The field of mental health has made many advances, particularly since 1980. These developments include an increased understanding of the brain’s function through the study of neuroscience, the development of effective new medications and therapies, and the standardization of diagnostic codes for mental illnesses. However, seven in ten Americans with a mental illness do not receive treatment. Biases against mental illness and lack of public awareness are among the obstacles that limit access to treatment and affect willingness to seek care. Disturbances in mental health can adversely affect functioning, economic productivity, the capacity for healthy relationships and families, physical health, and the overall quality of life. They cut across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines to affect a significant proportion of communities worldwide. They tend to develop and manifest in the early adult years, often preventing individuals from leading full and productive lives.
Dianne Hales and Robert Hales define mental health as “the capacity to think rationally and logically, and to cope with the transitions, stresses, traumas, and losses that occur in all lives, in ways that allow emotional stability and growth. In general, mentally healthy individuals value themselves, perceive reality as it is, accept its limitations and possibilities, respond to its challenges, carry out their responsibilities, establish and maintain close relationships, deal reasonably with others, pursue work that suits their talent and training, and feel a sense of fulfillment that makes the efforts of daily living worthwhile.”
BASICS OF THERAPY
Therapy, or psychotherapy, is the process of meeting with a therapist for the purpose of resolving problematic behaviors, beliefs, feelings, and/or somatic responses (sensations in the body). Therapy can address and resolve a large number of specific concerns, issues, and symptoms. At Well CENTERED, we help clients dealing with affective disorders, major depressive episodes, manic episodes, dysthymia, anxiety disorders, panic disorders, social phobia, marital conflict, grief, etc. Therapy is also a very effective method of self-growth and self-actualization. In addition to overcoming barriers and helping people to release extreme beliefs and feelings, therapy can help people to increase many positive emotions such as joy, compassion, peace, self-esteem, spiritual connection, and love.
Many people enjoy therapy and flourish through the journey of becoming more conscious about themselves, their inner world, and their relationships with others. Participating in therapy does NOT mean you are “crazy”! The most common demographic of therapy goers include everyday, ordinary people struggling with everyday, human problems, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and relationship issues. Only a small percentage of people undergoing psychotherapy qualify as having a serious mental illness; and these folks typically find their way into programs that offer a higher level of care than the average private practice therapist can offer. If a person is afraid of being judged as crazy by others or by their own inner-critic for going to therapy, then therapy would be especially useful in building self-esteem and freeing one from the limitations of what others think.
In all modes of therapy, you will establish goals for your therapy, as well as determining the steps you will take to get there. Whether in individual, group, or family therapy, your relationship with your therapist is a confidential one, and one that focuses on not only the content of what you talk about, but also the process. The therapeutic process, or how you share your feelings and experiences, is considered to be just as important as the specific issues or concerns you share in therapy. At Well CENTERED you can expect that your therapist will support you, listen attentively, model a healthy and positive relationship experience, give you appropriate feedback, and follows ethical guidelines.