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The Five Stages of Grief: How to Cope with Loss

It's no secret that loss is a part of life. We experience it in different ways, and often times we aren't prepared for it when it happens. The death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or the loss of a job can be incredibly difficult to cope with. In this blog post, we will discuss the 5 stages of grief as identified by Kubler-Ross. If you are experiencing loss, know that you are not alone. These stages are universal and everyone goes through them at some point in their lives. [Five Stages of Grief] What is Kübler-Ross theory of grief? The Kübler-Ross stages of grief, also known as the DABDA model, were first proposed by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying. The theory has been controversial since its inception, with many mental health professionals arguing that it oversimplifies the grieving process. Nevertheless, the stages have become widely accepted and are often used to help people understand what they are experiencing. The five stages of grief are: 1. Denial: This is the first stage of grief and it is characterized by a sense of disbelief or denial. This is a natural defense mechanism that allows us to cope with the overwhelming reality of loss. It is important to remember that this is a normal part of the process and not to be ashamed of it. 2. Anger: The second stage of grief is characterized by feelings of anger, resentment, and frustration. This is often directed towards the person who has died, or towards the situation that caused the loss. It is important to express these negative emotions in a healthy way, such as through writing or talking to a therapist. 3. Bargaining: The third stage of grief is characterized by a sense of desperation and a need for control. We may try to negotiate with the situation, or make deals with God in an attempt to change what has happened. This is a normal part of the process, but it is important not to dwell on this stage for too long. 4. Depression: The fourth stage of grief is characterized by feelings of sadness, loneliness, and despair. This is a natural response to loss, and it is important to allow yourself to feel these emotions. Do not be afraid to seek help from a professional if you are struggling during this stage. 5. Acceptance: The fifth and final stage of grief is characterized by a sense of acceptance and peace. This does not mean that the pain of loss is gone, but rather that we have come to terms with it. We are able to remember the good times without being overwhelmed by sadness. This is the end of the grieving process, but it is important to allow yourself as much time as you need to get there. How long does each stage of grief last? There is no right or wrong way to answer this question. People grieve in their own way and at their own pace. Some people may move through the stages quickly, while others may cycle back and forth between them. Allow yourself as much time as you need to work through your grief. There is no timeline for grieving, so take all the time you need. The healing process is not the same for everybody. How do you know when you have finished grieving? The final stage of grief is acceptance. This does not mean that the pain of loss is gone, but rather that you have come to terms with it. You are able to remember the good times without being overwhelmed by sadness, denial, anger and other unpleasant emotions. If you find yourself at this stage, know that you have completed the grieving process. What are some tips for coping with grief? [Image] Since the healing process is not the same for everyone, this also means that not everyone will cope the same way. However, here are a few general tips to cope with grief: 1. 2. Acknowledge your feelings: It's important to allow yourself to feel whatever you're feeling, even if it's painful. Denying your emotions will only make them worse in the long run. 3. Seek out support: Talk to friends, family, or a professional if you're struggling to cope with your loss. It's important to know that you're not alone. 4. Be patient: Grief is a process, and it takes time to work through it. Don't be too hard on yourself if you're not moving as quickly as you'd like. Just take things one day at a time and eventually, the pain will start to fade. Coping with grief also involves a lot of self care, which may involve doing your favorite activities, interacting with family members and friends, or even seeking therapy. You might also want to consider attending bereavement groups for people who are grieving. This can be a great way to connect with others who understand what you're going through. What if I get stuck in one of the stages? If you find yourself struggling in one particular stage of grief, it may be helpful to seek out professional help. A therapist can provide support and guidance as you work through your emotions. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Everyone copes in their own way and at their own pace. Just allow yourself the time and space to feel whatever you're feeling, and know that eventually, the pain will start to subside. If you or anyone you know is struggling with grief, do not hesitate to reach out to mosaicmindscounseling.com. Mosaic Minds Counseling is here.

