There is, unfortunately, a stigma attached to mental and emotional health issues, and, by extension, counseling that can help treat those issues. The truth, though, is that everyone faces challenges from time to time in their lives, and seeking help can be enormously helpful in getting through them.


At Umbrella HealthCareDr. John Lewis and his staff offer counseling services in a supportive environment for their patients in Phoenix, Arizona, who are dealing with a wide range of issues. The best thing you can do is ask for help when you first notice a problem; waiting for a crisis to hit only prolongs the difficulties and makes the problem harder to treat.


What is counseling, and why might I need it?


Counseling uses talk therapy (psychotherapy) to help you work through problems you’re experiencing. Counselors provide a safe place to discuss your feelings, in complete confidence and without judgment, so you can view your situation in a healthier and more productive way. This will enable you to take action to correct whatever’s wrong.


Sometimes it’s easier to express your emotions to someone who’s not a family member or close friend. And sometimes just the act of expressing these emotions helps ease your burden. At the same time, a skilled counselor can ask the hard but necessary questions that get to the heart of your problems, allowing you to understand yourself better.


Some of the most common types of counseling include:

  • Grief counseling
  • Couples counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Parenting education and support therapy
  • Stress management counseling
  • Work and career counseling

Counseling can also be useful to treat addiction behavior and a range of mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, and PTSD.


What approaches might a counselor use?


Counselors use a variety of approaches, tailoring the specifics to your personal issues and the severity of your problem. They may include:


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)


CBT is a form of psychological counseling that’s proved effective for problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, addictiveon behavior, marital problems, eating disorders, and severe mental illness.


The therapy contains several core principles:

  1. Psychological problems are partly based on unhelpful ways of thinking.
  2. Psychological problems are partly based on learned, unhelpful behaviors.
  3. People struggling with psychological problems can change their thinking patterns, finding better ways to cope with the problems and thereby relieving their symptoms.

The main thrust of CBT involves efforts to change thinking patterns.


Insight-oriented psychotherapy


Insight-oriented therapy focuses on the psychological factors that influence behavior. This approach has been around for over 100 years and has proved to be effective for a wide range of problems.


The therapy supposes that unresolved conflicts from childhood may cause problems in adulthood because they’re hidden from conscious awareness. These conflicts may produce symptoms such as anxiety, low self-esteem, grief, depression, physical pain, sexual dysfunction, relationship difficulties, and difficulty adjusting to change.


The counselor’s role is to help clients understand how their current life problems may be connected with this internal conflict and to propose resolutions.


Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)


EMDR was developed in 1987 for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s guided by the Adaptive Information Processing model, which considers that distressing symptoms result from a memory that wasn’t adequately processed. The memories contain the emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and physical sensations that occurred at the time of the traumatic event.


Unlike other treatments that focus on altering emotions, thoughts, and responses from traumatic experiences, EMDR therapy focuses directly on the memory. The goal is to change the way the memory is stored in the brain, thereby reducing and eliminating the problematic symptoms.


If you’re struggling with uncomfortable thoughts and/or emotions, don’t wait for a crisis to happen to seek counseling; Umbrella HealthCare can help you get your life back on track.


To schedule a consultation with Dr. Lewis, give our office a call at 623-242-1389, or book online with us today.

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