Category: Therapy

Healthy friendship with healthy boundaries between two women in a flower field

How to Set Boundaries Without Crossing the Line

Healthy relationships and friendships are built on trust, common interests, communications, and clear boundaries. Setting boundaries is essential to having a healthy life, but for many, it is a difficult task to accomplish. Many of us are people-pleasers and thrive on extending ourselves too far to please others. Understand that setting boundaries will not make others dislike you, but it will make others respect you. We work closely with clients at Miami Hypnosis & Therapy on building tools to understand and establish boundaries that improves quality of life for both clients and their loved ones.

To begin the process of setting boundaries, you must do the work of learning how to understand your limits, and realize that this will take courage and practice. It is a skill that you can master over time. When you think of how to set boundaries, understand that boundaries are not based on restrictions ⁠— they are based on values that are important to you, which will help you to live a more genuine and authentic life.

How to Know if You Need to Set Boundaries

There are a few telltale signs to look for, including:

  • You hate saying “no” to people.
  • You put other people’s needs ahead of your own.
  • You find yourself feeling a lot of guilt and anxiety.
  • You feel more resentment instead of love toward others.

The following steps are the basics for learning how to set boundaries and can help get you on a healthier life path with solid, sustainable boundaries.

Step 1. Name Your Limits

Think about what your physical, mental, and emotional needs are regarding what you can tolerate and handle, as well as what makes you feel stressed or uncomfortable.

  • If someone says or does something that makes you uncomfortable or upset, it is perfectly fine to let them know.
  • Communication is the key, and knowing when to say no is vital because the word “no” is a complete sentence.

Standing up for yourself is especially hard if you suffer from low self-esteem, but setting healthy boundaries is how you can start to improve your sense of self-worth.

Red Journal to write down values and boundaries in

Step 2 – Identify Your Values

When you think about how to set boundaries, start by taking a few minutes each day and ask yourself what are the most important things to you. These are your core values. Examples of some core values include:

  • Honesty
  • Knowledge
  • Justice
  • Family
  • Creativity

Step 3. Create Boundaries That Help Honor Your Values

Develop boundaries that help protect what you value most in your life. How these boundaries are set up should be in sections that divide the various aspects of your life, including:

  • Work
  • Relationships
  • Self

Step 4. Be Ready for People to Resist Your Boundaries

Once your boundaries are set, there will be those that do not like them and will resist and push away from them. Stay strong and firm in your stance, because if you maintain your boundaries, others will have to learn how to control themselves rather than controlling you. Likewise, your friendships may grow stronger as a result.

Some people are very controlling of others, but there are things you can do when others resist your boundaries and are trying to control you, including:

  • Realize the person who is upset is the one with the problem
  • View their anger realistically, because it is not about you
  • Don’t allow their displeasure to cause you to loosen your boundaries for fear of losing them
  • Don’t let their irritation make you angry
  • Walk away, take a breath and let it go

Setting healthy boundaries is a win-win for everyone involved, especially for you. With these new boundaries, your self-esteem and confidence will grow because you are taking pride in yourself, and it will shine through to others.

Step 5. Seek Support

Sometimes it is too difficult to set boundaries, especially if you are a people-pleaser or even codependent. This step will be challenging, but remember, no one will love you less just because you respect yourself.

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, our full range of services includes hypnotherapy. This highly effective treatment is often combined with other forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as well as neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

If you are struggling with how to set boundaries, Miami Hypnosis and Therapy can help. We have a vast array of treatments that are uniquely designed for each client because no one person has the same needs when it comes to setting healthy boundaries.

Contact us today and start feeling better by taking the first step to transforming your life with strong and healthy boundaries!

Man and woman sitting not facing each other looking serious

How to Deal with Conflict: 10 Tips to Calm the Chaos

Conflict in relationships rises from having different opinions and unspoken expectations couples may have. These differences might seem trivial, but they can trigger unsettling feelings that stem from a more deep-seated personal need.

Just because a couple has a conflict does not mean the relationship is in trouble. Conflicts, when handled properly, can even help strengthen relationships. Constructively dealing with disputes can help you gain a better understanding of your partner as well as bring you both closer in the end. If not appropriately addressed, conflicts can escalate and end up creating a permanent wedge in your relationship.

