Williamsburg Counseling—Therapy Services in Williamsburg, VA
Anxiety Therapy | Depression Therapy | Marriage and Couples Counseling | Anger Counseling | Trauma Therapy | Child Therapy | Psychiatry | Life Coaching | Scheduling a Counseling Appointment in Williamsburg, VA
Many of us experience challenges at some point in life. It happens to all of us. Maybe you had a fight with your partner, wife, or husband, and now you feel angry, hurt, and confused. Maybe it’s because you experienced a major life change and now anxious thoughts and feelings have taken a hold of your life.
Or maybe nothing significant happened—you just don’t feel like your normal self, and it’s starting to take its toll on you and those you care about.
Many of us have a tendency to bottle up our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. We think we’re being strong by keeping our thoughts private. We’d rather not worry others because we know they have problems of their own. We also might worry that if we tell someone about our problems, we hurt our reputation, our sense of identity, or our place on the social and corporate ladders of life.
The fact is we all need someone to talk to about these life challenges. Someone who has a deep understanding of the issues we’re dealing with and can offer nonjudgmental feedback or a sympathetic ear so that we may let go of the emotional baggage we sometimes carry around.
Therapists, counselors, and other mental health professionals can be that person for you. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you effectively deal with the examples mentioned above, plus many more challenges that may come your way.
Thriveworks believes that everyone can find value in counseling. That’s because the benefits are numerous and can dramatically help people dealing with any issues that negatively affect their mental health.
Here are just a few of the benefits of counseling and therapy:
- Higher self-esteem
- Stress management techniques
- Improved coping mechanisms
- More happiness and fulfillment
- Greater management of emotions
At Thriveworks in Williamsburg, VA, we believe that everyone can benefit from counseling with a skilled and caring professional. Our professionals can offer many different types of therapy, including:
- Anxiety Counseling
- Depression Counseling
- Marriage Counseling and Couples Therapy
- Anger counseling
- Trauma therapy
- Child therapy
- Life coaching
Our counselors and therapists can provide you with a tailored plan to get you beyond surviving the day—they can help you thrive each day. We provide traditional in-person therapy as well as online counseling, therapy, and coaching by phone and video conferencing. In addition, we offer clients additional benefits, which include convenient and flexible appointments, Ask-a-coach 24-hour Q&A, text support via our Success Navigator, and email access to your counselor between sessions.
Therapy for Anxiety
Gary just started a new job in a new town. At 40 years old, he feels like he’s starting his whole life over again. Ever the professional, his goal has always been to please, and he has high expectations for himself and his work. It’s just part of his work ethic.
Every day, Gary becomes more restless. He’s not as patient with himself or others like he used to be. Gary has become snappy with everyone around him and gets angry quickly.
The worst part is he brings his anxious feelings home with him at the end of the workday and finds it hard to relax in the evening. Gary’s anxiety makes him feel fatigued at night but unable to get a good night’s sleep because he ruminates about all the things that went wrong during the day.
Gary is suffering from an anxiety disorder, which, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, is the most common mental health condition in the U.S. and affects 40 million adults age 18 and older, or just over 18% of the population. Unfortunately, only about 40% of those suffering from anxiety disorders receive treatment.
Anxiety therapy at Thriveworks in Williamsburg, VA, is available and strongly encouraged. The reason is simple: No one should have to battle anxiety alone.
What Is Anxiety? What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
We all feel like Gary from time to time. We can feel restless, impatient, snappy, and irritable.
You may have even experienced the same symptoms that Gary has – that’s normal. But there’s a major difference between feeling worried or anxious here and there and suffering from a serious anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are more than temporary fears or concerns—they’re often severe, interfere with your day-to-day life, and affect your relationships at home or at work.
The following are just two common anxiety disorders:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): people suffering from this disorder display excessive worry or anxiety nearly every day for at least six months. These worries range from social interactions to finances, work, and health concerns.
