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Self Improvement

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How To Get The Most Out Of Online Therapy

Online therapy can change your life. But, it is important to first determine if it is the right fit for you.

By taking the time and effort to do research, you can maximize potential success with therapy. 

Here is a quick summary of my online therapy tips:

  • First, determine if online therapy is right for you;
  • Second, maximize therapy benefits by managing logistics;
  • Third, prepare for your sessions;
  • Fourth, set realistic expectations;
  • Fifth, understand the benefits of online therapy.
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@claudiaflorescu

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Self Improvement

Appropriateness Of Online Therapy

Online therapy tends to be appropriate for patients dealing with mild to moderate life stressors and mental disorders like anxiety and depression.

Some examples of “good fits” for online therapy include:

  • Work/life balance
  • Relationship concerns
  • Stress management
  • Life changes
  • Grief and persistent depression
  • Generalized anxiety and panic disorders
  • Self-esteem/self-confidence.
Privacy and Online Therapy

Online counseling platforms use encrypted communication methods, but you need to protectyour privacy onyour end as well.

Talk to your therapist behind closed doors, as you would talk to your therapist in real life. The lack of privacy is not only distracting, but also unsafe.

Set Realistic Goals Regarding Online Therapy
  1. Be realistic. Problems built during the course of years won't resolve in one or two sessions.
  2. Be open to what your clinician tells you. Be rady to try something new.
  3. Take responsability. The only. one that can change you is you.
  4. Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely). Goals help guide therapy. Take sime time to set yours.
  5. Come prepared for sessions. Do your weekly therapy homework, write down anything you would like to remember during the session.
  6. Speak up! Don't be afraid to state what is working and what is not working with your therapist.
What Is Psychological First Aid?

Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed approach built on the concept of human resilience. PFA aims to reduce stress symptoms and assist in a healthy recovery following a traumatic event, natural disaster, public health emergency, or even a personal crisis.

Police, firemen, paramedics, and other first responders are trained in it, and it was developed for non-mental health professionals to use, so there’s no reason the average person can’t use it, too. 


How To Help In A Crisis: A Brief Guide to Psychological First Ai

If the Coronavirus Pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that disaster can and will strike at any time. But what do you do when you are the one who has to respond to a crisis?

Psychological First Aid has its merits when it comes to helping our friends and loved ones through the more mundane and routine crises that define us all. It is easy to use, the training is free and readily available, and the practical applications are legion. 

What Psychological First Aid Is Not

Let’s discuss what PFA it isn’t.

  • It isn’t counseling. It isn’t a self-assessment
  • It doesn’t require you to obtain details of the traumatic event, nor does it involve diagnosis or labels or complex interventions.
  • It’s not something only professionals can use. And it doesn’t require extensive training, special skills, or advanced degrees.  
Who Can Psychological First Aid Be Used On?

Psychological First Aid is designed to help anyone — kids, adults, parents, senior citizens, even entire communities that have suffered a traumatic incident, as well as first responders and volunteers.

It is also, by extension, remarkably effective for friends and family members dealing with every-day crises.

The goal of Psychological First Aid is to tend to these emotional wounds by providing safety, comfort, understanding, and hope. 

How "thinking of everything" Holds Mums Back

When it comes to household responsibilities, women perform far more cognitive and emotional labour than men.

Understanding why could help explain why gender equality has not only stalled, but is going backwards, despite being more discussed than ever. And a broader understanding of this behind-the-scenes labour could help couples redistribute the work more equally – something that, while initially difficult, could play a significant role in helping mothers lighten their load. 

The Invisible, Unlimited Work Of Mothers

Experts say that this hidden work comes in three overlapping categories:

  1. cognitive labour, which is thinking about all the practical elements of household responsibilities, including shopping and planning activities.
  2. emotional labour, which is maintaining the family’s emotions; calming a distressed child or worrying about how they are managing at school.
  3. the mental load is the intersection of the two: preparing, organising and anticipating everything that needs to get done to make life flow.
The Mental Load Of Mothers

There are four clear stages of mental work related to household responsibilities: 

  • anticipating needs, 
  • identifying options, 
  • deciding among the options;
  • monitoring the results. 

