Anxiety, Depression, Therapy Services

The Power of Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Treating Depression

Depression can take a heavy toll, impacting every facet of your life. But remember, you are not alone in this journey. A proven approach that can help you navigate the stormy waters of depression is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Dialectical behavior therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that balances acceptance and change. Originating as a treatment for borderline personality disorder, it has evolved into a powerful tool for managing a range of mental health conditions, including depression.

So how does DBT work? It focuses on enhancing your life skills, such as teaching mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. These DBT skills for depression equip you to better manage your emotions, cope with stress, and improve personal relationships.

Utilizing DBT for Depression

Depression, as defined by healthcare professionals, is a common and serious medical condition that impacts your feelings, thoughts, and actions. It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, and an overwhelming sense of despair. This is not merely a phase of feeling “down” or “blue”. It is a complex condition that demands understanding and professional intervention.

Depression profoundly affects your daily life. It disrupts your routines, impairs your ability to work or study, and strains relationships.

Physical symptoms that might indicate that you might be living with depression include:

  • Persistent fatigue and lack of energy
  • Changes in appetite, either increased or decreased
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain unrelated to dieting
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Physical aches, pains, or cramps that are not explained by a medical condition
  • Digestive problems, such as constipation or diarrhea, that persist even with treatment
  • Restlessness or problems sitting still
  • Slowed movements or speech, noticeable by others

Depression also significantly impacts your mental and emotional health. You may experience consistent feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness. There may be a persistent sense of worthlessness, guilt over past failings, or an exaggerated sense of blame for current issues. Depression can cloud your thought process, making concentration, decision-making, and even remembering details challenging. It can also lead to frequent or recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

If you are experiencing some of these signs of depression, find support by calling 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

If you feel as though you might harm yourself or others, call 911 immediately.

It is important to remember that these feelings are symptoms of the illness, not a reflection of reality or personal worth. Remember, it’s okay to seek help, and effective treatments are available, like dialectical behavior therapy, which is centered on your needs and experiences.

DBT is a comprehensive therapy that teaches individuals to develop new coping skills and strategies to manage their emotions. Being mindful and accepting of the present moment, without judgment or criticism, can help you cope with distressing thoughts and feelings related to depression.

Depressed Young man, Teenager, Boy, Suffering From Depression

Understanding Dialectical Behavior Therapy

The history of DBT began in the late 1980s with Marsha M. Linehan, a psychology researcher and therapist. She wanted to use behavioral science to solve the paradox of acceptance and change in therapy in which patients must accept their behaviors while also changing them. This led her to create an integrative therapy that combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with concepts such as mindfulness.

The word “dialectical” may sound intimidating, but it simply means balancing and integrating two opposing concepts. In DBT, the focus is on finding a middle ground between acceptance and change. This approach acknowledges that accepting oneself as they are is essential for lasting change to occur.

How does this apply to depression? By accepting your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors without judgment, you can identify patterns and develop skills to effectively address them. This approach allows individuals to become more self-aware and learn to regulate their emotions.

Balancing acceptance and change is a cornerstone in dialectical behavior therapy. This idea is predicated on the belief that individuals can only initiate meaningful change once they have fully accepted themselves and their thoughts and emotions as they are in the present moment.

It’s a delicate dance between acknowledging the current reality, which is acceptance, and striving for improvement, also known as change. For individuals living with depression, this means recognizing the reality of their condition without judgment while simultaneously working towards managing their symptoms more effectively. This balance encourages personal growth and fosters resilience, aiding individuals in their journey toward improved mental health.

The DBT Process

What does the dialectical behavior therapy process look like? Usually, it involves individual therapy sessions and group skills training. During individual sessions, you will work with a therapist to address your specific needs in a safe and confidential setting. Group skills training focuses on building coping skills through education, role-playing, and homework assignments.

Typically, the DBT process includes:

Orientation: Initially, you meet with a therapist who explains the principles and objectives of DBT. This meeting serves to establish a mutual understanding and set clear expectations.

Assessment: During the assessment phase, your therapist will evaluate your current mental health status and identify areas of concern that may require additional support.

Treatment Planning: Based on the assessment results, you and your therapist will work together to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and goals.

Skills Training: You then participate in skills training sessions, often in a group setting. These sessions focus on four key areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Each area empowers you with tools to navigate life’s challenges more effectively.

Individual Therapy: Alongside skills training, you engage in one-on-one therapy sessions. In these sessions, you apply the skills learned to specific challenges and situations in your life.

Phone Coaching: DBT also offers phone coaching, where you can reach out to your therapist between sessions when you need guidance on applying DBT skills to real-life situations.

Therapist Consultation Team: Lastly, your therapist is part of a consultation team – a group of professionals working together to ensure the best possible treatment and support.

Essential Skills Taught in Dialectical Behavior Therapy

As you embark on your journey to improve your mental health, dialectical behavior therapy emerges as a powerful ally. Rooted in cognitive-behavioral therapy, DBT equips you with practical skills to navigate life’s challenges. Imagine facing a stressful situation at work or home. With dialectical behavior therapy, you possess the tools to manage your emotions effectively, reducing the risk of spiraling into negativity.

You can handle stress better, enhance your relationships, and improve your overall well-being. The key lies in understanding and mastering the core skills taught in DBT: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Mindfulness

Being fully present and aware in the moment, without judgment, can help you cope with difficult emotions. In DBT, mindfulness is a critical skill that enables you to develop self-awareness and regulate your emotions and thoughts. It allows you to be more in tune with your body, recognize patterns of behavior, and practice being non-judgmental towards yourself.

Distress Tolerance

Distress tolerance skills enable you to tolerate emotional pain without resorting to harmful behaviors or unhealthy coping mechanisms. This skill helps individuals to manage difficult emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression effectively. By developing distress tolerance skills, you can learn how to cope with stress in healthier ways.

Emotion Regulation

Emotional regulation is an essential skill that teaches individuals how to identify and manage their emotions better. It involves recognizing the intensity of your emotions and learning techniques to regulate them effectively. With this skill, individuals can increase their emotional resilience and reduce the risk of negative behaviors.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal effectiveness focuses on improving communication skills and building healthy relationships. This skill teaches individuals how to assertively express their needs, set boundaries, and maintain healthy connections with others. It also involves learning how to handle conflicts and navigate challenging social situations.

Benefits of DBT Therapy for Depression

Dialectical behavior therapy goes beyond merely treating symptoms; it equips you with practical skills to handle emotional distress and symptoms of depression. It has been shown to be an effective treatment option for individuals with depression, resulting in significant improvements in overall functioning and quality of life.

Research has also found that DBT is more effective than other forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication, in reducing symptoms of depression. This is because it addresses the root causes of depression, such as difficulty managing emotions and interpersonal challenges.

Additional benefits of dialectical behavior therapy for depression include:

Enhancing Social Skills: DBT teaches individuals how to build healthier relationships and effectively communicate their needs, leading to improved social interactions. This can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness often experienced by those living with depression.

Improving Self-Esteem: By practicing mindfulness and acceptance, individuals can learn to accept themselves and develop a more positive self-image. This can lead to increased self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life.

Providing Coping Mechanisms: Individuals learn practical skills to manage stress, regulate emotions, and cope with difficult situations, reducing the risk of engaging in self-destructive behaviors. This can improve day-to-day life and decrease the risk of relapse.

Improving Self-Image: Dialectical behavior therapy emphasizes self-acceptance, leading to an improved sense of self-worth and confidence. This can help individuals to reduce negative self-talk and develop a more positive self-image.

Managing Co-Occurring Disorders: DBT’s focus on managing emotions and interpersonal relationships can also help individuals with co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety or substance abuse. It provides individuals with tools to navigate the challenges of multiple disorders and improve overall functioning.

Promoting Self-Care: Dialectical behavior therapy encourages individuals to prioritize their mental health and self-care, improving their emotional health. This can result in a more fulfilling and balanced life.

An adult man, looking happy, talking with group therapy members
Focus on the smiling man, talking with people of all ages, during the group therapy.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Gemini Health

If you believe dialectical behavior therapy might be the right treatment option for your depression, our Gemini Health team is ready to help. Our mental health professionals are experienced in providing comprehensive DBT services to individuals struggling with depression and other mental health conditions.

At Gemini Health, we are committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for all individuals seeking treatment. Everyone’s journey towards better mental health is unique, and we tailor our approach to meet your individual needs. Our personalized treatment plans incorporate a combination of dialectical behavior therapy, group skills training, and phone coaching to provide the support and guidance you need.

