary depending on the type of manifestation that occurs. 

Multiple-Type Symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder

Acute stress disorder criteria include many symptoms that can occur during the traumatic event and manifest further through physical, psychological, dissociative, intrusion and avoidance-type symptoms. 

Physical Symptoms

  • Heart palpitations or thumping heart 
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Headache

Psychological Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability and difficulty concentrating
  • Emotional ups and downs

Dissociative Symptoms

  • Feeling disconnected from one’s body
  • Emotionally unresponsive
  • Feeling dazed and confused 

Intrusive Symptoms

Another very significant symptom of acute stress disorder is the overwhelming feeling of intrusion where the traumatic event plays back repeatedly through flashbacks and recurring dreams. When these intrusive thoughts take over, they can feel incredibly overwhelming and restricting, adding to the feelings of stress.

Avoidance Symptoms

Avoidance is another signifier in acute stress disorder criteria, signaling someone is avoiding potential triggers from the originating distressing event. These symptoms should present themselves at a severe level to be considered ASD, at which time proper treatment should be given.

Treatment for Acute Stress Disorder

Person sitting on a wood table thinking

One successful treatment for ASD is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT works by changing the thoughts or the patterns of beliefs surrounding the traumatic event and making them a more positive influence rather than harmful. CBT also works to change the behaviors that cause anxiety and stressful feelings that may occur. 

Another treatment option is hypnotherapy which can help address what constitutes acute stress disorder criteria since hypnotherapy can be extraordinarily effective for dealing with trauma.

Seeking therapy is highly recommended to navigate PTSD. There are many different therapy forms, so finding what therapy is best for you or someone you love is an essential first step.

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we offer a wide range of treatments, including CBT, hypnotherapy, and many others. Our tailor-made treatments are often blended to form an integrative type of mental health healing designed to work for your individual needs. We will work with you to determine if what you are experiencing falls under acute stress disorder criteria, and offer help to process what you’re going through in a safe, supportive space.

Learn how to let go of unwanted fears that are holding you back from living the joyful life you were meant to have. Transform your life, and book your appointment today!.

A happy teen girl holding a sunflower

5 Tips for Helping Teens Manage Stress

Teenhood can be an incredibly stressful and confusing time in a teen’s life.  Teen stress levels rise more and more every single year. Bullying, depression, peer pressure, social media, and academic pressures are just a few of the social issues that teens are faced with. Parents, guardians, and friends may wonder what they can do to guide teens in a safe and healthy direction. Finding the right kind of teen stress management can make a tremendous difference in the life of not only a teen but the entire household. 

Getting More Sleep

We know that getting more sleep can be easier said than done. A lot of teens have loads of homework, extracurricular activities, and social lives. But, getting more sleep is essential to avoiding teen stress. Experts recommend that teens get 8-10 hours of sleep within 24 hours. 

Some practices that you can use in your healthy bedtime routine are;

  • Avoiding large meals
  • Being consistent
  • Limiting screen time

Yes, you read that correctly – limiting screen time. Think about being at a party and there are tons of flashing lights. It would be near impossible to just lay down and go to sleep. Providing the brain with time to leave the party, come home, and snuggle up under the covers makes a big difference in your bedtime routine. 

Another way that teens can get more sleep is by taking naps. The world seems to scream the word “naps” at babies and toddlers. But, if a teen has additional teen stressors like exams or a strenuous project that is due soon, a nap can contribute to getting in those 8-10 hours of sleep.

 

Spending More Time Outdoors

A teen girl hiking outdoors

Spending time outdoors has been proven to significantly reduce stress and anxiety. We know that a lot of teens are involved with sports and other activities that require them to be outside. But, spending time outside without instruction or a specific goal provides natural stimulation and motivates exploration. Not to mention, physical movement is a healthy and easily accessible way to handle teen stress

 

Decrease Negative Self Talk

Transforming negative thoughts into positive thoughts does not only change the way you see yourself. Instead of saying, “I can’t do it. I will never be able to succeed at this”, say, “I can do this. I just have to think of a method that will work for me and try again”. Your classmate may study by only reading over their notes once and get an ‘A’ on every single test. You may need to use flashcards or repeat your notes out loud the night before the test. Using what works for you doesn’t make you any less of a person or less smart. 

Practice saying positive affirmations to yourself every morning and night. It may feel silly at first, but it will help you to feel better over time. Tell yourself that you are smart, courageous, and successful – every single day.

Take a Break

A major key to managing teen stress is recognizing when you’re about to “burn out”. To burnout is to be in a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion due to being under high stress for a long period of time. This is an awful feeling and it’s important to take a break before you reach the point of burnout. Breaks can be a 30-45 minute nap, closing your study book for 10 minutes, grabbing a quick snack, or even going for a brisk walk. 

Working hard is great and admirable but you can not enjoy the results of hard work if you are exhausted. Learning how to navigate what works best for your mental and physical health while simultaneously accomplishing your goals is essential to conquering teen stress management

Talk to Someone

Two teens talking about teen stressors with warm beverages

Feelings are always “better out than in”. Talking to positive and like-minded friends about teen stressors can be relatable and helpful for some teens. Just like adults, teens can find comfort in speaking to people who can relate to them. 

