Common clinical problems

Clinical problems that clients present with in therapy usually falls in three categories: unhealthy negative emotions, self-defeating behaviour, and maladaptive cognitive consequences. Therapy can assist you to identify these problems, identify and change the thinking that maintains it. Maybe you need some help to put your finger on the thing you would like to change. This list could help!

Emotional problems

While unpleasant emotions are a normal part of human expression, there are times when these reactions become unhealthy. Here are some common unhealthy negative emotions:

  • Anger and rage are common reactions to unfairness and disrespect.
  • Hurt is commonly associated with betrayal or being deemed unimportant.
  • Depression often accompanies experiences of defeat, loss, failure, and disappointment.
  • Anxiety and panic relates to perceived threat and uncertainty.
  • Morbid jealousy present in relationships.
  • Pathological guilt from actions or inaction from the past.

Therapy does not necessarily make you happy, but it can assist in transforming unhealthy negative emotions to healthy unpleasant emotions.

Behavioral problems

In an attempt to protect oneself from vulnerability or confronting difficulty, you may engage in self-defeating behavoiur. Some examples of habits that interfere in attempts to attain your goals:

  • Escape and avoidance (e.g. substance abuse)
  • Procrastination
  • Aggression
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Self-harm

Therapy can help you to identify and confront the irrational beliefs maintaining this behaviour. As a result, you will gain experience in adaptive behaviour.

Thinking problems

Maladaptive cognitive consequences require a lot of energy. These habits are often used to avoid facing your thoughts:

  • Worry
  • Rumination
  • Distraction and diversion
  • Helplessness
  • Hopelessness

Metacognition, the process of thinking about your thinking, helps you to identify and change these patterns. The end goal is to help a client to focus their cognitive attention appropriately instead of wasting energy thinking about things beyond your control, in the past, etc.

Please do contact me to secure a session to discuss your clinical problems.