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Somatic Symptom Disorder

 

This is a psychological disorder that is characterized by an abnormal focus on physical symptoms. Symptoms are physical effects associated with various kinds of illnesses, and, typically, each particular illness or disease has it own distinct and identifiable series of specific physical symptoms. There are also general physical symptoms, such as fatigue or pain of various kinds. Associated with the physical symptoms are varying forms of mental or emotional distress, anxiety, and/or depression. Sometimes, the somatic symptom disorder is associated with an actual illness or disease, but for which the patient is responding inappropriately or out of proportion to the expected symptoms, or to unexpected symptoms.

 

Symptoms Obsession: While we all are concerned about the condition of our health, in a way something like hypochondriacs, people demonstrating somatic symptom disorder as preoccupied with what they interpret to be the symptoms of one or more unidentified illnesses or diseases out of proportion to reality. As with many people who, with the appearance of some unusual or unexpected physical symptom, they go to the doctor to discover the cause, the person with somatic symptom disorder, they may or may not go to the doctor and, if they go to the doctor, may or may not believe the doctor's diagnosis and prescribed treatment.

 

Indicators of Somatic Symptoms Disorder:

 

  • Generalized fatigue, or weakness or more specific shortness of breath or localized or general pain.

  • These symptoms cannot be directly related to a general or specific medical cause that has been identified, or symptoms associated to a particular cause, like heart disease or cancer, but different from the common symptoms that are typically expected.

  • Single symptoms, or multiple symptoms, or various symptoms.

  • The symptoms experienced may be severe, moderate, or mild.

 

 

The most common symptom is pain of some sort.

 

The symptoms are the cause of excessive worry and preoccupation, feelings, or behavior resulting from the consciousness of the symptoms. In turn, the worries, preoccupation, feelings, and behaviors in various ways create problems for the regular daily functioning of the individual. In some cases, the problems may be disabling.

 

Thoughts, feelings and behaviors:

 

  • Worrying constantly about potential illnesses.

  • The interpretation of common physical sensations as signs of severe illnesses or diseases.

  • Unreasoning fears that symptoms are serious despite evidence to the contrary.

  • Interpreting physical sensations as being harmful and/or life-threatening.

  • Believing that medical evaluations have not been adequate or correct.

  • Fears that physical activity my be harmful or injurious to your body.

  • Regular and repeatedly checking your body for abnormalities.

  • Frequent visits to doctors for health care services that either do not relieve the symptoms or seem to make them worse.

  • Unresponsiveness to medical treatment.

  • Unusual sensitivities or medication side effects.

  • Experiencing severe impairments beyond those expected for particular medical conditions.

 

 

Your feelings are the key to understanding somatic symptom disorder. While the physical symptom that you experience may seem significant, more significant are the emotional feelings and reactions that you have that are focused on the symptoms. How you interpret and react to the symptoms and how that effects your daily life is a critical issue.

 

Of course, in the case of physical symptoms, see your medical doctor first. But after doing so and having followed the treatment and taking the medications prescribed for you, if the symptoms continue, it may be a signal of somatic symptom disorder. If you suspect that there is more to your symptoms than medicine is treating and recognize the mental and emotions effects the symptoms are having on your daily life, you should see a psychologist. A professional psychologist can help you identify the emotional issues related to the symptoms that you are feeling and can help in alleviating and mitigating them through a number of possible approaches and techniques.

 

 

What is Psychotherapy?

 

Psychotherapy, which is also known as “talk therapy,” is one significant way that people having a variety of emotional problems can be helped. The general objectives of psychotherapy are: 1) to discover and understand the source of the problems, and, 2) to gain control over or eliminate symptoms and problems. The final purpose of psychotherapy is to help the patient improve the quality of their lives, improve their daily functioning, to promote healing, and increase the patient's sense of well-being.

 

The focus of psychotherapy can be on a full range of emotional and psychological problems, from annoying phobias to socially disabling mental illnesses. It might be concerned with grieving and the loss of a loved one, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), depression, anxiety, or particular mental or emotional disorders and/or behaviors.

 

Psychotherapy can take a variety of forms, and the professional psychologist can determine which will be the most effective dealing with particular problems. Different problems require different approaches, and, again, the psychologist is the person, having knowledge of virtually all approaches, qualified to select one or more that is best suited for the individual and the problem they are encountering.

