We encourage people to follow the CDC’s (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html) and WHO’s recommendations. If you have concerns about your physical health and safety please consult with your physician to figure out best options for yourself and your family.
If you are noticing high levels of depression and/or anxiety or rumination (circular thinking you can’t turn off) about current events, consider asking for help. Psychotherapy is a way to connect with someone and build on skills to take care of yourself and build a plan to manage symptoms, thoughts, and experiences you are dealing with.
Even with the need to self-quarantine, there may be options for teletherapy. Teletherapy is a way to remotely do psychotherapy. This is accomplished with a HIPPA-complaint and secure video or audio “call” with a therapist. Teletherapy may not be appropriate for all cases and sometimes insurance may not cover it. However during the pandemic many insurances will likely cover it. Check with your therapist to see what options are available.Learn More
Many people fear pursuing anxiety treatment because they do not want to take anti-anxiety medication. This brings up an important question: is medication required for anxiety treatment? You’ll be pleased to learn that there are many forms of anxiety treatment, and medication is not required in most scenarios. Let’s take a closer look at the treatment options available to you.
Types of Anxiety Treatment
The most common form of anxiety treatment is talk therapy. You sit down one-on-one with a therapist and discuss your past, your concerns and your anxiety symptoms. Then you receive personalized advice that fits your lifestyle.
Anxiety counseling is a tested and proven solution. In therapy, you can discover the root cause of your anxiety and what triggers it on a daily basis. You can also learn how to cope with anxiety, and how to control your reactions to different situations. The process is completely confidential, and it happens at your pace.
Another form of anxiety treatment includes medication. The medication is prescribed by a licensed psychiatrist. A client usually receives a referral to a psychiatrist after talking to a therapist. In other words, medication is considered a secondary source of treatment – not the go-to option.
If medication is recommended during your anxiety treatment, the psychiatrist will find an option that fits your medical history, other medications, lifestyle, symptoms, personal goals, and more. This is why psychiatrists go through years of specialized training. They have to know the right medication for each client, and they have to know when medication is not the right fit.
Most clients who receive psychiatric anxiety treatment continue working with a therapist. The counselor and psychiatrist coordinate care to provide a comprehensive program for each person.
Finding the Right Anxiety Treatment for You
No matter how long you have lived with anxiety, there is a treatment option out there for you. Overcoming anxiety is an individual experience. You may see great relief from counseling alone. You may prefer a mixture of counseling and psychiatry. You may take medication during the initial steps of your anxiety treatment and eventually taper off it. Your mental health professionals will help you decide which path is right for you.
To learn more about anxiety counseling and other treatment options, contact Midwest Psychological Services at (715) 381-1980.Learn More
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is certainly in the air. Regardless of your relationship status, you can feel a change in society around this time of year. But what happens when that love bug bites a little too hard? Is it possible to become addicted to love, or is that just a lyric in a song?
Love Addiction Comes in Many Forms
Love addiction is real, but it is not a standalone condition. There are many forms of love addiction, each with their own symptoms and side effects. Some examples include…
- Dating Addiction: When a person is addicted to the pursuit of love and the exciting feeling that comes with new relationships.
- Sex Addiction: Not directly related to love addiction, but worthy of notation. With sex addiction, the person is addicted to performing or receiving sexual acts, similar to how one would act with gambling addiction or drug addiction.
- Low Self-Esteem: If you determine your self-worth based on the love you get from someone else, you may have a form of love addiction. This is typically the result of low self-esteem or other issues with self-image.
- Codependency: In this case, there is a lack of healthy boundaries in a relationship. One party becomes emotionally reliant on the other, or both parties become dependent on each other.
- Pathological Love: Seeking love from one or more parties to the point that other interests are gone. Love, or the concept of love, becomes the sole focus, leading to social isolation, personality changes, and sometimes erratic behavior.
Simply put, if your relationship with love compromises your quality of life, you may have a love addiction. Thankfully, there are treatments available to overcome love addiction and the consequences resulting from it.
