Why Solution Focused Therapy May Be Good For Students

 

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Isn’t it bothering that almost every school has a guidance counselor, and yet many students still carry suicidal thoughts or act out violently towards everyone else?

It is not the mental health professionals’ doing, of course, if some kids end up like that. Most psychological diseases that we know of occur due to environmental or genetic factors, after all. Despite that, as long as the troubled child is at school, the counselor should be able to identify the matter and help the former manage or overcome their source of the dilemma.

“Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life,” says Chris Corbett, PsyD.

If various news outlets still report about bullying, gun shooting, and other heinous crimes committed by students within the educational premises, however, it entails that regular counseling is not enough. Instead of doing some good to them, the feeling of being treated like a fragile person might push them more to the edge.

“Therapy is intended to be a place to carefully and safely start to turn toward whatever it is you’ve got.”  Molly Bowman, MS, LPC said. The only silver lining you can look at is the possibility of introducing solution-focused therapy for every young learner out there. Solution Focused Therapy can help them do the following:

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Prevent Dwelling In The Past

What therapists want to inform students from the get-go is that anything that happened years ago belongs to history. In case a parent abandoned you, for instance, you need to let go of your resentment and cherish the people who stayed beside you. Considering you are a victim of bullying, you don’t have to act like one to prove that nobody can step on you again. You are merely empowering those mean folks by allowing them to dictate how you live your life. “Therapy helps people to develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationships, become free of old patterns, or simply find ways to process pain or memories that have kept them feeling stuck.” Dr. Mitch Keil, a clinical psychologist explains.

Help Focus On Strong Points 

If there is something that you will never hear a counselor speak of in this form of therapy, it is the number of erroneous behaviors that a person has. That does not mean he or she is not aware of it. In truth, the mental health professional knows them so well that he or she can divert the topics away from the negatives and toward the positives. This way, the individual can take a peek at their strengths and subdue their weaknesses.

Fix What Seems To Be Reparable

Solution-focused therapy can teach students as well that some occurrences in this world are irreversible. E.g., losing a family member or breaking up with their first love. Once they understand that, they will be able to concentrate on fixing other aspects that may still change for the better. The list of reparable things can include self-esteem, uncontrollable anger, hopelessness, aggressiveness, et cetera.

Continue What’s Working And Stop What Doesn’t

Last but not the least, the treatment can also help you distinguish the techniques that do you right from the ones that you can forget. The purpose of doing so is for you to avoid feeling disheartened when you stick to a trick that may not work. You are welcome to try other ways to heal from your issues, yes, but it remains excellent to know the stuff you can rely on for a long time.

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Do you realize how beneficial solution-focused therapy can be once you give it a shot?

The points made above cannot only apply to students now. In fact, the members of the faculty and other people in various industries can incorporate such an approach in their daily lives as well.

Connect with BetterHelp today to know more about solution-focused therapy.

The Fundamentals Of Handling Young Adults According To A Therapist

Every teenager is different, but their needs are all the same. All of them are learning and figuring out life as it is. Some become strong enough to handle pressure and stress, while others get easily affected emotionally and mentally. However, with all the uncertainty, our duty as parents is to care for our young adults despite their sometimes irrational and impulsive attitudes.

So let’s discuss the fundamentals of handling teenagers.

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Bonding

Every relationship requires bonding. It is a fundamental need to get to know each other better. Bonding is a way that we parents can show our young adults that we are more than willing to adjust and learn their ways no matter what the differences are. It is the best time to show them that we will always spare a special moment for them despite our busy lives as parents. Understandably, we can’t give them all our time and energy since we need to also cater to their other needs. But we can consider working on some of some activities that both our kids and us can enjoy, such as:

  • Watch movies or TV series.
  • Take cooking or swimming lessons.
  • Go hiking or schedule outdoor trips
  • Enjoy singing or dancing
  • Play video or online games

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Teen Talk

Talking or having a meaningful conversation with our young adults is fundamental that we always have to practice. There is not much to emphasize since communication has always been the issue with a parent-child relationship. As parents, we have to understand that our teens can sometimes go through phases in their personal lives that they are not comfortable sharing with us. We shouldn’t feel disheartened or disappointed because part of our young adults’ development is building trust and confidence in people. Regardless if we are the parents, we are not exempted. Instead of forcing and convincing them to discuss personal things with us, it would be nice to allow them to feel emotionally ready to open up. We have to make sure that when the time comes that they want to communicate, we listen attentively.

Control

As parents, we sometimes decide things for our teens because we believe we know everything. Usually, we make decisions based on our personal experiences and not related to our young adult’s needs. When we think about it, the result of that action often makes our kids retaliate. That instead of following or obeying us, they tend to become rebellious. It is vital that instead of controlling them, we allow them to choose whatever their heart desires. Of course, not every decision is correct and beneficial. But as parents, we need to allow them to commit mistakes so they can learn their lessons even if they had to deal with it the hard way. Some might not agree with me on this, but it would be nice that we let our young adults face reality and the harshness of life instead of consoling them with fakeness and lies.

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Exposure

Our young adults are aware of their surroundings, contrary to the idea that they do not know what they are doing. Of course, they do. Our kids are smart enough to understand what is right and wrong. But sometimes, we can’t reassure ourselves that they will not engage in negative activities. But as parents who were once young adults, we understand the importance of exposure. We know that once we let go loosely of our teenagers, there’s the possibility of them getting trapped from whatever it is that makes them behave negatively. But if we’ll also hold the grip tight, they might retaliate and hurt themselves just to let go. It would be nice for us parents to stay in the middle. We can work on our parenting styles related to exposure with the tips below.

