Family Counseling

Every family has disagreements but too many times these disagreements can lead to hurt feelings and even violence. Couples often have issues and work through their differences by communicating, but once there are children in the family, more issues might arise within the family as a whole. There are several different reasons that families can seek therapy in Bentonville to help them communicate better and resolve any conflicts that are occurring in your family unit.

We all wish we had a “Brandy Bunch” family, but we have to remember that this was only a television family and even they had a few issues. When couples get, married and have children from a previous marriage, it can be very difficult for every member of the family to adjust to the change. Communication is always the best solution, however, now that you have created a new family, the transition can be very hard especially for the children. Finding an experienced counselor can help all family members learn how to communicate as well as resolve issues that have arisen when bringing the family together as a new unit.

All families will have stressful times, but when you can turn to someone that has experience in helping guide your family through all these ups and downs it can be very rewarding. Stressful times can be moving to a new city, a death in the family, financial issues, substance abuse, mental illness, illness of a family member, or just problems on how you discipline your kids. Every person in the family is an important member, but too many times disagreements often occur that can put wedges in not only the family but also in the marriage.

Learning how to cope with all the issues that can arise in our lives and learn better communication skills through counseling can lead to a much happier family.

No matter what your family may be dealing with at any given time, if you feel like your family has lost their connection or communication is failing, you should consider talking with a therapist. Even if all members of your family are not wanting to go to the sessions, the ones that agree that greatly benefit and help to calm the situations at home that are causing the stress.

If substance abuse is the cause, family counseling can aid the family to learn more about alcohol or drug abuse and realize how to cope with the feelings they have regarding their home life even if the person that is abusing drugs or alcohol are not seeking help at the time.

Family Counseling can help in all kinds of family problems from disagreements to anger issues to grief to stress. Going to counseling can help each family member understand each other better and bring the family closer. We are here to help bring your family together and build a stronger relationship with each member of the family. Once you begin communicating, you will see that you really do have a happy loving family, the answer to your dreams.

Adults with Anxiety and Mood Disorders often Suffer with Chronic Pain

Many people suffer from anxiety and mood disorders, however, there are several different types of disorders under both of these that you should get acquainted with them before moving forward. There are different symptoms associated with the various disorders and you may need to seek counseling in Rogers, Arkansas and be prescribed with medication in order to cope with the symptoms.

Anxiety Disorders include:

  • Agoraphobia is the fear of leaving home or being in a place that will bring on a panic attack.

  • Anxiety brought on by a medical condition can be short-lived or long term according to the illness. Anxiety is often related to long term illnesses such as cancer, COPD, or heart conditions.

  • Generalized anxiety disorder also known as GAD can bring on uneasy feelings or anxiety in many different situations and environments often with no known cause.

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a chronic anxiety disorder that is noted by obsessive thoughts and compulsive acts such as touching the doorknob three times before opening.

  • Panic disorder brings on panic attacks with feelings of being overwhelmed or even imminent death. This may be due to a bridge, a place, or even the thought of having another panic attack.

  • Posttraumatic stress disorder also referred to as PTSD can occur at any time after trauma. Children that were abused can develop PTSD later in life, whereas a soldier may come home from war with PTSD.

  • Social Anxiety Disorder also known as social phobia brings on anxious feelings when in public often due to worrying about being embarrassed or humiliated.

Mood disorders include:

  • Major depression is noted when a person feels sad, has no interest in their normal activities, and feel hopeless along with other similar symptoms that last for at least two weeks.

  • Dysthymia is a chronic feeling of being depressed or irritable that remains for at least two years.

  • Bipolar disorder is noted when individuals have periods of elevated moods and depression that alternate.

  • Health conditions can bring on mood disorders with symptoms of depression.

  • Substance abuse can bring on mood disorders with symptoms of depression.

  • Chronic Pain in Half of the Adults that suffer from the above disorders.

A recent study conducted by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health showed that half of the adults diagnosed with a mood or anxiety disorder experience chronic pain.

The research used was taken from 5,037 adults that had been diagnosed with anxiety and mood disorders as well as their own reports of chronic physical conditions. Each individual was interviewed to ensure all data was complete.