- Feeling restless or on edge
- Having trouble concentrating
- Struggling to control feelings of worry
- Being easily fatigued
- Having muscle tension
- Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Being irritable
- Panic disorder: this disorder involves recurrent, unexpected panic attacks. These attacks are sudden periods of intense fear. They usually peak in intensity after a few minutes and can occur unexpectedly or be caused by a certain trigger, such as a situation or object.
People may experience the following during a panic attack:
- Feeling out of control
- Trembling or shaking
- Shortness of breath
- A fast heart rate or heart palpitations
- Feelings of impending doom
As we said above, we strongly encourage you to talk to a mental health professional if you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety. Therapy can help you manage your symptoms and control triggers of your anxiety, too.
When it comes to mood disorders, anxiety and depression often walk hand-in-hand. Both can occur at the same time and may share similar symptoms and treatments.
Depression is common, but it’s also a serious disorder. Symptoms of depression will vary, so it’s important to seek the help and support of a therapist who has the skills and experience to properly diagnose the type of depression you may have. A therapist will also be able to provide a course of care and treatment that suits your particular circumstances.
Different Types of Depression: What Are They?
There are many reasons for depression. A difficult situation, getting fired from a job, losing a loved one or a pet, a relationship ends—all of these circumstances can leave a person feeling sad, scared, or lonely – this is normal. However, in the case of those diagnosed with depression, the feelings of sadness are much more severe and tend to persist for a long time.
Each type of depressive disorder has its own set of symptoms. Let’s examine two common types of depression:
- Major depressive disorder: this is the most commonly diagnosed form of depression and is characterized by having at least five of nine common symptoms. One symptom must be a loss of pleasure and interest in most activities and the other must be an overwhelming feeling of sadness.
Other symptoms of this disorder include:
- Diminished ability to think, concentrate and make decisions
- Persistent fatigue
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
- A decrease or increase in appetite
- Recurrent thoughts of death with or without plans for committing suicide
- Psychomotor agitation (e.g pacing, tapping, rapid talking)
Major depressive disorder symptoms must continue for more than two weeks or longer and stand in contrast to the way an individual previously functioned. For example, a person with this disorder might miss school or work and stop hanging out with friends or associates at social gatherings.
- Persistent depressive disorder: this form of depression includes a sad, dark, or low mood on most days for at least two years. Someone experiencing this disorder should also display two other diagnostic symptoms such as poor appetite, low energy, fatigue, or poor concentration.
The exact causes of major depressive disorder or persistent disorder aren’t known. However, they may involve more than one cause, such as biological differences, chemical imbalances in the brain, genetic factors, and traumatic life events.
Your therapist can discuss your symptoms and medical history to determine a treatment plan that will best help you. This may include weekly visits with a counselor, medication, or a combination of both.
Marriage Counseling and Couples Therapy
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there are over two million marriages in the U.S. That’s the good news. The unfortunate news is that about 40-50% of married U.S. couples divorce. A conflict-free marriage is pretty rare. From personality clashes to financial decisions to raising a family—so many life challenges can either make marriages stronger or lead to a rocky road and an eventual breakup.
If you are looking to strengthen your relationship or prevent a divorce, then professional guidance from a couples therapist can be beneficial.
Let’s look at a few reasons you may want to seek out marriage counseling or couples therapy:
- There are serious problems affecting your relationship and there’s no simple solution. These problems can include financial disputes, communication issues, infidelity, sexual dissatisfaction, or issues involving child-rearing.
- Less severe problems, but potentially damaging to a relationship. For example, you find you’re growing apart from your spouse or daily arguments are not turning into major disputes.
- You have noticed smaller problems, but they are enough to erode your relationship and both you and your spouse are growing more and more unhappy. In addition, the problems have started to affect you and your spouse’s mental and/or physical health.
What Does Marriage Therapy Look Like?
Marriage therapy is a type of therapy that aims to improve communication, teach conflict resolution skills, and help couples resolve differences so they can have happier relationships. Your marriage counselor is impartial and serves as a link between you and your spouse. The counselor’s goal is to facilitate a resolution and encourage partners to reach their own conclusions.
