What is Mental Fitness?
Mental fitness includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental fitness is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
- Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
- Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
- Family history of mental health problems
Mental health problems are usually diagnosed by psychologists or psychiatrists. Many people have specific disorders. For others, the problems are more general or situational. In both cases, people benefit from psychological services from a psychologist or other mental health professional. Here are some common mental illnesses that people experience. If one or more of these disorders sounds true for you or family members, give us a call. We’d be happy to help!
What are Psychological Services?
Psychological services come in many forms. You may need one or more of the following: therapy/counseling; psychological testing, neuropsychological testing; couples therapy; or family therapy. Each of these services is discussed on our homepage. We would love to talk with you about your needs and what we can do to help.
What happens in Therapy/Counseling?
Your first appointment with the psychologist will allow you to get to know each other. You will talk about your problems, identify your goals, and work with your therapist to develop a treatment plan. Remember, the treatment plan is flexible and will be modified depending on your goals and needs. After that first appointment, you will meet with your therapist regularly to talk about what has happened since the last appointment and what is going on now. The therapist’s job is to help you process your thoughts and feelings as you work together to achieve your particular goals.
How often do I see my therapist and how long will treatment last?
You will see your therapist once a week or every other week, depending on your particular situation. Therapy may last as little as 6 weeks or may be long-term. We recommend you discuss these questions with your therapist during your first meeting.
Will my insurance pay for these services?
Most insurance companies cover these services. You may need to talk with your insurance carriers about behavioral health benefits. They can explain your specific benefits, costs (copays & deductibles), and also tell you whether or not a psychologist or other specialist is a certified provider for your insurance plan.
What is Depression?
Depression is a condition that negatively affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. In contrast to normal sadness, clinical depression is persistent, often interferes with a person’s ability to experience or anticipate pleasure, and significantly interferes with functioning in daily life. Some people with depression become so hopeless they think about hurting themselves, including thoughts of suicide.
What is Anniety?
Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
What is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) represent a range of brain disorders that are characterized by restricted patterns of behavior and impairments in social communication and interactions. These disorders share common origins and features, but are classified as spectrum disorders because symptoms and severity vary among individuals. We have many popular ideas about Autism, such as whether someone makes eye contact or plays with toys a certain way, or flaps their hands. Some of these behaviors may be part of Autism, but they are not the only or even most important symptoms.
What is ADHD?
Everybody can have difficulty sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulsive behavior once in a while. For some people, however, the problems are so pervasive and persistent that they interfere with every aspect of their life: home, academic, social and work.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is now included as one type of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting children and adults. ADHD is characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity.
What are Eating Disorders?
There are several eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder, and other unspecified eating disorders, such as purging disorder. They differ based on the types of problems with eating and the factors thought to motivate those behaviors. Eating too little is often present in all of these illnesses but dominates anorexia nervosa and avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder; in binge-eating disorder and bulimia, there may be problems with eating too much and too quickly but then too little most of the time. Problems with eating uncontrollably and compulsively called a binge, are a part of both bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Problems with purging behaviors, such as vomiting or laxatives, can be part of all of the illnesses but is required for bulimia nervosa and purging disorder. Motivations surrounding the initiation of eating disorder behaviors vary a lot and may even change in the course of the disorders. For example, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa tend to have a stronger relationship between one’s own physical appearance and self-worth but fear of eating may motivate food restriction in avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder.
What is PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger.
What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? (OCD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a complex mental illness that affects every sufferer differently. Contrary to what many people believe, it is not all about handwashing and organization. People with OCD have both obsessions (uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts) and compulsions (repetitive behaviors the person is compelled to perform).
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Some people who experience frequent mood problems (depression, anxiety, frequently changing moods) also notice that they have difficulty in relationships, that they are impulsive, and that the world can seem strange or unreal at times. They may also harm themselves, have thoughts of suicide, and even take suicidal action. Sometimes people are assigned several different diagnoses to explain these problems. But if symptoms come and go with stress, especially interpersonal stress, and change rapidly (within hours), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) may be a better explanation, and it is worth discussing this possibility with a professional who knows about BPD.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
We often use this label to refer to people who change their minds often or go quickly from happy to sad, but Bipolar Disorder is much more. It used to be called manic-depressive illness and it involves periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and unusual behaviors. These distinct periods are called “mood episodes.” Mood episodes are drastically different from the moods and behaviors that are typical for the person. Extreme changes in energy, activity, and sleep go along with mood episodes.
What is Couples Therapy? Or marrage Counseling?
Couple's therapy (also couples' counseling or marriage therapy) attempts to improve romantic relationships and resolve interpersonal conflicts.
Marriage counseling, also called couples therapy, is a type of psychotherapy. Marriage counseling helps couples of all types recognize and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships. Through marriage counseling, you can make thoughtful decisions about rebuilding and strengthening your relationship or going your separate ways.
Marriage counseling is often provided by licensed therapists known as marriage and family therapists.
Marriage counseling is often short term. Marriage counseling typically includes both partners, but sometimes one partner chooses to work with a therapist alone. The specific treatment plan depends on the situation.
"Studies show that, in the hands of a good counselor, marriage counseling is successful 70- 80% of the time," says William Doherty, PhD, LCSW. Doherty is a professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota.
What is Psychological Testing?
Psychological testing is the administration of psychological tests, which are designed to be "an objective and standardized measure of a sample of behavior". The term sample of behavior refers to an individual's performance on tasks that have usually been prescribed beforehand. The samples of behavior that make up a paper-and-pencil test, the most common type of test, are a series of items. Performance on these items produce a test score. A score on a well-constructed test is believed to reflect a psychological construct such as achievement in a school subject, cognitive ability, aptitude, emotional functioning, personality, etc. Differences in test scores are thought to reflect individual differences in the construct the test is supposed to measure. The science behind psychological testing is psychometrics.
What is o Educational Testing?
Educational assessment is the systematic process of documenting and using empirical data on the knowledge, skill, attitudes, and beliefs to refine programs and improve student learning.
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