  • Allow teens to go out provided with a curfew.
  • Letting them spend time with friends that are known or introduced in the family
  • Permit young adults to participate in social activities
  • Let them take responsibility for their actions

Expectations

One thing that ruins the parent-child relationship is expectations. It is normal for us parents to think positively and exceedingly of our kids. Normally, we aim high for their bright future. However, we should not let our high hopes reach unrealistic goals. Our young adults might have potential, but they are not perfect. They will commit mistakes and make bad decisions in their lives, and we have to be okay with that. We should never let them feel that they are incapable just because they fail once or twice. Our obligation as parents is to ensure that they believe in their self abilities as much as we believe in them.

Takeaway

Young adults may seem complicated to handle, but the truth is, parents already know what to do. Some struggle because they find it hard to distinguish between reasons and excuses. With that particular issue, these fundamentals can guarantee help with parenting.

 

Therapy To Help Teens Manage Emotions

Teenage years are what we all consider the most complicated stage of our lives. We experienced all sorts of disappointments, heartbreaks, stress, and trauma that made us create decisions that are often inappropriate. And now that we have become parents, we somehow feel obligated to assist our teenagers in this phase since we already suffered enough pressure from unrealistic societal standards, self-insecurities, and other mental health issues.

As parents, we have to ensure that our teens can learn to help teenagers manage their emotions. We have to do it for our children’s sake and for connecting and understanding them during their rough times. With that, we should all take note of these couple of suggestions from the professional experts.

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Utilizing Non-Judgmental Language

It is easy to assume that, as parents, we know the objective of our teens’ behavior display. We often believe that everything our kids does always has a connection to their desire to seek attention. That is the first thing that would come up in our minds when we find our children a little too complicated to handle. So from there, we usually made it clear that there is constant segregation of good and bad and right and wrong. But instead of trying to tell our teens to focus on keeping away from the negative things, we should allow them to learn by the unintentional encounter. But by doing that, we need to consider not sounding like we are expressing an opinion about our kids’ behaviors. We have to be more non-judgmental and open-minded with our teens’ decisions and actions.

Accepting There Is Sometimes A Gray Area

Handling teens is not always an “All-or-nothing” battle that we often tell ourselves. The truth is, the process can be worth considering despite the mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion we might endure along the way. Yes, we can reasonably convince our kids and ourselves that we are doing the right thing. We can agree that we can create the best decisions because we already managed to get through it first. However, the situational comparison does not often fit our and our children’s experiences. Thus, we need to consider the existence of a gray area. We need to accept that even if we went through the same situation, our kids didn’t suffer the same amount of pain, anxiety, stress, and mental and emotional deterioration.

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Providing Choices And Limits

It is not uncommon for us parents to set boundaries. But sometimes, we know that we can be a little too harsh on our teenagers. And admittedly, sometimes the cause of their emotional dilemma comes from us as we become unreasonable parents. And because we believe we have the right to do anything for or to them, we do not provide our children with choices and opportunities to know their limits. We often stick to what we already know because we don’t want to waste time learning the difference between our generation and theirs. So as we can see, the problem is not about what our children should do to please us. Instead, it is about what we should do to help them develop their self-compassion.

Be Willing To Renegotiate And Choose Priorities

The thing with parenting is that we assume we are always right. Even if we know we make mistakes, our children should never call us out because that would mean disrespect. Understandably, rules are rules. And as parents, our main goal is to let our teenagers understand that what we are trying to do is for their sake. However, we must consider renegotiating with them to know how they process and choose their priorities. We need to stop telling our kids what to do because that’s not how overall wellness develops. As parents, we need to show considerations so that our kids can learn to be mindful of the intentional emotional healing process.

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Validating By Paying Attention 

Helping our teens in clarifying their thoughts and feelings can be a tricky process. One mistake, all the efforts we put into parenting can go to waste. We must normalize our children’s feelings and behaviors to feel open to express and discuss them with us. That way, we can show them empathy and acceptance. We need to avoid telling them that their emotions are not a big deal because we managed to get rid of ours. We are adults, and they are kids. So the emotional and mental strength is far more different than what we can imagine. It would be best if we could offer self-disclosure and vulnerability when our teens are emotionally exposed. We need to learn and understand that a cooperative parent-child relationship must contain trust, acknowledgment, and support.

 

When To Seek Counseling For Your Troubled Teen

As a parent, we only want what’s best for our children. It’s only normal for us to want to be there to see our child’s every milestone. We aspire to be the ones to teach them everything about the world. We always want to be our children’s heroes. However, it can be daunting when our children turn into teens who will step into adolescence. It can be difficult to think that they are maturing into adults with their thoughts and problems. 

In their teenage years, young adults tend to be emotional. Their body is transforming due to hormones that are causing these changes. They are slowly processing the world around them. Soon they will also crave freedom and independence. They are maturing to make their own decisions. They will also eventually face many hardships in their life. It can be hard to admit that we cannot solve every single problem our child might have.

It can be hard to distinguish what is normal behavior and what is not. Sometimes, we need the expertise of medical professionals to provide additional guidance. Teens might need counseling for a variety of issues. It can include stress, school bullying, behavioral problems, and more. Here are some tips on knowing when to seek counseling for your troubled teen:

Your Teen Has Drastic Changes In Sleeping Patterns

Sleep is essential to everyone. Having a consistent sleeping schedule is beneficial to our body. Many biological functions happen during sleep. When we sleep, our body and brain repair themselves and restore and re-energize for the next day. Lack of sleep can negatively affect both our physical and mental health.

