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Who is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy For?

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Commitment Therapy

You may have heard the term acceptance and commitment therapy. And you may even know a little bit about what it entails. But perhaps most importantly, you might like to know who it’s for. In other words, what mental health issues is it most successful in treating? Because Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an action-based therapy that stems from cognitive behavioral therapy, it’s very helpful in breaking bad habits and addictions. Its main goal is to help patients accept their feelings and learn to live their best lives in spite of them. But there is a bit more to it than that.

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is defined by Contextual Science as “a unique empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility.” What this means in a nutshell is that patients learn to accept their deep emotions as correct responses instead of denying them and pushing them down. Many situations cause deep-rooted feelings that sometimes surface in familiar moments. Or the feelings may be manifesting themselves in detrimental ways in someone’s day-to-day life. Either way, ACT helps patients come to terms with the feelings and discover ways to move forward anyway.

What is ACT used for?

The big question here is who ACT helps most. And this type of therapy is so effective in helping patients change their bad habits that it’s effective for a number of disorders. It has been used to successfully treat depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance abuse, and even psychosis. In the instance of anxiety, the therapy can be used to treat all types of stress, including workplace anxiety, social anxiety, test anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder. It helps by releasing the patient from the obligation of trying to control the feelings that he or she perhaps cannot shake. It teaches them to find a healthy way to engage in actions to move them toward their goals and life values.

How is ACT implemented?

When a therapist decides that ACT might be the best therapy method for a patient, he or she will start by engaging the patient in some specific conversations. These conversations will give you the opportunity to hear the way you speak to yourself and process certain issues. This will help you to understand any feelings you have that seem to be consistent. They will then give you the tools to make decisions about these feelings and any behavioral changes you might need to make. The therapy should help you accept your past and the emotions it involves and start practicing more positive behaviors.

Why does ACT work?

Some professionals believe that acceptance is what is missing from traditional behavior therapy. The basic theory is that changing one’s self-talk or attitude about the feelings they can’t control takes some of the pressure off of them. Other approaches may try to change patients’ feelings, which can add stress to already stressful situations. ACT on the other hand, moves them toward accepting these feelings and not judging themselves for them. It also helps them to understand that they can perform certain tasks and go on living regardless of how they feel. A good example of this is a person who experiences severe test anxiety. That person may miss out on a great deal of opportunity because he or she refuses to finish college or workplace requirements.  But a therapist using ACT can give them tools to take action anyway. They can give them the means to do what they need to do without letting their emotions get the better of them.

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No, Schizotypal Personality Disorder is Not Exactly Schizophrenia

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schizotypal personality disorder

Many people confuse schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) with schizophrenia. It’s easy to understand why this is the case, because the two separate disorders sound quite similar. However, there is a great deal of difference between the two conditions.

People with schizotypal personality disorder generally remain aware of external reality, whereas people with schizophrenia frequently lose sight of what’s ‘real’ and what isn’t. In this article, we’ll explain the differences between these two conditions.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder vs. Schizophrenia

There are many differences between people with SPD and schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a form of full-blown psychosis, in which a patient is unable to actually connect with objective reality. SPD, on the other hand, is a personality disorder which is characterized with personality issues and brief delusions or hallucinatory experiences.

One of the main differences between the two is that people with SPD often have infrequent bouts of psychosis, whereas people with schizophrenia often have to live with these experiences constantly.

A further, and more significant difference, is that people with SPD are often aware of their condition. They are aware that there is a difference between their regular, waking-state reality and their delusional or hallucinatory reality. Schizophrenics, on the other hand, are unable to distinguish between the two.

To understand the different conditions, it can be useful to have a basic understanding of both.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a condition that occurs in people who interpret objective reality differently than others. The condition is marked by hallucinations, delusions, and distorted thought patterns. These issues can make it very difficult for a schizophrenic to function in day-to-day life.

Modern allopathic medicine considers schizophrenia to be a debilitating mental illness that requires pharmaceutical treatment. Holistic forms of medicine, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and various forms of indigenous medicine, believe that schizophrenics are simply able to communicate with aspects of reality that are not easily perceived by the ordinary consciousness.

