A wall sign with black backboard and white letters that says Mental Health Matters.
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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Anxiety, Depression, Group therapy

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: An Overlooked Connection

Mental health and sleep are intricately connected. While many people with sleep disorders undergo sleep therapy, often, the underlying mental health issues that might be the root cause of these disorders are overlooked. Chronic sleep issues could lead to the manifestation of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental health disorders. Thus, it is important to understand the relationship between sleep disorders and mental health and seek appropriate therapy to address the root cause of the problem.

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are common mental health disorders that are often associated with sleep disorders. This means that people with anxiety or depression are more likely to experience sleep-related disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome. Furthermore, people with sleep disorders are also more likely to develop anxiety and depression.

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is another mental health disorder often associated with sleep disorders. People with bipolar disorder often experience sleep issues, such as insomnia, hypersomnia, and disrupted sleep patterns. Moreover, sleep deprivation and sleep disruption could trigger bipolar symptoms.

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: Substance Abuse Disorder

Substance abuse disorder often co-occurs with sleep disorders and other mental health disorders. People with substance abuse disorder may use drugs or alcohol as a way of self-medication to deal with sleep issues, which may exacerbate the underlying mental health issues.

Sleep Disorders and Mental Health: Treatment and Therapy

Therapy for sleep disorders, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), is beneficial for both sleep and mental health. CBT-I is a form of talk therapy that helps people with sleep disorders identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that interfere with sleep. Furthermore, CBT-I could also help people with mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

In summary, sleep disorders and mental health are closely related and deserve equal attention. It is important not to overlook the possibility that an underlying mental health issue might be causing your sleep problems and vice versa. If you are experiencing chronic sleep issues, it is essential to seek appropriate therapy that addresses the root cause of the problem. Investing in therapy for both sleep and mental health could significantly improve your quality of life.

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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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Anxiety

When To See a Therapist For Anxiety

Feeling anxious is a regular part of life. Think about the way you felt before a big presentation, or the butterflies in your stomach when getting ready for a first date.

We all experience anxiety at one time or another.

Believe it or not, anxiety can actually be good for us because it helps us to stay focused and alert. But it can hurt us by making us feel stressed out or fearful.

While all of us have felt anxiety before, the frequency and intensity to which we experience it can determine if we have an anxiety disorder or not.

If you feel like your anxiety is interfering with your daily routine, seeing a therapist can help you find ways to manage your stress and find relief from symptoms, leading you to live a happier, more peaceful life.

What Is Anxiety?

But what is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal human emotion. It’s the feeling you get when something bad could happen. It makes sense we feel this way: every one of us wants to avoid feeling pain. But some people experience anxiety more frequently than others, and for some people, the normal feelings of worry or nervousness can spiral into intense fear and panic attacks.

This is called generalized anxiety disorder. Since it isn’t tied to any specific event or stressor, it affects how someone feels in general.

There are several other types of anxiety as well; these include social phobia (anxiety about social situations), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder (PD), and specific phobias like fear of heights or spiders.

If You’re Experiencing Panic Attacks or Avoidance Of Public Places, Seeing a Therapist May Be a Good Idea:

Panic attacks and avoiding public places are both symptoms of anxiety. Both of these symptoms can cause immense suffering and difficulty in day-to-day living.

If you’re having either of these symptoms, it may help to visit an anxiety counselor or therapist who can guide you through therapy and help teach coping mechanisms for when the symptoms come back again.

Types Of Therapy For Anxiety:

There are many types of therapy for anxiety symptoms, but these are the most commonly used:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on patterns of thinking and behavior. It looks at how your thoughts, feelings, and actions influence each other and can help you learn to adjust your thinking to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) combines cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness techniques to teach you how to react differently in situations that make you feel anxious or upset. It helps people who struggle with self-harm or suicidal thoughts.
  • Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), also known as “mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy” (MBCT), teaches you how to accept your feelings instead of trying to change them or avoid them altogether — which can lead to even more stress.

What Is The Best Treatment For Anxiety?

While there are many treatments for anxiety, here are two of the most effective ones:

  • Medication: In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medications to treat your panic attacks and other symptoms of anxiety. Medications can be helpful when used in combination with additional therapies (like CBT), but they’re not always necessary or appropriate.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This type of psychotherapy has been found to be one of the most effective ways to manage anxiety disorders. During CBT sessions, you learn how to identify and change negative thought patterns associated with your condition. In turn, this improves how you feel about yourself and boosts self-esteem through positive reinforcement from others around you.

By gradually changing these bad habits over time through repeated practice, you become better able to deal with stressors as they occur instead of reacting negatively out of habit or fear instead of reason—which is exactly what happens during an anxiety attack!

What Are Some Alternative Therapies For Anxiety?