Conflict Basics

So, just how does someone deal with conflict? You first need to understand the basics of conflict:

  • A conflict is more than just a disagreement — A conflict is perceived as a threat, regardless of whether it is a real threat or not.
  • Conflict will continue to fester if ignored — These perceived threats will linger until they are addressed and resolved.
  • Our response to conflict is often based on our perceptions — Our perceptions have been created due to life experiences, beliefs, and culture.
  • Conflicts trigger strong emotions — People who get stressed easily will find it more difficult to resolve disputes.
  • Dealing with conflicts can be an opportunity for growth — When you can resolve conflicts, it builds trust, which is vital for long-lasting relationships.

Man and woman embracing at sunset

10 Tips for Attaining Conflict Resolution

The following conflict management tips will help provide positive ways to deal with adverse situations.

1.  Be Direct. Speak up and let your partner know what is bothering you instead of expressing displeasure in more indirect ways, which often leads to lashing out at a later time.

2. Talk to Your Partner Productively. Convey how you feel about a specific problem and the impact it is having on you by using I-based statements such as:

  • I feel (the strongest feeling)
  • When you (the objective description of the behavior)
  • Because (the specific impact or consequence)
  • I would like (what you want the person to do in the future to prevent this problem from occurring again)

Using I-based statements focuses on how you feel without blaming your partner, and the behavior descriptions focus on a specific behavior that your partner is engaging in rather than a character flaw.

3. Choose Your Words Wisely. Word choice is critical when dealing with conflict. You should avoid using extreme words like “never” and “always.” These words create a generalization about your partner and will cause them to become defensive.

4. Deal With One Issue at a Time. Bringing up multiple issues instead of focusing on one at a time will result in nothing being resolved efficiently.

5. Be an Active Listener. Active listening is a great conflict management tip that lets your partner know that you have heard what they said without interrupting. After your partner has spoken, you will then paraphrase what they said, rephrasing it in your own words. This process helps prevent any misunderstandings before they start.

6. Hold Your Tongue When Hearing Your Partner’s Complaints. When we hear criticism from others, it can be difficult not to get defensive, but getting defensive will only escalate matters. Other things to avoid when dealing with conflict include:

  • Saying “Yes, but…” may suggest that the views of your partner do not matter.
  • Cross-complaining will cause the conflict to escalate and portrays another defensive behavior.

7. Look at Things From Your Partner’s Point of View. Putting yourself in your partner’s shoes can help you see things from a different perspective, which can de-escalate anger.

8. Refrain From Contemptuous Remarks. When you make contemptuous remarks, you belittle your partner.

9. Balance the Positive With the Negative. Negative remarks back and forth will only create more anger and upset. Try incorporating something humorous and light-hearted, which will break up the negative pattern of words.

10.  Know When to Take a Time Out. Sometimes, we need to walk away for a few minutes and take a few deep breaths. If you find you and your partner falling into a negative tunnel that neither of you can get out of, then politely let your partner know that you need to step away for a few minutes to clear your head.

Couple standing far apart looking out at city holding hands

Sometimes dealing with conflict feels too complicated, and you feel you can benefit from professional help. Professional therapy is a productive, safe way to resolve your interpersonal conflicts with friends, partners, or family. If you need a family conflict therapist in Miami, Miami Hypnosis and Therapy offers a vast array of therapies to assist, including:

Contact us today to discover new ways of living with your loved ones in harmony, navigating conflict with tools that will enhance all of your relationships.

Man sitting at airport terminal looking at plane

Travel Anxiety Tips to Help Manage the Fear of Flying Phobia

Roughly 20 million Americans suffer from a fear of flying, also known as aerophobia. Just the thought of getting on an airplane is too much for many people, so they may avoid flying entirely.

What causes a fear of flying, and are there any treatment options available? Can you ever wholly rid yourself of this life-restricting phobia?

Causes of Aerophobia

Although there is no specific cause of aerophobia, if a person has a fear of heights, they usually also have a fear of flying. More often, people fear flying because they have no control over their situation or their safety.

Child covering eyes from fear of heights

Sometimes this fear can be genetically inherited, or it may be modeled to children by their parents, but once you have a fear of flying phobia, it can restrict you and make you feel as if you can’t do the things you want to do, including travel.

Symptoms of Aerophobia

Every person’s reactions are different. Depending on the severity of the fear, the following are a few symptoms that may occur:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea

Treatment Options

One of the best forms of treating fear of flying is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The basis of CBT is that our thoughts create our feelings, which result in our behaviors. If we change our thoughts, we alter our behaviors.

CBT allows a person to manage their fears by helping to change the way that person thinks gradually. CBT helps a person develop a sense of mastery and confidence about their thoughts and feelings, so they feel less overwhelmed by them.