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As young adults, teenagers naturally tend to experience changes in their sleeping habits. They may want to stay up all night to keep up with all the social happenings. On the other hand, they may prefer to stay in all night and rest. However, it can be unsettling when these changes are drastic. It may be that your teen complains of being unable to sleep. It could also be because they want to sleep to stay away from everyone.

When you notice drastic sleeping pattern changes, it’s best to consult your doctor first. Your family doctor can diagnose and treat your child if they have any physical ailments or mental health issues. They will assess if your child needs medication or therapy. You are also free to consult a counselor. Poor sleeping patterns can be a sign of depression and other mental health disorders. 

Your Teen Shows Wild Mood Swings

Teens are naturally going to be moody. It is a normal part of their adolescent development. Many experienced parents will attest to this fact. It can be tricky to be a doting parent to a moody young adult. Every day can be hot and cold. The best workaround for this is to extend your patience. Try your best to understand your teen a little better. They are starting to figure things out on their own. Slowly trust them to make their own decisions as time passes by.

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However, extreme mood swings can be a cause of great concern. Your teen may start to exhibit violent behavior. They may tend to shout and express anger at everything. This may be due to a deeper issue. It can be because of bullying at school or exposure to bad influences. As a worst-case scenario, there may also be alcohol and illegal drugs involved. It can be difficult to assess the cause of the problem by yourself.

Seeking a counselor’s help will aid you to understand the root cause. Doing so will help you uncover what’s going on. Wild mood swings may put your teen in danger. With the insight from the counseling sessions, appropriate boundaries can be set. 

Your Child Exhibits Withdrawal From Life

Sometimes, schools can be a cause of pressure for your teen. Schoolwork, deadlines, and relationships can be challenging. These rough roads are a part of your child’s development. This will teach them important skills such as time management. This will help them realize the value of prioritizing important tasks and people. It is usually a good challenge to hone your teen.

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However, it can cause too much distress. Eventually, it can lead to anxiety. As a response, your teen may tend to always hole up in his or her room. It’s normal for young adults to value their personal space. Still, when your child starts to withdraw socially, there might be something else going on. This withdrawal may be a symptom of depression. When they start to distance themselves from family and friends, it’s best to consult your counselor.

Depression can cause your teen to withdraw from life and not enjoy the things they love. When a lot is going on in their minds, it can be overwhelming. They may also feel uncomfortable discussing such matters with you as their parents. Seeking counseling will help your teen process their thoughts better. As guidance to your child, having them visit a counselor can be a safe place for them. 

Seeking Counseling For Your Troubled Teen

When your instincts say your teen is troubled, stop blaming yourself. You may tend to overthink and worry why you never noticed their behavior before. You may beat yourself up for not being a good parent. It’s normal to be overwhelmed by such discoveries. However, instead of dwelling on the negative thoughts, focus on finding solutions. Remember that seeking help now is better than later. Don’t let your emotions hinder your teen from getting back on track.

Every teen is unique. While these are the common signs, you must always be aware. If you think something is amiss, express your concerns and ask how you can help. Don’t show disappointment or any negative emotion. Be open-minded. Remember that your teen is a young adult who can read emotions. If you think that your skills as a parent are not enough, don’t hesitate to seek professional help for your child. 

6 Activities Approved By Youth Counselors To Help With Anxiety And Depression

It’s not new that children and teens can develop and show signs of anxiety and depression. Just like adults, they too can be overwhelmed with stress. Youth depression is also a serious mental health problem that needs paying attention to. As parents, we must help them by teaching them ways to deal with anxiety and depression.  We should be the first to encourage them to seek professional help. We can help them consult with a family psychiatrist or a school counselor. 

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Sometimes, kids can be cranky, and teens can be rebellious. Depression, however, is more persistent. It can hinder them from fully functioning in their social and academic activities. They may also isolate themselves from friends and family. 

As a concerned parent, you should update and educate yourself regarding mental health issues among children and teens. You must be aware of anxiety and depression symptoms and know different techniques on how to handle them.

Below are six youth counselor-approved activities that can help your kids cope with their emotional distress. Some of these activities you may even do with them as parents.

Journal Writing

Kids and even adults can keep a diary. They can write down how their days went, highlighting key events and feelings. It is an outlet where kids and teens can express themselves freely, without the judgment of others. Even little children can keep diaries, even if their reading and writing skills are still developing. If they have a hard time writing down their emotions, teach them how to use drawings, stickers, or pictures instead.

Counselors, in general, approve journal writing as a technique in managing stress. Writing down can help in calming down and being mindful of your own emotions. It helps kids sort their emotions, and teenagers can use them to organize their activities. Keeping a journal gives them the feeling that they are in control of their lives.

Play Games

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It can be frustrating if all your child does is play outside or play video games. However, you should be more alarmed if they stop doing their usual activities. A key indicator of youth depression is the loss of interest in things they enjoy doing before. If that is the case, parents should encourage kids to play with toys or video games.

Especially when done with friends or playmates, games can be a great avenue for social interaction for kids. It can be of great help for kids and teens who have trouble communicating their feelings. Parents can also join in on the fun with family-oriented games. Sitting on the carpet while being immersed in a game with your kid can give them a feeling of companionship. So you should get down on the floor and enjoy some family bonding time.

Nature Therapy

Nature therapy, or ecotherapy, is one of the activities highly recommended by counselors. It involves surrounding yourself with nature to aid in healing and restoration. You can take a leisurely walk across your local park or hike and camp at a mountain. You can plan activities such as stargazing or fishing with the whole family. Get out and enjoy the fresh air in nature. Research suggests that surrounding yourself with nature is linked to having fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression. If you can’t go out in nature at the moment, start planting your very own garden or take care of a plant with your family. Gardening has been shown to reduce stress levels and keep people more relaxed.