If you’re not interested in seeing a therapist, consider trying some of the following alternative therapies to help combat your anxiety:

  • Meditation and Yoga: These two practices can be used alone or together to reduce stress, relax the mind and improve overall well-being.
  • Breathing Techniques: Deep breathing is often taught as a way to control anxiety and stress levels. If you struggle with shallow breathing on a regular basis, this may be something you want to experiment with before classifying it as another form of self-care—it could lead to better sleep quality if practiced regularly!
  • Massage therapy has also been shown effective in reducing symptoms associated with anxiety disorders; however, there are no specific guidelines based on this research yet because studies have yielded mixed results overall so far. This is an area worth exploring further but should not replace traditional treatments such as psychotherapy or medication when necessary.

Benefits of Seeing a Therapist For Your Anxiety:

While therapy promotes many positive benefits, here are a few of the most common:

  • You can talk to someone about your problems. Anxiety can feel like a huge burden to carry on your own, and there’s nothing wrong with seeking help from someone who is trained in dealing with it.
  • You can learn new ways to cope with your anxiety. A therapist will help you realize that there are other options besides just managing the symptoms of anxiety, such as learning how to meditate or do breathing exercises.
  • You’ll learn how to manage your anxiety better so it doesn’t take over your life! For example, you could use some tips from an expert on how not to let fear control you when things get tough—or even start up an exercise routine together! Who knows? Maybe this therapist will become part of their support network too!
  • It gives you a second opinion when needed: Sometimes we’re too close emotionally (or physically) tied into our situation that we don’t see things clearly anymore. Seeking help from a therapist gives you an unbiased opinion from an outside party.

All In All:

We all need some help from time to time, and this is especially true for those who are experiencing anxiety. Seeing a therapist for your anxiety can be very helpful in getting you back on track to living the life that you want, instead of allowing fear and worry to take over. If you’re looking for anxiety therapy in Maryland, look no further than Gemini Health. We’re here to help you get your life, and anxiety back on track.

Resources:

https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/how-know-when-seek-therapy#:~:text=It’s%20never%20too%20early%20to,you%20want%20because%20of%20fear

https://therapygroupdc.com/therapist-dc-blog/different-types-of-therapy-which-is-best-for-anxiety/

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An adult man, looking happy, talking with group therapy members
Group therapy, Therapy Services

How To Find A Support Group to Help You Heal

Supportive therapy can be a wonderful resource when you are going through significant challenges in your life.

They provide a safe place to share experiences, feelings, and coping strategies with other people who have been in similar situations. Sometimes all you need when managing a tough season in life is someone who truly understands you.

However, there is an art to getting the most out of them.

This guide will help you navigate finding the right support group therapy for yourself and maximize their potential as part of your healing journey.

A group therapy group for depression

What Is Supportive Group Therapy?

Supportive group therapy is a form of therapy that is designed to help people who are struggling with a variety of mental health issues or life circumstances.

The goal of this type of therapy is to provide a safe and supportive environment for people to share their experiences and receive support from others who are going through similar challenges.

This type of therapy can be helpful for people who are struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety, or addiction.

Support groups are a great place to find support and advice from people who have been there. They provide an opportunity to be open with others while sharing experiences.

Supportive Therapy Techniques:

Supportive therapy can be helpful in many situations because it’s structured and uses methods similar to those used by other types of group therapies.

For example, supportive therapy may help you learn new skills and develop healthier ways of coping with stress and anxiety.

Because this form of group therapy is more structured than some other forms, it usually takes place over a shorter period—usually only one hour per week or less.

Now, you might be wondering – “Is supportive therapy evidence based?”  Okay, maybe not in those exact words, but in a nutshell, you may be curious if there’s science to back it up.

Yes, supportive group therapy is evidence-based. There is a large body of research that supports the use of group therapy for a variety of mental health conditions. Groups provide a supportive and therapeutic environment that can help people feel less alone, connected to others, and improve their mental health.

Finding The Best Support Group For You:

Decide What Kind Of Support You’re Looking For:

When you’re looking for a support group, it’s important to understand that there are different types of groups. Some focus on specific issues like trauma, addiction, or family violence.

Others are more general and include many types of issues in their focus. Some groups may be open to self-identifying with a particular issue while others may require members to have been diagnosed with a disorder by a professional in order to attend.

Supportive therapy groups come in all shapes and sizes, for example:

  • Opioid overdose supportive therapy
  • Alcohol withdrawal syndrome supportive therapy
  • Supportive cancer therapy
  • Supportive drug therapy

Some groups meet weekly; others meet monthly and some meet less frequently than that.

Before deciding which type of support would work best for you, it’s important to realize what it is exactly that you hope your experience will accomplish: do you want someone else’s perspective on why things happened the way they did?

