Depression and Anxiety

Depression and Anxiety

Therapy decreases patients depression and anxiety

Research suggests that therapy effectively decreases patients’ depression and anxiety and related symptoms – such as pain, fatigue and nausea. Psychotherapy, particularly anxiety therapy, has been found to increase survival time for heart surgery and cancer patients, and it can have a positive effect on the body’s immune system. Research increasingly supports the idea that emotional and physical health are very closely linked and that psychotherapy can improve a person’s overall health. There is convincing evidence that most people who have at least several sessions of psychotherapy are far better off than untreated individuals with emotional difficulties. One major study showed that 50 percent of patients noticeably improved after eight sessions while 75 percent of individuals in counseling psychotherapy improved by the end of six months. Psychotherapy with children is similar in effectiveness to psychotherapy with adults.

If you or your child are facing challenges in life, or just need a little extra support in managing your work, family or relationship stresses, counseling psychotherapy can help you learn techniques to manage stress efficiently.

There are several different therapeutic methods a therapist may employ—cognitive behavioral (CBT), art therapy, play therapy, anxiety therapy, hypnotherapy, family system therapy—and many counseling psychotherapy approaches draw upon various methods to create a custom-made therapy program. Therapists often work with their clients to create a treatment plan that encompasses different techniques to best address their client’s particular problems. Whether your prefer play therapy, anxiety therapy, or an eclectic approach – psychotherapy should be a partnership between you and a licensed professional. The appropriate counseling psychotherapy approach will depend on your personal therapy goals. Search TherapyTribe.com online directory to review […]

By |June 17th, 2010|Anxiety, Cancer, Depression|Comments Off on Depression and Anxiety

Let the Mind Help Tame an Irritable Bowel

Let the Mind Help Tame an Irritable Bowel

If you’ve ever had butterflies in your stomach or an attack of nerves that sent you racing for the bathroom, you already know that the intestinal tract has a mind of its own. The millions who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, or I.B.S., perhaps know it best. I.B.S., with its symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhea or constipation or an alternating cycle of the two, can seriously impair the ability to work and enjoy leisure activities. Up to 15 percent of the population is affected, though only half seek medical help. The gut and brain are intimately connected, with more nerve cells in the intestines than in the spinal cord. The gut has been called the body’s second brain, containing 95 percent of the body’s neurotransmitter serotonin and direct nerve connections to the brain.

So it is no surprise that this common disorder of intestinal function has a strong mind-body connection. This does not mean I.B.S. is a psychosomatic condition caused by emotions, but rather that emotional upsets can aggravate symptoms in someone with a hyper-reactive bowel. It also means that learning to minimize stress and emotional disturbances can reduce the symptoms of I.B.S., perhaps more effectively than medications, recent research has indicated. Yet much educational material about this condition underplays the mind-body connection and the vital role that emotional retraining can play in controlling it.

This is perhaps an overreaction to the past when most patients with I.B.S. were told there was nothing physically wrong with them — it was all in their heads. After all, they had no obvious organic cause like a tumor, infection or ulcer. In the modern era of medicalization, the pendulum swung the other way. Gastroenterologists […]

Use Hypnotherapy to Reduce Pain and Nausea in Cancer Patients

Reduce Pain and Nausea in Cancer Patients

Use Hypnotherapy to Reduce Pain and Nausea in Cancer Patients

Cancer is an illness that affects millions of Americans, whether they are currently being treated or in remission. Two of the most common symptoms of cancer and cancer treatments are pain and nausea. Hypnotherapy has been proven to help cancer patients reduce the severity of their cancer symptoms including pain and nausea. It is important that alternative methods are explored in order to help people naturally improve their symptoms.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 560,000 Americans will die from cancer in 2009. Cancer is the number two cause of death in the United States behind heart disease. Men have a 1 in 2 chance of developing cancer in their lifetime and women have a 1 in 3 chance of developing cancer in their lifetime.

A clinical trial tested the effectiveness of hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) on treating pain and nausea in cancer patients. The researchers evaluated whether hypnosis or CBT were effective in treating the symptoms of 67 cancer patients. The patients that participated in the clinical trial were recipients of a bone marrow transplant (Syrjala, Cummings, & Donaldson, 1992).

A bone marrow transplant is needed when a patient’s bone marrow has been destroyed or is not functioning properly. Cancers that often require bone marrow transplants include leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. A transplant occurs when bone marrow is taken from a healthy individual and implanted into the cancer patient. This process involves many symptoms including pain and nausea (Medline Plus).

