Whether you're in crisis, or you have an underlying feeling that your life could be even better, the therapists at the Upstate Living Clinic are ready to walk with you.
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
Therapy for Individuals
Over the past 20 years, we have seen a revolution in psychotherapy. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, chronic fear, and excessive anger used to be seen as random events, almost like a birth defect. The only hope is to diagnose the condition, and then try to manage or medicate the symptoms. People often left that kind of therapy feeling labeled, hopeless, and tired.
Things have changed.
Through the pioneering work of many neuroscientists, psychologists, and researchers, we have taken an enormous leap forward in understanding how our emotional systems work. We understand the impact of overwhelming emotional events (trauma) on the brain. We know more about the complex processes of anxiety and fear, and have new methods to disrupt the anxiety feedback loop. And we have learned specific ways that our closest relationships can either hurt or heal our emotional well-being.
Research-based approaches like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Therapy, Trauma-Focused CBT, along with many others, have opened new doors for healing and growth.
Depression is fundamentally different than normal sadness. While everyone goes through cycles of feeling "up" or "down," Depression is a trap. Body responses and psychological factors create a type of feedback loop, leaving you stuck in a place where you are drained, exhausted, isolated, and hopeless. Unlike sadness, it doesn't just "go away," because depression is caused by more than just your day-to-day circumstances. To heal depression, we have to discover what in your mind and body is draining your vitality, and then help you release it.
Like depression, anxiety is different than simple worry. Anxiety is a self-reinforcing body response that is out of proportion to the actual circumstance. The mind triggers a body response, which triggers the mind, which triggers the body, and it gets worse and worse. Anxiety makes simple daily tasks challenging, and restricts your ability to feel safe by yourself and securely connected to others. Healing anxiety requires re-wiring the brain's gut-level responses, in order to be more flexible and accurate for the current situation.
Anger is an important emotion, closely tied to our ability to be assertive and strong. However, the anger response becomes a problem when it grows out of proportion to our situation. Anger can chase away loved ones, get us to do and say things we wouldn't normally consider doing, make our children scared of us, and make bad situations into disasters. It can become a mental habit that exacerbates physical conditions like high blood pressure. To heal excessive anger, the brain's emotional programming needs to be adjusted to respond more appropriately and accurately to the situation.
Anytime our emotional system is overwhelmed, it can cause a traumatic memory that influences our future behavior. Triggers, panic attacks, social anxiety, and addictions all show a clear correlation to emotional traumas. These do not have to be "Big T" traumas like disasters or wars. We have learned that our emotional brains can be impacted by other experiences such as neglect, feeling trapped, betrayal, abuse, helplessness... anything that overwhelms the limbic system can lodge in the brain and cause symptoms. The key to healing trauma is not to look at it with a "victim" mentality, but to face it with courage and understanding. Memory reconsolidation, secure attachment, and dual processing processes have shown to be powerful tools in the treatment of trauma.