Teen stress can also be healthily managed by talking to a trusted adult. Some issues that teens deal with are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep issues
  • Family changes
  • Academic pressures 
  • Trauma and more

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy we understand that growing up can feel like you’re stuck in a whirlwind and that’s why we offer an innovative approach in our teen therapy practices. We believe that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a highly effective method for managing teen stress. Life transformation starts with taking the first step. Take the first step and we’ll walk you through the rest. Contact us today.

Young man in a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Session

The Cognitive Psychology Approach in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a psychosocial intervention that concentrates on improving mental health. Hand in hand with a cognitive psychology approach, CBT opens the eyes of an individual to inaccurate, irrational, or negative thought patterns—helping people respond to real-life situations in healthier and more effective ways. There are many types of CBT; all it takes is to find the right fit for your needs.

Young man in a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Session

What is the Cognitive Psychology Approach?

Cognitive psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy are like peanut butter and jelly. One complements the other. Using the cognitive psychology approach in CBT means your therapist will use evidence-based knowledge, as well as years of mental health experience, to investigate and evaluate your mental health. By doing this, your therapist will be able to orchestrate a therapy treatment program that fits you best.

Cognitive Psychology is an investigation of human cognition based on scientific evidence. Human cognition is all of our mental abilities; the way we think, learn, remember, reason, perceive and understand. The definition of a cognitive psychologist is a mental health professional who studies the nature of the human mind and thoughts, in hopes to gain a better understanding.

Our primary practitioner and founder at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M, is incredibly qualified in the mental health field. As a licensed mental health therapist, Anna Marchenko specializes in effective and innovative CBT practices, drawing from neuro-linguistic programming and hypnotherapy, among other modalities and techniques.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Used to Treat?

In conjunction with neuro-linguistic programming and hypnotherapy, CBT can be used to treat:

  • Anxiety – Feelings of high intensity and worry. Anxiety may cause increased blood pressure and avoiding certain situations due to being worried.
  • Phobias – A type of heightened anxiety and fear response; excessive fear of certain objects, foods, animals, or situations.
  • Trauma – Deep emotional or physical anguish following a stressful event or time.
  • Addiction – Having a dependency on a substance or activity.
  • Eating & Mood Disorders – Having an unhealthy preoccupation with food, exercise, body weight, or shape.
  • Self Esteem – One’s self-respect or confidence within themselves.
  • Relationship Issues – Having tension, trauma, or toxic behaviors in a relationship, whether it’s a personal or professional relationship.

With a cognitive psychology approach, CBT can be successful in treating the issues above. Transform your life now and feel the difference within yourself, your relationships, and your everyday life.

Understanding the Different Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy – A short-term psychotherapy that helps you identify negative thoughts and feelings that are self-defeating. After those thoughts are identified, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy guides you into challenging the rationale of those thoughts and helping you to replace them with positive and healthy ones.

 

  • Cognitive Therapy – This form of therapy is intended to guide you into developing healthy problem-solving skills. Cognitive Therapy usually focuses on present-day behaviors and communications, instead of the past.

 

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy – This form of therapy is an evidence-based psychotherapy that is proven to be useful in treating individuals who may struggle with mood disorders, self-harm, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts.

 

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy – This form of therapy has been proven to successfully treat individuals with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can be developed after someone endures a traumatic event, such as physical or psychological trauma caused by abuse, family conflict or separation, natural disasters, unexpected change or loss, or war.

 

  • Stress Inoculation Training – A common type of psychotherapy that aids in the identification of negative thoughts that may influence your behavior throughout your everyday life.

 

  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy – This form of therapy uses mindfulness meditative practices and a cognitive psychology approach to guide individuals in relapse prevention, particularly those with major depressive disorder.

 

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – This form of therapy helps individuals to move forward from difficult emotions from the past and focus on the present.

 

  • Motivational Interviewing – This form of therapy is completely client-centered and tailored to influencing behavioral changes in an individual by raising awareness of contradicting ideas or thoughts about a person or thing.

 

  • Habit Reversal Training – This form of therapy is a type of awareness training. It is used to bring attention to troublesome behaviors and treat them by teaching an individual how to identify when a habit is about to take place. Thus, giving an individual an opportunity to practice healthy coping methods, in place of troublesome behaviors.

There are many different types of CBT, and we’ve listed many of them above. At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy we pride ourselves on being innovative and up to date in all of our practices and therapy methods. When you work with us through whatever challenges you’re facing, you’ll experience a cognitive psychology approach in your CBT sessions. To learn more and get started on a clearer path, give us a call today.

Young person shaking head fast with hair across her face

5 Symptoms of An Acute Stress Reaction

We all know what stress feels like, regardless of how minor or major the stressor was. How we respond to those stressors, though, is what matters. Some can experience an external event and process their stress response effectively. Others may not have the same mechanism in place, which is where what was an acute stress reaction could develop into something deeper.