Mariella Arceo

Nov 18, 2022

Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors: What They Are and How to Address Them

Do you sometimes feel like you can't stop moving? That your body is just constantly in motion, and you don't know how to make it stop? If so, you may be experiencing body focused repetitive behaviors, or BFRBs. These are a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder that can be very difficult to deal with. In this blog post, we will discuss what body focused repetitive behaviors are, and how to address them. What are body focused repetitive behaviors? [Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors] Body focused repetitive behaviors are a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder that is characterized by repetitive, body-focused actions. Common examples of BFRBs include hair pulling (trichotillomania), skin picking (dermatillomania), nail biting (onychophagia), lip biting, and cheek chewing, among others. Body focused repetitive behaviors can be very difficult to control , and may cause significant distress and impairment in everyday life. Some patients engage in these activities to some degree automatically (ie, without complete awareness); others are more conscious of the activity. The behaviors aren't caused by obsessions or concerns about appearance but may be preceded by a feeling of tension or anxiety that is relieved by the behavior, which is often also accompanied by a feeling of gratification. People with body-focused repetitive behavior disorder usually try to stop their behavior or to do it less frequently, but they can't seem to manage it. In the DSM-5, body focused repetitive behavior is listed in the obsessive compulsive and related disorders section. Below are examples of common BFRBs: 1. 2. Trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder)[Image] 3. This is an ongoing and repetitive picking of the hair around the face and head, resulting in noticeable hair loss. Other areas that aside from the face and head also include the arms, legs, pubic region, and even other individuals such as pets. These pulling episodes can last between several minutes to hours. 4. 5. Dermatillomania (skin picking disorder/ skin excoriation)[Image] 6. This involves picking at one's skin obsessively, which may be set off by a scab or other blemish (such as a mosquito bite or pimple), tearing open or worsening a skin wound. The typical sites are the face, arms, and hands, although any body part can be involved – for example, the legs and pubic area where ingrown hairs might occur more often. Skin picking episodes can also last between several minutes to hours. Onychophagia (nail biting)[Image] The process involves removing the nail plate, and sometimes the soft tissues of the nail bed and the cuticle. Onychophagia is also known as onychotillomania, which includes the habit of picking or otherwise manipulating the nails. How do you treat BFRB? Fortunately, there are a number of ways to address these bad habits such as: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of treatment that can be effective for BFRB. CBT can help you to understand the thoughts and emotions that are associated with your BFRBs, and to develop new, healthier coping strategies. Habit reversal training (HRT) is another treatment option that can be helpful for BFRB. HRT involves learning to become aware of the behaviors and triggers associated with your  BFRBs, and developing new, healthier coping strategies. This method consists of awareness training that compels the individual to be more aware of when the behaviors will most likely occur as they focus on their circumstances and social support that involves family members and loved ones to give positive feedback.  Another approach that may be worth trying is acceptance and commitment therapy, which encourages individuals to experience their negative behaviors in order to observe without judgement. The knowledge that you don't have to act on every urge or emotion can be liberating. Medication may also be an option for treating body-focused repetitive behaviors. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant that can be effective in treating BFRBs. If you are struggling with body focused repetitive behaviors, don't hesitate to seek help. There are a number of effective treatments available, and with the right support, you can learn to manage your BFRBs. If you or someone you know might benefit from the help of licensed professional therapists, do not hesitate to reach out at mosaicmindscounseling.com   

