PTSD and Your Brain

Watch video presentation here.

In today’s video we will look at why some traumatic memories remain vivid after the threat has passed. I am Lisa Taylor-Austin, licensed psychotherapist and expert witness.

Some research suggests that trauma memories might not fade over time to the same extent as other personal memories. In a prospective longitudinal study comparing positive and traumatic autobiographical memories, Porter and Peace (2007) reported that while ratings of vividness, overall quality and sensory components declined for positive memories, these ratings remained nearly unchanged for memories of traumatic events.

Only a few studies have investigated the phenomenological characteristics of very distant trauma memories. Hiskey, Luckie, Davies, and Brewin (2008) reported that elderly people with intrusive memories from a distant traumatic event experienced these memories as intense and with vivid sensory components. Also, in a study with individuals who reported traumatic experiences during World War II, the vividness of trauma memories and centrality of the event was associated with post traumatic stress reactions decades after the traumatic experience (Berntsen & Rubin, 2006). This suggests that the degree to which an event is vividly recalled and construed as central to identity and life story might be factors that contribute to maintaining post traumatic stress reactions in the very long term.

A new brain imaging study reveals traumatic memories utilize different neural pathways than normal memories, providing empirical evidence they function as vivid fragments of a present ordeal rather than processed recollections of the past. Researchers say the findings help explain why traumatic memories stubbornly persist and involuntarily intrude as flashbacks and night terrors characteristic of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Daniela Schiller of Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine stated: “The brain doesn’t look like it’s in a state of memory; it looks like it is a state of present experience,” . The research team conducted MRI scans of PTSD patients as they listened to pre-recorded audio of their own traumatic memories.

In contrast to ordinary autobiographical memories, traumatic memories failed to activate the hippocampus – the area responsible for memory consolidation that places recollections into context. Instead, trauma activated the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), a region governing introspection normally disengaged during memory recall.

All of this speaks to why those with PTSD feel as though they are still living in the moment of the abuse. They are in a constant state of hypervigilence and feeling anxious, on edge and on guard.Often there is a Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive memories, flashbacks, and nightmares

  • Avoiding people, places, or thoughts that remind you of the trauma
  • Changes in your mood and thinking including feeling distant from other people and having overwhelming negative emotions
  • Feeling on edge and becoming irritable, easily frightened, or having difficulty concentrating or sleeping

One modality to treat PTSD is EMDR. As an EMDR therapist, I see many of my clients helped by this type of treatment, when all other treatments have failed them. There are over 500 academic studies showing its effectiveness, at least 40 randomized controlled studies, the gold standard of research, not to mention at least 12 RCS or response to challenge with children. EMDR is not for everyone and a person needs to be evaluated for appropriateness of treatment, however it is a worthwhile treatment you may want to look into if you suspect you may have PTSD or if you have been already diagnosed. As a side note CPTSD is real but is not a diagnosis in the United States. It is recognized in countries that use the ICD11 to diagnose. Here in the USA we use the DSM5-TR to diagnose and only PTSD is the official diagnosis, at the time this video is being made. CPTSD often develops over sustained, repeated or multiple forms of traumatic events, we see this in the intimate partners of narcissists, those with antisocial personality disorder and other severe diagnoses. We also see it in clients who live in communities with violence and gang activity.

EMDR is helpful to those who have PTSD and CPTSD, and is one to consider if you are struggling.

If you seek emdr therapy from me personally please reach out at my website thetayloraustingroup.com the link is below. If this video was helpful to you or may be helpful to someone you know please share it.

Thank you for watching and stay tuned for more on this topic.

Narcissistic Relationship is Like Drug Addiction: Beginning of Trauma Bond

Narcissistic Relationship is Like Drug Addiction: Beginning of Trauma Bond
You can watch the video on You Tube here

In todays video, I want to take you on a journey into the intricate workings of the human brain, specifically focusing on how your relationship with the narcissist creates brain changes that are the same brain changes as drug addiction. Both hijack your brain’s chemical balance. We’ll delve into three crucial brain chemical changes that occur with drug addiction, shedding light on the underlying mechanisms driving this complex and devastating effect the narcissist has on your brain. If you watch through to the end of the video you will have a clear understanding of the narcissist’s affect on your and how it mimics drug addiction.

