Common symptoms of anxiety include restlessness, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbance, excessive worry and muscle tension. Recent research indicates that 18% of Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, making anxiety the most prevalent mental health concern. Psychotherapeutic treatment is beneficial to individuals suffering from anxiety, including those who have difficulty tolerating the ambiguity of existence and uncertainty of daily life.
Symptoms of depression include persistent feelings of sadness, a sense of worthlessness, inappropriate guilt, diminished ability to concentrate or experience pleasure, sleep disturbance and fatigue. Depression may develop as a result of chronic stress, a profound loss like the death of a loved one, diagnosis of serious illness or other significant life events. Post-partum depression, seasonal depression or significant disturbances of sleep and appetite often indicate biologically-based depression and require medical and psychotherapeutic treatment. Current research reveals that clinical depression is diagnosed in approximately 7% of the population in the United States.
Sense-of-self (self-concept, identity)
Whether due to an early disturbance in the evolution of one’s sense-of-self or individual temperament, self-doubt in relationships can cause immeasurable distress. Low self-confidence can manifest as insecurity, uncertainty and lack of fulfillment. Psychotherapeutic treatment of early disturbance in the development of a healthy and highly functional sense-of-self, especially as this relates to compassion for oneself and others, is often experienced as transformative by patients.
Effective treatment exists for people who experienced early profound trauma or sudden, discrete trauma. The terror and damage to the self becomes neurobiologically imbedded and is repeatedly experienced in the mind and body as if the trauma is presently occurring. When trauma continues to be unresolved, body-centered psychotherapy is essential in order to break the cycle.
People experiencing problems in an intimate relationship, predicaments with others at work or the emergence of a family crisis are most likely to benefit from psychotherapeutic intervention. The clarifying and stabilizing effects of psychotherapy can greatly enhance any relationship, whether professional or private. Though many relationship transitions are aspects of ordinary life, people often desire consultation with a therapist in order to better navigate their changing circumstances.
Sexuality, sexual concerns
Most people have sexual questions at some point that seem complex and are difficult to discuss. Consultation with a psychotherapist experienced in the area of sexuality can provide a safe place to address and resolve sexual concerns. Dr. Dwyer is LGBTQ+ and works with a full range of sexual matters including sexual and gender identity, conflict in sexual relationships and sexual dysfunctions.
Grief and loss
Grieving the loss of a loved one, loss of physical ability or any other experience of loss involves a necessary and predictable healing process. Psychotherapy can provide support, comfort and guidance in times of loss. Sometimes, bereavement can interfere significantly with basic functioning in daily life and psychotherapeutic intervention is needed to facilitate the mourning process.
Serious or chronic illness
Diagnosis of serious illness may cause perceptions of fear, uncertainty and loss of control. Similar to people confronting grief and loss, those dealing with major illness benefit from psychological interventions through a predictable course of experiences in response to significant medical diagnoses. Psychotherapy can provide solace, facilitate acceptance and help to restore some sense of mastery in daily life.
Life changes and transitions
Career changes, “mid-life crises”, moving to a new location, unplanned pregnancy, miscarriage, divorce, spiritual dilemmas and retirement are examples of challenging life transitions. Alterations in life circumstances require adjustments to unfamiliar conditions, and often significantly impede daily existence. Though the inevitability of change in life is assured, extreme disruption need not be.