Causes of an Acute Stress Reaction

An acute stress reaction is an initial response to a major event that triggers the body’s natural stress response. In response to a traumatic experience, this may lead to a long-term response known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unlike ongoing PTSD, an acute stress reaction typically lasts 3 to 30 days following the event.

Approximately 5 to 20 % exposed to a traumatic event will develop an acute stress reaction. When a traumatic event occurs, the body has a built-in stress response that kicks into either a fight, flight, or freeze mode, and traumatic events can be caused by many things.

A few traumatic events that can cause an acute stress reaction include:

  • Death of a loved one
  • The threat of severe injury or death to oneself or a loved one
  • A motor vehicle accident
  • Sexual assault, rape, or domestic abuse

Trauma of any sort can affect a person differently depending on how they handle the stress emotionally, physically, and mentally, and the symptoms can also range in severity. So, what are the five symptoms of acute stress?

Psychological and Physical Symptoms of An Acute Stress Reaction

The psychological symptoms of an acute stress reaction can vary in intensity from person-to-person, and include the following five main categories:

  1. Intrusion Symptoms – These symptoms occur when a person cannot stop thinking about the traumatic event through flashbacks, memories, and dreams.
  2. Dissociative Symptoms – These symptoms include an altered sense of reality and feeling numb and detached without a clear recollection of the event.
  3. Arousal Symptoms – These anxiety-like symptoms can involve sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, easily startled, agitated, and extremely tense.
  4. Depressed Mood Symptoms – These symptoms may encompass negative emotions such as feeling worthless, broken, sad, depressed, and potentially suicidal thoughts.
  5. Avoidance Symptoms – These acute stress reaction symptoms include purposely avoiding anything that reminds that person of the traumatic event, such as thoughts, feelings, people, or places.

Physical Symptoms of An Acute Stress Reaction

When stress occurs, the body has a physical response by releasing adrenaline (epinephrine) as well as putting the nervous system into overdrive, causing the following:

  • Heart palpitations and or a pounding heart
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Sweating

These physical symptoms tend to develop within minutes to hours and may last for weeks. In some cases, symptoms can be even more severe, especially if a person has any risk factors present.

Some people are at a higher risk of developing an acute stress reaction.

  • Any prior confrontation, experience, or witnessing of a traumatic event
  • A personal history of having acute stress reactions or PTSD
  • Being under 40 years of age
  • A history of other mental health disorders

Acute Stress Reaction Versus PTSD

Besides the timeline of acute stress reaction taking place sooner and PTSD occurring later, for PTSD to be diagnosed, the person’s symptoms must persist for more than 30 days or first appear more than one month after the traumatic event occurred.

Managing Acute Stress Reactions for Balanced Coping Strategies

Woman stretching and holding the back of her neck at a coffee table

Regardless of the severity of an acute stress reaction’s symptoms, there is hope! The treatment plan should include ways to reduce the symptoms, improve coping mechanisms and prevent PTSD from occurring.

One of the best forms of treatment for an acute stress reaction is trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which effectively develops solid coping skills. CBT also helps the person affected identify and challenge irrational and unwanted thought patterns.

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we offer a wide variety of therapies, including CBT. We create individualized treatment plans because we know each person has unique needs in their quest for wellness. We may also incorporate other forms of therapy, such as hypnotherapy which can help clients attain treatment goals faster.

The benefits of therapy can be an extraordinarily life-altering experience. Not only can you learn how to cope with debilitating fears, but you will also acquire the ability to have a better handle on future events that may cause an acute stress reaction. Find help for reframing whatever life throws at you with a more neutral and balanced approach, and rediscover joy!

Take that first step in living a more joyful and stress-free life, and book your appointment today so you can conquer anything tomorrow!

Woman closing her eyes focusing on her breath outdoors

Finding Help for Emotional Abandonment

Healthy human development requires physical and emotional care, and if these needs are unmet, the result can lead to feelings of abandonment.

The psychology of abandonment stems from experiences or perceived experiences of ongoing loss during the childhood years. Growing up without feeling protected physically or emotionally can create intense fear that is often internalized, leading to feelings of shame. This may lead to children who grow up more inclined to feel “unimportant”, less valued (regardless of positive feedback to suggest the opposite is true), and more inclined to be reactive to what they perceive as threatening both personally and professionally. Fears of abandonment rooted in childhood experience do impact future relationships, including intimate, social, and professional.

The Psychology of Emotional Abandonment

Emotional abandonment occurs when a parent or caregiver is physically present but emotionally absent, leading to abandonment issues later in life. This could have been experienced in a myriad of ways and may not always be intentional on the parent or caregivers’ part, depending on their own mental health and situation. This creates an internal sense of “lacking” in something, which can manifest later as anxiety, depression, disordered thinking, disordered eating patterns, or other issues relating to fractured ways of perceiving external stimuli. The sense of “lack” that emotional abandonment can cause deep-seated fear, consciously or subconsciously, around building trust in relationships and workplaces as an adult.

Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Abandonment in Children

Child sitting alone at a bench waiting for a parent

When a child feels emotionally abandoned, fear sets in and may manifest into other negative feelings and behaviors. A few of the signs and symptoms of what emotional abandonment is for a child can include

  • Separation Anxiety – This sense of deep loneliness can occur whenever there is a separation from the parent or caregiver from the child, such as being dropped off at school or daycare, and anxiety or panic sets in.
  • A Fear of Being Alone – This fear can be overwhelming and can occur whenever the child is alone for any given time, including bedtime.
  • Clinginess – This sign in the psychology of abandonment can be extreme, especially when the parent or caregiver first appears after being absent from the child for any amount of time.

As the child goes into later stages in life, these uncontrollable feelings go with them and influence relationships and interpersonal relations along the way.

Long-Term Effects of Emotional Abandonment Into Adulthood

Often, we are unaware of the long-term effects because our behaviors are reactions from triggers due to feeling abandoned during childhood. Some of the powerful long-term effects behind the psychology of abandonment include:

  • Low Self-Esteem – Feeling as if you are not good enough as a child stays embedded within the subconscious part of the mind and can sabotage positive and flourishing relationships in the future.
  • Anxiety – Abandonment anxiety in relationships can cause a person to pick fights for no reason, push their partner away, and test boundaries either with friends or co-workers.
  • People Pleaser – The intense need to please others to feel better about themselves due to their low self-esteem and insecurities.
  • Codependency – A dysfunctional relationship where one person is the caregiver and the other person takes advantage, and they both cannot function independently.

So, what is emotional abandonment? It can ultimately hold a person back from truly enjoying life and having satisfying relationships with others.

Therapy for Emotional Abandonment

Woman staring down at reflection of herself

The psychology of abandonment helps to understand where the fear originates and what you can do when you sense your anxiety rising.

Without treatment, abandonment issues in adults and children can manifest and make it more challenging to form positive relationships with others and lead a fulfilling life.

The primary form of treatment is through therapy, where the person can learn to identify negative thought patterns and replace them with more realistic and healthier choices. Learning how to create healthy boundaries helps that person avoid getting into codependency or people-pleasing behaviors.

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we offer individualized treatment plans based on the psychology of abandonment that gets to the root of the childhood issues. We offer a wide range of therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and hypnotherapy, which are often integrated to expedite the treatment course.

Contact us, and let us help you see the light at the end of your dark tunnel and resolve what emotional abandonment is for you. Take that first step to feeling confident in yourself and know that you are valued, and you do deserve to be happy. Don’t let the mistakes of others from your childhood or your adolescence hold you back any longer. Discover a more fulfilling life when you work with a therapist as your guide.

Young woman smiling after a counseling and psychology session in Miami

How Counseling Psychology Can Bring Peace To Your Life

Embarking on your path toward clarity and balance with counseling can be overwhelming. What can you expect? What is counseling psychology and how does it work for your specific situation? We’ll explore this and more in this blog.

What is Counseling Psychology?

A counseling psychologist helps people with mental health issues by improving their sense of well-being, alleviating feelings of distress, and resolving crises. Counseling psychology is considered to be a specialty within professional psychology that focuses on personal and interpersonal functioning.

Benefits of Psychology Counseling

Counseling provides a safe space to explore feelings, behaviors, and beliefs and work through memories that may be causing current distress. This highly effective form of therapy can help people identify daily habits and thought patterns that may be self-sabotaging the pursuit of one’s goals and happiness.

There are a multitude of benefits when a person undergoes psychological counseling, depending on the issues you are working through. Let’s explore different scenarios below:

  • Grief and Los – Managing the residual scarring left from grief and loss can take some time. And, sometimes it’s not always a physical loss you may be contending with. In the psychology of counseling, therapy for grief and loss provides you the tools needed to help move past the pain and rediscover serenity.
  • Anxiety – Whether it’s temporary stress or a deeper, ongoing anxiety disorder, therapists and psychologists work with clients to help find peace instead of panic.
  • Depression – With effective psychology counseling, a therapist can help you with the following:
      • How to pinpoint, understand and manage the root causes of depression
      • Different ways to identify negative or distorted thinking patterns that may be contributing to depression
      • Look into other learned thoughts and behaviors that may be creating conflict and contributing to ongoing issues
  • Obsessions and Compulsions – Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can derail your everyday life, with intrusive thoughts that make seemingly routine tasks daunting. Utilizing cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) through psychology counseling is one of the best ways to alleviate OCD and find more life-affirming, positive habits.
  • Eating Disorders – Working with a therapist and psychologist for eating disorders is key to finding a sustainable road to recovery, and the road can often be long for these issues. With an array of causes and triggers, each situation is unique. Counseling can help you find ways to shift your relationship with food while doing deep work to uncover the disorder’s origins.
  • Relationships – There are many reasons that relationships break down, but with the proper counseling, communication lines can be restored and strengthened. Some of the various relationship therapies offered include:
  • Substance Abuse – Substance abuse often goes hand-in-hand with many of the above issues, but not always. Working with a psychologist or therapist can help you and your family find ways to cope, overcome, and manage the daily ups and downs that come with this condition. Through talk therapies like psychotherapy, group therapy, and working with an addiction specialist, there is a light at the end of this tunnel.
Silhouettes of people staring at the sunset

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we offer a wide range of therapies through our psychology counseling offerings. We combine integrative therapies from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), hypnotherapy, and other counseling modalities to serve our clients for each individual need.

