CBT for Weight Loss in Dallas

Weight LossLooking for CBT for Weight Loss in the Dallas area?  Uptown Dallas Counseling can help.

From The Beck Diet Solution workbook:  Feeling deprived is a state of mind. You can limit yourself to one cookie and think, “This is so unfair, I wish I could eat more, this really stinks,” OR you could limit yourself to one cookie and think, “It’s not all-or-nothing. I can still have one cookie and lose weight. Good for me for stopping here, this will really help me reach my goals.”

If you are looking for help in using CBT for Weight Loss in Dallas, Uptown Dallas Counseling can help.

Uptown Dallas Counseling Favorite Post

Uptown Dallas Counseling shares a favorite post from 2014:

Comedian and actress Ruby Wax gave a TED talk where she spoke about her struggles with depression. She used lots of comedy mixed with some serious science and statistics about depression.
According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives, but two-thirds will never seek help from a professional. Even when you isolate the U.S. population, the numbers are the same.
If you are suffering from depression or other type of mental illness, seek help from a professional. You are not alone. You do not have to go through this alone.
TED talk by Ruby Wax on Mental Illness
uptown dallas counseling happiness

Uptown Dallas Counseling writes about Diet and Mental Health

mental health and diet

From the University of Melbourne via Uptown Dallas Counseling:

Evidence is rapidly growing showing vital relationships between both diet quality and potential nutritional deficiencies and mental health, a new international collaboration led by the University of Melbourne and Deakin University has revealed.

Published in The Lancet Psychiatry today, leading academics state that as with a range of medical conditions, psychiatry and public health should now recognize and embrace diet and nutrition as key determinants of mental health.

Lead author, Dr Jerome Sarris from the University of Melbourne and a member of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR), said psychiatry is at a critical stage, with the current medically-focused model having achieved only modest benefits in addressing the global burden of poor mental health.

“While the determinants of mental health are complex, the emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition as a key factor in the high prevalence and incidence of mental disorders suggests that nutrition is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology and gastroenterology,” Dr Sarris said.

“In the last few years, significant links have been established between nutritional quality and mental health. Scientifically rigorous studies have made important contributions to our understanding of the role of nutrition in mental health,” he said.

Findings of the review revealed that in addition to dietary improvement, evidence now supports the contention that nutrient-based prescription has the potential to assist in the management of mental disorders at the individual and population level.

Studies show that many of these nutrients have a clear link to brain health, including omega-3s, B vitamins (particularly folate and B12), choline, iron, zinc, magnesium, S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), vitamin D, and amino acids.

“While we advocate for these to be consumed in the diet where possible, additional select prescription of these as nutraceuticals (nutrient supplements) may also be justified,” Dr Sarris said.

Associate Professor Felice Jacka, a Principal Research Fellow from Deakin University and president of the ISNPR noted that many studies have shown associations between healthy dietary patterns and a reduced prevalence of and risk for depression and suicide across cultures and age groups.

“Maternal and early-life nutrition is also emerging as a factor in mental health outcomes in children, while severe deficiencies in some essential nutrients during critical developmental periods have long been implicated in the development of both depressive and psychotic disorders,” she said.

A systematic review published in late 2014 has also confirmed a relationship between ‘unhealthy’ dietary patterns and poorer mental health in children and adolescents. Given the early age of onset for depression and anxiety, these data point to dietary improvement as a way of preventing the initial incidence of common mental disorders.

Dr Sarris, an executive member of the ISNPR, believes that it is time to advocate for a more integrative approach to psychiatry, with diet and nutrition as key elements.

“It is time for clinicians to consider diet and additional nutrients as part of the treating package to manage the enormous burden of mental ill health,” he said.

