JUL 27, 2021

In 2020, 1 in 6 Americans entered therapy. Admitting that you need help and seeking therapy is the first step in the long process of recovering from mental illness. If you’re in therapy, you know that healing from your past traumas and learning new coping skills can be a taxing, difficult process. So, how do you know that therapy is helping? Mental health disorders have different effects on everyone. What looks and feels like health and wellness for you could be very different from someone else’s. Because of this, there is no one "measurement" for success in therapy. But there are a few markers to watch out for as you process your therapy experience. What Does Success in Therapy Look Like? As we mentioned, success in therapy looks different for everyone. But if you’re trying to measure how whether or not your therapist is a good fit, here are some of the signs to look out for. Improved Mood While depression and anxiety aren’t the only reasons to seek therapy, an improved mood could still mean that your therapy is working. Therapy is a tool that can help you in every aspect of your life. If you’re starting to feel more cheerful or have a more positive outlook on your day, that’s a good sign that it’s working. Shift in Thoughts A big factor of mental illness is the way it changes our thought patterns. We fall into dangerous thinking cycles that can leave us unhappy or in danger of harm. Therapy helps us reshape our thinking. How many negative or destructive thoughts are you having? Are you focusing on unattainable things or frightening possibilities? Or, are you more focused on the present, focused on working with what you have? The latter is an indication that therapy is working. Changed Behaviors As our thoughts start to change, our behaviors change too. Therapy is all about building habits and coping mechanisms to help you combat your mental illnesses. Have you started creating healthy boundaries? Are you taking care of your personal hygiene more frequently? Are you spending more time appreciating yourself? All of these are behaviors that could indicate a positive change in therapy. Improved Relationships An improved relationship with your spouse, family members, and friends could also indicate that therapy is working. Do you have relationships that used to be contentious that are now more peaceful and cooperative? Less conflict in your relationships could mean that you’re using your conflict resolution skills. Feelings of Satisfaction If you’ve noticed an uptick in your general feelings of overall satisfaction, it could be a sign that therapy is working. This is a hard one to define. Just because you’ve had a few good days doesn’t mean your cured, right? That’s why we ask that you look at the overall patterns you’ve noticed. Are you having more positive days than negative days? No amount of therapy will ever ensure that you never have days that bring you down. But it will help you develop tools and coping skills to handle it better. Change in Diagnosis One great benchmark for improvement in therapy is if your diagnosis changes. Some disorders don’t ever go away, no matter how long you see a therapist. But if you’re seeing a therapist for depression and anxiety and your diagnosis changes, it’s a definite sign that you’re improving. Not All Progress is Obvious These are just a few of the metrics that some people use to determine if therapy is working. It isn’t the same for everyone. In fact, some of the more important measurements are frustrating because they aren’t exactly tangible. Every therapy plan is different. If you’re receiving incite-centered therapy, success looks like a deepened insight. You have a better understanding of yourself, how you feel, and the way you behave. Another helpful measurement to look at is if you’re using the tools your therapist is teaching you. Are the skills you’re learning in your sessions starting to help you outside of them as well? These things all indicate a behavior change, however, they aren’t quite as objective. They’re difficult to measure. Another sign that therapy is working is that you feel the need to be seen less often. If your problems no longer feel as urgent and you feel like you’re able to cope with your issues on your own, you may be progressing. Keep in mind that just because you feel like you’re ready to take on the world without therapy doesn’t mean it’s true. Our brains are the things that are sick when we’re dealing with mental illness. We may not always have the clearest picture when it comes to knowing when to seek out help. Keeping Track of Your Success In order to help you determine your success in therapy, your therapist might suggest keeping a diary centered around your symptoms and how often they happen. Your diary should keep track of your emotions, your behaviors, your interactions, and the coping skills you use. For example, were you faced with the desire to self-harm or did you have intrusive thoughts about suicide? What coping skills did you use to keep yourself calm in a difficult situation? Progress is Not Linear It’s important to remember that therapy won’t always be pushing you towards these goals. Sometimes you’ll feel worse, and that’s okay. Progress isn’t linear and sometimes we have to dig deep and really open ourselves up to painful vulnerability if we want to heal. The end goal for therapy isn’t to be happy, foregoing all other emotions. It just means that you’re going to be able to experience these emotions without completely losing sight of reality. Ask What Progress Looks Like for You Never be afraid to ask your therapist what success in therapy looks like for you. It’s so hard to define and measure success when it comes to treating and healing mental illness. So, discuss your treatment goals with your therapist directly and always come to them with the questions you have as you move forward. For more information on how you can experience the benefits of therapy, contact us today.