Mariella Arceo

Nov 14, 2022

Types of Exposure in Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy

[Exposure Response Therapy] OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is marked by individuals struggling with obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are intrusive, unwanted, distressing thoughts, images, or urges that cause anxiety or distress. The body's alarm system activates, our anxiety grows, and the person wonders what that intrusive thought must have meant. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a person feels compelled to do in order to relieve OCD-related anxiety or distress. A person's obsessions may focus on intrusive thoughts about harm to themselves or others, sexual intrusive thoughts, contamination fears, relationship based thoughts, morality/scrupulosity based thoughts, and more. Compulsive behaviors and mental acts may look like checking, mentally reviewing, mentally rehearsing, excessive hand washing, thought neutralization, etc. One common approach with significant treatment outcomes for anxiety management and obsessive compulsive disorder is exposure and response prevention (ERP), a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). ERP involves gradually exposing clients to their feared stimuli in order to help them overcome their anxiety and learn to tolerate situations without engaging in compulsive behaviors or avoidance behaviors. ERP aims to have patients habituate (gradually reduce their anxiety over time) and also learn to manage the distress around anxiety provoking situations. Exposure exercises will be done in session with your therapist and clients will also have a practice exposure for outside of session, while engaging in ritual prevention. Even though exposure therapy is often the intervention used to treat OCD symptoms, it can also be done with those experiencing other types of anxiety related disorders and mental health issues (social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, etc.) If you haven't experienced an exposure treatment before, you may be unsure of what this looks like. The types of exposures in ERP are imaginary, in vivo, and interoceptive exposures. In Vivo Exposure In vivo exposure involves facing distressing situations related to one's obsessions in real life. Even though this involves directly facing fears, this can also be done gradually. For example, if someone has contamination based OCD with fear of contracting an illness, this exposure may involve directly touching a doorknob that someone fears may be contaminated. Gradually increasing the difficulty of this exposure would look like touching a doorknob at home, then at a public restroom at a location where a few people go to, and then touching a doorknob at a location where many people may have access to the same doorknob. While doing this, it is very important to engage in response prevention (not engaging in compulsions). For someone who has harm OCD and has intrusive thoughts regarding harm and driving, an exposure may look like driving a parking lot, then driving on a busy road, driving on a highway, and driving over a bridge. Imaginary Exposure Imaginary exposure involves visualizing the feared situation in your mind. This can take the form of creating an imaginary script or verbally hearing or saying statements related to your intrusive thoughts and core fears. An imaginary script may be written by the therapist, on your own, or collaboratively with your therapist. The script is similar to the mindfulness practice of "guided imagery," where you are directly envisioning the script in your mind, as if this is currently happening. This could also involve the therapist asking someone to describe what they envision the tiny, microscopic germs on the doorknob may look like. This could also involve mimicking what some of the obsessive thoughts would naturally say when you are exposed to a trigger, such as, "what if you do get sick?" For harm OCD, this may look like statements that mimic similar obsessive thoughts, such as, "what if you drove off the bridge?" You may also create a script that access the core fear around the harm and driving that you envision happening while sitting in session. Interoceptive Exposure Interoceptive exposure involves experiencing the physical sensations that are associated with the fear, such as feeling one's heart racing or feeling like one is about to vomit. For someone with contamination OCD, this may look like creating a physical sensation that we fear could be a sign of being sick or contaminated. You might run in place to get your heart rate up or do an activity to create a tingly sensation in the body. Conclusion These are examples just around contamination OCD, but will look very different based on the type of obsessions and compulsions the individual has. Even if contamination OCD is what you currently struggle with, your exposure sessions should and will look different as well because they should focus on your core fears and situations/items that are triggering that are unique to you. An exposure can be done individually, but can also be done in combination with another type of exposure. Some clients with obsessive compulsive disorder may find that one type of exposure is particularly effective for them, while others may need to incorporate multiple types in order to effectively manage their OCD symptoms. Incorporating multiple types can be more anxiety provoking than the ones done individually, but may also more closely mimic what happens when someone is triggered in their day to day life. Often we may come across an in vivo exposure (we touched a doorknob in a public restroom) and then we have the imaginary exposure (intrusive thoughts, such as, "I think I felt something on the doorknob. What if that was body fluids that could be harmful and get me sick?"), and the interoceptive exposure occurs (maybe our hand starts pulsing because we are anxious and we are unsure if this is a sign that we did come in contact with a contaminant). Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a powerful and proven treatment modality. Treating obsessive compulsive disorder with these repeated exposure can help individuals learn to cope with and manage their OCD symptoms over time. If this is something that may be helpful for you, please reach out to Mosaic Minds Counseling, LLC. Mosaic Minds is a group private practice with therapists that understand ERP treatment. The international OCD foundation (IOCDF) also has a wide range of resources to begin your treatment journey, as well.