I’m Lisa Taylor-Austin, licensed psychotherapist and expert witness.

Let’s start with perhaps the most well-known aspect of drug addiction: the dysregulation of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, reward, and motivation. When we engage in activities like eating or socializing, our brain releases dopamine, reinforcing those behaviors and encouraging us to repeat them. However, drugs can artificially stimulate dopamine release in the brain, flooding it with unnaturally high levels of this neurotransmitter. This flood of dopamine creates intense feelings of pleasure and euphoria, reinforcing the desire to use the drug again. The narcissist often uses intermittent reinforcement. They will shower you with happy times, attention and providing you with everything you have ever wanted. You are on cloud nine. The covert narcissist will start to devalue you slightly through disappearing, withdrawing or with holding. You are left wanting that next hit or high or positive feelings. This is similar to a drug addict. When they have their drug hit, they become high. When the drug is not available, they sync into a low feeling.

The dysregulation of dopamine underlies the cycle of addiction, driving compulsive drug-seeking and use despite negative consequences. You might find yourself unable to break the bond to the covert, although you know they are not healthy for you. You seek them out, look for their text or call. As soon as it comes there is a chemical rush that happens – you are anxious yet elated at the same time. You are looking for the slightest hint you are still of value to them so you can return to feeling happy.

Another crucial neurotransmitter affected by drug addiction is serotonin. Serotonin is involved in regulating mood, emotions, and sleep. Drugs can disrupt the delicate balance of serotonin in the brain, leading to profound changes in mood and behavior. The covert narcissist can do this to you as well. When the covert doesn’t act happy to see you or is disinterested or moody themselves, this causes a reaction in your of your mood and your feelings of self worth.

Let’s return to drugs again. Drugs like MDMA (ecstasy) and hallucinogens such as LSD and psilocybin affect serotonin receptors, leading to altered perceptions, mood swings, and in some cases, long-term changes in mood regulation. Similarly, drugs like cocaine and amphetamines can interfere with serotonin reuptake, prolonging its effects and contributing to the intense highs and subsequent crashes experienced by users.
This imbalance in serotonin can contribute to the emotional dysregulation and mood disorders often observed in individuals struggling with addiction, further complicating the recovery process. This is what makes it so hard to break away from the covert narcissist. You find yourself seeking their attention, love, intimate conversations, sex, etc. and because the covert uses positive reinforcement and then negative reinforcement, you are on a perpetual roller coaster ride.

Lastly, let’s discuss the role of glutamate in drug addiction. Glutamate is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, involved in learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity. Drugs can modulate glutamate transmission, altering the brain’s reward circuitry and reinforcing addictive behaviors. For example, drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine enhance glutamate release in the brain’s reward pathway, strengthening the associations between drug-related cues and the rewarding effects of the substance. This can lead to heightened cravings and increased vulnerability to relapse, even after periods of abstinence.
Additionally, chronic drug use can lead to long-term changes in glutamate receptors and signaling pathways, contributing to the persistent nature of addiction and the difficulty in achieving sustained recovery. Your relationship with the covert causes similar responses. Due to the intermittent reinforcement of the covert: they shower you with attention, devalue you only to shower you again in the future, your brain reacts and responds the very same way. This is one of the reasons that makes it so very hard to leave the covert narcissist. Your brain has been rewired. You know you want to distance yourself from the covert but you keep checking your phone, you keep responding to their texts, you can’t sleep because you are dwelling on whether they will reach out to you or not. This becomes all consuming, until you hear from the covert and then all is well in your world. Your brain gets the hit of the covert and the brain chemicals react – making you have a pleasure response.