Counseling for the NEW YEAR

Thinking about seeking counseling for the New Year’s Resolutions you made?
Four Simple Strategies for Improving Mental Health
Every year, many of us resolve to improve our health — by losing 10 pounds, hitting the gym more often or quitting smoking. All are valuable goals. But our mental health also deserves attention.
“Your mental health is crucial to your well-being and happinessIf you are not mentally healthy, it will take a bodily toll,” says Jon Allen, PhD, a senior psychologist at Menninger. He adds that physical and mental health are inextricable — for example, lack of sleep is associated with depression, increased stress and anxiety, and exacerbates existing mental illness. On the flip side, exercise helps improve mood and can lift depression.
To improve your mental health, Allen recommends a “body first” approach, which includes getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. And we can do even more to improve our mental well-being. Here are some simple strategies that can make a significant impact on your mental health this year.
  1. Accept what we can’t change. This time of year, we make lofty resolutions and seek quick changes to fix our problems, setting ourselves up for failure (think of gyms packed full in January, but empty by February). Our time might be better spent cultivating acceptance of what we can’t change, like a big city’s traffic jams, or a perceived physical flaw, says psychologistThomas Ellis, PsyD, ABPP, Menninger’s director of Psychology. “Very often positive mental health involves coming to terms with our weakness and shortcomings, and accepting that none of us is perfect,” Ellis says. It’s not easy, he admits, and requires practicing mindfulness, and learning to live in the present moment.
  2. Develop a commitment device. If you do decide to make a change, automate it with acommitment device — a way to lock yourself into an action and help you meet your goals. Clients in Menninger’s Pathfinder program, a community re-integration program, often use this technique to incorporate mentally healthy behaviors in their lives. For example, clients who want to commit to an exercise plan may have a friend come pick them up for workouts, saysBrad Kennedy, director of Rehabilitation Services. “We also have some clients who participate in an early morning meditation group at work. They keep their work clothes at work, to compel them to come into work early and attend the group, instead of sleeping in.”
  3. Spend time near someone your trust. “Research shows that just being in the presence of someone we trust is the most powerful way to reduce distress,” Allen says. Most advice to improve mental health focuses on individual efforts at self-regulation — exercising, meditation, relaxationAlthough such methods are very important for all of us, “they are not as effective asinterpersonal regulation of stress. We do our best when we outsource our stress regulation to trusted companions and confidants.” For people who don’t have strong relationships, Allen says a good way to forge connections is to join a structured group, such as church or community group, a club organized around a hobby or interest or a 12-step group or support group for people struggling with substance abuse or mental illness. A trained therapist also can provide guidance on building and nurturing relationships.
  4. Find a purpose and spend time nurturing it. Philosophers throughout the ages, including Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, have singled out love and work as central to good mental health. The same holds true today. Love doesn’t have to be romantic; it can be spiritual in nature, or directed toward family, friends or a shared purpose. Allen says work can be done in the pursuit of money, but it doesn’t have to be paid, as long as it is some form of “productive engagement,” such as taking care of family, volunteering in the community or following a creative pursuit. “A sense of purpose is essential to mental health,” Ellis adds. “Patients often talk about a feeling a sense of meaninglessness in their lives. If there is not a sense of meaning and purpose, it is very difficult to be happy.”
Improving mental health is not always easy, Ellis emphasizes, and sometimes it helps to enlist the help of a mental health professional. But progress is within our power. “There is a strong correspondence between the things we do and how we feel. How we process information and how we take action in our lives impacts our mental health. In other words, our biochemistry is not fate. There are ways we can work through adversity and feel better.”

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From Uptown Dallas Counseling Study Tips.

Looking for a way to improve your studying skills?  Joseph Stromberg of Vox.com writes about his interview with psychologists Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel — who’ve spent a combined 80 years studying learning and memory, and recently distilled their findings with novelist Peter Brown in the book Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.  Here is a summary of their findings.

STUDY SMARTER

For more information on smart studying skills, contact Holly Scott at Uptown Dallas Counseling.

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HUGS are GOOD

Megan at TipsyWriter offers 4 Fun Facts on why hugs are so great.

HUGS ARE GOOD

Uptown Dallas Counseling provides therapy for depression and anxiety.  For appointments for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Contact Holly Scott at www.UptownDallasCounseling.com


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Depression & Humor: Can they go together?

 

mental illness

Ruby Wax

Comedian and actress Ruby Wax gave a TED talk where she spoke about her struggles with depression.  She used lots of comedy mixed with some serious science and statistics about depression.

According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives, but two-thirds will never seek help from a professional. Even when you isolate the U.S. population, the numbers are the same.

If you are suffering from depression or other type of mental illness, seek help from a professional.  You are not alone.  You do not have to go through this alone.

TED talk by Ruby Wax on Mental Illness

 

 

Take a Meditation Break

meditationIf you are looking for a guided meditation application to help relieve stress during your busy work day, try http://buddhify.com/

This site provides “Dozens of custom meditations for 14 different parts of your day including traveling, being online, taking a work break and going to sleep.”

