What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)?

brain

Experiencing sadness and grief is a normal part of the human experience. While many of us have those feelings on occasion, major depression is something far more significant. It is a condition that 16.2 million adults in the U.S. experience in a given year, and it can have long-lasting symptoms such as overwhelming sadness, low energy, loss of appetite, and a lack of interest in things that once brought joy. Over time, depression can lead to serious health conditions, so finding a treatment that works is essential for long-term mental health.

One such treatment is transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. It is a non-invasive procedure that uses repetitive magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, helping to improve the symptoms of depression. This form of treatment is best considered when other treatment options for depression — like medication and therapy — are not proven effective. There are also some key considerations to keep in mind before exploring the option. Continue reading What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)?

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?

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?

Everything You Need to Know About Couples Therapy

man and woman in therapy with couples therapist

We all know romantic relationships are hard work. Like cars, they require regular maintenance to keep them running well. If there is a problem, it’s best to have it repaired right away to avoid further complications down the road.

Often we can do some of the basic maintenance and repairs ourselves. Other times, despite our best efforts, it may be best if we considered couples therapy, where a licensed professional can take a look at our relationship and give us a hand. Continue reading Everything You Need to Know About Couples Therapy

Supplementing Your Existing Care With Talkspace

man sitting on couch texting Talkspace therapist

Traditional, brick-and-mortar therapy is a wonderful thing, and can be incredibly healing when you are working through a mental health challenge. I personally benefited from ten years of brick-and-mortar therapy and recommend it highly. However, I’ve been in online therapy for almost three years, and have also fallen in love with the experience.

Both forms of therapy have their advantages. Studies have shown that both online and traditional therapy are effective at managing mental health struggles. And the beauty of it all is that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Continue reading Supplementing Your Existing Care With Talkspace

Why Therapists Need Therapy Too

therapists office

Therapists have hard jobs. They hear about difficult, sometimes traumatic experiences each day, as their clients share their issues. They too occasionally have personal problems and things they would like to work through. You might wonder, however: Do therapists just know how to handle their issues, based on their training? It’s often said that everyone can benefit from therapy, but what about therapists?

Just because they’re trained, doesn’t mean therapists don’t sometimes need help themselves. In fact, the nature of their job places them at higher risk for emotional distress. In short, therapists often need just as much — if not more — support than the average person. Continue reading Why Therapists Need Therapy Too

What To Do if You Don’t Respect Your Therapist

man confronting woman

The beginning of therapy brings up complicated emotions. You might feel relieved that you’ve been able to unburden yourself, or even awe at the way your therapist “gets” you. Like every relationship, there is usually a honeymoon period, in which you admire and respect your therapist, confident in their ability to heal you.

Over time, however, the newness fades and the work gets harder. People often put their therapist on a pedestal at first, but the therapist is bound to fall eventually. For some people, adjusting to a more realistic view of the therapist is easy, but for others, resentment or lack of respect creep in. Continue reading What To Do if You Don’t Respect Your Therapist

So, You’ve Hit a Plateau in Therapy — Now What?

people on a cliff

Whether you’ve been seeing your therapist for a few months or a few years, it’s very likely that at some point during the treatment you will feel like nothing is happening. “What am I really getting out of this?” you’ll wonder. “Is this still working for me?” This feeling of stuck-ness is common and it doesn’t mean you’re “failing” at therapy.

Plateaus happen in almost every therapeutic relationship eventually, and they can look different depending on why you’re in therapy. For some, it may look like obsessing about the same problem week after week without moving toward any kind of solution or resolution. For others, it may look like struggling to find something to talk about with the therapist. In either situation, the question becomes, at this point, what to do when it happens? Continue reading So, You’ve Hit a Plateau in Therapy — Now What?

Subtle Signs You Need To Care For Your Mental Health

darts

If I asked you to describe what a depressed person looks like, you probably wouldn’t have pictured someone like me. While I was struggling with depression, I still showed up to work every day, took care of my appearance, and did my hair and makeup everyday. I didn’t lock myself in my apartment with dishes piling up in the sink — you would have no idea based on just on appearances.

I hadn’t (yet) experienced that major, suffocating form of depression that makes getting through every single day a herculean task — but I also didn’t feel like myself. Normally an energetic and social person, I felt apathetic about seeing friends and attending social functions that used to excite me. Continue reading Subtle Signs You Need To Care For Your Mental Health

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

man holding lightbulb

No matter how big or small the challenge, condition, phobia, disorder, or addiction may be, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy treatment method that can help you change negative responses to uncomfortable situations. Chances are, you have already seen this treatment method mentioned in a self-help article or know someone who has benefited from it. It’s a popular treatment method due to its affordability, short-term treatment horizon, and its empirically supported effectiveness. Before diving head first into this form of therapy, consider the information below about its intended uses and key benefits. Continue reading What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?