The CBT process also includes exposure-based strategies – This type of treatment gradually exposes the person to face their fear but in small steps. Exposure-based strategies for aerophobia might include reading about airplanes and how they function, or going to the airport and watching planes take off.

By exposing yourself to your fear of flying phobia, you gently get acquainted with the fear and emotionally embrace it rather than run from it.

Travel Anxiety Tips

Managing anxiety is critical when traveling, and fortunately, some powerful tips can help get you airborne calmly rather than in panic mode.

1. Learn Your Triggers – Knowing what triggers your anxiety when flying can help prevent the fear of flying from becoming activated. Some common aerophobia triggers are:

  • When the plane takes off
  • When there is turbulence
  • When the plane lands

Being prepared is vital when it comes to fear of flying phobias. If you know that something is about to happen that will bring about anxiety, you can plan to cope with it in advance.

2. Get the Facts on Flying – Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to treating the fear of flying.

  • Replace “What if..?” thoughts with facts, because anxiety thrives off of ignorance.
  • Read up on how airplanes work and what causes turbulence.
  • Don’t give in to anxiety-ridden thoughts; instead, do the opposite. Allow the feeling to pass as though you are going through an ocean wave.

One fact that might alleviate a fear of flying phobia is knowing that around 10,000 planes are airborne at any given moment, safely carrying passengers to their destinations.

3. Utilize Other Coping Skills – Distract negative thoughts by focusing on other things.

Distracting the mind from any negative thoughts can be extremely beneficial. Instead of fighting the anxiety about flying, you can change the course of your thought pattern and focus on something else. When you fight the thought, it gives it more energy, almost like adding fuel to the fire. Refocus and restart your thoughts.

4. Seek Outside Assistance – Sometimes, the fear of flying phobia is too overwhelming, and seeking outside help is the only answer. A few of the most productive treatments include:

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we utilize multiple treatments that work together to help each patient. We understand that phobias affect everyone differently, and so we create unique treatment plans for each patient.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy for fear of flying is beneficial, but when it is incorporated along with NLP and hypnosis, the treatment is not only expedited, it is far more effective.

Don’t let your phobia prevent you from enjoying life. Contact us today, and start living in peace instead of panic.

guy with a suitcase on the highway

Travel Anxiety Tips: Managing OCD & Anxiety While Traveling

Traveling is tough enough for those without anxiety, but for those who have an especially hard time with the extra stress, travel can be a nightmare. Whether you’re traveling alone or you’re responsible for a crying baby or rambunctious toddlers, Miami Hypnosis & Therapy can help you with a few simple steps to take. Read our top six tips to keep anxiety and OCD at bay on your journey.

1.  Give Yourself Extra Time

clock

One of the easiest ways to waylay your stress is by giving yourself a lot of extra time before departure. Security lines, checking in bags, and unexpected delays will all add to the stress of those traveling with OCD and anxiety. Instead of just one or two hours extra, tack on a third and enjoy a tea once you arrive at your airline gate or train terminal. This is one of the most important travel anxiety tips, as it provides you enough time to panic a little if something happens, and then get yourself back on track.

2.  Expectations and Acceptance

meditation and acceptance

Before you even leave your house, you need to set your expectations and accept that things may not go exactly to plan. Long lines and traffic can be incredibly frustrating, but if you did travel anxiety tip number one, then you have enough time to spare. Do your best to stay positive or at the very least neutral. You have enough time, and you can tolerate the extra wait until you get to your gate.

3.  Practice Breathing Exercises

girl holding her breath

A good flight anxiety treatment, and essential travel anxiety tip, is to practice breathing exercises. Not only will they distract you from a potentially panic attack inducing situation, they make the time pass more quickly, and keep you calmer.

Slow, controlled breaths through the diaphragm are essential. Breathe in through your nose while counting to 10 and then exhale through your mouth for another count of 10. Forcing yourself to control your breathing can keep your OCD, anxiety, and anger in check.

4.  Fact-Checking Anxiety

girl thinking through problems

One of the reasons people get so anxious is because they’re so concerned with everything that could go wrong that they get overwhelmed. See if you can interrupt this snowball of imagined scenarios by interrupting yourself mid-thought. Whether you’re concerned you’re going to miss your flight or you’re worried they won’t have the right food for your needs, examine each worry to make sure it’s legitimate.

This travel anxiety tip works in two ways. It distracts you from whatever is making you worry in the first place and helps you dismiss or validate your fears. Once you’ve decided which concerns are legitimate, you can start putting together a plan of action if the problems actually become a reality. Now you’re prepared for any eventuality!

