Mental Health In Grande Prairie

Understanding Stress, Anxiety, Burnout and Trauma

Life is full of struggles, at Mendable Psychology & Integrative Health we can help you start to feel like you again.

Now offering online consultations.

Approaches For

Mental Health Therapy

You may have come across a variety of terms such as CBT, DBT, ACT, EMDR, and so on. Perhaps you’re wondering with the heck they all mean – or maybe you don’t care and just want to feel better. Some of the commonly known therapy approaches are described below.

​Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy, often just called CBT, is an evidence-based approach for a wide range of mental health concerns. CBT is based on the premise that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours all influence one another. That is, we can change our thought patterns as a means of also changing our feelings and behaviours.

​Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a therapy approach that uses eye movements or other side to side movements to work through processing overwhelming emotions and events. EMDR is recognized as a first line treatment for post traumatic stress, which can be effective for decreasing big emotions tied to past stressful events.

​Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, also known as ACT, is a branch of CBT but takes a different approach. ACT focuses on decreasing rigid thinking though patterns and accepting the present moment without judgement and taking steps to living that are aligned with your personal values.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

DBT is an approach designed to help increase a client’s ability to manage their emotions, especially big emotions. DBT is focused around developing concrete skills and strategies some of which include distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and social skills.

Coping With

Stress

Everyone experiences stress and it is not necessarily a “bad” thing.  The definition of stress is to “exert pressure or tension”. As humans, we experience both physical and mental stress that varies depending on the circumstances. In fact, Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist and researcher, encourages us to Make Stress Your Friend in her popular Ted Talk. Stressful events can also be rewarding, such as moving, planning a wedding, or starting at a new school. Stress also places demands on us which can help to achieve our goals. Being under too much pressure or for too long can wear us out and have a negative results if we have difficulty keeping up or coping. Sometimes if is useful to change what remains in our control in a stressful situation, sometimes we need to change how we cope with stress, and perhaps most commonly a combination of both. 

Understanding

Anxiety

Anxiety can include worry thoughts or body sensations that tend to be future oriented. Anxiety could include symptoms such as shortness of breath and racing heart rate, or it could present such as “what if” worry thoughts. Anxiety is a normal human experience, such as feeling anxious about an upcoming meeting that has the potential to end unfavourably. Having the experience of anxiety does not mean that you have an anxiety disorder, rather, anxiety disorders are generally diagnosed when anxiety is ongoing, when it doesn’t seem to match the situation, and when it is creating difficulty in your day to day life. If you are questioning if you may have an anxiety disorder, it is always a good idea to talk with a medical professional about this concern. There are a number of great free resources available to help you cope with anxiety including the Anxiety Canada website and MindShift App with interactive tools. 

Dealing With Your

Trauma

Traumatic experiences are those that are deeply painful or distressing and overwhelms your ability to cope; they can be isolated incidents or ongoing situation that occur over time. Sometimes trauma is referenced as “big T” and “little t” trauma. Big T trauma could be events such as those commonly seen in people diagnosed with PTSD such as being severely injured or witnessing a serious accident, an assault or near death experience. Little t traumas could be events such as the loss of a pet, a divorce or end of a relationship, or the loss of a job. It is important to note however, that the type of trauma is not proportional to the severity of your response. Some people can experience severe injuries and experience minimal psychological repercussions, and likewise, someone may experience an event commonly part of the human experience and have significant difficulties with recovery.
Laurelle St jean
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My passion in counselling is forming a connection where people feel accepted and challenged to grow in new and meaningful ways. It is a privilege to be a part of the brave and vulnerable experience of unpacking struggles and working together to build new and lighter ways forward. I view counselling as an opportunity to help people cope with the normal and extraordinary challenges of life, lessen suffering, and settle more comfortably within the present moment.