Whatever the case, schizophrenics are prone to a number of symptoms, such as:

  • Developing delusions: false beliefs that are not grounded in the ordinary reality as it is perceived by other individuals
  • Hallucinations – perceiving things, sounds, or situations that are not observed by others
  • Disorganized thoughts and speech patterns, preventing people from communicating effectively
  • Difficulty with motor control, seeming to move in accordance to objects that aren’t there

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

SPD is a bit different than schizophrenia. People with SPD are generally seen by others as strange, and they may have a hard time building close friendships or intimate relationships. This is partly because people with SPD have a hard time understanding relationship dynamics and have a hard time understanding how their actions can influence others.

Symptoms of SPD can be similar to those of schizophrenia, though they are not usually as severe or debilitating.

  • People with SPD are often isolated and have very few intimate relationships
  • They may have a hard time expressing emotions, or may respond inappropriately
  • People with SPD often have serious social anxiety
  • They may find personal significance in events that are unrelated to them
  • They may have unusual thought patterns or belief systems
  • They may experience frequent paranoia

Conclusion

While schizophrenia and SPD may share a number of symptoms, they are not the same condition. It may be possible for SPD to develop into full-blown schizophrenia, but in most cases, the two problems are completely separate.

People with SPD may frequently have trouble engaging with reality; schizophrenics, on the other hand, are more often disconnected to reality than they are connected. Schizophrenics are often diagnosed and given medication, where people with SPD may live their lives free from pharmaceuticals.

Reference 1: Mayo Clinic

Reference 2: E-counseling

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Health

Post Natal Training: 10 Tips

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Post Natal Training

Pregnancy brings a lot of transformation in a mother’s body. Motherhood is awesome, but along with it comes a bulgy body that needs some extra attention and care for getting back in shape. Post natal training and exercise are a solution to it and needs to be followed religiously if you desire of overcoming those bulges and fats. So if you are a mommy thinking about reclaiming your figure, here are a few tips that you need to remember if you are starting with your post natal training:

  1. Keep control over your nutrition and diet

Along with a new born baby comes the responsibility of taking care of the baby’s needs and requirements. But despite the care that you have to bestow on the infant, make sure that you are particular about your eating and diet habits as well. You need to keep a watch on what you eat. Keep away from high-calorie food and eat things that have nutritional value to stay in good shape.

  1. Keep exercises short and sweet

A new mommy may be involved in an endless number of things. Starting from feeding to changing the nappies, there are several things that can keep you busy the whole day. In such a case, long hours of workout is not desirable. You can consider starting with twenty to twenty five minutes and further increase the counts at a later stage. A post natal training session of half an hour is enough to stay fit and you can maintain this time span for about a month further increasing it by an additional 30 minutes after the fifth week.

  1. Slow and steady wins the race

This is an age-old saying that we all have learned from the rabbit and tortoise story. You need to follow this quote from deep within. It is not expected out of a new mommy to start jumping and skipping again to lose weight, particularly if you have had a C-section. So you need to be slow when you start. Do not rush with things, give yourselves time, and do not forget to consult a doctor before you start. Only when the doctor gives you a green signal, you can resume your workout sessions.

  1. Exercising it right

Women who are particular about their figure get involved in exercises soon after delivery to get back to shape. But the thumb rule says if you are not sure about things on how to proceed, then visiting an expert is the only solution. Doing it incorrectly can cause stress and strain and may also weaken the pelvic floor. So before you start, seek the advice of a pro or an expert so that you do not fall prey to common mistakes.

  1. Craftiness is the essence for post-natal training

For every new mom who wishes to be back in shape soon after the delivery, it is essential for you to understand that excess pressure can weaken the muscles. Thus, you shouldn’t be in a rush to start with crunches, forward leaning and overhead lifting. Start at a slow pace and try to get crafty with your core exercises. You can try anti-rotation exercises, pall of presses, transverse abdominis, single arm splits, etc. to start with your post natal training sessions.

  1. Heavy weights are not for you

Some women prefer to gain strength after delivery and thus put their foot forward to go ahead with burpees and similar exercise. But again, you need to understand that heavy weight is not your cup of tea at the initial stage. It can cause injury and can also be a reason accrues issues like prolapse and hernia. Simple walking and core exercises are all that you may need in the initial weeks after delivery; you can keep heavy weights for a later stage.

  1. Watch for any signs of bleeding

If you have started exercising after your delivery, then you have to be watchful for any kind of signs and indications from your body. Some ladies happen to bleed while trying out exercises after childbirth. So if this is your case, then you need to understand that your body is not ready to take the pressure and you need to wait until you are healed completely.

