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Monthly Archives: January 2023

Processing the trauma At Affordable Counseling Center In Brandon Fl, And Tampa Fl.

When Affordable counseling center in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, helps clients process life challenges, including traumatic grief, we addresses their trauma. If conflict existed in the relationship with the person who died, clients may need to work through challenges that they had or feelings of guilt or shame that can be present following the loss, Hughes adds. 

A traumatic loss can also trigger a past trauma, which might be the underlying reason for the client’s current complicated grief response. Affordable counseling center in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, once worked with a man whose mother had just died. Although their relationship had been strong at the time of her death, the client’s mother had been abusive when he was a child. Her death triggered this past childhood trauma, causing the client to feel not only grief over her loss but also anger for the past abuse and guilt about the relief he felt for no longer having to care for her. The client was afraid to admit these complex feelings to Affordable counseling center in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, because he was ashamed for feeling resentment, anger and relief when he thought he should be feeling only grief. The client’s cognitive dissonance disrupted his ability to grieve in a healthy way and further anchored him in a complicated grief response. She validated his feelings and reminded him that expressing the full range of his emotions didn’t mean that he was attacking his mother’s memory.


Blended Family At Affordable Counseling Center Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl.

Blended families, or stepfamilies, are now common in the United States.

Bringing two parents and their children together can be challenging. Children may be used to different parenting styles and family in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, routines. Visitation or conflict between separating parents can cause stress. Conflict between stepparents and parents that live outside the new family can also increase stress. Another point of potential conflict is any new stepsiblings. It can take time for children to adapt to the new family structure. It may help to speak with a therapist about the transition before it begins.

Stress in a new family in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, situation is normal. The transition may appear to have gone well. Even then, there is often some stress. The term “blended family” might imply a smooth transition. But the early years of a blended family are likely to be difficult.

It can take time for both families to get used to living together. This can be due to many factors, including:

  • Different parenting and discipline styles
  • Development of new relationships
  • Strong or conflicting emotions 

These challenges can occur even if everyone got along before living in the same space. 

People who seek help for blended family in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, issues are often able to regain a sense of trust in others. This may improve their relationships and overall sense of well-being.


WHAT IS DEPRESSION? At Affordable Counseling Center In Brandon Fl, And Tampa Fl.

Depression in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, is the most common cause of disability in the United States. One in 10 adults report experiencing it. Most people have their first bout of depression in their late teens or early twenties. 

Depression’s symptoms in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, can vary from person to person. Someone’s gender, culture, or age may change how they experience depression. Yet most forms of depression include these common symptoms:

  • Frequent crying and bouts of sadness
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Getting too much or too little sleep 
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Difficulty enjoying activities one used to like
  • Unexplained physical ailments such as headaches or muscle pain
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in weight or eating habits
  • Thoughts of suicide

A person with depression in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, likely has trouble dealing with daily stresses. Sometimes the simplest activities—getting out of bed, bathing, and dressing—can feel impossible. Such struggles might make people feel helpless or alone. Even when something good happens, depression can cast a cloud of negativity over the experience. 

People with depression in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, often feel anger, shame, and irritation. Sometimes these emotions can show up in the body as aches or nausea. These feelings can also lead to weepiness.

Other times, depression in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, causes people to feel emotionally “numb.” It is common for people to feel as if they never have energy. In severe cases, a person may not care if they live or die.


There are many myths surrounding therapy in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl. Though it is important to know what depression is, it can be equally important to know what depression is not.

An old man sits on his bed and stares at the floor.

Depression is not simple sadness. Most people get upset when life doesn’t go their way. But someone with depression can feel so bad they struggle to do everyday activities like eat or bathe. To count as depression in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, the sadness must be a constant, long-lasting feeling. 

Depression is not a sign of weakness. Although depression can sap one’s energy or motivation, having the condition does not meant one is lazy. In fact, many people with depression in Tampa Fl, and Brandon FL, put forth double the effort to simply get through their day.  

Depression is not forever. People with depression in Tampa Fl, and Brandon Fl, can feel hopeless about recovery, especially if they’ve had the condition for a long time. Yet most forms of depression are very treatable. There are many therapies used to treat depressive symptoms. A mental health practitioner can help you decide which type best fits your needs.


