Mental Health Disorder Glossary
Definition: Anger management is a skills training program that helps you control your temper through developing the skill of remaining calm and composed. It has been described as expressing our anger successfully so that we can live a full and healthy life.
Symptoms: Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion. The Bible ascribes this emotion to God, therefore it can’t be inherently wrong. In a world full of injustice and prejudice anger is the appropriate response — but it's important to express it in a constructive way. Uncontrolled anger can take a toll on both your health and your relationships and create havoc in your life. When we allow our anger to take over, we become physically unable to think clearly and employ our best life skills.
Approach: Becoming aware of the underlying triggers of our anger and developing skills for decreasing unprofitable anger and channeling profitable anger into constructive action. Like all our emotions, sometimes our anger is more a symptom of deeper issues. We at TWRC are committed to reducing the root cause of your anger and giving you the resources you need so that you are free to focus all your energies on living the life you were meant to live.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Definition: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event--either experiencing it or witnessing it.
Symptoms: Flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. PTSD can also cause disassociation from feelings or people and avoidance of situations or places.
Approach: PTSD has been most recently associated with military service men and women who have experienced the horrors of war, but it is also experienced by those who have suffered a tragic event such as a car accident, a childhood trauma, or some other event that has left them with significant emotional/physiological impairment. The most recent empirical evidence reveals the most effective treatment for PTSD is Exposure Therapy, in which the client processes the traumatic event over a period of time, thereby reducing its emotional impact. We also bring a sensitive and compassionate spiritual perspective to those suffering from PTSD to create new meaning and perspectives on human suffering, which produces a sense of peace, security, and hope.
Change of Life Adjustments (Adjustment Disorder)
Definition: Change of life adjustments, or Adjustment Disorder, is a group of symptoms, such as stress, feeling sad or hopeless, and physical symptoms that can occur after you go through a stressful life event resulting from a reaction that is stronger than expected for the type of event that occurred.
Symptoms: Persistent feelings of sadness or loss, fear, hopelessness, or even anger. We may say to ourselves; “Why can’t I get over this?” or “What’s wrong with me … I’m stronger than this!”
Approach: We all have times when life can be overwhelming and our internal resources become depleted. We hope these feelings will lift over time but they seem to continue with no relief in sight. Our goal at TWRC is to discover the meaning we bring to these events and find new ways of thinking and therefore feeling about our life. Often the way we adjust (or don’t adjust) gives us insight into the way we think about ourselves and the world. So we at TWRC are interested not only in treating your symptoms but giving you the tools you need to deal with all the life events you encounter.
Definition: Prolonged grief is an individual’s inability to function because the loss is extreme and persistent. People with prolonged grief often experience a chronic aching and yearning for the dear departed, feel that they are not the same person anymore (e.g., unsure of their identity, loss of a sense of self and self-worth), become emotionally disconnected from others, and lack the desire to "move on" (sometimes feeling that doing so would be betraying the person who is now deceased).
Symptoms: Disrupted sleep patterns, inability to concentrate, low motivation for living, failure to find enjoyment in activities that were once enjoyable, feelings of hopelessness and isolation.
Approach: Grief is a normal part of living but prolonged grief is a debilitating mental state that must be addressed. Nobody who has experienced prolonged grief can say that they are completely over it. Grief like other areas of our lives must be understood and integrated into our experience of being human. It is through the meaning we find in our lives and the hope that we bring to our existence that we are able to successfully navigate these troubled waters. Our compassionate and caring counselors will honor your grieving process and help you walk through the “valley of the shadow of death” so as to find your way into a new healthy perspective on life with real hope for the future.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
Definition: A disorder in which a person is unable to control behavior due to difficulty in processing neural stimuli (ADD), sometimes accompanied by an extremely high level of motor activity (ADHD).
Symptoms: Inability to concentrate on a task, extreme distractibility, poor listening skills, overreaction to various stimuli, poor attention to detail, often late for appointments or work through losing track of time, impulsivity and emotional outbursts.
Approach: ADD/ADHD are often treated through prescribed stimulants which can be useful for helping to control the more severe symptoms. Research has found that a combination of medication and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) has proven to be most successful in treating this disorder. We at TWRC will work with you to develop the life skills, mental attitudes, and nutritional and physical training to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
Adolescent and Parental Issues
Definition: Anyone who has reared children has encountered times of conflict and stress when we needed to employ all our parental skills. However, when these stressful times become more the rule than the exception and dysfunctional relational patterns have developed, we may need to reach out to find new strategies for maintaining order and peace in our home.
Symptoms: Continual and sustained conflict, anger, abusive language, acting-out behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, poor school performance, unhealthy peer relationships, criminal activity, and risky sexual behavior.
Approach: Children do not come with instructions, therefore we often default to the same parenting techniques that were used in our original family. If we were blessed to have been brought up in a healthy home environment, then we have a great resource for parenting our children. However, if our parents’ skills were lacking, then we are left in deficit. TWRC is committed to guiding you through the process of shedding unhealthy parental patterns and learning new communication and disciplining skills so that you can give your children the best opportunity for a happy, healthy, and successful life.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
Definition: With Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) everyday social interactions cause irrational anxiety, fear, self-consciousness, and embarrassment so as to become debilitating.
