Category: <span>Therapy</span>

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EMDR Therapy Explained: How It Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Do you want to achieve your goals but feel like something is holding you back? EMDR therapy may be the answer. This therapy can help people overcome the barriers they’ve been facing that have prevented them from achieving their desired outcome. The process involves remembering, processing, and releasing emotions around traumatic or stressful events in order to reduce their emotional impact on your life today. Read on to find out what EMDR therapy is and how it works.

What are the Benefits of EMDR?

EMDR has been around for more than 30 years, helping people with severe traumas and other painful life experiences. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a method that many therapists in the world have chosen to help their clients overcome traumatic situations.

EMDR Therapy Explained

What is EMDR therapy and how does it work? EMDR starts by focusing your attention on a given object, such as following the movement of a hand in a linear or circular pattern. What makes the EMDR benefits unique is how it works in redirecting your eye movements, all while recollecting memories that caused trauma. EMDR is employed by psychologists and therapists both domestically and internationally, proving to be an effective method for helping overcome distressing memories. It was first developed and introduced by psychologist Francine Shapiro back in the ‘80s when she observed that repeatedly moving her eyes along a pattern helped her decrease the negative emotion that’s related to her painful memories of the past.

8 Phases of EMDR

EMDR consists of eight phases, with each stage equally important than the rest.

Phase 1 and 2 (Planning & Preparation)

Your therapist will spend time getting to know you and your past so that they can best help during the therapy process. They’ll also work with you on a plan of action tailored just for you, which is great because it means progress on EMDR benefits will be made more quickly. It’s important to note that EMDR sessions may cause some discomfort, but this is normal and very common due to the release of repressed memories from your brain into consciousness.

Phase 3 (Assessment)

When recalling memories in a therapy session, it is understandable when mixed emotions are triggered. This phase asks you to identify important events that are associated with your distressing memories and visualize an image that best represents them. Your therapist will walk through your memories by recalling them in short amounts so as not to overwhelm you during the session.

Phase 4 to 7 (Desensitization until Closure)

The EMDR process is a clever mix of light and movement. The therapist uses moving hand gestures or an electronic device that bounces lights back and forth across your eyes at varying speeds. This helps uncover and break down memories associated with traumatic events, so they don’t affect you as much anymore.

Phase 8 (Reevaluation)

The final phase will determine what needs to be adjusted in your therapy session. If there has been almost no improvement, your therapist might have to add in a few factors to your current plan that’s coming from the discoveries during the sessions to achieve improvement over time.

EMDR Benefits Among People Diagnosed with PTSD

Psychologist listening to soldiers in a therapy session

Traumatic events can have a lasting impact on the human psyche. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common amongst veterans or people who had immense distress in the past, and the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has recommended EMDR for people who experience PTSD symptoms. A 2018 study discussing the benefits of EMDR versus traditional treatment techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown that EMDR performs better than the latter in helping patients recover from PTSD and anxiety. At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, your treatment plan may draw from both modalities of psychotherapy, depending on your unique situation.

Living Life Without Regrets

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It’s time to take the first step towards your goals. Whether you want relief from anxiety, a more fulfilling career, or better relationships with loved ones and friends, EMDR therapy benefits can help you achieve what matters most in life by helping to resolve emotional trauma. We hope this article has helped answer when we’ve explained what EMDR therapy is and how it works as an effective technique for many people who are struggling emotionally. Book a phone consultation with our licensed mental health counselor today to get started!

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Reframing 10 Cognitive Distortions Using CBT

What Are Cognitive Distortions?

Think of a room full of mirrors, all with different levels of distorted surfaces that refract and reflect the light, and yourself, in warped ways. Some may be subtle, some may be exaggerated, and some reflections may, in fact, be the real you. The “fun house of mirrors” is a great way to think about what cognitive distortions are: distortions of how we react to internal and external stimuli.

When the mind plays tricks on us through false thinking patterns based on an irrational belief system, it is cognitive distortion. These thoughts are usually inaccurate and negatively biased.

Cognitive distortions are a habitual way of thinking, leading to negative feelings and behaviors such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders, and addiction, but how did these unwanted distortions develop?

