How Psychotherapy Works: Conversations About Depression and Anxiety

Today we’re talking about Psychotherapy to our Toronto psychotherapist Faith Mottahedi MA., Ph. D (candidate) R.P (Q), CCC, who recently joined our team at Greystones Health. Faith has completed a bachelor’s in Health Science from the University of Ottawa, as well as a Master of Arts in Psychotherapy, Counselling and Spirituality specializing in Couples and Family counseling from Saint Paul University. Faith is also currently completing her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Social Research.

We asked Faith how she supports those with anxiety/depression and what tips she gives to cope with anxiety and depression:

“Coping for everyone is different. Anxiety might feel like it’s in your mind yet it’s also very physical. Strategies that are helpful in beating anxiety would be mindfulness, deep breathing exercises and being present in the moment as anxiety is brought about by indecision or thinking about the future. Self care is such an important aspect in anyone’s life which can often be overlooked as people stop taking care of themselves. These strategies can help a person gain control over symptomatic anxiety/depression.

Psychotherapists can help out those with anxiety and/or depressive symptoms with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This includes restructuring thoughts and being more aware of how thoughts are related to feelings and behaviour. In time, this will help psychotherapists have a greater sense of awareness of what has happened to people in different situations.”

Wondering how to set attainable goals when you are depressed and/or anxious? Faith has some recommendations:

“I use SMART goal setting, where S stands for ‘specific’, M for ‘measurable’ , A for ‘attainable’, R for ‘relevant’, and T for ‘timely’. When people make goals, they normally say they want to be happy or have things go away, but haven’t observed how that looks for them in their own life. It is important to explore motivation to create goals you want to make, set goals that are small enough, build self esteem and self confidence so that you won’t set yourself up for failure.”

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