Symptoms: Excess fear of situations in which one may be judged, worry about embarrassment or humiliation, or concerned about offending someone. Social Anxiety Disorder is more than the fear of public speaking, involves even the most innocuous social situations so that one is extremely uncomfortable when relating in any public setting.
Approach: TWRC believes an initial combination of anti-anxiety medication with cognitive behavioral therapy is the most empirically proven approach. The ultimate goal is to reduce or cease the medications as newly acquired skills and thinking reduce the most severe symptoms of SAD.
General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Definition: General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things. People with the disorder experience excessive anxiety and worry, often expecting the worst even when there is no apparent reason for concern.
Symptoms: Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating or having one’s mind go blank, irritability, muscle tension, sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep).
Approach: As with all our counseling and coaching, we are committed to treating General Anxiety Disorder with a 360-degree approach. We will first assess your unhealthy thought patterns that are producing the anxiety and then begin a process of cognitive restructuring in which your thoughts will begin to align with truths that create peace and daily confident living. We will also engage both your spiritual and physical resources to secure long-term results that will allow you to successfully navigate any future anxiety-producing events.
Major Depressive Disorder (MAD)
Definition: Major Depressive Disorder (MAD) is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. MAD affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.
Symptoms: Loss of interest in activities that were once interesting or enjoyable, including sex; poor sleep patterns (too much or too little sleep); loss of appetite, with weight loss, or overeating, with weight gain; loss of emotional expression (flat affect); a persistently sad, anxious, or empty mood; feelings of hopelessness ; inability to concentrate; isolation from close relationships; and poor work performance.
Approach: Because depression can be persistent and so debilitating it is often difficult to treat merely through one method. Our 360-degree approach seeks to draw every possible resource to bear in lifting the most harmful symptoms of depression. Along with direct consultation with medical professionals, we work with you to help restructure unhealthy thoughts while replacing them with beliefs and actions that promote healing and a positive sustainable outlook on life. We believe that what we allow into our bodies ( physically, emotionally, and mentally) has a direct bearing on our mood so we work to create a nutritional and fitness plan that will support new, healthy thinking.
Fear or Phobias
Definition: A phobia is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance.
Symptoms: A specific phobia involves an irrational, persistent fear of a specific object or situation that's out of proportion to the actual risk. This includes a fear of situations (such as airplanes or enclosed spaces); nature (such as thunderstorms or heights); animals or insects (such as dogs or spiders); blood, injection, or injury (such as knives or medical procedures); or other phobias (such as loud noises or clowns). There are many other types of specific phobias. It's not unusual to experience phobias about more than one object or situation.
Approach: Our empirically proven approach involves compassionately and sensitively exposing our clients to their debilitating fear while seeking to understand the underlying belief system that is contributing to the phobia. This involves a step-by-step approach that gives our clients time to process each step before moving on to the next, with the goal of living a more normal life.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Definition: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, or sensations (obsessions ); or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions). Often the person carries out the behaviors in an attempt to get rid of the obsessive thoughts.
Symptoms: Obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms usually include both obsessions and compulsions. But it's also possible to have only obsession symptoms or only compulsion symptoms. About one-third of people with OCD also have a disorder that includes sudden, brief, intermittent movements or sounds (tics).
Approach: Through creating a compassionate and sensitive environment we seek to disrupt the connection between thought and action that is creating the obsessive-compulsive behavior. Then we partner with you to create new and healthy thought patterns that will allow you to move forward in your life.
Definition: Relational conflict is conflict resulting from either personality clashes or negative emotional interactions between two or more people.
Symptoms: Isolation, anger, rejection, poor self-esteem, family disruption and work disturbance.
Approach: We all know what it is like to be in conflict with someone. Usually these conflicts are short lived and resolve over time. But occasionally we are involved in a conflict that does not resolve and continues to fester, thereby creating an atmosphere of resentment and unresolved hostility. Our approach to relational conflict is modeled after God’s relationship with us and involves humility, unconditional forgiveness, repentance, reconciliation and restoration. Not all relationships can experience restoration but we firmly believe that everyone can live without the cloud of resentment, unforgiveness, and anger that often is the aftermath of broken relationships.
Boundary and Assertiveness Training
Definition: Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules, or limits that a person creates to protect their identity. Personal boundaries help to define an individual by outlining likes and dislikes and setting one’s individuality.
Assertiveness Training is a form of behavior therapy designed to help people stand up for themselves and their individuality. Assertiveness is a response that seeks to maintain an appropriate balance between passivity and aggression, self-care and servanthood. TWRC believes that true self-confidence comes when we affirm our true worth given to us by our Creator and that healthy relationships are only possible when we ascribe this same worth to others.