Finding a Therapist in Long Island City, NY

JUN 17, 2021

Are you a Long Island City resident that’s looking for someone to help you strengthen your ability to build relationships? Do you need someone that can offer psychiatry and assist you along your quest for mental wellness? If so, then you need to find a Long Island City therapist. Doing so can help you find someone to address the issues and trials that you’re going through. It can provide couple therapy, individual therapy, family therapy, and so forth. See below for an in-depth guide on how you can find a trustworthy Long Island City therapist and why heading to Williamsburg might be the solution! Why Consider a Williamsburg Therapist? Whenever you hear someone talk about Long Island City, you’re bound to hear about the great neighborhood surrounding it. That’s not a fallacy. There is a reason that Long Island City is the fastest growing neighborhood in the entire city! It’s a great place to live for many reasons. It has several means of transportation, such as bus lines, subway lines, river ferries, and even a railroad. The lifestyle is great as well. It’s filled with great cafes to get a morning cup, restaurants of all different shapes and sizes, and parks for you to get out and breathe in the fresh air. That said, certain services might be difficult to find in this lively neighborhood, such as the right therapist or psychologist for your needs. You shouldn’t have to settle for a lesser psychologist just for the sake of proximity. That’s why we recommend taking a quick trip to Williamsburg. Here at Williamsburg Therapy Group, we offer a plethora of treatments and methods for psychology. We’re not afraid to tackle difficult topics. With frequent treatment, you can begin the road to a more mentally healthy life. We think traveling to Williamsburg is worth it for that kind of return, wouldn’t you agree? What to Look for in a Therapist Some of you have been burned by therapists in the past. Others of you might be afraid to reach out to one out of hesitancy or fear. Whatever your story might be, doing a little bit of research on the therapist before you reach out to them can help you find the perfect fit. See below for several things you should be looking for in a Williamsburg or Long Island City therapist. The Type of Therapy You Need First, let’s take a moment to assess your situation. What is the source of the stress or mental fatigue that you find yourself dealing with? Are you dealing with severe anxiety or depression? Do you have family issues that need to be addressed? Are you battling an addiction? It can be tough to take a deep introspective dive. But doing so allows you to pinpoint the type of therapy that will best suit you. We at the Williamsburg Therapy Group offer over 13 different types of therapy. We have team members with doctorate-level training in: Individual Therapy Family Therapy Couples Therapy Addiction Child Therapy Medication Management Group Therapy Business Partner Therapy Severe Emotional Conditions Neuropsychological Assessments LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy & more Perhaps you saw a few methods on this list that you might benefit from. We’re happy to help you in any way that we can. Safe Environment One of the biggest benefits of finding the best Long Island City therapist is having a safe place that you can depend on. We believe that our clients see the biggest breakthrough when they have the opportunity to peel back one layer at a time. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Williamsburg Therapy Group gives you all of the social support you need. We pride ourselves on having a professional environment to explore the subjects and topics that other therapists might not. Once you’re comfortable and have opened up the discussion with your therapist, we’ll help you better understand your struggles and give you methods to combat them. Team of Various Psychologists Not everyone will click with one therapist. While someone in your network might love a certain Long Island City therapist, you might not feel the same way once you meet with them. Several factors could contribute to that. It could be their gender, their age range, whether they use an old-school or modern approach, and so on. Take the time to think through what you’re looking for in a psychologist. Here at the Williamsburg Therapy Group, our team is made of several doctoral-level psychologists and psychiatrists from all different backgrounds. We’re confident you’ll find a match that you’ll love and trust. Smooth First Session The first appointment is vitally important. It gives you your first exposure to the therapist and how they communicate with their clients. If you find a therapist that you think is a good fit, all that’s left is to book an appointment with them. That’s when you can gauge their approach, how they communicate, and whether or not you feel an initial comfort (even if it’s slight at first) with them. Make sure your therapist listens to you. If they spend a majority of the session talking over you or ignoring what you’re saying, it’s time to search elsewhere. Find the Best Williamsburg and Long Island City, Therapist Now that you have seen how to find a Long Island City therapist that you can trust, why not go right next door to Williamsburg for the premium therapy you need? Be sure to read this article for more information on the role of a clinical psychologist and whether they’re the right solution for your needs. To get started, take the time to visit this page and book an appointment with one of our therapists online.