Do want someone else who has experienced similar things to tell their stories?

Or maybe all this sharing doesn’t appeal to you at all—maybe what would help most is connecting with another person who knows what it’s like not just because they’ve gone through something similar but because they’ve lived through it themselves (and survived).

Ask For Recommendations:

The best way to find a support group is to ask for recommendations. Your friends, family, and co-workers may be able to share their own experiences with support groups.

If you don’t know anyone who has been in a group before, ask your doctor or therapist if they have any suggestions. They will also be able to tell you if there are any groups that they recommend over others.

If none of these options work out for you, try contacting your insurance company directly; they may have information on which programs its providers participate in (and whether those programs offer the type of support you’re looking for).

You can also type in a quick Google search, “Support group therapy near me” to find a list of different options close by.

Call Ahead and Ask Questions:

When you call a support group leader to ask about joining, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • What size is the group?
  • What is its format?
  • What philosophy does it follow, if any? (Likely choices include cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychoanalysis.)
  • Are there any fees or other costs associated with participation in this group?
  • Where do meetings take place (at an office building, a school, etc.)?
  • When do they occur—and what times of day are most convenient for me?

Plan Ahead For The Financial Cost (If Any):

Meetings are typically free of charge, but some groups charge a nominal fee for attendance.

This allows them to cover expenses, such as renting space and paying for refreshments or childcare.

If there is a fee charged by the organization running your chosen meeting place (or if there isn’t), consider how much money this would represent over time.

Think of it as part of an investment in your own healing process—one which could save hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run when compared with seeking professional counseling services from providers who charge several hundred dollars per session on average!

If necessary, take steps ahead of time so that you can prepare enough cash on hand at least once per month while attending meetings so as not to miss any due dates should unforeseen circumstances arise requiring immediate attention during those sessions; however keep in mind that most group leaders work hard at keeping costs low so as not to exclude anyone who might otherwise benefit greatly from attending regularly.

Supportive Therapy Is An Invaluable Resource:

If you’re struggling right now, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to face it alone.

Support group therapy is there to help you heal and recover from mental illness, or navigate the tricky waters of life.

They can provide valuable insight into what your recovery might look like and how others have managed it in the past. Therapy support centers like Gemini Health are ready and waiting to help you get connected with others and live a happier, healthier life.

Resources:

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

https://www.mhanational.org/find-support-groups

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/therapy-medication/supportgroups.htm

https://www.verywellmind.com/find-a-support-group-meeting-near-you-69433#:~:text=How%20to%20Find%20the%20Right,of%20the%20various%20support%20groups.

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Sick woman talking with a doctor at an outpatient treatment center
Therapy Services

Outpatient Treatment: What Does It Mean?

It’s no secret that mental health is something that should be taken seriously.

However, people often neglect their mental health when they don’t view it as a high priority. But the truth is, your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

In addition, some people may not have the means to check themselves into inpatient treatment. They may have jobs they can’t miss, or children to take care of. This can prevent them from receiving the care they desperately need.

If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness, outpatient treatment can be a great option for you.

In this article you will find an outpatient therapy definition, and the benefits it can bring to your life.

outpatient therapy patients sharing their problems
Members of group therapy listening to patient sharing her problems

What Is Outpatient Therapy?

Outpatient treatment is a type of mental health treatment that allows you to live at home while receiving therapy and other services.

This form of treatment is typically less intensive than inpatient, therefore may be a good option if you’re struggling with mild to moderate depression or anxiety. Services offered in an outpatient setting can vary, but they might include individual or group therapy, medication management, and crisis intervention.

Outpatient behavioral health therapy can be an essential step in someone’s journey to recovery from mental illness. It can provide them with the support they need to make progress in their recovery while still being able to live at home and maintain their regular routine.

How Does Outpatient Treatment Work?

If you opt for outpatient treatment, you’ll typically meet with your therapist or case manager a few times each week.

These appointments will usually last for 60 to 90 minutes. In addition to meeting with your therapist, you might also have regular check-ins with a psychiatrist or nurse.

You might also attend group therapy sessions and participate in other activities, such as recreation therapy or art therapy.

How Long Does Outpatient Treatment Last?

The number and frequency of appointments will depend on your individual needs. If you’re struggling with more severe symptoms of depression or anxiety, you might need to meet with your therapist more often.

An outpatient program can last for as long as you need it to—some people only participate in treatment for a few weeks, while others continue attending sessions for months or even years.

Once you and your therapist feel like you’ve made progress in treatment and reached your goals, you can begin slowly tapering off of therapy.

What Are The Benefits Of An Outpatient Treatment Program?

