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3 Ways Psychotherapy Can Help With Chronic Pain

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Blog, Therapist, Waikiki Therapist | 0 comments

In life, it’s important to remember the days can be long but the years are short. This is how chronic pain happens. It starts out as regular pain one day. Before you know it, years have passed and the pain that started out as an isolated incident is now chronic.

Modern medicine is great at dealing with pain. It’s even pretty good at dealing with the physical cause of pain. Unfortunately, pain, especially chronic pain, can be much more than a physical problem. Chronic pain can lead to depression, and difficulties with the people and relationships in your life. This is where therapy comes in. While medical doctors take care of the physical pain and problems causing it therapists, such as Dr. William Conti, can treat the emotional trauma associated with chronic pain.

Some of it is in the Mind

Chronic pain is real, we know this. The thing to remember is that some symptoms of chronic pain are in the mind. Chronic pain effects how we interact with people on a daily basis, how we think about the world around us, and how we feel about ourselves. Medically trained doctors aren’t equipped to deal with these aspects of chronic pain management. A therapist is trained to help you work through issues such as these.

Outside Support is more Valuable Than We Realize

Having someone outside of your daily experience to share your struggles with is a powerful thing. Meeting with a therapist gives you a safe haven to express your thoughts and feelings. Dealing with chronic pain isn’t easy, and by having a safe haven to talk about your struggles you don’t have to feel as if you face them alone.

Pain Management Without Drugs

This is a pretty tall order. The truth is that chronic pain almost always needs some level of medication. What a therapist can bring in is alternatives that lessen the reliance on drugs. After learning about you, your pain, and your life situation the therapist can help you learn different techniques for pain management that don’t rely on drugs.

Therapist Waikiki at East-West Therapy

If you’re experiencing chronic pain and need someone to talk to in Waikiki or surrounding communities please reach out to us at EastWest Therapy. You will be rewarded with a safe, supportive, encouraging, non-judgmental, and nurturing space where we can help you find new ways to deal with your chronic pain.

How to Help Children Grieve the Death of a Parent

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Blog, Honolulu Therapist, Therapist, Waikiki Therapist | 0 comments

Losing a child is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. Just about the only thing worse is for a child to lose a parent. Children lack the emotional maturity to deal with death in the way adults do. Younger children may not even understand exactly what death means. The adults left in their lives need to be there for them, though knowing how to help can be difficult.

Listen

One of the most important things to do is listen to the child. They may want to ask questions. The questions should be heard, and answered to the best of your ability. If the answer isn’t known, admit it and try to find the right answer. It’s important to keep the child’s age in mind and answer appropriately, but keep it real. This isn’t the time for avoiding difficult topics or making up “soft” answers to tough questions.

Be There

Children need time to grieve. Not only that, but their patterns of grief differ from adults. They may seem fine for a week, but then have a really bad night as they try to process their loss. The goal is to be there for the child as long as they need it.

Let Them See You Cry

Part of being there is to be there in your grief as well. One of the best ways to let them know their feelings are OK is to show your feelings to them. Let them see you go through the process of grieving and accepting the loss. Admit to them that it’s never really forgotten, that life is different from this point on. Emotions don’t work on a specific timetable, and they should know that it’s normal to feel fine one minute, in pain the next, and angry a little after that.

Bring in Outside Help with Grief Counseling

Get in touch with a child therapist or grief counselor. Encourage the child to talk to them about their pain even more freely than they talk to you about it. Getting professional help is nothing to be ashamed of, and always a good idea. In Honolulu East West Therapy offers grief counseling, and has experience working with children. Contact them today at (213) 880-8262 for an initial appointment.

How To Move on After a Breakup in a Healthy Way

Posted by on Apr 29, 2017 in Blog, Couples Therapy, Honolulu Therapist, Life Tips, Therapist, Waikiki Therapist | 0 comments

Back in the early 60’s Neil Sedaka recorded a song called “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” which rapidly rose to the top of the charts. He unwittingly tapped into a reality that we all know, there is no worse part of a relationship than the breakup.