5.  Act Like Everything is Fine

smiling girl

Even if you are the exact opposite of calm, acting like everything is OK can help you feel better. You’re literally tricking your body into maintaining an even heart rate and breathing pattern. Check and adjust your body language to convince yourself that everything is fine. Are you clenching your jaw? Release it. Have your shoulders slowly been creeping up to your ears? Roll them out a few times to make sure your muscles are relaxed. If anyone is stressing you out, pause before reacting, and then respond in a calm manner so you don’t pass on your frustration. Your stress can affect others and create an endless feedback loop, so this travel anxiety tip helps more than just you.

6. Prep Distractions

playing distracting phone games

If you’re a nervous flyer, an ideal flight anxiety treatment is distractions. Prepare possible distractions in advance to ensure you’re ready the moment panic hits. Bring a book, download games on your phone, or bring a DVD to play on your laptop. Even singing along to music can help! The distraction travel anxiety tip forces your brain out of that emotional fear state and into using higher brain functions.

Miami Hypnosis & Therapy to the Rescue

Whether you’re traveling with OCD or you’re a nervous flyer, Miami Hypnosis & Therapy can help you overcome whatever fears you’re facing. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation or explore our blog for more tips.

christmas tree ornament

Guide for Self Care During the Holidays

Anxiety and the Holidays

For many, the holidays are a never-ending source of anxiety, frustration, and tension. From sitting through family dinners to the endless amount of shopping that needs to be done, there’s always something on your mind. At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we want you to put yourself first this holiday season. If you’re trying to find balance between being festive and taking care of your own needs, read our guide for self care during the holidays now.

Stick to Your Routine

It’s easy to tell yourself that you’ll be skipping breakfast or dodging a workout just this once, but soon you’ll notice a spiral that ends with you missing all the important elements of your daily routine. It’s good to make compromises when things need to get done — just make sure you’re prioritizing things correctly and pushing off things that can be done later. Self care during the holidays is critical or you’ll end up drained and exhausted before the New Year.

Get Gift Buying Done Early

wrapped gifts

One of the ways that you can make sure not to get overwhelmed is to start the gift buying early. Make your list at the beginning of November, or even October, so you have it all organized. Then shop online or pick up a gift or two each time you run weekend errands. Avoid making gift buying the center of your life by adding self care to your to-do list during the holiday season.

Learn to Say No

An important tip for self care during the holidays is saying “no.” You’ll probably get a few invitations to events in addition to your responsibilities to your family. Don’t say yes to every little event! You’ll get worn out very quickly. No matter who is pressuring you to attend their festivities, tell them you need to think about it and choose just a few parties that you want to attend. Letting social pressures force you into things you don’t want to do can compound existing anxiety issues.

Add an Extra Meditation Session

woman meditating on the water

If you’re really struggling with anxiety and the holidays, it’s time to step up your self care practices. You may already have daily or weekly meditation in your routine. Whether you do a full meditation session or just a couple of quick breathing exercises, it’s critical that you take the time to calm yourself every day. At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we recommend adding these sessions right before bed so you can get better sleep and avoid exhaustion.

Do Something for Yourself Every Day

As the holiday season gets closer, many people find themselves focusing on helping others. It’s time to shift that focus to yourself and make sure you’re getting the self care you need during the holidays. There are many ways you can treat yourself, but here are a few of our favorites:

  • Do an at-home facial
  • Buy a fancy coffee
  • Light a scented candle
  • Make yourself hot chocolate
  • Go for a walk with a friend
  • Buy a new festive outfit
  • Write in a gratitude journal
  • Volunteer to take pups for a walk at your local shelter

You can do these daily or weekly, but keep these moments small, so you’re not spending too much time, energy, or money. Treating yourself too often may end up making you feel guilty or stress you out even more.

Self Care with Miami Hypnosis & Therapy

From managing OCD and anxiety to depression and PTSD, we can help anyone overcome stress during the season of giving. If these self care tips during the holidays aren’t enough to keep you from feeling overwhelmed, reach out to our experienced team to schedule a consultation or book an appointment now.

swinging pocket watch for hypnosis

Movies About Therapy: Hypnosis Myths & Therapy Misconceptions

Movies and pop culture have done a lot of damage to therapy through hypnosis. From making fun of hypnosis to engendering myths and lies, Miami Hypnosis & Therapy is here to bust some of the most common misconceptions. If you’re wondering if what you’ve seen in movies and on television is true or false, read on here for our breakdown of some of the most popular movies about hypnosis.

