Individual therapy is about exploring life stressors and struggles that you may have been having. It is looking at the symptoms that you have been experiencing related to these stressors. We look at how you manage those symptoms and cope with the stressors in your life. Coping skills as a whole become important to assess and develop because the things that we do in our lives to overcome, deal with, and work through our stress helps us vent those emotions that are building in our lives.
What are coping skills? Coping skills are those things that we do on a daily basis to help us get through our day and release, or process our emotions and stress. This can be anything from getting up in the morning and getting ready for the day (our routines), to reading, writing, playing sports, exercising, and any hobbies or even prescription medications.
We may look at past trauma, family issues, difficulties in relationships, struggles with change, but whatever the issue is, we will focus on ways to help you work through them. You may find that you already have a lot of coping skills in place and we will strengthen them and highlight them. You may find that you have to add some more, we can explore that. Or you may find that you have been utilizing a lot of negative coping skills (maybe drinking, drugs, fighting), which we will explore and try to find positive and healthy coping skills to replace the negative ones.
Symptoms to look out for:
Feeling sad all the time, isolated from family or friends, lethargic, extreme weight gain or weight loss, irritable, unmotivated, tearful or crying a lot, stuck in the past, having lots of regrets, feelings of guilt.
Worried, rushing thoughts, feeling of not being able to slow down, irritable, hyper focused on the future and not feeling like you are accomplishing anything, trying to take everything on at once, struggling with day to day completion of tasks, feeling overwhelmed, maybe experiencing panic attacks (shortness of breath, dizzy, sweaty, feeling of not being in control).
Unable to control your moods, mood swings from one extreme to the next either in one day or over periods of time, irritable, depressed one moment, anxious the next, easily set off.
Other symptoms to look out for:
Difficulty with sleep patterns, reoccurring nightmares, hearing voices or seeing things that are not there, fear of social situations, compulsive or obsessive behaviors, issues with hoarding, struggles with any kind of addictive behavior around drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, or the internet and video games.
Lost a job; don’t like your job; past trauma (sex abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse); been bullied or picked on; harassed; struggling with coming out; difficulties reconciling your place in life or your life path; problems with money; difficulty with social relationships; dealing with family or friend issues; need to make a decision about something; or you just need to talk to someone impartial, nonjudgmental and will just listen….