Violating Physical Boundaries
- Sexual abuse
- Physical abuse
- Breaking in line in front of another
- Not cleaning up after oneself
- Wearing another's clothes or using any property without permission
- Disregarding time agreements, such as being late or early; pressuring a person to be ready earlier
- Not returning, or being slow to return, borrowed items
Violating Emotional/Mental Boundaries
- Asking personal questions where the relationship doesn’t call for it
- Asking another to explain their actions or viewpoint - calling on the other to justify themselves to the inquirer
- Giving unasked-for advice - telling someone else how to live his/her life, in general
- Telling another what one thinks of the other's behavior when it does not affect the speaker
- Listening to phone conversations
- Reading another person’s diaries, letters, etc.
- Telling another what God wants that person to do
- Repeating confidential material whether the hearer promised confidentiality or not, but especially when confidentiality was pledged
- Personally assuming someone else’s conscience, or feeling emotional weight of the other person’s problem
- Helping someone without checking first to see if he/she wants help
- Making demands rather than requests
- Pushing past another's "no" or any setting of limits
- Interrupting another while talking
- Smoking in the presence of others without securing permission
- Assumption of feelings - thinking we know what another feels or wants and perhaps taking action based on those assumptions without checking them out
- Being "honest" in a hostile way that justifies and covers up hostility
- Analyzing another person - telling another what he feels, why he feels as he does
Other Boundary Violations
- Trying to force grown children to live according to parents' desires and/or values
- Gossiping - Person A telling person B's business to person C
- Intruding at a gathering, such as joining others at a restaurant without being invited
- Moving in to live with another, or with parents, without permission
- Pursuing another person when she/he has given adequate signals that she/he has ended the relationship - romantic, friendly, or otherwise
- Taking charge of children when their parents are present, such as correcting the children (if they are doing something destructive, it is the parents to whom one should speak rather than dealing with the children)
- Sharing personal information about oneself without first checking whether the hearer wants to hear it
- By inappropriate touch: in places the person doesn't want to be touched; at times the person doesn't want to be touched; in a manner the person doesn't want to be touched (including hitting, sexual handling, tickling)
- Asking excessive or inappropriate favors
- Telling another's story for them (especially if he/she doesn't want it told)
- Calling another by first name (when the relationship does not call for that)
- Treating another person in a patronizing or condescending manner
- Judging another
- Expecting a return for a favor done
- Indulging ourselves at the expense of another
- Creating triangles (trying to control one person through another)
- Using abusive language
From Sara Hines Martin's book Shame on You!: Help for Adults from Alcoholic and Other Shame-Bound Families. Broadman Press: Nashville, Tennessee 1990. pp. 80 - 83.
Approach: Healthy boundaries are created by healthy people, therefore the first and foremost goal is to have a true understanding of our value, worth, and identity. It is from this foundation that strong relationships are formed and healthy boundaries are created. That said, there are still new skills and techniques that must be learned to “overwrite” the old dysfunctional behaviors of the past.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Definition: Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder that impacts the way you think and feel about yourself and others, causing problems with functioning in everyday life. It includes a pattern of unstable, intense relationships, distorted self-image, extreme emotions, and impulsiveness.
Symptoms: With Borderline Personality Disorder, you have an intense fear of abandonment or instability, and you may have difficulty tolerating being alone. Yet inappropriate anger, impulsiveness, and frequent mood swings may push others away, even though you want to have loving and lasting relationships.
Approach: There is a very strong attachment element to BPD that causes extreme emotional swings due to the inability to feel safe in relationships. It is when these feelings are understood and one learns the skill of comforting the intense emotions that the worst symptoms of BPD begin to release their hold. Research has also shown that Dialectic Behavioral Therapy has also proven successful in treating BPD through teaching those with BPD to find a “middle ground” for their emotions and learning self-soothing/self-regulating techniques.
Bipolar Disorder (BD)
Definition: Bipolar Disorder (BD), formerly called manic depression, causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).
Symptoms: When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts in the other direction, you may feel euphoric and full of energy. Mood shifts may occur only a few times a year or as often as several times a week.
Approach: Bipolar is generally treated with a combination of medications to regulate mood swings, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to understand and avoid triggers to BP episodes, and psychoeducation to support medication adherence.
Marriage and Family Counseling
Definition: Relationships are fundamental to development and fulfillment as human beings. We were created to be in relationship with each other and with God. The deeper and more nurturing our relationships the better our ability to pursue our professional goals, maintain physical health and experience emotional well being.
Symptoms: Marriage and Family distress is evidenced by unresolved conflict, emotional distance or isolation, lack of sexual fulfillment, resentment and unforgiveness to name a few. Typically couples and families develop patterns of behavior and thinking that keep their relationships stuck in a downward spiral of pain ultimately leading to their dissolution. Often these patterns are unknowingly passed on and from parent to child reproducing the same result in subsequent generations.
Approach: We at TWRC utilize the empirically researched work of Dr. John Gottman and are an approved provider in the Gottman Referal Network. The Gottman Therapy offers real solutions to address the fundamental problems that cause marriages to suffer relational dysfunction. Clinical research shows that these dysfunctional patterns can be changed and relationships can be restored. We at TWRC also believe that no matter what has happened, no matter how deep the pit couples have fallen into there is forgiveness, healing and hope for a marriage and family.