1.  The Manchurian Candidate

manchurian candidate movie poster

Whether you watch the 1962 original or the 2004 remake, The Manchurian Candidate revolves around hypnosis and mind control. Supposedly the main character is hypnotized by communists during the Korean War. Once returned home, he becomes a US Congressman but is starting to experience PTSD, nightmares, and confusing memories. He eventually uncovers a sinister plot.

The main issue with this movie about therapy is that they treat brainwashing and conditioning the same as hypnosis. These are very different things. Conditioning and brainwashing are usually done through extensive training with the aid of drugs, but hypnosis works due to the power of suggestion. While much of the “hypnosis” in the film is fantastical, there are hypnosis-like elements in the film. Posthypnotic suggestions and triggers are both real. These are words and phrases that can be used to create a predetermined response in a person who was previously hypnotized.

2.  Good Will Hunting

office space movie poster

Good Will Hunting is not really a movie about therapy, but it is a film that makes fun of hypnosis and therapy. He goads and teases his therapist throughout the scenes to make him think that he’s opening up, but in reality, he’s just making fun of the fact that therapy isn’t working on him. The hypnosis scene is another opportunity for Will to dodge questions, as he fakes his reaction to hypnotic suggestion.

While many people tell their therapist what they think they want to hear, most therapists will weather the jokes and faking until they find something real. At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we want to help every person who comes to us — whether they believe in therapy or not. There are a lot of techniques we can use to draw out someone who is resistant, but at the end of the day, you have to decide for yourself if you’re willing to let a therapist help you.

3.  Office Space

good will hunting movie poster

A movie about a man who is depressed and hates his life, Office Space is another film that isn’t a movie about therapy but targets an aspect of therapy as a critical plot point. Peter Gibbons is an office drone forced to go to therapy by his girlfriend, but when the hypnotist has a heart attack in the middle of the session, Peter becomes stuck in a hypnotic state.

Now, this is definitely a hypnosis myth, as getting stuck in hypnosis is impossible. A hypnotist or hypnotherapist is never really in control of your mental state. They are simply there as your aid in achieving a different state of mind to help navigate your deeper issues. If you were in the middle of a hypnosis session and something happened to your therapist, you would eventually just wake yourself up in a relatively short amount of time. A hypnotic state would almost never last days upon days as it does in the session.

4.  Get Out

get out movie poster

Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the point in their relationship where it’s time to meet the parents. As they spend time at her parents’ estate, strange things begin to happen that end up with Chris hypnotized and his conscious mind taken over by another person’s. The hypnotic trance is created by a spoon stirring a cup of tea, while a camera flash is one example where a hypnotized person was able to snap out of a hypnotic state.

One thing that is true in this scenario is the fixation device. In a movie about therapy, this is often the cliché of a swinging watch. Fixating on a hypnotic rhythm or movement helps your mind disassociate and prepares it for entering a hypnotic state. One thing that is definitely not true about this film is being able to hypnotize someone who actively resists you.

Miami Hypnosis & Therapy

Hopefully, debunking these hypnosis myths helps you feel a little more comfortable about speaking to our experts about getting help for your issues through hypnotherapy. It is not a movie therapy myth that you can work on addiction issues, pain management, anxiety, and more with the help of integrative hypnotherapy and counseling. If you have any questions about how hypnosis works, reach out to our experienced team here!

Person sitting with arms around legs black and white

Transform Fear into Ease: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Phobias

Living with phobias of any kind can be debilitating. Fortunately, there’s help. Phobic episodes create panic in your mind and can sometimes lead to other compounding health issues. However, there is a difference between the word fear and phobia.

  • Fear is a rational and emotional response to a real or perceived threat.
  • A phobia is a fear as well as a possible avoidance of an object, activity, or situation that is not a real perceived threat.

Causes of Phobias

The exact cause of phobias is unclear, but they could arise from traumatic situations that occurred in the past. These situations could include being bitten by a dog, or by acquiring exaggerated or false information such as all dogs bite.

Regardless of the cause, cognitive behavioral therapy for phobias is an extremely beneficial form of treatment. This type of therapy does not focus on the past; it zeros in on the current situation to find a logical solution.

Types of Phobia Disorders

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, there are three types of phobia disorders.

  1. Simple Phobias – These phobias, which are considered to be the least severe include fear of specific objects or animals such as snakes, or being in particular situations such as small spaces.
  2. Social Phobias – These phobias include fear of being watched or judged by others which can lead to avoidance of being in public or around other people.
  3. Agoraphobia – This phobia is the most severe type that causes a person to feel as if they are not able to escape a situation, which will often lead to panic attacks.