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Exercise And Stretching

If you need that instant endorphin boost for your kids, try to engage them in physical activities. Getting up and moving around gets the heart rate up. It doesn’t matter if it’s a quick jog around the block or a full 30-minute dance routine. Exercising activates neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Once active, these help in uplifting your kid’s mood.

You should also stretch from time to time. Teach your kids to include routine stretches within the day. It doesn’t have to be a full yoga session. When your kid gets up to stretch, it releases tension within their body. It gives them a couple of minutes to breathe slowly and lower their heart rate, which helps reduce symptoms of anxiety. You can initiate a family exercise or stretching session. Get the whole family involved in a new active endeavor.

Cooking

Studies reveal that cooking in a kitchen makes people happier. People who participate in activities such as cooking report feeling more relaxed than people who do not. Counselors now consider cooking to be therapeutic for people dealing with anxiety and depression. It gives people a task to focus on, reducing stress and keeping anxiety levels low. Creating a hearty dish can also give you a boost of confidence and improve your self-esteem. If your kid is showing symptoms of mental health issues, try to engage them in household chores or activities. Include them in the process of making food for the family. It is also a good opportunity to let your kid openly communicate with you.

Create Art

Much like cooking, creating art gives you a feeling of accomplishment by creating something from nothing. Art therapy makes kids engrossed in the creative process, which is linked to having positive emotions and reduced stress. Art can manifest in different forms. It can be through the school band, learning a new instrument, photography, or painting. However, you should note that you shouldn’t pressure your kids into being perfect in their art. Remember that just getting engaged in the activity is enough to reap the benefits of art therapy.

It is important to note that these activities are not a replacement for professional therapy. It is still best to consult with your local counselor or psychiatrist when your kid has mental health problems. You could also ask them what activities would be best suited for your family. But being proactive in seeking activities to help with your child’s anxiety and depression is always good. Your child is sure to see that you support them and that you’ve got their back no matter what.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Exercise Helps Depression

Having a mental illness is not what all of us are confident to talk about. In most instances, as much as possible, we tend to hide it from everyone around because of the judgment and stereotypes that we may face when broadcasting it. We somehow believe that talking about it will only make it worse and that nobody entirely cares anyway. It makes us feel guilty of only wanting to gather attention for the sake of being relevant. But is it always like that? Are we not aware of the consequences of ignoring the mental health symptoms we face every time our emotional and mental health gets unstable?

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Depression And Coping Methods

Depression is a known mental health condition that we widely accept not because we understand how it progress but because we merely learn things about it. We are aware of its impact in where it changes how we think, feel, and behave. But despite that, we also know that we can do something to get rid of it. And by that, self-care comes in handy, and one of the most favorite ones is exercise.

Does exercise help anxiety and depression? 

Regular exercise lessens depression and anxiety by releasing the feel-good hormones called endorphins and other brain chemicals that enhance the sense of an individual’s well-being. It improves mental health by reducing levels and symptoms of stress, negative mood, anxiety, and depression. It also supports self-awareness by improving self-esteem and better cognitive function while alleviating low self-esteem and social withdrawal symptoms.

Does exercise help mental health? 

Exercise improves psychological health by limiting stress, anxiety, depression, and negative mood. It promotes better sleep, reduces physical stress, provides more energy, improves self-esteem, and increases cognitive function. It helps alleviate mental health symptoms, such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. It supports the development of the brain and strengthens interpersonal relationships as well.

 Is exercise as effective as an antidepressant? 

Yes. Based on medical research, exercise and antidepressants were equally effective in promoting better emotional and mental health. That is because exercise helps the body release brain chemicals such as endorphins and dopamine, responsible for making a person happy. With the boost of these feel-good hormones, the brain and body also remove the ones that stress you out and make you anxious. Note that aerobic exercise, such as swimming, jogging, and running, appears to be best for brain health.

 What kind of exercise is good for depression? 

Some of the best exercises that most experts recommend to help with depression include lunges, crunches, squats, step-ups, pushups, wall-sit, and jumping jacks. However, if some of these tend to be extreme for some reason, other health care providers may suggest running, boxing, Pilates, brisk walking, resistance training, spin classes, and yoga. With a lot of exercise options, there are surely many benefits that one can use for depression. But note. Every individual struggle with different symptoms, so there are chances that a specific exercise may or may not provide the same beneficial outcome.

 Is HIIT good every day?

HIIT is one of the popular workouts nowadays. It surely provides a great, safe, and effective workout with all the different movements and styles. However, there’s no need to do it every day since HIIT for periods longer than 30 minutes can put you at risk for overtraining, injury, and mental burnout. Too much exercise can lead to overall exhaustion and prevents muscle recovery. If possible, you try and keep it to three times per week because that will still give your body time to recover properly.

How can I improve mentally? 

To improve your mental health, you must realize the importance of expressing or talking about your feelings. That way, you won’t have to get stuck with your unwanted thoughts alone. Once you are okay with sharing your problems, it would become easy for you to care for yourself. It would be best if you focus on doing something you are good at, keep in touch with people that means a lot to you, and often keep yourself physically active. Do not forget to take a break once in a while and immediately ask for help whenever you need medical assistance.

 How can I quiet my mind? 

Some things can help you quiet your mind. First, you have to get your body into a good and position. Once you are comfortable, slowly take a deep breath and sigh it out. Please get in touch with your breathing. You can close your eyes, position your hands on your lap, and feel your breathing. Imagine yourself in a happy and calm place and detach from your thoughts. Just focus on your breathing and meditate.

