Archive for December 2016

Trust Issues

Everyone has uncertainty about whom to trust, how much to trust, when not to trust, and so forth at one time or another. In fact, every day we make choices about whom and how much to trust, and sometimes we are more willing to trust than at other times. That’s a good thing; a total lack of mistrust would indicate a serious psychological problem. Judgments about when and whom to trust help keep us safe and alive!

Signs that a person may be excessively mistrustful include:

  • A total lack of intimacy or friendships due to mistrust
  • Mistrust that interferes with one’s primary relationship
  • Several intensely dramatic and stormy relationships in a row or at once
  • Racing thoughts of suspicion or anxiety about friends and family
  • Terror during physical intimacy
  • Belief that others are deceptive and malevolent, without real evidence

When mistrust seems to play a dominant role in a person’s life, past disappointments or betrayals may be at the root of the issue. Mistrust is a valid and reasoned response to feeling betrayed or abandoned, but a person’s life can be adversely affected when feelings of mistrust are pervasive, resulting in anxiety, anger, or self-doubt. Fortunately, a person can learn to trust again, and working with a therapist can aid this process.


Child Abuse

It’s hard to imagine someone intentionally hurting a child. Yet nearly 1 million children are abused every year just in the United States alone. And these are only the reported incidents of child abuse — many more cases are unreported and undetected, often because children are afraid to tell somebody who can help.

Holiday Depression and Stress

Holiday Depression & Stress: 

The holiday season is a time full of joy, cheer, parties, and family gatherings. However, for many people, it is a time of self-evaluation, loneliness, reflection on past failures, and anxiety about an uncertain future.

What Causes Holiday Blues?

Many factors can cause the “holiday blues”: stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, over-commercialization, financial constraints, and the inability to be with one’s family and friends. The demands of shopping, parties, family reunions, and house guests also contribute to feelings of tension. People who do not become depressed may develop other stress responses, such as: headaches, excessive drinking, over-eating, and difficulty sleeping. Even more people experience post-holiday let down after January first. This can result from disappointments during the preceding months compounded with the excess fatigue and stress.

Equine Thearpy Aids Treatments for Mental Health

Equine-Assisted Therapy Aids Treatment For Addiction, Mental Health

Several treatment centers in the U.S. have seen stunning progress with patients who participate in equine-assisted psychotherapy. Encouraging patients to bond with horses on the farm challenges the treatment recipients to view the world and themselves differently.

This form of therapy centers the patients, helping lower their heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels. Difficult-to-achieve recovery goals come a little easier to patients who connect with the horses during equine-assisted therapy.

When a person suffering from mental health problems slows down, looks into a horse’s eyes and has the opportunity to take care of another intelligent living being, the process fuels remarkable breakthroughs. Equine-assisted therapy helps these patients develop skills for a healthier lifestyle, such as how to appropriately identify and cope with feelings.

Horses help strip away feelings of depression and anxiety, leaving room for patients to feel other, more positive emotions. With this clarity and enlightenment comes helpful recovery epiphanies.

Many people with mental health illnesses and/or addictions have been conditioned by their experiences to believe that feelings are a bad thing. They cannot cope with their thoughts and feelings, and thus turn to substances.

Equine-assisted therapy doesn’t require patients to use their minds to solve problems. Instead, patients rely on their hearts and feelings during their sessions with the horses, learning how to react in the moment in a healthy way. When used with traditional therapy sessions, equine-assisted therapy can be incredibly beneficial.

Horses are more sensitive to emotions than other animals. Someone afraid of horses, for example, can put the horse on edge. If someone is angry or aggressive, the horse can react with stubbornness. When someone who is calm approaches, the horse responds similarly.

This open reaction to emotions can help those recovering from drug or alcohol addictions see themselves more clearly, and help them work toward making an inner change.

Horses are large animals, and they require a certain level of confidence and responsibility from the person who grooms, feeds and walks them. When patients successfully tackle their fears and engage in these activities, they can experience boosts in:

  • Self-esteem
  • Focus
  • Concentration
  • Empowerment
  • Happiness

Instead of feeling like an outcast, patients feel needed and important. Taking care of and spending quality time with a horse promotes self-awareness and non-verbal communication skills. It encourages patients to improve themselves first, and then work on improving interpersonal relationships.