Symptoms of Specific Phobias

Specific phobias cause an overwhelming fear of objects or situations that do not pose any real danger, yet causes extreme anxiety and avoidance to occur. Unlike brief anxiety that is caused by things such as taking an exam, specific phobias will create intense longer-lasting physical and psychological reactions which can include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Feeling as if you are out of control or trapped

Differences Between Common Anxiety and Phobias

Common anxiety versus phobias may include:

  • Feeling anxious around your friend’s german shepherd versus avoiding your friend’s house entirely for fear of their dog.
  • Feeling queasy while climbing a tall ladder versus not attending an office Christmas party because it is on the 25th floor of a hotel.
  • Worrying about taking off in an airplane during a thunderstorm versus refusing to go on an all-expense-paid trip to the Bahamas because it involves air travel.

Treatment for Specific Phobias

The most effective treatment for specific phobias is cognitive behavioral therapy which teaches techniques to help cope with objects or situations that cause the specific phobia to occur. Utilizing this form of exposure therapy, you will learn other possible beliefs about the fear as well as the physical and psychological reactions that occur.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy may also include a gradual exposing of the object or situation to help manage the anxiety that arises. For example, if you have a fear of driving on the freeway, initially, you may be asked to look at pictures of cars on the highway. You may then move on to sitting in a vehicle nearby and ultimately driving on the freeway. The first actual drive on it may only entail traveling to the first off-ramp, then exiting, but the next time will be the second off-ramp, etc.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy for phobias allows you to manage your fears by changing the way you think. The basis for this form of therapy is that thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors are interconnected with the thought being the core. If you change your thoughts, you change the way you feel and behave, resulting in a new belief. This new belief sheds a positive light on what appeared to be a negative situation.

Finding Help for Specific Phobias

At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we provide a safe and comfortable environment with highly trained professional therapists. We will incorporate a unique treatment plan because each person is different in their wants and needs.

We have a vast array of therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy for phobias. We also offer neuro-linguistic programming and hypnotherapy, which can all be utilized and integrated into your sessions for optimal results.

Don’t let your phobias dictate your life. Take the first step and make your appointment today to get help with your phobias and to start living in peace instead of panic.

Fall and Holiday seasonal decorations with candle, pumpkin, and pinecone on a table

Causes of Family Stress & How to Manage Holiday Anxiety

The holidays should be a time for fun and festivities, but for many, it can be a time of substantial stress. Even if you may not celebrate religious holidays, family gatherings bring a special kind of heightened conflict, either internally or externally. Having to buy gifts as well as having various holiday functions for work can all add up to feeling overwhelmed and overloaded. If all that wasn’t enough stress, we also have our family functions to attend.

Causes of Family Stress

The family unit is a structure that is based on balance and equilibrium, and anything that disrupts that balance can cause a disturbance.

  • Expectations — One of the biggest causes of family stress is having expectations of yourself as well as your family members. These expectations are elevated during the holidays where everyone wants everything to be perfect, and when things do not go as planned, it upsets the family dynamic.
  • Over Extending Ourselves — When we overextend ourselves emotionally, physically, and financially, this can lead to resentment and lashing out at those we love all because we wanted to make their holiday happier.
  • Family Traditions — Having traditions such as hosting the family function can create an overwhelming degree of stress.
  • Changes in the Family — These changes can be positive, such as the birth of a child or natural changes that may alter the family dynamic, such as divorce.
  • Unhappy Memories — When the family gets together for the holidays, it may trigger unpleasant childhood memories.
  • Toxic Relatives — Having to deal with toxic relatives can cause family stress for everyone.

There are many causes of family stress, especially during the holidays, but there are ways to manage and control, and potentially alleviate holiday anxiety.

Managing Family Stress

  • Change Your Outlook — Ease your worries about what “should” be. Allow things to flow. Remember, everything does not have to be perfect, but it can be the best it can be at that moment in time.
  • Stick to a Budget — Overspending will add unnecessary monetary stress. Sticking to a budget will alleviate the added financial anxiety as well as helping you to feel more in control.
  • Plan Ahead — Taking a little time to plan out holiday preparations can help diminish last-minute stress caused by family functions.
  • It is OK to say No — Learn to say no when asked to do things that are going to cause you to feel overwhelmed and resentful. The word “no” is a complete sentence, after all!
  • Make a List of Coping Strategies — Knowing what triggers set you off and having a list of ways to deal with them can help you regain your thoughts and clear your mind. When things get hectic, you can make adjustments by doing the following:
    • Take a break and walk away for a few minutes to clear your mind.
    • Practice deep breathing exercises to calm you down and refocus your mind.
    • Learn relaxation techniques that you can apply to all your daily stressors.
  • Seeking Professional Help — Sometimes what causes holiday stress is too much to handle, so finding professional help can be the holiday life raft you need.