Typical couples counseling sessions last between 40-90 minutes. This time frame will depend on the therapist and the couple seeking counseling. And there are no fixed timelines for a resolution—some couples may have a resolution in a few weeks; others may need much longer to achieve a satisfying result.
About 75% of couples who receive marriage counseling say therapy has improved their relationship, according to the American Psychological Association. Many couples wait for too long to resolve their issues. Taking the time to sit with a counselor for as little as one hour will give you and your spouse or partner the opportunity to focus on the roadblocks and create a pathway to a healthy and improved relationship.
It happens every day. You get in your car and begin your commute to work: As the traffic builds, your tension builds along with it. Someone cuts you off, doesn’t use a turn signal, or you sit in stop and go traffic for miles.
To top it off, you just spilled coffee on your lap, and now you wish you could just start the day over again.
This is just one example of many anger issues. Uncontrolled anger can result in a variety of problems, including increased stress, relationship conflicts, physical pains, low self-esteem, and digestive disorders.
Experienced Thriveworks counselors and therapists in Williamsburg, VA, work with many people who have anger issues and help them identify the triggers and causes of their anger. Counselors then offer healthier and productive approaches to those triggers so people can live happier and more positive lives.
The following are just some cognitive, physical, and emotional anger signs that let you know you’re starting to get angry.
Anger Warning Signs:
- Cognitive: mental exhaustion, aggressive thoughts, thinking about revenge, forgetfulness, mind going blank, trouble focusing
- Physical: headache, stomachache, sweating muscle tension, shaking, tightness in the chest
- Emotional: feeling humiliated, scared, disrespected, anxious, and nervous, crying, and irritable
It’s essential to pay attention to the signs above and notice your specific anger triggers. Once you understand your triggers, you can then take steps to manage them.
A counselor can offer specific steps for you to take. For example, some helpful anger management steps include:
- Acknowledge you have an anger issue
- Write down your triggers and what specific events immediately preceded them.
- Write about the cognitive, physical, and emotional feelings and sensations that accompanied the triggers
- Take a few deep breaths into your abdomen (watch that your stomach rises upon inhalation and not your chest)
- Visualize yourself in a relaxing environment or picture a pleasant experience. Examples can include an island vacation getaway or a nap on a hammock deep in a quiet forest
- Practice yoga, meditation, or some light physical activity or exercise
- Read a book, article, or blog that focuses on positive, uplifting topics
- Find a hobby or cause that is stimulating or mentally rewarding. You can also find an activity that helps others—this way you’re helping yourself and other people at the same time!
- Laugh, smile, or engage in something fun
- Surround yourself with people, pets, objects that boost your mood and divert you away from negative thoughts and feelings
A professional therapist can recommend the steps mentioned above or others that best fit what’s right for you. You don’t need to hesitate to ask for help with any anger issues you may have. A happier and healthier you depends on it.
A traumatic event is one that is scary, shocking, or dangerous that can have severe emotional and physical effects. If you live along the Gulf of Mexico, for example, chances are you’ve experienced a major hurricane. If you have, you know its devastating effects on life and property. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people can lose everything—their car, their pets, their entire homes.
Here are some other types of trauma:
- Terror attacks
- Mass shootings
- Car accidents
When we’re in the moment of a traumatic experience, we may not realize the full impact on our mental, physical, and emotional health. We’re just dealing with getting through the event and attempting to pick up the pieces of our lives. Days, months, or years later something can trigger your memory of the event, which causes you to relive or re-experience the event.
Most people who have experienced trauma will have responses that can last for several weeks or months after the event. Others may experience responses that are more prolonged and interfere with their everyday lives.
Symptoms of Trauma:
- Becoming isolated from friends and family
- Crying often
- Feeling angry, irritable, or resentful
- Having frightening flashbacks or thoughts concerning the traumatic event
- Trouble thinking clearly
- Having nightmares or difficulty sleeping
Children and teens may have different reactions to trauma. In children less than six years old, symptoms may include bed-wetting, unable to talk, acting out the traumatic event, being unusually clingy with parents or other adults.