For individuals with a mood disorder, chronic pain was very common at 50%, respiratory diseases came in at 33%, cardiovascular disease was at 10%, arthritis showed 9%, and diabetes was 7%. Patients with anxiety disorders showed chronic pain in 45%, respiratory in 30%, arthritis 11%, and cardiovascular disease 11%. Those suffering from more than one chronic disease showed increased odds of an anxiety or mood disorder. High blood pressure was shown in both anxiety disorders and mood disorders at 23%.

The results recommend that physicians need to work toward preventive intervention as well as treatment services for those with mental issues along with chronic illnesses.

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, and Treatments

Schizophrenia is a serious behavior and brain disorder that affects the way a person acts, feels, and thinks. Those that suffer from this disorder can have problems knowing the difference between fantasy and reality, expressing their feelings, and making decisions. In some cases, the way the brain processes thoughts can cause the individual to be less motivated and disorganized. Many also hear voices and things others want to hurt them, are plotting against them or can read their minds.

The social stigma concerning schizophrenia is completely biased in the belief that those suffering from this disorder have split personalities and will hurt other people. The truth is that these individuals do not have more than one personality and suffer the symptoms alone. They may seem angry and withdrawn but often harm themselves. Around 10% of individuals with schizophrenia commit suicide within the first ten years of developing the disorder.

Even though schizophrenia is a lifelong disorder and there is no cure, medication and counseling can aid in providing help so the individual can improve their lives and manage the symptoms. Schizophrenia therapists in Lowell, Arkansas use various types of counseling methods to provide the best care for individuals with this disorder.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Every person is different and the symptoms can be different according to the way the disorder reveals itself, the way it progresses, the age it develops, the severity, and how long the symptoms last. However, the symptoms have been placed into specific categories which include cognitive, negative, and positive. Each of the categories shows that there are brain function issues. Individuals with this disorder will have times where they are better and then get worse and then get better again, often in cycles.

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Memory problems

  • Attention problems

  • Organizing and planning

Negative Symptoms

  • Loss of emotion

  • Loss of motivation

  • The ability to make plans is reduced

  • The ability to speak is reduced

  • Reduction in finding pleasure in life

  • Has a hard time staying on a schedule

  • Withdrawals from society

Positive Symptoms

  • Delusions

  • Hallucinations

  • Thought Disorders

Subtypes of Schizophrenia

  • Paranoid schizophrenia

  • Disorganized schizophrenia

  • Catatonic schizophrenia

  • Residual schizophrenia

  • Schizoaffective disorder

Age of Schizophrenia Development

In the majority of cases, both men and women suffer equally with schizophrenia and all ethnic groups. At the age of between sixteen and thirty delusions and hallucinations begin. Men, on the other hand, develop symptoms earlier than women. However, after the age of forty-five and prior to the teen years, schizophrenia is not seen.

Treatment for Schizophrenia

Even though there is no cure, it can be treated and managed through medicine and behavioral counseling. For those that are having serious symptoms such as suicidal thoughts may need hospitalization.

The most common medication used is antipsychotic that aid in relieving the delusions and hallucinations.

Cognitive and behavioral therapy can then help “retrain” the brain once symptoms are reduced.

Counseling helps individuals with schizophrenia improve their motivation, personal hygiene, and communication. Learning how to cope with their disorder will help individuals live a productive life and normally have fewer relapses. Family counseling can also help all family members understand schizophrenia and help the person with the disorder live a better life.

Divorce Counseling Benefits

No matter the reason a couple is getting divorced, it can be very emotionally traumatic. Coping with not being a couple any longer can be demanding financially, physically, and mentally which may be the main reason a couple decides to receive Rogers, AR divorce counseling.

In the majority of cases, individual counseling is often the chosen way as some people often feel grief, depression, anxiety, fear, or guilt due to the dissolvent of their marriage. Counseling can usually benefit both partners as they will learn more about who they are and can see that divorce is a transition in life and is also an opportunity for personal development.

