Suicide Prevention

5 Simple Steps to Help Prevent Suicide

By | Anxiety, Biltmore, Blog, Communication, Coping, Depression, Grief & Loss, Mental Health, PTSD, Stress, Suicide | No Comments

Earlier in the week we shared a TED Talk about how to start a conversation about suicide. In the last few months we have had a number of big name celebrities die from suicide. Our media once again has become saturated with those who many of us look up to and their decision to take their own lives.

Whether you think that posting about it, talking about it, or sharing about it glorifies suicide or supports prevention, there are a few basic steps we all need to be reminded of to help someone close to use who might be struggling.

According to Elana Premack Sandler L.C.S.W, M.P.H and her article on Psychology Today, there are 5 simple steps for suicide prevention.

  1. Ask
  2. Keep Them Safe
  3. Be There
  4. Help Them Connect
  5. Follow Up

It is hard to know what to do when someone we love has started to talk about suicide. Do we talk to them about it? Do we call for help? Do we ignore it and hope it goes away? Do we force them to get help?

These days there are a number of suicide prevention numbers and hotlines to call. 1-800-273-8255 is the National Suicide Hotline, and here in Arizona there is a local number called Empact 1-480-784-1514

But when you are close to someone and see them struggling, it’s easy to be unsure of what to do. These 5 simple steps are easy to remember, and can help someone you love get the help they need. Sometimes we are afraid of asking if someone is thinking about taking their own life, but we need to ask these tough questions. It opens the door for our loved ones to know that we care about them, and are concerned. When we take action to keep them safe, we can keep a situation from escalating. We can keep them on the phone, go over to their house if possible, send a neighbor or a friend over while we are connecting them with phone numbers or other resources for help.

It is important to follow up with our loved one and ask them how they are doing. By following up we are letting that person know we care about their long term health and happiness, and are willing to step in to keep them safe.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please give them the Empact Crisis Line phone number 1-480-784-1514 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

We are here to help as well. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, call our office at 1-480-999-7070.

 

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Types of Treatment for PTSD

By | Anxiety, Biltmore, Blog, CBT, Coping, Counseling, Depression, Mental Health, PTSD, Stress | No Comments

When you or a loved one has suffered from a traumatic event, what can you expect when you seek treatment? There are a lot of different types of treatments out there, and the success always depends on the individual. But according to The American Psychological Association, there are four main types of treatments that they recommend during therapy for those suffering from PTSD.

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  2. Cognitive Processing Therapy
  3. Cognitive Therapy
  4. Prolonged Exposure

CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a very common and well know treatment for clients who are seeking psychological help for their PTSD. It generally has the client focus on the behaviors, thoughts and/or feelings that they are associating with the trauma they experienced. When these behaviors, thoughts, and feelings are identified, they are then worked to change them from a negative pattern to a more positive one. When changing a behavior, it can then change the thoughts or feelings that go along with that behavior. And vice versa, changing the thoughts and feelings associated with a certain type of behavior can then in turn change the behavior.

CPT or Cognitive Processing Therapy is the specific type of CBT that allows clients to learn how to change the negative thoughts/feelings and behaviors associated with the trauma. It will give clients the tools to change and replace behaviors and thoughts in order to eliminate the negativity in their lives.

CT or Cognitive Therapy involves focusing on the thoughts a person is having that keeps bringing them back to the trauma and negative experience. CT will change or “interrupt” the thought process, in order to redirect the thoughts so that they are not having such an impact on the persons every day life.

Prolonged Exposure is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that has the client focus on the memories, thoughts and/or feelings they have been avoiding that surround the traumatic event. It helps the client get rid of the avoidance, and face the memories head on, in order to challenge the memories/thoughts/feelings. This can help the client become aware the memories do not need to be avoided, and can actually be worked through in a positive manner.

Whatever type of treatment is done, or is sought out by the client, we know this can be a very difficult time in a persons life. We encourage anyone who has suffered or is suffering from something traumatic to seek help. You deserve to feel better, and to have control over your life!

 

 

 

To read more on the treatments at APA go here.

