ANXIETY

What are common types of anxiety treated by BeHER?

BeHER works with women experiencing social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorders, and panic attacks.  BeHER does not treat agoraphobia or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) at this time.

 

What are common physical symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety manifests in many ways, but common symptoms addressed at BeHER include nausea, headaches, clenching of the jaw, sweating, and panic attacks that can become so severe they may resemble a heart attack.

 

What is causing my anxiety?  How could BeHER help?

BeHER looks for underlying reasons of anxiety rather than simply treating the symptoms.  Anxiety is a collection of your feelings – it can be thought of as the net which holds the feelings within it.

With that in mind, consider that anxiety, at its core, is a symptom of trauma.  We have all undergone some point(s) of trauma in our lives. This may come in the form of sexual or physical abuse, for example.  Sometimes we have the defenses to tolerate the trauma when we are faced with it, but other times our defenses are not equipped. When our natural defenses are not adequate to handle the trauma, anxiety disorder or panic disorder fills in the gaps.

People with anxiety may continue to actually create anxiety until they learn to tolerate not feeling anxious.  When someone has been anxious for a duration of time, she may, at some unconscious level, grow uncomfortable with the idea of not feeling anxious – as anxiety has become so intrinsic to her identity.

You know the friend who can’t stay out of a bad relationship?  (Or maybe you’re that friend?) Repetition compulsion is one of the tactics employed by people with anxiety, as they are recreating the feelings of trauma that catapulted their anxiety’s onset.  How can we adjust this? Getting help and taking control is BeHER’s priority to reduce anxiety, allowing you to live your best life.

 

How will I know if therapy is right for me?

If anxiety feels unmanageable or you need a sounding board, therapy is a good fit.  We understand that anxiety can become debilitating. What are you doing to cope with your anxiety?  A few too many glasses of wine, regular marijuana use, something else? If whatever you’re doing isn’t enough or if your anxiety is keeping you from living the fullest expression of your life, it’s time for therapy.

One last question: What kind of relief could you imagine from your anxiety?  If you want to imagine and relalize that relief from those feelings, therapy is a good step.  We recommend therapy prior to medication – at BeHER, we start at the source and uncover the causes to arrive at the solutions.

 

What types of therapy do BeHER therapists employ to treat anxiety?

We are a team of psychodynamic therapists (a fancy way of saying that we help you look at the underneath).  We don’t give homework. We help you to identify early onset of anxiety and use different tools to identify repetition and devise new ways to react.  At our core, we help you look at your repetitive behaviors, as well as identify your thoughts and feelings around what’s happening.

 

How do I know when I’m making progress with therapy?  What are the benefits?

Successful BeHER clients start to get the things in their life that they want.  With progress, you’ll start to feel more whole. Therapy provides you with a place where you can talk about anything without judgment.


IDENTITY CRISIS

What is identity crisis?

A term defined by Erik Erikson, identity crisis is based on the understanding that human development covers the entire lifespan, and crises may occur due to a series of internal conflicts that are linked to developmental stages.  Put more simply, identity crisis is essentially when you get lost in a loop of understanding who you are. This brings us to an important question - how do you figure out who you are to begin with? How does this evolve?  According to Erikson, our identity is put on us from early on – identity theory recognizes that you form your identity in the first seven years of your life; this parallels Freud’s stages of development, with an understanding that a crisis likely occurs at each stage of development.  Each crisis involves the psychological needs of the individual in conflict with the needs of society.

 

Is identity development always positive or negative?

During each phase of identity development, there’s both a positive and negative, or a trust versus mistrust.  For example, any time you meet someone, you’re forced to make snap decisions: Do I trust him/her? How do I know I can or cannot?  How do I know?

Trust isn’t exclusively about the other, however.  You’ve asked yourself many times in your life: Do I trust myself or do I not trust myself?  This evolves during different stages of your life but is continually revisited.

 

What are common scenarios of identity crisis?

Have you ever had a friend who has had a baby and not felt the way she is “supposed” to feel?  She has recognized that society is telling her that she’s supposed to be a certain way (love the baby unconditionally, embrace motherhood, adopt to a new schedule) – what if she doesn’t?  Maybe this rings a bell with you, instead of a friend. Regardless, a crisis of identity begins due to the distance between how women feel we ought to feel versus our true feelings.

This is only one cause of and indicator toward identity crisis.  It can happen at any time to anybody. If you lose a job, if you get divorced, if you’re experiencing a breakup, if you get married, buy a house, get in a relationship, whatever it may be – if what you’re identified to or with makes you feel some type of way with a change, then you are likely sharing in this experience.  At its core, an identity crisis occurs when the identity that was created is not the identity that a person feels it should be.

