Posts Written By Jane Peck

What is therapy and is therapy for me? 

Happy woman talking in front of group during psychotherapy group therapy

Therapy is misunderstood. For the uninformed it brings about negative thoughts while others can acknowledge it’s ability to heal and transform. Despite the modernity of our society, many people still believe that “only crazy people go to therapy.” That statements could not be any more false or ancient. The best way to look at it, is as a tool. It  can help people live happy and fulfilling lives but not without the work and effort invested. Therapy does not come in just one mold. There is a spectrum of therapies that can suit a variety of people.

One of the most common types of therapy is counseling.

This is usually for people who are healthy on a day-to-day basis but need help with a crisis, anger, bereavement, or just need help getting through something. Sessions are usually 45 minutes to an hour long.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a great therapy if you want to think more positively and change maladaptive thoughts and behaviors. CBT can be used for all the same things as counseling but it has also been shown to be very helpful in helping anxiety, depression, phobias and more. In psychotherapy, therapists like to look at past influences and relate them to current situations. They do this in order to help you figure out what is causing the problem and how the choices you make influence the present. This type of therapy tends to be helpful for those who have long-term and recurring problems. There’s some evidence that psychotherapy can help depression and some eating disorders.

Relationship counseling or couples therapy can help couples who are going through a difficult time. It is best if both partners attend for best results. Sessions are also about an hour long.

Group therapy is a setting that can be good for someone who thinks they would benefit from additional support of others who can empathize with their problems. In group therapy, up to 12 people with a common problem meet with a therapist and everyone takes a turn in expressing their thoughts.

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Acupuncture: From Daoism to Modern Tradition

What was once a philosophy rooted in Daoist tradition over 8000 years ago, is now a buzzword. Most of us have heard of acupuncture and know it involves sticking needles into people in weird places, but do not know much more than that.

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that involves using thin, sterile needles to stimulate points on the body. This practice is based on the concept of “qi”, or energy, and is often sought for pain management. Acupuncture may also involve the use of electrical stimulation, or the application of heat or pressure. Acupuncturists are trained to listen, observe, and diagnose patients and choose the course of treatment that will target their malalignments.

Although a medical degree is not required, not just anyone can open up an office and practice acupuncture.

In order to become an acupuncturist, you first have to study acupuncture at any school accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). Applicants to accredited acupuncture schools must first complete at least two years of study at the baccalaureate level, and many schools require a bachelor’s degree. Students in acupuncture programs take courses in Oriental medical theory, diagnosis and treatment techniques, Oriental herbal studies, integrated acupuncture and herbal clinical training and biomedical clinical sciences. Students that graduate the program, usually graduate with a master’s degree which in most states, is the minimal educational requirement to even be able to practice.

So how will your appointment go?

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Gay conversion is putting lives at risk

Despite us living in a different time where many things are openly accepted, that may have not been 30, 20, or even 10 years ago, there are many people stuck with outdated views.

With outdated views, come outdated treatments for homosexuality such as conversion therapy. “Conversion therapy,” sometimes known as “reparative therapy,” is a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.” The potential risks of conversion therapy include anxiety, depression, self-destructive thoughts and behaviors, and even suicide. Since the basis of conversion therapy treatment is ultimately reinforcing self-hatred in its’ patients, there is more harm done than anything else. This form of “treatment” still exists today because of radical, religious, and extremely political groups that spread hate on homosexuality.

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Maybe it’s not stress, maybe it’s anxiety

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million Americans over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety — roughly 18 percent of the nation’s population.

That number is only for the diagnosed cases. There is a large population of people walking around with anxiety and other various disorders related to nervousness and fear, but they have not been diagnosed yet. This doesn’t mean that we all need to go running to our doctors but it is a good idea to stay mindful and aware of your own emotional state. Nervousness and fear is something that everyone faces at some point, daily or not. Whether it is test anxiety, public speaking, a job interview, or some sort of big event in your life, there are many ways to not only cope, but overcome.

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A World Full of Compliments, Part 2

Does receiving and accepting a compliment make us more or less powerful?

Many studies show that it is harder to receive a compliment then give one for a few reasons. First off, receiving a compliment means letting go of control. When we give, we’re in control in a certain way. It might be easy to offer a kind word or buy someone flowers, but can we allow ourselves to surrender to the good feeling of receiving?

When we receive a compliment, we open up the vulnerability in ourselves and that is hard for many people who have trouble with letting go of control. Another reason receiving a compliment is harder than giving one is that we ultimately think it is selfish. Whether it is due to our culture or religion, many people are taught that it is better to be modest than bring more attention to themselves.

Being socialized to view taking compliments as narcissistic is a problem many of us face.

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A World Full of Compliments, Part 1

We all have that one female friend or loved one who just can’t take a compliment. EVER. She usually responds to compliments with “oh no, I’m nothing special” or “oh please, you’re just saying that.” Women not being able to take compliments is very common. Instead of a sentiment of gratitude, a woman does the opposite and puts herself down in a sarcastic, and even self-deprecating way. Yet, when a woman actually accepts a compliment, and by some grace says “thank you”, then people judge and see her as being cocky or maybe even narcissistic.

Why is that?

One study showed that only 22 percent of compliments given from one woman to another were accepted, while compliments from men were accepted 40 percent of the time.
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Study finds kids raised by gay parents are just as healthy

Over the past few decades, many laws and advances have been made in the world of same sex couples.

Sperm banks were open for lesbian couples trying to conceive, adoption was legalized for gay couples wanting to be parents, and the option of surrogacy has become increasingly popular. Up until the 1980’s, the idea of gay parents having kids was unheard of. Now, it is quite common for same sex-couples to have a bundle of joy. An estimated 690,000 same-sex couples live in the United States, with about 19 percent of them raising children under age 18 . Taking into consideration such a large percentage, many were worried about the negative impacts of parenting outside the social norms we were used to (heterosexual couples).

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How to become the calm after the storm

Adversity is a reality that all people must face, because the world is full of challenges that we cannot predict nor avoid.

No matter how dark truth may be, adversity can have more than one function: Not only can it create obstacles but it can also serve as a tremendous catalyst for growth. Resilience means turning tragedy into transcendence, and realizing strengths and talents you never knew existed. Tragedy and adversity does not have to knock you to the ground, but if it does, you don’t have to stay there. We can allow it to elevate us instead. Rather than getting stuck on “the ground” or in the slumps of our problems, resilience tells us to keep moving but how exactly does one become resilient?

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Could it be that what ails us also inspires us?

There is truly no way for anyone who doesn’t have a mood disorder to understand what goes on when living with one.

A mood disorder can be defined as a psychological disorder characterized by the elevation or lowering of a person’s mood. Some mood disorders include Major depressive disorder (MDD), Bipolar disorder, Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), Cyclothymic disorder, and even Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a more extreme form of PMS (which many people forget is an actual disorder.) Luckily, most people can be treated successfully with medications and psychotherapy, however it doesn’t negate the challenges that come with these conditions.

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