Leaving a covert narcissist, just like drug addiction, is not simply a matter of personal choice or moral failing; it’s a complex neurobiological phenomenon characterized by profound changes in brain chemistry. By understanding these three key brain chemical changes – dopamine dysregulation, serotonin imbalance, and glutamate modulation – we can begin to unravel the complexities of addiction and develop more effective strategies for prevention and treatment. Stay tuned for my next video on breaking the trauma bond.

If you would like to receive professional counseling from me on this issue please reach out via thetayloraustingroup.com

If you know someone who can benefit from this video, please share it with them.

Thank you for watching and stay tuned for ways to break the trauma bond.

Covert Narcissists vs. Psychopaths

You can watch the video presentation on You Tube @ Lisa Taylor-Austin

In the realm of psychology, terms like “covert narcissist” and “psychopath” often evoke images of manipulative and harmful individuals. However, despite sharing some traits, these personality types differ significantly in their behaviors, motivations, and impact on others. In this video, we’ll explore the distinctions between covert narcissists and psychopaths to gain a deeper understanding of these complex personalities.

Defining Covert Narcissism and Psychopathy:
Before delving into the differences, let’s define covert narcissism and psychopathy briefly.
Covert Narcissist: Covert narcissists display traits of narcissism characterized by a hidden sense of entitlement, a need for admiration, and manipulative behavior. They often present themselves as shy, introverted, and self-effacing, masking their grandiosity and exploiting others for their own gain. They come across initially as the nice guy and believe that they are just that.The covert narcissist has a personality disorder that is all pervasive. They often do not seek tangible rewards but seek what Professor Sam Vaknin calls the four S’s: safety, services, sex, and supply. If the partner gives him two of these, he often will remain with that person, only to leave when these are no longer serving him.
Psychopath: Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by a lack of empathy, remorse, and conscience. Psychopaths exhibit a pattern of deceit, manipulation, and disregard for the rights and feelings of others. They may engage in impulsive and antisocial behavior without experiencing guilt or remorse. Their behavior is goal oriented. They target a person to gain money, housing, or other tangible rewards.
Now, let’s examine the distinguishing characteristics between covert narcissists and psychopaths:
Motivation for Control: While both covert narcissists and psychopaths seek control and dominance over others, their motivations differ. Covert narcissists crave admiration and validation to maintain their fragile self-esteem, whereas psychopaths seek power and control for personal gain and gratification.
Emotional Manipulation: Covert narcissists use emotional manipulation tactics, such as guilt-tripping and a victim stance, to control their partners and maintain their self-image. Psychopaths, on the other hand, engage in calculated manipulation to exploit others for material or psychological gain without regard for their well-being.
Empathy and Remorse: Covert narcissists may exhibit moments of empathy and remorse, albeit inconsistently, as they unable to have empathy for their partner. Psychopaths, however, lack genuine empathy and remorse, viewing others as mere objects to be exploited for their own ends.
Social Skills: Covert narcissists often possess superficial charm and social skills, allowing them to manipulate and deceive others while maintaining a likable facade. Psychopaths excel at impression management and are adept at mimicking emotions and social cues to blend into society and gain trust.
Risk-Taking Behavior: Psychopaths display a propensity for impulsivity, risk-taking, and sensation-seeking behaviors, often engaging in criminal or antisocial activities without regard for consequences. Covert narcissists, while manipulative, tend to avoid overtly risky behaviors that could jeopardize their image or social standing.
It is possible for a person to be what I call a Narcopath. This is a person with co morbid, or dual diagnosis. This person have traits, characteristics, behaviors and reactions of both the covert narcissist and the psychopath.

In conclusion, while covert narcissists and psychopaths may share some overlapping traits, they differ significantly in their motivations, behaviors, and impact on others. Covert narcissists seek admiration and validation to bolster their fragile self-esteem, whereas psychopaths manipulate and exploit others for personal gain without remorse or empathy. By understanding these distinctions, we can better recognize and navigate relationships with individuals exhibiting these complex personality traits, prioritizing self-care and setting healthy boundaries. My advice is to remove yourself from exposure to either of these people, as the relationship is not reciprocal and usually has a traumatic ending.

