Topic - Anxiety/Depression

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We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.

The Anxious Client Reconsidered

Getting Beyond the Symptoms to Deeper Change

Graham Cambell

Anxiety attacks anything and everything in a person's life. Sometimes the targets are the mundane activities that others take for granted. At other times, it attacks more fundamental functions, such as one's ability to work or to love. We are used to thinking of people who are afraid to speak in public or to drive across a bridge as anxious. We are all familiar with a few stereotypical worrywarts. But anxiety influences a much broader range of behaviors. To the ordinary observer, people who are rude in a restaurant, obnoxious at their child's soccer game or overly exacting of their employees might seem simply self-centered. But often, these individuals are dealing with a wide variety of inner phantoms.

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The Chemistry Behind Couples Therapy

Pat Love Explains the Science of Effective Sex Therapy

Pat Love

Our culture speaks of "falling" in love. Other societies have compared infatuation to divine revelation, and to psychosis. We often say, in jest, that this experience of hurricane-force passion is "like a drug." But that oft-quipped analogy may turn out to be no joke. Some scientists now believe that the frenzied euphoria of romantic love may well be a bona fide, altered state of consciousness, primarily brought on by the action of phenylethylamine (PEA), a naturally occurring, amphetamine-like neurotransmitter. And if our desire problems are at least partly innate, then maybe we don't need to feel quite so ashamed and despairing about the muddle we're in.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Redefines Mental Health

How Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis Started a Psychotherapy Revolution

Mary Sykes Wylie

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is arguably the most successful therapy ever developed. In only about 40 years, it’s gone from the almost accidental innovations of two disenchanted psychoanalysts to the most widely practiced and promulgated approach in the world. Independently coinvented by Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis, CBT is brief, usually 16 sessions or fewer, thus much cheaper than that once-famous other brand, psychodynamic therapy. But where did this streamlined, efficient, practical therapy come from? And what made it so revolutionary?

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Breaking the Cycle: OCD Treatment that Works

Therapy Techniques for Treating OCD Clients

Martin Seif and Sally Winston

Many people with OCD aren’t easy to diagnose or treat. Clients with OCD can present as panicky, depressed, and agoraphobic, as well as with a wide range of personality problems and relationship issues. But by locating the obsessive thought that initially raises anxiety distress and the compulsive thought that provides the temporary relief, therapists can help these clients break their self-reinforcing cycles of anxious arousal and counterproductive stress-reducing behavior.

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Dealing with Trauma Anxiety on the Spot

The Mechanics of Fight-or-Flight Responses in Trauma Clients

Babette Rothschild

My approach to trauma work is rooted in an experience I had in college. A friend asked me to teach her to drive---in a new car my father had just given me. Sitting in the passenger seat next to her as she prepared to turn on the ignition, I suddenly panicked. I quickly realized that before I taught her how to make that powerful machine go, I had to make sure that she knew how to put on the brakes. I apply the same principle to therapy, especially trauma therapy.

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The Mind-Body Magic of Jon Kabat-Zinn

One Man's Quest to Bring Therapeutic Mindfulness to Medicine

Richard Simon and Mary Sykes Wylie

In 1966, Jon Kabat-Zinn, a graduate student in molecular biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, spotted a flyer advertising a talk about Zen. Today, nearly 40 years after that portentous afternoon talk, Kabat-Zinn is acknowledged as one of the pioneers in mind-body medicine---a field that integrates ancient spiritual traditions like yoga and meditation with mainstream medical practice. In 1979, Kabat-Zinn established the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, the first center in the country to use meditation and yoga with patients suffering from intractable pain and chronic illness.

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Should Depression Be Treated as a Chronic Condition?

Rethinking How We Deal with Depression

Margaret Wehrenberg

I’ve begun to put aside my idealized view that unless people overcome their difficulties once and for all, therapy is somehow a failure. More and more, that perspective seems simplistic and disconnected from the realities of what psychotherapy, no matter how skillful the clinician may be, can actually provide. So what if we start to think differently about this? What if we view anxiety and depression—especially generalized anxiety and dysphoric states of mild and moderate depressions—not as disorders that will be cured, but as chronic, relapsing, remitting disorders?

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Escaping the Trance of Depression

Using Bill O'Hanlon's Marbling Technique with Clients

Bill O'Hanlon

In recent years, we’ve learned that repeating patterns of experience, attention, conversation, and behavior can “groove” the brain; that is, your brain gets better and faster at doing whatever you do over and over again. This includes “doing” depression, feeling depressed feelings, talking about depression, and so forth. Thus, we can unintentionally help our clients get better at doing depression by focusing exclusively on it. To counter this effect, I like to use a method that I call “marbling.”

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Can Mood Science Save Us from the Depression Epidemic?

Psychotherapy Tackles Depression as a Low Mood Problem

Jonathan Rottenberg

How can it be that—despite all the efforts aimed at understanding, treating, and educating the public about depression—the number of people suffering from depression continues to rise? Why have our treatments plateaued in their effectiveness, and why does the stigma associated with this condition remain very much with us? Depression has clearly been a tough nut to crack, but we haven’t focused much on what’s at the center of that nut: mood.

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