 What are the five signs of mental illness? 

You can easily identify that you are having a mental illness when you are experiencing unwarranted worry, anxiety, or paranoia if you are suffering from a lasting sadness, tiredness, and irritability, when there are extreme changes in your moods when there is a drastic change in your eating or sleeping pattern, and when you are dealing with social withdrawal or isolation. If you feel doubtful about yourself and suffer from a reduced ability to concentrate, seek immediate professional help.

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How can I train my mind to be stronger than my emotions? 

You should train your mind to be stronger than your emotions. That way, you won’t lose yourself every time you deal with unexpected things around you. Start with modifying your expectations and avoiding negative thinking. Yes, it is not easy to do that, but you have to be cautious with your thoughts. Change the way you look at every situation so that you can discover the right emotions to use. Be mindful not to react right away and always think about two sides of the situation. Open your mind to options and solutions.

 How can I control my emotions and thoughts? 

To control your emotions and thoughts, always look at the impact of their meaning on the situation. Intense emotions aren’t all bad. However, you should identify what you feel so you can know when to express yourself. It will help if you keep a mood journal that will allow you to understand your mood levels and know what they are for. Controlling your emotions may take time, especially if it is not something you are well-aware of doing. Just give yourself some space and learn things thoroughly.

 How can I be happy? 

Your way to happiness entirely depends on your outlook in life. Only you can determine the good and the ugly side of your emotions. But if ever there is a chance that you can convince yourself to feel better, always consider doing it. Smile and laugh more frequently. Get a good night’s sleep and allow your mind and body to rest as long as you want. Learn to focus on your emotional and mental needs by appreciating your strength. Be grateful for all the things around you and give compliments more often. Be contented in life, and always stay happy.

 How can I be strong alone? 

Trying to get rid of emotional and mental problems when you are alone is quite a tough process. But it should not let you down. Not just because you feel you are all by yourself, it does not mean that you are the only person dealing with the same issue. Never compare yourself to others as they also face a different battle. It would help if you take a step away from social media or take a break from your device. That way, you can focus more on self-care.

 Is it okay to be alone all the time? 

Of course, it is okay to be alone from time to time to help your brain rest and rejuvenate. However, staying alone for quite some time may contribute to a lack of social connections, which can be harmful to our physical, emotional, and mental health. It would be best that you spend quality time with people you trust and care about. And when you feel the need to spend time with yourself, you do it as well.

 Why do people feel lonely? 

People feel lonely because they know something is not right. Often, they are sad because of unexpected incidents such as losing someone, heartbreak, or disappointments. But sometimes loneliness can be a symptom of something else, such as a disability or an illness. Extreme loneliness levels can come from certain mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.

 What should a person do when he feels lonely?

Every individual handles loneliness differently. Some are more comfortable handling problems alone, while others often need someone to talk to and be there for them. Regardless of people’s preferences, it is important to admit that one needs help. There must be an acknowledgment of loneliness so that solutions can be realistically attainable. And if things are way out of hand, one should consider seeking a piece of professional advice.

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Insight

So next time you feel emotionally and mentally unstable, choose your coping methods wisely. Focus on your overall wellness and exercise regularly. Do not wait for your mental illness to take your life and start aiming for your mental development.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About A Psychodynamic Therapist

At some point in our lives, we may have experienced stress, anxiety, and emotional distress due to work, relationships, and other factors.

However, these uncomfortable feelings are further amplified in teenagers who are going through adolescence. The changes that are happening to them can be challenging and overwhelming. Without proper guidance and help, they might lead astray.

Typically, the initial response would be to divert the attention to other things so that those may serve as distractions. However, since these negative emotions can impair daily activities, getting a little extra help would surely help.

Even mild symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorder can benefit from therapy.

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Different kinds of mental health professionals could help alleviate this condition. If you have a teenager that needs assistance, make sure to seek professional help.

You can go to any of the following: a psychologist, a clinical social worker, medical doctor, or a professional trained to conduct mental health counseling. A psychologist is capable of assessing your child by conducting tests to diagnose the condition.

By determining the condition of your child, the therapist can formulate an effective treatment plan. Often, the most effective treatment is a combination of therapeutic approaches and medications. However, it is a case to case basis since each individual has unique needs.

There are various types of therapies to fit different conditions. One of the known treatments is psychodynamic psychotherapy. This approach addresses how past events and your unconscious thoughts affect your current conflicts. Psychotherapy allows a better understanding of the behaviors, moods, and thoughts.

Planning to seek psychotherapy for you or your loved one? Here are some frequently asked questions to help you start.

What does a psychodynamic therapist do?

A psychodynamic therapist helps patients gain insights into their lives; they tackle everyday problems and evaluate the development of psychological patterns over time.

They review a person’s emotions, thoughts, early-life experiences, and beliefs since psychodynamic therapy deals with interpreting a person’s mental and emotional processes. It focuses on the psychological roots of emotional suffering.

What is an example of psychodynamic therapy?

Psychodynamic music therapy is one approach to psychodynamic therapy. It involves the exploration of various instruments such as guitar, drums, and piano. No musical background is needed; people are encouraged to express themselves through music; however they wish.

What is a psychodynamic approach?

The psychodynamic approach focuses on how a person’s unconscious can affect behavior and feelings. It includes all psychological theories that base human functioning on the interaction of different person’s personality structures.

Who is psychodynamic therapy most beneficial for?

