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Caroline Opens Online Counseling Clinic at ProvenTherapy

Caroline Artley, LCSW-C is among the newest faces on Proventherapy.com, a site that provides a virtual office for individuals to meet professional clinicians to work out their problems.
Caroline ArtleyPress Release: WHITE MARSH, Md. – Feb. 2, 2016 – PRLog — Caroline attended a Christian college to learn how to help people from a faith perspective, then she moved on to public graduate school for in-depth, rigorous instruction on diagnostic formulation and clinical intervention.  She credits her undergraduate work with helping her to appreciate the intrinsic value of all people.

Caroline has worked with individuals aged 3-101, as well as the parents, siblings, adult children, and other caregivers involved.  As a Therapist in the public mental health system for almost 10 years, she has treated a wide variety of issues ranging from mild anxiety and low self-esteem, to severe depression, unresolved trauma, grief/loss, and personality disorders. Additionally, as a Medical Social Worker for four years, she has counseled adult children of medically fragile patients through maintaining healthy family relationships and pre-grief.  Working in such dynamic fields, she has been exposed to diversity of populations with multifaceted needs.  Such exposure reminds her there can be many layers to one problem, requiring a lot of hard work and partnering with the client to achieve his/her goals. So, she opens up her virtual clinic at https://www.proventherapy.com to extend that healing touch through highly secured live and email channels.

Sessions with Caroline employ cognitive-behavioral, narrative, solution-focused, and family systems theories.  But that is not all.  She believes the relationship forged between the client and clinician is of paramount importance in the therapeutic process.  She believes every person is different, every problem is different, and so the pathway to recovery must adapt to meet the person where they are.

“I incorporate pauses in our sessions from time to time, to check in with how the client feels about his/her progress.  My clients’ problems often did not arise overnight, and they will not likely resolve so quickly either. At times this can feel discouraging to clients who simply want to feel better and move on with their lives.  I like to continually ‘leave the door open’ for clients to be honest about the process of therapy.”

Read full press release here…

Stress-related inflammation may increase risk for depression

Preexisting differences in the sensitivity of a key part of each individual’s immune system to stress confer a greater risk of developing stress-related depression or anxiety, according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published October 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

depressionInflammation is the immune system’s response to infection or disease, and has long been linked to stress. Previous studies have found depression and anxiety to be associated with elevated blood levels of inflammatory molecules and white blood cells after a confirmed diagnosis, but it has been unclear whether greater inflammation was present prior to the onset of disease or whether it is functionally related to depression symptomology.

Specifically, the new study measured the cytokine IL-6 in non-aggressive mice prior to and after repeated social stress invoked by an aggressive mouse. They found that IL-6 levels were higher in mice that were more susceptible to stress than in “stress-resilient” mice. They also found the levels of leukocytes (white blood cells that release IL-6) were higher in stress susceptible mice before stress exposure. The researchers then validated the increased levels of IL-6 in two separate groups of human patients diagnosed with treatment-resistant Major Depressive Disorder.

The Mount Sinai study results revolve around the peripheral immune system, a set of biological structures and processes in the lymph nodes and other tissues that protect against disease. Inflammation is a culprit of many disease conditions when it happens in the wrong context or goes too far. Under normal conditions when the immune system perceives a threat (e.g. invading virus), inflammatory proteins called interleukins are released by white blood cells as an adaptive mechanism to limit injury or infection. However, in some instances, the immune system may become hyper responsive to an “insult,” leading to chronic dysregulation of inflammatory processes that ultimately cause disease.

“Our data suggests that pre-existing individual differences in the peripheral immune system predict and promote stress susceptibility,” says lead author Georgia Hodes, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher in Neuroscience. “Additionally, we found that when mice were given bone marrow transplants of stem cells that produce leukocytes lacking IL-6 or when injected with antibodies that block IL-6 prior to stress exposure, the development of social avoidance was reduced compared with their respective control groups, demonstrating that the emotional response to stress can be generated or blocked in the periphery.”

Evidence in the current study is the first to suggest that Interleukin 6 response prior to social stress exposure can predict individual differences in vulnerability to a subsequent social stressor.