Don’t allow stress, depression, or any of life’s difficulties to cause you to feel despair. Start living the joyous life you were meant to live, and contact us to get started on finding that bright light in your life again.

Smiling woman on a couch during therapy learning what therapy is best for her

What Kind of Therapy is Best for You?

Everyone is unique in their quest for mental health improvement. We each carry our own life story with its ups and downs, inspiring chapters and dark chapters, and chapters we may have forgotten. Those stories started when we were very young, and our experiences and events shaped who we are and how we think today.

Finding what kind of therapy is there for your specific concern could be the liferaft needed to carry you to safer and healthier mental shores, and ultimately help you find more ease, and joy, in your day-to-day life.

People holding hands up in front of an ocean sunset

Therapy: A Liferaft for Your Mental Wellness

There are numerous mental health concerns that therapy can assist with, some of which include:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Narcissism

Each condition may respond differently depending on the type of therapy administered.

Best Therapies for Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are very common in both adults and children. According to the National Institute of Mental health, about 18% of adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety, and 25% of adolescents will experience some form of anxiety.

Anxiety disorders can severely impair a person’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis. One of the best kinds of therapy there is for the treatment of anxiety would be cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT also helps with other types of anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Best Therapies for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder creates extreme shifts in a person’s moods by shifting from intense highs resulting in feelings of mania followed by severe lows resulting in feelings of depression, which is why this disorder is also known as manic depression.

Roughly 5 million adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and the typical treatment can include pharmaceutical drugs. There are other highly-effective kinds of therapy, including CBT, but another potent form of therapy is neuro-linguistic programming.

Best Therapies for Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The experts estimate that approximately 5% of people have a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Being narcissistic and having NPD are different because a person will eventually grow out of being narcissistic, but NPD is a lifelong condition. People with NPD are also at higher risk of using drugs and alcohol.

The cause of (NPD) is unknown, but it is linked in theory to certain kinds of traumas. This type of mental disorder can be challenging to diagnose as many people can, from time to time, show narcissistic behaviors; however, there are specific signs and symptoms of NPD, such as:

  • Lack of understanding and consideration for others
  • Need for excessive admiration
  • Feeling superior with an over-inflated sense of self-importance

Finding help through natural kinds of therapies such as CBT and NLP can help by giving narcissistic support in a safe and controlled setting.

How to Know What Kind of Therapy You Need

Individual sitting folded forward working on some art as a form of therapy

Mental disorders can include behavior and developmental, such as autism, which affects communication and behavior. Autism is considered a developmental disorder as it generally appears within the first two years of life.

Incorporating psychotherapy and CBT, a person with autism can learn coping skills that help manage emotional distress and ways to alter their beliefs and behaviors to avoid harmful emotions.

With the cognitive kind of therapy found in CBT, the autistic person can learn how to change how they think about a given situation, whereas the behavioral component helps in how they react.

CBT Treatments

CBT is a form of psychotherapy based on our thoughts, creating our feelings and emotions, creating our behaviors and actions. Ultimately, our thoughts are the core for creating the outcome in how we behave.

CBT treatments are administered by trained psychotherapists who help the patient become aware of their negative thoughts and view challenging situations more clearly to respond more positively and effectively.

CBT is a highly-effective kind of therapy when dealing with emotional issues, such as:

  • Coping with stressful life situations
  • Overcoming emotional trauma related to either abuse or violence
  • Resolving relationship conflicts and learning better communication skills

Often, incorporating CBT with other therapies can be extremely useful and can help lessen the total amount of treatment time needed.

NLP Treatments

NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is based on relating thoughts, language, and behavioral patterns learned through experience to achieve a given outcome. This psychotherapy practice explores underlying habitual patterns that may be shaping present and past behaviors, leveraging perceptual, communicative, and behavioral techniques to help transform negative patterns and actions into positive ones.

NLP is a powerful kind of therapy when you’re working toward personal development goals, such as boosting your self-confidence and improving your communication skills. Additionally, you might benefit from NLP sessions to help improve your emotional intelligence and productivity, which may in turn help you in meeting your career growth and professional goals.

Mental health disorders that most benefit from NLP include depression, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, and PTSD. That being said, many clients, from all walks of life, can find renewal and clarity from this practice.

How to know what kind of therapy you need can be challenging. It is essential to find a treatment that offers a wide range of therapies, especially the kind of therapies that can be integrated, which is the key to achieving complete mental health and wellness.

At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, our treatment plans are tailor-made for each client. Our mission is to help find the best path to a positive life-long outcome. We provide the necessary resources to find the needed clarity and balance to overcome any obstacle along the way.