 

Sessions

 

Periods of time spent in communication with the psychologist are generally called “sessions.” While one tends to think of a psychological therapy session as a one-on-one interpersonal interchange between the psychologist and the patient, sessions can also take other forms, such as family therapy, two-person marital counseling, or group settings involving several people. Nevertheless, the most common form of psychotherapy is one-on-one between the patient and the psychologist.

 

Most sessions are 50 minutes long, and in psychotherapy, this time is not spent in the psychologist telling the patient what is wrong. The time is spent in a communication interchange between patient and psychologist working together on discovering and identifying the true nature of the problem, developing effective ways of approaching the problem, information and coping mechanisms and strategies, the development of conditions which identify progress in improvement on the problem, and concepts of what some form of final “healing” for the problem might be, the evaluation that the patient is “cured.”

 

Relationship and trust are two critical elements of the psychotherapy situation. A working relationship must be created between the psychologist and the patient in which communication flows freely. An essential element of the relationship is trust, and it affects both sides of the relationship: For the psychologist, she or he must be able to trust what the patient is saying, trust that the patient is being honest, forthright, and truthful. For the patient, the trust must be in the psychologist as having the best interests of the patient at heart. Further, the patient must trust that the psychologist will keep all personal information received from the patient completely private, shared with no one else. Reciprocal trust is the essential element in the psychologist-patient relationship. The final benefits from the process of psychotherapy are predicated on the validity of the trust between the patient and the psychologist.

 

The time period in which psychotherapy takes place is dependent on a number of factors: the severity of the problem encountered by the patient, the process necessary to alleviate the symptoms and problems, the cooperation of the patient, the environmental circumstances of the patient, and other relevant factors to be determined. Short-term treatment can require only a few sessions, but long-term treatment can take a number of sessions over a period of time. The duration for which the problem has been effective and the complexity of the problem(s) directly affects the length of time for psychotherapy. After the exact nature of the problem or problem has been identified, it is up to the psychologist and the client to agree on a desirable terms for treatments to take place.

 

A critical element of the psychotherapeutic process is the matter of confidentiality. The patient must share intimate thoughts and feelings with the psychologist with the full understanding that the information will remain fully private between the psychologist and the patient only. Further, it must be understood that while there is close communication in the professional relationship, it must remain professional and cannot involve any untoward emotional involvement or physical relationship.

 

Psychotherapy represents a very positive and effective way of approaching a wide variety of personal and emotional problems. If you are uncertain about how psychotherapy could be of benefit to you in your specific situation and with your specific problems, set up an evaluative appointment with a psychologist for an initial consultation. It will be a first step in a positive direction.

 

 

Phobias

 

Definition: Phobias are a specific type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by an excessive and persistent fear of some particular thing or situation. While the phobia could develop rather rapidly, often they are the result of one or more experiences with the focus on the emotional response which produced negative effects, such as anxiety, fear, rejection, and/or avoidance. To be considered to be a phobia, clinically, the reaction must be present for six months of more.

 

 

The phobia is most commonly triggered by the appearance of some particular thing or situation. However, it may also be triggered by the thought of something or the anticipation of encountering it at sometime in the future, usually the near future.

 

 

The typical reaction when the phobic individual finds him or herself in the presence of the phobia-inducing stimulus is to get away from its presence as quickly as possible. Thus, the person who has a phobia for clowns, for example, will seek to get away from a situation in which they are confronted by a clown in some way. The presence of the phobia-inducing stimulus need not be in the phobic individual's immediate physical presence, however. Even the image of it in TV, in a movie or computer screen will cause an immediate reaction.

 

 

Because people who are phobic fear the presence of some stimulus, they will often take great pains to avoid finding themselves in its presence. This is known as “avoidance.” A simple example of this is for the person who is phobic about clowns, they will avoid going to the circus, watching movies or TV programs in which a clown might appear. If the presence of the phobia-inducing stimulus is successfully avoided, then the phobic person will behave normally. But, in the presence of the phobia-inducing stimulus, they might act very irrationally. Further, they might not explain the basis for their reactions to the people around them for fear of being made fun of, so their responses to the phobia-inducing stimulus may seem all the more irrational to other people.