In addition to dialectical behavior therapy, Gemini Health offers many behavioral health treatment options, such as:

  • Outpatient Therapy: Our licensed therapists provide individual and group therapy sessions tailored to your specific needs.
  • Medication Management: For those who may benefit from medications, our psychiatric team works closely with you to find the right medication regimen.
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): TMS is a non-invasive treatment for depression that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells
  • Tele-Counseling: Our online therapy option allows you to receive DBT treatment from the comfort of your own home.
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation: This program focuses on teaching individuals skills to help them manage their mental health symptoms and improve overall functioning.
  • Grief Counseling: We offer specialized support for individuals experiencing grief and loss, helping them navigate their emotions in a healthy way.
  • Stress Management: Our team provides tools and strategies to help individuals manage stress more effectively, reducing the risk of depression symptoms.
  • Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment: We provide comprehensive treatment for individuals with co-occurring disorders, addressing both mental health and substance abuse concerns.
  • Family Therapy Services: We offer family therapy sessions to help improve communication and strengthen relationships, as well as provide support for family members.
  • Couples Counseling: Our therapists also work with couples to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and strengthen their relationships.
  • Intensive Outpatient Therapy: For those who require more intensive treatment, we offer an outpatient program that provides comprehensive support and care.

The Power of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Depression

In the complex landscape of mental health, dialectical behavior therapy stands as a beacon of hope for those facing depression every day. Unlike others that simply treat symptoms, this therapy empowers you with the tools necessary to manage emotional distress and enhance your overall well-being.

You learn valuable skills such as effectively navigating emotional turbulence, staying present in the moment, and coping with stressful situations. Also, you improve your communication skills, leading to healthier relationships and decreased emotional distress.

As you explore different treatment options for depression, consider dialectical behavior therapy. Its combination of acceptance and change offers a comprehensive strategy to tackle the challenges that depression presents.

Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a testament to your strength. You are taking steps toward a healthier, happier life, and dialectical behavior therapy could be the powerful tool that helps you get there.

Empower Yourself with DBT for Depression at Gemini Health

Our therapists at Gemini Health work closely with you to tailor your treatment plan according to your unique needs and circumstances. This personalized approach ensures you receive the most effective support for your situation.

Now, if you are thinking, “Where can I find DBT counseling near me?” you have already found us. To get started with Gemini Health, simply complete the form on our Contact Us page or give us a call. By reaching out to us, you are taking a significant step towards a healthier, happier life. Remember, at Gemini Health, you are not alone in your journey. We are here to provide you with the support and guidance you need to minimize the effects of depression and embrace your life again.

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Depression, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Empower Yourself with Brain Stimulation Therapy for Depression 

Depression, a condition that affects millions worldwide, can adversely affect nearly every aspect of people’s lives. But what if there was a promising treatment approach that taps into the power of your brain to alleviate symptoms? This is not science fiction. It’s brain stimulation therapy for depression, a revolutionary treatment that has been gaining traction in the medical community.

This effective treatment for depression lessens the symptoms by utilizing biomagnetic therapy for depression, which is primarily referred to as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This non-invasive procedure is typically used after medication and other therapies for depression have proven ineffective.

A brain with blue and purple colors showing nerve stimulation areas

An Overview of Depression

Depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is a common yet serious medical illness that negatively influences your feelings, thoughts, and actions. It manifests itself in a persistent feeling of sadness or lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed. This mood disorder extends beyond the occasional bouts of sadness or ‘feeling down’; it persists for weeks or months on end. Some people may only experience one depressive episode in their lifetime, but for most, depressive disorder recurs. Without treatment, episodes can last for several months.

Common Symptoms of Depression

Although each person’s experience with depression might be slightly different, some signs might point to the presence of this disorder.

Some symptoms include:

  • Persistent feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, or sadness
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once pleasurable
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you must speak as soon as possible to a professional who specializes in helping people with mental health disorders, including depression.

If you are experiencing a crisis, call 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

If you are experiencing an extreme depressive episode and fear you might hurt yourself or others, call 911 immediately.

Traditional Treatment Methods for Depression

Over the decades, medical professionals have developed a robust understanding of depression and various treatment methods to help you regain control of your life.

Fortunately, there are many treatment options available for treating depression that have been used for years, including:

  • Psychotherapy: Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy is a fundamental pillar in treating depression. It involves regular sessions where you engage with a trained mental health professional. The goal? To uncover the underlying causes of your depression, develop effective coping strategies, transform negative thought patterns, and foster healthier interpersonal relationships. Two popular forms of psychotherapy are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT).
  • Medication: Medication serves as another pivotal traditional treatment method. Antidepressants aim to balance your brain chemicals, specifically neurotransmitters, which play a critical role in mood regulation. Among the most commonly prescribed classes of antidepressants are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs). It is crucial to remember that while these medications can be effective, they may take several weeks to have a full effect and could potentially bring about side effects. As such, you should always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new medication regimen.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Making changes in your daily life can significantly impact managing depression. This might include adopting a healthy diet, incorporating regular physical activity, ensuring you are getting enough sleep, and avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs. These changes can improve your overall health and well-being, making it easier to cope with depression.
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: These can include yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation. These methods can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings and develop a more positive outlook.
  • Support Groups: Interacting with others who are experiencing the same struggles can offer a sense of community and understanding. These groups can provide emotional support and shared coping strategies. It can be comforting to know you’re not alone in your battle with depression.

As you navigate your journey toward mental wellness, know that these traditional treatment methods have helped countless individuals reclaim their lives from the clutches of depression. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. By understanding these treatment methods, you arm yourself with knowledge, empowering you to make informed decisions about your mental health.

Innovative Depression Treatment Approaches

Given the prevalence and seriousness of depression, there is an urgent need for innovative treatment methods. Traditional treatment modalities such as medication and psychotherapy are often beneficial but may not work for everyone.

Furthermore, depression varies greatly from person to person, emphasizing the need for personalized treatment plans. Innovative approaches could include new pharmacological treatments, lifestyle interventions, and cutting-edge therapies like transcranial magnetic stimulation and ketamine therapy. These novel treatments have the potential to provide relief for those who have not responded to traditional therapies, paving the way for a brighter future in depression treatment.

Understanding TMS Treatment for Depression

Transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment is considered to be more effective than traditional magnetic therapy for depression, as it targets specific areas of the brain responsible for mood regulation. By using magnetic pulses, TMS stimulates nerve cells in the brain and helps to improve communication between different regions. This results in a reduction of depressive symptoms such as low mood, lack of motivation, and difficulty concentrating.

Unlike medication or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), TMS does not cause any systemic side effects such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, or memory loss. It is also a painless procedure, with minimal discomfort reported by patients. This makes it a desirable option for those who have not responded well to other forms of treatment or are unable to tolerate the side effects of medication.

But how does stimulation treatment actually work in treating depression? Let’s take a closer look at the science behind it.

A yellow head cut out of paper with a chat icon ontop of the brain region.

The Science Behind Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Depression is believed to be caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, in specific brain circuits. These circuits are responsible for regulating mood, emotions, and cognitive function. In people with depression, these circuits are either underactive or overactive, leading to the symptoms of depression.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation targets these circuits by using a magnetic field to stimulate specific areas of the brain. The repetitive magnetic pulses cause electrical currents, which help to activate or inhibit nerve cells in these circuits. This leads to a rebalancing of neurotransmitters and improved communication between different parts of the brain, thus reducing depressive symptoms.

Benefits of Using TMS for Depression

stimulation focuses presents a promising alternative for treating depression, especially when traditional methods have proven ineffective.

Some of the most significant benefits of using TMS to treat depression include:

  • Targeted Treatment: Transcranial magnetic stimulation focuses on the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain often underactive in individuals with depression. This targeted approach ensures that the treatment directly addresses the root cause, enhancing its effectiveness.
  • Non-invasive Procedure: Unlike other treatments, TMS does not require surgery or implantation of electrodes. The treatment involves placing a magnetic coil against your scalp, generating magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells.
  • Fewer Side Effects: TMS is generally well-tolerated and has fewer side effects compared to traditional antidepressant medications. Common side effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation are usually mild and may include headaches or scalp discomfort at the treatment site.
  • Improved Quality of Life: Many individuals who undergo TMS treatment report an improved quality of life. They experience significant reductions in depressive symptoms, leading to enhanced mood, better sleep, and increased overall daily functioning.

In exploring your options for depression treatment, transcranial magnetic stimulation stands as a safe, effective, and innovative approach that holds the potential to improve your mental health and well-being.

The TMS Process Explained

Knowledge is the key to feeling confident and ready as you prepare for your transcranial magnetic stimulation session. First, ensure that you eat a good meal and hydrate before your appointment. This is important because a well-nourished body responds better to treatment. It is also advised to avoid wearing any metal accessories during the session as the machine uses magnetic fields. Lastly, bring a list of any medications you are currently taking to share with your healthcare provider. This information can help in tailoring the treatment to your specific needs.