As we can see, traumatic events can be very painful in many ways. If those suffering from traumatic experiences don’t have the help and support they need, there is the potential for them to experience more severe symptoms or turn to drugs or alcohol to help cope with their symptoms.
Coping with Trauma:
Trauma therapists at Thriveworks in Williamsburg, VA, have specialized training to help people identify their trauma symptoms and offer coping solutions and grounding techniques.
One technique your therapist might recommend is prolonged exposure. This type of therapy teaches individuals to gradually approach their trauma-related situations, feelings, and memories. the goal for the client is to actively learn that the memories related to their trauma are not dangerous and do not need to be avoided.
Another common approach to anxiety therapy is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). This is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on helping people heal from emotional distress caused by trauma. It requires the individual to focus their attention on the traumatic memory while their body experiences bilateral stimulation.
Here are some practices and coping strategies that can aid in your recovery from trauma:
- Maintain normal routines
- Stay active and exercise regularly
- Spend time with trusted friends and loved ones who can provide positive support
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
- Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques
A trauma therapist at Thriveworks Counseling in Williamsburg, VA, can offer specific coping strategies for you and assist you in adapting self-care practices that will help you in your progress toward recovery from the painful experiences of trauma.
Eric dreads going to his elementary school every day. He’s tried every excuse in the book to get out of going to school, but Eric’s parents both have full-time jobs and don’t have time in the mornings to deal with another outburst.
When Eric arrives at school, everything is fine until recess. During recess, Charles bullies Eric by calling him names, teasing him, pushing him around, and taking Eric’s personal belongings.
Eric’s parents are at their wits’ end and have decided to take him to a therapist. To their surprise, Eric’s therapist tells his parents the reason he dreads school – he’s being bullied. Relieved, Eric’s parents contact the school to address the situation and continue therapy for their son so he can reclaim his confidence, self-esteem and look forward to school each day.
How Does Child Therapy Work?
Child therapists in Williamsburg, VA, are specialized in helping children properly cope with many issues, including bullying, as in the example above, traumatic events, self-confidence, and mental illness.
There are many issues specific to children. The list below contains common issues addressed in child therapy:
- Death of a loved one
- Abuse (emotional, sexual, mental and physical)
- Addiction in the family
- Moving to a new town
- Beginning a new school
In Eric’s case above, his parents didn’t turn to therapy for Eric until he was at the point where the thought of going to school filled him with dread. But if Eric’s parents noticed the underlying signs and behaviors, they may have sought treatment sooner. Here are some signs that your child may be struggling and in need of a trained therapist:
- Frequent tantrums or intensely irritable
- Struggling at school or experiencing a decline in academic performance
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Frequently talking about worries or fears
- Difficulty sitting quietly or constantly moving
- Complaining about headaches or stomach aches with no underlying medical cause
The good news is Eric’s example and many other issues affecting children’s mental health are treatable. Thriveworks Counseling in Williamsburg, VA offers specialized treatment to children of all ages. Treatment services are based on the needs of the child but can include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), art therapy, movement therapy, music therapy, and trauma-focused CBT.
Therapy for children and adolescents often involves the same issues and challenges adults face. A trained therapist has the skills and experience to work with the special needs of children and offer a treatment plan that allows children to understand what they’re going through and overcome the challenges unique to their age group.
Psychiatry: Diagnosis and Treatment
Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that deals with diagnosing, treating, and preventing behavioral, emotional, and mental disorders. A psychiatrist is a trained medical doctor who specializes in the field of psychiatry and can evaluate and treat the physical and mental aspects of a mental illness and prescribe medication as well as other treatment options.
Some psychiatrists also specialize in the fields of child and adolescent psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and addiction psychiatry.
In addition, psychiatrists administer a wide range of psychological and laboratory tests that can help assess your mental state. These tests, combined with a deep clinical understanding of the many complexities involved with mental illnesses, help psychiatrists properly address clients’ needs and develop treatment plans based on those needs.
There are many reasons to choose to see a psychiatrist. For example, if you’re experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiousness that don’t go away and disrupt your daily life, talking to a psychiatrist may be a good first step.
