What is Talk Therapy?
Talk Therapy is the common – and quite apt – name for the form of psychotherapy used by most therapists around Durango. It combines Psychoeducation and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with empathic listening. Psychoeducation includes, for example, teaching clients to understand their dysfunctional behaviors as survival strategies. CBT, on the other hand, uses understanding (aka cognition) to change behavior. Empathic listening helps clients accept their past experiences and behaviors while preparing change. Talk Therapy creates rapport and sets the groundwork for my work.
Psychoeducation refers to the process of providing education and information to those who are seeking or receiving mental health services or their family members.
The goal of psychoeduation is to help people better understand their specific challenges, whether it be trauma, anxiety, depression, ADHD or another psychological condition. It is considered an essential aspect of all therapy programs. Those who have a thorough understanding of the challenges they are facing as well as knowledge of internal and external resources, and their own areas of strength are often better able to address difficulties, feel more in control of the condition(s), and have a greater internal capacity to work toward greater health and balance.
Moving beyond the “morality” paradigm to data-based assessment
Though the term “psychoeducation” has been in use for most of the 20th century, it did not gain traction until movements addressing the stigmatization (I call this the “morality” paradigm) of mental health concerns began working to increase mental health awareness. Many individuals experiencing chronic mental health conditions may face, in addition to symptoms that may be long-lasting or difficult to deal with, the added challenge of public stigma, which arises in many cases due to misconceptions about mental health issues. A good example of this is how rarely people talk about the their own mental health or the mental health of a family member, even though it may be truly debilitating.
At present, there are a variety of stigmas associated with mental health challenges. Individuals with mental health issues are often perceived by society to be weak, undisciplined, lazy, incapable of caring for themselves or others, or in possession of a poor character. Some people believe that those with mental health issues should be feared and excluded from the general community or blamed for their conditions.
In truth, mental health challenges are medical conditions that often have physical, mental and emotional contributors. They have little or nothing to do with character. They require careful assessment to accurately diagnose and treat. I use a battery of “self” and 360-degree assessments at the beginning of any therapy process to determine the specific issues that are in play. I use the results of these assessments to provide psychoeducation to my clients so that they fully understand the outcomes of the assessments and can weigh in on whether they make sense or not. From this point, we can be sure that treatment is focused on the right areas and issues.
Free phone consult
Even though therapy offers a chance to make long-lasting positive changes in your life, I know that starting therapy is often a difficult decision. I invite you to contact me to assess your needs at no cost by phone. There are no forms or paperwork to fill out. Why wait? Call today and start feeling better.