STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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Psychotherapy is concerned with past influences on the present and the choices you make now. This form of therapy delves into the past and childhood events, looking for motives for current behaviors and thought patterns. It generally lasts longer in terms of both individual session time and overall therapy duration. It is most beneficial for those with long-term or recurring problems because it seeks to uncover hidden motivations or root causes. Psychotherapy can help with depression and some eating disorders. Although psychotherapy is its own form of therapy, counseling and CBT can utilize one or more theories and techniques of psychotherapy.


There are five broad categories of psychotherapy, according the American Psychological Association. Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies focus on changing problematic behaviors, feelings and thoughts by discovering underlying unconscious meanings and motivations. Patients learn more about themselves by exploring their interactions in the therapeutic relationship. Psychoanalysis has been modified a great deal since Sigmund Freud’s early theories.


Behavior therapy focuses on learning’s role in developing normal and abnormal behavior. Classical conditioning from Pavlov is an example of behavior therapy. “Desensitizing” can be used to help with a phobia through repeated exposure to the source of anxiety.


Cognitive therapy emphasizes what people think rather than what they do. Cognitive therapists believe dysfunctional thinking leads to dysfunctional emotions and behaviors. By changing their thoughts, people can change how they feel and what they do. CBT is a combination of behavior and cognitive therapies.


Humanistic therapy looks at one’s capacity to make rational choices and develop one’s maximum potential. Concern and respect for others are important themes in this type of therapy. Humanistic philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Buber and Soren Kierkegaard influenced the theories of this form of psychotherapy. There are three types of humanistic therapies. Client-centered therapy rejects the idea of therapists as authorities about a client’s inner experiences. Gestalt therapy emphasizes “organismic holism” or the importance of being aware of the “here and now” and accepting responsibility for oneself. Existential therapy focuses on free will, self-determination and the search for meaning.


The fifth form of psychotherapy, integrative or holistic therapy, blends elements from different approaches to tailor the treatment according to each client’s needs.

Life is emotionally messy. Sometimes we need professional help to work through certain issues. When you need help, how can you know which is the best type of therapy for you and your situation?


General counseling is the most prevalent form of therapy because it’s helpful to everyone at some point in his or her life. It involves talking with a therapist. The degree and depth of talking varies between the different types of counseling. General counseling therapies are ideal for mentally healthy individuals who need help with a current issue or crisis, such as anger, a relationship issue, bereavement, work-related stress, infertility or the onset of a serious illness.


There are more specific forms of counseling. Family therapy involves the entire family working with one or a pair of therapists. It helps family members communicate with each other better. Family therapy may be recommended if one family member is having a serious problem that affects the rest of the family or if trauma has occurred in the family. Issues family therapy helps with include child and adolescent behavioral problems; mental health conditions; illness and disability; separation, divorce and stepfamily life; domestic violence; and drug or alcohol addiction.


Relationship counseling or couples therapy can help when a

WHAT TYPE OF MENTAL-EMOTIONAL HELP IS BEST FOR YOU?

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

relationship is in crisis, such as when a partner has an affair. Both partners talk in confidence to a counselor or therapist to explore what went wrong in the relationship and learn how to improve things. Some sessions will include both partners at the same time. Couples generally learn more about each other’s needs and how to communicate better.


Group therapy involves up to around 12 people meeting together with a therapist. It is useful for people who share a common problem to get support and advice from each other. Many find solace in knowing they’re not alone for just about any issue you can imagine – addiction, cheating, sex issues, dieting, grief and terminal illnesses are just a few examples.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) concentrates on eliminating unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors. Like counseling, CBT is used to deal with current situations rather than events from the past. It is useful for a variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and some eating disorders, especially bulimia. Goals are set and often you’ll be given tasks to carry out between sessions.