How to Treat Love Addiction
Do you think you have a form of love addiction? Are you interested in a lifestyle change? The best way to conquer any addiction is to understand its causes and triggers. You need to figure out what element of love you are addicted to, why you have that addiction, and what makes the addiction worse. From there, you can find solutions to retrain your responses and improve your personal habits.
In therapy, you can work with a professional counselor to find personalized solutions. Many of the clients we work with don’t realize they have a form of love addiction until they start talking to their therapists. As they discuss their experiences, the underlying issues become clear. Your therapist can help you improve how you value love and how you perceive yourself in the process.
If you are interested in therapy, Midwest Psychological Services provides a range of counseling services. We offer anxiety counseling, depression treatment, addiction counseling, couples therapy, family counseling, and much more. We will match you with the best therapist for your specific situation. Give us a call at (715) 381-1980 to schedule an appointment with a counselor near you.Learn More
Work on One Household Project a Week
Your home is your sanctuary, the one place you should feel most comfortable. When it is in disarray, you cannot get the full relaxation you need. Nevertheless, the concept of cleaning and organizing the whole house can be daunting. That is why we recommend breaking up the project into smaller tasks.
Choose one household project to complete each week. This could be anything from organizing a closet to deep cleaning your cabinets. Many of these projects can be finished in 15-30 minutes. If you can handle more than one a week, go for it! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself though.
As you move through the house, try to come up with systems that will prevent the space from getting cluttered in the future. Make the items you need constant access to as accessible as possible. Create homes for common sources of clutter, and donate/throw away items that no longer add value to your life. This gives you less to worry about in the future.
Evaluate Your Support System (Remove Toxic Influences)
You deserve to have a positive support system. If someone in your life is persistently negative, that may not be a good person to have around. You do not have to cut ties completely, but you should prioritize your time well. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and make you feel important.
Take a Mental Health Day
Many employers now offer mental health days in addition to sick days and vacation time. Mental health days are designed to give workers a much-needed break. If you have persistently been overworked or you have a lot going on right now, consider taking a day off work. Talk to your employer first to see what the company’s policy is. Is the day paid or unpaid? How long in advance do you need to request the day off? Plan accordingly so you can make the most of this opportunity.
Find a Therapist You Can Trust
Your therapist can be an integral contributor to your stress management plan. As you discuss your personal struggles, your stress will naturally dissipate. Your therapist will also provide personalized advice you can use to overcome stress. These strategies will fit your lifestyle, personality, and past experiences.
If you have a therapist already, talk to him or her about the stress you are experiencing. If you do not have a therapist, feel free to contact Midwest Psychological Services. We have specialists on staff for many areas, including depression treatment, anxiety treatment, family counseling, anger management, marriage counseling and more. Give us a call at (715) 381-1980 to get matched with a therapist near you.Learn More
Stress. It’s part of everyday life. But guess what – it doesn’t have to be! Whether you’re working on your New Year’s resolutions or you’re just trying to improve your mental health, these tips from Midwest Psychological Services will help you lower your stress levels. Check out this comprehensive stress management plan.
Declutter Your Schedule
People often associate stress with physical clutter. A messy desk, a packed closet, or a trash-filled car can trigger stress. However, scheduling clutter can be significantly more stressful, and it often goes unnoticed.
To start your journey through stress management, take a look at your schedule. Are you overstretched in certain areas? Are there responsibilities you could eliminate? Prioritize how you spend your time, and consider taking a break from non-priorities. This will free up time for you. Just you.
Don’t feel obligated to replace that cleared space in your schedule. Instead, keep your time free to finish tasks you may have been neglecting. You may need to catch up on sleep from an aggressive work schedule, or maybe you have some unfinished projects around the house. With a bigger timeframe available, you can check off those to-do’s that are creating passive stress in your life.
Break Large Projects into Smaller Tasks
This is one of the most crucial steps in stress management. A large project can feel overwhelming and unattainable. If you break it into smaller components, you can accomplish them one by one. For instance, if you want to deep clean your house, start with just one room or one space. It could be a small closet, your bathroom cabinet, or that junk drawer in your kitchen. As you progress through the small tasks, you will see your end goal within reach.
