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Psychologist in Orange County

Psychologist in Orange County

Phaite Behavioral Psychologist in Orange County

Once upon a time, seeing a therapist for help with emotional issues or difficult life events was looked down upon.  Back then, psychotherapy was somewhat stigmatized, lampooned in movies and even thought of as a sign of weakness.  In recent years, however, leaning on the skills and knowledge of a licensed therapist has become commonplace.  Having a safe space where one can unload emotions and pain, where they will not be judged, is intrinsic to psychological well-being.

Many people credit their time working with a psychologist as life changing, if not life-saving.  A good psychologist can walk you through a difficult chapter in your life, drawing out important new insights and providing you with excellent tools to help manage life going forward.  When it is time to seek out the help of a psychologist in Orange County, it is helpful to understand what all is involved in therapy.

Reasons to See a Psychologist in Orange County

Let’s face it; life is hard.  Sometimes our troubles may seem insurmountable, and we can become hopeless and despairing as a result.  Psychotherapy can help, whether you suffer from a mood disorder, a dual diagnosis (substance use disorder that coexists with a mental health disorder), trauma or major change in life, such as divorce, loss of a job, or loss of a loved one. A therapist can help you navigate these difficult challenges, offering a supportive and compassionate ear and then helpful techniques to assist you through the emotional distress.

Some of the most common reasons to work with a psychologist include:

  1. Whether a past or present event, the emotional impact of trauma can severely disrupt daily life.  A psychologist can help you manage triggers and use exposure therapy to assist you in overcoming the trauma.
  2. Mood disorders. Struggling with a chronic mood disorder such as depression or anxiety can be frustrating and exhausting, sapping all your energy and motivation.  A psychologist can use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to augment medication.
  3. Substance abuse or addiction. Very often addiction stems from emotional pain or past traumas that you are seeking to self medicate with drugs and alcohol.
  4. Family problems. Each family has their own individual dynamic involving the unique personalities and relating styles of the family members.  When dysfunction causes strife, family therapy can teach new communication skills and provide insights for making positive changes.
  5. Chronic stress can result in serious health problems, so learning how to manage stress with relaxation techniques is intrinsic to getting a grip on it.  A therapist can teach deep breathing techniques, guided imagery, and other holistic practices that promote relaxation.
  6. Change negative behavior patterns. When a repeated dysfunctional behavior pattern continues to net negative results it is time to learn ways to replace them with healthy ones.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is highly effective in helping change unhealthy behaviors.

The Therapeutic Process

Taking the step to enter therapy with a psychologist in Orange County may trigger feelings of stress and anxiety.  Not knowing what to expect in therapy, it is easy to get worked up just anticipating the process.  But the therapeutic process is simply a relationship between psychologist and client, upon which a bond of trust is built.  The conversations that ensue between client and therapist will lead to actionable change that results in a better quality of life.

The psychologist is trained to remain objective and non-judgmental throughout the therapeutic process.  They are bound by a strict confidentiality clause that ensures that the thoughts, feelings, or events you share remain private.  This enables you to open up and allow the therapist to incrementally explore these revelations and offer their professional insights and guidance to help you overcome the challenges.

Therapy can be short-term, such as CBT, which generally lasts about 3 months.  For more entrenched emotional traumas or pain, psychodynamic therapy can last a year or longer, depending on the needs of the client.  Whatever treatment modality is best suited for your specific needs, you should enter therapy with a positive attitude and a willingness to do the work to make real positive changes in your life.

Phaite Behavioral Healthcare Provides Effective Psychologists in Orange County

Phaite Behavioral is a full-service psychotherapy practice that treats adults, teens, and families suffering from emotional pain.  Located in South Orange County, Phaite Behavioral is conveniently located to serve the communities of Aliso Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Laguna Niguel, and San Juan Capistrano.  For information about how the skilled and compassionate therapists at Phaite Behavioral can make your life more joyful and productive, call us today at (888) 259-1268.

Child Psychologist

When to Enlist the Help of a Child Psychologist

Child Psychologist in South Orange County

It is often said that children are very resilient, that they often bounce back from adversities that occur in their young lives.  While this may be true for the majority of kids, some young people simply cannot wind through a disruption, struggle, or loss without professional help.  This is when it is important to seek the help of a professional child psychologist.

The child psychologist is trained to identify the sources of the behavioral or emotional upheaval that have not resolved after a period of weeks or months, and then apply various interventional strategies and therapeutic techniques to help them heal.  The need for enlisting the help of the child psychologist is indicated when the child or adolescents daily functioning is disrupted, the child has become a danger to themselves or others, or the problems interfere with normal family functioning.

Signs that a Child Psychologist is Needed

Disruptions in the life of a child or adolescent can include such events as a divorce, serious illness or death of a parent or sibling, a move, trauma, or bullying at school, for example.  Giving the young person time to cycle through the emotional impact of the event in a supportive environment usually leads to resolution.  However, when symptoms of distress do not resolve in a reasonable period of time, it is prudent to seek the support of a professional child psychologist.  These signs would include:

  • Symptoms of depression or anxiety.  When a mood disorder develops the child will exhibit symptoms of sadness and despair, fatigue, irritability, irrational fears, and mood swings.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 3 million teens experience a major depressive episode in the last year.
  • Sleeping or eating habits change.  Sleep disturbances, including insomnia, night terrors, nightmares, or over sleeping are signs of emotional distress.  Also concerning is a sudden increase or decrease in appetite that persists for at least a week.
  • Self-destructive behaviors.  Self harm can take the form of cutting (purposeful cutting of their skin), substance abuse, or attempts to hurt themselves in any way is a sign of emotional distress.
  • Troubles at school.  Behavioral and emotional struggles often are acted out in the school setting.  Decline of academic performance, ditching school, fights with schoolmates, being bullied, loner behavior, etc. can all point to emotional distress.
  • Isolating behaviors.  The young person is suddenly not interested in engaging in social activities, family events and activities, or seeing friends.

How a Child Psychologist can Help

Someone trained to work with kids and teens in emotional distress has the knowledge and tools to help usher them through a difficult life event and toward healthy functioning once again.  Child psychologists often use art therapy as a tool to interpret the life situations that have triggered the disordered behaviors or mood changes.  With teens, the art of listening, and asking strategic open-ended questions, can reveal causal factors as well.  As a clear picture emerges regarding the source of the pain, the therapist can devise an appropriate treatment intervention plan.

Parents will play an important role in the therapy process as well.  Some of the sessions may include the parents, helping the psychologist to identify potentially dysfunctional communication or behavioral issues within the family.  Parents are closely consulted as therapy continues, and are seen as partners in the therapeutic process.

Phaite Behavioral Offers Effective and Compassionate Counseling for Adolescents

Phaite Behavioral Healthcare Services provides comprehensive therapeutic help for teens in need of counseling and support in South Orange County, California.  The Phaite Behavioral clinical team uses only evidence-based treatment modalities, and all clinicians are professionals of masters or doctoral level.  For more information about the compassionate care provided for adolescents in distress, please contact Phaite Behavioral today at (888) 259-1268.