The research team, led by Scott Russo, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, exposed mice to two social stress models that are translational to social stressors experienced by humans. They measured blood levels of cytokines in non-aggressive mice before and after repeated social defeat stress invoked by exposure to an aggressive mouse for 10 minutes daily for 10 days or after 10 days of witnessing defeat of another mouse, a purely emotional stressor. The researchers classified the non-aggressive mice as susceptible based on a preference to spend more time near an empty cage rather than near a new mouse on a subsequent social interaction test, whereas resilient mice showed the opposite pattern. Interleukin-6 was the only cytokine significantly elevated in susceptible mice compared with unstressed and resilient mice.

Full story continues here…

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Exercise protects against depression

A new study, published in the journal Cell, investigates the mechanisms behind the protection from stress-induced depression offered by physical exercise. 

Support for depression and mental healthExercise has well-known benefits against symptoms of depression.

Last year, an updated systematic review by UK researchers analyzed 35 randomized controlled trials on the subject involving a total of 1,356 participants diagnosed with depression.

The systematic review found that exercising was as beneficial for people with depression as psychological therapy or taking antidepressants. However, the researchers cautioned that higher quality studies are needed to confirm the results.

Scientists know that during exercise, there is an increase in skeletal muscle of a protein called PGC-1a1. The researchers behind the new study – from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden – wanted to see whether this protein increase might be implicated in the protective benefits of exercise.

Genetically modified mice with high levels of PGC-1a1 in skeletal muscle (that showed many characteristics of well-trained muscles) were exposed – along with normal mice – to a stressful environment in the lab. This involved being exposed to loud noises, flashing nights and having their circadian rhythm reversed at irregular intervals.

After 5 weeks of being exposed to mild stress, the normal mice developed symptoms of depression, whereas the genetically modified mice displayed no depressive behavior.

“Our initial research hypothesis was that trained muscle would produce a substance with beneficial effects on the brain,” says Jorge Ruas, principal investigator at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet.

Investigating the genetically modified mice further, the researchers made the discovery that – as well as the elevated levels of PGC-1a1 – the mice also had higher levels of KAT enzymes. These enzymes convert kynurenine – a substance formed during stress – into kynurenic acid. The exact function of this acid is not known, but patients with mental illness are known to have high levels of it.

Kynurenine conversion process ‘may be protective mechanism’

When normal mice were given kynurenine as part of the study, the researchers found that they exhibited symptoms of depression. However, when the elevated PGC-1a1 mice were given kynurenine, their behavior seemed unaffected.

The researchers also noticed that even when the PGC-1a1 mice were administered kynurenine, their blood did not show raised levels of kynurenine. This is because the KAT enzymes in the trained muscles of the PGC-1a1 mice were able to quickly convert it to kynurenic acid. The researchers think that this quick conversion process therefore, is a protective mechanism.

“In neurobiological terms, we actually still don’t know what depression is,” says Mia Lindskog, researcher at the Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet. “Our study represents another piece in the puzzle, since we provide an explanation for the protective biochemical changes induced by physical exercise that prevent the brain from being damaged during stress.”

Read full article here…

Depressed? Get support by contacting an online psychotherapist from the ProvenTherapists team now!

Psychological stress ‘increases risk of stroke’

Depressive symptoms in particular, but also chronic stress in life, increase the risk of older people having a stroke or transient ischemic attack, says researchers, who found feelings of hostility, but not anger, were also a risk factor for cerebrovascular disease.

stroke risk factorsThe study of over 6,700 people aged between 45 and 84 years, reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke, compared the rates of full and mini-stroke between people of different psychological profiles rated via questionnaire.

Compared with people who had healthy psychological scores, those with the poorest scores showed the following percentage increases in their likelihood of suffering a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA):

  • 86% for a high score on depressive symptoms
  • 59% for the highest ratings of chronic stress.

On the effect of feelings of hostility – “which is a negative way of viewing the world” and was assessed by the person’s “cynical expectations of other people’s motives” – this resulted in a doubling of the risk versus people who did not score highly on this profile. Feelings of anger, however, had no effect.