Be aware of your personal limitations, and be realistic with your goals. You may have heard the saying. “A done something is better than a perfect nothing.” Use that as a mantra as you progress through your tasks. Every step you take is one step closer to your goal. When you finally reach the end, you will be able to look back at those steps and see how far you’ve come.
Continue to Part 2Learn More
Conflicts happen in a marriage, and sometimes they are unavoidable. By learning how to overcome these conflicts, you can maintain a long-lasting relationship. We have already reviewed the common causes of marriage problems. Here we will explain how to resolve marriage problems quickly, with helpful tips from our licensed marriage counselors.
Try not to talk over one another during a disagreement. You may be tempted to share your side when the other person is talking, but respect what he or she has to say. Listen to the full statement, and then provide your input. If you struggle to do this, you may use a “talking stick” or similar object to create boundaries. Only the person holding the object can speak. Then the object is passed to the other person. In time, you will have healthy communication habits that won’t require this tool.
Discuss Solutions, Not Just Problems
You should express your concerns, but you should also suggest solutions. If you cannot come up with any, prompt your spouse to find solutions with you. “We need to find a way to…” Problems are stressful, but solutions are motivating. The solutions you suggest will show that you do want to work through your issues, and you’re hopeful for the future.
Avoid Negative Comments and Threats
Threatening to leave your spouse is never effective for conflict resolution. This rarely ignites the response you want, and it tells your spouse to be guarded. Every threat damages the trust in your marriage, which is difficult to rebuild.
Negative comments are also hurtful, and they detract from the conversation. Instead of insulting your spouse, focus on the underlying issues. What is this argument actually about? What can you do to fix the core issues? Your marriage counselor can help you with this.
“I Want to” vs. “I Want You to”
During a discussion, avoid phrases that put pressure on the other person. Instead of saying, “I want you to spend more time at home,” say, “I want to spend more time together as a family.” The message is the same, but the phrasing takes the blame off your spouse. This will lead to a more productive discussion.
Take a Break to Gather Your Thoughts
If the argument is escalating without progress, take a break. Give yourselves time to gather your thoughts and think about what you really want to say. A simple reset will provide a calmer environment for conflict resolution.
Talk to Your Marriage Counselor (Even after Resolution)
Your marriage counselor can help you resolve marriage problems. However, your therapist can also help you build on your own success. If you recently resolved an issue in your marriage, talk about it during your counseling session. Your therapist will help you identify what you did right so you can use the same tactics in the future.
Midwest Psychological Services offers marriage counseling, individual counseling and family counseling. Give us a call at (715) 381-1980 to schedule an appointment with a therapist near you.Learn More
Understanding the cause of your marriage problems will help you overcome them. If you do not treat the underlying issues, you will repeatedly experience the same struggles. In this guide, we will explore five common causes of marriage problems, along with solutions you can use in your marriage.
Stress in general can put a damper on a relationship, but financial stress is particularly damaging. This could come from debt, monthly bills, limited income, upcoming expenses, and more. The first step in managing financial stress is to be transparent with your spouse. Discuss the concerns you have, and find solutions for each of them. You may need to eliminate or reduce a few of your monthly bills to make room for saving and debt repayment.
Balancing your busy schedules may be tricky, especially if your work shifts do not align. This may lead to distance in your marriage, which we will discuss later in this guide. It’s important to find a work/life balance that allows time for yourself and your family. Do not overcommit at work, and do not bring your work home (if you can avoid it). Once you’re home, focus on spending quality time with your spouse or relaxing after a hard day. This will ease your stress, which will help your marriage.
In addition to having a work/life balance, you need a balance of household responsibilities. The nature of this balance will depend on your individual abilities. One person may handle most of the household chores because the other person has longer work hours. You may split the chores 50/50. If one person feels like he or she is carrying the weight of the house, marriage problems may develop. Your marriage counselor can help you find a setup that suits your family.
A sense of disconnection does not happen overnight. This usually develops over months or years of gradual distance in the relationship. A simple way to combat this is to set aside 15 minutes of your day to talk to one another. This may be right when you come home from work or when you go to bed. Discuss events from the day, no matter how boring they may seem. You will each feel more involved in each other’s life, which will strengthen your relationship as a whole.