Origins of Cognitive Distortions

When adverse events occur in our lives, the way we react to them internally may fluctuate depending on how we perceive the world around us. Often, it’s easy to react instantly and negatively to a perceived threat, where our cognitive response may not be reflective of the truth of what’s in front of us. This way of thinking stems from past and present traumas, from any insecurities we may have about ourselves or others, and/or from a variety of mental health reasons in our individual cognitive functioning.

The following ten cognitive distortions can be alleviated using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques.

  • Polarized Thinking (All or Nothing) – This way of thinking is extreme and can lead to setbacks and relapses quite easily.
    • An example would be if someone were trying to stop overeating and realized they had already gone over their daily limit, thinking the damage had already been done, then continued to binge.
    • This form of thinking is done in absolute terms, as either black or white but nothing in-between.

Young woman looking doubtful

  • Personalization and Blame – This is one of the ten cognitive distortions that significantly benefit from CBT as it causes the blaming of either yourself or someone else entirely for a given situation even though there were other mitigating factors present that were out of your control.
    • An example would be if a parent was not in their child’s life growing up and that child grew up blaming themselves for something out of their control.
    • This form of thinking is based on pinpointing the reason something happened based on one particular person instead of realizing there were possibly many reasons involved.
  • Magnification (or minimizing) – Another cognitive distortion that can benefit from a list of CBT techniques is taking something negative and magnifying it while bringing something positive and minimizing that resulting in feelings of worthlessness.
    • An example would be if a person who had a fear of speaking in public gave a speech and did a great job except for a small blunder at the beginning which became the main focus instead of embracing the overall positive outcome.
    • This type of cognitive distortion can be helped through CBT by changing the focus from the negative back to the positive.
  • Overgeneralization – This distortion occurs when a person applies one negative experience to all of the same types of experiences, even those in the future.
    • An example would be if someone spelled a word wrong and then began thinking they are never good at spelling.
    • This form of thinking can be distressing but easily managed through CBT techniques.
  • Jumping to Conclusions – Jumping to conclusions is easy, especially if we think we know the situation’s outcome. A person thinks someone will react in a certain way or predict how an event will unfold, known as mind-reading or fortune-telling.
  • Labeling – Labeling is one of the ten cognitive distortions quickly helped with CBT as it involves making a judgment about oneself or someone else. Instead, seeing the behavior as a separate entity rather than defining who that person is.
  • Emotional Reasoning – Emotional reasoning is not based on reality but rather on the person’s feelings about a given situation.
    • An example would be someone feeling a lack of self worth and trying to find meaning in destructive patterns such as alcoholism or drug use.
    • This form of thinking is based on a judgment of oneself based on emotions instead of facts.
  • Mental Filtering – Mental filtering is a cognitive distortion that occurs when a person filters out positive thoughts and positive feedback, automatically replacing them with negative thoughts. This is common in those contending with depression and can lead to panic attacks, but CBT is a reliable treatment for alleviating this distorted thinking pattern.
  • Should Statements – An incredibly self-defeating way of thinking, using “should statements” emphasizes unattainable standards.
  • Disqualifying the Positive – When a person focuses only on the negative things happening while discounting all the positives, that person can experience debilitating low self-esteem and depression.

How CBT Works to Overcome the Ten Cognitive Distortions

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One of the best forms of treatment for the ten cognitive distortions is (CBT), which provides positive ways to think about the things that are causing the inner turmoil.

CBT is based on thoughts creating feelings which then produce our behaviors or actions in response to those emotions. By simply changing the initial thought, we can ultimately shift the outcome of our behavior.

The list of CBT techniques is long and includes imagery-based exposure, relaxed breathing, exposure and response prevention, and cognitive restructuring.

Cognitive restructuring, also known as cognitive reframing, modifies or replaces the cognitive distortion’s negative and irrational thoughts.

  • Step 1: Identify and Be Aware – Being able to identify and be aware of the negative thought is vital to stop and change it before it can affect you.
  • Step 2: Question the Thoughts – Ask yourself important questions.
    • Is the thought genuinely realistic, and is it based on fact or feeling alone?
    • What is the evidence for this thought, and could there be any misinterpretations of this thought?
    • Are there facts to support this thought, or does it come from an unsubstantiated place in my subconscious mind?
  • Step 3: Evaluate the True Origin of Thought – Learning more about what is hindering your mental wellbeing by pinpointing the origin is the key to unlocking the chains that bind your happiness.

