Posts tagged with "therapy"

Protecting Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Era with the Help of Telehealth

Experiencing feelings of isolation, panicking about the scarcity of resources, and fearing for one’s health can be overwhelming during this time of uncertainty. Due to the threat of Coronavirus, we are being forced to alter the way we interact with colleagues, friends, and family, shifting our work and social schedules. Meetings and gatherings have been postponed or outright canceled.

This leaves a gap. We are, at our core, inherently social, and loneliness can be as overwhelming as any other trauma.One result of this is many people are spending much more time in their own homes.

We need connection, and we can feel when it’s missing

Working from home is fast becoming a best practice for minimizing the potential spread of COVID-19 within the workplace. However, such a drastic change to your daily routine, coupled with the constant news cycle updates, can put a strain on your mental health. Rather than waiting “until things calm down” to see a therapist, it is worth exploring an emerging alternative to coming into a therapist’s office – Telehealth.

Teletherapy helps you maintain mental health

For years, telehealth (or teletherapy) has improved access to care for clients with mobility challenges and for those who live too far to travel to their preferred therapist. Now, teletherapy is becoming increasingly relevant as the number of remote workers, or people working from home, is surging.

Teletherapy reduces travel time to and from your therapist’s office, which makes it more convenient for the working professional. It also offers the benefit of being in a comfortable and familiar environment, which can often be helpful for self-expression and reflection.

HIPAA Compliant Teletherapy Offers Security

Some are reluctant to try telehealth because they feel that something would be missing from a face to face interaction. With a clear camera and high quality internet connection, we find that, in practice, clients get just as much out of remote therapy as in-person. Others may be concerned about privacy. If this is a concern, make sure your therapist is using a HIPAA Compliant service,  like Spruce Health or SimplePractice, that offers a secure connection. This way your data is protected.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by COVID-19, give me a call. I am a psychologist, and I can help you learn coping skills that will give you peace of mind during this challenging time. I also offer teletherapy sessions using a HIPAA compliant system.

About Dr. Crystal Clements

Sync PicDr. Crystal Clements is a psychologist who practices as a registered psychological assistant in Downtown Los Angeles at Here Counseling. She works with adults, adolescents, couples and families to treat depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, and relational issues.She loves what she does and is passionate about helping people feel good about themselves and life. Dr. Crystal earned a PhD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Family Studies and MAs in Psychology and Christian Leadership from the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. She earned a BA in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania. As part of her training, she completed an APA accredited internship in Health Service Psychology at California State University, Fullerton.

Contact her today for a free 15 minute consultation!

Coronavirus, Weather, WHO, AccuWeather, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

Mental Illness Battle

In The Apple and the Shady Tree, a memoir by Lisa Novick Goldberg, she explores her family’s generational battle with mental illness, which was worsened by her father’s role as the money man for the Genovese crime family. Here’s what Goldberg learned from her traumatic childhood in the shadow of the Mafia.

I have suffered from crippling anxiety and bouts of depression since childhood. The genetic component of these diseases was exacerbated by a series of unhealthy familial behaviors known as codependency. Years in therapy gave definition to the behaviors between my parents and me that had served up a bitter cocktail of fear, shame, guilt, anger and helplessness.

Based on my experiences, there are red flags indicative of any relationship mired in codependency, including:

  • A preoccupation and dedication to another person’s wants and needs at the expense of your own.
  • An inability to establish appropriate boundaries in the roles that each supports in the relationship.
  • An enablement of unhealthy behaviors in all parties involved. 
  • An unwillingness or impotence to stop the actions that limit and destroy each of the participants’ chances for a healthier life.

Codependency has nothing to do with love, though it often hides behind a mask of concern, selflessness, loyalty, obligation or commitment. These excuses have little to do with the interactions that characterize a co-dependent relationship. The “co” part of this destructive connection means that both sides are responsible for maintaining a strangling hold. Both sides get some sort of payoff for their exhaustive efforts, so breaking free from the “dance of codependency can be challenging.