Family Counseling At Affordable Counseling Center In Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl.

Family therapy in Tampa, FL and Brandon, FL involves the whole family or at least some of the family members meeting together with the therapist to work primarily on family related issues. Through family therapy, we help families or individuals within a family understand and improve the way family members interact with each other and resolve conflicts.

We work with the family unit and the problem or issues that are affecting the family and how the issue(s) may be impacting each member of the family. The reasons families may seek counseling in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, include: parenting Issues, life transitions/changes, divorce, grief or loss, substance abuse, financial changes/difficulties, relationships problems, and domestic abuse/violence.

At Affordable Counseling Center in Tampa, FL and Brandon, FL we are currently offering in person, online, and over the phone counseling in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl.


The stress response At Affordable Counseling Center IN Brandon Fl, And Tampa Fl.

Stressful situations trigger a physical reaction known as the stress in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, response. The brain relays warnings to the muscles, which tighten, and to the adrenal glands, which release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones help your body prepare to fight or flee to safety: your heart pounds, blood pressure rises, and more of your blood is sent to your brain and muscles; your breath quickens to get more oxygen into your blood; and your body releases sugars and fats into the blood for energy.

In the short term, the stress in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, response can help you navigate a difficult situation. But chronic stress can lead to physical damage. “Stress increases blood sugar and can make diabetes worse. It can create high blood pressure and cause insomnia. It can also make people become anxious, worried, depressed, or frustrated.” Chronic stress also increases the risk of heart disease, heartburn, and many other health problems.


What are anxiety disorders? At Affordable Counseling Center In Brandon Fl, And Tampa Fl.

It’s normal to feel anxious about moving to a new place, starting a new job, or taking a test. This type of anxiety in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, is unpleasant, but it may motivate you to work harder and do a better job. Ordinary anxiety is a feeling that comes and goes but doesn’t interfere with your everyday life.

In the case of an anxiety disorder in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, the feeling of fear may be with you all the time. It’s intense and sometimes debilitating.

This type of anxiety in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, may cause you to stop doing things you enjoy. For example, it may prevent you from entering an elevator, crossing the street, or even leaving your home in extreme cases. If left untreated, the anxiety will keep getting worse.

Anxiety disorders in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, are the most common form of emotional disorder and can affect anyone. But, according to the American Psychiatric Association, women are more likely than men to receive a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.


6 Types of Therapy for Depression Therapy At Affordable Counseling In Brandon Fl, And Tampa Fl.


Teenage girl (16-17) talking to therapist

There are many different types of therapy in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, to treat depression and other mood disorders. Psychotherapy can be an effective form of treatment for depression because it can help you delve into possible underlying reasons for your depressive feelings and learn new skills to cope.

Finding out which type of psychotherapy is best for you will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your symptoms, your own personal preferences, and your therapy goals. The therapeutic modalities described below have evidence supporting their benefits as treatments for depression.

Most types of psychotherapy foster a relationship between therapist and client to help individuals identify and overcome negative thoughts or behavioral patterns.

Psychotherapy is often called “talk therapy” because it involves an individual and a psychotherapist in Brandon Fl, And Tampa Fl,  sitting in a room together talking. But it is so much more than that. Psychotherapists have formal training in a variety of techniques that they employ to help people recover from mental illness, resolve personal issues, and create positive changes in their lives.

Psychotherapy for Depression

The right type of therapy for depression depends on a variety of factors, and there is no approach that is right for everyone. The type of treatment you choose in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl,  may depend on various factors, including your preferences and the severity of your symptoms. Consider some of the following commonly used types of therapy for depression to better determine which one might be right for your needs.

Cognitive Therapy

At the heart of cognitive therapy is the idea that our thoughts can affect our emotions. For example, if we choose to look for the silver lining in every experience, we will be more likely to feel good, as opposed to if we only focus on the negative.