During the transcranial magnetic stimulation session, you can expect:

  • You will sit in a comfortable chair, and the healthcare provider will place a magnetic coil against your scalp.
  • The machine will then generate magnetic pulses, which you might feel as a light tapping sensation on your head.
  • The session will last about 30 to 60 minutes. During this time, you are awake and alert, allowing you to communicate any discomfort to your provider immediately.
  • You may hear clicking sounds as the machine generates pulses. Some clinics provide earplugs to help with this.

After the session, you should be able to resume your daily activities immediately, as transcranial magnetic stimulation does not require any recovery time. However, some people might experience mild headaches or scalp discomfort at the treatment site. These side effects are usually temporary and subside on their own. If they persist, it is important to inform your healthcare provider.

Post-session care includes staying hydrated and getting adequate rest. Regular follow-ups with your healthcare provider are crucial to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. Remember, every individual’s response to TMS is different, and it is okay if your progress seems slower than others. Your healthcare provider is there to support you throughout this journey towards improved mental health.

Risks and Side Effects of TMS

One of the significant advantages of TMS is its non-invasiveness, meaning it does not require surgery or anesthesia. However, there are still some side effects associated with this treatment. The most common ones include headaches and scalp discomfort at the site of treatment. These side effects are usually mild and tend to subside over time as your body adjusts to the treatment.

In rare cases, TMS can cause seizures, but this risk is exceedingly low. It is important to note that individuals with a history of seizures or epilepsy are typically not recommended for TMS treatment due to this risk.

Also, some people may experience lightheadedness after treatment. While this is usually temporary, you should inform your healthcare provider if it persists. Other less common side effects include difficulty concentrating, tingling in the face or hands, and changes in hearing if ear protection is not used during treatment.

FAQs About Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Some of the most common questions potential patients have about TMS include:

Is transcranial magnetic stimulation safe?

Yes, TMS is a safe procedure. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for the treatment of depression. Although it carries potential side effects such as headaches or scalp discomfort, these are usually mild and temporary. Serious side effects, like seizures, occur very rarely.

Will I feel pain during the TMS procedure?

During a TMS session, you might experience a slight tapping sensation on your head that results from the magnetic pulses. Some individuals describe this as uncomfortable, but it is typically not painful. Keep in mind you remain awake and alert during the procedure so you can communicate any discomfort to your healthcare provider immediately.

Do I need to prepare in a specific way before a TMS session?

There is no special preparation needed before a TMS session. However, it is recommended that you eat a nourishing meal and hydrate well before your appointment. Also, remember to avoid wearing any metal accessories during the session.

Will TMS interfere with my daily activities?

One of the key benefits of transcranial magnetic stimulation is that it requires no recovery time. This means you can resume your normal daily activities immediately after a session.

Does TMS replace medications or therapy?

TMS does not necessarily replace medications or therapy. For some, it works as an additional treatment option when other methods have not been effective. Discussing your treatment plan in detail with your healthcare provider is always important.

Enhance Your Mental Health with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Remember, your journey towards better mental health is personal, and finding the right treatment takes time and patience. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a step forward in providing more options for individuals struggling with depression.

Our partners at Gemini TMS have extensive experience administering transcranial magnetic stimulation to patients who are ready to regain control of their mental health. The medical professionals recognize that the potential of TMS in treating depression is significant. While it may not work for everyone, it provides hope for those who have not succeeded with traditional treatment methods. As you continue your journey towards better mental health, remember to stay patient, stay hopeful, and never hesitate to seek help. Each step you take brings you closer to a healthier, happier you.

Begin to Heal Your Depression with TMS at Gemini Health

You hold the power to steer your journey toward improved mental health. Transcranial magnetic stimulation may serve as the catalyst for ushering in a new era of wellness in your life. Gemini Health is here to provide expert guidance along this path. The team’s extensive knowledge and experience equip them to offer personalized care and treatment tailored to your unique health situation.

Take the initiative now to discover how TMS might benefit you. If you’re interested in learning more about transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment in Maryland, contact Gemini Health today to arrange a consultation. This is your chance to voice your concerns, pose questions, and gain deeper insights into this innovative procedure from seasoned professionals. At Gemini Health, we empower you with information, enabling you to make well-informed decisions about your health.

Begin your journey towards a potentially transformative treatment today. Visit our online contact form and schedule your consultation now. Our Gemini Health eagerly awaits the opportunity to partner with you on your journey towards enhancing your mental health.

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Anxiety, Depression, Therapy Services

Bridging the Gap: Mental Health and Public Health Initiatives

Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall health that is often ignored or stigmatized despite its vital role in maintaining our well-being. However, recent years have seen an increase in public health initiatives that aim to address mental health, reducing social stigma around mental health and encouraging more people to seek help. In this blog post, we’ll explore how mental health and public health intersect, how these initiatives manifest, and where they can be improved.

Scrabble letters in a line spelling out the words Public Health

The Relationship between Mental Health and Public Health

Mental health is intrinsically linked to public health: an individual’s physical and mental well-being contributes to their ability to function productively within society. Therefore, initiatives to improve public health must also address mental health. The World Health Organization identifies mental health as a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the everyday stresses of life, can work productively, and can contribute to their community. From this definition, it is clear that positive mental health has far-reaching effects on individuals, communities, and, ultimately, society.

Public Health Initiatives

Public health initiatives have come to recognize the importance of mental health. One such initiative is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which runs a program called “Ending the Silence,” which brings awareness about mental health to middle and high school campuses. Mental Health First Aid is another initiative designed to provide community members with the tools to help someone when they’re suffering from a mental health crisis. Even businesses are taking a newfound interest in mental health, sometimes offering employee-provided counseling or mental health days.

Personal Responsibility and Mental Health

In addition to public health initiatives, personal responsibility plays a massive role in bridging the gap between mental health and public health initiatives. We must take care of our mental health while educating ourselves about the importance of mental health and seeking professional help when necessary. We must destigmatize mental health conversations, making it more acceptable to seek help when needed.

Future of Mental Health and Public Health Initiatives

Mental health and public health initiatives have made substantial progress in the past few years. Still, many challenges remain, and much work must be done to create a world where mental health is not an afterthought but is integrated into all aspects of public health. The more people understand the importance of mental health, the more our society will recognize and embrace the importance of addressing mental health concerns proactively and holistically.

In conclusion, The initiative surrounding the bridging of the gap between mental health and public health is a step in the right direction. While progress has been made, it is vital that we continue our efforts to promote the integration of mental health across all platforms of public health. With more focus on mental health, more robust public health initiatives, and personal responsibility, we can create a world where mental health is just as important as physical health. Bridging this gap lays the foundation for a more caring and healthy society.

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Depressed Young man, Teenager, Boy, Suffering From Depression
PTSD, Substance Abuse

Unmasking the Link: PTSD and Substance Abuse

It is common knowledge that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Substance Abuse are intimately linked. Experts have repeatedly emphasized that it’s crucial to address the co-occurrence of PTSD and substance abuse, as treating one without treating the other often results in relapse. It’s why seeking group therapy should be a priority for people with PTSD and substance abuse. Group Therapy offers a safe and supportive environment where individuals can speak about their experiences, connect with others, and draw strength from shared struggles.

  1. PTSD & Substance Abuse: The Unbreakable Connection

PTSD and Substance Abuse have a symbiotic relationship, each fueling the other’s symptoms. Frequently, people with PTSD turn to substance abuse to bypass the numbing pain that PTSD brings about. At the same time, constant substance abuse can lead to anxiety, paranoia, and distress, further worsening PTSD symptoms. Nonetheless, studies show that group therapy is more effective than individual therapy for individuals with PTSD and Substance abuse. Group Therapy offers a place to share experiences and get advice and feedback from the group.

  1. Being Heard and Forming Connections

PTSD and Substance Abuse can make a person feel alone and isolated as they cycle through their relapses. Grouo therapy offers a safe environment where they can be heard and connect with people with similar experiences. In this setting, individuals can be vulnerable, share, and work through their concerns with others who understand them. It helps build relationships and promotes accountability, which makes it easier to stay on the path to recovery.

  1. Group Therapy: Effective in the Long-Term

While individual therapy can be beneficial, it can’t replace the value of group therapy. Group therapy supports long-term recovery, building social and emotional resiliency to sustain sobriety. Through group therapy, individuals can learn coping strategies they can use daily. It also enhances decision-making skills, improves communication, and builds confidence.