My relationship with my parents was a study in codependency. My mother struggled with  severe depression and anxiety that was mostly left untreated. My father, though he lived at home with us, was largely absent from the family’s daily activities and he compensated for this by playing the “good parent” to my mother’s “bad parent.” My sister and I suffered greatly as pawns in their battles.

Early in my childhood, my parents’ often reckless behavior forced me to assume the position of adult in the family. My mother’s drastic and unexpected mood swings resulted in her spending an unhealthy amount of her life in the perceived protection of her bed, in her darkened bedroom, with the drone of the television as her only companion. She tried her best to be the idealized 1960s suburban mom, but she clearly struggled with the role. I became obsessed, in varying degrees throughout my life, with the impossible task of wanting to make my mother whole and to alleviate her suffering. Until just years ago, prior to therapy, we might talk on the phone as much as 10 times a day, with frequent disturbing conversations that rendered me too anxious to function. Our seemingly tight, supportive mother-daughter relationship was anything but: We enabled each other; I was clinging to the illusion of motherly love and she was struggling to maintain control of me. Both of us were operating under the cover of familial love.

My co-dependent relationship with my father was less obvious, but equally stifling. As I describe in my book, his role as the money man for the Genovese crime family involved long hours away from our home; a requirement that didn’t seem to bother him. As a child I could never get enough time with him, an issue of which I made him well-aware, but to no avail. 

During adolescence, I became obsessed with the fear of losing my parents to an untimely death. As my father’s job was mostly street-centered, I could not picture him in an office and my mind filled the void with visions of him out in the evil streets of New York City. There was nothing about my father that even hinted at vulnerability, but to me, he was out in the big, bad world with no one to protect him. I begged him to help ease my anxiety by phoning me everyday at the same time so that I would know he was alive and well. He insisted that this was neither possible nor reasonable (it was the pre-cellphone era, though I’m not sure that it would have mattered). 

In adulthood, my interactions with my father took on a more complex codependency. To compensate for his parental inadequacies, he tried to buy my love with cars, apartments, an expensive education, trips—material hole-fillers. If I couldn’t get his attention, I could at least get something.

I was smart enough to parlay my advantages into a better life for myself. My dad had strong opinions on how I should live my life and my fears and insecurities were a weak match against his strong personality. I willingly fed right into his need to control. It was far easier to have my father make important life decisions for me rather than to accept the responsibility of taking my own risks. You didn’t have to be a therapist to see the “co” in this codependent relationship.

We were “dancing” fast and furiously until, in my late 20s, I wound up in front of a grand jury investigation of the Mafia’s involvement in lucrative city development projects. Nothing was ever the same after that. My anxiety and depression escalated and our intermesh became even more intensified. I was desperate to break the cycle but didn’t know how. In the past, therapy and medicine had been administered on a crisis management basis, but not as a long-term solution. 

Unfortunately, it took the death of my father to help release me from the suffocating relationships with both my parents. I was determined to seek the help that I needed to change. In my 50s, unable to thrive with the behaviors that had fueled my codependency, I began psychoanalysis. I am 61 years old and continue the hard work of exploring the roots of toxic relationships and how to spot and run from their trappings. The lessons learned have gone a long way to foster and enrich my interactions with my elderly mother, my husband, my daughter and even my friends. 

Duke Dumont, Capitol Music Group, 360 MAGAZINE, therapy

DUKE DUMONT – THERAPY

Multi-Platinum-selling record maker & DJ, Duke Dumont, has kicked off the year with new single “Therapy,” out now via Astralwerks. Stream the single HERE and watch the visualizer HERE.

A heart on sleeve, piano-driven vocal house record, “Therapy” injects an anthem upon ravers. The single follows Dumont’s “The Power,” a collaboration with Moroccan-English singer-songwriter Zak Abel that has clocked up over 35 million streams worldwide. 
Multi-Grammy-nominated Dumont has amassed over 2.5 billion streams across his back-catalogue of previous anthems, scoring platinum-selling UK #1 singles to timeless records such as ”Ocean Drive.” 