Some cases have shown that divorce may be a contributing factor for certain mental health disorders to arise including depression and anxiety. Too many times, people look at the divorce as their own personal failure. Divorce counseling can provide those going through a divorce with the help they need to understand their feelings, the end of their marriage and even see it in a new light. Some may learn through counseling what they really expect and do not want in their relationship which can lead to a better understanding of oneself.

In some cases, couples will go to counseling together in order to have a mediator that will help them go through a divorce with fewer arguments and emotional damage. An experienced divorce therapist can help couples with issues that arise during their divorces such as responsibilities to the children, financial obligations, and living arrangements.

For those with children, many parents are so involved with their own issues during a divorce, they may not realize if their children are also having emotional issues. Children can often feel many of the same problems as their parents during this new phase in their lives. They may feel like the divorce is their fault, especially if they have overheard their parents talking about custody or visitation. Children can also feel abandonment, pain, guilt, and loss. They may feel as if they must choose one parent over the other and worry about all kinds of other things during this time. Children may also need to talk with a therapist to learn to cope with their new life and how to cope with the new environment or feelings of loss.

Every couple that goes through a divorce will have different feelings according to the reason for the breakup. Learning how to cope with these feelings and discovering who you are without your spouse, maybe the best reasons to seek divorce counseling. Too many times, people think it is normal and everyone gets a divorce and they should just suck it up and go forward. However, this is not really the circumstances for many couples. It can be very difficult to learn to live without the other person in your life or you may be wondering what you did wrong to cause the breakup. No matter the reason, talking with a professional divorce counselor will give you the confidence you need to begin again.

Tips to Conquer the Need for Approval

There are many different techniques a therapist can employ in cognitive therapy to aid individuals that are looking to conquer their need for approval. Many times, the parent and child relationship may not be on the track. Too often, children seek approval from their peers which can lead to harmful situations, however, parents may not realize that their child is struggling with the "need for approval" and do not handle the situation in the correct manner. If you are having problems with your child or teen even small issues it could be of great benefit to talk with a professional therapist in Lowell to help with communication problems as well as relationship issues.

The most common and often the most productive techniques are listed below.

Discover the trigger:

The situation in which you find yourself may actually be the trigger as you may be worried about what others may think of you. Too many times, when you are ready to discuss a situation, you may be too worried about your own underlying feelings and thoughts which can bring about feelings of your own need for approval, so you say nothing.

Pros and Cons for seeking approval:

Too many times a person that always seeks approval will allow others to take advantage of them due to this need. Due to this, the person that needs approval may not be honest or let their true feelings show so others will still approve of them. On many occasions for those that seek approval, they want to be liked by all they come in contact with even if they do not agree with their point of view or their actions. Instead of saying something, the person just accepts the situation which can often put in harm's way such as being in a group that uses drugs. If you are placing yourself in danger just to have the approval of your peer group then this is certainly a con of needing everyone's approval.

Immediate negative thoughts:

When first meeting new individuals or even being in your own group of friends, you may have negative thoughts as soon as you see a person. These thoughts could be such as "This person believes I am mean", "He will not like me.", and "I hate to argue.", among others. Once these thoughts hit home, you will need to figure out what they mean you to personally. If you think this person will not like you, do you think it is because you are a bad person or that you are wrong in some way? On the other hand, some individuals that seek approval, often believe that one person that does not like them will talk about them and make them lose all their friends. Due to these thoughts, too many times, the person seeking approval will go overboard to make this person like them even if it puts them in harm's way.

Know the evidence and then consider the thoughts:

If someone in your group of friends disagrees with you, you must look at your thoughts. Could you be wrong? Do your ideas truly make you a bad person? The truth is that you may just have different ideas or opinions than another person and it does not mean they will no longer be your friend. You will need to think back and decide if you are still friends with another person after you did not see eye to eye. Just because one person is no longer your friend after disagreeing, does not mean that every person that does not agree will no longer be your friend.

Think of others:

There is more than likely sometime in your life that a friend has come to you because a friend of theirs disagrees with them. What advice would you give? Would you automatically believe your friend was bad or wrong or the other person or could you see both sides?

Does it change anything that this person does not like you?:

You must weigh what would change if this person does not like you. Could you still do all your normal activities, be with your family, and enjoy work and your home life? You may realize, that nothing will change at all except that you had a disagreement with this person. This person may even still be in your life but may respect your opinion as you stood up for your ideas, beliefs, and opinions.