Negative thoughts  can contribute to and exacerbate depression in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl. Feeling good is hard when you’re stuck in a constant loop of negative thoughts. Cognitive therapy helps people learn to identify common patterns of negative thinking (known as cognitive distortions and turn those negative thoughts into more positive ones, thus improving mood

Behavioral Therapy

Whereas cognitive therapy is focused on the negative thoughts that contribute to depression, in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, behavioral therapy is centered on changing behaviors that affect emotions. A central focus of behavioral treatment for depression is behavioral activation. This entails helping patients engage in activities that will enhance their feelings of well-being.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy 

Because cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, work well together to treat depression and anxiety disorders, the two are often combined in an approach called cognitive behavioral therapy CBT. CBT focuses on addressing both the negative thought patterns and the behaviors that contribute to depression.

Your therapist may ask you to keep a journal to track the events of the week and any self-defeating and negative reactions to those events. Habitual negative responses to events (known as automatic negative reactions) are just one pattern of thinking you might address over the course of CBT. Other response patterns include all-or-nothing thinking and overgeneralization, two common cognitive distortions.

Once you have learned how to recognize your response patterns, you will work with your therapist to learn new ways of thinking and responding. You might also practice positive self-talk.

CBT sessions are often accompanied by “homework,” which may include keeping a journal, practicing relaxation activities, completing readings, and using worksheets focused on specific goals. Research suggests that CBT can be effective in the treatment of depression and may have lasting effects that prevent future relapses of depressive symptoms.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy is mostly based on CBT. The key difference is that it asks individuals with depression to acknowledge and accept their negative thoughts and behaviors. Through the practice of validation, individuals can come to terms with their negative emotions, learn to cope with stress and regulate their reactions to it, and even improve their relationships with others.6

This type of psychotherapy also incorporates mindfulness practices from Buddhist traditions to inform crisis coaching, in which an individual can call the therapist to receive guidance on how to handle difficult situations. As the person continues to practice these new skills, they will eventually become better equipped to handle their challenging situations on their own.

Interpersonal Therapy 

Interpersonal conflict and poor social support can also contribute to feelings of depression. Interpersonal therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on these issues by addressing past and present social roles and interpersonal interactions. During treatment, the therapist generally chooses one or two problem areas to focus on.

This type of therapy in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, is usually brief and involves examining social relationships with important people in your life. This can include your relationships with your partner, friends, family, and co-workers.

Your therapist might ask you to roleplay different scenarios in order to practice and improve your communication. By doing this, the idea is that you will be able to implement these strategies in your relationships and build a stronger social support system.


6 Signs You’re Depressed and Ignoring It At Affordable Counseling Center In Tampa FL, And Brandon FL.

How to recognize that you’re stuck in life and more unhappy than you know.

  • We often fail to recognize signs and symptoms of depression within ourselves.
  • When we lose sight of what is important to us, we fail to see it as the first step that can lead to depression.
  • Letting go of our struggle with our thoughts and emotions is key to bringing about a change in direction.
Aleshyn Andrei Shuttertock

Source: Aleshyn Andrei Shuttertock

Stereotypes often ruin our ability to recognize problems. Most people have a picture in their minds of what it looks like to be depressed in Tampa FL, and Brandon Fl, but this picture may not match reality. If you believe that depressed people look sad, have low energy, and generally behave in a negative fashion, then you may not recognize the actual signs of depression in others or yourself.

If you have recently been to your physician in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, for an annual physical or any other medical appointment, you have likely been screened for depression. It’s interesting what we report to others but fail to recognize in ourselves. Even if we admit to some signs of depression on a screening assessment, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll believe that we’re depressed. We tend to be very good at ignoring what we feel and pushing ourselves forward as if nothing is wrong.

On countless occasions, I have asked patients who just scored high on a depression inventory if they see themselves as depressed. The nearly universal answer is “no.” Therefore, healthcare providers in Brandon Fl, and Tampa FL, and patients alike need another way to recognize depression and explain what could be happening that has brought a person to a depressed state.

6 Signs You’re Stuck

It is always better to help a person recognize depression on their own than to try to convince them ourselves. If someone cannot see that they are depressed, even the most convincing proof will not help them change their mind.


The key to helping others recognize depression in Tampa Fl, and Brandon Fl, is sharing information about how the mind works, how it gets off track, and what we can do to put ourselves in a more flexible, adaptive mode so that we can face the problems of reality and move forward. I’ve found that most people are genuinely interested in learning about themselves but are often immediately defensive at any hint of being blamed. A non-judgmental approach focusing on how the mind operates will build trust with the person you want to help.