Psychodynamic therapy is beneficial for people with the following mental health conditions:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • panic
  • stress-related physical ailments

Psychodynamic therapy is also found to be effective in addiction, social anxiety disorder, and eating disorders.

What techniques do psychodynamic therapists use?

The following are tools and techniques used commonly in the practice of psychodynamic therapy:

  • Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) – serves as a framework for understanding and evaluating behavior.
  • Rorschach Inkblots – Shows how a patient interprets and describes the images that they see.
  • Freudian Slip – “Slips” can have deeper meanings.
  • Free Association – An essential tool. A therapist reads a list of words, and the patient is asked to respond with the first word that comes to mind immediately.
  • Dream Analysis

How long does psychodynamic therapy take?

Psychotherapy can be used as a:

  • Short-term therapy – Goal-oriented and may take up to 25 sessions.
  • Long-term therapy – May take two years or more.
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What are the weaknesses of the psychodynamic approach?

The following are limitations of the psychodynamic approach:

  • It places too much emphasis on psychological factors. It does not consider how biological or genetic factors contribute to mental health problems.
  • The approach is reductionist. It limits the human mind to the id, ego, superego, and the five psychosexual stages.
  • It ignores mediational processes, such as thinking.

What can I expect from psychodynamic therapy?

In psychodynamic therapy:

  • The sessions are intense and open-ended.
  • Sessions are scheduled once a week and may last an hour per session.

Therapists encourage the patient to talk freely about whatever it is that is on their minds. Based on the patient’s thoughts and feelings, the therapist will identify recurring patterns in their emotions, behaviors, and subconscious mind.

What are the four types of talk therapies?

Talk therapies are psychological treatments for people experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression. The four types of talk therapies are as follows:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you explore your thoughts about your life and change unhelpful behavior patterns.
  • Behavioral activation aims to help people with depression gain motivation and take small steps towards small, positive changes in their lives.
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT) addresses a person’s relationship problems with their family, partner, and friends.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) helps people with PTSD heal from a traumatic event by reprocessing memories of said event.

What are the strengths of the psychodynamic approach?

The psychodynamic approach:

  • helps you focus on your past to understand how it impacts your present behavior
  • helps you recognize how your subconscious impacts your behavior, thereby getting into the deepest portion of you as an individual and heals you inside out.
  • gives you confidence, self-awareness, more profound knowledge of self, and acceptance.

What are the key features of the psychodynamic approach?

The key features of the psychodynamic approach include:

  • The Unconscious Mind – the primary source of human behavior; influences judgments, feelings, or behavior.
  • The Collective Unconscious – unconscious thoughts and feelings can transfer to the conscious mind, causing Freudian slips.

The psyche (id, ego, and superego) – The unconscious (id and superego) is in constant conflict with the conscious (ego), and this conflict creates anxiety.

  • Defense Mechanisms
  • Psychosexual Development
  • Psychosocial Development

What makes the psychodynamic approach unique?

The psychodynamic approach is unique because it assesses a person’s unconscious mind and relates it to their psychological development. The unconscious gives us information about why a person feels what they feel or why they behave how they behave.

How does psychodynamic therapy help anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are treated with medications, psychotherapy, or both. Psychodynamic therapy looks into the

fears, dreams, and desires to assess how a person views the self and others. It also focuses on a person’s defense mechanisms towards stressful situations and thoughts.

How successful is psychodynamic therapy?

Actual studies and scientific evidence have shown that psychodynamic therapy is highly effective as other psychotherapies and have lasting effects on patients.

Is CBT a psychodynamic therapy?

Both CBT and psychodynamic therapy are talk-based therapy and considered the big schools of thought in therapy. They differ from each other in that:

Psychodynamic therapy looks into your past and subconscious to understand your present. The goal of psychodynamic therapy is to help you work towards better understanding your past and present self. The treatment style may be short or long-term.

CBT focuses on finding skill-based solutions to present problems. The goal is to recognize negative thought patterns and to change these behaviors. The treatment style is short term.

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Nowadays, people are more open about mental health issues. Society is becoming more accepting towards the subject of mental health and seeking professional help. Regardless of whether your child has a mental illness or merely enduring a bunch of life’s stresses, it can get better by undergoing therapy.

A psychologist, clinical social worker, psychiatrist, or any professional trained to provide therapy can create a holistic approach to your situation. Exploring the different types of therapy applicable can provide better treatments.

As discussed, psychodynamic psychotherapy is among the most widely used approaches. This type works by revisiting early-life experiences, emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. It pays attention to the development of psychological patterns based on the narrations.

This treatment is beneficial to people suffering from depression, anxiety, panic, and stress-related physical disorders.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy can be short-term or long-term, depending on the existing condition. The therapist will utilize techniques to assess the unconscious and behaviors. The therapy involves a lot of talking to delve into the potential roots of the present condition.

This psychotherapy aims to understand why patients feel, behave, and react in a certain way. Building trust and rapport is essential for successful therapy. Furthermore, commitment to the therapy could bring out your determination to get better. In the end, this could bring healing, confidence, self-awareness, and acceptance.

Therapies combined with social support from family and friends are highly effective. In some cases, the doctor would require medications to work alongside the therapy.

Whatever you feel right now does not define you. Do not be afraid to seek help. Trust in yourself. Better days will come. There a better future waiting for you.

YouTube Channels That Teach The Youth About Mental Health

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Over the years, YouTube has grown from a video-streaming website to a robust platform that can entertain and educate. While young individuals use it to watch their favorite “vloggers,” they are missing out on many other informative channels.