  1. Be hydrated at all times

Once when you start with post natal training exercises, you need to take care that you drink ample amount of water. If you are a breastfeeding mommy, keep yourself hydrated at all times. Always keep a water bottle handy so that you can remind yourself to drink water after regular intervals.

  1. Relax to replenish

Being a new mommy is not that easy, and you may have to face sleepless nights for months. So the golden rule is ‘sleep while your kid sleeps’ because that is the only time when you can be in a state of peace of mind. A very few women tend to follow this practice but adhering to this old saying can help you to replenish yourself, especially if you are involved in post natal training sessions. Exercises can drain your energy and to refill it you need to rest and relax for a while. So relaxing is as important as pressing yourself hard to get back to shape. Relaxing can help you to restore yourselves and get back to work again.

  1. Staying active

Many times you may miss your exercise sessions, but it doesn’t mean that you have to be panicky for the same. Initial months may be overloaded with baby blues and thus missing out sessions is normal. So even if you skip your exercises, you can find means and ways for staying active, this can be equivalently helpful for you to shed those fats.

So, these were a few quick tips that you need to follow after starting your post natal training. New mothers need to realize that one has to be patient and realistic about weight loss goals. So get started, but do remember these tips while moving ahead to reclaim your body.

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Health

My Healthy Toolkit

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Ayurvedic Medicine Reliable

Over the years I have tried many different methods and techniques for healing and well being. Some of these healthy rituals and experiments have failed miserably, but many have helped make my body, mind, and heart healthier. Since these lifestyle changes have been so important to me, I’d like to share my list of what you will find in my healthy toolkit.

Yoga — This is my best tool to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Just practicing a few basic yoga poses makes me feel great.

Art – creating something beautiful and unique to you. It need not be a masterpiece.  “Art is about emotion; if art needs to be explained, it is no longer art.” – Pierre Auguste Renoir

Take a break – hiking, traveling, healthy spa weekend (or week) – on a micro-scale Meditation and a walk w/out any smartphones (real solitude) works.

Eat well for your body – keep a food diary for the week. Evaluate when you feel good. Figure out what makes you overeat and/or self-sooth eating.

Connect with others – not easy for everyone, but critical for your wellbeing.

Sleep – OMG I am a cranky, disoriented & very ineffective person w/out it. Sleep deprivation is used in torture for a reason. I’d crack in a minute.

Help others – it’s magical how worrying about someone else and helping in any way you can help you. What a beautiful win-win.

Learn to ride the waves of the ups and downs of life – great information online about this subject, but it’s “work” to find what works for you, and this tool is organic. It changes over time as you change.

Cultivate a spiritual life – whatever that means to you. Discover and strengthen your connection to something that is greater than yourself.

Physical – call it exercise, fun movement, whatever you enjoy – I had a fitness and health magazine for many years, I could talk about the benefits of this forever.

Foster Optimism – 1st thing daily I read aloud my affirmations, I read inspiring words, I look at inspirational images & I write three Morning Pages. My set point in life has always been optimistic, but my daily ritual enhances that.

Laughing, Music & Play – Just For the sheer joy of Play (no expectations or product).

Analyze – Journal, art journal, make lists, etc. It doesn’t matter if you’re so detailed you keep an Excel spreadsheet; the key is to study what works and what does not.

Find a mentor – Actively seek out a trusted hero, A real-world inspiring person, etc. + Rethink your role models from childhood. We tend to get stuck in ideas that no longer serve us. Expend the energy to update your list.

Your circle of influence – Surround yourself w/ people that make you feel good about you.

Heal any unfinished business – I may have eliminated my abusers, but that does not mean I have to forgive them (some disagree w/ me on this). They are accountable, but I hold them no ill will. Forgive yourself for your mistakes, flaws, etc. Love yourself, unconditionally. Healing can take time from a disappointment or a wound. Be kind to yourself. Seek professional help if you need it.

Live in the moment – Change takes time, which seems contrary to the in-the-moment mantra, I repeat a lot. But energetically the universe responds to the energy of action. You can’t just wish stuff into being. You are co-creating your life.

Celebrate – life is such a gift. Keep a gratitude journal if that helps to illuminate this.

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