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How To Get The Most Out of Therapy: 8 Helpful Tips

JUN 04, 2021

Making the decision to start seeing a therapist is a huge step forward. Regardless of whether you’ve been struggling with your mental health, therapy is a great option. It provides you with a neutral party, a safe space to talk, and a resource for learning more about yourself. What if you’ve never been to therapy before? Or what if you’ve struggled with feeling like you’re "connecting" with your therapist? It might be time to brush up on how to get the most out of therapy sessions. While your therapist is doing their part, you still need to "put in the work," so to speak. That means making every effort to make therapy work for you. Not sure how? No problem. Keep reading to learn our top tips for how to get the most out of a therapy session. 1. Enter With an Open Mind Too many people enter therapy with specific ideas of what therapy "should" be. This might be based on media representations of therapy sessions, perspectives from people who’ve never been to therapy, or even the experiences of friends and family. Therapy is an individual and customized process. What works for someone else might not work for you. You and your therapist will put together a treatment plan that makes sense for your goals. When you start going to therapy, rest assured that your therapist has a process. You need to trust that process and be patient, even if it seems different from what you had in mind. 2. Choose the Right Therapist One problem that many people have during therapy is not meshing with their therapist. This is normal. All therapists are different. They all have their own experiences, educations, specialties, and treatment methods (more on those later). It’s okay to realize that your current therapist isn’t right for you. When you’re looking for a therapist, feel free to ask about things that concern you. Many underrepresented groups or individuals with specific concerns feel more comfortable with therapists who are openly accepting and experienced with issues that they face. These include racism, homophobia, and transphobia, or alternative relationship styles that some therapists may not be familiar with. Meanwhile, other therapists are more experienced with trauma, personality disorders, or relationship problems. If you don’t feel like your therapist is a good match, they will understand if you need to seek out someone else. 3. Choose the Right Therapy Method Not all therapy methods are alike. Most people start with talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. Some people need something more specific to either work alongside their first therapy method or replace it entirely. If you’re worried that your current method isn’t giving you the right results, ask your therapist for suggestions on what may work better based on your goals. 4. Communicate Both your choice of therapist and therapy method boils down to communication. Your therapist has your best interests at heart, but they’re not a mind reader. If you have specific intentions, needs, or concerns about therapy, you need to talk to them. They don’t know if something isn’t working unless you keep them informed. Learn to be open and honest with your therapist when you’re discussing your treatment plan. They won’t be offended if you need to switch your focus and it helps them adjust your treatment plan. 5. Set Clear Goals If you’re seeking therapy for a specific concern, it’s a good idea to set clear goals when you get started, perhaps even during your first therapy session. Keep in mind that these goals may change as you progress through your therapy journey. With that in mind, setting goals allows you to determine if you’re making progress or if you need to make adjustments. Goals can be as loose as "feeling better" or as specific as "learn to set boundaries around family members." Make goals that work for you. 6. Be Vulnerable Vulnerability is hard. When you’ve been conditioned to close yourself off, opening up to a stranger is a challenge. Your therapist can’t help you if you aren’t willing to be honest with them. For you to face your challenges, you need to open up about them. As you progress through your sessions, you’ll discover that it gets easier to open up, but you have to make that effort. 7. Make The right Schedule You need to pick a time for your therapy sessions that fits your lifestyle. Many therapists prefer that you pick consistent days and times so you can establish a routine and have a "therapy mindset" when you come in. Pick a schedule that doesn’t conflict with work, school, or any other responsibilities so you don’t have to skip sessions. It’s also good to pick a time that allows you to devote all of your attention to your session. You don’t want to be distracted and you don’t want therapy to throw off the rest of your day. 8. Do Your Own Work While a lot of your work will happen during your therapy sessions, you also need to apply what you’ve learned to your life outside of the therapist’s office. Many therapists assign "homework." This isn’t like the homework you’d do in school. They may ask you to practice coping mechanisms, start setting boundaries, or work on mindfulness and lifestyle changes between sessions. This work is hard at first, and your therapist will understand if it takes a few sessions before you’re able to implement these things. But if you make an active effort, you’ll see better results. This Is How to Get the Most Out of Therapy Therapy is what you make of it. If you want to figure out how to get the most out of therapy, you need to talk to your therapist and do some introspection. It might feel awkward when you start seeing a therapist. Once you figure out what works for you, though, you’ll start seeing the progress that you’re looking for. If you’re seeking a new therapist, we want to meet you. At Williamsburg Therapy Group, we have a variety of experienced mental health professionals with a variety of unique backgrounds. Book an appointment today so we can set you up with your perfect match.