There are many benefits to an outpatient behavioral health therapy program. Let’s touch on a few of the most important:

1. You Can Get Treatment While Maintaining Your Normal Life

 One of the main benefits of outpatient treatment is that you can get the help you need while still maintaining your normal schedule. If you have a full-time job or you’re a student, you can continue going to work or school while you’re receiving treatment. This can be a great option for people who can’t take time off from their responsibilities to find treatment.

2. You’ll Be in a Safe and Supportive Environment

 When you receive outpatient treatment, you’ll be in a safe and supportive environment where you can feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings. You’ll be surrounded by people who understand what you’re going through and who want to help you get better. This kind of encouragement can be incredibly helpful when struggling with mental illness.

3. You Can Get Individualized Care

 Outpatient treatment programs offer individualized care, which means that your care will be tailored specifically to your needs. Your treatment plan will be designed based on your unique situation, so you can be sure that you’re getting the care that’s right for you.

Sick woman talking with a doctor at an outpatient treatment center
Sick woman talking with gynecologist about disease in the clinic

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Mental Health: Which Is Better?

While there is no clear-cut answer as to which is “better”, it all comes down to each person’s unique mental health experience. There are certainly pros and cons to both inpatient treatment and OP therapy. Let’s discuss a few.

First, inpatient treatment provides 24/7 care and supervision. If you’re in the midst of a mental health crisis, this can be invaluable. There will always be someone there to help you through difficult moments, and you won’t have to worry about being left alone during a time of vulnerability.

In addition, an inpatient program can give you space away from home to heal. When you’re dealing with mental health issues, it can be difficult to cope with everyday life.

Inpatient treatment gives you the chance to step away from everything and focus on your recovery. This can be an immensely helpful experience, as it allows you to come back to everyday life feeling refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes your way.

Inpatient is a better option for those struggling with more severe mental health issues, mental health crises, or those who feel as though they can’t make progress at home.

Outpatient treatment on the other hand is often less expensive and is a wonderful option for those who need to handle their daily responsibilities while receiving treatment.

Inpatient Treatment Is Not Your Only Option:

If you or someone you love is struggling with mental illness, please know that there are resources available to help you. For example, here at Gemini Health, we strive to assist all patients with every aspect of their health, no matter what their circumstances may look like.

Our outpatient behavioral health therapy may be a good option for you or your loved one. It is important to seek help from a professional if you are struggling so that you can get on the path to recovery and improve your overall well-being. Inpatient treatment is not the end-all be-all for mental health services. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you get back to your best self.

Resources:

https://www.pchtreatment.com/inpatient-vs-outpatient-mental-health-treatment/

https://www.goodtherapy.org/difference-inpatient-outpatient.html

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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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Anxiety

How Does Anxiety Affect The Brain?

Did you know that more than 40% of people in the United States alone suffer from some form of anxiety? As today's modern world only gets faster and faster, more people are starting to develop an anxiety disorder. No matter what type of anxiety one has, the condition can be debilitating in severe cases and it can make one's life thoroughly unenjoyable. 

But how does anxiety affect the brain exactly? Is an anxious person's brain all that different from a brain that doesn't suffer from anxiety? More than that, how does anxiety impact one's life as a result of changes in the brain and is there any way to treat this condition?

Outpatient anxiety therapy, Elkridge, Maryland, might be able to help. Keep reading and learn more about how anxiety affects the brain and how the condition can affect your way of life.

What Is Anxiety Exactly?

Anxiety comes in many different forms and each of those forms can vary in severity. For example, social anxiety is one of the most common forms of anxiety. It involves being afraid of people, talking to people, and otherwise interacting with people in any way. 

Since living a normal life requires interacting with people on a daily basis, you can imagine that this form of anxiety can be crippling, especially when the anxiety is severe. People with social anxiety not only have difficulty forming close relationships but some even have difficulty going outside and going out to public environments. 

Even going to the store to buy groceries can be a hard task for those with social anxiety. In some cases, a panic attack may result if a person with anxiety tries to go beyond his zone of comfort. A panic attack can include symptoms such as heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, sweating, chills, nausea, and chest pain. 

Some people who have panic attacks may mistake the symptoms for a heart attack.

Generalized Anxiety

Generalized anxiety is another type of anxiety that permeates a person's entire life, not just the person's social life. A person with generalized anxiety may be nervous about things even if there is no reason to be nervous. 

Being anxious without any reason to be anxious can be especially detrimental to a person's life. Every decision that a person tries to make is full of fear and uncertainty. As you can imagine, being in a constant state of fear is not healthy for the body or mind. 

That's because when you're anxious, your brain will release stress hormones. Normally, these hormones aim to help you get out of the occasional stressful situation. When someone is anxious for no reason, these stress hormones do more harm than good. 

