Therapy has been shown to be effective for a wide range of disorders and problems. Therapy essentially helps you identify problem areas in your life, ways those problems are being maintained and perpetuated, and how to change or challenge them. We all do things that try and help us feel safe and better. However, sometimes this hurts us in the long-run. By facing our fears we develop resiliency and the ability to cope with difficult emotions, which enable us to make choices based on what is important to us, rather than what will make us feel better in the short-run. Thus, much like a sports coach, we can offer morale and motivational support, and identify strategic action for change. Thus, the outcomes of therapy depend on a strong therapeutic relationship, built on compassion and trust, in which we can collaboratively find new ways of living. We won’t only talk with you; we will find activities and experiments for you to engage in each week aimed at strengthening your independence. We will also actively engage in these activities with you, when needed, in order to maximize the odds of you succeeding in making specific life-changes.
This looks different for every individual, but the fundamental mechanisms tend to be the same: Patterns of avoidance lead to short-term distress reduction, but ultimately result in an increase in distress, as people become more and more dependent upon avoidance to manage their emotional wellbeing. At its root, anxiety is meant to keep us alive, from all sorts of danger. Thus, it is always “on.” The challenge is that anxiety easily attaches itself and becomes associated with unrelated stimuli. For example, if we get food poisoning we might avoid that food, and all related foods. This only becomes a problem if it results in distress or impairs our ability to cope with “normal” daily living. Therapy helps you build tolerance for the anxiety so that you no longer need to avoid things that are not actually dangerous, and thereby increase your life quality and freedom. We aim to reshape lives defined by fear and avoidance, to a life of courage and meaningful action.
Anxiety is extremely common. In fact, all mental health issues are relatively common. The typical definition for “psychopathology” is: normal behavior that becomes too frequent, and too intense, causing distress and dysfunction in everyday living. However, because of the stigma of mental health concerns, many people suffer in silence, thinking they are alone or rare. Anxiety is the most common mental health challenge in the United States. It impacts 40 million Americans (18 y.o. and older), approximately 18% of the population, and results in over $42 billion dollars in cost within the United States alone. This represents about 1/3 of all of the U.S’s mental health cost of $148 billion (Click Here for More Information). This means that your anxiety symptoms are common, shared by many. Let’s end the silent suffering. One step is to speak with a mental health provider to explore how to treat your anxiety symptoms.
There tends to be three types of problems: those we aren’t aware of; those we are aware of but don’t know how to change; and, those that we are aware of and know how to change, but don’t have the resources/tools to do so. The change process may seem simple, but it is often not easy. Portland Therapy Clinic therapists will explore how your behaviors are being reinforced, and thus perpetuating themselves. We will explore what may or may not be in your immediate awareness, and help you clarify your goals. We can help you identify ways of changing your behavior, and build skills for more adaptive living.