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Dealing with Spiraling Thoughts and Negative Thinking

MAY 22, 2021

Have you ever experienced spiraling thoughts? Many people manage negative thinking patterns every day, and if you’re not sure how to free yourself, that spiral of catastrophic thoughts can be debilitating. When someone has spiraling thoughts, it means that they get trapped in a loop of negative thinking. Even something benign, like someone not responding to a text message, can turn into thoughts of abandonment, worries about their health, or a full-on panic attack. These thought spirals can be debilitating, and it’s hard to break free. We’re here to help you take your life back from the struggles of catastrophic thinking. Keep reading to learn about some of the top methods to calm yourself down. Accept Your Thoughts It might seem counterintuitive, but the first step towards overcoming your negative thoughts is accepting them. You can’t avoid negative thoughts completely, and doing so wouldn’t be helpful. Instead, you need to learn how to address these negative thoughts when they arise (in hopes of preventing a thought spiral). When you feel an anxious or catastrophic thought, let it wash over you without trying to combat it right away. Try to understand your thoughts and figure out what it was that triggered them. When you spend too much time trying to reject these thoughts and focusing on how they’re "bad," you’ll end up spiraling further. Develop a Comforting Mantra One helpful self-soothing technique is to develop a positive thought that you can use to replace the catastrophic thoughts. While this won’t get those thoughts out of your mind, it will give you something else to latch onto to soften the blow. Consider what your negative thoughts are usually based on and make a mantra that responds to that. For example, if you find yourself getting caught in thought spirals about your self-worth or abandonment, create a mantra that tells you that you are worthy of love and support. Repeating this to yourself (either out loud or inside your head) is a great way to re-route from those thoughts. Do Something Physical If you’re able, it’s a great idea to try to engage in some kind of physical activity when you start feeling a thought spiral coming on. Our brains process things differently when we move around. This is why so many people find themselves pacing when the’re thinking or talking. Your brain is able to make new connections, making it easier for you to free yourself from that thought spiral. Even a short walk around your home is enough to make a change. If you have more free time, try doing a more structured physical activity, like running, weight lifting, dancing, or yoga. More intense activities (like cardio and strength training) are great for releasing endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that our bodies release when we exercise. They are "happy chemicals" in the brain that can reduce anxiety levels and alleviate pain. If an intense exercise doesn’t seem right for you, yoga is a great choice. It’s slow, easy on the joints, and it encourages mindfulness. When you do yoga, you have to focus on your body and your breathing patterns. While many people struggle with conventional breathing exercises, putting them within the structure of yoga can be helpful. When you’re focusing on your breath and your movements, there’s less room for thoughts to spiral. Try Grounding Exercises Have you ever tried using grounding exercises to soothe your anxiety? Grounding is another way to use mindfulness. It’s meant to take you "out of your head" and place you back in reality so that the spiraling thoughts aren’t so intense. For grounding, your goal is to target your senses. There’s one very popular grounding exercise that you can do wherever you are. You don’t need anything aside from your mind. You need to acknowledge 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. This might seem like a struggle at first, but when you work on it, you’ll find urself becoming more in-tune with your environment. If you have the time, there are other ways that you can ground. Some people suggest putting your hands in cold water or holding ice cubes. This is an extreme sensory change that should draw your mind out of its spiral. You can also try getting an intensely flavored snack or drink. Eat (or sip) it slowly and try to focus on how it’s impacting your senses. What can you taste? What can you smell? Rationalize (If Possible) Once you’re able to soothe some of your catastrophic thoughts, you can try rationalizing. Most of the time, these thoughts aren’t based on reality. When you try to think through them, you might be able to work your way out. Remember other times where you’ve felt this way. What caused it, and what was the result? Did the thing that you were worried about end up happening, or were you relieved? What’s the logic behind your initial catastrophic thought? Does it hold up? To bring back the abandonment example, some people start spiraling when they feel as though someone no longer wants to talk to them. This can even happen after a few hours without communication. If this sounds like you (and a missed text causes you to spiral), consider what that other person might be doing. Would they have any reason to abandon you? Are they busy with work or other responsibilities? Most of the time you’ll discover that once you work your way through these thoughts, it’s easy to understand that they don’t make sense. You often won’t be able to do that until you’ve already calmed yourself down, though. Seek Professional Help for Spiraling Thoughts If you’re ready to conquer your spiraling thoughts, it might be time for you to seek professional guidance. All of these coping mechanisms are valuable for dismissing your catastrophic thinking patterns, but therapy may be a better long-term solution. A good therapist will be able to help you understand your thoughts and their triggers so you’re able to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Our mental health professionals at the Williamsburg Therapy Group understand the struggles that stem from catastrophic thoughts. We want to help you learn how to overcome them. Book an appointment or request a call today. We can’t wait to work with you.

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