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Is Therapy Right for Me?

It can be tough to decide if therapy will help. You’ve never met the person and even with a phone conversation, you don’t know where it will go.

This is true of all relationships in life. Relationships are always uncertain. But the therapeutic relationship is one that is sacred, one where I cannot break confidentiality except for the few mandated times (which are discussed prior to the onset of therapy).

Therapy has gained more and more acceptance these days. I think as we all are troubled with things that seem like they shouldn’t affect us, we see the benefit of therapy. The interesting thing is that normalization for having our thoughts and feelings is a huge part of therapy and part of why it benefits us so much.

We grow up not knowing if everything we think is appropriate. We have set rules we follow and when we come into ourselves and see how so many things violate those “puritan” rules, we wonder and are left wondering unless an impartial witness can tell us otherwise.

It’s easy for clients to feel this way. I personally feel that just about everyone could benefit from therapy. I’ve always felt that way, even before I considered becoming a therapist. As a person who felt different than everyone else, I had tremendous benefit when a therapist would tell me that what I was experiencing was normal.

And for those things that I couldn’t seem to solve myself, I learned that having a guide to help me find the strength within to solve things was of tremendous benefit.

These days I see more people coming to therapy and being thankful that there’s someone else who can serve as an observer and also offer skill-building, when appropriate.

The therapy room also is a microcosm of how relationships in real life work, so that invites a lot of great insight into the room as to how we communicate.

As a therapist, I see the benefits of increased insight and increased skills to support one’s goals as invaluable.

Call or message me for a free consultation and I’ll be glad to answer your questions.

I’m also open to comments as to entries to write for this blog. Contact me at patrick@patricktullytherapy.com to let me know what would be helpful!

Until next time,

Patrick

CBT-I for Insomnia – Break free from an inability to sleep!

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, often shortened to CBT, can be used to treat many conditions with the potential of short-term relief of many symptoms. Insomnia is one such condition, and there’s even an entire form of CBT that is devoted to it, called CBT-I (unsurprisingly). Insomnia is a reality for many people living in a society filled with stress and anxiety. With having to meet tight deadlines and be as productive as possible, it’s no wonder we’re losing sleep.

The problem with insomnia is that we can feel unable to sleep even when we WANT to sleep. This is unbelievably frustrating. We might try an antihistamine which only makes us feel tired the next day and doesn’t always work. Plus, it only works when we take it.

CBT-I (CBT for Insomnia) promotes multiple strategies to help combat problems with sleep. One of the main tools is Sleep Restriction Therapy, which instructs clients to not go to bed until late in the evening and to not take any afternoon naps. The client is told to write a sleep diary so as to keep track of their sleep patterns. What ends up happening is that over time, usually a series of a few weeks at a minimum, people find out through their journals what contributes to their sleep difficulties and also start to go to bed earlier as they were able to sleep better and better with the sleep restriction therapy.

So, the journal writing kept track of how well the person slept and the sleep restriction therapy led to better quality sleep. With the collaboration of the therapist, you’re able to discover more of what might be contributing to your insomnia that you didn’t realize before. In addition, the therapist can work with you, especially with the journals to see how the sleep restriction helps your sleep patterns as well.

CBT is an evidence-based treatment, and so is CBT for Insomnia (CBT-I). This means the treatment has been empirically-validated in multiple studies, which demonstrates efficacy in multiple trials with patients.

If you’re struggling with insomnia, please do not hesitate to give me a call! We can work on this issue together and I’m confident we can resolve it. It’ll take work but we’ll collaboratively set goals so you finally get a restful night of sleep on a regular basis!

Patrick

One Way to Alleviate Gay Shame

Way back in graduate school, I wrote a paper on how sex toys could help alleviate internalized gay shame. I continue to see how it improves the lives of clients who try it at home on their own or with their partners. This internalized gay shame is something all gay men experience and can often not be realized until it is brought up and named. It’s the result of interpreting messages all our lives, from our childhood, adolescence, and adulthood about how being gay or a member of the LGBTQ community is not normal. As LGBTQ individuals, as we grow up, we often do not understand why we feel so different from others, and the other people we know don’t either. The result is growing up feeling isolated and ashamed for not fitting in with others. We may know we are gay, but having a different identity than most or all of the people who know makes us feel like outsiders. The question for us becomes, why must we feel this way? Then we question whether we are acceptable not only others but ourselves as well.

This questioning and fear can lead us to be afraid of approaching sex and intimacy in any deep way. We suffer from a self-neglect and shame. Thankfully, we can work through the shame and guilt by becoming more comfortable with ourselves at our own pace. Through exploring our bodies, we not only begin to trust ourselves in regards to sexual experience and learn about our bodies, but we also learn more about the erotic piece of ourselves that we put away in shame.

This translates to more confidence with our partners and more satisfaction in the bedroom. Because we have learned more about what we want, we can incorporate that knowledge to make sex better for us.

Therapy for Those with Hearing Loss and Family Members

As a hard-of-hearing therapist (Don’t worry, I’ll hear everything you say!), I offer therapy for hard-of-hearing individuals as well as parents and family members who are struggling with tough decisions. Are you being told what to do and not sure what action to take? Schedule a free consultation to learn more!