Consider how you will feel when you remember the situation:

In the future when the situation comes to mind, how will you feel? You may realize that after a few months, the thoughts never come to mind. This means all the worry at the moment has no long term effects on your emotions or thoughts. You must learn to put these experiences in perspective and give them the right attention which is often much less than you realize.

Complete approval:

There is not one person in the entire world that everyone loves and accepts. Every person has more than one person in their life that does not like something they have said or done. However, these individuals still continue to make it through life very happily.

Fear and anxiety:

In order to overcome needing everyone's approval, you must learn to stand up for yourself. If not, more and more people will actually use you often without your own knowledge as you live in fear wanting everyone to like you. You may soon learn that you are the one babysitting everyone's kids at family events even though you do not have any kids, cleaning up the kitchen while the family is visiting, and so on and so forth. Seeking approval can often make you everyone's puppet instead of being part of the family. Being assertive and standing up for yourself is not a bad thing and you may begin to enjoy family gatherings without the fear of losing their approval.

Conclusion:

You are always going to meet someone that disagrees with you on some point. This does not mean that you will lose your friends. You must learn how to be assertive in a way that others will respect your wishes and opinions, while still ensuring you are going to be stepped on.

Triggers for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder at one time was called manic-depressive disorder is a condition in which individuals will have periods of high manic episodes and very extreme low episodes.

Even though the following triggers do not necessarily cause the disorder alone, they can often trigger the disorder or set up the brain to develop the disorder later in life. For those living with bipolar disorder, life can be difficult from day to day. Finding a Rogers bipolar therapist can provide the support they need to enjoy life.

Genetic Factors

Researchers believe that genetics can be a trigger to the disorder, however, this has not been proven. On the other hand, individuals that have parents with the disorder do have a higher chance of becoming bipolar. The risk increases if both parents have the disorder. Twins have a higher risk if one has the disorder.

Imbalance of Hormones

Some researchers believe that a hormonal imbalance may be an underlying cause or could be a trigger. Signs of an imbalance include fatigue, depression, insomnia, gaining weight, extreme PMS, and mood swings.

Imbalance of Neurotransmitters

Researchers have proven that these imbalances are linked to bipolar disorder and may also be the reason for various mood disorders. At this time, research is still be conducted to learn how the imbalances work and the way in which they contribute to this and other disorders.

Stress

Everyone has times in their lives when they experience stress, however, for those that are prone to developing bipolar disorder some types of stress may trigger depression or even manic episodes. Stress is not only a trigger for this disorder but for individuals that are always under stress, it can cause harm not only mentally but also physically.

Trauma

Any event in your life that causes you trauma, may trigger the disorder if you are predisposed to developing bipolar disorder. Of course, there is not much you can do to stop traumatic events in your life but you should learn how to deal with these events to help you emotionally and mentally when they do occur.

Drug abuse

Drug abuse is not a cause for an individual developing this disorder, however, it can easily be a trigger. Alcohol can bring about depression which could be a trigger and then amphetamines, on the other hand, can bring on manic states which could also be a trigger.

Junk foods

There is no food linked with bipolar disorder, however, there are certain foods that might trigger the disorder. Research shows that certain foods should be avoided for better mental and physical health which include refined sugar, processed foods, soda, refined flour, alcohol in excess, foods that have a high trans fat content, caffeine in excess, eating more foods that have saturated fat, and artificial sweeteners.

Even though you may know the triggers, bipolar disorder can develop even if you control your diet and avoid these triggers. It is important that if you feel like you may have this disorder is to seek help. A professional counselor can help you learn how to cope with the episodes or to discover if you are experiencing a different mood disorder.

Seasonal Depression

Cold rainy weather and shorter days that occur during the holiday season, as well as cloudy rainy weather saw during Spring and Autumn in and around Bentonville, Arkansas, can cause individuals to feel sad. The question is, are you sad because of the weather or something different?

The American Psychiatric Association released new information recently that Seasonal Affective Disorder could be linked to mood disorders that often become worse during specific seasons.