The site developers say their application is “Lovingly designed, buddhify teaches you the techniques you need to bring more calm, awareness and compassion to our digital lives.”

Depression Therapy Treatment with Cognitive Therapy

Aaron Beck Cognitive Therapy

Dr. Judith Beck with her father, Dr. Aaron Beck

At a fundraiser on November 11, 2013, Aaron Beck talked with an audience about Depression Therapy.  While treating patients for depression in the 1960’s, he recognized a repeated pattern.  When he helped patients change their current thoughts about themselves, the patients’ moods would improve.  For example, a patient would stop thinking “I am useless” because he lost a job, to “I am talented, I will find a new job.”  Dr. Beck began to change his focus of therapy from analyzing childhood events, to challenging patients to change their negative thoughts.  Additionally, he began encouraging them to recognize and remember the many positive aspects of their lives.  He went into academia at the University of Pennsylvania where he expanded, researched, and taught his ideas to others in the field of psychology,

Dr. Beck, 92, is known as the father of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and is internationally respected for his views on psychotherapy.  Dr. Beck has written dozens of books detailing effective ways to treat different disorders by using his “thought changing” techniques.  The November 11 event was a fundraiser for his Beck Institute of Cognitive Therapy.  The money raised will be used to defray the costs of teaching CBT to practitioners and allow low-income clients to receive CBT treatment at the Institute.

Stacy Burling’s article published in the Inquirer on November 11, 2014 describes the details of the event:

Judith Beck, a formidable psychologist in her own right, describes her father, the psychiatrist Aaron Beck, with a mixture of amusement and veneration, as a “rock star.”

The Becks were the attractions at a fund-raising event last week for their Beck Institute in Bala Cynwyd. But it was clear that the elder Beck, known as the father of cognitive behavior therapy and one of the world’s most influential therapists, was the main draw.

Before they took the stage at WHYY in Center City to discuss their form of treatment – aimed at changing self-defeating thinking – they met with 70 “patrons” who had paid $250 a ticket for one-on-one access.

Aaron Beck, known as Tim to friends, is 92 and seriously stooped, but he was engaging and congenial as well-wishers waited in line for a chance to bend down to talk with him.

He seemed to relish the job of selling the institute, which he and Judith Beck founded 20 years ago. After the remaining 90 ticket-holders ($150 and $75) were within earshot, he joked that he and she had kept news of the center quiet until now.

“This is sort of a coming-out party for the Beck Institute,” he said.

The institute provides training in cognitive therapy as well as treatment. It recently expanded both and was raising money to help defray costs for students and patients who cannot afford the fees. This was its first fund-raiser.

“We decided the time was right to get the word out more about what we do,” Judith Beck said.

Many people think all psychotherapy is the same and equally effective, she said. “You need someone with a kind ear and the expertise to get you over what you’re suffering.”

Aaron Beck was an early advocate of measuring the effectiveness of his therapeutic approach and says cognitive therapy is now well-positioned because the Affordable Care Act encourages the use of “evidence-based” treatments.

Under the benevolent questioning of WHYY host Marty Moss-Coane, the Becks talked about their past and future with a very supportive audience.

Before Aaron Beck described how he happened on the new approach in the 1960s, he warned, “I’ve told this story before, so those who’ve heard it before can turn off their hearing aids.”

He was doing traditional psychotherapy when a patient revealed that she worried during their sessions that she was boring him. Her tales of her sexual escapades were not boring. Beck started asking other patients what they were thinking, and a theme emerged. As they went about their lives, they were telling themselves, “I am a loser.”

No wonder they were unhappy.

Beck thought it might be more fruitful to worry less about how patients felt about their mothers and work instead on changing their thinking. In each case, he’d ask them “What is the evidence?” for the negative thoughts, and challenge them to consider another explanation. He also urged them to focus more on positive things that happened, since his depressed patients seemed to selectively remember the bad.

Patients started feeling better, he said, and after 10 or 12 sessions, they told him they longer needed him.

“Until then, I was able to fill my schedule up,” Beck said drily.

This newfound efficiency, he said, led to his academic career at the University of Pennsylvania.

While new therapists get training in cognitive therapy, and many say they do it, Judith Beck said most are not doing what she recognizes as cognitive behavior therapy.