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we offer integrative CBT to overcome the ten cognitive distortions. By implementing CBT with other forms of therapy such as neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and hypnotherapy, we work with you to transform and reframe your thoughts in a new, positive light..

Let go of the negative thoughts and take charge of the way you think. Conqueror unwanted beliefs and start feeling happier and healthier. Take that first step to overcome whatever cognitive distortion is holding you back from living the life you deserve, and contact us today!

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How does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Experts have referred to CBT as the gold standard of psychotherapy. CBT is a psychological intervention with proactive treatment. Essentially, cognitive behavioral therapy works by training practitioners to challenge negative thoughts with positive truths, Cognitive behavioral therapy methods revolve around forming habits to take ownership of feelings and beliefs through behaviors of positive reinforcement.

How does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

Cognitive behavioral therapy works through a close relationship between you and your therapist, where you will be actively applying psychoanalytic principles and customized methods in order to facilitate progressively healthier thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

In contrast to other methods of psychoanalytic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy emphasizes using the present to work towards the future as opposed to prioritizing an understanding of the past to understand the present.

Put simply, CBT works through action towards forward motion to improve your quality of life.

Understanding how cognitive behavioral therapy works involves recognizing what goes into a typical experience with this psychological treatment. Keep reading to explore the therapeutic methods and the steps of CBT!

What are some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Methods?

We’ve found that the best application for CBT methods are integrative rather than an isolated approach. Our effective, blended application of CBT also draws from modalities like neuro-linguistic programming and hypnotherapy.

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we also consider the cognitive psychology approach. This involves working with our mental health professional, who studies human thought processes, investigating her patient’s cognition based on scientific evidence. After cognitive psychology sessions, therapists then recommend specific activities and exercises tailored to counter the negative thought processes and replace them with positive solutions.

In general, no matter the specific psychoanalytic applications employed, how cognitive behavioral therapy works hinges on how the counselor and her client work together to reach the individual’s goals. These efforts to shift thinking and behavioral patterns may include working on facing rather than avoiding fears, practical strategies to calm the mind and relax the body, and developing confidence in one’s own abilities or recognizing sources of satisfaction in one’s own life.

CBT also leverages the power of role-playing to prepare for using problem-solving skills for difficult situations and in forming the habit to challenge negative thoughts with positive truths. These methods center on learning to recognize and then reevaluate problematic, distorted thought habits.

Role-playing can also help those using CBT to gain a better understanding of others’ behaviors and motivations, as opposed to continuing with their own often erroneous preconceptions about those around them.

Obviously, not all these methods are useful in every circumstance. Cognitive behavorial therapy methods may vary, but all CBT remains aimed at changing perceptions to positively affect behavior and mood. What’s important is finding a therapist who strives to create 100% trailer-made treatment plans that align with your mental and behavioral health goals.

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What are the steps of CBT?

While the steps of CBT range significantly depending on individual circumstance and treatment goals, most of the time, Cognitive behavioral therapy follows a general pattern of one-on-one therapy sessions paired with relevant assignments. That “homework” will then be addressed in follow-up during the next therapy session.

These “homework” assignments are critical: rather than relying only on a therapist, medicine, or other similar external sources of therapy, CBT practitioners learn to use strategies to provide therapy to themselves. How cognitive therapy works depends largely on you, the client, being an active participant in your therapeutic journey.

Steps of CBT mainly include:

  • One-on-one therapy sessions
  • Frequent feedback
  • Homework assignments. These assignments usually involve keeping some kind of a regular written record that is focused on cognitive behavior, which may range from a gratitude journal to lists of negative beliefs to challenge with positive truths.

During this process, those following the steps of CBT form new, empowering habits to challenge or restate negative or inaccurate thoughts in order to re-shape their problem-solving abilities in a positive light. In recognizing how to rethink and reevaluate their perception of the world, following the steps of CBT can instill a more balanced, less reactive awareness of the world both within and outside of the mind. The goal is to take ownership of feelings and thoughts to positively affect perception and behavior.

How do I know if CBT is a good fit for me?

Now that you understand how cognitive behavioral therapy works, you may be wondering if this treatment would be a good fit for you. CBT is a valuable asset for anyone looking to help navigate life, whether it’s how to process stress more effectively or working through a deeper concern.