Jessica Bell

Oct 26, 2022

Therapy with Sergio Perez, LMHC

Sergio Perez is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor based in Florida. He provides remote therapy sessions to clients throughout the states of Florida and Colorado, with a focus on adolescents and young adults. Sergio specializes in helping his clients work through anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, ADHD, or attachment issues. His approach to therapy is flexible and client-centered - focused on drawing out existing strengths to help overcome difficulties. [Sergio Perez, LMHC] Sergio’s background, specialties and therapy philosophies Before going into private practice, Sergio worked for a nonprofit mental health agency focusing on children and adolescent mental health. Sergio works with a wide range of clientele, which he believes to be one of his strengths as a therapist as he is able to relate and understand a diverse set of people from many different backgrounds and age ranges. When asked about his guiding principles, Sergio considers empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard at the forefront of his work with clients. He believes that clients already have the solutions to their problems and that it is his job to help them find those.  Sergio believes that fear is debilitating; it is often the fear of something that prevents us from moving forward. He also believes grief is a complex response. Opposing thoughts and feelings can battle for our attention, and this emotional volatility can be exhausting and confusing—especially when we let judgments influence how we view our grief. The impact of trauma often uproots our worldview, values, and perspectives which can leave us stranded in an unsafe and scary world. With these, Sergio aims to help those struggling with anxiety, grief and trauma to move forward by gradually confronting their fear, accepting their experiences and regaining control of their lives.  In Sergio's free time, he enjoys playing with his pup, Rush. Sergio also enjoys basketball, hiking, and playing video games.   Therapy sessions with Sergio Typically, clients see Sergio for 8 sessions, the first session focused on getting to know the client more. The process of therapy, Sergio's style, the client's presenting issues, and goals for treatment are discussed. The first session will also focus on developing personalized techniques and strategies. After the client has made therapeutic gains and can rely on the skills and knowledge learned in treatment to handle new challenges that come up, it may be time to end therapy. 

Mariella Arceo

Oct 25, 2022

Mindfulness: The Benefits of Mindfulness Techniques for Anxiety

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and focusing on your thoughts and feelings. It has been shown to have many benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety. In this blog post, we will discuss mindfulness techniques that can be used to help manage anxiety. We will also explore how mindfulness can help you live a more peaceful and productive life! What is mindfulness? [d12b83c4-ee96-47bc-84be-d3e1aad5c10f.jpeg] Mindfulness is the act of paying attention to the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations. It can be used as a therapeutic technique to help you relax and reduce stress. Mindfulness helps to calm anxiety as well. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, but the objective of every form is to induce a state of alert, focused relaxation by intentionally focusing on thoughts and feelings without bias. This helps the mind return to the present moment. An example of mindfulness in everyday life is taking the time to focus attention on the food you are eating: how it tastes, what it looks likes, and taking the time to truly enjoy the experience. The mind wanders so easily to strong emotions, negative self talk and negative thoughts. Practicing mindfulness meditation is a good way to bring you back to the present moment and see daily life for what it is. On top of that, it also promotes a more positive mental state. What are some techniques I can do to practice mindfulness? There are many mindfulness techniques that you can use to practice mindfulness. Some of these mindfulness practices include:[Image] 1. Focusing on your breath: Take a few deep breaths and focus on the sensation of your breath going in and out. Breathing exercises help you to ground yourself in the present moment and ease anxiety. 2. 3. Observing your thoughts: Notice your thoughts without judging them or getting caught up in them. Just let them come and go like clouds passing through the sky. This will help you to detach from your thoughts and negative emotions and reduce their power over you. 4. 5. Practicing gratitude: Take a moment to appreciate the good things in your life, no matter how small. This will help you to focus on the positive and feel more calm and peaceful. Making a list of things you are grateful for can be a good mindfulness exercise to build on. How can mindfulness help anxiety? Mindfulness can help anxiety by teaching you how to detach from your thoughts and feelings. When you are able to observe your thoughts without getting caught up in them, they will have less power over you. Additionally, mindfulness can help you to focus on the present moment and appreciate the good things in your life. This will help you to feel more calm and peaceful. If you are struggling with anxiety, consider trying some mindfulness techniques! They may just be what you need to find relief.[Image] Anxiety can be all-consuming, leaving people feeling trapped in their thoughts and emotions. In contrast, mindfulness allows people to accept life as it is without worrying about potential negative outcomes or analyzing things too deeply. By incorporating mindfulness practices in your day to day life, there may be changes in anxiety and depression and its physical symptoms. As simple as paying attention could be, adapting mindfulness as a habit may create amazing improvements in your life. Anxiety is a debilitating condition that may sometimes require professional intervention to address. If you or someone you know is in need of therapeutic intervention for anxiety, do not hesitate to reach out to Mosaic Minds Counseling. 