Duke embarked on a busy tour schedule during 2019, performing at internationally renowned festivals such as Creamfields, Ultra Korea, HARD Summer, Harbourlife and Field Day. As well as travelling across the globe, Dumont also linked up with fellow chart-topper MK for three US shows at the tail-end of the year, in Washington DC, San Francisco and New York. Looking ahead, Dumont has recently been announced to play at US premier festival Coachella 2020 as well as EDC Mexico in February. 

About Duke Dumont:
 
Hailing from Rayners Lane (NW London) now residing in Laurel Canyon (LA), Duke Dumont was initially born deaf.  With corrective surgery this directly shaped the way he interprets sounds, with tone and timbre taking precedence over linguistics, which inadvertently shaped his approach to record making.  Since then, Duke defied all odds and proved that his well-crafted productions either become viable hits or infectious club records, boasting billions of plays across the globe.

Topping the billing on various stages worldwide, with his DJ career starting in NW London, learning his craft at such iconic institutions as Fabric (London) to Panorama Bar (Berlin) and playing some of the biggest stages from Coachella (USA) , Exit (Serbia) to Splendor In The Grass (Australia).
 
He has since branched out to numerous residences in Ibiza (Amnesia & Sankeys) and Las Vegas where Duke shares his philosophy; “The goal isn’t for record sales, or attention-grabbing tactics. It’s for producing records with longevity and soul. If my records can out live me, i can die happy”

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, USA, NYC

What are veterans actually entitled to?

Enlisting in the military is a huge decision that isn’t to be taken lightly. Yet millions of the population take that step without hesitation to protect their country and sadly, return home sometimes with life-changing injuries.

VA disability benefits

VA disability pay rates demonstrate how veterans are given a combined disability rating which is also impacted by their number of dependents. It is complex to understand and vets are not always awarded the right compensation they deserve, which is why legal advice is often necessary.

However, financial entitlement is merely one of the many issues facing vets when returning home. What they have to live on is only a small component of the multiple ways they are faced with piecing together a life after serving in the military. 

The adjustment from life on the frontline to life back in the world they have been defending can be difficult. This is not just in the cultural, everyday sense of no longer existing in a disciplined and structured way with danger and high risk at every turn, but also in the practical sense too.

The paperwork that is required to exist back in life as a normal citizen, the health implications that may be a result of service, the overwhelming list of things to organize to have everything you need – it is a whirlwind, to say the least.

Health benefits

Health issues can be extremely broad-ranging. From the hugely debilitating and devastatingly life-altering physically to the equally paralyzing mentally, and often, as a result of the latter, the all-consuming consequence of this being substance abuse.

Therefore, there is a wide range of health benefits vets are deservedly entitled to use, depending on their specific needs. However, it is often hard for them to know exactly which services they might need if they haven’t yet identified their issues, or it might be that they aren’t aware of the services or cannot get access to them.

Education tuition and career counseling

Another avenue for vets to go down is education and tuition to enable them to further their civilian training and find a suitable career route after the military. It could still be that they pursue a career within the military but just not in active duty, or it might be that they want to retire from service and pursue something different entirely in civilian life.

There are many ways they can do this, such as applying for help to cover the costs of school or job training, or it might be that career counseling is needed. This is when vets seek advice and guidance on where their skills might be best suited within other jobs and which programs would help them get on that path. 

Furthermore, it also helps them to recognize where they might be going through some issues which are preventing them from achieving their goals.

Housing

Vets are entitled to home loans and grants to help towards the costs of paying for their homes or any modifications necessary as a result of their injuries. This may be in the form of ramps, wider doorways or much more complex changes, that could potentially even impact the building structurally.

However, in more extreme circumstances, but sadly, increasingly more common these days are the instances of homelessness amongst vets. There is advice available on shelters and storage of personal belongings as well as what other options might be open, such as armed forces retirement homes and housing programs. 

In conclusion…

It is so important to create awareness and support our veterans who have done so much for our country. So, hopefully by sharing this information, people who may have vets in their family, or friendship circles can help them find the advice they need to get a better start after they return home.

