What is EMDR Therapy?

light on eye

If you’re struggling with trauma, you might consider checking out EMDR therapy. This unique therapy helps you process traumatic memories.

EMDR — or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing — was originally developed for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Often, people with these experiences have triggers that can cause them to relive their most frightening moments. For example, a war veteran may struggle with fireworks on the Fourth of July, with each blast making them feel like they’ve returned to combat.

With EMDR, patients can halt that trigger-reaction to stressful past events. With a therapist’s guidance — unfortunately, this isn’t something you can DIY — you can re-process that stressful past experience, eventually bypassing the anxiety and fear associated with that memory. Essentially, just like with physical wounds, you’re building a protective barrier over emotional pain. Continue reading What is EMDR Therapy?

When Do Fun Distractions Become Unhealthy?

TV remote

In need of a little me-time? Zoning out feels like low-stakes self-care. So does popping open an extra bag of Pirate’s Booty — at least you’re not chugging vodka, right? Scrolling through Instagram for three hours takes your mind off a bad work day. Scandal is best binge-watched, and dedicating an entire day (or two, or three) to The Sims is the only way to win the Legacy Challenge.

There’s no harm in distracting yourself occasionally. Holing up for one weekend to ram through Red Dead Redemption 2 won’t cause too many negative implications — but if you’re wasting every weekend and every evening on distractions, you might find yourself floundering physically, emotionally and socially. Distractions can be damaging, whether it’s scrolling, emotional eating, Netflix-ing until dawn, or playing too-many video games. Continue reading When Do Fun Distractions Become Unhealthy?

Why Is It Important To Be Vulnerable?

man in bathtub

Opening up can be frightening. Sure, maybe you can share your struggles with your partner or spouse — but your friends and family? That can be much harder. Even opening up to a trained and licensed therapist can be tough, if you’re not used to it. But you’re not alone: many people grapple with vulnerability.

If you tend to keep things bottled up or ignore problems, it’s important to learn how to be vulnerable. Not only is it key to emotional change, but vulnerability can also help you make friends, learn new perspectives, and succeed in therapy. Don’t shy away from overcoming your emotional shyness. Here are four reasons why vulnerability is important — and how you can work to overcome the fear of opening up. Continue reading Why Is It Important To Be Vulnerable?

What Is The Relationship Between Hormones and Anxiety?

two women faces next to each other

If you’ve ever felt confused by spiking anxiety shortly before your period begins, don’t worry: You’re not alone. Our hormones directly affect our anxiety levels. And it’s not just progesterone — a number of hormones can influence how stressed you’re feeling on any particular day, regardless of whether you have a uterus or not.

Here’s the rundown of the wild world of hormones inside our body — and info about how they can increase (or help!) your anxiety. Continue reading What Is The Relationship Between Hormones and Anxiety?

Having Access to a Therapist is More Important Than Your Gym Membership

man running on treadmill

Exercise is a valuable part of your mental health toolkit, but it can’t be the only tool. Would you try to build a house using only a hammer? No! You’ll need a miter saw, a level, and a drill — and that’s just to start.

Think of mental health workers as general brain contractors. Yes, a hammer comes in handy, but it’s a small part of a big job. We’ll never suggest you to ignore your physical health, but a gym membership should never require pushing aside your emotional needs.

If you’re on a tight budget, you might even consider choosing therapy over an expensive gym membership. Here’s why having access to a therapist is more important. Continue reading Having Access to a Therapist is More Important Than Your Gym Membership

5 Reasons Couple’s Counseling Is Not Just for Crisis

man and woman standing on dock facing toward camera

If your relationship is on the rocks, breaking up isn’t the only option: couples counseling can salvage a struggling marriage — or even improve a good marriage. Just ask rocker P!nk, who has attended couples counseling with her husband, Carey Hart, for most of their 17-year relationship. She told Today host Carson Daly that couples counseling saved her marriage. “It’s the only reason we’re still together,” she said. Continue reading 5 Reasons Couple’s Counseling Is Not Just for Crisis

5 Reasons People Avoid Mental Health Treatment

girl curled up under umbrella

You’ve accepted that you need to go to therapy — but getting yourself out of the door and into the office feels like an insurmountable challenge. After all, most of us aren’t familiar with therapy. We don’t know what we’re going to say. Should we actually lie on the couch like they do in movies, or is it okay to just sit? (Sitting, by the way, is fine and often preferred.)

Overcoming your fear of therapy is the only way to reap the benefits that it can provide. Here are five common reasons people avoid getting treatment. Do any ring true for you? Continue reading 5 Reasons People Avoid Mental Health Treatment

What Role Does Physical Environment Play in Your Mental Health?

man waiting for the subway pulling his hair in stress

Mental health isn’t simply about what’s going on inside your head. What’s happening outside your head is important, too — from a cluttered bedroom to a poorly-lit office to the view from a window — it can all impact your well-being.

Physical environments directly impact our psychological health. It’s easy to see why: we spend a lot of time thinking about what’s around us. And all that external stimuli has an effect! Maybe the laundry hasn’t been folded in three days, and it bugs you every time you go to bed. Or your kitchen is dark and gloomy, and so cooking dinner makes you sad. Continue reading What Role Does Physical Environment Play in Your Mental Health?

Can Ketamine Really Treat Depression?

IV tube

With Denver recently legalizing psilocybin mushrooms, discussions of microdosing — using a tiny dose of a psychoactive drug that is too small to induce a “trip” — are on the rise. One of the most popular microdosing treatments being studied is using ketamine for treatment-resistant depression, i.e. depression with an inadequate response to two or more antidepressants of adequate dose and duration.

But does it work? Initial studies are mixed, and it must be cautioned that further inquiry is needed. Continue reading Can Ketamine Really Treat Depression?

‘Am I Anxious?’ 6 Common Signs of Anxiety

Man in plane

Some people just know they have anxiety the same way they know they have blonde hair, or blue eyes, or a fondness for chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. But for others, the signs might be more subtle — or, if you grew up in a family or culture that places less emphasis on mental health, you may not even know what signs to search for.

If you’re debating whether you have anxiety, let’s start with the simple truth: You probably are. Most non-anxious people don’t worry about if they do or do not have anxiety!

But if you’re still wondering whether you’re anxious, below are some symptoms to clue you in. Continue reading ‘Am I Anxious?’ 6 Common Signs of Anxiety