If you are thinking of leaving a personal with covert narcissism or psychopathology, search the playlist for a previous video on tips to consider to make a safe exit.

If you are dealing with a relationship that sounds like what we talked about today and would like me to help you personally, please reach out on my website thetayloraustingroup.com

If this video was of value to you in some way, please subscribe to the channel to get notified of more videos on this topic, like the video and comment below on your experience.

How the Covert Narcissist ends the Relationship with You

Watch video on YouTube @Lisa Taylor-Austin

Imagine feeling like you’re in a relationship with someone who constantly undermines your self-esteem, disregards your emotions, and leaves you feeling emotionally drained. This scenario is all too familiar for those who have been in a relationship with a covert narcissist. In today’s video, we will discuss the intricate dynamics of covert narcissism and how it manifests in the ending of relationships.

First, let’s define covert narcissism. Unlike the overt, grandiose narcissist who seeks admiration and attention openly, the covert narcissist operates in a more subtle and manipulative manner. The covert often appears shy, introverted, and even self-effacing, but beneath the surface lies a profound sense of entitlement and a need for admiration. They present themselves as kind, humble, and even loyal. However, this is not who they truly are. The covert narcissist has a combination of extreme low self worth and grandiose entitlement. This seems contradictory however, the covert narcissist has a false self. In his early childhood the covert was abused and/or neglected. He received inconsistent messages from his parental figures, usually the mother figure, about his worth. As a result he develops a false self. The false self is a defense mechanism to the abuse. Fast forward to today and your involvement with the covert narcissist. You are interacting with the false self and not a genuine person. The covert narcissist has no idea who he is. He has no identity. For this reason I believe narcissistic personality disorder is the most debilitating diagnosis for the narcissist and his intimate partners.
Covert narcissists often display a range of behaviors that can be detrimental to relationships. These include:
Manipulative Behavior: Covert narcissists are adept at manipulation, often employing guilt-tripping, passive-aggressiveness, and victimhood to control their partners.

Lack of Empathy: They struggle to empathize with their partners’ emotions and are often dismissive or indifferent to their needs.
Gaslighting: Covert narcissists frequently gaslight their partners, invalidating their feelings and perceptions to maintain control and power in the relationship. There is debate amongst mental health professionals if this is intentional or if it is just who they are and what they do. My opinion is that it is both.
Victim Mentality: They may portray themselves as victims of circumstance, deflecting responsibility for their actions and behaviors onto others.
Idealization and Devaluation: Covert narcissists tend to idealize their partners in the beginning stages of the relationship, only to devalue and discard them once they no longer serve their needs or the relationship is no longer fresh and exciting. Coverts often devalue their partners subtly by using passive aggressive techniques as well as withholding and or the silent treatment.
So, how do relationships with covert narcissists come to an end?
Narcissists are individuals and the methods they employ are as diverse as the narcissist himself. There are similar techniques and behavior that most use, so let’s take a look at those. Some ways they can end the relationship are
Devaluation and Discard: As the relationship progresses, the covert narcissist’s true colors begin to emerge. They may become increasingly critical, withholding, or emotionally distant, leading to a gradual devaluation of their partner. They may tell her they no longer want to be with her and leave. They may stay in the relationship but treat their partner in dismissive, abusive and uncaring ways. Often the intimate partner doesn’t know what they did wrong and will try harder and harder to please the narcissist.
Triangulation: Triangulation is when the covert bring a third person into the relationship, forming a triangle: the covert, the intimate partner and the third person. Covert narcissists may seek validation and attention from external sources, such as friends, family, or even other romantic interests, further undermining the relationship. They do this to undermine you, make you jealous and feel insecure. They may even triangulate with pets.
Silent Treatment: In moments of perceived criticism or rejection, covert narcissists may resort to the silent treatment as a means of punishment and control. They may literally just not answer you when you speak, pretending that they didn’t hear you. They may tell you, “I don’t feel like talking,” and refuse to interact with you for days, weeks, months and if you stay, even years.
Ghosting or Abrupt Endings: Instead of engaging in open communication or conflict resolution, covert narcissists may abruptly end the relationship without explanation or closure, leaving their partner feeling confused and abandoned. This is the most difficult ending for the intimate partner to come to terms with as they have no idea of what actually happened. I will hear clients say, “Everything was fine and then I never heard from him again.” The partner is left wondering what they did wrong, feeling abandoned and traumatized.
Probing and Hoovering: Even after the relationship has ended, covert narcissists may probe their former intimate partners with a text that says, “How are you?,” just to see if you will respond. Or they may send a meme or a short one sentence text. They are looking to see if you will re-engage with them and if there is a possibilty they can return to you. Once they believe they can return they use hoovering. This is an attempt to re-engage their former partner through manipulation and charm. They will engage with them in a kind, flirty manner and the intimate partner believes they are “back together.” The devaluation and discard process happens again and the partner finds themseves discarded a second time.