Mariella Arceo

Sep 19, 2022

Social Anxiety Test - Do I have Social Anxiety?

Do you sweat when you enter a social environment? Are you afraid to say something wrong? Do you judge yourself often? Do you put together excuses for not interacting with people? If you said yes to almost everything above, your symptoms could be attributed to a social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety disorders are common across the US. This is a very common condition that affects millions of people each year. Luckily, there are treatments available that can help you overcome your social anxiety. In this blog post, we will discuss social anxiety tests and how they can help identify this condition. [Social anxiety disorders are common across the USA.] What is social anxiety? Social anxiety is characterized by a fear of social situations. This can include anything from attending a party to giving a presentation at work. People with social anxiety often worry about being judged or evaluated by others. They may also worry about embarrassing themselves or saying something wrong. As a result, they may avoid certain social situations altogether. Physical symptoms of social anxiety may include blushing, sweating, trembling or having a shaky voice. Feelings of shyness or dissatisfaction in certain situations aren't always indications of social anxiety disorder, particularly in children. Comfort levels in social gatherings vary based on personality features and past experiences. Some people are naturally reserved, while others are more outgoing. What is social anxiety disorder? Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by intense fear of social situations. People with SAD often worry about being judged negatively or evaluated by others. They may also worry about embarrassing themselves or saying something wrong. People with social anxiety disorder may also avoid social settings altogether.[Image] Social anxiety disorder is distinguished from normal everyday nervousness by the presence of fear, anxiety and avoidance which prevent sufferers from engaging in activities such as relationships, work or school. Social anxiety disorder typically begins during adolescence, though it can sometimes start earlier in childhood or later in adulthood. Based on the effects social anxiety has on an individual, personal relationships and one's mental health may take a toll. It is paramount to explore options to treat social anxiety disorder.  What are social anxiety tests? Social anxiety tests are designed to help identify social anxiety disorder. These tests usually include a series of questions about your symptoms and how they affect your life. They may also ask about your family history of mental health conditions. Social anxiety tests can be completed online or in-person with a mental health professional. How do social anxiety tests work? Social anxiety tests work by assessing your symptoms and how they interfere with your life. The results of the test can help determine if you have social anxiety disorder and what treatment options may be best for you. If you think you may have social anxiety, it is important to speak with a mental health professional to get an accurate diagnosis.[Image] There are many different types of social anxiety tests available. Some of the most common include the Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN), the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS), and the Social Anxiety Test for Adults (SATA). These tests can be completed online or in-person with a mental health professional. Do you think you may have social anxiety? If you are experiencing symptoms of social anxiety, it is important to speak with a mental health professional. They can administer a social anxiety test and help you get the treatment you need. There are many different types of treatments available for social anxiety and social anxiety disorder, so there is no need to suffer in silence. With the help of a mental health professional, you can overcome your social anxiety and other mental health disorders and live a happy and fulfilling life. If you or anyone you know is struggling with social anxiety or social anxiety disorder, do not hesitate to reach out to Mosaic Minds Counseling and get connected with out therapists. Mosaic Minds Counseling cares and is here for you. 