  1. Practical Tools for Recovery

Group therapy offers practical tools to help individuals cope and recover. This includes skill-building activities, self-monitoring techniques, and progress tracking. Substance abuse creates a chemical dependence that needs to be addressed and group therapy offers effective methods to achieve long-term recovery.

  1. A Support System That Never Disappears

PTSD and Substance Abuse affect daily life, whether it is their triggers or managing their symptoms. Group Therapy offers ongoing support through each individual’s unique journey. While an individual’s lifestyle may change, and therapists may switch, one can always depend on a support system in a group therapy session.

The Power Of Group Therapy

For individuals seeking PTSD and Substance Abuse group therapy, knowing there is nothing more powerful than sharing experiences with others who understand their struggles is important. Group therapy provides social and emotional support individuals may not have had before. Individuals gain the confidence to make lasting changes by working through their fears, feelings, and experiences. So don’t wait another day to take advantage of group therapy and take control of your mental and emotional well-being.

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Group therapy, Therapy Services

The Power of Group Therapy: How Shared Experiences Can Heal Anxiety, Depression, and Trauma

In today’s fast-paced and increasingly interconnected world, mental health has never been more important. As we navigate the complexities of modern life, many individuals face challenges such as anxiety, depression, and trauma, which can significantly impact their overall well-being and quality of life. These mental health issues are not only widespread but also carry a heavy burden on individuals, families, and society as a whole. It is crucial for those struggling with these challenges to seek appropriate support and treatment in order to foster healing and growth. One powerful and often overlooked approach to addressing these mental health concerns is group therapy.

Group therapy provides a unique and supportive environment where individuals can come together to share their experiences, learn from one another, and work towards overcoming the obstacles they face. By participating in group therapy sessions, those who struggle with anxiety, depression, and trauma can benefit from the collective wisdom, understanding, and empathy of others who have faced similar challenges.

In this blog post, we will explore the power of group therapy, delving into its foundations, benefits, and techniques that make it an invaluable tool for healing and personal growth. Join us as we uncover how shared experiences in group therapy can help heal anxiety, depression, and trauma, fostering a brighter future for those willing to embark on this transformative journey.

Young people with problems listening to their nervous female friend confession with shock reaction while sitting together on special group therapy.

The Fundamentals of Group Therapy

Before delving into the benefits and techniques of group therapy, it’s essential to understand its core principles and objectives. Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which a small group of individuals, typically 5-15 people, meet regularly under the guidance of a trained therapist. The primary goals of group therapy are to promote emotional healing, personal growth, and improved mental health by providing a supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences, learn from one another, and develop new coping strategies.

Definition and goals of group therapy

Group therapy aims to address various mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and substance abuse, by fostering a sense of belonging and creating an environment where individuals feel safe and understood. The key objectives of group therapy include:

  1. Encouraging open and honest communication
  2. Enhancing self-awareness and understanding
  3. Developing healthy coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills
  4. Building social support networks and reducing isolation
  5. Facilitating personal growth and emotional healing

The role of the therapist in group therapy sessions

In group therapy sessions, the therapist plays a crucial role in guiding the group’s process and ensuring a safe and supportive environment for all members. Some of their responsibilities include:

  1. Establishing and maintaining group rules and boundaries
  2. Encouraging active participation and respectful communication among group members
  3. Introducing therapeutic techniques and exercises to address specific issues
  4. Identifying and addressing group dynamics and conflicts
  5. Providing feedback, insights, and guidance to help individuals gain new perspectives on their challenges

Types of group therapy

There are several types of group therapy, each designed to address specific needs and goals. The three main types are:

  1. Psychoeducational groups: These groups focus on educating participants about specific mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, or substance abuse. They provide information on coping strategies, treatments, and resources while offering a supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences and learn from one another.
  2. Support groups: Support groups offer a safe space for individuals dealing with similar challenges to come together and provide emotional support, understanding, and encouragement. They may be facilitated by a therapist or led by peers and often focus on specific life events or transitions, such as grief and loss, divorce, or living with chronic illness.
  3. Therapy groups: These groups utilize various therapeutic techniques and interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), to address the emotional and psychological aspects of mental health issues. Therapy groups offer a structured environment where individuals can explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, learn new skills, and work towards personal growth and healing.

By understanding the fundamentals of group therapy, we can better appreciate its transformative power in addressing anxiety, depression, and trauma through shared experiences and collective healing.

The Benefits of Shared Experiences in Group Therapy

One of the most powerful aspects of group therapy lies in the shared experiences and connections formed among its members. By bringing together individuals who face similar challenges, group therapy offers a unique opportunity for emotional validation, trust-building, and learning from others’ experiences. Let’s explore these benefits in more detail.

  • Emotional validation through shared stories and experiences: In group therapy, participants have the opportunity to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with others who understand and empathize with their struggles. This process of sharing can be incredibly validating, as it helps individuals realize that they are not alone in their journey. Hearing others’ stories and recognizing similarities in their experiences can provide a sense of relief, reduce feelings of shame or guilt, and foster a stronger connection with fellow group members.
  • Building trust and creating a safe space for healing: Trust is an essential component of any therapeutic relationship, and it is particularly crucial in group therapy settings. As individuals begin to open up and share their vulnerabilities with one another, a sense of trust and camaraderie develops within the group. The therapist plays a vital role in establishing and maintaining this trust by setting clear boundaries, ensuring confidentiality, and fostering a non-judgmental and respectful atmosphere. When group members feel safe and supported, they are more likely to engage in honest self-disclosure, take risks, and work towards meaningful change and healing.
  • Learning from others’ coping mechanisms and strategies: Group therapy provides a unique opportunity for individuals to learn from the experiences and insights of others facing similar challenges. As group members share their personal stories, coping mechanisms, and strategies for managing anxiety, depression, or trauma, participants can gain valuable knowledge and inspiration. This collective wisdom allows individuals to explore new approaches, build on their existing strengths, and develop a toolbox of skills to better navigate their mental health journey.

Techniques Used in Anxiety, Depression, and Trauma Group Therapy

Group therapy sessions often incorporate a variety of evidence-based techniques and interventions to address the specific needs of individuals dealing with anxiety, depression, and trauma. By employing these therapeutic approaches, group therapy can help participants develop new skills, challenge unhealthy thought patterns, and foster emotional healing. Let’s examine some of the most commonly used techniques in group therapy for anxiety, depression, and trauma.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a widely-used and well-researched approach that focuses on identifying and modifying unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. In group therapy settings, CBT techniques can be highly effective in helping individuals recognize distorted thinking patterns, develop healthier coping strategies, and improve emotional regulation. Some common CBT techniques employed in group therapy include:

  1. Thought challenging and cognitive restructuring: Participants learn to identify negative or irrational thoughts, evaluate their accuracy, and replace them with more balanced and realistic perspectives.
  2. Behavioral activation: Group members are encouraged to engage in activities that promote positive emotions and reduce depressive symptoms.
  3. Exposure exercises: Individuals with anxiety disorders may participate in gradual exposure to feared situations, helping them confront and overcome their fears in a supportive environment.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an approach that combines elements of CBT with mindfulness and acceptance practices. Originally developed for individuals with borderline personality disorder, DBT has been found to be effective in treating various mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and trauma. In group therapy, DBT skills training can help participants learn to manage their emotions, cope with distress, and improve interpersonal relationships. Key DBT skills taught in group therapy include:

  1. Mindfulness: Participants are guided to practice non-judgmental awareness of their thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the present moment.
  2. Emotion regulation: Group members learn strategies for understanding, expressing, and managing their emotions more effectively.
  3. Distress tolerance: Individuals develop skills to cope with difficult situations and emotions without resorting to unhealthy behaviors or avoidance.

Trauma-focused therapies, such as EMDR and exposure therapy

For individuals dealing with trauma, specialized trauma-focused therapies can be incorporated into group therapy sessions to facilitate healing and recovery. Some of these approaches include:

  1. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is an evidence-based therapy that helps individuals process and integrate traumatic memories by using bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or tapping, while recalling distressing events.
  2. Exposure therapy: This technique involves gradually exposing individuals to their traumatic memories or triggers in a controlled and supportive environment, helping them reduce anxiety, fear, and avoidance behaviors.

By utilizing these techniques in group therapy settings, individuals grappling with anxiety, depression, and trauma can benefit from targeted interventions, skill-building, and emotional support, ultimately fostering a path towards healing and personal growth.

Finding the Right Group Therapy for You

With numerous group therapy options available, it’s essential to find a program that best suits your unique needs and goals. In this section, we will discuss factors to consider when choosing a group therapy program, tips for making the most of your experience, and resources for finding group therapy sessions near you.