Some narcssists discard permanently and others merely view their partner as a toy that they put on a shelf to later come back and want to play with again. The covert narcssist leaves you in a perpetual state of confusion, not know if if you are in a relationship or not. They will act as if they are in one and then act as if they are not. There is no consistency in their behavior.

Covert narcissists view their intimate partners as existing to satisfy them. When they have no use for their partner or become bored of her, the partner will not hear from them. Again, think of a toddler who plays with a toy and then tires of it. This is what the intimate partner is dealing with because the narcissist is developmentally a toddler.

In conclusion, navigating a relationship with a covert narcissist can be emotionally tumultuous and draining. Understanding the dynamics of covert narcissism is crucial for recognizing red flags and establishing healthy boundaries in relationships. By prioritizing self-care and seeking support from trusted friends, family, or mental health professionals, individuals can heal from the wounds inflicted by covert narcissistic relationships and embark on a journey towards self-empowerment and healing.

If you would like to receive therapy for covert narcissistic abuse from me personally, please reach out at thetayloraustingroup.com

If this video was of value to you today, please subscribe to the channel, like the video and comment below on your experience with a covert narcissist.

What is Covert Narcissism?

What is Covert Narcissism?

Transcript of the You Tube Video @LisaTaylor-Austin:

“Hi I’m Lisa Taylor-Austin. I’m a licensed psychotherapist in private practice, seeing clients in seven states. I’m also an expert witness. I’m here to talk to you today about covert narcissism. Very little is known about covert narcissism even by mental health professionals. The reason for that is that covert narcissism itself is not in the DSM5 as a diagnosis. It is not a diagnosable mental illness. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a diagnosable but covert is not mentioned in the DSM as a diagnosis. However, it is very real and extremely devastating to the people who are involved with the covert narcissist in their personal and even their professional life.

Covert Narcissism is sometimes called quiet narcissism or vulnerable narcissism or closet narcissism. It’s all the same thing that we are talking about here. In the video I will use the word “he” to describe the covert, however please keep in mind a covert can be a female or someone of another gender or gender identity.

Covert narcissists come across as being incredibly shy, humble, polite. They downplay their achievements really because they would like you to adulate them and tell them how wonderful and magnificent and stellar that they are. They have a public image but then they have their private self and these two things do not match.

The covert narcissist knows what empathy is, he understands it intellectually, but he doesn’t feel it in his heart where most of us would feel empathy. He often times pretends to be empathic and he can fool you into believing that he really is. But once you become involved with him, you will see a roller coaster because his life is chaos and he’s often very passive-aggressive and will use certain techniques to punish you or to teach you a lesson. Those techniques can be control, and extreme control really about anything. He often times uses the silent treatment. So he doesn’t talk to you for days, weeks, months, sometimes even years if he is upset or angry with you about something you did or didn’t do or something he thinks you did or did not do.