Finding Outside Assistance

Our thoughts can get clouded by the overwhelming amount of stress that can occur, especially around the holidays. Having a trained professional by your side can help you see problems from a different perspective.

At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we offer a safe and comfortable environment with highly trained professional therapists that can assist in one-on-one or family therapy. Our wide-ranging scope of services include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and hypnotherapy. By utilizing these different forms of treatment together in tailor-made treatment plans, we enhance the healing process as well as expedite your progress.

  • CBT — This form of treatment is based on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors being interconnected.
  • NLP — This form of therapy is based on the belief that the actions of our minds are the result of learned behavior which can be changed through our efforts.
  • Hypnotherapy — During a state of hypnosis, the mind is far more receptive to suggestions so the behaviors we want can be achieved.

The causes of family stress can be overwhelming, but with the proper mindset, a holiday get-together with family can be fun, festive, and anxiety-free.

As we move into Fall and the season of gathering with loved ones, make sure you have the tools to support yourself emotionally. Contact us today to get started with stress management for you and your family today.

Top 5 Therapeutic Books for Self Care, Managing Emotions & Self Improvement

After a long day, there’s something grounding about enjoying a good book. Self care includes spending your free time away from the screen, and books are the age-old answer for a means of self care and self-reflection. The age of self-improvement is here, and that starts at the core by managing our emotions. With so many therapeutic books available, it can be hard to choose the right book that will be able to ignite your specific interest or need.

The following are the top 5 therapeutic books that will help you learn how to manage and control your emotions, even when life gets complicated. These books give you powerful tools to improve your sense of self in all aspects of your life.

  1. Cognitive Hypnotherapy: An Integrated Approach to the Treatment of Emotional Disorders by Dr. Assen Alladin
    • This therapeutic book integrates both cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with hypnotherapy to help treat a wide range of emotional issues such as:
      • Anxiety
      • Depression
      • Eating disorders
      • PTSD
      • Insomnia
    • An easy to follow, step-by-step approach is given to the combining of these two highly influential forms of therapy.
    • CBT is based on the conscious part of the mind with thinking, feeling, and behavior being interrelated.
    • Hypnotherapy is based on the subconscious part of the mind and utilizes a hypnotic state to relate directly with the subconscious.
  2. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, MD
    • One of the best books for managing emotions for anyone who has endured any trauma, including physical, emotional, or mental.
    • The scars that form from traumatic experiences remain in our minds and are reflected in our emotions.
    • This five-star therapeutic book explains how traumatic events can rearrange the brain’s wiring affecting areas dedicated to pleasure, control, engagement, and trust.
    • By utilizing innovative treatments such as neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, yoga, and other activities, you can reclaim your life and heal debilitating scars.
  3. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown
    • A genuinely transformative book that explains how being vulnerable in life is not a weakness but rather a real sign of courage.
    • Vulnerability is the core of our deepest emotions such as fear, grief, and on the other spectrum, joy, and empathy.
    • Open up new avenues to explore relationships, creativity, and even how you handle stressful situations that may arise.
    • A New York Times bestselling therapeutic book that can transform all aspects of daily living.
  4. Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self, by Anodea Judith
    • Each chapter focuses on the seven chakras from Eastern philosophy and how they align with Western psychological analysis and science.
    • Starting with a description of characteristics, it then branches out to explain particular childhood developmental patterns.
    • Traumas and abuse are also discussed as well as how to heal and maintain balance within.
    • This eye-opening therapeutic book flawlessly merges both Eastern and Western science and philosophy with psychology and spirituality.
  5. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts by Brene Brown
    • Leadership is not about arrogance or having a higher status than another person. It is about taking responsibility for recognizing true potential and having the courage to develop them in people.
    • A true leader must overcome fear and uncertainty, which further strengthens a person’s core belief in themselves.
    • This empowering therapeutic book teaches that learning and unlearning requires brave work, tough conversations, and presenting yourself with a whole heart while doing it all.
    • If anything in life is holding you back from achieving a dream or goal, then this is a must-read book.