The pain of a breakup can be so strong people will stay in relationships far longer than is healthy. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the receiving end of the breakup or the one initiating it either. There are people that try to break up with someone by cutting off contact rather than facing the person to tell them. There are others that will withdraw for weeks after being broken up with.

Experiencing this much pain is traumatic. Just as a cast is needed to treat a broken limb after it’s been set in place, counseling can be used to treat the emotional pain of a break-up.

Friends can be great to talk to after a breakup, but they can also be problematic. Breakups involve two people and your friends will tend to paint a picture where you were perfect and the other person caused all the problems. This can lead to a similar relationship in the future with the same ending, a vicious cycle.

A counselor can help you truly move on by painting a picture where both of you contributed to the relationships demise. This healthier approach leads to personal growth. It can break a cycle of bad relationships and open the door to new, better relationships in the future.

Moving on from a breakup can be scary. Friends and family may try to help, but can push you before you’re ready. This can lead to a repeat of the last relationship, or an even worse one. An experienced counselor will help you avoid self-destructive behavior, such as jumping into a new relationship before you’re ready.

At East West Therapy in Honolulu, HI you can speak with a counselor who has over 20 years of experience helping others emotionally. We use a whole life approach and will provide you with ideas for healing that go beyond our time together in the office. Contact us now to set up an appointment.

Is Being Selfish Always Bad?

Posted by on Apr 27, 2017 in Blog, Honolulu Therapist, Therapist, Waikiki Therapist | 0 comments

We are taught to share from a very early age. This isn’t an inherently bad thing, sharing is good. Putting others first is an important part of many philosophies. Even commercials on TV will suggest we spend money helping others with their troubles.

Sometimes we may not want to help others though. Perhaps we’re struggling to see where we can give to others. Maybe we feel as if others are taking advantage of us. Whatever the reason, sometimes the actions we decide to take will have others feel like we’re being selfish.

Generally speaking, being selfish isn’t socially acceptable. Our society has ingrained helping others. If we are seen denying help to others that, from the outside, seems like it should be easy for us to provide we can find ourselves at the receiving end of scornful looks or harsh words.

Selfish is defined as lacking concern for others, for being concerned primarily with oneself. When people see someone take actions that appear to benefit that person more than they benefit others, they may cry out that the person is being selfish. The truth is, whether the person was selfish or not, the people crying foul are in the wrong.

Think of your energy as a water tank which you get limited chances to refill. You can allow others to drink from this tank, but you need to survive off of it as well. If you spend too much time helping others drink from the tank you may miss a chance to refill it, or you end up needing more after it’s depleted.

There are times in life when the best thing we can do to help others is take care of ourselves first. If we don’t take some time to help ourselves we will eventually be unable to help others. This may be as simple as saying no to someone, or as difficult as asking someone else for help in a time of need.

If you are in one of those times of need and can’t find someone to help you then seek out a professional. East West Therapy in Honolulu, HI provides counseling for those fighting with anxiety or guilt brought on not only by feelings of selfishness, but for any other reason as well. Call 213-880-8262 today to schedule an appointment.

The Truth About Facing Depression and How to Overcome it

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 in Depression, Life Tips, Waikiki Therapist | 0 comments

Everybody knows depression spikes when a new year starts. Feelings of isolation can increase after the holidays, when people seemed to be around every corner. Feelings of inadequacy may intensify at a time when many people are reflecting on the previous year and planning for the next one. The specific reasons are as varied as the people who feel depression.

Depression can be tough to deal with alone, especially if being alone is part of the depression cycle. One of the best things a person can do when dealing with depression is to get professional help. A trained psychologist can help you face depression, and eventually beat it. From medication to talk therapy their training and experience has given them a large toolbox. Rest assured they can reach into that toolbox and find the right treatment for you.

Medication is one of the most common forms of depression treatment. In some cases, medication is a short-term need supplanted by progress made through other methods of treatment. In other cases, medication may be the best long term care option for an individual. Medication is almost never given as the only form of treatment. At the very least there are still regular visits to monitor the effect of medication over time.

