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If you are like some of the clients that I've worked with, you might be wondering if group therapy is the right place for you. I've had some clients question how they are supposed to feel comfortable in a group of strangers, and how anybody else would understand what they are going through. I've also witnessed some group members not take advantage of the opportunities that the group environment promotes, which is highly unfortunate! My hope is that you will get a better understanding of the unique advantages of group treatment.

We live in a world where we want things done yesterday. Instant gratification. We have access to the internet via our phones. At any second we can catch up with the news, check our bank accounts, and send an email. We can purchase something and have it delivered within 2 days. We can check our children’s grades online at any time, book an appointment, do research instantly. A decade ago, this wasn’t the case. We used to have to go to the library to research something, make a phone call to cancel or make an appointment, wait until report cards came out or wait until the evening news to catch up.

We all experience an array of daily emotions, both positive and negative. Each one of these feelings or emotions creates an effect upon our bodies, again both positive and negative. When we engage in positive thoughts and behaviors or encounter pleasant events, our brains release “happy hormones” such as serotonin, endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin or “natural pain killers” such as enkephalins.

Conversely, when we engage in negative thoughts and behaviors or encounter stressful events, both good or bad, our bodies release “stress hormones” such as cortisol which overtime can weaken the body's immune system, making one more likely to get colds, illness, infections or chronic health issues and pain.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

How does one distinguish between winter blues and more serious conditions? Many feel sluggish or down during Fall and Winter months. The winter blues are pretty common. If this sadness is profound, it may be a sign of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression which results from decreased light during the darker Fall and Winter months. With decreased sunlight, our internal biological clocks are thrown off, and it feels as though everything is out of sync. The natural hormone Melatonin also increases with less light, creating more lethargy, fatigue and drowsiness. This can also contribute to depression. It is important to know what the signs and symptoms of SAD and to receive the appropriate level of care.

Although not yet formally recognized as a clinical diagnosis, orthorexia has gained atten-tion in recent years with the rise in organic and natural foods and the “clean eating” movement. While we can all agree that healthy eating has wonderful physical, mental, and emotional benefits; it is possible to have an unhealthy obsession with healthy food (Bratman, 2014).

I can't tell you how often I hear questions about managing stress & anxiety. In this fast paced world it appears to be an inevitable part of life.

But how much of our stress is based upon what is going on right now, in this moment and how much is based upon regrets or anger from the past or worries about the future?

If you are considering entering therapy or adding to your therapeutic knowledge, you should consider Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT. This therapeutic modality was developed in the 1980’s by Marsha Linehan Ph.D. It is a highly researched therapy that can help people with many issues from low self-esteem, worries, anger, depression, anxiety, isolation, withdrawal and impulsive behaviors to name a few. There are many therapeutic skills that a client learns in DBT that many clients fondly call their “tool belt of tools” to make it through any situation and to improve their life and create, “a life worth living”.

Seven reasons to try DBT:

Out of all of the scary parenting issues we face, this is amongst the most scary because it can end a life very prematurely. Adolescents can feel immortal during their teen years. I certainly did. They don't really realize the consequences of putting these substances in their bodies. So, I asked myself “why” this is. I mean, they are told over and over again that drugs are bad, they can get addicted, and even that they can die. Yet, more kids are doing drugs nowadays than ever before. Why?

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The Behavioral Wellness Group is a counseling center providing therapy and behavioral health services and assessment including chemical dependency/drug addiction treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and other therapies. We also provide mental health or psychological assessments, and psychological,educational and bariatric testing. Providing services to the following communities in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake County: Cleveland, Ashtabula, Beachwood, Chardon, Concord, Eastlake, Euclid, Fairport, Geneva, Grand River, Highland Heights, Kirtland, Leroy, Lyndhurst, Madison, Mayfield, Mayfield Heights, Painesville, Pepper Pike, Perry, Russell, Solon, South Euclid, Thompson, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Willoughby Hills, and Willowick, from our offices in Mentor, Ohio.