Your Brain Is Overflowing with Stress Hormones

How can anxiety affect your brain? Stress hormones play a big part in the answer to that question. As mentioned before, stress hormones help us escape stressful and potentially dangerous situations. 

For example, thousands of years ago, humans had to defend themselves against wild animals such as bears. When you see a bear, you become anxious because you know that the bear could harm you.

As a natural response, your brain will produce stress hormones that will activate your fight or flight response. 

This response will help you to escape the danger in front of you one way or another. Specifically, these stress hormones (which are produced by the sympathetic nervous system) are called adrenaline and cortisol. They will fill you with energy that will increase the speed of your reflexes and increase your ability to sense certain things. 

The Details

In this scenario, once you escape danger (the bear), your stress hormones will dissipate and you will no longer feel fear or anxiety. Then, the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for resting and digesting will kick in so you can relax again. However, for some people, this fine balance of stress hormones isn't so easily controlled.

If you suffer from anxiety, something might trigger your anxiety and fear response but even after the trigger is gone, your brain will continue to produce stress hormones. Your brain will continue to get more and more stressed until you are overwhelmed with anxiety. This usually concludes with a panic attack, although some people can maintain high stress levels for weeks or months at a time.

This can also turn cases of mild anxiety into moderate or severe anxiety in a short time. But that isn't the only way anxiety affects the brain.

Difficulty Forming Rational Thoughts

People with anxiety often have a hard time forming rational thoughts. That's one of the many reasons why anxiety therapy, Elkridge, Maryland, is so important. When your brain is overwhelmed with stress hormones, you won't be able to think clearly. 

That's because the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex, two very important regions in the brain, won't be as strongly connected as they usually are. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for allowing us to come up with rational thoughts and make good decisions. On the other hand, the amygdala is responsible for telling the rest of the brain that there is danger afoot. 

In the case of anxiety, the amygdala will tell the brain that there is danger present even if there isn't any real danger to think of. Normally, the prefrontal cortex would come up with a rational decision for how to avoid the danger. However, in anxious brains, this process doesn't work as well.

The Anxious Brain

Instead, an anxious brain will not be able to activate the prefrontal cortex as usual. As a result, the brain will not be able to come up with rational decisions when it comes to reacting to the perceived threat. That's why people with anxiety may have thoughts that are not rational and may sometimes behave in irrational ways. 

For example, a person with social anxiety may be terrified to go to the grocery store. There is no real reason to be afraid of going to the store, but the anxious brain creates irrational thoughts. The socially anxious person may be afraid to talk to the cashier upon checking out or afraid to say hello to anyone. 

Even though there is no danger present, the person may be so anxious that he may refuse to go to the store. 

Anxiety Causes You to Remember More Negative Memories

Many people with anxiety find that they are able to mostly remember negative memories rather than positive ones. This is no coincidence and therapy for anxiety, Elkridge, MD, will be able to teach you more about it. Anxiety can strongly affect the hippocampus. 

The hippocampus is a structure in the brain responsible for forming, recalling, and consolidating memories. It is especially important for long-term and contextual memory. Without it, you wouldn't be able to process memories and store them in your brain to remember for years to come.

When you are often stressed, this stress will actually start to shrink the hippocampus. As this brain structure shrinks, it will become less effective at processing memories and storing them for later as it usually does. But that still doesn't explain why anxious people remember more negative rather than positive memories. 

The Hippocampus and Anxiety

Shouldn't anxious people have fewer negative and positive memories as the hippocampus shrinks? Not necessarily. Anxiety affects the hippocampus so that this brain structure stores only memories that are linked to anxiety. 

Anxious memories are regarded as "safe" to store and therefore make it to your brain's long-term memory. In contrast, positive memories are those that are not linked to anxiety. For that reason, your anxiety will tell the hippocampus that these memories are not safe for storage. 

The result is that you will be able to recall more negative memories than positive memories. This does not necessarily mean that you didn't remember those positive memories. However, it is harder to recall them. 

Of course, forgetting your positive memories in favor of negative memories is no fun. That's why having your anxiety treated is important. That way, you will be on your way to having a happier and healthier brain.

How Does Anxiety Affect the Brain?

How does anxiety affect the brain? This mental disorder changes the brain in a variety of ways including how the brain processes memory and forms rational thoughts. Anxiety causes the brain to flood with stress hormones. 

As a result, a person with anxiety is unable to relax even if there isn't anything to be anxious about. Constant anxiety can actually cause structural changes to the brain such as shrinkage of the hippocampus. To learn more about outpatient treatment, don't hesitate to contact us here.

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Anxiety, Depression, PTSD

Benefits Of Ketamine For Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD

Nearly one in five adults in the US live with a mental illness. But not everyone benefits from the same treatment options. The good news is that there are different treatments to try, including ketamine. 