Factors to consider when choosing a group therapy program

  1. Therapeutic approach: Consider the specific techniques and interventions used in the group therapy program, such as CBT, DBT, or trauma-focused therapies, and whether they align with your needs and preferences.
  2. Group size and composition: Look for a group with a comfortable size (typically 5-15 participants) and members who share similar challenges, backgrounds, or goals.
  3. Therapist qualifications and experience: Ensure that the group is facilitated by a trained and experienced therapist specializing in your area of concern.
  4. Confidentiality and safety: Make sure the group therapy program emphasizes confidentiality and provides a safe, supportive environment for all participants.
  5. Schedule and location: Choose a group therapy program that fits your schedule and is conveniently located.

Tips for making the most of your group therapy experience

  1. Be open and honest: Share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with the group to foster trust and promote emotional healing.
  2. Actively participate: Engage in group discussions, exercises, and activities to maximize the benefits of your group therapy experience.
  3. Listen and learn from others: Pay attention to the insights and experiences shared by fellow group members, and apply the lessons learned to your own journey.
  4. Practice patience and self-compassion: Remember that progress takes time, and it’s essential to be patient and kind to yourself throughout the process.
  5. Seek additional support if needed: Don’t hesitate to reach out to your therapist or other mental health professionals for additional guidance or resources.

Resources for finding group therapy sessions near you

  1. Ask your integrative specialty care physician or mental health provider for recommendations.
  2. Contact local hospitals, community mental health centers, or counseling agencies for information on available group therapy programs.
  3. Consult online directories, such as the American Group Psychotherapy Association’s “Find a Group” tool or Psychology Today’s group therapy listings.
  4. Utilize social media and online forums to connect with others who may have recommendations for group therapy sessions in your area.

Find A Group Therapy Group at Gemini Health

In conclusion, the power of group therapy in healing anxiety, depression, and trauma cannot be overstated. By creating a supportive and understanding environment, group therapy allows individuals to share their experiences, learn from one another, and develop valuable coping skills. We encourage those struggling with mental health issues to seek help and embrace the benefits of shared experiences in group therapy settings.

Remember, the ongoing journey towards mental health and personal growth is a collective effort, and by participating in group therapy, you are taking a crucial step towards healing and self-discovery.

Gemini Health, located in Elkridge, Maryland, offers a range of group therapy programs designed to support individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, and substance abuse. Through their compassionate and evidence-based approach, Gemini Health aims to provide a safe and supportive environment where participants can work towards healing and personal growth.

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Concept of substance addiction. The struggle and journey
Substance Abuse, Therapy Services

What Are The 12 Core Functions of Substance Abuse Counseling?

Substance abuse counseling is integral to the healing process for those struggling with substance use disorders, as well as their loved ones.

Drug abuse counselors play an essential role in the community by supporting individuals while they work towards recovery from addiction and other mental health issues that may be present. 

Navigating the complexity of these underlying issues can be overwhelming, so in this blog we’ll shed light on the 12 core functions of substance abuse counseling, providing information that can help you or a loved one make an informed decision concerning the best course of action. 

Join us as we go over the fundamentals of successful recovery – we’re here to help you through your journey!

The 12 Core Functions Substance Abuse Counseling Provides:

Substance abuse counselors provide a vital service when it comes to helping an individual seek treatment and recovery from addiction

The 12 core functions that substance abuse counseling provides helps ensure the client is given the best chance of building healthier lifestyles and relationships. 

These core functions include: 

  • Screening
  • Intake
  • Orientation
  • Assessment
  • Treatment planning
  • Case management
  • Counseling
  • Patient education
  • Crisis intervention
  • Referral
  • Record-keeping and reporting
  • Cross-consultation

When clients use these services they can be sure they will have knowledgeable care and support on their journey towards achieving sobriety. Let’s go a bit more in depth, shall we?

Patient Screening:

Patient screening is the first and most important function of substance abuse counseling. 

During this stage, counselors assess whether a patient is suitable for treatment, and can determine if a patient is unlikely to benefit from certain types of care due to any conditions that need specialized attention. 

Patient screening helps counselors identify existing behavioral problems and mental health issues that could interfere with their treatment plan. It also allows counselors to recognize early warning signs so they can take proactive steps towards helping patients manage their condition more effectively, seek appropriate referrals, or even provide additional resources. 

As such, patient screening plays an integral role in providing effective substance abuse counseling services.

Patient Intake:

Patient intake is another vital component of the substance abuse counseling process and one of the 12 core functions. 

This step involves gathering information about the patient, like medical/mental health history, current lifestyle habits, and personal goals. 

It’s also an opportunity for the counselor and patient to form a more concentrated bond as they discuss what led the patient to pursue treatment. 

During patient intake, counselors must pay very close attention to recognize the true cause(s) of the problem and identify any underlying issues that may have contributed to it. 

A thorough patient intake can help ensure that appropriate treatment is provided to address all aspects of a client’s needs in their journey towards recovery.

Patient Orientation:

Patient orientation is an essential stage in the process of substance abuse counseling, during which counselors and patients establish a meaningful relationship. 

In this stage, the counselor acts as a bridge for the patient by providing education about their recovery, setting treatment goals that prioritize success and creating an environment of encouragement. 

This is beneficial to both parties, as it helps build mutual trust and gives counselors insight into what has previously been difficult for them to express. It also enables counselors to better understand why certain treatment elements are necessary for a successful recovery. 

Finally, patient orientation is key in developing an atmosphere of open communication and providing relapse prevention advice within a supportive therapeutic context. All in all, this stage serves as a critical foundation on which all other counseling functions will be built upon.

Patient Assessment:

During the patient assessment stage of substance abuse counseling, the counselor engages in conversations and activities with the patient, collects various types of data from different sources, evaluates the patient’s life situation, and develops treatment plans. 

The purpose of this stage is to gain an understanding of where the patient is in terms of their condition, struggles, experiences, long-term goals, relationships, family structure and dynamics. 

The therapist assesses what support systems are in place for the patient and determines if any assistance is needed in areas such as discharge planning upon completion of treatment. 

Ultimately, effective assessment is an integral part of ensuring successful substance abuse counseling treatment plans and successful outcomes for patients.

Treatment Planning:

Treatment planning is an important step in substance abuse counseling, as it is a roadmap used to guide the client through their journey of recovery.

During this stage, the counselor and client will collaboratively develop goals together and decide on an appropriate strategy to achieve those goals. 

It is also a time for both parties to assess the various treatment modalities for substance abuse that are available for support. Treatment plans should be tailored to each individual and adapted when necessary as the client progresses through their recovery process. 

It is important that specific assistance and services are delivered efficiently, so having a clear treatment plan can ensure positive outcomes from substance abuse counseling.

Case Management:

Case management involves making referrals to other treatment centers, advocating for the client during treatment applications, monitoring the progress made by clients while they are in treatments, and continually assessing their individual needs. 

Case managers will also assist their clients in coming up with an individual plan of action that best suits their personal recovery goals. 

This stage means being responsible for the effectiveness of the strategies being used to help meet the needs of patients. 

In this way, case managers provide advocacy and support assistance throughout the entire process. It is very important as it ensures that all parts necessary for quality care are coordinated together so that everyone can be supported effectively on their journey toward recovery.

Counseling:

This next function involves the counselor and client working closely together by creating goals and plans to help the client recover. 

Counselors can provide resources and support, role-play scenarios, give feedback and advice, or keep them motivated during this stage. 

Effective counseling makes a remarkable difference in the recovery process by providing direction for clients, helping them maintain positive behaviors, guiding them through challenging moments and allowing for self-reflection. 

Furthermore, counselors help build strong relationships of trust between client and counselor, which is important when discussing difficult topics related to addiction. 

Ultimately, counseling can offer the keys to success in overcoming addiction and is an essential component when it comes to substance abuse treatment.

Patient Education:

During this stage, counselors engage with patients by educating them on topics related to their situation and provide resources and information to help them stay abstinent during treatment.

This can include teaching important facts about the substance being abused and its effects, providing advice on how to cope with the cravings for substances and identifying risky situations which can be avoided, as well as teaching strategies for responding when those situations arise. 

Patient education not only introduces greater awareness of different aspects of addiction and relapse prevention but also encourages more autonomy within the patient so they may better navigate their recovery process.

Crisis Intervention:

Crisis intervention is a very crucial part of substance abuse counseling. During crisis intervention, counselors may need to prevent or address: 

  • Institutionalization
  • Suicide attempts, or 
  • Physical danger from either the client or someone else involved in the situation. 

The counselor must assess the severity of the crisis and take immediate steps to ensure safety for all involved. 