 

How do I know if I’m having an identity crisis?  What are some symptoms?

Erik Erikson himself first recognized his identity crisis as he was adopted and wanted to find his birth father.   He was desperately trying to figure out who he was. He had this internalized idea/concept of who he was, then entered something that shook it up.

Maybe you used to party in college and after school to the point where it became a part of your identity (“oh she’s my tequila buddy” or “she’s always down to go out and have fun”).  What if you start to realize that this representation of you isn’t true to who you are? This fracture of identity can lead to an identity crisis.

A time in your life when this may be experienced quite prominently hovers around when you’re 28-30 years of age, as there’s a psychological independence in which we may or may not know exactly who we are supposed to be.  Think about this, regardless of your age: Have you ever felt as though you’re supposed to feel a certain way or be a certain way?  This is Erikson’s understanding of self in conflict with society.

Another common manifestation of identity crisis lies in the more well-known mid-life crisis.  We don’t feel old but physically things are changing, resulting in a confusion of identity into who we truly are.

 

What is causing identity crisis at its root?  How does identity crisis work within BeHER?

This concept of identity is the whole framework and theory around BeHER Circles – we act out during a time of turmoil when we need support and community.  BeHER Circles work to answer the question: If this isn’t who I am, then who am I?

We all have a little something internally – we’re looking for something and believe that we can’t figure out who we are until we get that one thing.  The reality is that when you lose a sense of who you are, you have a unique opportunity to build your identity that is a true reflection of yourself.


DEPRESSION

What are common types of depression treated by BeHER?  How can I tell depressive episodes from depressive disorder?

BeHER psychotherapists help women with various forms of depression.  Oftentimes depressive episodes can be a catalyst to seek therapy; these depressive episodes are the result of a major upheaval, such as a break-up, death of a loved one or animal, relocation, job loss or job change.  Depressive episodes tend last from 6 months to 2 years.

 

Episodic depression can come to be due to a life or identity crisis – what does this look like?   Does the following ring a bell? You think you’re supposed to be at a certain stage of your life (you need to have the job, the relationship, the family, the house, the status) but you wake up one day and realize you don’t have it all – or maybe you have none of it.  It’s hard to come to terms with where you actually are in the world and be okay with it versus where society tells you that you’re supposed to be.

 

In addition to depressive episodes, BeHER works with women experiencing depressive disorder.   This is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and the experience may take the shape of feeling as though you’ve been pummeled over time with ruminating negative thoughts.  A depressive disorder could be diagnosed as young has high school and can take years of persistence before shifting. As opposed to particular life events associated with depressive episodes, people with depressive order may truly never be able to identify a time in life when genuine joy was felt.

 

What are common physical symptoms of depression?

Depression can have physical symptoms (feeling tired, withdrawn, angry, or uninterested in activities that used to feel like fun).  You might over-eat or under-eat, as well as self-medicate via an excess of drinking or smoking marijuana. Even though drinking and smoking are common self-medication avenues, these are natural depressants on their own, thereby exacerbating your depression.

 

What causes depression?  How could BeHER help?

Depression can be common, with nearly 1 in 3 women identifying as having suffered a period of depression in their lifetime, according to the American Psychological Association.  Given its frequency in our world, BeHER looks for underlying reasons and causes of depression to get at the root - rather than simply treating the symptoms.

We live in a culture that is supposed to be happy all the time, which is exhausting.  This can cause depression, because nobody is happy all the time. It can make you more sad, because you’re not happy and you don’t realize that those other feelings are okay.  We’re here to tell you: it’s okay not to be happy all the time.

BeHER can help because talking works.  It’s invaluable to be able to understand your feelings; talk therapy with a BeHER therapist helps you to explore the underlying reasons for not feeling better.  It provides a relief from the weight of the negative feelings, allowing you to see another perspective and a shift as though a weight lifted.

 

How will I know if therapy is right for me?

Therapy gives you a place where your feelings are accepted; maybe you feel as though you don’t want to burden others with your feelings?  Therapists help you identify and acclimate to better handle your feelings, supporting freedom from depression. What are you doing to cope with your depression?  A few too many glasses of wine, regular marijuana use, something else? If whatever you’re doing isn’t enough or if your depression is keeping you from living the fullest expression of your life, it’s time for therapy.

 

What types of therapy do BeHER therapists employ to treat depression?

We are a team of psychodynamic therapists (a fancy way of saying that we help you look at the underneath).  We don’t give homework; instead we partner with you to get to the bottom of your depression.

 

How do I know when I’m making progress with therapy?  What are the benefits?

Successful BeHER clients start to get the things in their life that they want.  With progress, you’ll start to feel more connected to the world. Therapy provides you with a place where you can talk about anything without judgment.