Posts Tagged "anxiety"

Resolving the Traumas of Life

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in PathwaysVoice - Blog | 0 comments

Original article by Stephanie Levitt, MA, LPC, NCC [Published in AZ Net News Oct/Nov 2013 and online at  Natural Healing News] Trauma is everywhere.  We bear witness to it on our TV screens as we see the aftermath of a horrendous school shooting and worry about the safety of our own children. We hear stories about wars, people being killed, raped, and tortured. We have friends or family who are in abusive relationships. Then there is the trauma that we may have endured in our childhood or past. Most of us have experienced it in some form, whether we identify it as such or not. Some people have had “big” traumas in their lives that continue to affect them. Others have experienced trauma that flies under the radar so to speak, because it consists of a seemingly minute event, such as the time no one wanted to be your friend in third grade. Most likely, the small traumas that happened in our lives continues to affect us, but those effects are just less obvious. Our past experiences shape many of our present day behaviors, beliefs, and feelings. Therefore, if we have unresolved trauma from our past, it may continue to affect us negatively in our lives today. Depression, anxiety, unhealthy addictive behaviors and eating disorders are among the many symptoms of unresolved trauma. Upon further examination, such life struggles often began in the aftermath of a traumatic event. Trauma all too often goes unidentified and undetected. People do not realize the extent and severity of their trauma or that they have even been a victim of it, either by having personally experienced it or vicariously witnessed it. Thus, their lives may bear the earmark of trauma, and the unwanted feelings and behaviors taking over. Without identifying the underlying trauma, the undesirable cycle continues. Fortunately, there is help for people who have experienced all levels of trauma. After becoming aware of the problematic behaviors in your life and identifying the underlying trauma, it is possible to work through it and ultimately change these behaviors and the way you feel. One such method, developed by psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro, is extremely effective in helping people reprocess traumatic images and memories. It is called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). When performed by a trained therapist or clinician, EMDR has been thought to be one of the most effective and thoroughly researched methods ever used in treating trauma. Within three to four sessions, most people that have been treated for a traumatic incident find relief from post-traumatic emotional symptoms. EMDR is different from traditional talk therapy, and many will feel positive results in as little as one session. It is believed that EMDR works by permitting the patient to access traumatic memories and then process them both emotionally and cognitively, which allows for their resolution. The trained therapist may utilize a variety of rhythmic stimulation and/or facilitate eye movements in the person during the treatment. It is believed that when traumatic memories are accessed in a safe environment, the processing of such memories is heightened and new links are made between the traumatic memories and more adaptive information. As a result, new information is processed, leading to the reduction and/or elimination of current problematic behaviors and feelings, while new insights about the memories are developed. With such an effective treatment available for the reduction of traumatic memories and the aftereffects, it is imperative that people know about EMDR. The elimination of anxiety, depression, addiction, and other such destructive behaviors and negative feelings is possible. Suffering does not need to be a lifelong process.   Bio:  Stephanie Levitt, MA, LPC, NCC is the clinical director and owner of Pathways Counseling Services, PLLC in Scottsdale, AZ. Stephanie has undergone advanced training in EMDR and utilizes it in combination with various other treatment modalities. For a free phone consultation or to schedule an appointment, call...

Read More

Social Media and its Contribution to Depression and Anxiety

Posted by on Dec 1, 2013 in PathwaysVoice - Blog | 0 comments

With over 400 million people using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and more, depression and anxiety appear to be on the rise. Is this a coincidence? In what some term as “Facebook Envy”, this seemingly harmless way to communicate with friends and family has demonstrated its effects on the self-esteem of many individuals. The Effects of Facebook Envy Facebook Envy is a phenomenon that is perhaps more apt to strike the young, but it also has effects across all age groups. That our human nature causes us to compare ourselves to others, how we are perceived on social media sites can have an effect on our self-esteem. There are some who may need counseling and support when faced with the envy, anxiety, and depression that events on their social media sites can bring. For example, a recent study by Utah Valley University discovered that the more time people spent on Facebook, the worse they felt about the lives that they were leading. For teenagers and young adults, the feelings of being left out can be as simple as seeing photographs of a party that they were not invited. Such a seemingly small event can have a powerful impact on self esteem, on how we think others view ourselves. Plus, the more time spent on Facebook checking out our friends and their “more interesting” lives can be a debilitating experience. Even well adjusted adults can be affected by Facebook Envy if they see themselves trudging along through life while their friends are going places and doing things that they cannot do themselves. This effect is amplified by the additional time that is spent on social media sites as well. Feelings of discomfort, anxiety and even depression manifest themselves at a higher rate as more time is spent on social media sites. The Power of Perspective The negative effects on self esteem that social media can bring about can be addressed in part by putting websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and so forth into their proper perspective. For the most part, people post what they want on their social media pages which creates a different impression than reality. In fact, these sites can be considered an alternate reality which does not exist in the real world. Such perspective is important for those who are currently facing feelings of depression, envy and anxiety. This is especially true because many people use websites such as Facebook to promote their efforts in helping their business or personnel achievements, such as selling a book or promoting something that they want to sell. Keeping in perspective that social media does reflect real life in the sense that even this altered world can make you feel bad. The understanding that this is not real life, but instead a platform for allowing people to project what they want helps reign in the bad feelings that it may generate.    ...

Read More