Do you find yourself feeling stressed? Are you finding yourself anxious and aren’t sure why? Or maybe you feel depressed out of nowhere? Maybe, you feel completely burned out, unable to keep up with the demands of life.
Most people experience occasional stress, anxiety and/or depression, characterized by feeling sad, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty sleeping, and/or irritability. But sometimes it becomes too frequent and overwhelming to manage.
Additionally, when experiencing these symptoms, most individuals attribute them to a variety of “dysfunctions” or mental health concerns. This is often based on an assumption that there are problems with one’s brain chemistry (often resulting in treatment with psychotropic medication) or cognitive deficits (i.e. “I can’t stop myself from thinking about all the negatives” or “Why can’t I just ‘be happy’?”).
It may surprise you to discover that one of the top reasons people experience symptoms such as these is due to problems or concerns in our close relationships (whether it is a spouse, significant other, family member or close friend). Oftentimes, people go to a doctor or counselor with these symptoms and are misdiagnosed with major depression, generalized anxiety, or another mental disorder. In reality, their symptoms aren’t always indicative of a mental illness, but are occurring due to the impact of relational distress.
Relationships Impact All Areas of Life
Many people experience mental, emotional, and physical symptoms related to past or current difficult relationships. People also experience difficult symptoms due to the absence of healthy relationships. In the book Hold Me Tight, the author, Sue Johnson, discusses the following research regarding the impact of relationships on peoples’ health and wellbeing.
- Loneliness raises blood pressure to the point where the risk of heart attack and stroke is doubled.
- Emotional isolation is a more dangerous health risk than smoking or high blood pressure.
- Women who had a heart attack had a threefold higher risk of having another if there was discord in their marriage.
- Researchers used a vacuum pump to produce small blisters on the hands of women volunteers, and then had them fight with their husbands. The nastier the fight, the longer it took for the women’s skin to heal.
- Studies of marital distress have long indicated that marital distress raises our risk of depression tenfold.
A Marriage and Family Therapist Can Help
If you are experiencing difficult symptoms and think they may be due to relational origins, you could benefit from seeing a marriage and family therapist for counseling. While marriage and family therapists are known for working with couples and families, they are also trained to help individuals who are experiencing relationship problems.
A therapist can help you consider how your past and present relationships are impacting your health and wellbeing. Your past relationships may be impacting you more than you realize. Our families of origin deeply affect who we are and how we approach the world. Research shows that the attachment children form with their caretaker impacts them for the rest of their life. For many people, it is helpful to consider how current symptoms of depression, anxiety, and similar struggles relate to the relationships and attachments that were formed growing up.
Similarly, your current relationships may be impacting your mental and emotional health more than you realize. Some people think that feelings of depression and anxiety are normal aspects of being in relationships. But relationships do not have to be this way. There are ways to develop healthier means of relating. There are also ways you can better manage stressful relationships without feeling depressed or anxious. We can help you grow in these areas.
We Offer Evidence-Based Counseling Practices
Our counseling methods can help you work through your struggles. At the Prescott Counseling Center, we are dedicated to using evidence-based counseling practices. This means that the counseling we provide has been proven by research to be an effective means of helping individuals who are struggling in their relationships.
More specifically, we use Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) in our counseling sessions. Emotionally Focused Therapy is known for helping couples improve the quality of their relationships. However, EFT is equally effective at helping individuals work through their personal and relational struggles. Research shows that EFT is effective at decreasing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and leads to significant improvement in adult survivors of child abuse. Emotionally Focused Therapy is also helpful for couples and individuals facing depression, addiction, and anxiety.
We can help you understand the specific ways relationships are impacting your mental and emotional health. We can help you alleviate the negative impact of difficult relationships. One of the strengths of EFT is how it leads to fast results. Many individuals find that 10-12 sessions is enough time to make a great deal of progress.
There is Hope for You and Your Relationships
In the midst of relationship struggles, it is easy to avoid counseling when the other person involved is not willing to attend sessions or work on the relationship. But the good news is that there is hope, even if you are the only one who is ready to change.
You can’t change your partner. You can’t change your family member or your friend. But it is possible for you to change your own approach to the relationship. It is possible for you to change how you manage your personal health and wellbeing. When one person is willing to take the first step forward, good things happen. Not only will you find help for yourself, but as you change your personal patterns and ways of relating, many times this benefits the relationship as a whole as well.
Contact Us Today
We are passionate about helping individuals work through their relationship struggles. If you think we would be a good fit for your needs, please do not hesitate to call us today at 928-420-8300. We are happy to answer any questions you might have about our approach to counseling and how we can help you.
If you have any fears or concerns about marriage or couples counseling, we encourage you to read our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have additional concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Making an appointment is easy–you can call the Prescott Relationship Center at 928-420-8300. After all, if not now, when?Make sure to ask about our discounts for active duty military, veteran and full-time teachers in need.