Ketamine can draw a mixture of reactions. Some people have never heard of it before, whereas others will remember its history as a wartime anesthetic or think of it as a party drug. However, using ketamine for anxiety, depression, complex PTSD, and other psychological disorders is a breakthrough treatment option.

Are you interested in learning more about ketamine therapy for anxiety and other disorders? Read on for everything you need to know. 

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine was first discovered in the 1960s and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an anesthetic in the 1970s. It was used during the Vietnam War for injured soldiers as it is an anesthetic that does not require a ventilator.

It is now used in different ways, including in veterinary medicine and as a common sedative in pediatric emergency care. Some people use it recreationally, which is why it is only legal by prescription only. 

Ketamine produces a dissociative experience, which can be described as a trance-like state. There are different types of ketamine, with two main types being used for psychological treatment. These are:

The types of ketamine interact differently with the brain, but both are effective treatment options. However, it can treat treatment-resistant depression and other psychological disorders, such as complex PTSD and anxiety. What type of ketamine you receive depends on your doctor's assessment of your needs and where you receive treatment.

 

How Does Ketamine Work?

Research is still being done to determine how ketamine precisely works. However, what is known is that it produces important and useful effects. There is evidence that it can work in different ways in the brain to relieve depression and other psychological disorders:

  • Stimulates neural activity
  • Increases neuroplasticity for new thought patterns 

When the ketamine dose is administered, the experience can last around two hours, but its benefits last after treatment finishes. The experience can include feelings of unreality, euphoria, and distortions. Ketamine therapy for anxiety and other psychological disorders is done in safe clinical settings with medical supervision.

How Does Ketamine Work for Depression? 

Ketamine for depression and other psychological disorders works differently than when it is used as an anesthetic. A lower dose is given, with the focus on the other effects ketamine produces. It depends if you are given the nasal spray or IV treatment, but both offer benefits for depression. 

For example, studies have found that ketamine triggers glutamate production, which helps the brain produce new neural connections, which can be lifesaving for people with depression. It helps them break negative thought patterns and behaviors, open up to new perspectives, and become more receptive to therapy.

Ketamine likely increases glutamate production because it connects to NMDA receptors in the brain. This allows it to create more glutamate between neurons. Glutamate triggers connections in AMPA receptions, which help other neurons communicate more efficiently.

The result includes changes in mood and thought patterns. There are suggestions that ketamine works for depression in different ways, such as opening communication between other parts of the brain. It may also reduce inflammation signals, which can contribute to depression.

Ketamine for Anxiety 

Ketamine for anxiety works in different ways. Depression and anxiety are often connected, so the changes to glutamate also help reduce anxiety symptoms.

Studies have found that ketamine can help with a variety of anxiety disorders, including:

Often ketamine therapy for anxiety will be done alongside other treatment forms, such as therapy. This means you have sufficient reduction in anxiety symptoms to benefit from other treatments, such as therapy, which can help you get to the root cause of anxiety.

Ketamine opens you to different perspectives, which can help you reach new realizations. It can help you move forward with your recovery journey. 

Ketamine for Complex PTSD

Ketamine for PTSD can also be beneficial. As with depression and anxiety, glutamate plays a role in stress response, traumatic memory formation, and other symptoms of PTSD.

Because ketamine targets glutamate, it can help the brain release trauma and ease symptoms of PTSD. Studies have found that PTSD severity reduces in patients who have ketamine therapy. 

Benefits of Ketamine

There is a reason why ketamine has been used for so many years. It offers a variety of benefits, which have helped patients in many ways. Here are the top benefits of ketamine therapy for anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders. 

Immediate Effect

The benefits of ketamine are almost immediate. It can rapidly reduce symptoms of depression and other psychological disorders. You do not have to wait, which can speed up the recovery process and can be lifesaving for people who are experiencing suicidal ideation. 

Patients are able to see changes that motivate them to continue with their treatment. This may involve other interventions, too, such as counseling. They do not have to wait for new medications to work to engage in their treatment plan.

Although ketamine has a rapid effect, several doses are usually required for long-lasting impact. Usually, the effects of one dose last for around a week. 

Maintenance Doses Possible 

Ketamine is a safe intervention under supervision, which means medical professionals can create treatment plans for IV ketamine. Patients can receive IV ketamine for a set period of time, such as weekly for twelve weeks. This enables them to focus on overcoming their psychological disorder.

Safe to Use Under Medical Supervision

Medical staff used ketamine during the Vietnam war because it is an anesthetic that does not slow breathing or heart rate. Patients need to use it under medical supervision because of the risks causal use presents. There are several side effects and the risk of addiction if people chase the euphoria of the experience.

