Adult Therapy FAQ
Sometimes we’re faced with a problem that we just don’t know how to solve on our own. This could be difficulties at home or at work, coping with a health issue, low mood, anxiety, relationship difficulties, sleep problems, or more general dilemmas like what will give our lives meaning and purpose. When this happens, the psychologists and therapists at the Jadis Blurton Family Development Center’s Department of Therapy and Psychological Health can provide the support that you need.
OUR THERAPY AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH SERVICES
PROBLEMS AND GOALS TREATED:
We offer counselling, therapy and behavioral health services for adults with a variety of emotional and situational problems. In a warm and welcoming environment, our therapists provide individual, couples and family therapy for:
- Low Mood, Depression and Mood Swings
- Stress, Anxiety and Panic
- Irritability and Anger
- Obsessive Thinking and Compulsions
- Chronic pain
- Trichotillomania (hair pulling) and Skin Picking
- Adjustment to medical conditions
- Grief and loss
- Couples and Family conflict
- Crisis management
- Adapting to Relocation, Culture Shock and Other Cultural Issues
- Employment stress
- Gender, sexual issues and menopause
- Identity issues
- Lack of motivation and direction
- Life decisions
- Personal growth
- Thriving During Retirement
If during the initial assessment we identify difficulties that require services that we don’t provide at our Centre, such as medication, we will assist you in finding a professional in Hong Kong who can help.
TYPES OF THERAPY OFFERED
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT)
Cognitive Therapy and Behavior Therapy are types of treatment that are based firmly on research findings. CBT has been proven effective in hundreds of clinical studies. These approaches aid people in achieving specific changes or goals. These might involve:
A way of feeling: like reducing negative emotions such as excessive sadness, anxiety or anger, and increasing positive emotions such as happiness and joy;
A way of thinking: like learning to problem solve, decrease self-defeating thoughts and develop or regain a positive outlook on life;
A way of behaving: like identifying ways of acting that interfere with your personal, relationship, family, social or occupational goals and increasing behaviors that bring you nearer to them;
A way of improving health or coping with health issues: like overcoming insomnia, learning to dissolve pain or reducing the distress caused by physical problems such as tinnitus.
CBT can help you to:
- Change your thoughts, beliefs, ideas, attitudes, assumptions, mental imagery, and the things on which you focus — the cognitive, or thinking part of CBT
- Face the challenges in your life calmly and take actions that are likely to have good results —
the behavioral, or action part of CBT
CBT differs from other kinds of therapy because it:
Emphasizes results: It helps you define your goals, plan ways to accomplish the goals, and encourages you to check your progress
Is short-term: Depending on your problem and how hard you work to change your thoughts and behaviors, you often can achieve or make significant progress toward your goals in 10 to 20 sessions.
Focuses on self-help: It helps you learn ways to manage your life better
Whereas cognitive therapy teaches you to identify and change the content of thoughts that are causing negative emotions and sometimes unhelpful behaviors, mindfulness therapy addresses the process of thinking. Whereas most of us naturally keep their arms and legs relatively still when we don’t need to use them, nobody ever taught us to keep our mind relatively still. This, combined with the tendency to “believe everything we think” can cause significant distress. The practice of psychological meditation and mindfulness, without any spiritual or religious content, is easy to learn and practice and can be combined with cognitive behavioral treatment to treat a wide range of emotional difficulties.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY FOR INSOMNIA (CBT-I)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, often called CBT-I, is a research-based method for treating insomnia without the use of sleeping pills. CBT-I is aimed at changing sleep habits and scheduling factors, unhelpful thinking patterns, and misconceptions about sleep and insomnia, that perpetuate sleep difficulties.
The National Institute of Health’s state-of-the science meeting on insomnia concluded that CBT-I is a safe and effective means of managing chronic insomnia and its effects. This treatment includes regular, often weekly, visits to our psychologist, who will give you a series of sleep assessments, ask you to complete a sleep diary and work with you in sessions to help you change the way you sleep. Results can often be seen after several weeks, and sleep is often back to normal or almost back to normal after 10 to 12 sessions.
MINDFULNESS-BASED PAIN REDUCTION
Whereas our instinctive reaction to pain is to try to reduce it, this is often easier said than done. Research on pain management has found that one of the most effective techniques for reducing pain is distraction, that is, focusing on something else. A newer technique, consistent with the emergence of mindfulness therapies for all sorts of difficulties, is the exact opposite of distraction, but with powerful results. This involves not turning attention away from pain, but giving pain our full attention and then “dissolving” it by focusing the attention in strategic ways.
Imagine trying to learn to throw a basketball into a basketball hoop blindfolded. Compare this with how, with your eyes open, the feedback you receive by seeing how close or far you were helps you to get the ball closer to the hoop on your next try, and eventually to get it in.
Neurofeedback is a treatment that involves watching a computer screen that gives you audiovisual feedback about the behaviour of your brainwaves, as detected by sensors placed on the surface of your scalp (this involves no breaking of the skin, no electricity introduced into the brain, and no pain).
Why would you want feedback about this? Because (1) research has shown that various cognitive, emotional and behavioral difficulties (for example, inattention, depression/anxiety, and hyperactivity) are related to patterns of brainwaves in different regions of the brain and (2) more helpful patterns can be trained and learned via neurofeedback.
Research on neurofeedback indicates that it is helpful for various problems such as anxiety, depression and ADHD.
COUNSELLING AND LIFE COACHING
Sometimes we have problems or goals that don’t fit neatly into diagnostic categories such as “depression,” “anxiety,” “panic disorder,” “obsessive compulsive disorder,” “attention deficit disorder,” “insomnia,” or “chronic pain.” Rather, we have one or another life problem and we could benefit from talking it over with someone who is objective, concerned, and trained in how to help us to deal with and get through it.
Alternatively, we may have goals we just can’t seem to achieve, and could benefit from learning how to approach them in a more productive way.
These are the realms of “counselling,” “life coaching” and “positive psychology,” and clients can benefit from receiving these services from someone trained in psychological diagnosis and therapy. This is because all good therapists are also good life coaches, as psychological problems occur in the context of the client’s day to day life, and therefore lifestyle and life goals are always addressed as a part of the therapy. In addition, trained therapist possesses the knowledge, tools and experience necessary to identify problems or aspects of problems that may actually require, in addition to life coaching, one or another psychotherapy in order to be resolved.