Depending on the crisis issue at hand, these steps might include listening and providing support and guidance, making referrals for safety planning or treatment services, de-escalating an emotionally-charged situation with mediation techniques, arranging transportation to appropriate medical care and treatment facilities, performing an assessment related to trauma history and relapse triggers. 

The goal is always to provide the client with a sense of calmness, understanding and compassion so they can discuss their issues more openly.

Referral:

The tenth core function of substance abuse counseling is referral. Referral is an important part of the recovery process because it helps connect individuals struggling with substance abuse to other services and resources they may need. 

During this stage, counselors encourage their clients to access these services, such as:

  • Social service agencies
  • Employment support programs
  • Health care providers, and others. 

Referrals also provide information on local self-help group meetings and 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). 

Additionally, the counselor might suggest treatment options outside their scope of expertise such as residential or inpatient programs. With this step, counselors can ensure that all the client’s needs are addressed and that they have a comprehensive plan for long-term sobriety.

Record-Keeping and Reporting:

An important part of this stage is that the drug abuse counselor must keep detailed, accurate records of every session by tracking progress, goals, and approach changes. 

It is also necessary to record any other information related to each client’s treatment in order to provide a clear picture of the entire process. 

By keeping these records well organized and filed away securely, counselors can easily assess progress for each individual or group over time – something which is incredibly beneficial for planning future sessions and assessing outcomes from completed ones. 

In short, record keeping and recording not only ensures understandable communication between members undergoing treatment, but it also acts as an effective way to assess how much a given approach helps clients recover.

Cross-Consultation:

Cross-consultation is the twelfth and final core function of substance abuse counseling. 

This stage involves the counselor connecting the client to additional medical, psychological, social, and spiritual resources as needed. 

The counselor meets with different professionals and works together with them to create a plan customized for the individual’s specific needs. 

The experts involved in this process could include doctors, mental health workers, rehabilitation counselors, welfare services agents, and spiritual leaders such as clergy or support groups. Cross-consultation is an essential stage for creating lasting sobriety as it ensures that all of the individual’s complex medical and emotional issues are addressed holistically.

An adult man, looking happy, talking with group therapy members
Focus on the smiling man, talking with people of all ages, during the group therapy.

Substance Abuse Counseling Could Save Your Life:

So, what do effective treatment options provide? They can offer someone the personalized guidance, support groups, and other resources necessary to confront their issues with substance abuse and work towards leading a healthier life.

Each step helps to create an environment of understanding and compassion so that patients can receive positive care and treatment. 

Collectively, the 12 core functions make up a complete system designed to provide those in need with adequate support that can lead to sobriety and lasting recovery. It’s essential that everyone battling addiction remembers they do not have to face it alone. 

For any readers residing in Maryland or out-of-state alike, we urge you to reach out for help today at Gemini Health (301) 363-1063 or search “substance abuse counseling near me” if you need support in overcoming an addiction problem.

Resources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-use-disorder/care-at-mayo-clinic/mac-20369256

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/counseling-and-addiction-how-therapy-can-help

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The word "THERAPY" written in vintage wooden letterpress type.
Therapy Services

A Guide To Different Types of Therapy: ACT vs CBT vs DBT

If you’re considering therapy, the sheer amount of options can be overwhelming. 

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to therapy, understanding the different types of therapy available can help you decide which type might be right for you. 

Let’s take a look at three popular types of therapy: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). 

Who Should Seek Therapy?

Everyone can reap the benefits from therapy at one point or another. 

Therapy can have incredible advantages for people from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances. Everyone from busy corporate executives, to stay-at-home parents, to teenagers, to retired adults have found therapy to be an invaluable method of self-improvement. 

Not only this, but any person who is struggling with a mental health issue – including depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance use disorder or any other – could find great relief from speaking with a licensed therapist. 

Additionally, those seeking increased self-esteem or general emotional support could also benefit from the counseling process. 

Ultimately, it’s important that everyone understands they don’t need to face issues alone; professional help is available and is often life changing.

Female hand trying to connect a missing jigsaw puzzle of human brain

ACT vs CBT vs DBT: 

There’s no question about it: mental health is extremely important and everyone should strive to maintain good mental health. 

To do this, there are three different types of therapies that may be useful for different needs. 

These include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). 

Although all three therapies focus on increasing self-awareness and teaching skills to create a life worth living, they approach the process in different ways. 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT):

ACT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on increasing psychological flexibility by helping people accept their thoughts and feelings without judgment or trying to change them. This allows them to move forward with their lives in line with their values, even if they have unpleasant thoughts or feelings.

What Strategies Are Used In ACT?

  • Acceptance-Based Coping: This strategy encourages individuals to acknowledge difficult situations and emotions but strive not to be controlled by them. 
  • Cognitive Defusion: Another common technique is cognitive defusion which helps people develop psychological distance from their thoughts and allow themselves to tolerate distress instead of trying to control it. 
  • Behavior Change Strategies: ACT practitioners often use behavior change strategies such as identifying a value-guided plan with the aim of taking action while still maintaining an overall sense of wellbeing. 
  • Meta-Awareness: This strategy helps increase self-observation and reflection in order to recognize patterns in thoughts or behavior that might be harmful or disruptive. 

By utilizing these four strategies along with other techniques tailored to each individual’s needs, ACT can be highly effective in promoting meaningful lifestyle changes while increasing resilience and resilience.

Who Is Best Fit For ACT?

People best-suited for ACT therapy are those that want to break out of negative thought patterns, address unhealthy personal habits such as avoidance, look inwards at self-defeating behavior patterns, and take meaningful steps toward making positive life changes. 

This type of therapy is helpful in treating mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD and substance abuse. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): 

CBT is a form of talk therapy that focuses on identifying negative thought patterns and changing them into more positive ones. Unlike ACT, CBT focuses on actively challenging these negative thoughts in order to help patients reframe situations in healthier ways. 

It also helps patients learn coping skills and problem solving strategies that can be used in future situations. 

What Strategies Are Used In CBT?

  • Cognitive Restructuring/Reframing: Cognitive restructuring involves actively analyzing negative and irrational thought patterns, challenging them and then replacing them with more rational thoughts. Reframing involves looking at a situation from a different perspective to identify new opportunities for growth or explore alternative possibilities. 
  • Guided Discovery:  This technique involves asking questions that guide the client in exploring the impacts of self-talk and underlying beliefs on their behavior and mood. Through this process of uncovering meaning, clients are enabled to better understand themselves and resolve difficult mental health issues.
  • Journaling: This method of CBT means taking the time to properly and thoroughly record experiences and thoughts on paper, allowing individuals to gain insight into their behavior patterns, assess triggers for issues they are facing, and track progress over time. Journaling focuses on the identification and evaluation of thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs and how they translate into behaviors. As such, an individual can look back at their writings as a way to understand why certain reactions occur in certain circumstances. 

Who Is Best Fit For CBT?

CBT is an excellent choice for individuals who value structure, are motivated to make meaningful changes that stick, and are open to self-reflection and experimentation. Additionally, practical tools developed through CBT can be particularly beneficial for those trying to cope with ongoing life stressors such as relationship problems or work stress.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): 

What does dbt stand for? DBT focuses on helping patients learn skills related to emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness and distress tolerance. Components of dialectical behavior therapy emphasize the importance of balancing acceptance with change in order to effectively manage difficult emotions without getting overwhelmed by them or engaging in self-destructive behaviors. 

What Strategies Are Used In DBT?

Strategies are based on the “four stages of dialectical behavior therapy” that encourage the patient to explore various emotional states and find healthy ways to cope with distress and other distressing symptoms. 

These stages are: 

  • Mindfulness: In the first stage, the focus is on being present in the moment while accepting oneself with unconditional positive regard and validating experiences as they occur. This helps to reduce rumination and create healthier coping strategies for intense emotions. Mindfulness involves paying attention to each experience without judgment or criticism and encourages living in the “here and now”. 
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: During this phase, participants build strong interpersonal skills such as engaging in active listening, respecting boundaries, and navigating relationships due to the individualized attention of their therapist. Additionally, patients learn how to present interests effectively while still respecting the other person’s opinion or point of view. This stage was particularly developed for those who struggle with maintaining close relationships; learning how to apply interpersonal effectiveness skills can help free individuals from damaging patterns of behavior influenced by anxious feelings.
  • Emotion Regulation: In this stage, individuals learn to recognize and label their own emotions through creating a “mindfulness skill set” that includes rapid emotion identification and conscious choice making. Patients are taught how to accept and validate their own emotional experiences as well as those of others, while also tailoring individualized coping strategies to challenging situations.
  • Distress Tolerance: As part of distress tolerance, individuals are encouraged to recognize and tolerate pain in difficult situations without being overwhelmed by strong urges to escape or avoid them. Techniques used for distress tolerance include logical problem solving, accepting reality, learning perspective, improving one’s mood by focusing on other activities, creating self-soothing plans and using self-distraction tactics.