Reading therapeutic books can help you understand and think about things from a different perspective, but sometimes the best self-care books might not be enough. Consider help from an outside source such as a therapist who can offer more insight to help with self-esteem, and self-confidence when books aren’t enough.

At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we offer an integrative approach to treatment, including CBT, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and hypnotherapy. Our treatment plans are unique for each patient because each individual has different needs. By incorporating various forms of therapy together, treatment time is shortened, and the benefits are more significant.

Changing your life for the better starts when you say it does, so isn’t it time to start feeling better about yourself and your life? Take that first step to a positive transformation, and contact us today!

counseling for gender dysphoria

Transform and Feel Better With Gender Dysphoria Counseling at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy

Gender dysphoria occurs when a person is conflicted between their physical or assigned gender at birth and the gender that person identifies with creating a multitude of mixed emotions and feelings. These feelings can affect a person’s behavior and self-image. The desire to transition to the gender they identify with is a process that affects each person differently.

The process of transitioning involves three types:

  1. Medical
    • Hormone therapy
    • Surgical reconstructive procedures
  2. Social
    • Coming out to friends and family
    • Asking others to use the pronoun that represents their gender identity
    • Changing their appearance through dressing to reflect their gender identity
  3. Legal
    • Changing their name

Some people transition quicker than others, depending on how they feel, and not all people that have gender dysphoria will go through the actual transition process. Transitioning can be done medically or socially and not necessarily both together.

The mixed feelings that can arise during this time can create anxiety, depression, and self-doubt. Having a safe place to discuss these feelings is crucial, and having gender dysphoria counseling with a non-judgmental therapist can help bridge the gap between the known and the unknown.

The Onset of Gender Dysphoria

Many people with gender dysphoria will first notice these feelings in childhood, but some won’t have them until later in life.

When children feel as if they are in the wrong body, it can be a scary feeling for them, causing incredible distress. Feeling unsure of who you are supposed to be is hard enough as an adult, let alone a child.

Signs and Symptoms of Gender Dysphoria

  • Depression and withdrawal – Many people, especially children, do not feel comfortable talking about such a complex and personal topic, so they retreat and may become depressed.
  • Admission of feeling uncomfortable in their skin – Talking about actual feelings is, of course, the telltale sign and should be addressed with sensitivity and care, and utilizing gender dysphoria counseling can help with that process.
  • Crossdressing – Choosing to dress more like the opposite sex because that makes them feel more like themselves is a sign, but not necessarily a definitive one. This action could also be just a “curiosity phase.”
  • Fear of puberty – When puberty hits, the body will change, and if it turns more into the person that they do not want to be, then that can be quite frightening.
  • Anorexia – Not eating is a way of self-destruction and a way of saying that a person is unhappy with who they are.
  • Anxiety – Not being able to understand the changes that are happening in the body and mind can create a tremendous amount of anxiety.

With the right person to talk to, gender dysphoria can be taken from a scary place to a safe place and one in which the person can finally embrace.

How to Support Yourself During Gender Transition

Dealing with gender transition requires a sensitive and highly trained professional that specializes in gender dysphoria counseling. Many different forms of treatment can help, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT has been proven to help with social anxiety disorder, which is highly prevalent among those with gender dysphoria.
    • CBT is based on our thoughts, creating our feelings and behaviors, and if we restructure our ideas, then we can change our outcome.
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) – NLP helps to reconcile inner conflict with people having gender dysphoria by accepting who they are.
    • NLP reconnects the conscious and unconscious mind to develop new skills to overcome negative patterns of behavior.
  • Hypnotherapy – Hypnotherapy helps to bring about a deep state of relaxation or a trance-like state where one can be more responsive to helpful suggestions. This form of therapy can be used in conjunction with other types of treatment, especially CBT.
      • Helps to build resistance when coping with discrimination and/or oppression
      • Enables the person to accept themselves fully
      • Support for dealing with the “coming out” process to friends and loved ones
      • Promotes self-confidence, courage, and resilience
      • Works directly with specific issues such as:
        • Loss of identity
        • Depression
        • Sexuality
        • Relationship issues

    At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we help support gender transition by utilizing CBT, NLP, and hypnotherapy through counseling for gender dysphoria. We strive to bring the right blend of therapeutic applications to each patient. Since everyone is unique in their wants and needs, then having the proper form of treatment is vital. Our treatment regime can help put that light at the end of what seemed to be a very long and dark tunnel.

    There is no better time to start living the life you were meant to live than right now. Take that first step on your incredible journey and contact us today!

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