Coverts often times use withholding. So they will withhold attention, affection, caring, money, support.  Anything that they think you need or want, they’ll withhold it from you. They are dismissive. Your feelings, your opinion do not really matter to him. And they lie and they lie and they lie and they lie. But they are really confabulating, and I’ll get to that in a minute. But what most healthy people would consider – it is lying.

Narcissists are users. They are looking to extract from you things that they need, and if you challenge them in any way that concerns them, they can fly into a narcissistic rage. That rage can be scary. They can break things, they can sometimes become very abusive but not always.

The covert fails to see how his bad behavior affects you because the covert is only concerned about himself. The covert narcissist is extremely stealth. He seems like the good guy. Everybody loves him and people tell you how lucky you are and how he’s so wonderful and you got the best husband or the best boyfriend ever. And “oh my gosh I wish I had a boss like that.” However their abuse is insidious and only the people who get close to him know what he is really like.

It doesn’t matter, if you, the person on the receiving end, are a doctor, a lawyer, work at Starbucks, work at Walmart or are even a therapist: the covert can fool you into believing that he is who he wants you to believe that he is. The reason for that is that he wears a mask. He doesn’t present himself as the reality of what he is. He’s a chameleon. He blends into every situation imaginable but he’s able to assess the people there with a laser scrutiny. He knows what other people want,  what they desire, and he presents that as himself when that is not who he is.

I want you think of the covert narcissist walking through his life and he’s walking through a play or a movie. This is how he thinks of it in his mind. Not only is he the producer, the director and the star of the movie, but you are just a small insignificant actor in this. He moves from scene to scene. As he moves from scene to scene his style of dress, his mannerisms, his speech patterns, his emotions and even his knowledge base shift and change. The shifts are so markedly different if his family were able to be a fly on the wall and see him at work they would not recognize him, and vice versa. If his co-workers saw him at home they would not recognize him.

He moves from scene to scene portraying this false self to each person that he encounters. He really does not have any empathy for the people. He doesn’t feel the way most people feel. He can fool you into thinking he’s very empathic, but he isn’t. He extracts from you, your traits,  your emotions, your attention,  your adulation,  your admiration, and anything else that he desires. You are not a person to him. You are just a reflection of adulation and admiration and adoringness.

Usually the covert loses interest in an interpersonal relationship around the three month mark. I talk to quite a few young people who are dating and they will say that they met this man and he is just the most amazing man they’ve ever met and they are so happy but right around the three month mark, he ghosts them. That’s not to say everyone who ghosts is a covert but it’s possible if you are getting ghosted you might be dealing with a covert. Usually what happens though is they stay in the relationship past this three month mark but you’ll see a change and they start to pull back and that’s because they are already grooming another person to take your place. They know this relationship will end. And it will.  Relationships with coverts don’t last (unless you do not question them and give up all your needs).

Narcissists have memory loss. They have memory gaps. As a result of that they confabulate. What that means is that they draw of a story of what probably happened or what might have happened. As they draw up this story they are actually believing this.  They believe that this really happened. So the way that most people would view this is that they are lying – but they believe their lies.

The covert creates a memory, an identity, a career where there isn’t one. He might be married with children yet when he meets you he insists that he is single, even if he’s faced with his wedding album or his wife is standing right there. He will keep insisting that he is single. He might tell you that the best place he went was to Europe and he will tell you all the things he did there and what his favorite meal was – yet he has never been there. The confabulations permeates his entire being so he’s doing this with his intimate partners; girlfriend, wife, significant other but he’s also doing this at work and he’s doing this with his acquaintances.”

Watch the video on YouTube for the rest of the presentation.