Our principal practitioner, Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M., completed her post-graduate work through the International Institute for Therapy and The American Counseling Association. Anna empowers her clients and helps them discover ways to unlock their true potential through natural and extraordinarily effective forms of therapy.

Regardless of the condition, whether it is anxiety or bipolar disorder, Miami Hypnosis & Therapy can help. We also offer distinctive kinds of therapy, such as gender transition support and LGBTQ friendly therapy.

If you are looking for licensed mental health counselors in Florida who can help you or someone you know, contact us, and find much-needed hope instead of unwanted despair today!

Woman dancing in a field realizing the benefits of therapy

Benefits of Seeing a Therapist

Therapy is not just for those who feel as though things are falling apart. Choosing to see a therapist can help buoy your daily life, providing clarity for the calm days, and empowering you with tools to help manage tumultuous times. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2019, 19.2% of adults in the U.S. received some form of mental health treatment.

Seeing a therapist offers a safe and supportive place to discuss any issues that may be causing distress. The benefits of therapy vary and, while not a “quick fix”, can transform your life and how you live it for the long term.

Woman stressed with too many things on her mind

Seeing a Therapist for Daily Life Stress

Life can get overwhelming at times, so having a trained therapist to talk to can help solve problems. Daily stressors can include problems at work and at home.

Daily life stress over time can lead to more severe issues, including:

  • Anxiety – Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions, affecting approximately 18% of the population and can escalate into depression.
  • Depression – Depression is a potentially debilitating condition that can lead to sleep disturbances and substance abuse.
  • Substance abuse – People turn to substances such as alcohol and drugs with the intent of dulling the pain. Still, as time progresses, the body adapts, and more of the alcohol or drug is required resulting in potential addiction.

Handling day-to-day stress issues through healthy coping mechanisms is a vital benefit of therapy. Relationships with others, including friends and family, will also improve by learning how to deal with daily stressors.

There could also be unresolved issues from the past, holding your future happiness in chains.

Benefits Seeing a Therapist for Working Through Trauma

Sometimes, our thoughts, especially those derived from childhood experiences, can create chains that hold us back from enjoying life to its fullest.

Portrait of a dark haired man contemplating therapy

Past traumas can linger and cause us to behave irrationally or unpredictably, which negatively impacts our day-to-day life. A therapist can help you release trauma in a supportive environment, in a slow and steady way so as to not exacerbate underlying issues along the way. The results can be life-altering and transform how you react to triggers, stressors, and more.

Early childhood trauma is a risk factor for many mental and physical health conditions, including:

  • PTSD
  • Adult Depression
  • Cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke

Seeing a Therapist for Personality Disorders

There are many different types of personality disorders, all of which benefit from seeing a therapist. A few of the most common include:

  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
    • The hallmark of BPD is the word “extreme” as it creates extreme changes in the person’s moods and outlook on life.
    • People with BPD can change their thoughts and opinions rapidly without regard for other people’s feelings.
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
    • NPD’s hallmark is the word “self” as it creates a sense of self-entitlement, yet ironically people with NPD have deep-rooted low self-esteem.
    • People with NPD come across as self-absorbed and insensitive to other people’s feelings.
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD)
    • The hallmark of APD is “rule-breaker” as it invokes feelings of having no regard for the rules and what is right and wrong.
    • People with APD will act impulsively and have no guilt for any wrongdoing on their part.

One of the many benefits of seeing a therapist is learning how to retrain your mind and thinking process. Depending on your goals, different types of therapy can assist.

Types of Therapy

Person seated holding their hands

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)The basis for CBT is that our thoughts create our feelings, generating our behaviors and actions. By changing our core thoughts, we can ultimately change our end behavior. Some of the benefits of seeing a therapist that specializes in CBT include:
    • Overcoming emotional trauma related to violence or abuse
    • Coping with grief or loss
    • Resolving conflicts within relationships and learning better ways to communicate
  • Some of the mental health conditions that CBT can benefit include:
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) – NLP is based on changing negative behaviors into positive actions resulting in positive thought replacement. NLP uses thoughts, language, and patterns of behavior learned through experience to achieve a specific outcome. Some of the benefits of seeing a therapist that specializes in NLP include:
    • Self-confidence
    • Better communication
    • Attaining work-oriented goals
    • Some of the mental health conditions that NLP can benefit from include:
      • Fears and phobias
      • Low self-esteem
      • Manage unwanted behaviors
  • Specialized Therapies – There are specialized therapies for specific groups of people, such as:

Regardless of the type of therapy chosen, the life-enhancing rewards are priceless. Whether you are looking for daily coping strategies, changing bad habits, or improving your communication with others, therapy benefits are truly metamorphic.

Revelation of awareness

When to Start Therapy to Improve Your Life

Another eye-opening benefit of seeing a therapist is how awareness comes into play. Living in the present moment and being mindful can help you re-focus instead of living in the past or being worried about the future.

There is no better time to start therapy than now, and at Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we offer an extensive range of treatments, including CBT, NLP, and specialized therapies.