Dr. Sheri Clark, PhD

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) with Dr Sheri Clark

By | Anxiety, Biltmore, Blog, Coping, Depression, EMDR, PTSD | No Comments

We would like to highlight our very own Dr Sheri Clark, who does wonderful work in the area of anxiety and trauma. While all of our Counselors here see clients who are in need of services related to anxiety, depression and trauma in the past, Dr Clark completed the lengthy requirements for the Basic Training for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy treatment that has shown great success in patients suffering from traumatic events. It was developed to help distressing memories associated with a particularly traumatic event from ones life.  EMDR has been extremely beneficial to people of all ages and helped to relieve psychological stressors.

Further, according to EMDR International Association EMDR is designated as an effective treatment by the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and many other international health agencies.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr Clark, or want to read more about her you can visit our website or call the office at 480-999-7070

How PTSD Can Affect Your Marriage

By | PTSD, Relationships | No Comments

If you are suffering from PTSD, you know how painful it can be. But what is it like for your partner? I’m sure your partner is doing everything they can to be supportive and understanding, but it can be difficult to watch someone you love go through something so painful and not be sure how to help.

No matter what the trauma was that caused the post traumatic stress, it can surface in your relationship in many different ways according to Good Therapy’s article by Anastasia Polluck, LCMHC, Posttrauamtic Stress Topic Expert Contributor. She states that relationships affected by PTSD can look like:

  • Avoidance of and decrease in emotional and physical intimacy
  • Isolation
  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness by both partners
  • Feelings of frustration, anger, confusion, and sadness
  • Increase in anxiety
  • More frequent arguments and difficulty finding resolution to problems

The most important thing here is to know that these items need to be addressed, spoken about, and a solution of some sort on the horizon in order for the relationship to survive. Ignoring or “waiting” until the traumatized individual “gets over” their PTSD is likely not going to happen in a healthy and productive manner. Anastasia Polluck goes on to list several things that the partner and the traumatized individual can do to get through this difficult time.

  1. Don’t try to fix or heal the trauma and the accompanying symptoms your partner is experiencing
  2. Don’t take it personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Consider getting counseling for the individual who did not experience the trauma.
  5. Involve your partner and communicate regularly.
  6. Attend counseling for the traumatized individual regularly, and work with your therapist to improve symptoms.

If you want to read more about how to execute these 6 items, head on over to Good Therapy and read the article. She writes a lot of good information, that can be enlightening to those who have a loved one going through something AND for those who are going through it.

Male Counselor with pen and pad, facing a stressed young man on a couch.

The First Signs You Might Be Suffering From PTSD

By | Anxiety, Biltmore, Blog, Coping, Counseling, Depression, Mental Health, PTSD, Resolution, Sleep Deprivation, Stress, Suicide | No Comments

What are some of the signs you might be suffering with, or that you might be seeing someone close to you suffer with that could be an early indication of PTSD?

According to American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V2, in order to be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder you must exhibit a few different groups of behaviors. Those are intrusion symptoms, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. And these groups of symptoms are diagnosed by a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist.

Before this diagnosis happens, one might start having difficulty immediately after a particularly traumatic event. These early signs of stress after trauma can be a wide range of behaviors and emotions. The thoughts and emotions can lead to reactionary behaviors that could be considered warning signs that PTSD might be on the horizon. When trying to heal from a traumatic event, understanding how the event has changed your thought process, your emotions and your entire life early following the event is the key to help from developing PTSD. It is important to get help soon after, or get your loved one help soon after the event and if they start to exhibit emotions or behaviors that are not consistent with how they were before the event.

Some signs to look out for:

1- Sleeping Difficulties

2- Anger

3-Numbness and Disconnection

4-Depression

5-Chronic Anxiety

6-Reliving the Trauma

7-Feeling Unsafe

8-Suicidal Thoughts

9-Relationships Changes (person might become more irritable, angry, and have more conflicts in their relationships)

10-Loss of Self Esteem

11-Work Performance Declines

12-Lifestyle Changes (person might stop going to their gym classes, or stop engaging in other hobbies they used to love)

13-New Use (or increased use) of Drugs and Alchohl

Experiencing a traumatic event affects the person it happened to, as well as everyone surrounding this person. It is important to be supportive and loving, and to recognize when someone might not be coping with the event in a healthy manner. It is also important to recognize as a loved one, when you yourself might not be coping with the change in the loved one. Keeping communication open, getting the help that is needed on all accounts, are great first steps before a diagnosis of full fledged Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is considered. To read more about the early signs of PTSD, check out this article at Psychology Today by Jennifer Sweeton PsyD.