 

 

If the phobic person cannot avoid the stimulus or can't escape its presence, they will express a high degree of distress, perhaps even hysteria. For example, if a person has a phobia against seeing blood is injured and they see their own blood, they might become hysterical or faint. Another response to exposure to the phobia-inducing stimulus might be a panic attack, feelings of uncontrollable anxiety, sweating, and other emotional-physical symptoms in a crisis mode.

 

 

The origin of phobias can sometimes be attributed to some incident or situation that happened to the phobic person in the past. Thus, seeing blood, for example, may stimulate powerful memories of an accident in which the phobic person bleed profusely or he or she saw someone else bleeding. In other cases, the source of the phobic stimulus and reaction may not be so easily identifiable. This is where the psychologist comes in. Through psychological counseling the source of the phobia can be discovered by means of delving into the personality and experiences of the person.

 

 

Thus, phobias may not be a “life sentence” for the individual. With knowledge of or through the discovery of the source of the phobias, their anxiety-inducing power can be defused, allowing the previously-phobic person a sense of freedom from such irrational anxiety and fears. That is one powerful reason the consult a psychologist in recognizing and dealing with phobias, to dispel their power over the fears and emotions of the individual. Therefore, if you are experiencing phobias of some sort, consultation with a psychologist is a logical place to start in finding relief from them.

 

 

 

Coping Strategies Part 2

 

The perception of control in regard to dealing with problems is the focus of coping strategies. When you encounter a problem that you haverun into before and successfully figured out a response to that either solved the problem or ameliorated some of its adverse effects, that information is stored in your mind, so that, when a similar problem arises, your mind can reference to the previous resolution that you utilized and assume that this approach may work again. This is a perception of control. The perception of control gives you a feeling of self-confidence in approaching, dealing with, and resolving the problem. That is a successful coping strategy.

 

Thus, what is important in the coping strategy is the development of the perception of control. “Problems” for human beings tend to be at some place in the sector of interpersonal relationships. It is also in the realm of interpersonal relationship[s that coping mechanisms are discovered, tested, and stored in the mind.

 

One common form of coping with stress is to work it through one or more interpersonal relationships. The most common form of this is talking to a friend or family member about the problem or stress-inducing phenomena. Often, in “talking things over,” that gives the mind a way to organized thought about the problem, and that organization may clear the way for the conscious or unconscious development of a strategy to deal with the problem. However, the problem with this seemingly easy solution for the discovery of coping mechanisms is that there are sometimes things that one does not want to share with friends of family members, regardless of how close they are.

 

That is where the psychologist comes in. The psychologist is not a friend or family member with whom you might not want to share certain information or who you would like to shield from the problems and stresses that you are facing from. The psychologist asserts no value judgments on you or the situation as friends or family might. Further, the psychologist has the capacity and skills to examine your problems or stressful situations more clearly then either you or any friend or family member might be able to do.

 

So, seen in this way, the psychologist becomes a surrogate for the friend or family member, someone who you can talk to without fear or shame, or merely not disclosing things about yourself personally that you might not want to disclose.

 

While family members or friends might make suggestions to you as to what to do about your problem or stressful situation, they do not have the knowledge and skill of the psychologist who has studied a broad range of coping mechanisms. Thus, while the friend or family member might tell you what they would do in your situation, that doesn't really help because “they” are not you. On the other hand, the psychologist doesn't tell you what he or she would do in the situation, but informs you of one or more coping mechanisms that are “tried and true.”

 

So, your psychologist is not your friend and is not a family member, but is a person on whom you can rely for expert, skilled advice on coping strategies that are likely to work in your situation. Like the medical doctor who gives you medicine to help you to control your high blood pressure, your psychologist offers you coping strategies to help you to control your stress related to interpersonal problems.

 

 

Thus, if you are feeling out of control of the stressors in your life and the coping strategies that you are using don't seem to be working, then it's time to consult with a psychologist.

 

 

Coping Strategies Part 1

 

What are Coping Strategies?

 

 

Differing forms of stress are commonly experienced by many people. Coping strategies are the ways that people deal with the stress that they feel. Basically, coping strategies fall into two categories, successful or unsuccessful, or, to put it another way, effective or not effective.