Ineffective Conflict Resolution Strategies
Many marriage problems come from improper communication and ineffective conflict resolution strategies. Do you feel like you have the same argument over and over? That may be because you never resolved it in the first place. By bringing closure to disagreements, you will eliminate unneeded stress in your marriage.
Communication and conflict resolution are two of the biggest focuses in marriage counseling. Your marriage counselor will help you understand your spouse better and establish a healthy flow of communication. If there are longstanding issues in your relationship, you can resolve those through counseling. The experts here at Midwest Psychological Services will guide you every step of the way. Give us a call at (715) 381-1980 to schedule a confidential marriage counseling appointment.
Discuss Your Child’s Disciplinary Issues
If your child is acting out in school or in a particular environment, your former spouse needs to know about it. This will give him or her a forewarning about issues that may come up, and it will also give you a chance to discuss ramifications. What are you going to do if the actions persist? What disciplinary tactics have not worked so far? What would you like to try in the future? These are the kinds of questions you and the other parent should go over together.
Drop off Instead of Picking up
This simple tactic will send a great message to your child. Instead of having the other parent pick up the child, drop him or her off at the other person’s house. Then have that person dropped the child off at your house at the end of the visit. Picking up suggests that a child is being pulled away from a home. If you dropped the child off, it shows that you approve of the household he or she is going to. It’s a subtle message, but it makes a big difference in a child’s perspective.
Do Not Talk Poorly about the Other Parent
It does not matter if that person is behind on child support or has consistently cancelled plans with the child. Your child will make up his or her own mind about the other parent. It is your job to be as supportive as possible. If you create a negative view of the other parent, it may alter the memories that your child is able to make. Let your child and draw his or her own conclusions when the time is right.
Be Fair and Realistic about Visitations
You may want to have your child for every holiday and every major event, but that is usually not an option with co-parenting. Allow your child to have these experiences at both households. You could switch holidays every year, where one year you have him or her for Thanksgiving and the other year you have him or her for Christmas. Find a schedule that works for you, your former spouse, and your child. Your family will be better for it.
Talk to a Co-Parenting Counselor
The suggestions in this guide work as a general guideline, but they may not suit your family’s specific needs. With co-parenting counseling, you can find personalized solutions that work for every member of your family. You can also resolve long term conflicts that may be creating tension between you and the other parent. The experts here at Midwest Psychological Services are here to help. Give us a call at (715) 381-1980 to schedule an appointment with a co-parenting counselor near youLearn More
Parenting is difficult for everyone, but it can be particularly challenging when the parents are no longer together. If you recently got divorced, you still have to work together to raise your child in a healthy and happy environment. As tricky as this may sound, there are countless families that overcome this challenge every single day. In this discussion, we will provide some co-parenting tips after divorce to guide you along this journey.
Do Not Use Your Child as a Messenger
This can be damaging to a child’s mental health in an already stressful situation. If you want to send a message to your ex, do so directly. If you have a court ordered mediator to assist you in these kinds of communications, utilize their services. Whatever you do, do not make your child feel like here she is in the middle of an argument.
Establish Similar Rules for Both Households
You may not have the exact same parenting style as your former spouse, but you need to have similar rules and disciplines strategies. This shows your child that you and your ex are in a united front, and it sends a clear message about what will and will not be tolerated.
This will also make it easier for you to discipline the child when necessary because your child will know household expectations. There is no ‘fun’ house or ‘strict’ house. It is simply two parents implementing the same strategies at two locations.
Keep a Consistent Custody Schedule
This may not always be an option, but you should try to provide as much structure as possible. If one parent is going to get the child on the weekends, make that a consistent occurrence. If you are going to alternate weeks or months with your former spouse, make that consistent as well. You may need to make adjustments to accommodate scheduling conflicts, but your child will do best when there is persistence in structure.
Attend Important Events for Your Child
You do not have to sit with your former spouse at the event, but you should both make an appearance. This includes award ceremonies, sports games, assemblies, musical performances, and other moments that are important to your child. Your child deserves to feel support from both parents. Put your personal conflicts aside to lift your child’s spirits.Learn More