There is a lot of confusion out there, just as there can be with any benefits. But, by being aware of the challenges these men and women face on civilian soil after performing their duty, we can all make it a better country by sharing this and helping them as they’ve helped us. 

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

4 reasons CBD is amazing for your health

CBD is now available across America in a whole variety of forms, including oils, gummies, and even body creams, all promising amazing therapeutic effects that pharmaceutical drugs simply cannot offer. Millions now take the hemp product on a daily basis, thanks to its ability to completely change how the user is feeling both on the inside and the outside.

Here are 4 reasons why CBD is amazing for your health.

Helps soothe anxiety

Around 40 million adults across the US are affected by anxiety disorders which leave them stressed and on edge for large portions of the day. While around one in six takes pharmaceutical drugs to help them through bouts of anxiety, it can cost over $80 a month and sometimes shows to be little or no help.

CBD has now shown to be a great treatment for mental health disorders, helping the body to produce more of its own natural cannabinoids and dopamine to relax the mind. This can also help patients to sleep better at night, too, which in turn works as a mood-booster.

Relieves pain

According to CBD Kyro, patients report pain as one of their top reasons for taking CBD. Cannabidiol is full of anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce discomfort throughout the body and relax the user, making everything from muscle aches to chronic pain easier to deal with.

A large proportion of patients take CBD for arthritis, as it is known to reduce the frequency and intensity of their pain. Although it is yet to be approved by the FDA, one of CBD’s best uses is its ability to relieve muscle and joint aches.

Treats epilepsy

Following extensive clinical research trials, the FDA approved CBD oil medication Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy back in 2018.

It followed the case of Charlotte Figi, a young girl from Colorado who suffered from Dravet Syndrome. Within a matter of weeks of taking CBD, Charlotte went from having up to 300 seizures a week to just two a month. The FDA had no choice but to take notice. Epidiolex was the first drug approved to treat Dravet syndrome.

Improves skin

While CBD is great for helping with health problems on the inside, it has also taken over the cosmetic world, too. CBD contains anti-oxidant properties which can lessen the appearance of wrinkles and help to keep the skin hydrated. Its anti-inflammatory properties discussed earlier step in to help with acne, too, reducing breakouts and redness by calming the skin.

CBD can also work to decrease the overproduction of sebum- a type of oil that is responsible for causing breakouts to appear on the face and neck. Daily CBD Mag also adds that CBD oil can also improve the strength and appearance of hair and nails.

Note

Unlike cannabis, CBD does not contain the chemical THC which is responsible for causing psychoactive effects. This is why it is generally considered safe for most people and even animals. When looking for a suitable CBD product, make sure it contains no more than 0.3% THC. 

The Labelle Foundation

The Australians have given us so much…Nicole Kidman, Koalas, UGG Boots and NOW…they have given us the 2020 Training Mate Calendar. Training Mate has paired with The Labelle Foundation to show off their “cheeky” humor *and cheeks* to benefit the dog rescue

The Labelle Foundation is a Los Angeles foster based animal rescue devoted to rescuing, rehabilitating, advocating for dogs. Their goal is to help the animals they assist find perfect forever families. The organization also specializes in neonatal orphans and sick or special need medical puppies.

Training Mate is owned and operated by “Revenge Body” trainer Luke Milton who makes an appearance in the calendar. Luke’s fitness career began as a professional Rugby player in Australia where he was lucky enough to play for his country. After retiring from Rugby, Luke founded Training Mate in Sydney, Australia and quickly established himself as a leader in the fitness community. He is now a celebrity trainer here in Los Angeles and lives by the belief that a healthy lifestyle is a combination of physical, social and mental health. 

100% of the profits from the Training Mate calendar will benefit The Labelle Foundation. 

Protected: How to Shut Down Undeserving Thoughts That Are Holding You Back

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Five Steps for Prevention from Watson Institute Experts

The Majority of Children with Autism Are Bullied—Do You Know How to Help?

