Anxiety is one of the most common emotional challenges facing our population. This includes:
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder:
Feelings of panic, fear, or constant uneasiness
Shortness of breath
Inability to be still or calm
Numbness or tingling in hands/feet
Our therapists have a vast wealth of experience using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is known to significantly improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and when necessary, we are comfortable working with you and your doctor to coordinate care if medication is something that may be also helpful.
Our teens are facing many challenges today and unfortunately, they are struggling to cope with these pressures in healthy way. These problems include:
Exposure to violence in schools and their communities
Excessive screen time and use of social media
Bullying, including cyber bullying
Depression and suicide
Drugs and alcohol
Increasing academic pressures
Sexual activity, including LGBTQI issues
These stressors can lead to a variety of emotional and behavioral concerns for parents and school personnel.
Our therapists at Westmoreland Psychotherapy Associates are experienced in working with youth ages 6 to 21 using a variety of interventions to engage and successfully help your child navigate these kinds of issues.
Grief and loss is something that all of us as human beings will experience at some point in our life times. We most often associate grief and loss with the death of a loved one, divorce, or loss of a job; however, grief and loss also occur whenever we experience significant changes or transitions in our lives.
Even when we choose a change or a transition – such as a job change, or a move to a new home/city, or attending college away from home – we must “give up” the familiar and the known to go towards something that is new, different, and unfamiliar. These times in our lives can be very challenging and difficult to cope with and manage.
It is at times like these, where a therapist or counselor can help us gain perspective. Therapy and counseling can help us learn how to pause and recognize the impact of the change so that we can put it in its proper place and manage through the transition with healthy coping skills.
Learning to grieve in a healthy manner and cope with losses of people or manage transition is a skill that can and should be developed; however, we often hear from our clients “I should just be able to deal with it.”
All of us have unique internal and external resources to cope with issues related to grief, loss, and change. No one handles these situations the same and there is no “right or wrong way” to grieve or change.
At Westmoreland Psychotherapy Associates, we provide specialized and focused therapy to help individuals or families understand what is happening through their own experience as well as develop an understanding of their resources for coping through the transition.
What does it mean to be a “normal” family? Families are comprised in many different ways and are facing unique challenges as a result. Some of the things facing our families include:
Coping with divorce
Managing as a single parent
Juggling demands of a dual working parent home
Grandparents raising grandchildren
Caring for aging parents/family members
Communicating and navigating through these dynamics while balancing work, school, and relationships can be very difficult and take a toll on everyone in your family.
At WPA, we are experienced in helping and counseling families of all shapes and sizes to cope with these issues and to care for one another in the process.
Depression is more common than you would think. It affects approximately 1 in 10 people during their lifetime. It is also something that is very treatable. Signs and symptoms of depression include:
Chronic feelings of sadness
Irritability or being excessively critical
Loss of interest in pleasurable things
Withdrawing from others
Having decreased concentration
Changes in sleep (insomnia or excessive sleeping)
Changes in appetite and/or weight (gain or loss)
Having no energy
Depression can often times shows up as irritability, fighting, and increased drug and alcohol usage, often masking the true underlying problems of anxiety and depression.
Our therapists have a vast wealth of experience using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), which are known to significantly improve symptoms of depression, and when necessary, we are comfortable working with you and your doctor to coordinate care if medication is something that may be also helpful.
Chronic Illness and Mood
Serious illness (cancer, heart attack, and other life- threatening disorders) and chronic diseases (diabetes, obesity, migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain, etc.) often affect the individual, the family caregiver, and family members emotionally as well as physically.
Fears of the unknown, physical limitations, body changes, difficulty adjusting, and feeling overwhelmed can impact daily functioning. In addition, some medications used to treat the disorder may have a side effect of mood disruption, such as depression or anxiety.
Inadequate coping skills (isolation, denial, alcohol or drug abuse, over-eating) can lead to further complications. Learning to live with physical illness can be challenging to all involved.
Therapy can help individuals and families live a full and meaningful life:
Address unspoken fears
Learn coping skills
Identify strategies to deal with limitations and changes
Express feelings regarding illness impact on life plans
Recognize and utilize resources and support
Therapy can involve both the individual and the family to address concerns and provide emotional support.
Stress is a reaction to an ever changing environment and its demands. Stress can have physical and emotional effects and if untreated can effect relationships, work, and overall functioning.
Health & Physical Issues Caused by Stress
Insomnia or hypersomnia
Reduced or increased appetite
Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol
Diminished physical health
Decreased productivity and enjoyment at work
Migraine headaches and other physical complaints
Ulcer, heart attack, stroke
Stress management starts with identifying stressors and becoming aware of stress-inducing thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
In addition to helping our clients gain awareness, our therapists will provide you with concrete tools needed to better manage your stress. These tools include mindfulness (staying in the moment), distress tolerance (crisis survival strategies), emotion regulation (self care, building positive experiences, and reducing suffering), and interpersonal effectiveness (communicating assertively.
A life transition can be a planned or unplanned change in ones life and can leave you feeling fragile and vulnerable. Even if the life transition is a positive change, it is important to process the thoughts and feelings associated with the transition.
Examples of Life transitions
Having a baby
Leaving for college
Significant loss (of a person, job, pet, or anything important)
Life transitions challenge us to find new ways of adapting and require us to learn new coping skills. At Westmoreland Psychotherapy Associates, we provide a supportive environment where our clients will work with our therapists to gain concrete skills to help plan for change, handle change that has already occurred, and manage stress that may be associated with the life transition.
War, terrorism, neighborhood or school violence, domestic violence, rape, child abuse, car accidents, robbery, or anything unexpected that creates a traumatic response can impact us deeply. Trauma can affect:
Therapy can help process the traumatic event(s) and explore the resulting consequences to resolve the crisis. The initial focus is on personal safety and security and expands to increase the individual’s feelings of control and return to optimal functioning.