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"What is counseling like?"
"What types of therapy are there?"
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is a method of providing and receiving confidential counseling services through video or audio format. Telehealth platforms have long been used in offering counseling services to populations that would otherwise not have access to services. With current stay-at-home orders and the necessity for social distancing, telehealth is now a means of providing ongoing treatment in our very own community.
Is Telehealth counseling confidential?
Our therapists utilize a confidential and HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform when conducting video sessions. In addition, therapists prioritize being in a private space to ensure confidentiality when conducting sessions and will encourage you to find a private space as well so that your sessions is as confidential as if you were meeting in person. Although conducted over a video platform, sessions are never recorded.
Counseling online seems...weird. Is it?
Counseling via telehealth is different than an in-person session, but like many new experiences it is generally easily adapted to. Some people might even find the format of video-sessions more comfortable and less nerve-wracking. For therapists, it allows new opportunities to get to know our clients in different ways. If you have reservations about telehealth, we urge you to push through that initial hesitation or anxiety and give it a try - there is much to be learned from things we seek to avoid! At Thrive Counseling we have a shared knowledge of and training in telehealth counseling. Our therapists will work to provide an experience that feels both safe and comfortable.
What is a counseling session like?
At Thrive Counseling Services Albuquerque and Rio Rancho,
our counselors believe that the direction of sessions should based on your needs. For example:
If you are having panic attacks, you may learn skills to manage panic attacks.
If you are struggling with drinking too much, you may learn about why you may be drinking in the first place or why your brain craves alcohol on a biological level.
If you are having trouble finding and maintaining a healthy relationship, your Thrive counselor may discuss the patterns you engage in when you are in a relationship.
Certain parts of therapy are more structured (such as the initial information-gathering process) and are used to identify treatment goals. Ultimately, it is you, the client, who collaborates with your therapist to choose the direction your treatment will take.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is the most researched and widely used approach in modern counseling treatment.
Think of a human being as always being three basic pieces:
thoughts, emotions (including bodily sensations), and behaviors.
The really important idea here is that all three of these parts
of you are always interacting and taking you in one direction or another.
Consider this about yourself right now:
You are thinking something. Maybe you're thinking to yourself, "This whole therapy thing is kind of weird but I think it may really be what I need." This thought is creating a feeling such as excitement and maybe even a little bit of discomfort. These feelings then produce a behavior such as picking up the phone to call a therapist or sending an email to set up a first session...or not. See how all of these parts of you can intermingle and create situations in your life?
Using CBT, a counselor helps you become aware that this very powerful process is happening within you and then they you use this process to be the person that you want to be in your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. CBT is especially powerful for depression, anxiety and addiction issues.
"Mindfulness involves paying attention to each event experienced in the present moment within our body and mind, with a non-judgmental, non-reactive and accepting attitude. In learning to be mindful, we can begin to counter many of our everyday sufferings such as stress, anxiety and depression because we are learning to experience events in a more impersonal and detached way. Mindfulness [as used in counseling]... has its roots in Vipassana meditation which was taught in India 2500 years ago and spread across all of Asia. Vipassana means 'insight' or 'seeing things as they truly are."
-MiCBT Institute (http://www.mindfulness.net.au)
At Thrive, mindfulness can be incorporated by your counselor in various ways and for many purposes such as to help give you a way to remain calm during overwhelming events or to enable you to accept thoughts, emotions, and body sensations that you cannot make go away. We also use variations of mindfulness for therapy such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Trauma-informed care is more of a framework than a therapeutic technique.
In utilizing this approach, a Thrive counselor can be sure to care appropriately for someone who has experienced trauma in their life, as well as help them heal from it.
At Thrive, we believe deeply that people who have experienced trauma can also achieve post-traumatic growth. EMDR is one technique that is used at Thrive to work with people who have experienced trauma and we have multiple counselors who are trained in this technique.
EMDR therapy uses a technique wherein there is
movement back and forth from the eyes (similar to
Rapid Eye Movement in dream states, though done
voluntarily by the client), or from one side of the body
to another. This could be done with a device held
in each hand, the therapist tapping alternate sides, or audio from one ear to the other. This stimulation is done while the individual recalls and relates a difficult memory and works to assist the brain in reprocessing. EMDR therapy is designed to work with many different levels of trauma. There are many ways to heal, EMDR is one of them. Our brains are amazing and self-healing but sometimes they can be overwhelmed by traumatic memories. This could be a single event trauma leading to PTSD or a series of smaller traumas that have affected the individual, e.g. being bullied throughout grade school. It is here that EMDR therapy can give the brain some assistance. EMDR is like a prompt to help the brain take care of itself. EMDR is a way for a therapist at Thrive Counseling Services to address these difficult or traumatic memories that are getting in the way of an individual becoming the person they would like to be. EMDR does not get rid of memories, but rather helps to change our relationship to them so that they no longer negatively affect us. EMDR helps us to hold our memory but not to be held by it. If you decide to work with a therapist at Thrive trained in EMDR you shouldn’t expect to “do EMDR” in your first sessions. EMDR therapy requires a strong level of trust between you and your therapist. An alliance is needed for a therapeutic relationship to be successful, but when working with trauma this trust is crucial. The decision to engage in EMDR therapy is a personal one and your therapist at Thrive Counseling Services will assess your readiness to begin this treatment. First and foremost, your therapist will assess your safety. Traditional talk therapy can help with additional processing as you move into a life that is less impacted by past trauma. For more information on EMDR, click here or here, or watch the video below.
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