Children with autism face unique social and education challenges that require attentive support. 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism. Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Autism spectrum disorder encompasses a wide range of challenges with repetitive behaviors as well as social and communication skills.

For students with Autism, school can be daunting, as they are faced with social interactions and not feeling accepted. Coupled with that, children with Autism are at higher risk for being victimized or bullied by peers. Nearly two-thirds of children with autism between the ages of 6 and 15 have been bullied—over twice the rate of children without autism. 65% of parents report that their child had been victimized and 50% report being scared by their peers (Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing (2009)).  

These pressures can lead to refusal to attend school, anxiety or depression, and an overall decline in academic performance. This is borne out in the high school graduation rates for students with disabilities, which is only 67.1% (U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics), compared to an overall 84% graduation rate.

Clinical experts from the Watson Institute have five tips on combating bullying among all students, especially those with autism:

  1. Highlight individual strengths. Parents and teachers can be proactive by teaching children that it’s natural to expect others to be just like us, but the things that make us different are often the very things that make us special. Make a habit of complimenting students on their strengths—including in front of their peers.
  2. Widen perspectives. Teaching children to see things from more than one perspective is a key part of developing empathy. Help children connect beyond surface circumstances to underlying emotions. If a child makes fun of a student for not being good at something, ask them to reflect on something that is hard for them.
  3. Praise kindness. Children risk being teased or bullied themselves when they reach out to a student who is being bullied. It takes courage for students to act. Turn this perceived liability into an asset by applauding acts of kindness. This can be done individually, (“I saw how you stood up for Kyle and I’m really proud of you.”) and corporately, through public recognition or incentive programs.
  4. Get involved. If a bullying situation has developed, adult intervention is usually required. Leaving students to “work it out themselves” will often exacerbate or prolong a negative situation. Involve students and parents in addressing the situation. Approach the conversation with a problem-solving, not a punitive attitude.
  5. Provide support. Children can feel a range of emotions—from fear to shame and many more—when they’ve been the victim of bullying. Don’t assume because a child is no longer actively being bullied, that the situation is resolved. Make space for them to talk about their feelings and provide any additional support they need.

ABOUT THE WATSON INSTITUTE

The Watson Institute is organization providing special education programming as well as outpatient mental health services such as social skills groups, therapy, and evaluations for children ages 3 to 21.  www.thewatsoninstitute.org.

Ariana Grande Shares Brain Scans

Popstar Ariana Grande shared photos of her recent brain scan on Friday evening revealing the effects that PTSD has taken on her body resulting from the horrific bombing from her May 2017 concert in England. In a world where trauma is becoming a little too realistic, having a celebrity share their story can hopefully only encourage someone else experiencing these struggles to also step forward and receive help.

Newport Academy, a leading nation-wide mental health treatment center is working to help get word out on the seriousness of this topic that affects so many.

They provide resources and information on:

  • How impactful is Ariana’s story for those who idolize stars and celebrities?
  • Why breaking down the stigma about PTSD should be further expressed throughout the US
  • The lasting effects PTSD can have on anyone and how to live with these affects
  • Stats: Why it’s important to seek help right away when experiencing trauma  
  • The best ways to talk to your child if you’re concerned about their mental health

About Newport Academy

Newport Academy is a series of evidence-based healing centers for adolescents and families struggling with mental health issues, eating disorders, and substance abuse. With locations across the United States, Newport Academy offers a compassionate, family-systems approach, providing gender-specific, individualized, and comprehensive holistic programs that encompass clinical therapy, academic support, and experiential practices. Offerings include residential treatment, intensive outpatient programming, recovery-based therapeutic day schools, and day treatment. Newport Academy nurtures the physical, psychological, social, educational, and spiritual needs of adolescents and their families, from a foundation of compassionate care, clinical expertise, and unconditional love. Our primary mission is to empower teens and restore families. Experts include MDs, Psychiatrists, Therapists, Registered Dieticians, Nurses, Licensed Social Workers, Teachers, and more.