Mothers did more in all four stages, her research showed; while parents often made decisions together, mothers did more of the anticipation, planning and research.

In other words, fathers were informed when it came to decisions, but mothers put in the legwork around them. 

Impacts Of The Mental Load Of Mothers

The fact that mothers end up assuming this mental load has consequences: 

  • Mothers are more stressed, tired and less happy than fathers;
  •  When women thought the distribution of housework was unfair and perceptions of each partner’s contribution differed, it led to marriage problems and increased the likelihood of a split; 
  • Many women feel they cannot physically or mentally put in the extra hours demanded by many workplaces, so the gender pay gap continues to widen. 
  • Women make up the majority of part-time workers and in turn are less likely to get pay rises or promotions.


How To Reduce Your Mental Load As A Mother

Perhaps the best way for women to reduce the mental load is to do less. If the mother stops thinking about what needs to be done and the father does not anticipate these needs, it may initially cause stress or judgement – but that could allow learning for next time. 

Over time, doing less could increase our partner’s involvement and, in turn, free up more of our mental energy to focus on ourselves. At first, we might get judged for it, but it could lead to greater happiness later on. We all learn from doing, after all. 

Sleeping Too Little in Middle Age May Increase Dementia Risk

Researchers have pondered about how sleep relates to cognitive decline.

Answers have been elusive because it is hard to know if insufficient sleep is a symptom of the brain changes that underlie dementia — or if it can actually help cause those changes.

Now, a large new study reports some of the most persuasive findings yet to suggest that people who don’t get enough sleep in their 50s and 60s may be more likely to develop dementia when they are older.

New Research On Sleep

One theory is that the more people are awake, the longer their neurons are active and the more amyloid (a protein in the brain that clumps into plaques in Alzheimer’s) is produced, Dr. Musiek said. 

Another theory is that during sleep, fluid flowing in the brain helps clear out excess proteins, so inadequate sleep means more protein buildup.

Some scientists also think getting sufficient time in certain sleep phases may be important for clearing proteins

How Can We Get More Sleep?

Having a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime and removing phones and computers from the bedroom are among the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “sleep hygiene” guidelines

Also, sleep experts say:

  • sleeping pills and a lot of other things don’t give you as deep of a sleep and we really want the deep sleep because it’s more restorative.
  • naps are OK to catch up on missed sleep, but getting a good night’s sleep should make naps unnecessary.
Why We Sleep

While even experts haven’t reached a consensus explanation for why we sleep, numerous indicators support the view that it serves an essential biological function.

In adults, a lack of sleep has been associated with a wide range of negative health consequences including cardiovascular problems, a weakened immune system, higher risk of obesity and type II diabetes, impaired thinking and memory, and mental health problems like depression and anxiety.

Sleep Stages
  • Stage 1. Your breathing slows as well as your heartbeat, eye movement, and brain wave activity. Your muscles begin to relax.
  • Stage 2. Your breathing, heartbeat, and brain wave activity continue to slow. Eye movements stop.
  • Stage 3. You’re now in deep, restorative sleep.
  • Stage 4. The most intense dreaming takes place during REM sleep.

    The first three stages of sleep fall into the category of non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The fourth stage is REM sleep.

How The Body Regulates Sleep

The body regulates sleep with two key drivers:

  1. Sleep-wake homeostasis. The longer you’re awake, the more you feel a need to sleep. This is because of the homeostatic sleep drive, the body’s self-regulating system in which pressure to sleep builds up based on how long you’ve been awake.
  2. The circadian alerting system. Light exposure is the biggest influence on circadian rhythms, encouraging wakefulness during the day and sleepiness at night.

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