 

 

Coping strategies start developing very naturally after babies are born. A baby feels discomfort in some form, is hungry, is wet, or wants attention, and that is stress. A common coping strategy for babies in unconsciously seeking to reduce their stress is to cry. That gets the parent's attention, who then does something to alleviate the stress that they perceive that the child is experiencing. This is a coping strategy at the most fundamental level.

 

As the child gets older, different forms of stress are experienced, and to deal with them varying coping strategies are developed. There are two sources for the coping strategies learned by children as they grow: the coping behavior that they observe in adults close to them, and the coping strategies which they develop independently by intuition and trial and error.

 

In the development of coping strategies, the perception of control is a critical element. The purpose of coping strategies is to gain control of some particular situation which is causing the stress, and through exerting the control, reduce the stress. The belief in the actual amount of control exerted by the coping strategy may be real or perceived. If the coping strategy helps the individual actually gain some control of the stress-inducing factor, then the effect of the coping strategy is real. If, on the other hand, the coping strategy only appears to affect the stress-inducing element, but does not actually do so, that is perceived control.

 

The differences in coping strategies is important. This is because stress-inducing coping strategies that have a real effect in controlling the cause of the stress, and through the exertion of that coping strategy, the stress-inducing situation is reduced in its stressful effects, that can be considered to be a successful coping strategy. If the control over the stress-creating situation is not real, but only seemingly effective (in avoiding the problem, for example, as in denial), then the coping strategy is unsuccessful because it doesn't actually reduce or eliminate the stress by affecting its source. It merely displaces or postpones it.

 

As people go through life, they develop a broad array of coping strategies, each focused on some particular or general source of stress. Many are successful, but also, often, some are not. That is where the psychologist and psychological counseling come in. The psychologist has the special training to help you to discover the actual source of the stress. As things happen to us in life, feelings of stress may arise from a variety of sources, and sometimes they are combined, and sometimes we feel the stress but have difficulty in specifically identifying the source of the stress. Thus, in order to develop effective and useful coping strategies, you must first accurately and specifically identify the source of the stress. That is what develops out of the input from and your interaction with a psychologist. The psychologist helps you to determine exactly what the source or sources of the stress is/are.

 

Once that has been accomplished, then the next step for the psychologist is to determine approaches to the problem, and the creation and development of effective coping strategies is the critical part of the process. Through the individual's working closely with the psychologist, one or more successful coping strategies is developed which the individual then applies and puts to use in the alleviation of stress from the identified source or sources. Therefore, the psychologist provide knowledge and insight which the individual does not have, and the psychologist uses that knowledge and insight to create successful coping strategies that you can use to reduce the stress in your life.

 

Thus, if you are feeling out of control of the stressors in your life and the coping strategies that you are using don't seem to be working, then it's time to consult with a psychologist.

 

Next: More on Coping Strategies

 

 

Why go to a Psychologist? Part 5

 

In addition to the points that have been made in this blog previously about “Why go to a psychologist?” there is one more:

 

When you have personal problems in some way associated with psychological matters, there is a typical way that people deal with them: They think about them; they think about the problem. In previous blogs in this series, it has been pointed out how thinking about a problem tends to be a repetitive process. You run over the critical details of the problem, most likely the circumstances that seems to be the most irritating or disturbing element or elements of the problem. It was those things that created your awareness of the problem, and, because of that, you tend to reiterate them in your mind, repeating them endlessly to yourself and dwelling on the emotional and other personal effect which have been the result. This is called “obsessing” because it becomes a form of obsessive behavior.

 

Think of this kind of thinking as a wheel. It is circular in form, and while it turns, the wheel remains the same, going around, around, and around. That is typically what thinking about problems is for most people. They focus on the most disturbing elements of the problem and repeat and dwell on that. In a sense, this kind of thinking creates a rut just like an endlessly spinning wheel does in the mud. The faster and more that the wheel turns, the deeper is the rut that it creates.

 

A rut is not a solution to the problem, but it is a something that you can get stuck in, and when you are stuck, you are not going anywhere. What you need is to stop the endless circular, repetitive thinking, and get out of the rut. That is where seeing a psychologist comes in. In a symbolic sense, the psychologist has the pick and shovel that you need to dig your way out of the rut.

