What's so great about group therapy?

Here are some of the ways group will benefit your clients-

  • When your clients participate in a group they realize that their problems are not unique and that they are not alone.

  • Groups are comprised of members with different levels of recovery. Seeing other people who are coping well provides hope to those who are just beginning the process.

  • Therapy groups are just like families. Members get to explore the way childhood experiences are impacting their relationships in the present.

Here are some ways group will benefit your practice-

  • Witnessing an individual client interact in a group setting will offer you some insight into the way that client interacts with people in his/her personal life.

  • Groups are exciting and dynamic, and the experience will provide you with an opportunity to use clinical skills you don’t get to practice with individual clients.

  • If the client is not in individual therapy, they might decide to see you for concurrent group and individual therapy.

I am currently offering a women’s process group in my practice on Monday evenings. If you are interested in learning more about group therapy, check out www.gpala.org.

Thyroid Blues

Hypothyroidism is sometimes referred to as “low thyroid”. This means that your body is not getting enough thyroid hormone to function well. It’s often an unrecognized cause of depression. One of the challenges to treating low thyroid is that many doctors will consider thyroid test results alone and won’t consider the fact that each person’s body is different. These doctors go strictly by the thyroid ranges and will not adjust the dose if your results fall within the normal range. In her book, The Menopause Thyroid Solution, Mary J. Shomon (2009) explains how different doctors use different ranges for the thyroid test, and even within those ranges we are all different. The issue of blood testing is complex and it is compounded by the fact that many people don’t feel comfortable questioning their doctors. 

In our work as psychotherapists, it’s important that we understand the relationship between thyroid disease and mental health. Below is a list of the symptoms of hypothyroidism (slow thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (fast thyroid). These symptoms often show up for clients who may have undiagnosed thyroid disease and/or entering perimenopause. I encourage all my clients to get annual physicals and regular blood work. I am not suggesting you work outside of your scope of practice, just be aware that these physical issues can seriously affect your client’s mental health.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism- Low (Slow)Thyroid
Constant fatigue or feeling of exhaustion
Puffiness in the face
Trouble getting started in the morning
Low body temperature
Sensitivity to cold weather
Menstrual irregularity
Depression
Hair Loss
Low sex drive
Poor memory or concentration
Sluggish thinking or thought patterns
Infertility, repeated miscarriages
Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight despite efforts at dieting

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism- High (Fast) Thyroid
Anxiety
Insomnia
Rapid Weight Loss
Diarrhea
High heart rate
High blood pressure
Eye Sensitivity
Bulging
Vision disturbances

This is not a complete list, these are some examples of the symptoms you might hear about in sessions with your clients. Sources- Depression and Your Thyroid by Gary Ross. M.D and Peter Beiling, PH.D (2006) & The Menopause Thyroid Solution by Mary Shomon.

Addiction to Distraction

Photo by Yoshi Sodeoka

Click on the title above for this interesting article, written by Tony Schwartz, a writer for the NY Times.  It's about one of my favorite topics, our society's "addiction to busy".  Schwartz writes about his own struggles with getting distracted and losing time online.  In this busy world, it's important to be mindful of how much time we spend online.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying our online time; the problem begins when it distracts us from doing the things we love most.

 

Finding space in the clearing

Yesterday I listened to Tara Brach's recent podcast titled "The Sacred Pause" on her homepage.  http://www.tarabrach.com/  She talks about how sometimes we fall into a"Doing Trance".  I call this our "addiction to busy".  She mentioned lovely poem by Martha Postlewaite.  I encourage you to create a clearing in your own life.
Clearing
Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life
and wait there patiently,
until the song that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know how to give yourself
to this world
so worth of rescue.