If you think CBT sounds like it could help you, we at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy are here for you. With Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, you’ll find up-to-date practices and therapy methods that you can personalize to your own needs and experiences through our professional custom-made treatment programs created individually by our lead practitioner. Find your clearer path by contacting us today.

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Support Your Trauma Therapy with Journaling & Prompts

Trauma journaling is a scientifically effective way to begin to address underlying issues that may be causing stress and anxiety in everyday life. Unlike keeping a regular diary, trauma journaling takes a more focussed approach and gives you the tools to begin to reflect and learn along your healing journey. Ultimately the work you do in your journal is a very personal experience, so you may consider trauma therapy journal prompts useful as a starting point, and you may find your approach evolves over time with practice.

There are plenty of anecdotal mental health benefits to expressive and creative writing. Those that journal daily can find it provides a structured no-judgment zone to reflect and refer back to in the future. It can be a low impact, low-commitment addition to a good mental wellness routine when combined with cognitive behavioral therapy.

If elements of your life are starting to feel out of control, this kind of proactive approach can help you begin healing and get a clear picture of what your triggers might be. It’s not a replacement for therapy but it can provide valuable insights whilst you decide when and how to find a trauma therapist to address issues with the guided help of a professional.

Find a Routine That Works For You

Find a quiet place, and pick a time you know you can work undisturbed. It can take around 21 days to make a healthy habit and 90 days to fix it into your routine, but don’t feel you have to journal every day. Dealing with complex issues from the past can be triggering so it’s important to take breaks and step away when it becomes overwhelming.

Are you someone who gets the most done in the morning? If so, perhaps this is the best time to set aside time as you may find trauma therapy journaling prompts the best response early in the day. Before you start putting pen to paper, take a breath and pause for a moment to reflect on how your trauma has impacted your life. This will help to contextualize the work that you do and anchor it to making positive changes.

Ask Difficult Questions

It can be difficult to know where to begin with a blank page staring back at you. Don’t get intimidated! Start slowly by using some of the below trauma therapy journal prompts into your notebook or journal. Ask yourself the questions that take you outside of your comfort zone but remember to check in with how you feel and be kind.

  • What kind of life would make me feel content and fulfilled?
  • How is my trauma holding me back from experiencing the life I want to live?
  • When do I feel most powerful?
  • When did I realize I had experienced trauma?
  • What feelings do I experience when I relive the trauma?

As you begin to journal you may find that other questions will surface, so note them down and return to them when you’re ready to address them. If you feel comfortable you can use this knowledge to find a trauma therapist or hypnotherapist, where your journaling work gives you a head-start and a good sense of what you’re ready to work on.

Woman on beach takes a deep breath

Let Go of Expectations

Remember this is a resource for you and you alone. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be pretty. Try not to focus too much on getting the right words onto the page every time. It should be a creative exercise to guide you through addressing trauma. You don’t have to do this the ‘right way’ or alone, and may find others online using their trauma therapy journal prompts that could be useful to you too.

Ultimately trauma therapy journaling is just one tool you can use wherever you are on your healing journey, with other tools like therapy. It may be something you use daily, or it may be a resource you use occasionally when things become overwhelming. Remember there’s no pressure, and you can take the learnings from the exercise to keep growing and evolving on this pathway to mending emotional wounds.

Take a breath, be kind, and just begin.

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Understanding Trauma – Informed Counseling and Therapy

Traumatic experiences can have long-lasting effects on a person’s mind and body, so counseling for trauma is essential. Since everyone reacts differently to trauma, the outcome can vary depending on the psychological and emotional impact of the event or events.

Trauma is an emotional response to a traumatic event. Initially, a person may experience shock or denial. As time goes on, the reactions can worsen into unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, and relationship problems.

A traumatic event can include any incident that causes physical, psychological, emotional, or spiritual harm. Gaining a sense of emotional and mental stability is the main goal in conquering the effects caused by the traumatic experience, but that takes time, depending on the cause of the trauma.

About the Causes of Trauma

Trauma can occur at any age and appear as a single event or a series of events.

Trauma affects us differently due to how we handle each situation, the age the events occurred, whether the cause is buried in the subconscious, and other factors. Counseling for trauma is vital in order to unearth the root causes and explore their depths in a safe, supportive environment.