What Does A Psychologist Look For?

When a psychologist looks at the whole picture of a patient’s well-being they may discover some lifestyle changes to suggest. Adding exercise and meditation to a daily routine can increase the effectiveness of other treatment options. Some dietary changes may also be suggested. In cases of mild depression lifestyle changes alone may be enough.

Talk therapy is what most people picture when they think of visiting a psychiatrist. The most classic form of this is a patient lying down on a couch talking to the therapist while the therapist takes notes on a yellow legal pad. It doesn’t have to look like this though. Sitting at a desk or table together in regular chairs having a regular conversation that the therapist records can easily be just as effective.

Jungian therapy uses methods such as dreamwork, active imagination, shadowplay, and other techniques to help a person delve deep into their own psyche. Using Jungian Methodology, a psychiatrist will help guide a patient deeper into their self, using a symptom such as depression as a launching point. The journey is often hard, but at the end a person become more aware of themselves, and the depression dissipates.

Contact Dr. William Conti, PhD for help with your depression by calling (213) 880 8262. East West Therapy services the Waikiki, Honolulu, and Oahu areas in Hawaii.

Aging Together as a Couple with Couples Therapy

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Couples Therapy, Honolulu Therapist, Life Tips, Therapist | 0 comments

It happens to everyone. Time passes and we get older. The fun part is that we often see it in others much more than in ourselves. This can become especially hard when we are one half of a couple. The person you married 20 years ago is not the person sitting across from you at the dinner table today. What we fail to remember is that we aren’t the same person they married either.

The same change we can see looking back at the neighborhood we grew up in happens to us as we age. When we are in a committed relationship then changes happen not only to our partner, but also to us, and ultimately to the relationship itself. The real question is not if there is change, but what are we going to do about it? Will we stay together as a couple, or grow apart?

The cliché is two people come into an office for couple’s therapy after 25 years of marriage and the kids move out. One is complaining that the other isn’t the same person they married. The other is upset by a newfound lack of communication. Unfortunately, the cliché exists because of how often it is real. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be.

One of the most important things for a couple to do as they grow old together is communicate. Think back to the early days, when you were still learning all about each other. You talked every day. You may have played the “you hang up first” game. You shared your hopes and dreams with each other. You shared the everyday occurrences of life with each other.

If you’re lucky, you still do this. This is a great indicator of a couple who will not grow apart as they age. If this doesn’t describe you, all is not lost You can still stay close as you age, even if the last decade has seen you drift apart. Start today. Seek couples therapy to get the ball rolling, but start sharing your hopes and dreams with each other today. You may be surprised to realize that they’ve changed over the years. They may be more aligned than you realize too.

If you would like help moving from growing apart to growing together in your relationship to schedule an appointment with a Waikiki therapist, please contact East-West Therapy Hawaii today at (231) 880-8262.

Effective Goal Setting Could Help With Depression

Posted by on Mar 15, 2017 in Blog, Depression, Honolulu Therapist | 0 comments

Depression, true clinical depression, is a horrific burden to bear. Struggling with depression can manifest in many way, and be made worse by many things. One of the more common problems a person fighting depression encounters is feeling as if they cannot accomplish anything.

A highly-depressed person is not going to wake up in the morning, throw open the windows, and yell out “I can do anything!” In fact, the person may slowly wake up, look over at the clock, and think I can’t even get out of this bed. Most people lie between these extremes.

When taking a whole life approach to fighting depression one effective piece is accomplishing goals. There is danger here though. While someone is in a highly depressive state it is easy for them to feel as if they can do nothing. Setting a lofty, long-term goal at this point is not going to help. At this point, what a person needs is goal setting focused on the situation they are currently in. The main objectives in effectively setting these goals are to provide short term wins, and to provide focus and direction.

Failing to achieve a goal while in the throes of depression isn’t going to help anybody. Effective goals are smaller and can be accomplished over a short time frame. Think of each goal as a snowball on top of a mountain. Accomplishing each goal provides a little momentum. As the finished goals pile up the sense of accomplishment builds. This sense of accomplishment and feeling of momentum carries right over into recovering from depression.