Mariella Arceo

Sep 10, 2022

Identifying and Dealing with Anxiety: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States, or 18% of the population. It's important to understand what anxiety is and how to identify its symptoms so that you can get help if you need it. In this blog post, we will discuss what anxiety is, its symptoms, and how to deal with it. What does anxiety feel like? [Anxiety can fell overwhelming] Anxiety can cause a variety of physical and mental symptoms. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they can be short-term or long-term. Some common symptoms of anxiety include intense fear, excessive worry, having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom, increased heart rate, sweating, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and headaches. Anxiety varies from person to person; some people may experience fewer symptoms of anxiety than other people and some people may feel it more intensely. It is important to understand that all feelings and variations of anxiety are valid. What causes anxiety? There is no one cause of anxiety. It is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some people may be born with a predisposition to anxiety, which means that they are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. This can be due to genes or brain chemistry. Additionally, daily life and stressful life events, such as a divorce or the death of a loved one, can trigger anxiety or make anxiety worse. What's the difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder? Anxiety is a normal emotion that we all experience at times. It's what we feel when we're worried or nervous about something. An anxiety disorder is a more serious condition that can cause intense anxiety that interferes with daily life. Anxiety disorders require to be diagnosed by a mental health professional and have different kinds such as generalised anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and other phobias.  Anxiety disorders, and even just anxiety itself, are both debilitating conditions that can interfere with one's ability in everyday life. How do you calm anxiety? If you're feeling anxious, there are some things you can do to calm yourself down and relieve symptoms of anxiety. Some self-care strategies that can help reduce anxiety include deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga or stretching, journaling, spending time in nature and listening to calming music. [Image] One of the most common relaxation techniques is the 3-3-3- rule. The 3-3-3 rule is a simple breathing technique you can do when you feel anxious. To do the technique, breathe in slowly for three counts, hold your breath for three counts and exhale slowly for three counts. Not only is this technique good for anxiety but also for panic attacks, occasional anxiety, stress management and dealing with negative thoughts and troublesome feelings. How can I stop being anxious? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, there are some things you can do to manage your anxiety, like the ones mentioned in this blog post. [Image] If your anxiety is severe or is interfering with your mental health and your ability to function, it's important to seek professional help. A therapist can work with you to identify the root cause of your anxiety and develop a treatment plan. Treatment options for anxiety include therapy, anti anxiety medications, or a combination of both. If you're struggling with anxiety, don't hesitate to reach out for help . There are many resources available to you. Remember, you are not alone. Mosaic Minds Counseling is here for you. If you or anyone you know is struggling with dealing with anxiety or anxiety disorders, do not hesitate to reach out. Together, we can manage symptoms of anxiety for a better, more positive mental health. 

Mariella Arceo

Sep 06, 2022

Everything you need to know about Panic Attacks: What it is, what it feels, and how to deal with it

Do you feel like you're having a heart attack? Do you feel like you can't breathe? Are your chest muscles tight and sore? If so, then you may be experiencing a panic attack. A panic attack is a sudden feeling of terror that can last for minutes or hours. It's accompanied by physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and dizziness. In this blog post, we will discuss what panic attacks are, what they feel like, and how to deal with them. What are panic attacks? [Panic attacks can be debilitating] A panic attack is an unexpected and brief episode of intense anxiety, which causes the physical sensations of intense fear. These can include a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling and muscle tension. A panic attack may last from a few minutes to half an hour; however, the physical and emotional effects can sometimes last for several hours afterwards. If left untreated by a mental health professional, panic attacks can be debilitating and can easily take control of everyday life, threatening social relationships as one may avoid situations that they feel might trigger panic attacks. It's been said that panic attacks are a result of the body activating its fight or flight response. This response body releases hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which increase heart rate and blood pressure. This response prepares the body for physical action, either to fight the impending doom or to flee from it. What do panic attacks typically feel like? Panic attacks are feelings of extreme anxiety. While panic attacks can vary in intensity, they share some common symptoms. The symptoms are not dangerous but can be frightening and overwhelming. The symptoms of panic attacks can include shortness of breath, chest pain, heart palpitations, sweating, trembling or shaking, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, nausea or stomach pain and feeling detached from reality or like you're going crazy. Panic attacks can last somewhere between 5 to 20 minutes. How can I handle panic attacks? It is important to realize that panic attacks are caused by overwhelming anxiety and are not an indicator of an actual harm happening. It is helpful to always be reminded that panic attacks will pass and are not life threatening. "Riding the wave" of the panic attack than finding a distraction is helpful as it gives the opportunity to face the fear and see that their is no immediate harm. As the anxiety begins to lessen, focus on your surroundings and continue to perform the same activities that you were undertaking before.[Image] During unexpected panic attacks, it can also be helpful to have someone you trust with you to reassure that everything is alright and that the symptoms of panic disorder will pass. Deep breathing exercises can also help to ease the symptoms. Closing your eyes while slowly inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth may help you feel better in a few minutes. Counting steadily is a technique used by some that can be of help as well. Is it panic disorder? If you're constantly stressed and worried about the next panic attack, you may be experiencing panic disorder. This anticipatory anxiety may compel you to avoid situations that you feel may cause panic attacks. There are no quick fixes to panic disorder but treatment can be helpful in managing its debilitating symptoms. Contact your GP if you are experiencing symptoms of panic disorder. Medical advice is always helpful to rule out other possible conditions and manage symptoms. In conclusion, knowing information on panic attacks and panic disorder symptoms can be helpful to lessen the debilitating effects it has on one's life. By being informed and seeking proper treatment, it becomes possible to manage panic attacks and its effects. Now, future attacks do not have to be the center of your life.  If you or anyone you know is dealing with panic attacks or panic disorder, do not hesitate to reach out to Mosaic Mind Counseling to get connected with our therapists. Mosaic Minds Counseling cares.