Dr. Susan Everson-Rose, lead author and associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, says:

“There’s such a focus on traditional risk factors – cholesterol levels, blood pressure, smoking and so forth – and those are all very important, but studies like this one show that psychological characteristics are equally important.”

The chronic stress was measured using ratings for five different domains of the participants’ lives:

  • Personal health problems
  • Health problems of people close to them
  • Job or ability to work
  • Relationships
  • Finances.

Decade-long study covered six American cities

The data for this analysis came from a study across six US sites known as the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

The 6,749 participants were from a mix of ethnic backgrounds across Baltimore, MD, Chicago, IL, Forsyth County, NC, Los Angeles, CA, New York City, NY, and Saint Paul, MN.

The almost equal numbers of men and women showed no evidence of cardiovascular disease at the start of the research in the early 2000s.

During the first 2 years of the recruitment, the baseline ratings of depression and chronic stress were assessed, and the subjects were monitored for an additional 8.5 to 11 years.

During the study, 147 strokes and 48 TIAs occurred, and the researchers did a statistical analysis at the end to compare the rates of disease between different levels of psychological health.

Possible biological mechanisms

The authors say they have excluded the possibility that the stroke results could be explained by poor psychological health tending to have a bad effect on physical lifestyle (people experiencing “stress and negative emotions typically have more adverse behavioral risk profiles, and experience difficulty in maintaining healthy lifestyles and adhering to treatment recommendations”).

The lifestyle factors taken into account were:

  • Smoking
  • Physical activity
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Body mass index
  • Blood pressure.

Independent of these factors, if depression and stress can be assumed to have a direct causal effect on stroke, then, the authors offer only theoretical ideas about what the biological link might be.

“Stress and negative emotions activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis,” they write, and this activation of the brain’s stress center influences blood clotting, among a number of other effects listed in the paper.

But these factors were not tested in the study. Another pathway that was tested, that of inflammatory effects, was tested to some extent, but “little evidence” was shown for it.

Read full article here…

Depressed? Talk to an experienced Online Professional Counselor about your psychological stress NOW!

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Divorce Elevates Risk for Depression

Divorce is associated with an increased risk of future depressive episodes but only for those who already have a history of depression, according to a new study published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

marriage and relationship problems“Stressful life events like divorce are associated with significant risk for prolonged emotional distress, including clinically-significant depression,” notes psychological scientist and lead researcher David Sbarra of the University of Arizona. “At the same time, we know from considerable research that the experience of divorce is non-random. Some people are much greater risk for experiencing a divorce than other people.”

This led Sbarra and colleagues to wonder: Is it divorce, or the factors leading to divorce — such as marital discord, neuroticism, or hostility — that increase the risk for depression?

To investigate this question, the researchers took advantage of data from the longitudinal, nationally representative Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) study. The researchers matched each participant who had separated or divorced during the study to a continuously married person in the study who had the same propensity to divorce, based on a number of previously identified factors. By comparing participants to their match, the researchers were able to account for the fact that it’s impossible to randomly assign people to divorce or stay married.

In line with previous research, the results showed that divorce had a significant effect on subsequent depression.

But, as Sbarra and colleagues found, the full story was a bit more complex.

Specifically, divorce or separation only increased the likelihood of a later depressive episode for those participants who reported a history of depression. In fact, nearly 60% of adults with a history of depression who divorced during the study experienced a depressive episode at the follow-up assessment.

For all other participants — including those who had a history of depression but hadn’t divorced, and those who divorced but had no history of depression — there was no elevated risk for a future depressive episode. Only about 10% of these people experienced a depressive episode at follow-up.

The magnitude of the difference between the two groups — 60% versus 10% — surprised the researchers.

“These findings are very important because they affirm the basic notion that most people are resilient in the face of divorce and that we do not see severe disorder among people without a history of a past depressive illness,” says Sbarra. “If you’ve never experienced a significant depression in your life and you experience a separation or divorce, your odds for becoming depressed in the future are not that large at all.”

Article continues here…

Neutrons show accumulation of antidepressant in brain – Another reason to embrace talk therapy!