Statistics show that about 50% of lifetime mental health cases start by the age of 14. Learning about these issues from a young age can empower the youth, and here are some helpful YouTube channels to check out.

Anna Freud NCCF

The Anna Freud Center is a mental health charity that targets children and families. They provide support through various ways, including conducting research, sharing clinical expertise and training, developing policies, and raising awareness and education.

They work first-hand with mental health professionals and providers, as well as children and the youth. Their YouTube channel has numerous videos that can serve as learning resources.

While most of their content is for mental health experts, they also have clips for the general public. Their animated short video, “We All Have Mental Health,” is aimed at those aged 11-14. It seeks to provide the youth with an understanding of what mental health is and how they can take care of it.

Psychology In Seattle

Psychology in Seattle is a podcast by Dr. Kirk Honda, a licensed therapist and professor, who focuses on mental health. It first started in 2008, and now with the YouTube channel’s over a thousand videos, it continues to grow each day.

In some of his videos, Dr. Honda is with his friend and co-host, Humberto, who provides the layperson’s voice. He invites other colleagues and individuals as well, to join him in his other uploads.

The podcasts’ focus is to explain common mental health disorders and experiences that many people may share. Psychology in Seattle also has a video series on the psychology of many popular TV shows and movies such as Game of Thrones. They even have a separate playlist of its characters and the series in general.

The channel recently gained a larger audience from Dr. Honda’s reaction videos. In this series, he watches clips of couples from reality TV shows such as 30-Day Fiance and Married at First Sight. It is unique from other YouTubers’ reaction videos since he provides valuable insights and teachings on relationships and mental health.

While some of the channel’s content is best for adult audiences, the podcast videos are suitable for the youth, which provides them with a better understanding of their experiences. It can also teach them techniques for dealing with their emotions as they grow to be more emotionally-stable adults.

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Psych Hub Education

Psych Hub is an online platform that aims to educate people about mental health. They have over 180 animated videos on different mental health topics. Their uploads are comprehensive, yet the discussions are easy enough for the youth to comprehend.

They developed their own Learning Hubs, which are programs that utilize various mediums for education, such as games, fireside chats, role-play activities, and animations. Participants like mental health providers, professionals, and allies can also earn certification from their Learning Hubs. 

As for the general public, Psych Hub has a free video library that they host on YouTube.  Some of the video series they have on their channel include General Mental Health, Major Depressive Disorder, and Eating Disorders.

Further, they have recently created several short clips about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affects our well-being. Their animated videos provide information and tips for dealing with self-isolation and emotional stress.

This YouTube channel is helpful for people of all ages, providing easily understandable content for the youth.

Mind, The Mental Health Charity

This channel comes from Mind, a charity based in Wales and England. It started as the National Association for Mental Health (NAMH) in 1946 and changed its name in 1972.

The organization aims to provide knowledge and guidance to those struggling with mental health. They also lobby local governments on behalf of this community. Since their establishment, they have likewise strived to raise awareness of these issues.

The YouTube channel started in 2007, but only began regular uploads in 2011. Since then, their content grew to include other contents such as vlogs of people sharing their own stories and informative animated videos about mental health.

There’s a whole series (#InYourOwnWords) where people aged 18-25 share their experiences. The channel also has a few posts (Ask Mind) where their Information Team answers questions viewers send.

Summary

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When it comes to YouTube, parents may see it as a place solely for entertainment. However, there is much educational content online that can be helpful for the youth. People are opening up to discussing mental health, and YouTube is one platform for such discussions.

On this side of the world wide web, some channels create quality content for young viewers to learn. Some of these include Anne Freud NCCF, Psychology in Seattle, Psych Hub Education, and Mind: The Mental Health Charity.

These YouTube channels empower the youth by showing them that they have the power to make things better for themselves.

Adapting During The New Normal With Family

As proof of practicality, families are cautiously approaching the effects of the pandemic on their living conditions. We can’t say for sure how better or worse the situation gets, so it’s always good to stay on the safe side.

Sticking to the safer side also means being extra attentive at home. Kids tend to find themselves in the middle of an unfamiliar new normal.

Covering The Lockdown Basics

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  • Lockdown Etiquette

Parenting combined with work during the pandemic is no easy feat, and how parents react towards it reflects on the kids. This statement is supported by clinical child psychologist Dr. Donna Housman, Ed.D. “Children learn from not only what we say, but also by watching what we do.” 

UNICEF encourages parents to do the following: Speak kindly to all members of the household. Share the load of taking care of children and other family members. Assign household chores and childcare with the family. For mom and dad’s sanity, establish and respect on and off times with other adults at home. 

  • Explain The New Normal

Kids are curious young people. To set the children’s expectations, it is necessary to have a family discussion to explain the pandemic. Make sure to explain thoroughly why you are locked in. Remember to touch on the family’s health, risk of infection, vulnerable people, and schooling.

Aside from explaining the new normal, it is also necessary to emphasize what they are supposed to do. Explain to the children the need for proper hygiene.

Find fun and enjoyable ways to teach kids how to wash their hands properly. Encourage them as well to avoid touching their face as well. Finally, explain the importance of wearing masks when out in public.

Keeping The Home Peaceful

  • Making Mental Space

Earlier during the pandemic, countries’ governing bodies issued a lockdown to help lessen interaction amongst people. Authorities warn us of the risks of going outside, pleading us to leave only when necessary. When staying in with others, it is crucial to remember that mental space is as valuable as physical space.

Youngsters need to have their own space, yet sometimes it may be difficult, especially if they share rooms with siblings. However, parents can instead encourage and support children (and themselves) in designing their own mental spaces.