 

As anyone who has been in a vehicle with wheels that have been stuck in a rut knows, the first thing that you have to do is stop spinning your wheels. By unburdening yourself of the basic elements of the problem to the psychologist, you can dispel the need to continue endlessly repeating the basic elements of the problem. When you share them with the psychologist, you have taken a positive action, told your story to someone who can help you to solve your problem, and so there is no longer a need to continue to repeat the problem in your mind.

 

It is now up to the psychologist to help you to find the tools to dig yourself out of the rut and start focusing on solutions to your problem rather than focusing on the problem itself. It is the role of the psychologist not to tell you what to do, but to help you to determine new solution-oriented approaches to your problem. The psychologist is aware of a broad range to techniques and approaches (“tools”) to help people to come to some form of dealing with their problems. The psychologist will offer you new insights into the nature of the problem, and these insights can be the means for the identification of the “tools” that you need to come to some resolution to your problem. The value of going to a psychologist lies in the fact that the psychologist will lead you to and help you to identify the tools needed to resolve problems that are resolvable or to cope with problems that are not immediately resolvable. The psychologist is like the hardware store that you go to to get the tools that you need to do a job right, effectively, and efficiently. So, instead of figuratively “digging your way” out of your problem with your ineffective, repetitive thinking, go to the “hardware store” and get the tools that you need: go the a psychologist.

 

Talking to a psychologist offers a highly valuable and positive way of dealing with your personal problems rather than endlessly repeating them in your mind. The psychologist will contribute understanding and positive approach to encountering, coping with, and some eventual solution to disturbing personal problems, worries, and fears.

 

Why Talk to a Psychologist? Part 4

 

Continually thinking about a problem is like talking to a mirror. You only hear what you think, and you only think what you think. Thus, it is a closed system. In effect, it is circular thought, repetitive, and does not get you anywhere. The value of a psychologist is that you get input, a new and different viewpoint on what it is that is bothering you. Further, the psychologist not only offers new input, but input from a perspective that is trained to analyze problems, aid clients in determining their bases, and in approaching a variety of ways of encountering and dealing with the problems. Therefore, consulting with a psychologist is useful and valuable because, instead of merely endlessly repeating the problem, you can find professional assistance and aid in pursuing a solution or solutions to the problem bothering you. It's not a following a circular path leading nowhere, but a path to find a way out, a way to positively deal with the problem.

 

Additionally, you may find that the psychologists provides you with insight and information that you might not want to hear. Sometime, consciously or unconsciously, one's mind may recognize the basis of the problem or a potential way to avoid or deal with the problem, but you can't or won't admit it to yourself. Thus, the psychologist can not only help you to recognize the true nature of your problem, but assist you with the avoidance you may be experiencing in potentially facing and dealing with the problem.

 

You might say, “Well, I can go to my wife or best friend, and they can tell me what the problem is or help me to discover a solution.” This is not an unusual reaction, but it is not a valid one. Friends and family members have a vested interest in staying on your good side, and most people have a natural aversion to telling family members or friends things that may be unpleasant to them. Psychologists do not have these personal limitations. The psychologist is dedicated to looking at problems objectively and in analyzing them, to help the client see and understand the true nature of the problem, which is the first step in positively dealing with or coping with the problem. The psychologist has the professional and educated viewpoint which friends and family members do not have. The fact that the psychologist will not limit what she tells you like friends of family members might is a critical reason to visit the psychologist.

 

Further, while the psychologist will not tell you that you are necessarily right in your analysis and thoughts about your problem. They will confide in you important information that you need to know to grow and develop in dealing with the problem positively.

 

So, if you find yourself endlessly repeating the same routine of thoughts about something that you feel is a personal problem, that is a cue that you need a fresh insight and a professional insight into it. That is what the psychologists can provide for you: a new way of looking at your problem, but with a new part to it that in your repetitive thinking about it has not provided before—some form of positively dealing with it, a form of a solution.

 

For all of these reasons, then, talking to a psychologist offers a highly valuable and positive way of dealing with your personal problems rather than endlessly repeating them in your mind. The psychologist will contribute understanding and positive approach to encountering, coping with, and some eventual solution to disturbing personal problems, worries, and fears.

 

NEXT: More indications of why to go to a psychologist.