However, under medical supervision, it is safe to use to treat psychological disorders. Usually, it is for people who have treatment-resistant psychological disorders. But ketamine therapy is becoming increasingly common in the mental health field. 

Physical Health Benefits

Ketamine can help reduce pain, which is why medical professionals use it to treat neuropathic conditions and as an anesthetic. However, many people who experience psychological disorders also experience physical pain. Ketamine can relieve this burden and help patients who use opioids or other substances for pain relief. 

Allows New Thought Processes

One of the biggest benefits of ketamine for PTSD, anxiety, and other psychological disorders is that it improves synapse growth. It rewires connections between neurons, so new thought processes are easier to access. It can be difficult to break thought patterns, which is why ketamine for anxiety and other disorders can be so beneficial. 

Reduces Safety Risks

Ketamine can also reduce safety risks associated with mental health disorders. For example, it can reduce the severity of symptoms, such as:

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm thoughts
  • Isolation
  • Paranoia 
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Substance abuse

Sometimes patients cannot wait for a traditional SSRI to work. Ketamine opens the gateway for more treatment possibilities that empower the patient while keeping them safe. It also provides peace of mind for loved ones who may be worrying about the severity of symptoms. 

Take Advantage of Therapy 

There are different types of therapy available for psychological disorders. Therapies include:

The type of therapy you need depends on the psychological disorder you experience and your personal needs. However often the symptoms of psychological disorders make it difficult to engage in therapeutic interventions.

Ketamine therapy can help relieve the symptoms that act as a barrier to therapy. It can allow the patient to access therapy and attend. Or it can help them get more out of their therapy sessions. 

Fewer Side Effects

Most mental health treatments involve side effects of some kind. However, the benefits of a treatment can outweigh the risks. However, most of the ketamine's possible side effects are not long-term. 

These side effects can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Dissociation 
  • Perceptual disturbances

Most side effects just last for the first IV ketamine infusion and end soon after. This is different from some other mental health treatments, which can include long-term side effects. However, more research is being done into frequent and long-term ketamine usage. 

Research Support

Research on ketamine therapy for anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders is promising. This is why it is now being used as a mental health treatment option. And research continues to grow, making it possible for ketamine to be a more common mental health treatment.

Ketamine for Depression in Maryland 

Ketamine offers many benefits as a mental health treatment. It can help people overcome psychological disorders and continue on their recovery journey. However, it is essential to pick a reputable provider who offers ketamine for anxiety and other psychological disorders.

Are you looking for ketamine for depression in Maryland? Gemini Health Elkridge Maryland offers ketamine for PTSD in Maryland, along with other conditions. Contact us today to learn more. 

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Therapy Services

Therapy Goals for Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand, but they can also be experienced separately. Going to therapy is usually one of the best forms of treatment for both conditions, with cognitive behavioral therapy being the most popular type of therapy. Research has shown CBT to be effective in treating multiple mental health conditions, such as panic disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, etc. 

Therapy Goals for Anxiety and Depression 

Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand, but they can also be experienced separately. Going to therapy is usually one of the best forms of treatment for both conditions, with cognitive behavioral therapy being the most popular type of therapy. Research has shown CBT to be effective in treating multiple mental health conditions, such as panic disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, etc. In therapy you and your therapist will set attainable goals for your progress, and you will spend your sessions learning techniques to help you achieve these goals.  

Anxiety Disorders Treated by Therapy 

Anxiety is a complicated mental health condition that covers a broad set of symptoms. In general, anxiety itself is the body’s response to stress and fear. It is the catalyst for the human body’s fight-or-flight response. A small amount of anxiety is normal, but for some they can experience extreme bouts of anxiety for a continuous amount of time. Individuals suffering from extreme anxiety related symptoms are more likely to be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder is a common anxiety disorder and with this disorder, people can feel extreme levels of anxiety in a number of situations, like work, school, social outings, etc. It is termed ‘generalized’ because it does not have to be anything specific that triggers symptoms. Generalized anxiety disorder is not the only condition in terms of anxiety that people can have and there is a wide range of disorders that falls under this category. Some of the different anxiety disorders include: 

  • Panic Disorder: Anyone struggling with panic disorder deals with repeated panic attacks that can become very intense very quickly. When someone is having a panic attack, they can literally feel like they are dying.    
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia): Social anxiety causes a fear of social situations because people may believe that the way they behave will be viewed negatively. Performance anxiety also falls under social phobia and people will be afraid of doing things like giving speeches.  
  • Specific Phobia: This is a disorder where a person has a fear of a specific object or situation. People can have fears of just about anything, such as spiders, heights, clowns, and much more. These fears are typically exaggerated in their mind, as there is no actual danger. 
  • Agoraphobia: Those with agoraphobia have a major fear of places or situations where they might feel trapped. It can be a very debilitating condition, as many people become so anxious that they cannot leave their homes.  