Kids should have space where they can draw, read, play, and call friends to help them. Scheduling who gets specific parts of those and agreeing as a family can ease families into finding their mental spaces.

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  • Quality Time

Proximity doesn’t measure the meaningfulness and sincerity if spending time with your family. Squeeze in your schedule regular family get-together sessions like game night, gardening, cooking, or exercise. This lockdown is the perfect time to get to know your children and bond with them.

Exercise is quite important, even during a lockdown. Any activity allowing you to stretch and move your muscles can aid in boosting endorphins and releasing pent-up stress. There are several exercises you can do from home.

  • Mitigate Arguments And Squabbles

In a house with adults and children copped up together for an extended period, it is totally normal to have arguments blow up. But fights may ensue. Understandably, being restricted to a single place day in day out may take a toll on our emotional and mental health. Besides, people have different coping mechanisms.

As parents, always remember to stay calm. Arguments and fights happen, but you need to keep yourself collected. Upset parties should take a timeout from each other.

The best way is to separate them, so they turn to their coping styles and get into their mental spaces. Preventing arguments over the television or devices is possible through implementing an agreed and fair schedule. 

Importantly, communication is vital in any situation where there’s conflict. Directly talking to your upset child can ease their minds and get you a fresher perspective. When they have calmed down, ask them why they reacted the way they did. Carefully ask them how they felt.

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Keeping Yourself At Peace

  • Letting Go Of Inhibitions

Parents need parenting themselves during this new normal. The pressure of a parent is equal at this point with work and home literally in one place. Parents often feel they cannot escape either of their daunting responsibilities. That is why parents shouldn’t put too much pressure on themselves. 

Sometimes allowing your kids to lead the way helps solutions find their way to unknotting problems. Ask your kids what they need to feel happy or focus at home on their studies. This sense of autonomy helps them grow, and parents worry about one thing less.

  • Working From Home

Bringing work home has ever since been one major stressor of working parents. But now that work lives at home, it seems like it’s difficult to escape. The duality of things requires flexible planning and precise execution.

Create a schedule to differentiate work and housework. Physically create a line between work and work from home with a designated workspace. But remember, kids are unpredictable, so be ready for any surprise drills and shrills even when you’re in a meeting.

Do not underestimate the purpose of nap time. A good hour or two can help parents stay productive and on track, while the kids are snoozing. 

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  • Self-Care In Your Arsenal

Therapist Jaime Bronstein, LCSW points out that it’s important for a parent’s emotional reserve at a good functioning level to be able to support the children’s needs. She explains to parents that it is not a selfish act to put ourselves first. 

Both parents and children have been affected by this new normal, and we’ve got a lot of adapting to do. Managing the home and your family members’ spaces and time, communicating with them, and prioritizing your sanity are parents’ home survival kit. However, the whole situation shouldn’t be taken negatively.

Admit it – this new normal can bring meaningful change to your family life.

 

How To Make Your Teens Like Staying At Home

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A lot of kids start their education without wanting to part with their parents. Then, they get used to being at school for a few hours and spending time with their peers. The older they become, the less you see them at home.
The latter is a natural part of growing up, but many parents seem to find it challenging to accept. That is especially true if the children hit puberty and turn into teenagers. They start having crushes, going on dates, and joining different cliques, and they no longer have time for their dear ol’ parents.

Now, our lives are no longer as fast-paced as before due to the coronavirus outbreak. Schools and offices have shut down, and everyone is supposed to either study or work from home. Teenagers and senior citizens must avoid going out, too, since their immunity may not be able to handle the virus.

I fully agree that this pandemic is devastating; however, no one can blame a parent like me if I see this as an opportunity to bond with my teenage kids. Still, I realize soon enough that they are not fond of staying at home as much as they used to be. So, I wonder, “How can I keep my teenagers from sneaking out?”

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Avoid Nagging

The first thing that you should avoid or lessen is nagging your teens. Say, they may like to sleep in these days, and you try to wake them up early as if they still need to go to school. Or, they may have barely touched the game console, but you are already telling them to stop playing.

Any son or daughter who gets nagged often may risk catching the infectious disease instead of putting up with all the nagging. After all, when your kids are outside, they won’t hear your voice for some time, so they get peace of mind. You need to think of other ways to make them do your bidding without hating you.

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Give Age-Appropriate Tasks

People admire teenagers who look after their young siblings while their parents are working. They say, “Oh, you are such a responsible kid. I wish my son or daughter is like you.” The mom and dad also receive praise for raising them in that manner.

Most of these individuals do not see that the teenagers may not have taken on this responsibility on their own. Often, the parents leave them no choice, even though they wish to have fun with friends and not become their siblings’ babysitter. When these teens get fed up, therefore, they end up sneaking out and breaking the rules.

The key here is to give age-appropriate tasks to your teenage children. Being big and strong is not an excuse to make them look after a bunch of youngsters or renovate the bathroom. If they can help you cook or do the laundry, that should be more than enough.

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Be Friendly

Why do you think your kids long for their friends’ company? The reason is that those are the people with whom they can share their silliest jokes or deepest secrets—you know, the things they hide from parents like you. The only way to make them open up to you is by becoming friendly like their peers.

You may start by playing the games they love or reading the books they cannot drop. It also helps to joke with them or find activities that you both enjoy. Nevertheless, the fastest solution is relaying your worries to your teenagers since hearing you share your thoughts may coax them to do the same.

Final Thoughts

It is our duty as parents to keep our kids safe, especially when there is a global pandemic. Despite that, you should do it without pressuring them to do this or that. Otherwise, they may always act up around you, which I’m sure you don’t want to happen.