Here are six signs that you are depressed but don’t recognize you are stuck in a cycle that is hard to escape.

  1. You feel disconnected from what is important to you. You have people, ideas, and activities that make your life rich and meaningful, but you struggle to focus on these important areas because of the pressures of life that keep getting in your way. When you lose sight of your values, sense of purpose, and direction in life, it’s normal to experience some level of distress. Unfortunately, our distress begins to grab our attention, making it even hard to focus on what’s important.
  2. There is a gap between what you want and what you have, or between who you are and who you want to be. There is nothing wrong with having this kind of gap. In general, it motivates us to grow and change. But this gap can also be distressing; our unhelpful mind can tell us we are stuck, that life will not change, and that the barriers we face are all our fault.
  3. You always treat your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations as true, valid, and important. When you are distressed, your mind will try to explain what is happening. Far too often, you listen to your mind’s explanation as if it is true and never question its conclusion. For example, your mind might tell you that life should treat you fairly, and because it doesn’t, you should feel miserable and that your misery is all your fault. While this might sound like a reasonable explanation of why you are upset, it is definitely not helpful.
  4. You avoid and control your distress. Once your noisy, unhelpful mind is active, your distress is amplified. We naturally want to avoid this kind of distress. Each person has their unique way of avoiding and controlling distress, but the typical methods include the following: a) arguing with your unhelpful mind, trying to convince yourselves with positive thinking;  b) distracting yourselves with entertainment and mindless activities like shopping, gaming, or gambling; c) soothing yourself with substances like food, alcohol, drugs, medications, or tobacco; d) opting out of doing things and going places; or e) engaging in self-harm.  
  5. You are stuck in the “struggle cycle,” finding short-term relief only to feel worse once the relief has passed. You avoid and control your distress because it works. Netflix, sex, alcohol, and cheesecake could help you feel less bad in the moment, but that’s about as far as their positive effects extend. As soon as the positive state brought about by your avoidance and control strategies wears off, you’re back to feeling miserable again, but with new additional problems. Usually, the things we do to avoid and control our distress will make our life worse in the long run. They cost us time, money, and our health. And these problems will eventually cost us our relationships.
  6. You believe you must get rid of your distress before moving forward again. We assume that happiness is a normal, ongoing state of life and that something is wrong with us if we are not happy. We also assume that we should be able to control our thoughts and feelings and that we must get rid of them before moving forward. It is this mindset that keeps the “struggle cycle” spinning. We try to control and avoid our thoughts and feelings in ways that only make things worse, not better.

Having explained these six signs of being stuck in life, I often hear people provide this heartfelt recognition: “Every morning I wake up and just know that today is going to be just as hard as yesterday. And I’m convinced that tomorrow will not be any different than today. Is this what depression in Brandon Fl, and Tampa FL, feels like? Because if it is, I’m depressed.”

These people are not individuals who look sad, lay around all day, or talk negatively. They are hardworking people—parents struggling to keep their families together, teachers pouring themselves into students’ lives, healthcare workers doing everything they can to stay positive for themselves and others. Yet when faced with the reality of the “struggle cycle,” these very same people recognize that they are stuck on the hamster wheel of depression in Tampa Fl, and Brandon Fl, and need to get off.

Steps Toward Change

If these six signs of depression are showing up in your life, rest assured that you are not alone. Most of us get stuck in the “struggle cycle” at some point in life.

The first step to getting free and managing your depression might sound overly simple, but having compassion for yourself is important. Our minds are masterful at beating us up, but not so good at compassion or seeing the good within us.

Secondly, ask yourself if your habits of avoiding and controlling distress are helpful or not. Are they moving you in the direction you want to go? Probably not. Then take an honest assessment of what your avoidance and control habits are costing you.

Finally, let go of your efforts to control your distress. Rather, bring your distress along as you take small steps in the direction you want to be heading. This will help.

Remember, you are not your thoughts; you do not need to be controlled by what they tell you. You are the author of your story, not the victim of it.