In the days to weeks following a given trauma, there are signs and symptoms to look for that can lead to other issues such as acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Signs and Symptoms

If left untreated, traumatic events can lead to other mental health issues due to trauma’s psychological and emotional damage.

Emotional and psychological symptoms can include:

  • Anger – Anger after trauma is one of the psychological effects which can be triggered due to survival instincts related to the trauma itself. This anger may manifest itself overtly but may show up in more subtle forms like increased irritability or a resistance to change.
  • Depression – The long-term psychological effects of trauma can increase the risk of developing depression, whether clinical or otherwise, with an increased likelihood of abandonment issues or other co-dependent responses.
  • Anxiety – Experiencing a traumatic event can increase someone’s fight or flight response and thus their anxiety, typically when seeing, hearing, or smelling something that reminds the individual of their trauma’s cause, whether subconsciously or consciously.

Young woman in Miami looking into the distance

Counseling for trauma can also help with physical symptoms, which may include:

  • Insomnia or nightmares – When the experience is so shocking, the mind keeps bringing the memory back to understand it better.
  • Difficulty concentrating – The stress caused by trauma can leave a person in a state of heightened vigilance and, over time, puts extreme pressure on the mind and body, making concentration more difficult.
  • Easily startled – Trauma itself startles the body and mind leaving it vulnerable and yet prepared if it were to happen again.
  • Racing heartbeat – When any trigger of the traumatic event occurs, the mind remembers and prepares the body for action by increasing the heart rate.

When trauma occurs, the mind will find coping mechanisms. Traumatic responses and the resulting ways people cope are directly connected with behavioral health issues such as the development of eating disorders and substance abuse through drugs and alcohol.

When the signs and symptoms start interfering in daily life, including day-to-day activities, school, work, and relationships, it may be time to consider trauma-informed psychotherapy.

Treatments for Trauma at Therapy

Sometimes, we need to breathe and release, but it is not easy, especially when past traumas take over. Still, with counseling for trauma administered by a trained professional, the past no longer has to control you.

There are five primary principles with trauma-informed psychotherapy, which are:

  • Safety – Ensuring that the physical and emotional needs of the patient come first in a safe environment.
  • Choice – The patient is provided options regarding their unique treatment plan.
  • Working Together – Making decisions with the patient provides a sense of power and mutual collaboration.
  • Trust – Being clear and concise along with creating healthy boundaries help build confidence and assurance.
  • Empowerment – Having the patient learn and contribute to their therapy plan helps provide inner strength and the skills needed to conquer any obstacles that may occur in the future.

Utilizing trauma-informed care is a unique type of counseling for trauma that involves the therapist focusing on three main aspects of how trauma has affected a person’s life.

  1. The realization of the magnitude and prevalence of the trauma
  2. The recognition of how the trauma affects all the individuals involved
  3. The response of the therapist by applying a specific or multiple type treatment plans

One of the best forms of treatment is trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which is based on our thoughts that create our feelings and, ultimately, our behaviors. If we change our thoughts, we change our behaviors, resulting in a more positive and enjoyable life.

With trauma-focused CBT, trauma-sensitive interventions are infused with CBT to provide a reduction in traumatic stress symptoms along with the skills needed to regulate behavior, thoughts, and relationships while enhancing safety, trust, and communication.

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we offer a wide range of counseling for trauma treatments, including CBT, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and hypnotherapy. In addition, we apply integrative treatments by combining therapies to expedite and enhance the results.

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Releasing the adverse effects from past traumas can feel like you just climbed a huge mountain and finally made it to the top, which can be accomplished through trauma-informed psychotherapy.

Contact us today and overcome whatever is holding you back from living the joyous life you were meant to live! Let Miami Hypnosis and Therapy help you pull you off the path of fear and take control of your mental well-being.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

How Mental Health Counseling Aids Grief and Loss

Single candle lit in a dark room.Grief is an emotion all humans have to come to terms with during their lifetime. It can be all-encompassing or leave you feeling like your world is going to collapse. Shutting down one way or another can leave you stuck in your grief, unable to live your life freely.

Whether you’re dealing with old hurt or something recent, therapy for grief and loss can help when things become too much. Grief counseling through Miami Hypnosis and Therapy can help you see there is life past your grief. Learn healthy ways to cope and express your feelings with guidance from a licensed mental health practitioner. Approaches like trauma and grief component therapy can aid individuals who need help on their bereavement journey. You may not be able to see the other side right now, but it is there. Discover how mental health counseling aids those undergoing grief and loss. When you’re ready to take the next step, schedule your first appointment with Miami Hypnosis and Therapy today.