 

Why go to a Psychologist? Part 3

 

 

There is a big difference between thinking about a subject that is troubling you and talking about it. Thinking on topics such as problems that trouble you tends to be repetitive. That means, that in thinking about the problems, the mind tends to repeat the routine of the way that it has thought about before. In a sense, in thinking about it, your mind just repeats to the formulations of the problem, how you speculate you got into it, what the the exact problem is, and how to get out of it, in the same way over and over again. In the end, this process gets you nowhere.

 

Talking to a psychologist is a new process: Talking about the problem is a different process entirely, although you may repeat some, or even most, of the thoughts that you have had about the problem, talking about it requires you to reorganize it in a number of ways. To begin with, it forces you to reorganize your thoughts about the problem, because talking about a problem to another person entails a completely set of descriptive criteria than thinking about the problem to yourself. Secondly, for the problem to make sense to your listener, you have to organize it in a way that communicates critical information about the problem, not just the “high points” which are the most upsetting about the problem which is what you do when you think about the problem. Finally, because you are communicating information to another person, when you talk about a problem, the person you are talking to may stop you intermittently to ask you questions on what you mean or even challenge some of the basic assumptions that you have made about the problem. This contributes insight into the problem which you may not have had before.

 

Talking to a psychologist gives new insight: Further, talking about a problem that is troubling you requires you to express your personal emotions surrounding it. In thinking about a problem, the emotions are intertwined closely with the facts relating to the problem, but talking about the problem, because it requires you to not only explain the basic elements of the problem, but also requires you to explain and experience your emotions, helps to clarify your thinking This helps you to sort out the facts from the feelings. This is the basis for the critical input from the psychologist. Also, with the psychologist you are free not only to verbalize your emotions, but also to express them, and, with the assistance of the psychologist, the expression of emotions often helps in understanding and dealing with the problem.

 

The Psychologist offers new approaches to the problem: This is the value of talking to a psychologist about critical problems that are bothering you. When you repeatedly go over a problem by constantly thinking about it, you commonly make little progress in creating or approaching a solution. You repeat the problem seemingly endlessly. On the other hand, when you talk to a psychologist about the problem, you are contributing to the discovery, realization, or initiation of some solution to the problem. The communications interchange between you and the psychologist opens up new pathways in your mind, and the psychologist opens up new pathways in not only in how you think and perceive the problem, but also why you are preoccupied with it.

 

The “why” of the problem, not just the “what”: Often the why is as important or more important than the what of the problem. It is the why that, through the direction of the psychologist, you can discover the significance of your preoccupation with the problem and, knowing that, approach the solution to the problem in a new way. In fact, talking to the psychologist about your problem may lead you to discover that your very perception of the problem is mistaken in some way, and to pursue a meaningful solution to the problem, you have to follow the new ways of thinking and talking about it suggested by the psychologist.

 

For all of these reasons, then, talking to a psychologist offers a highly valuable and positive way of dealing with your personal problems rather than endlessly repeating them in your mind. The psychologist will contribute understanding and positive approach to encountering, coping with, and some eventual solution to disturbing personal problems, worries, and fears.

 

 

NEXT: More indications of why to go to a psychologist.

 

 

Part 2: Why go to a Psychologist?

 

The psychologist offers objectivity:

 

When you talk to family and friends about your personal problems or have questions about things that you might prefer that they not be aware of, your fear is that they will not receive your comments and respond to them objectively. There are often things of a very personal nature which one does not want generally known among family and friends. The psychologist, on the other hand, provides a service of listening to your most personal concerns and interests for information from an objective point of view. The psychologist does not come to the conversation with you with any preconceptions about you or desire to pressure you into doing things that you might not want to do.

 

In listening to your questions, problems, and concerns, the psychologist takes an analytical viewpoint, which, in turn, is offered to you to help you to see and understand your problems with a greater perspective. The psychologist, also, listens to the ways that you express yourself, describe the concern and problem, and gains insight into your personality in order to assist you in positively dealing with circumstances confronting you. The psychologist, further, approaches the analyses of your problems and concerns from a distinctive, trained background which can be used to help you to gain insight and control of yourself and of elements of the situation or circumstances confronting you.

