Depression is one of the most common problems in counseling. According to the American Psychiatric Association, an estimated 25% of women and 12% of men suffer from Major Depressive Disorder in their lifetime.
If these symptoms are more severe and persistent, the client is said to be suffering from clinical depression. This is often the result of a neurochemical imbalance in the brain. For these clients, both psychotherapy and antidepressant medication is recommended. For those clients who suffer less severe depression symptoms, the client most often works with the therapist to examine the cause and effects of the patterns and symptoms that cause the depressed state of mind.
Stress, physical discomfort, persistent worrying and obsessing, fear of social situations and other phobias, as well as panic attacks are all forms of anxiety. It is a condition for which psychotherapy is well-suited. As with depression, anxiety falls along a continuum from mild to severe. Anti-anxiety medications can be highly effective in treating severe anxiety that most often causes medical issues such as high blood pressure. The use of psychotherapy is essential in understanding the core issues that lead to anxiety. Various treatments such as guided imagery, relaxation therapy and desensitization are just a few of the techniques utilized in alleviating or decreasing anxiety and phobias.
The most disruptive type of anxiety is the panic attack. Clients who suffer from panic attacks display brief episodes of anxiety which can arise out of nowhere. Some of the common symptoms are listed below.
The family unit is treated as one of the most vital mirrors of individual personality and unresolved developmental issues. Due to the fact that individual issues are too intertwined with family matters, individuals find themselves in conflict with other family members. Some of the conflicts involve such matters as a mother struggling with issues of independence with an adolescent son, or a father having difficulties being emotionally present with the rest of the family. It can be very difficult to sort out such issues without help from a professional. Most often it is very hard to keep an objective point of view.
When therapist works with an individual or an entire family that has issues of conflict, the therapist offers a less biased third party perception into the arena. The therapist allows the client or clients to bring more awareness of his interpersonal relationships and and to make more informed life choices as he becomes more aware and reaches self-actualization.
Chronic Pain and Medical Issues
The therapist can assist the client in learning to deal with physical pain, through the use of psychotherapy as an adjunct to medication. The field of medicine and psychology are beginning to believe that the body and the mind are much more connected than previously understood. As research indicates, even clients with illnesses such as cancer or severe neck injury can benefit from psychotherapeutic treatments. Even though such illnesses rarely entirely dissipate, symptoms and symptoms management can be greatly improved!
Death and Dying
Psychotherapy is very helpful for clients who seek therapy in times of grief. The death of a loved one is the most difficult emotional experience that a client must face. Sometimes these feelings are so intense that it can be debilitating and devastating. The therapist can assist the client in exploring deep seated feelings of pain and loss by providing education on understanding the natural process of grief.