What Is Anxiety? At Affordable Counseling Center In Brandon Fl, And Tampa Fl.

Anxiety is both a mental and physical state of negative expectation. Mentally it is characterized by increased arousal and apprehension tortured into distressing worry, and physically by unpleasant activation of multiple body systems—all to facilitate response to an unknown danger, whether real or imagined.

The cognitive feelings of dread in anticipation of some bad outcome, and physical sensations such as jitteriness and a racing heart are designed for discomfort. Anxiety is meant to capture attention and stimulate you to make necessary changes to protect what you care about. Occasional bouts of anxiety in Tampa Fl, and Brandon Fl, are natural and can even be productive. Anxiety can be considered the price we humans pay for having the ability to imagine the future.

When anxiety becomes a disorder

But persistent, pervasive, or outsize anxiety can disrupt daily life, whether at school, work, or with friends—the mark of an anxiety disorder. Nearly one-third of adults in Tampa Fl, and Brandon Fl, and in the U.S. will grapple with out-of-control anxiety at some point in their life.

Anxiety is often accompanied by depression in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl, and the two share many symptoms and involve many of the same brain pathways. Biology can contribute to vulnerability to anxiety, as can childhood experiences such as early trauma and parenting practices such as overprotection.

It is neither possible nor desirable to eliminate anxiety entirely, as it plays a crucial role in keeping us alert and alive. Treatment is geared to keeping anxiety at manageable levels. Anxiety can be treated successfully using therapy in Brandon Fl, and Tampa Fl,  medication, or both. Lifestyle measures, such as regular exercise and deep-breathing, are also extremely important in controlling anxiety.


Benefits Of Couple Counseling At Affordable Counseling In Brandon Fl, And Tampa Fl.

Couple counseling

Counseling for couples does not simply focus on staying together; it focuses on building a relationship where you and your partner trust and respect each other.  

Both partners benefit from it individually as well as in the relationship. It can help elevate your self-esteem and give you a better outlook on life. You may also get to know your partner’s actual feelings, which can help regain the connection between you two. 

Some of the benefits that you can gain from couples counseling are: 

  • Identify the cause of conflicts—sharing the issues in front of a therapist can help you identify the causes and underlying issues that are causing repeated fights.
  • Resolve conflicts—once you have identified what is causing issues, it becomes much easier to rectify them.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of your relationship—it will certainly help you get to know your partner better, what they expect from you and the relationship, and what hurts them. It will make your bond even stronger than before.
  • Get heard: Couples often complain about not getting heard in a relationship. Therapists try to create a safe space wherein partners listen to what the other has to say and have a healthy conversation.
  • Get unbiased feedback: a good therapist is someone both you and your partner can trust. The therapist can, after listening to both sides, provide a neutral and unbiased opinion. Sometimes, looking from the perspective of an outsider can help you see things that were ignored earlier. 
  • Opening up: couples counseling can be a safe space for both you and your partner where you open up about your feelings and communicate effectively. Being vulnerable and accepting your emotions as they are is helpful for relationships.
  • Learn how to get over a ‘rough patch’- most relationships go through difficult times where understanding and loving each other become all the more important. Counseling can teach you effective skills and techniques to come out of future disagreements and rough phases stronger. 
  • Regain the connection- couples therapy can help rebuild the bond and intimacy between couples and help you feel more connected to your partner.
  • Forgiveness– therapy can help you and your partner forgive each other and move on toward a more understanding and trusting relationship. Sometimes, forgiveness is a very important step towards rekindling your romance. 

How To Get The Best Out Of Couples Counseling?

There are many benefits of couples counseling, but the outcome also depends on individual differences and how much you and your partner are invested in it. Effective counseling depends on several factors. Here are some ways in which you can get the best out of your couples therapy:

  • Participation from both partners. If one partner is not sharing enough, it can become less effective.
  • Listen to understand. Couples therapy can only benefit when both partners are willing to listen to what the other feels. 
  • Individual sessions with the therapist can also help.
  • Finding the right online therapist who can provide neutral feedback and someone you can trust is difficult.
  • Remembering and implementing the strategies suggested by the therapist. 
  • Trust the process.


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