We know that each person has unique goals, and our treatments are specifically designed to fit each individual’s needs. Our sessions are designed to help bring about optimal change in the least amount of time by integrating different therapies to achieve faster results.

Our primary practitioner, Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M., completed her undergraduate degree at NYU and completed post-graduate work with the International Institute for Therapy and The American Counseling Association. She strives to empower her clients to achieve their goals by changing their thoughts, and ultimately, their lives to attain newfound clarity and balance.

The unparalleled benefits of seeing a therapist are empowering and life-changing, so take that first step and transform your life for the better. Start living a healthier and happier life, and contact us today! Let us help guide you on your pathway to peace.

Someone holding their hands to their face with eyes closed dealing with stress.

How Stress Impacts Bipolar Disorder

Most of us are aware that stress can be harmful to our mental wellbeing. While some stress is an essential incentive pushing us to do better and succeed, prolonged periods of stress can aggravate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other preexisting mental health conditions. Individuals with bipolar disorder who are stressed in particular are at a high risk of relapsing into either a manic or depressive episode when exposed to high levels of stress.

If you or a loved one lives with bipolar disorder, read our article below to learn more about how bipolar disorder and stress tolerance are connected. Contact our team at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy today to find out what we can do to help you manage those highs and lows.

The Definition of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental health condition characterized by extreme highs and lows in mood and ways of thinking. At its peak, individuals with bipolar disorder will experience a manic episode, which can result in impulsive and sometimes destructive behavior and restlessness. At its low, individuals with bipolar disorder endure depressive episodes that can cause feelings of hopelessness, lethargy, and even suicidal contemplation.

Bipolar disorder is often diagnosed in your young adult years. The combination of bipolar disorder and the stressful conditions surrounding adolescence can often leave the person undiagnosed and untreated, which only worsens the condition.

Some symptoms of this disorder can appear similar to stress and include:

Mania

  • High energy
  • Rapid speech
  • Reckless behaviors
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Lack of focus
  • Unrealistic grandiose thoughts

Depression

  • Low energy
  • Lethargy
  • Weight gain
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Irritability
  • Lack of focus
  • Suicidal thoughts

Rapid mood swings can also occur, as well as episodes that blend symptoms of both mania and depression. However, with the proper treatment and the support of loved ones, people with bipolar disorder can live long and fulfilling lives.

Does Bipolar Disorder Get Worse with Stress?

People with bipolar disorder handle stress differently. Similar to other mental health conditions that one’s ability to function, bipolar disorder often results in lower stress tolerance.

Most of us have experienced situations where stress and bad news just seems to keep piling up. To top it off, individuals in our community with mental illness already have to adapt to environments that rarely cater to their needs. What may seem like an easy task for the average person comes with a new set of challenges for people with bipolar disorder. Living with a mental illness is already difficult, but when you add that additional stress that may result from illness, relationships, or financial troubles, this can leave anyone depressed or erratic. Since individuals with bipolar disorder already live with these tendencies, they are more prone to depressive and manic episodes because of it.

Bipolar disorder and stress can also affect how you interpret things around you. What may seem like no big deal to one person can be detrimental to people with bipolar disorder. This can worsen the symptoms of a depressive episode and contribute to feelings of worthlessness. Even worse, due to the stigma that people with mental illnesses face, getting help to cope with stress may be triggering on its own. Being too anxious to seek help rarely results in the person getting the assistance they need.

How Stress Can Trigger a Bipolar Episode

Bipolar disorder and stress share a very symbiotic relationship. While everyone reacts differently, most of us who are stressed have experienced things like sleep loss, self-neglect, accidental isolation, and even illness.

A person pouring coffee into a precariously perched mug.

Lack of sleep lowers your natural mental and physical defenses and leaves you more susceptible to disease and depression. When someone with bipolar disorder and a low stress tolerance doesn’t get the rest they need, this can result in a relapse. Self-care is also essential and includes proper hygiene, eating well, exercising, and being kind to yourself. If you’re stressed, you may think that you don’t have time for these things and may leave yourself running ragged and feeling poorly. People with bipolar disorder and other mental conditions may also feel like they don’t deserve good things like an hour to unwind or a relaxing bath because the stress is somehow linked to their own inability to act.

Times of turmoil can also cause people who are bipolar and stressed to self-isolate. Dealing with life’s stressors is difficult, and doing so while thinking you’re alone can be even more traumatizing.

Reaching out for support through friends and medical professionals is vital because of the fact bipolar disorder gets worse with stress. Your support network can help keep you grounded and prevent you from spiraling into a relapse. Stress also takes a physical toll on the body that can leave you prone to illness. Medical bills, time taken off of work, and a disruption in your schedule might be all that’s needed for the stress to cause a bipolar relapse.

Managing Stress and Relapses with Miami Hypnosis and Therapy

Life comes with its many highs and lows, but for people living with bipolar disorder, these ups and downs are even more disruptive. Luckily, Miami Hypnosis and Therapy is here to help.

Through the guidance of our lead mental health professional, Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M., we can help you navigate your triggers and develop new coping strategies when it comes to bipolar disorder and stress. We employ a blended approach consisting of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), hypnotherapy, and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) that can benefit people with bipolar disorder and low stress tolerance.

