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Specializations - Anxiety and Depression

Numerous people seek psychotherapy for help with anxiety and depression.  They may have lived with these feelings for years as chronic, unrelenting states; or they may experience anxiety and depression in response to stress, loss, or trauma.   In either case, research has shown that talking to a trained professional can be very helpful.

Often anxiety and depression are not the central psychological issue, but a symptom or natural side effect of life circumstances.  For example, people who experience chronic anxiety and depression commonly live with negative patterns of thinking, such as self-critical and devaluing thoughts.  These thought patterns may have developed at an early age in response to caregivers who were critical and devaluing.  Other people develop negative thought patterns later in life without having them diminished by more understanding, caring attitudes.  Effective psychotherapy involves in-depth study of how anxiety and depression are impacted by negative thoughts and beliefs.

Another key to addressing anxiety and depression is to learn how people handle basic human emotions, including feelings of anger and frustration.  It is common for people who experience significant anxiety and depression to be self-critical and turn their anger inward.  Therapy can help a client become adept at identifying and expressing their emotions - skills that are essential in reducing anxiety and depression.

Interpersonal psychotherapy has proven especially effective in helping people who suffer with anxiety and depression.  This type of therapy focuses on a client’s relationship with them self and with others.  It helps develop self-awareness and understanding by exploring questions such as:

  • How do you respond to needs and feelings? 
  • Who do you turn to for emotional support and nurturing?
  • How do you handle conflict and frustration in relationships? 
  • What beliefs or fears prevent you from discussing your needs with others?

Significant work on these issues can occur in individual treatment.  Clients frequently find that a combination of individual and group therapy is the most effective strategy for changing how they relate to them self and to others, and to eventually treat their anxiety or depression.  After several initial sessions, the client and therapist can examine the best approach for their treatment.

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