BrainExperiments with neutrons at the Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) show that the antidepressant lithium accumulates more strongly in white matter of the brain than in grey matter. This leads to the conclusion that it works differently from synthetic psychotropic drugs. The tissue samples were examined at the Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) with the aim of developing a better understanding of the effects this substance has on the human psyche.

At present lithium is most popular for its use in rechargeable batteries. But for decades now, lithium has also been used to treat various psychological diseases such as depressions, manias and bipolar disorders. But, the exact biological mode of action in certain brain regions has hardly been understood. It is well known that lithium lightens moods and reduces aggression potential.

Because it is so hard to dose, doctors have been reluctant to prescribe this “universal drug”. Nonetheless, a number of international studies have shown that a higher natural lithium content in drinking water leads to a lower suicide rate in the general population. Lithium accumulates in the brains of untreated people, too. This means that lithium, which has so far been regarded as unimportant, could be an essential trace element for humans.

Read full story here…

A history of depression increases risk for future episodes following divorce

depressionDivorce is associated with an increased risk of future depressive episodes but only for those who already have a history of depression, according to a new study published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“Stressful life events like divorce are associated with significant risk for prolonged emotional distress, including clinically-significant depression,” notes psychological scientist and lead researcher David Sbarra of the University of Arizona. “At the same time, we know from considerable research that the experience of divorce is non-random. Some people are much greater risk for experiencing a divorce than other people.”

This led Sbarra and colleagues to wonder: Is it divorce, or the factors leading to divorce – such as marital discord, neuroticism, or hostility – that increase the risk for depression?

To investigate this question, the researchers took advantage of data from the longitudinal, nationally representative Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) study. The researchers matched each participant who had separated or divorced during the study to a continuously married person in the study who had the same propensity to divorce, based on a number of previously identified factors. By comparing participants to their match, the researchers were able to account for the fact that it’s impossible to randomly assign people to divorce or stay married.

In line with previous research, the results showed that divorce had a significant effect on subsequent depression.

But, as Sbarra and colleagues found, the full story was a bit more complex.

Specifically, divorce or separation only increased the likelihood of a later depressive episode for those participants who reported a history of depression. In fact, nearly 60% of adults with a history of depression who divorced during the study experienced a depressive episode at the follow-up assessment.

For all other participants – including those who had a history of depression but hadn’t divorced, and those who divorced but had no history of depression – there was no elevated risk for a future depressive episode. Only about 10% of these people experienced a depressive episode at follow-up.

Read the full story here…

“Break Free from Depression,” Diane is Here!

Press Release: Diane Davis is a Licensed, trained, experienced and accredited Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and member of The American Psychological Association. She is a new member of the qualified and approved ProvenTherapists team.

Diane DavisDiane has been practicing mental and behavioral health counseling to individuals, couples, children, adolescents and families dealing with issues such as depression, anger, relationship conflicts and disruptive behavior disorders. Diane has counseled middle school adolescents for 15 years, while helping their parents also. She has worked as an individual and family therapist for 5 years and an administrative for more than 10 years in family counseling agency settings.

Expert Service

Diane is a person-centered counselor. She is a caring, understanding, respectful, empathic and non judgmental professional counselor. Diane is empathically interested in all the clients she counsels and is congruent in the relation to the client. Diane deeply focuses on the client so that she may gain a deep understanding of their inner world. This is a very powerful technique that allows the client to open up his or her inner world, discuss the problem that brought client to therapy and to bring about effective change behavior. Diane practices Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) a powerful intervention that enhances clients to transform their thought process that will change behavior to improve self-concept, social relations be it at home, school and community.

Diane believes that the World Wide Web is destining to help change depression and destruction behaviors. Online counseling, live text and live voice chat is the twenty first century’s professional mental health counseling intervention services. These services are offered by https://www.proventherapy.com by email and real-time chat. Research shows that online counseling has established the efficacy of therapy with treatment intervention outcomes that is equal to traditional to office visits. Many researchers have reported online counseling is more effective than office visits because the client is at home, relaxed, at ease and not intimidated by sitting in front of a therapist. Online counseling has shown to be more effective since clients do not have to reach the appointment during office hours and can schedule online at their own convenience.https://www.proventherapy.com has been providing online counseling and psychotherapy service since 2006.

