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The fundamentals of therapy
Anthony D. Smith LMHC
Catatonic states are common in mood disorders, but often unnoticed. Identifying major depression with catatonic features takes a trained eye and could be a lifesaving observation.
Not every depressive spell is totally sad, agitated, and sleepless. Mood reactivity, leaden paralysis, and hypersomnia are atypical features, highly associated with bipolar disorder.
Melancholic features is the darkest form of major depression. Learn how it differs significantly from other forms of major depression, and the unique treatment it often requires.
It is no secret that depressive and anxiety disorders often co-occur, but did you know that some people develop anxiety specific to Major Depressive Disorder?
Hallucinations and delusions don't always mean schizophrenia; about 20% of people with major depressive disorder can become psychotic during an episode.
Major depressive disorder can manifest with eight subtypes, adding challenges to identifying and treating the condition.
People with delusional disorder can hide in plain sight, despite experiencing psychotic symptoms. Is it possible to tell the difference between "quirky" ideas and actual delusions?
Differentiating psychotic disorders doesn't have to be confusing. Attention to symptom context and duration helps clinicians diagnose and treat patients.
There is more to psychosis than hallucinations and paranoia.
Psychosis is not synonymous with schizophrenia. Psychotic symptoms are found throughout diagnostic categories and must be accurately differentiated for proper care.
A pandemic of poor supervision deprives many therapists of their full potential. Here's what to seek in a healthy supervisory relationship.
Understanding body language is the art of observing, and responding to, what's not being verbalized.
Summary and validation statements encourage more patient sharing, allowing us to gain better understandings, and ultimately be more helpful.
Effective listening requires some physical etiquette.
Active-empathic listening is not smiling and nodding along, nor a type of therapy. Learning to avoid these AEL mistakes will immediately up your listening and therapy game.
Pedophilia and child abuse are not synonymous, but even treatment providers can recoil and shame such clients who desperately want help.
Mental illness stigma is a pandemic. Watching your language and looking for people's strengths could help curb the spread.
Two common myths about self-injury can hinder the effective treatment of it. Learn to listen to self-injury, and you could learn how to more effectively intervene.
Bed-wetting, fire-setting, and animal cruelty are not the crystal ball they are often stereotyped to be in foretelling a child's future as a sociopath.
Sadistic personality disorder may no longer be in the DSM, but it's still a recognized condition.
Soaring misdiagnosis rates means there's a good chance a patient's prior diagnosis is inaccurate. Check the math when you see these signs.
Blindly accepting patients' past diagnoses can lead to applying interventions for conditions they don't have and prolonging suffering.
Is it delirium or dementia? These conditions may seem similar, but differentiating between the two could help to save a life.
Psychiatric problems caused by general medical conditions can have odd symptoms and erratic patterns. Learn to assess for unusual histories and presentations with these four tips.
Common psychiatric symptoms are often mimicked by general medical complications. Learn how to assess if your patient needs a referral for medical evaluation before psychotherapy.
Some people seeking psychological care may instead need medical intervention.
Do you consider if patients' symptoms are provoked by a general medical condition?
Some diagnoses have similar symptoms, and thus, one symptom can't justify a diagnosis. A symptom must be contextualized to its pattern for accurate diagnosis and better treatment.
Diagnosing from one symptom is a key contributor to psychiatric misdiagnosis. Examples of the perils of this bad practice abound, but two simple questions can stop this habit.
Some people are driven to rage by noises; others get nasty under nutritional deficits. Learn to recognize if this is your patient and how to address these unique encounters.
Histrionic personality and conversion disorder are puzzling enough independently. What happens when they occur together, and how can it be treated?
Anthony Smith, LMHC, has 20 years of experience that includes the roles of therapist, juvenile court evaluator, professor, and counseling supervisor.