Mariella Arceo

Sep 06, 2022

What Therapy Is, How It Works, and How It Can Help Your Mental Health

If you're like most people, you probably think of therapy as a last resort. You only go to therapy if everything else has failed and you're at your wit's end. But what if we told you that therapy could be the first step on the road to recovery? That it could help you deal with your mental health issues before they get out of hand? In this blog post, we will discuss what therapy is, how it works and how it can help improve your mental health! What is therapy? [therapy is beneficial for you] Psychotherapy, or therapy, is a process of self-exploration and discovery. It creates a supportive environment where clients can talk about their thoughts in an open and honest manner. It is a way to understand your thoughts, feelings and behaviors in order to make changes in your mental health and in the long run, your life. Therapy is facilitated by a trained mental health professional and can be done with an individual, family members or a group. It can also be done in person, over the phone or online and can be short-term or long-term. Therapy is not a one-size-fits-all process; there are many types of psychotherapy, all of which can be adjusted to fit a client's goals and needs. Types of therapy may include group therapy, supportive psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy, to name a few. Therapy does not choose nor does it discriminate; it is available for all ages who need help with mental health, emotional health, emotional distress and other conflicts. How does therapy work? Therapy works by helping the patient to understand their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The therapist will help the patient to identify negative thought patterns and beliefs that are causing them distress. Together, they will work on changing these negative thoughts and beliefs into more positive ones. The therapist will also teach the patient new communication skills and coping strategies to help them deal with difficult situations.[Image] Therapy is a collaboration between the client and the therapist; the success of therapy sessions rely on each other's trust, honesty and cooperation. What happens during a therapy session? In a nutshell, each session is a problem-solving session. You explain your present situation and feelings about it to the therapist, after which he or she uses their experience to help you attempt to solve the issue so that you may get closer to having the life you desire.[Image] During a therapy session, you will talk with your therapist about what is going on in your life and how you are feeling. You will also work together to set goals for therapy and create a plan to achieve those goals. The therapist will help you to understand your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors so that you can make positive changes in your life. The first session is about establishing a client-therapist relationship. Your therapist will invite you to talk about what is bothering you or anything that you would like to work on in therapy. This is a special conversation between you and your therapist as you are free to talk about anything you like with full honesty; anything you want or need to say is alright. Your therapist can also give you "homework," to complete after therapy sessions; something that you can work on by yourself. During the next session, you can discuss your progress with your therapist, your thoughts, and areas you might have struggled with. How long does therapy last? Therapy is whatever a client needs it to be - one session, a few sessions a couple of times a week, etc. Sometimes, therapy can just be an honest, brave conversation. It all depends on what the client's goals are and their comfort to proceed and follow through with their therapist. Why can't I just see friends or family members?[Image] Sharing your thoughts and troubles to those in your circle is completely valid, especially if you feel more comfortable as these are people you already know and trust. Their insight can be helpful, however, they may not always be objective as personal biases can get in the way. This is why working with a therapist may be so helpful. It's an opportunity to express everything you're thinking and feeling, as well as what you want to create, without being interrupted, forced to worry about other people's concerns or told that you're "wrong" or "cannot." A therapy session is a place where you don't have to worry about hurting someone else's feelings—you can be completely honest. It also implies that you'll be able to solve difficulties more quickly and successfully in the long term. In the end, it's better for you, as well as everyone else involved in your life. How do I choose the right therapist for me? Choosing the right therapist is just like choosing any other service provider. It is a good idea to do research - visit their web site, do a quick search on the internet, and ask friends and family for recommendations. There are therapists with specialized training in certain areas. For example, there are marriage and family therapists who specialize in dealing with marital and familial concerns. With the right research, you will be able to find a trained professional who can cater to your needs and make you feel comfortable to work on your goals. Do I have to be "sick" to see a therapist? A stigma surrounding therapy sessions is that it's for mentally disturbed individuals, or "crazy" people. This could not be any further from the truth.[Image] Therapy is for anyone and everyone that needs emotional support, new coping skills, interpersonal skills, assistance coping with everyday life, etc. It is for anyone that is seeking treatment and needs someone to talk in a safe, judgement-free space. There is no set criteria for people to attend therapy; you can seek help from mental health professionals for the betterment of your peace and mental health. So as you can see, therapy sessions are whatever it is the client needs it to be. Rest assured that after therapy, you will be a healthier individual with a more positive mental health and a better sense of self awareness. If you or anyone you know is looking to start therapy, do not hesitate to get connected with us. Mosaic Minds Counseling is here for you. 