Introduction to Grief Counseling

Everyone mourns loss differently, and not all of us can handle it on our own. Guilt, anger, and depression can all be byproducts of grief and leave the person stagnant. Therapy for grief and loss can help individuals living with heightened or complicated pain where emotions or preexisting conditions like PTSD are involved alongside sadness. Common goals during grief counseling at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy include learning how to acknowledge these emotions and rebuild relationships with family and friends through productive behaviors and thought processes.

Trauma and grief component therapy works with those dealing with recent loss and old trauma. Trauma from years ago can affect how you navigate and see the world, leaving you with side effects such as:

  • Addictive behaviors
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Unwanted thoughts
  • Willingness to act on harmful impulses and thoughts

Sadness and depression are perfectly normal during this time, and occasional sadness is expected years after the loss, but persistent symptoms like intrusive thoughts and harmful impulses can be destructive without therapy for grief and loss.

Talking It Out

A distressed woman sitting with her arms covering her face.We often find that discussing problems helps us work through them. Speaking with friends and family members about a frustrating coworker or bad day at work can help you relieve negative feelings, but not everyone has a network that’s equipped to support you emotionally during times of bereavement. Trauma and grief component therapy provides you with a space to express that pain, frustration, anger, and guilt before it builds up into something long-term.

Pain after the passing of a loved one can have everything to do with the loss, but it can also be the result of the complicated relationship between you and that loved one. Talking it out and saying what you didn’t get the chance to say during therapy for grief and loss can be a huge relief.

Finding Ways to Cope

Learning how to cope is an important skill in the midst of grief. Everyone’s mental landscape and ability to respond to stimuli vastly differentiates, which is why someone who is formally educated in multiple forms of therapy like trauma and grief component therapy can create better care plans than therapists who only specialize in one approach. Therapy treatments for grief and loss like hypnotherapy lessen the effect of painful memories and triggers by allowing you to revisit them in a healthy, objective way. Paired with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), clients can discover vital coping mechanisms needed to navigate the world after a significant loss. CBT works to control destructive thoughts and harmful impulses while NLP can create positive new ways of thinking that can help you redirect negative trains of thought while you work on healing.

Remember: coping doesn’t mean forgetting your loved one. Despite common misconceptions, hypnosis is not capable of such a feat. Forgetting or pushing down the issue isn’t what therapy for grief and loss is about. Issues cannot be ignored forever, and only after you’ve seen the extent of your pain through trauma and grief component therapy can you start the healing process.

Building Your Life Back Up Again

Two pairs of hands clasping each other in support.Not everyone in your close circle of friends understands what you’re going through. Therapy is important, but so is reaching out to others and realizing you’re not suffering alone. If you’re seeking grief counseling in Miami, another method you and your loved ones should consider is group therapy. Gaining insight into what others are going through and understanding how they’re handling the loss of someone close to both of you can clear the air and allow you to reconnect. Therapy for grief and loss encourages open discussions in a safe environment moderated by a therapist who can help rebuild important interpersonal relationships. Learning how to communicate, along with better control over negative emotions and how they may trigger us to lash out, are important in any relationship and are especially essential during stressful periods like bereavement.

Grief Counseling at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy

Techniques like trauma and grief component therapy form the bridges many of us need when moving forward after pain and devastating loss. The space your loved one filled and left behind is not one to cement over so you can move past. The point of therapy for grief and loss with a licensed professional is it allows you to revisit your grief without getting lost in it.

Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M., is the primary practitioner for grief counseling through Miami Hypnosis and Therapy. She earned an undergraduate degree at NYU and two master’s degrees from Columbia University before becoming a certified hypnotist through Florida State’s Department of Education. Her years studying under world-renown psychotherapists, accompanied by her own professional experience, have led to Anna Marchenko’s innovative technique of CBT, NLP, and hypnotherapy.

Miami Hypnosis and Therapy has helped countless others accept the loss of loved ones and come to terms with what’s next. Don’t get stuck in your grief: book an appointment with Anna Marchenko today and start moving forward with therapy for grief and loss.

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