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About Therapy

Most people come to BlueSky Wellness because they are seeking change or growth in some area of their life. The effectiveness and perceived benefits of therapy depend on many factors including the particular problems a client is experiencing, personality factors, establishing a good therapeutic relationship, and the ability and willingness to actively participate in the process. 

At BlueSky Wellness, our approach is to develop a trusting and collaborative relationship where clients can feel comfortable exploring in a non-judgmental and safe environment, which is essential for successful therapy. We can work closely with relevant family members or other professionals as appropriate and believe strongly in holistic health where physical, emotional, and spiritual health are interrelated and each of these domains are incorporated into our work.

While the benefits of psychotherapy vary, clients often report gaining a better understanding of themselves and their  goals  and  values, and being able to access and tolerate a wider range of emotions and life experiences. These gains can help improve things like disruptive / impulsive behaviors, interpersonal relationships, problem solving, coping and social skills, enhancing self-esteem, and increased confidence in the ability to manage problems and stress. 

While there is no guarantee that psychotherapy will create the desired changes or effects, most find that the benefits of the process outweigh the risks. In fact, often there can be more risk associated with not participating and maintaining dysfunctional behaviors and thought patterns. 

WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH?

 

Mental health is a combination of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and behave. It also contributes to how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

 

Many factors impact mental health, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry

  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse

  • Family history of mental health or substance use problems

For children and adolescents, mental health or behavior can also be related to a variety of sources such as:

  • Genetics or family history of either psychiatric or biological illness 

  • Early childhood emotional or physical neglect or abuse by caregivers

  • Poor structure and discipline

  • Challenging or dysfunctional family dynamics

  • Life stage / developmental struggle or trauma

There is a myth that mental health problems, sometimes known as mental illness, is rare and “happens to someone else.“ The fact is: mental illness is common and widespread. An estimated 54 million Americans suffer from some form of mental illness in a given year.

 

Most families are not prepared to cope with learning their loved one has a mental health issue. It can be physically and emotionally trying and can make us feel vulnerable to the opinions and judgments of others. If you think you or someone you know may have a mental or emotional problem, it is important to remember there is hope, and help.

WHAT IS A MENTAL ILLNESS OR SUBSTANCE USE ISSUE?

 

A mental illness or substance use issue is a condition that commonly develops from stress that results in symptoms that can lead to mild to severe disturbances in thinking and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with or manage life’s ordinary demands and relationships. This stress can lead some to use drugs or alcohol as a method of coping.

 

Some common childhood or adult conditions are ADHD/ODD, depression, anxiety, gender dysphoria, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, or drug or alcohol issues. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits or school, work, or relationship dysfunctions. For many, turning to using substances can become problematic and significantly affect someone's life, or their loved ones, too.

 

Mental illness and substance use problems may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events. Mental illness and addiction is often both biological and psychological and can develop from a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination.

 

It is very important to remember that with proper support and treatment, many people learn to cope or recover from a mental illness.

WHAT ARE SOME SIGNS & SYMPTOMS?

 

Are you or someone you know living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following can be an early indicator of a problem:

  • Eating or sleeping problems

  • Withdrawing from people and usual activities

  • Having low or no energy

  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters

  • Having unexplained aches and pains

  • Feeling helpless or hopeless

  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared

  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends

  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships

  • Spending alot of money or time getting and using drugs or alcohol 

  • Having persistent thoughts, memories, or urges a person can’t get out of their head

  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true

  • Thinking of harming oneself or others

  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

 

For Children and adolescents, it may appear as school avoidance, hyperactivity, impulsivity, appearing sad or down, being withdrawn or alone all the timeeating or sleeping problems, behavioral disruptions, or uncontrollable worry.

It is especially important to pay attention to sudden changes in thoughts and behaviors as the onset of symptoms like the above indicates a problem that should be evaluated.

IS IT TIME TO SEE A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL?

 

Mental health issues are real, common, and treatable. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Centers for Disease Control (CDC), up to 1 in 5 children, adolescents or adults experience mental health condition (thats 20%!), and some of those are considered serious. So the first thing to remember is that you are not alone.

 

If you feel that you or your child are experiencing a mental health condition, and particularly if those issues are interfering with your lives, you may want to consider professional help which can potentially make a difference.

 

And to be clear, you don't need to be going through a crisis in order to get help. In fact, it can be proactive to identify and deal with issues early and before they have a major impact on your life. Either way, we hope you feel encouraged to seek help.

HOW CAN A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL HELP?

Mental health professionals can help in a variety of ways including:

  • Helping identify where, when, and how issues arise

  • Develop coping strategies

  • Build resilience and self-management

  • Identify and change negative behaviors and thought patterns

  • Build and encourage positive behaviors

  • Heal from trauma

  • Figure out goals and values

  • Build self-confidence and self esteem

  • Build healthier, more supportive, and resilient family dynamics

  • Reduce compulsive / addictive behaviors - even eliminate some

 

Treatment for mental health issues, and psychotherapy in particular, frequently helps people to feel better, manage, and even eliminate some symptoms. Other treatment options include medication which, in some cases, can be highly effective when administered in combination with psychotherapy.

 

Psychotherapy involves talking about problems and concerns with a mental health professional. It can take lots of forms, including individual, group, couples and family sessions. Often, people see their therapists once a week for 50 minutes to start with and then reducing frequency as time goes on and issues resolve. Treatment can be as short as a few weeks or as long as a few years depending on your particular situation and response.

 

Getting help can be a sign of strength, maturity, and good parenting to take the steps necessary to address problems and get life back on track.

WHAT IF THERE IS A PSYCHIATRIC CRISIS?

 

If you or your child are engaging in harm to self or others, or contemplating suicide, these options may help:

  • If you live in Connecticut, dial 211 to speak to a crisis clinician. They may be able to come to your location to help 24/7/365.

  • In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by texting or dialing 988.

  • Seek help from your primary doctor or pediatrician.

  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one.

  • Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community.

  • Call your mental health provider.

 

If you or your child are seriously thinking about suicide or planning to make an attempt:

  • Make sure you or someone you know is not left alone until a professional intervenes.

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

  • Or, if you can do so safely, take you or your child to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Therapy Closeup
Childhood depression concept. Young black parents and their little daughter sitting at psy
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