LGBTQIA+ Concerns

Whether or not the support you need is related to gender or sexual identity, it’s often easier to connect with a queer-identified or LGBT-friendly therapist. The world has come a long way in the past few decades but we still have a long way to go. While same-sex marriages have been legalized in the US, many forms of legal discrimination persist. There still exists a culture of discrimination, oppression, fear and resistance towards the LGBTQIA+ community. For some, this environment makes it difficult to maintain an authentic sense of self: especially in the face of social expectations and pressures. For others, the social stigma of living as a minority can be a major source of stress, trauma, anxiety, low self-esteem, body image issues.

LGBTQIA+ issues are dear to Dr. Teeters. He aims to help you find the joys and meet the challenges of being an LGBTQIA+ person. Life’s universal issues of love, sex, work, friendship, maturing, belonging, death, spirituality, health, happiness and more can all be seen through the lens of the LGBTQIA+ experience.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Psychogastroenterology is the term used to acknowledge a sub-specialty psychology field that refers to the intersection between social and emotional functioning and chronic digestive diseases. Research into the brain-gut axis is continually advancing our understanding of how the brain influences the gut and how the gut impacts the brain. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widely accepted as one of the most effective treatment approaches in facilitating relief and improved engagement in every functioning (e.g. school, work, social life) among those experiencing GI distress. 

Dr. Teeters offers an integrated, empirically-support treatment approach when working with individuals experiencing functional and other GI disorders. In addition to educating clients on relevant brain-gut interactions, he also teaches clients skills that help maintain long-term reduction of pain and symptoms. His approach blends ACT, CBT, and gut-directed meditation/hypnotherapy and often includes in-session exercises as well as practice in and out-of-session.

Health/Illness Anxiety

Like many people you may worry excessively about your health–some people may have called you a hypochondriac. As with any health concerns you should get a full medical examination by your physician. However, if you find that you are repeatedly requiring medical examinations that result in no findings of any disease—but you still feel worried about your health—then you may be suffering from hypochondriasis or health anxiety. This form of anxiety is a combination of depressive rumination and obsessive-compulsive thinking. About 16.5 % of us have health anxieties with 5.5% qualifying for the diagnosis of hypochondriasis. Fortunately, it can now be treated effectively with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

People with health anxiety have 80% more doctors’ visits and are very likely to have other problems–most commonly depression and other anxiety disorders. The typical pattern is to demand “health perfectionism”—every physical discomfort or imperfection is interpreted by you as a sign of a dreaded disease. You may scour medical texts and internet sites that lead you to believe that you have another serious medical problem. You may check yourself in the mirror, continually feel yourself for lumps and imperfections, demand reassurance, and feel in a constant state of dread. You have difficulty accepting any uncertainty about your health and quickly discount the doctor’s claim that there is nothing wrong with you. You may view your worry as a sign that you are responsible–that you take your health ‘seriously”. Ironically, research on health anxiety shows that people with this problem are not less likely to smoke. In some cases, health anxiety is so severe that the person actually neglects seeing a doctor, feeling certain that an examination will reveal the dreaded news.

CBT helps in the following ways: 1) Develop the motivation to modify your health anxiety (since you may falsely believe that your worry has prevented terrible things from happening); 2) Learn how to distinguish between productive (or prudent) worries and unproductive worries; 3) Learn how to accept uncertainty as an inevitable part of life; 4) Develop alternative–and less catastrophic–interpretations of everyday imperfections; and 5) Avoid reassurance seeking and checking yourself.

Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion

Common symptoms after a TBI fall under several categories: physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral. Psychologists are specially trained to help individuals and families cope with many of these complex changes.

  • Physical: chronic pain, migraines, sleep disturbance, changes in appetite and sexual functioning, impaired movement, sensation, and dizziness
  • Cognitive: confusion, difficulty with attention/concentration, problems with organization and planning, memory impairment, communication difficulties, trouble with reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, and judgment
  • Emotional: psychiatric disorders (depression, anxiety, adjustment, post traumatic stress disorder), personality changes, irritability, apathy, emotion dysregulation, and rumination
  • Behavioral: verbal/physical outburst, impulse control, apathy, rigidity, lack of initiation, and engaging in risky behavior
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