Samuel Collier, Seton Psychiatrist explained that in many clinical practice guides, that Seasonal Affective Disorder is not listed due to the fact that problems with mood during specific seasons show an underlying mood disorder. Such mood disorders that also have a seasonal pattern include bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder.

Mood disorder is a broad term that includes all types of bipolar disorders and depression.

Most individuals that suffer from mood disorders see the pattern beginning in the fall or winter, but when spring arrives the sadness or depression also leaves. It is very rare for a person with mood patterns to be symptoms of depression in the summer. If you notice that you become depressed or sad during the fall and winter season, you may have a mood disorder.

In most cases, as explained by Collier, individuals normally have multiple symptoms that last no less than two weeks. It can be very difficult to see the difference between the symptoms that happen at other times throughout the year and those that have connections to the seasons. The symptoms associated with depression often are in the form of a cluster and will last at least two weeks and will cause the person to be less functional.

The symptoms to watch for include being constantly sad, changes in your eating or sleeping habits, feeling fatigued, having problems concentrating, and no longer having the ability to enjoy activities you enjoyed previously. In serious cases, some individuals contemplate suicide.

One in every fifteen adults, as stated by the American Psychiatric Association, is affected by depression which affects the way these individuals act and think.

Some people often feel sad throughout the holiday season and this is common. However, for those that still feel sad after the holidays may have a mood disorder.

In order to diagnose depression or another mood disorder, clinicians need to ensure that the person is not just sad due to unfortunate situations but has a more serious disorder that needs evaluated and then given proper treatment.

If you believe you are depressed even after the holidays, you should contact a counselor to help you determine if you have a mood disorder. A therapist with experience in depression and mood disorders can help you learn what is happening and how you should proceed with treatment. Recognizing you have a problem is the first step in receiving the help you need so you enjoy the holidays with family and friends instead of being depressed.

8 Myths Uncovered about Marriage Counseling

The main reason couples do not seek out marriage counseling in Northwest Arkansas and all across America is that they are concerned about what therapy may reveal or they may be worried that a therapist cannot help their marriage. Too many people often believe myths that have no warrant in the true meaning of counseling. Eight of the most common myths are below.

  • Therapy is only for couples that have mental problems. This is very far from the truth. People from all walks of life seek help with their marriage so they can communicate better or help them with adjustments in new situations.

  • Only someone that knows us can help our marriage. The best person to help couples is a stranger as they will not side with one person or the other but will be adjective and help you find common ground.

  • Counselors can read our minds. No one can read your mind. Therapists have been trained to listen and to watch the reaction of couples to help guide them into a better relationship.

  • Marriage counseling is only for couples that are ready for divorce. Once again, this is not true. Many couples seek counseling when they have a death in the family, view child discipline differently, have grown apart, or even when other family members are causing the couple to have marital problems.

  • A marriage counselor will side with my spouse. No, a therapist does not take sides but listens and helps guide couples to find a resolution for their problems.

  • Counselors never give advice only sit there. A professional marriage therapist will guide the conversation, ask questions, and even talk to you about your problems to help find a solution.

  • Counseling last for years. Counseling does not have to take years. Every couple is unique, just as every person is unique. In general, couples counseling is once per week and is usually no longer than five months. However, according to the issues at hand, it can be shorter or longer.

  • Everyone will know we are having problems in our marriage. Marriage counselors hold your information and your identity in the strictest confidence. The only ones that know you are visiting with a counselor will be the ones you confide with this information.

No matter your situation, marriage counseling can actually help you feel that spark you had when you first met or help you cope with a difficult situation such as taking care of your elderly parents. Do not let your marriage go down the path to divorce when there is help available.

Test for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Traumatic events in your life can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder; however, just because you have experienced such an event does not necessarily mean you have the disorder. Along with this, PTSD is not a disorder that is experienced only by soldiers that have been in combat. There are many different events that can bring on such a disorder from child abuse to seeing another person harmed.

If you are wondering if you could be suffering from PTSD, this test may help you come to a conclusion. Of course, this test is just a first step and does not mean that you have the disorder. A professional counselor in Rogers, Arkansas is the only one that can determine if you actually are suffering from PTSD.