Who Is Best Fit For DBT?

DBT can be beneficial for people looking to better manage their emotions, regulate their behaviors, and improve communication between themselves and others. 

It’s an especially ideal treatment option for those dealing with issues such as mood disorders, suicidal thoughts, or aggressive behavior; however, it can also aid those who suffer from anxiety, intense experiences of shame or guilt, difficulty managing stress, and some eating disorders.

In addition, people struggling with substance abuse and addiction have shown success integrating dialectical behavior therapy with the twelve-steps. This combination of therapies ensures that people achieve long-term recovery through a balance of self-acceptance and change.

Conclusion: 

All three types of therapies have been proven effective for treating many common mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. 

Ultimately, the best way to determine which type of therapy would be most beneficial for you is by talking with your therapist about your specific needs and goals for treatment so they can determine which type would be most helpful for you based on your individual needs. 

Whatever type of therapy you choose though, remember that it takes time—but it will be worth it! With dedication and consistency you’ll see results soon enough!

Resources:

https://www.verywellmind.com/dialectical-behavior-therapy-1067402

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/about/pac-20384610

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-acceptance-and-commitment-therapy#:~:text=Acceptance%20and%20commitment%20therapy%20(ACT,of%20dwelling%20on%20the%20negative.

https://positivepsychology.com/act-acceptance-and-commitment-therapy/#:~:text=Acceptance%20and%20Commitment%20Therapy%20(ACT)%20encourages%20people%20to%20embrace%20their,therapy%20offers%20clinically%20effective%20treatment.

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Depression Concept with Human, Broken Brain and Heavy Rain
Depression

No ‘One Size Fits All’: Different Types of Treatment For Major Depression

If you struggle with depression, you’re already quite aware of the significant impact it plays on your life.

Many people with depression suffer for years in silence before ever making the decision to seek help. If you’re one of these people, you’re not alone.

Maybe you thought your depression would get better over time. Or, perhaps you couldn’t fit treatment into your financial budget in the past. Whatever the reason, taking the initiative to get help for your major depression is a monumental decision, and you should be proud.

Once you begin seeking treatment you might find you’re quickly overwhelmed by the endless techniques, styles, and information out there. How do you know what is going to work for you?

Really, what is the therapy for depression? If you’re here to find the best treatments for major depressive disorder, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s talk about it.

Female hand trying to connect a missing jigsaw puzzle of human brain on gray background. Creative idea for solving problem, memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease concept. Mental health care.

 

What Is Major Depressive Disorder?

Major depressive disorder, otherwise known as clinical depression is a severe mood disorder in which an individual has persistent low moods, loss of interest in everyday activities, and other various emotional and physical symptoms. This condition affects the way a person thinks, lives, and behaves.

Unlike persistent depressive disorder, in which a person experiences chronic, less severe low moods with little to no relief, those with major depressive disorder have periods in which they feel better.

During these breaks, they may return to their normal baseline mood. However, it’s often only a matter of time before another depressive episode kicks in.

Symptoms Of Major Depressive Disorder Include:

• Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness

• Feeling numb or disconnected

• Anger, irritability, or frustration

• Sleeping problems

• Changes in appetite

• An inability to feel pleasure

 

Is There a Cure For Depression?

There is currently no cure for depression, as to cure something ensures it will never come around again. Many people that struggle with depression find that it’s rarely a one-time experience.

Don’t let this get you down. There are various treatments for depression that have proven to be successful in helping others live full, happy lives.

Are anti-depressants the end all be all for depression? Absolutely not! There are other ways for treating major depressive disorder without medication.

While some people choose medication, it’s always encouraged to use anti-depressants alongside other treatment options to ensure a full recovery.

 

How To Treat Severe Depression:

Let’s talk about three of the best ways to treat major depressive disorder without risking any harmful side effects of medication. Suffering from depression can feel like an isolating black hole, however, these treatments are here to free you from the chains of hopelessness and put you back on your feet again.

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or, CBT is known as the gold standard of treatment in psychology. Not only is it incredibly versatile, and useful in hundreds of situations, its effectiveness has been proven time and time again.

CBT is a form of talk therapy that focuses on your moods and thoughts while targeting actions and behaviors that arise from these thinking patterns. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of talk therapy. As an individual speaks with their therapist about real-time stressors, a licensed mental health professional will be able to spot any distorted or unhealthy thoughts related to the situation that may be making their depression worse.

After these thoughts are identified, a client and therapist will work together to redirect them into healthier, more beneficial thinking patterns.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for major depressive disorder has been proven to help relieve symptoms of depression such as sadness, emptiness, and anxiety.

A therapy group for with five members discussing their depression symptoms

 

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation:

Another wonderful medication-free option for treating depression is transcranial magnetic stimulation, or, TMS.

While the term may sound daunting, TMS is a painless, non-invasive procedure.

At Gemini TMS, a cap is placed over an individual’s head while short, repetitive magnetic pulses are sent throughout the brain to target areas associated with depression and depressive symptoms. While relief is often felt early on, multiple sessions are recommended to ensure stimulation in areas of the brain with decreased activity.

TMS is an effective method of treatment for patients that have tried medication without success, or with negative side effects, in the past. Unlike anti-depressants, transcranial magnetic stimulation can directly impact areas of the brain medication can’t.

 

Stellate Ganglion Blocks:

Up-and-coming research has indicated the use of stellate ganglion blocks as an effective form of treatment in patients with depression, PTSD, anxiety, and chronic pain.

When we experience trauma, our bodies are forced into a constant state of fight or flight. This heightened response is detrimental to our emotional and physical health.

Stellate block injections target the nervous system and rewire a patient’s brain causing it to return back to pre-trauma levels.

When our brains can rest, they can recover. SGB is a minimally invasive procedure with little to no side effects. In addition, relief can be felt in as little as 30 minutes!

 

So, What is The Best Therapy For Major Depressive Disorder?

Every person’s experience with depression is unique. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for major depressive disorder. Some people use medication and learn how to cope with the side effects, while others seek other avenues.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a great option for those who want to try a form of talk therapy in order to learn healthier ways of coping with depressive thoughts.

TMS can greatly benefit those who have had bad experiences with anti-depressants in the past or those who choose to manage their depression medication free.

Stellate ganglion blocks can be effective for individuals struggling with more than just their depression, or for those that can’t engage in other methods of treatment.

It may take some time to learn what therapy is best for you. No matter what your situation may be, there are many mental health professionals that dedicate their lives to helping someone with major depressive disorder, just like you.

Sources:

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9290-depression

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/support-groups/art-20044655

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/cognitive-behavioral-therapy#fa-qs

https://www.healthline.com/health/tms-therapy

https://www.sgbdocs.com/

https://www.geminitms.com/
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Anxiety, Therapy Services

Types of Therapy For Anxiety

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Anxiety: 

For years, the go-to treatment for anxiety disorders was medication. But what if there was a way to train your brain to think differently about anxiety. That’s where cognitive behavioral therapy comes in. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of therapy that focuses on changing the way you think about anxiety. This, in turn, can change the way you feel and behave. CBT is different from other types of therapies because it is usually shorter-term and more focused on problem-solving. 

Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

There are different types of CBT, but they all share the same goal: to change the way you think about anxiety. Some of the most common types of CBT are: 

Exposure therapy: This type of therapy helps you face your fears head-on. With exposure therapy, you’ll gradually work up to facing your fear in real life. For example, if you’re afraid of flying, exposure therapy might involve watching videos about flying, looking at pictures of airplanes, or even going to the airport and watching planes take off and land. 

Cognitive restructuring: This type of therapy helps you identify and challenge negative thinking patterns. Once you’re able to identify these patterns, you can start to change them.

Relaxation and stress management: This type of therapy teaches you how to relax your mind and body when you’re feeling anxious. Relaxation techniques might include deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). 

Biofeedback Therapy For Anxiety: 

Biofeedback therapy is a form of treatment that uses sensors to monitor your body’s physiological response to stressors. 

The aim of biofeedback therapy is to help you become more aware of your body’s natural stress response so that you can learn to control it. Biofeedback therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Biofeedback therapy usually involves two different types of sensors: one to measure your heart rate and one to measure your skin conductance. The sensors are connected to a machine that displays your physiological data in real time. As you relax, you’ll see your heart rate slow down and your skin conductance decrease.

During the session, the therapist will guide you through a series of relaxation exercises. As you practice relaxing, you’ll begin to associate the physical sensations of relaxation with the exercises themselves. Over time, this will help you learn to control your body’s stress response so that you can manage your anxiety outside of the therapy sessions.