Psychiatrists also treat the following conditions:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Addictive behaviors
- Panic attacks
- Thoughts of suicide
- Sleep disorders
What Treatments Can I Expect?
There are many treatment options available, including talk therapy, psychosocial interventions, and other treatments.
Talk therapy (also referred to as psychotherapy) is a type of treatment that involves a talking relationship between you and your psychiatrist. This common treatment option is used to treat many mental disorders and emotional problems.
The goal of talk therapy is to control or eliminate disturbing symptoms so the client can cope more effectively. Treatment can take as little as a few appointments or last several years.
Medications can include the following:
- Antidepressants: these treat depression, panic disorders, anxiety, PTSD, and obsessive-compulsive disorders, among others.
- Antipsychotics: this medication treats bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, delusions, and hallucinations.
A psychiatrist will first conduct a full assessment of your symptoms and then create a medication treatment program that’s right for you. Your psychiatrist will also instruct you how to safely take the medicine, provide information on any side effects or drug reactions, and alter the medication dose if needed.
If you think you could benefit from talking with a psychiatrist about your symptoms, or you think medication, therapy, or a combination of the two could help, then consider Thriveworks in Williamsburg, VA. We have online psychiatrists who are here for you and want to help you live a happy and successful life.
Many people, young and old, need guidance from time to time. Maybe you want to pursue a new career, start a new relationship, or need to make adjustments in your life but aren’t sure where to start or how to properly plan.
At Thriveworks in Williamsburg, VA, our life coaches have the training and experience to help you clarify your goals, identify any barriers preventing you from moving forward, and develop strategies and tactics to overcome those barriers. By working with a life coach, you can put your unique skills and experiences to work to achieve the goals you set for yourself.
Why Should I Work With a Life Coach?
A life coach can help get you out of a rut, re-focus your priorities, or help you find meaning or purpose you didn’t know you had.
Working with a Thriveworks life coach might be beneficial if any of these factors apply to you:
- You need a burst of creativity but can’t seem to find it
- You find you’re constantly feeling angry or annoyed
- You’re not happy with your job and want to pursue a new career path
- You have friends and a social life, but there still seems to be a void
- You have bad habits you need to break
- You’re experiencing stress or anxiety
Life coaching sessions can help different people from all walks of life, including CEOs, executives, entrepreneurs, retirees, college graduates, and teachers.
How Is A Life Coach Different From a Therapist?
There are some similarities between life coaches and therapists, but each has a unique role in mental health care. For example, a life coach can assist you with an unresolved conflict, but he or she can’t treat mental health conditions.
Life coaches do not require any formal training or academic qualifications, nor are they required to follow health privacy laws. However, the life coaches at Thriveworks are certified counselors and held to high standards.
A life coach is a great choice for anyone looking for some self-reflection or goal-setting help. As we’ve seen, life coaches can work with anyone, no matter where they are on the corporate or life ladder.
If you’re ready to get out of a rut or just need some practical guidance and advice, a Thriveworks life coach is a great way to get back on track with your life.
Scheduling a Counseling Appointment in Williamsburg, VA
At Thriveworks Counseling in Williamsburg, VA, we believe that everyone can benefit from counseling. We’ll work closely with you to create a treatment plan that fits your specific needs and help you thrive every step of the way.
Our trained and professional counselors, therapists, life coaches, and psychiatrists are caring and compassionate and can provide therapy and counseling for depression, anxiety, anger, and trauma. Additionally, we have specialized therapists who can provide marriage counseling, child therapy, life coaching, family therapy, and more.
A scheduling assistant will be happy to walk you through the appointment process. You’ll also learn more about all the benefits you can receive as a client, including same- or next-day appointments, flexible hours, phone access to your provider between sessions, text support, and Ask-a-Coach 24-hour Q&A. We also accept most major insurances and offer affordable self-pay rates.
We know that the decision to seek therapy can be a difficult one. Our therapists are here for you, and they want to see you thrive. Take the first step and call our Williamsburg, VA, office. Or you can use our online scheduling tool and find a counselor and appointment time that works for you.