In a true CBT session, she said, the therapist assesses the patient’s mood, asks about changes since their last meeting, including positive events, and works with the patient to set an agenda for the hour. They talk about distorted automatic thoughts and how to change them.

At the end, the therapist asks the patient to summarize what happened and write down what was important. They talk about the patient’s homework for the next session, and the therapist asks for feedback and ideas on how to do better next time. That sets a “collaborative” tone.

As for the future, Aaron Beck said he thinks that evidence eventually will lead to a single approach. Cognitive therapy will be a big component of it, but it will be “fleshed out and modified in many ways.”

Aaron Beck, who uses an iPhone, iPad, and Skype, also thinks technology will bring better treatment to rural residents.

Judith Beck said her highly accomplished family – her mother is retired Superior Court Judge Phyllis Beck – gets along well.

“My father would say, ‘Problems are meant to be solved,’ ” she said.

“Have you thought about working with Congress?” Moss-Coane quipped at one point.

Aaron Beck said his publisher considered sending copies of his book, Prisoners of Hate, to lawmakers when it came out in 1999, but never did. 

http://articles.philly.com/2013-11-14/news/44033725_1_cognitive-therapy-beck-institute-aaron-beck

Depression Therapy: When is it time to see a Professional?

depression therapy Uptown Dallas Counseling
Depression or “being depressed” means something different to everyone.  The official “dictionary” of mental disorders used by psychiatric practitioners is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Revision 5 or DSM-V.  The DSM-V defines different levels and types of depression from mild to severe, depending on the specific symptoms present.  Most people do not have the 947-page DSM-V manual at home or on their kindles, so how do you know if you are depressed?  When should you seek professional help for depression therapy?
Most people who contact me for help with depression have symptoms that are affecting their ability to function on daily a daily basis.  These difficulties may include problems with home, work, or social life.  They may be personal feelings and emotions that include sadness, lack of motivation, low energy, or inability to concentrate.  Once symptoms of depression increase to the point where you can no longer complete normal daily activities, most people want to reach out for help.
What about other, more subtle signs of depression?  Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., an Associate Editor at Psych Central and author of Weightless, offers suggestions of when to seek help based on her interview with two experts in the field of mood disorders.  She interviewed Deborah Serani, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating mood disorders and Lee H. Coleman, Ph.D., ABPP, a clinical psychologist and assistant director and director of training at the California Institute of Technology’s student counseling center.
Here are some not-so-obvious reasons you may want to seek professional help for depression therapy.
  • You feel hopeless or helpless. According to Serani, your thoughts might sound something like this: “Why is everything so hard for me?  “Often, helplessness is a negative circle. If you feel helpless, you get more depressed. When you get more depressed, you feel helpless.”
  • You feel guilty, worthless or ashamed. Unfortunately, depression is sometimes misperceived as a character flaw (instead of a real, debilitating illness), said Serani, also author of the books Living with Depression and Depression and Your Child. “So many children and adults blame themselves for not being able to snap out of depressed episode.” They think: “I’m so stupid,” or “I can’t do anything right.”
  • You experience extreme irritability, anger or impatience, Serani said“These symptoms are often misunderstood and viewed as ‘burnout’ or ‘stress.’” However, when agitated individuals are further questioned, they “reveal more classical symptoms of depression like negative thinking, helplessness, sadness and hopelessness.”
  • You don’t want to be around others. You might start taking time off from work, Coleman said. “Coworkers might ask if you’re feeling OK, or comment to you that you don’t seem like yourself.” 
  • You have a harder time concentrating on tasks, even ones you enjoy, Coleman said. “It’s common for people with depression to read, write and even think more slowly.”
  • You’re tired, have less energy or don’t feel like getting out of bed, he said. “A lot of the time, the signs of depression show up in our bodies.”
  • You have headaches or body aches, Serani said.
  • Your sleeping patterns have changed. You might have trouble sleeping and wake up much earlier than you normally do, Coleman said. Or you start oversleeping. “The key is to look out for a major change in the way you sleep”
  • Your eating has changed. Some people with depression find food to be less appetizing and start to eat less, whereas others eat more than usual, Coleman said. Again, the factor to zero in on is change.

If you have any of the above symptoms, you may be clinically depressed.  Ask yourself if it is time to look for a professional to help alleviate these symptoms.

** If you’re having thoughts of suicide, please get help immediately. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255.