 

In describing your problems, you see them through your personal perspective, but the psychologist sees them through a professional perspective. Thus, your ways of identifying your problems and concerns may be skewed in such a way as to distort your thinking and, therefore, ultimately, your pursuit of their resolution. The input from the professional psychological point of view clarifies your thinking and pares it down to the essentials that you might not have even thought of before. Thus, in addition to objectivity, the psychologists offers a fresh way to see and approach the resolution of your problems and concerns.

 

Additionally, the professional psychologist can offer you a variety of ways to encounter and cope with your concern and problems which would never have occurred to you alone.

 

Further, the psychologist is not emotionally involved either with you or with the causes or circumstances of the problem. So the psychologist's recommendations are not intended to assert any personal perspective or point of view. Their purpose is only therapeutic, to help you to deal more effectively with your concerns and problems.

 

In approaching our problems, most often, you can apply only what you already know in seeking solutions or resolutions for them, but those approaches may be ineffective, and you may end up no closer to a solution or resolution than you were before. The professional psychologists can offer you new approaches to dealing with your “old” problems which are likely to be more successful than your tries in the past, so the visit to the psychologist opens up a new “road map” to help you to guide yourself through concerns and problems that have got you literally or figuratively “road blocked.” The “second opinion” creates new ways of thinking about concerns and problems which can lead to more positive results than have been the case in the past.

 

Thus, time spent in visiting a psychologist is an investment in your personal well-being because it will broaden your personal understanding of yourself and your problems and concerns and more positively assist you in the discovery of dealing with them.

 

NEXT: More indications of why to go to a psychologist.

 

 

Why go to a Psychologist?

 

When you are sick or you feel that something is not right with your body, most people have no problem in determining when they should go to the doctor . Physical symptoms and problems are good indicators that we need to see a doctor. In regard to seeing a psychologist, however, people are often not so clear. In the case of severe mental problems and symptoms, of course, it is not too difficult to discern that communication with a psychologist is necessary, but not all problems are in the extreme, so that may leave one uncertain of why the services of a psychologist is needed. Listed below are several reasons why one should see a psychologist with non-acute, non-extreme problems and circumstances:

 

To begin with, it is necessary to realize that you are not or need not be “crazy” or in some state of mental crisis before you can benefit from the services of a psychologist. Think of visiting a psychologist in less extreme circumstances as a way of maintaining your mental health, like a tune-up for your mind as you might tune-up your car's engine now and then.

 

Thus, here are some reasons to get your psychological “tune-up”:

 

1) A Safe place to be yourself: The psychologist is a safe place where you can freely and openly talk about yourself, your concerns, and your problems. Often, with family and friends, one does not feel open to talk about things that seem too personal, that you think they might not understand, or you think they may consider you abnormal or possibly “sick.” When you go a psychologist, you can “let your hair down” and feel free to talk about those things because the psychologist will not judge you, but will provide you with information to help you to gain insight to help you to better understand yourself and your circumstances. It is a safe place to be yourself, something we all need.

 

2) Insight and understanding: As mentioned above, in talking about your “minor” concerns and problems, the psychologist can help you to better understand yourself and your actions and reasons for the circumstances or problems you are encountering. Further, the psychologist can help you to gain control of your thinking and emotions to better cope with circumstances that are affecting you. To gain a better understanding and insight into yourself is a very positive reason for visiting a psychologist.

 

3) Non-judgmental: The psychologist is non-judgmental, but can help you to determine the exact character of your feelings so that you do not feel that it is necessary to be judged. Family and friends may advise you based on what is best for them and not what is best for you. Thus, their judgment imay be biased or skewed, which affects the quality of the insight and advice that they offer. For the psychologist, this is not the case. The psychologist has “no marbles in the game,” so the advice from the psychologist is focused on what is best for you and your mental health. Thus, the non-judgmental advice from a psychologist is of a high value in gaining an objective understanding of your problems and what should be done about them.

 

 

NEXT: More indications of why to go to a psychologist.

 

 

 
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    Dr. Blair has the training and experience to treat a wide variety of problems, conditions and disorders. She is a relationship expert and marriage family therapist who specializes in relationship counseling .

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Beverly Hills

9454 Wilshire Blvd., Penthouse Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Call : 310.999.4996, Fax 310.826.4706