Feelings of overwhelm are common for a person suffering from depression. Goals can provide focus for that person. Taken as a whole, everything a person may want to get done over the next 30 days is going to create a greater sense of overwhelm. Narrowing it down to one task at a time provides focus, and a path out of depression.

Depression doesn’t have to be debilitating. If you live in, or are traveling to, the Waikiki, Honolulu, or Oahu areas of Hawaii then contact East West Therapy for help with your depression treatment. We focus on natural methodologies, proven over the ages to help treat depression. We can help you deal with an immediate need or create a long-term plan for overcoming depression during your travels and beyond.

Types of Music to Help Heal the Body and Mind

Posted by on Jan 31, 2017 in Depression, Stress Management | 0 comments

At East-West Therapy in Hawaii we care about more than just a person’s mental state, we care about the health of their mind, body, and soul. Dr. William Conti goes beyond traditional psychotherapy practices, adding creative treatments such as Dreamwork, Meditation Practice, and Sandplay Therapy. Just as these contribute to healing, music is another important tool for healing the body and mind.

Simply hearing music has shown many temporary cognitive benefits. Learning to play music changes the actual structure of the brain. Just adding a musical context to spoken words leads to better retention and recall. Hearing pleasing music may minimize the negative effects of stress on the brain and body. Music can even effect how we move as our bodies naturally align with the beats we hear.

Music for the Mind

It’s long been known, all else being equal, people who listen to classical music over time show greater IQ scores than those who don’t. There’s also a known correlation between calming music, with slower beats and an emphasis on harmony, and reduced stress. More recently studies have been conducted showing a direct correlation between musical training, of any type, and increased mental acuity. More specifically, people who learn to play music have better attention spans, memory, and a greater control over their own emotions and actions. 

Music to Help Heal the Body and Mind

Music to Help Heal the Body and Mind

Music for the Body

While music with a slow tempo is great for increasing mental acuity, physical performance is enhanced by music with a fast tempo. Many people will even refer to some music with a very fast tempo as “high-energy.” This type of music increases not only a person’s performance, but the effectiveness of their workouts. From the tempo to the volume music can influence a person’s heart rate, helping them to reach a target and assisting them in coming back down afterword.

Music for the Soul

When it comes to your emotional well-being, how specific songs make you feel is the stick to measure against. The tempo, rhythm, and harmonies take a back seat to the way you feel when you lose yourself in the song. It may be the harmonies that bring you to a certain place, but it could also be the lyrics.

At the end of the day the right music for healing your body, mind, and soul needs to be music you like. It would be great if the answer was an easy “country music heals depression and funk speeds recovery of broken bones,” but that is not how we work. Some styles of music have shown broad enough effects for some general statements, such as classical music helping with IQ and upbeat, high-energy music helping with energy. The trick is that if a person doesn’t like classical music, they won’t see those clinically proven benefits.

If you’re in the Honolulu area contact us today at (231) 880-8262 for help in finding the right music to assist you in your journey of healing.

Discover Why Yoga Has Healing Powers For Anxiety

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When someone suffers a great loss, anxiety can develop. Anxiety treatment in these cases can include, grief counseling, medication, exercise, yoga, and meditation. In any case of extreme emotion, especially anxiety and depression, the first stop should be a mental health professional, such as Dr. William Conti.

Grief counseling has long been a known source of helping people through loss. It usually focuses on short term help in processing through the source of grief. During the course of counseling anxiety is often lowered in part due to this form of treatment. The ultimate goal of grief counseling is to accept whatever loss is causing grief and move forward in life. This can also be thought of as accepting the new normal.

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How Meditation Changes The Brain And The Body

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Meditation

Meditation changes the brain and the body

We all need to decrease our stress and increase our attention and focus. As many mental health services and counselors recommend, we need to take some time to focus on meditation. Why? What is it about meditation that is so good for us.

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