Let us help you find balance in your life. Contact Miami Hypnosis and Therapy today to schedule your first consultation.

Man leaning against a wall while sitting holding a journal

Getting Support for Narcissistic Abuse & Help for NPD

Support is essential for anyone living with a mental illness. It helps ground the person by preventing them from engaging in dangerous behaviors and reeling them back from destructive ways of thinking. Unfortunately, supporting these loved ones is not always easy and should never come at the expense of your own wellbeing.

If you or someone you know has a person in their life living with a narcissistic family member, you may already be aware of the struggles you or that person may face.

Narcissistic abuse support can help caretakers and loved ones of people with NPD come to terms with and understand their condition while still setting boundaries.

Learn more about how NPD manifests, what living with a narcissist may look like, signs of abuse, and where you or your loved ones can get help for individuals with narcissistic personality disorder. Through family or individual therapy, Miami Hypnosis and Therapy can create an individualized plan to help you find balance in your life. Contact us today for more information on our approach to narcissistic abuse support.

NPD, like other mental health conditions, provides a unique set of challenges for the person living with the disorder. People who are diagnosed as narcissistic tend to focus primarily on themselves and the idealized image they have of who they are. This inflated sense of self can be the result of insecurity and lack of self-love. However, when challenged or forced to face criticism that doesn’t align with their self-image, they might lash out in order to protect themselves.

Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder may also act out in dysfunctional ways due to their self-centric behavior. They often rely on positive affirmation from the people around them in order to maintain a superior self-image and respond poorly when this need is not met.

Help for narcissistic personality disorder requires a formal diagnosis from a licensed mental health professional. After reviewing symptoms and coming back with a positive diagnosis, treatment typically involves therapeutic counseling.

Living with a Narcissistic Family Member

All areas of a narcissist’s life are affected by their condition. The need for narcissistic abuse support stems from the fact that loved ones with NPD can come across as demanding and selfish. Arrogance and a lack of empathy can make living with this person a challenge, especially when their inflated self-image affects your own sense of self. Working and romantic relationships can also be difficult, as the person with NPD will be unable to see a problem with their dysfunctional behavior and may blame problems on others instead of self-reflecting.

Other issues that may arise from living with someone with NPD are extreme reactions to perceived slights. Because their focus is primarily on themselves, any criticism may be taken as a personal attack. This distorted thinking—without narcissistic abuse support—can leave the people around them in a constant state of exhaustion from walking on eggshells to avoid retaliation. The result is often a one-sided relationship where one person is constantly feeding into the narcissist’s demands for admiration while being too afraid to oppose their sense of entitlement.

Watching for Signs of Abuse

Abuse takes many forms with some being easier to recognize. Physical abuse like hitting, punching, or kicking are more obvious ones that may result in visible marks that are harder to discredit. While we cannot see whether or not mental, emotional, or sexual abuse is occurring in a relationship, that doesn’t make it any less real or its side effects less damaging.

If you have a narcissistic family member or loved one, you should seek help from a narcissistic abuse support network if you are suffering from any of the following. These are all common signs of abuse and cannot be taken lightly. Seeking support before things become unmanageable is the best way to ensure your own happiness as well as your ability to be there for others if you so choose.

An individual looking down with wind in their hair

  • Unwanted name-calling or derogatory language—These all fall under the category of bullying, which is something people with NPD may fall back on in order to assert their worth. By belittling others, they can maintain their feelings of superiority over that person. Finding proper narcissistic abuse support may be necessary in order to determine the severity and risk of this type of verbal abuse to one’s wellbeing.
  • Excessive punishment—We’re all capable of giving someone the cold shoulder when we’re angry with them. However, people with NPD tend to take this up a notch when their demands are not met by another person. Aggression and the silent treatment may be taken to extremes in order to make the object of their focus feel guilty.
  • Exploitation—Asking for help from others is fine, but there is a line between providing assistance and being exploited. Exploitation typically involves extreme, one-sided demands with little care for the other person’s wellbeing and how these demands may affect them. This can be asking for large sums of money and other inconvenient favors. Oftentimes, it requires the help of a narcissistic abuse support network to realize how outrageous these exploitative requests may be.
  • Gaslighting—People with NPD often exude confidence and authority, even if they haven’t earned it. This is part of the reason why many narcissistic family members are capable of persuading you to think one thing and doubt yourself. This tactic, called gaslighting, can cause self-doubt and leave the sufferer unable to recognize themselves. A person who works with a narcissist may point out that they need to pull their own weight on a project. When the narcissist denies this observation and calls their teammates judgment into question, they are gaslighting the other person.

Getting Help for Individuals and Families Living with Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Miami Hypnosis and Therapy offers narcissistic abuse support as well as individual counseling for narcissistic family members. Learn how to draw boundaries and protect your own mental health by utilizing our team of licensed professionals trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), hypnotherapy, and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Under the guidance of Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M., we can get you and your loved ones the help they need to thrive while living with narcissistic personality disorder.

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