Answer each question below honestly. Think about each answer carefully before answering with a yes or no. Once completed the instructions for scoring are at the bottom of the test.

  • Are you worried by an experience or one that you witnessed that brought on horror, the feeling of helplessness, or extreme fear?

  • Do you relive the event in either repeated dreams or disturbing memories?

  • Having flashbacks of the event or feeling as if it is happening again?

  • When you are around things that remind you of the event, do you experience extreme pain or become emotionally upset?

  • When you are reminded of the event do you avoid talking about it or thinking about the event?

  • Do you steer clear of people, places or activities that remind you of the event?

  • Do you go blank on significant parts of the event?

  • Are you losing interest in many activities you once enjoyed?

  • Do you feel that you are detached from others?

  • Do you feel your emotions are being restricted?

  • Do you feel like you will not be able to have children, get married, have a career, or live out your life?

  • Do you have problems sleeping?

  • Do you feel irritable or have anger outbursts?

  • Do you have issues concentrating?

  • Do you have the feeling you have to be watching out for danger?

  • Do you have an inflated response to being startled?

  • Have you noticed a change in your eating or sleeping habits?

  • Do you have more days of sadness than happy?

  • Are you not interested in life?

  • Do you feel guilty or worthless?

  • Has the use of drugs or alcohol caused you problems with family, school, or work?

  • Has the use of drugs or alcohol caused you to be in a dangerous situation?

  • Has the use of drugs or alcohol caused you to be arrested?

  • Have you continued using drugs or alcohol even though it is causing family problems?

Every question that you answered yes to shows that you have a likelihood of the disorder. For those that answered yes to at least thirteen questions, you should seek counseling. Even if you answered yes to less than thirteen but are still worried that you may have a mental disorder, it is always best to seek medical or mental help.

The only persons that can diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder is a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or your physician.

Blending Two Families into One

When you think of blending two families, we often think of the Brady Bunch. Even in a television show, blending two families was not an easy task, but the problems experienced by the Brady’s were often very minor. The parents could talk to the children and usually handle any situation between the differences that occurred. However, you must remember, this is not real life and some of the problems if not meet at the beginning can turn into chaos in a very short time. Blending families cannot just be a snap of the fingers and the family will live harmoniously from this day forward. However, you do not have to give up on the love of your life just because you both have children. Contacting a Rogers family counselor or child therapist before saying I do, maybe the best solution for a happy family.

Too many times, according to the age of the children, they can feel rejected, feel like their parent is more lenient on their new siblings, that their parent loves the new parent more than them and so on and so forth.

Even in a family that is not blended, brothers and sisters are going to fight. However, when you are trying to blend two completely different families, there may be even more fights. No two families are raising their children in the same manner. Rules change and so do so many other things in the home.

Changes in the Home

Not only have the children lost one of their parents, but now they have a new parent and new siblings. Just sharing their parent with another adult can be enough stress but when you throw in new kids, it can be very upsetting and difficult for the children.

Not only are they sharing their parent with another adult and new kids, but they are either moving to another resident or sharing their home with these new people. Often the children must share bedrooms with the new children which of course is placing the new children in the others comfort zone and personal space.

Even enjoying a meal together, may not be as easy as you think. The new kids may not like the food prepared or the kids may believe that the food prepared is to please the new kids as it is different from the food prepared beforehand.

Help Before and After Blending

In the majority of cases, before saying “I do” and moving both families into the same house it may be a good idea to talk with an experienced family counselor.

A professional therapist can help the family even before they become one family help resolve any issues that might be apparent such as sharing space with new family members. By understanding the feelings and emotions of each member of the family, it will be easier for every member to know what is expected and learn to communicate their feelings long before huge issues arise. Getting communication flowing beforehand can save families from huge differences. Even parents can have issues that need to be addressed. One parent may have been very lenient while the other one could have been very strict on the rules.

Once the family is living as one, a therapist can still be a wonderful asset as they can aid as issues arise such as no privacy, sharing bathrooms, feeling ignored and so on and so forth.

Having the help of a therapist to help guide the families into becoming one is the best solution, however, do not expect a Brady Bunch type of family.