Female hand trying to connect a missing jigsaw puzzle of human brain on gray background. Creative idea for solving problem, memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease concept. Mental health care.

Rapid Resolution Therapy For Anxiety:

Rapid resolution therapy (RRT) is a newer type of therapy that is designed to help you resolve the underlying issues that are causing your anxiety. While RRT is a brief treatment, usually lasting only 3-5 sessions, it has been shown to be very effective in treating anxiety disorders. 

The first step in RRT is to identify the core beliefs that are causing your anxiety. Once these beliefs have been identified, the therapist will work with you to challenge and reframe them. 

One of the key features of RRT is that it uses a number of techniques to help you resolve your anxiety. These techniques include cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). 

Occupational Therapy For Anxiety Disorders: 

Occupational therapy (OT) is a type of therapy that helps you learn new skills and find new ways to cope with your anxiety symptoms. OT can help you manage your anxiety by teaching you how to better handle stressful situations, how to relax, and how to take care of yourself both mentally and physically. 

For people with anxiety disorders, occupational therapy can help them learn how to manage their symptoms and participate in the activities they love without letting their anxiety take over. 

Here are a few ways that occupational therapy can help people with anxiety disorders:

1. Identifying Triggers

One of the first things an occupational therapist will do is help you identify what triggers your anxiety. Once you know what your triggers are, you can start to develop a plan for how to deal with them.

2. Developing Coping Skills

Another way that occupational therapists can help people with anxiety disorders is by teaching them coping skills. Coping skills are techniques that can help you manage your anxiety at the moment. Some common coping skills include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery. 

3. Practicing Relaxation Techniques

In addition to teaching you coping skills, your occupational therapist can also teach you relaxation techniques that can help reduce your overall anxiety levels. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation can all be helpful in managing anxiety disorders. 

4. Improving Sleep Habits: If you have an anxiety disorder, chances are good that you also have trouble sleeping. This is because anxiety can cause racing thoughts and make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. An occupational therapist can work with you on developing better sleep habits and teach you relaxation techniques that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Anxiety: The Most Common Mental Illness In America

If you’re struggling with anxiety that feels out of your control, know that you’re not alone—anxiety disorders are very common. Thankfully there are many effective treatments available that can help you manage your symptoms and live a healthy, happy life. 

If you think you may have an anxiety disorder, talk to your doctor, a mental health professional, or give us a call at 301-363-1063 to get started on your road to recovery today.

Sources:

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9536-anxiety-disorders

https://psychcentral.com/anxiety/managing-anxiety-with-biofeedback#:~:text=Biofeedback%20is%20a%20type%20of,few%20reported%20negative%20side%20effects.

https://www.inspiredbyhopecounselingllc.com/blog/2018/4/23/rapid-resolution-therapy-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-help-with-trauma

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Depression, Therapy Services

Group Therapy for Depression: How it Works

Do you ever feel like you’re the only one struggling? Depression tends to have that effect. Many people struggling with depression feel that they must suffer alone, but this isn’t true Group therapy for depression has helped thousands of people get much needed support and reduces the effects of isolation that often plague those with depression. 

How Does Therapy Help Treat Depression?

Someone seeks therapy for their depression typically because they feel stuck and don’t know the way forward. With therapy, you have a place to explore and discover the underlying issues that keep you stuck and find healthy ways to cope. Therapy helps you move from a place of hopelessness to a place of confidence and purpose. Therapy comes in every shape and size from individual, to group, to family or couple’s therapy. 

A group therapy group for depression

What To Expect in Group Therapy

In a group of roughly 5-15 people, you will work with a psychologist who leads and guides the group. In group therapy for depression, the psychologist of the group will work with the group to build coping skills that help with depression and provide other tools and insights that work to improve the debilitating symptoms of depression. There are a wide range of topics that can be covered in a group therapy session. 

  • Coping skills
  • Relationship and Social skills
  • Setting boundaries
  • Building self-esteem and confidence
  • Overcoming fears

Why Choose Group Therapy?

Social support and interaction are important for people struggling with depression. Depression is isolating and stigmatizing, leaving people with depression feeling even worse. There are tons of ways you can benefit from group therapy.

Fight Isolation

Depression can make it difficult to socialize, and the effects of isolation irritate symptoms of depression and make things worse. When you self-isolate, you start to feel like you’re the only one fighting this painful battle. Through group support, you will find that your group members feel similarly, and helps to normalize suffering. 

Therapy in a group can be a great option if you struggle with feeling connected to the outside world. Group therapy is a healthy container for creating social connections and ultimately helps you feel less alone in your struggles. 

Accountability

Sometimes it takes a village. If you’re someone who performs better with social pressure, group therapy could be the right environment for you. In group therapy, you are surrounded by people who are also there to achieve their goals. You have a whole room of people that you will feel accountable to. If you struggle to hold yourself accountable, which is normal with depression, being accountable to a group will help you stay focused on recovery.

Improve Confidence

Group therapy doesn’t just provide a support system, it’s also an enriching experience for those who have issues with self-esteem. It’s especially helpful to experience someone with depression getting better. When someone in the group is able to share a personal success, it helps prove to you what is possible for your health. This encouraging environment leaves you more confident in your own abilities to heal and cope with depression.

Supportive Environment

Everyone in a support group is there for the same reason – to get better and beat depression. In group therapy for depression, you have a group of people willing to be honest and open with you as you sort out your emotions.

You will also learn a lot through the stories you hear from other group members and what they struggle with. Exposure to struggles from other people helps you understand your own struggles better. All of these factors make group therapy a supportive environment for your recovery.

Gain Multiple Perspectives

Not only will you get to work with a psychologist, but you get to work with people who are struggling just like you. The stories you hear in group therapy will help you on your own journey and get validation in how you feel. Members of your group will also get to help you with your issues by offering their own unique perspective. This is often an eye opening experience for those new to group therapy. The collaborative aspect of group therapy will help you think clearer and offers a new way of seeing things. 

What Makes Group Therapy Successful? 

 With the right leader and a group of people who are dedicated to healing, group therapy can be an effective way to fight depression. A successful group is aware of the ground rules, understands the objectives, and is on the same page about what therapy will look like within group sessions. There are a few key qualities of group therapy that will bring the best results. 

  • Everyone is as honest as possible
  • Topics discussed in session remain confidential
  • Concerns and questions are immediately addressed
  • Group members engage with each other in a respectful manner
  • Fun and vulnerability are encouraged but not forced

When To Seek Group Therapy

If you have experienced symptoms of depression for a prolonged period of time and haven’t seen improvement, it’s time to seek support. Someone people who have tried individual therapy may also benefit from trying group therapy. If you struggle most with the effects of isolation, group therapy can be beneficial to your mental health and fight feelings of loneliness that often come with depression. 

Possible Disadvantages of Group Therapy

While many people find success with group therapy, it’s not for everyone. If you have severe social phobia, working within a group may hold you back from experiencing the full benefits that group therapy has to offer. Some patients may find it intimidating and have a hard time being vulnerable. 

Group therapy can also be difficult for those with severe depression, because it requires being able to engage with an entire room of people. If these are not concerns for you, group therapy can still be an option with many benefits. 

Group Therapy Alternatives

Some people don’t find success through group therapy but still need help. There are complementary and alternative therapies that provide relief to the many people who suffer from depression. Always talk with your doctor about your issues and concerns so they can provide you with the most optimized treatment plan.

Individual Therapy

If group therapy is too overwhelming for you, individual therapy with a psychologist is a better option. Individual therapy will provide an environment that feels safer to be vulnerable and open with your therapist about your fears and issues. Some people use individual and group therapy to get the unique benefits that both therapies provide. 

TMS Therapy

If you don’t like the idea of medication and fail to find what you need with talk therapy, TMS is an alternative therapy for depression that is effective and safe. Through the use of magnetic pulses, TMS stimulates the areas of the brain responsible for depression. This alternative therapy is FDA approved to treat depression 

Creative Therapy

Using creative therapies like art and music have been shown to increase feelings of wellbeing and decrease symptoms of depression for many. You can talk with your therapist about the types of creative therapy that will work for you. Creative therapy is an individual experience, so what works well for one person may induce anxiety for another. There are many creative outlets to choose from that can provide therapeutic benefits to the depressed mind.

  • Poetry
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Yoga
  • Meditation

We Have Therapy Options!

Everyone has different needs for their mental health. We are an anxiety and depression therapy center with a mission to provide patients with medical services for every aspect of their health. Whether you’re seeking individual or group therapy, or need help with pain management, we strive to provide you with a personalized care experience. Reach out to us at (301) 363-1063 if you have any questions or want to schedule a consultation!

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