The classification of anxiety disorders matters in relation to therapy. How your therapist goes about designing a treatment plan for you and setting goals for anxiety therapy will be different based on what disorder you have. Although there are many forms of therapy to treat anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are typically the most effect approaches 

What is a Treatment Plan 

For a therapist or counselor to provide effective coping skills when managing anxiety symptoms, they will develop a uniquely tailored treatment plan.  Treatment plans are a good way to track progress and ensure that clients are receiving the appropriate care. When a therapist creates a client’s treatment plan they will include the goals that you have both discussed and agreed on. Having concrete goals set out at the beginning of your therapy is an important way to help you overcome your mental health conditions and get the most out of your treatment. They give you the chance to actively engage with what you are taught in therapy. Whether you are seeking treatment for anxiety or depression or both, a solid treatment plan will have set goals, measurable objectives, and a reasonable timeline for your progress. The treatment plan will also be tailored to your specific needs and what you are hoping to get out of therapy.  

General Structure of Goals 

A popular approach for patient goal setting is SMART goals. The SMART approach is frequently utilized in cognitive behavioral therapy .The SMART approach incorporates a set of 5 criteria to develop effective goal setting. SMART stands for: 

  • Specific: Clearly defined objectives that include actions you will need to take or skills you need to learn to be able to hit your goals. By setting a goal that is specific, rather than vague, and incorporating how you will accomplish it will make it more attainable. Also keep in mind that it is okay to be flexible when you need to be (ex. Having to change the time of day you actively work on your goal) and give yourself grace to make sure you can meet your goals.  
  • Measurable: Goals should be quantifiable and measurable so you know how far you’ve come. This includes the standards that will be used to measure your progress towards those goals. Being able to clearly see your progress will help keep you motivated to meet your goals and also give you an idea of whether a goal and your actions are actually working to improve the symptoms of your mental health condition.  
  • Achievable: You need to set goals that challenge you to grow. They should also be realistic for you to meet in a certain time frame, so that when you meet these goals you see that you are fully capable of achieving things for yourself and grow your confidence levels. If you set unrealistic goals and can’t meet them then this can cause you to give up entirely and possibly even set you back in your treatment. 
  • Relevant: Goals should directly relate to the mental health conditions and symptoms you are experiencing. They should also be inspiring to you specifically to keep you motivated to continue trying. If you're uninterested in that goal then you are less likely to stick with it and might give up when obstacles present themselves, as they naturally do. This also means that the goal should have significance to you and not to your therapist. 
  • Time-Bound: Having a clear time-line for you to meet your goals will help you stay on track and not want to give up as easily. Being able to conceptualize a time frame will also help you to prioritize your goals and work them into a potentially busy lifestyle. You can set either long-term or short-term goals, as long as there is a tangible deadline in place. 

Individuals can also take the concept and create SMART goals on their own to change any lifestyle behaviors they wish, which may lead to healthier and happier lives.  

Therapy Goals for Anxiety 

As stated above, the specific goals that you have will depend on the type of anxiety you experience and will be established between you and your therapist. Some general example goals for anxiety could be: 

-A client wants to be less isolated and will initiate at least one social contact per week for the month. 

-A client wants to better manage anxiety during the week and will reduce panic attacks from the current 7 times a week to 4 times or fewer in the next three months and will track the number of panic attacks they have in this time period. 

-Client wants to correct distorted, spiraling thoughts that trigger anxiety and will practice challenging those thoughts with realistic thoughts and breathing techniques when they occur over the next two weeks and will journal about their thoughts.   

Therapy Goals for Depression 

Depression treatment goals can address a range of symptoms. If you do not know what goals you want to set then your therapist can help you decide what is important to work on for you.

Some general example goals for depression could be: 

-Client wants to have less negative thoughts about themselves and will practice positive self-talk when negative thoughts start to encroach for the next two months and will complete a scored questionnaire to determine if negative thoughts decrease. 

-Client has trouble with sleeping and will keep a sleep journal over the next two weeks to identify any unhealthy habits that should be changed. 

-Client wants to be more active in order to boost their mood and will engage in at least one physical activity, such as going for a walk, three times a week for the next three weeks and will track how many times they complete an activity. 

Need Help for Anxiety and Depression? 

If you are looking for therapy services for mental health concerns, or if you have any questions regarding our services, call Gemini Health today! Our highly skilled mental health professionals are experienced in treating various mental and behavioral health concerns. They offer both individual and group therapy. Plus, there are no wait times to join groups. Call (301) 363-1063 and speak to our staff to schedule your appointment today!  

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