The clinical trial randomly divided the participants into 4 groups. Group one received hypnosis. Group two received CBT. Groups three and four served as control groups where group three […]

By |July 8th, 2009|Cancer, Hypnotherapy, Stress|Comments Off on Use Hypnotherapy to Reduce Pain and Nausea in Cancer Patients

Gut Feelings: The Mind-Body Connection

Gut Feelings

Gut Feelings: The Mind-Body Connection

If you’ve ever felt your insides twist in knots before a big speech, you know the stomach listens carefully to the brain. In fact, the entire digestive system is closely tuned to a person’s emotions and state of mind, says William E. Whitehead, PhD, a professor of medicine and an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina. People with irritable bowel syndrome often suffer flare-ups during times of stress and anxiety, and even perfectly healthy people can worry their way to stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or other problems. Even if a doctor can’t find anything physically wrong, the misery is real.

In the past
Back when scientists believed the mind and the body operated as separate entities — some physicians wrote off digestive distress with no sign of organic disease as being “all in the head.” But in recent years, that wall has crumbled. Doctors now see intricate links between the nervous system and the digestive system. The two realms constantly exchange streams of chemical and electrical messages, and anything that affects one is likely to affect the other. The connections between the two systems are so tight that scientists often refer to them as one entity: the brain-gut axis. (The brain-gut axis is a hot topic in medicine. In the summer of 2001, more than 100 researchers from around the world gathered in Los Angeles for a convention called “2001: A Brain-Gut Odyssey.”) For people suffering from persistent digestive troubles unconnected to disease, such research suggests that reducing stress, depression, and anxiety may go a long way toward calming the gut.

Listening to your gut
It may surprise many people to learn that the gut actually contains […]

Therapy for Irritable Bowel

Therapy for Irritable Bowel

Therapy? Hypnosis for Irritable Bowel?

Some people may cope better with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with help from cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis, three new studies show.

The studies were presented in Los Angeles, at Digestive Disease Week 2006, an international meeting of doctors, researchers, and academics.

One of the studies used cognitive behavioral therapy to teach IBS patients new ways to handle their condition. The other two studies tested hypnosis in IBS patients who hadn’t been helped by other treatments.

Cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis were each linked to improvements in gastrointestinal symptoms, the studies show.

Not ‘Hocus-pocus’

The hypnosis researchers included Magnus Simren, MD, of Sahlgrenska University Hospital’s internal medicine department in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Hypnotherapy is already used to treat IBS patients, mainly at a few highly specialized gastrointestinal centers, Simren told reporters in a conference call. His team used two more common settings: a university hospital and a county hospital.

Exactly how hypnosis helps IBS isn’t clear. Simren, a gastroenterologist, admits having his doubts that patients would give it a try.

“When I started with this, I was a little bit afraid that patients would be hesitant, that they would think this is hocus-pocus. But they are very open-minded to this,” he says.

“When I speak to the patient, I tell them that this is a way that you can get control over your symptoms,” says Simren. “They are quite satisfied with that explanation.”

Hypnosis Studies

Simren’s hypnosis studies had a combined total of 135 IBS patients. The patients’ average age was 41; most were women.

In both studies, participants were split into two groups. One group got 12 weekly one-hour hypnotherapy sessions focused on gut-related problems. For comparison, […]

Therapy Benefits IBS

Therapy Benefits IBS

Cognitive Therapy Benefits IBS

Cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy have been successfully used in the treatment of a variety of chronic syndromes, including common functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, such as irritable bowel syndrome. New research presented today at Digestive Disease Week® 2006 (DDW) again asserts that these therapies may have a powerful impact on the digestive system including improving symptoms of lower GI tract disorders. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

“These studies illustrate the intricate ties between the digestive tract and other major body systems,” said Emeran Mayer, M.D., professor of medicine, physiology and psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles. “Physicians must recognize these connections to help treat patients more effectively.”

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Therapist-Administered vs Minimal-Therapist-Contact Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Moderate to Severe IBS

Preliminary research funded by the National Institutes of Health shows that behavioral therapy may be quite effective in treating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) unresponsive to standard medications and dietary agents. However, it can be an expensive and time-consuming option. Study authors from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York condensed a behavioral treatment program into a four session patient-administered format with minimal therapist contact in an attempt to reduce the costs and time-commitment for patients. Researchers found that even though the four-session program required less therapist time, it was as effective as the 10-week, clinic-based program in relieving the range of GI symptoms of IBS.

Researchers randomly assigned 59 patients to receive a 10-week; clinic-based behavioral treatment (CBT); a four-session behavioral program (MC-CBT); […]

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