Individual therapy (sometimes called “psychotherapy” or “counseling”) is a process through which clients work one-on-one with a trained or licensed therapist—in a safe, warm, and confidential environment—to explore their feelings, beliefs, or behaviors, work through challenging or trying memories, identify aspects of their lives that they would like to change, better understand themselves, their relationships, or current life state, to set personal goals, and work toward desired outcomes.
People seek therapy for an variety of reasons, from coping with major life challenges or childhood or adult trauma, to dealing with depression or anxiety, to purely desiring personal growth and greater self-knowledge. A client and therapist may work together using a variety of techniques, depending on the client’s unique needs and personal goals for therapy.
Couples counseling, relationship counseling, or couples therapy, is a form of therapy that supports people in intimate relationships. Therapy may be helpful for partners considering separation or seeing improved intimacy and understanding. While the relationship itself is the focus in couples counseling, each partner is expected to pay attention to self-improvement and self-awareness.
Family therapy is a branch of psychotherapy that works with families and couples to nurture relationships and improve communication. Sometimes families need help working through a crisis or a stressful time--a death in the family, a lay-off, substance abuse, a birth or adoption, remarriage, children’s behavior issues. Regardless of whether the current challenge is seen as an “individual” or a “family” issue, it is believed that involving the family is beneficial. Family therapists help individuals express needs appropriately, make compromises, and establish boundaries to strengthen the family unit.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches.
Psychological Testing & Assessment
Sometimes, a person's mental health symptoms and/or the nature/function of their current behavior is unclear. In such cases, the person may be referred for psychological assessment. Psychological assessments can help to clarify a person's diagnosis in order to guide treatment, by better understanding a person's strengths and weaknesses. The process of psychological assessment may involve a clinical interview, administration of psychological tests, observation of behavior, and consultation with people who interact with the person being evaluated.
Substance Use Disorder Counseling
MAP BHC offers Substance Use Disorder Counseling not only for people with addiction issues but to people who are concerned about their use of alcohol or other drugs. Substance Use Disorder Counseling focuses on a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self – directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. This type of counseling addresses the ways in which drugs and alcohol affect people physically, emotionally and mentally as well as in their relationships. We help people to reclaim their lives through breaking the cycle of addiction, and overcoming the stigma associated with the disease. With the assistance of a counselor trained in chemical dependency, people can find new ways of dealing with difficulties in their lives without relying on alcohol or other drugs to mask the problems they face. Counseling is not only for those struggling with use but for family members who find it difficult to understand, and cope with the challenges associated with a trying to help a loved one.
The name biofeedback comes from the feedback clients get from biological measurements we get from tools that are measuring body and brain activity with simple finger or head sensors. The person's heart rate, attention level or level of excitement, calm or stress is measured. Then this controls the volume of a sound we can choose from (like wave sounds, or classical music), or it controls the volume of a movie (usually for kids). The sound is louder or quieter depending on how calm they are. The person doing it learns how they are affecting the feedback, and then they learn how to increase their calm control easier. We then apply this using counseling with mindfulness skills, relaxation, and insight into beliefs and family or personal patterns. We also talk about how to apply it in everyday life.
Here are some examples of what can be helped:
- Attention is improved because people learn to make more relaxed or more focused attention. The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses it as a treatment for ADHD. It also works for performance and astronauts use it in training along with musicians and olympic athletes.
- Anxiety is reduced because people learn to quiet their mind. Clients have gone from sleeping 4-5 hours a night to 8 hours a night in weeks, and have eliminated panic attacks after having them twice a week. Also, general anxiety and chronic stress are healed as people increase their "relaxation" response that they learn to do more on purpose.
- Trauma is healed as people learn to "put things away" and let go more easily. The VA hospitals developed the first trauma therapies with biofeedback that healed trauma and personalities.
- Pain is reduced and clients learn to stop and reduce pain feelings in their brains. Clients reduce pain by 50% or more and it stays down for days after biofeedback. We have seen clients with chronic pain from serious accidents have pain go from a 6-0 or 8-2 in 40 minutes and stay down for days.
- Autism symptoms are reduced because people increase the inner awareness of soft skills and attention management. Impulsive behavior and tantrums are reduced by as much as 70% after sessions. Repeated practice can change overall development. And, these results are also shown to be true in research studies of people using biofeedback for autism. Research shows an improvement in grades by around 24%, and a reduction in difficult classroom behavior by 50% or more. I also see these results.
- Migraine sufferers can learn to reduce the brain behavior leading to them and reduce or avoid migraines. There is a 50% reduction in migraines (on average). People can also learn to back away from migraines completely in some cases.
- Alcohol and chemical abuse recovery happens because people learn to make the positive feelings they want on their own. Biofeedback has been proven to prevent relapse into alcohol abuse with a 80% success rate for at least one year after treatment. This is proven in research done in VA hospitals.