Read full story here…

Address Your Insecurity Feelings

Dr. Sharanya Dinesh

Approved ProvenTherapist and Clinical Psychologist

Sharanya Dinesh - Approved ProvenTherapistIt is usually our own inhibitions; insecurities and a pre conceived image of the self which makes us feel shy, leading to insecurity. A weakness or fear which sets in a feeling of imperfection, causing a dint to the ego or self-image results in insecurity. This self- image makes us vulnerable and we resist or shy away from other situations and people alike. People, especially the youth, go through this phase of insecurity when their ideal- self image clashes with the real-life self or when they experience disappointment too often and too recurring for them to overcome the negative situation. This youth withdraws into a shell and becomes shy or some tend to bury the disappointment with a show of aggression and bullying.

Most of the times, it is either the emotional self or the physical self which causes insecurity. Insecurity pulls down our confidence and self esteem takes a beating. Finding out what the core issue is which is causing the insecurity; it could be physical appearance like complexion, voice or lack of enough money, whatever may be the reason, the beginning to recovery will only come if we pin point the reason which brings in the insecure feeling. Insecurity also creeps in if the person is too set or rigid, inflexible with the way he/she wants to be, look or behave. In real life though, not all goes as planned and the obstinate person invariably faces disappointment and it becomes incredibly difficult to accept oneself; to face reality. Getting rid of this insecurity is many times difficult because acknowledgment comes after a very long time and insecurity being such a personal thing to each one of us; it is tougher to get rid of it. Most of us usually succumb to it, only the brave acknowledge it and seek ways and means to combat insecurity and hope for a free secure life.

Feeling shy about a new place, person or a new event is very natural reaction and it cannot be attributed to inherent shyness. Even a boisterous over confident person senses ‘butterflies in the stomach’ sensation before embarking on anything new. Insecurity stemming out of physical attributes results in shyness and low confidence level with regards to self-image, this batters the emotional levels also to a certain degree, but insecurity which has emotional reasons as it’s trigger results in emotional problems, low self esteem, depression and the like. The second needs to be addressed with a sense of urgency. Self image needs a definite mind shift and a renewed perspective of the self.

To lead a better holistically happy life, the sooner these insecurities are gotten rid of the better for us. Let us look at a few things that can be done differently to b able to overcome insecurity, it is easier said than done, but is imperative if one is determined to make the change:

Acceptance is the first step, learn to accept and like yourself the way you are. You are your own comparison and you are your own parameter. Comparing with anyone else will be futile because no two individuals are made the same way! So how can they behave or be the same? Start by accepting who you are, appreciate yourself and then you will start seeing where improvements can be made. If the beginning itself is rejection and criticism of the self then one can only see faults and imperfections and correcting so much will be an uphill task.

Stop being judgmental and critical about yourself; it only attributes to pulling down the self esteem and seeps in more insecurity. Write one good thing about yourself every day, morning and evening. Take time to look at yourself and see the good in you and why you are special and how you can make these your strengths to overcome your weaknesses.

Every small achievement of yours must first be recognized by you and you deserve a treat for every milestone crossed. Do not listen to what others have to say about you, start listening to yourself. Strictly avoid discouraging company and friends who make you feel bad or low about yourself. Seek out new friends who can teach a few good things without putting you down or being judgmental about you.

The world is a big place and we all have people who find us worthy. It is just when we start feeling worthy about ourselves is when the other person also begins to look at you with an appreciative eye. This in itself is a morale boost and uplifts the confidence levels. Change the image you have of yourself and the world automatically looks at you the way you look at yourself.

This is just the beginning, stick to the task and you are on your way to overcoming insecurity and take on new challenges in life.

Magnetic Brain Stimulation Cures Depression Without Affecting Sleep

Magnetic brain stimulation reported to be effective to cure clinical depression which is an alternative to serotonin inhibitors used for drug treatment. Medical bulletin reports, “Strong magnetic stimulation of the frontal lobe of the brain can reduce symptoms of depression and does not adversely affect sleep or arousal, which is common with use of anti-depression medications.” Read more here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252082.php