Browsing articles tagged with " GAD"

Speech, Persuasion and Opinion: The Power of Language during therapy.

Sep 17, 2011   //   by Shawna Figueira   //   Blog, East Providence, Lincoln, Rhode Island, Mental Health, Self Help, Stress, cranston  //  No Comments

The Power of Language and Therapy

In the famous speech, “Encomium of Helen,” Greek sophist, Gorgias, offers an undeniable level of understanding regarding speech, persuasion and opinion. Gorgias presents the idea that “speech is a powerful lord.”  I readily agree that with words comes power and with power comes a certain responsibility as the speaker or writer. Language is communication and on the most basic level of survival, communication in some way is necessary for all beings. The idea that I can elicit thoughts, actions, and change with words alone is powerful in itself.  Humans are taught and learn through language, whether it be written, spoken, or a modeled behavior.  We as human beings construct and utilize a communication system that allows us to categorize and make sense of things.  Once an individual is able to understand what the communication system entails, they can then use this language device to their advantage.  In many clinical settings, the aim of therapy is to have the client take control of his/her own actions and thoughts via language, speaking. In fact, most therapy sessions are carried out through conversational dialogue, or writing in journals, or even through the language of body positions. Gorgias’ claim fits perfectly with the more common quote that “with knowledge, comes power.”  Once I know what a certain communicating group of people considers true (right), acceptable, and worthwhile, then I can use words or communicating devices that I know will elicit specific reactions.  Power comes into play regarding speech in that I can totally construct an argument or proposition that can completely sway my audience in the direction of my choice via my language (word) selection and structure. In general, clinicians should have a great command of the therapeutic language, in that they can guide their clients to a place of understanding, change, and self-power. With this, however, comes a certain amount of integrity and responsibility on the part of the clinician, and trust, on the part of the clients.

One of the most striking lines in Gorgias’ speech says, “…but since opinion is slippery and insecure it casts those employing it into slippery and insecure successes.”  I will here pose the question, “what are our opinions, and what do they do?” Even if we base our decisions on empirical evidence this predicates the notion that said data is right or true, rendering our decisions based in opinion.  Our opinions in the realm of reality are nothing but a guide for our own individual souls.  Our opinions are ever-changing and are rarely ever concrete which means the opinion is susceptible to the power of words. Clinicians, like any human being, do have their own opinions, but those opinions should only guide them. Great clinicians are able to use their own opinions to guide themselves in therapy, yet listen and utilize the opinions of the client to assist him/her in his/her situation. Because of the authority role clinicians hold, it is possible to impose one’s own opinions on the client if untrained. With this understanding I would agree with Gorgias that the persuader has the power to constrain. As the persuader (clinician) I can set boundaries around my constructed argument (opinion) that gets the audience (clients) to react and feel the way I need them to in order to sway them into a state that facilitates change. In essence, the job of the clinician is to use language–therapeutic techniques–to get clients to see where a problem exists and then teach clients the language necessary to change the issue; thereby giving the client ultimate power.

Anxiety & I

Aug 30, 2011   //   by Shawna Figueira   //   Blog, Mental Health  //  No Comments

Anxiety, my old, old friend
Has been with me since day one
She is of the clingy sorts
Which is never very fun

A self-righteous girl, and jealous, too
She keeps a watchful eye
To ruin every opportunity
I have to pass her by

She and I, acquainted for years
Yet I never felt at home
Her constant, nagging presence
Made me feel even more alone

Though she claims to be my friend
I know it can’t be true
The way she tries to control my thoughts
Is not what a friend would do

Anxiety, please go away
For once, just let me be
To make my own decisions
Instead of overpowering me

Here I Stand: Poem written by 14 year-old with Depression

May 26, 2011   //   by Shawna Figueira   //   Blog, Mental Health  //  No Comments

Here I stand, surrounded by darkness

Lost in the maze that is my mind

I see a faint light, which guides me further into the unknown

I do not look at the dark, for it would only blind me

And cause me to give in to myself

Rather, I focus on the dim light, and nothing else

The light is like a voice, calling to me

As I walk towards it, it seems to run away from me

But I know it will always be with me

The light is an angel, sent to protect me

From the demons that I created

The light guides me through the dark

And puts my mind at ease

I may sleep now, free of doubt

Anxiety Disorder: Anchor Counseling can help!

Mar 13, 2011   //   by Shawna Figueira   //   Blog, Mental Health  //  No Comments

Richard Figueira is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) who completed his Master of Social Work at Boston College. In addition to his work in private practice, Richard is also an Assistant Director of Special Education for a local town in Massachusetts. He is known for creating Emotional and Behavioral Programs that allow children and families to access public education despite having mental health issues.

Richard has dedicated over ten years of clinical work with children and adults having serious emotional, social, or behavioral issues in residential placements, homes, and school settings. Richard has been responsible for the direct supervision of staff including clinicians and teachers.

He has experience working with adults, families, and couples. Specializing in Mood, Thought, and Anxiety Disorders. He uses an eclectic approach depending on the client’s needs. Through the use of therapeutic interventions he has been able to help provide his clients with the psycho-education, positive and healthy coping skills, and an environment where they feel comfortable discussing everyday issues. As always, the goal is to improve the clients overall functioning in their daily lives.

Although, Richard treats many individuals with an array of issues, he specializes in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders. This includes OCD, PTSD, Panic Disorder with or without Agoraphobia, or Generalized Disorder. His dedication to providing the most recent research based interventions have allowed him to be a leader in the treatment of anxiety with children, adults, couples, and families in the state of Rhode Island.

Richard uses primarily a Cognitive Behavioral Approach. His understanding of the disorder allows him to provide his patients with the appropriate psycho-education needed to first understand the illness that affects millions of Americans. With Anxiety, many different approaches are used, but he has been successful using mindfulness techniques along with imagery. Breathing techniques modified with a EMDR, allows to completely understand the function of the anxiety and the role it maybe playing in an individuals life.

For those with fears/phobias he uses exposure therapy in or out of the office. With exposure therapy, he has also been successful at treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or better known as OCD.

Many times children maybe angry, oppositional or defiant and the primary emotion is fear based. They react in order to gain control over their lives. This is especially true for those with attachment or an adverse childhood experience. He completes and fully analyzes the function of this behavior and teaches how to appropriate recognize the emotion behind the thoughts. This will allow to teach appropriate coping skills to modulate emotions.

He will also help his clients understand irrational thoughts or thinking by using Rational-Emotive Behavioral Therapy. The thoughts are questioned and put in perspective when attempting to create a more healthy thinking process. This also allows for a change in cognitive restructuring.

Richard takes most insurances and sees patients in Lincoln, Cranston, and East Providence.

To schedule an appointment please call 475-9979 or click here to send an email.

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