Mariella Arceo

Sep 06, 2022

Everything You Need to Know About Family Therapy: What It Is, How It Works, and What It Could Help With

Family therapy is a form of counseling that helps families work through issues together. This type of therapy can be beneficial for a variety of reasons, such as improving communication within the family, resolving conflicts, and dealing with mental health issues. In this blog post, we will discuss what family therapy is, how it works, and some of the benefits that it can provide. What is family therapy? [Therapy is an opportunity for the entire family.] Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling that deals with solving family problems, family functioning, family structure, family patterns, and family dynamics. It also helps families improve communication and be a healthy, functional family with better family relationships. Family therapy is provided by mental health professionals such as family therapists and marriage and family therapists that specialize in dealing with familial and marital problems. Family therapy may involve all family members or just one family member. It is usually short term and depends on the situation of the family. Even after you've finished therapy sessions, family therapy sessions can help you learn how to strengthen relationships and get through difficult times. Why is family therapy done?[Image] Family therapy offers the entire family the opportunity to resolve conflicts, set healthy boundaries, and a chance for a better functioning home environment. Family therapy offers families an environment to address specific issues as well, such as a child's behavior, substance abuse, and the family's mental health. If a member of the family is struggling with mental health problems, family therapy can help the family cope while the affected family member is focused on their mental health treatment. The effectiveness of family therapy depends on the intensity and duration of the conflict. It may assist you, as well as your family members, in better understanding one another and learning coping methods to bind you closer together. How does family therapy work? As mentioned previously, family therapy may involve the whole family, but may also only involve just several family members and even only one individual. A typical therapy session may last 50 minutes to an hour. It is also usually short term but will depend on the family's goals and progress.[Image] During this time, family members are invited to open up about their troubles. Family therapy is a safe, judgement-free and problem solving environment where members of the family can open up without worry of consequences. During family therapy, the family solves problems, expresses thoughts and concerns, explores family roles and identifies issues and strengths.  This is an opportunity for the family to strengthen their relationships and eliminate family issues. Does going to family therapy mean that our family is dysfunctional?[Image] Part of the misconceptions of therapy sessions is that families who seek help from mental health professionals are "crazy" or "dysfunctional" when in fact, it is nothing like that at all! Family therapy exists to help families become a stronger, functional family system with healthier family functions. It becomes whatever the family needs it to be, not what other people deem it to be as.  Family therapy may be a good opportunity to bring your family closer together and stronger than ever. If you or anyone you know is looking to start family therapy, do not hesitate to get connected at mosaicmindscounseling.com Mosaic Minds Counseling cares and is here for you and your family. 

Mariella Arceo

Aug 13, 2022