You Tube video on Covert Narcissism
Psychotherapist describes covert narcissism on You Tube

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR CLINICAL CARE. PLEASE CONSULT A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FOR GUIDANCE SPECIFIC TO YOUR CASE. THIS VIDEO DISCUSSES NARCISSISM IN GENERAL. THE VIDEO DOES NOT REFER TO ANY SPECIFIC PERSON, AND SHOULD NOT BE USED TO REFER TO ANY SPECIFIC PERSON, AS HAVING NARCISSISM. PERMISSION IS NOT GRANTED TO LINK TO OR REPOST THIS VIDEO, ESPECIALLY TO SUPPORT AN ALLEGATION THAT THE MAKERS OF THIS VIDEO BELIEVE, OR SUPPORT A CLAIM, THAT A SPECIFIC PERSON IS A NARCISSIST. THAT WOULD BE AN UNAUTHORIZED MISUSE OF THE VIDEO AND THE INFORMATION FEATURED IN IT.

Tips to prepare for your first therapy session

Many people take months or even years to make up their minds and schedule their first counseling session. Once you have taken the big step and you are ready for your first appointment, it is natural to feel anxious or even intimidated. However, by preparing yourself better for the first appointment, you can manage your feelings well and make the most from your session with the counselor.

Set clear goals

Before you visit the counselor, make sure you know what you are seeking from the therapy. You cannot just go to the counselor and say that you want to feel better or more relaxed. Make a note of your exact goals and think of why you wanted to see a counselor in the first place. For example, your goal could be to overcome stranger anxiety due to childhood trauma or to panic less when appearing for interviews. These are just simple examples of how you should have precise goals in mind. The best thing to do is to make a list of things you would like to bring up in your first session. Make sure you communicate these goals clearly to your counselor so that the therapy is directed in the right direction.

Continue reading

Are you a perfectionist?

The word PERFECT is often used as a complement. People often describe themselves as a perfectionist in job interviews. However, mental health practitioners are of the opinion that trying to be too perfect can be counterproductive.

Perfectionism is broadly defined as a combination of excessively high personal standards and overly critical self-evaluations.

Experts identify two sub-dimensions of perfectionism. The excellence-seeking perfectionism and failure-avoiding perfectionism. The former type of perfectionism involves tendencies to fixate on and demand very high standards. They strictly evaluate their own performance and hold high expectations for others as well. The latter type involves an obsessive aversion to failing to achieve high performance standards. They are constantly concerned and worried about their work not being good enough.

Continue reading

Anxiety: How can counseling help?

We all feel anxious, unsettled, or fearful from time to time. Anxiety is a natural and normal reaction to stressful situations. However, for some people, this feeling is not temporary. They have persistent anxiety and it doesn’t get better on its own. It can severely impact their ability to function in school, at work, or in everyday social situations. Anxiety can also affect relationships and severely impact the quality of life.

If you too are suffering from obsessive thoughts, panic attacks, crippling phobia, or unrelenting worries, you are not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, and affect 40 million adults age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population each year. Though, there are effective treatments for anxiety, only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.

Continue reading

Signs That You Need to See a Therapist


We all experience anxiety, stress, sadness, anger, mood swings, and other forms of emotional distress at some point in life. Most of the time, we are able to overcome these feelings and bounce back to normal life. However, some people are unable to overcome these emotions and may need some extra help to get their emotional and mental health back.

Counseling, also known as psychotherapy and talking therapy, is a process that involves a person talking with a trained professional about their mental health concerns or anything else that’s troubling them. Remember, therapy is not necessary for every little struggle you face in life, but it can be really helpful when you are unable to cope with your mental and emotional health issues. So, how do you know when it is time to see a counselor?

Continue reading

Myriad benefits of Online Counseling in Covid Times

online Counseling

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes in our lives. Social
isolation, constant exposure to negative news, disrupted access to basic needs, loss of job
or income, illness or fear of illness, misinformation, and loss of loved ones has led to
increased levels of anxiety, stress and depression. Some people have resorted to alcohol
and drug abuse as a means to cope with the situation. Moreover, pandemic has created new
barriers for those already suffering from mental illness and substance abuse.

Continue reading