The emotion of anxiety is part of our body's normal response to stress. Anxiety is often felt as a sense of fear or apprehension and motivates us to prepare or protect ourselves. However, anxiety can become overwhelming-- with excessive worry, intrusive thoughts and physical symptoms which can interfere with daily life. A skilled counselor can assist you by increasing your understanding of triggers, thoughts and behaviors which contribute to increased anxiety and assist you in practicing healthy coping skills which will reduce the intensity of the anxiety response to daily stresses.
Most people experience normal periods of sadness from time to time. However, depression describes prolonged periods of intense sadness. These bouts include persistent feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness and loss of interest in activities. Depression can affect us both physically and emotionally and interfere with our ability to function in work and relationships. Therapy can increase our understanding of triggers, thoughts and behaviors which may contribute to depression and help change unhealthy patterns in order to alleviate depressive symptoms.
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet the demands of your job. When burnout takes hold, you may lose sight of the initial motivation and passion that led you into your chosen work. You may feel increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel you have nothing more to give. Burnout often spills over into every area of life—home, work, and social life. Burnout can also impact your physical health and make you more susceptible to illnesses. Therapy can help to identify the unique work, lifestyle and personal causes of burnout in order to find a path towards balance and renewed energy.
Trauma is the experience of a distressing event which causes long-term effects on our health and well-being. Examples of traumatic events include war, crimes, accidents, fires, violence, abuse and natural disasters. Thoughts and memories of the trauma may persist long after the event has passed. Long term trauma-related symptoms include emotional instability, flashbacks, nightmares, relationship difficulties and physical symptoms such as headaches or nausea. The goal of trauma-focused therapy is to reintegrate the trauma into memory without the associated negative thoughts and intense emotions and to enhance resilience in the face of future triggers.
The quality of our connection to others, including our spouse, children, extended family, friends and co-workers is vitally important to our sense of well-being. When we are struggling to connect with others in healthy ways, a counselor can help us identify dysfunctional patterns, communicate our needs and manage conflict more effectively so that we can develop healthier relationships.
Being a parent is simultaneously one of the most fulfilling and challenging roles. Parents are tasked with not only attending to our children's daily needs, but preparing them to become well-adjusted and responsible adults. Balancing unconditional love and appropriate limits can be challenging. When parents feel overwhelmed, they may benefit from working with a counselor who has specialized training and experience in addressing parenting challenges.