We offer a friendly and down-to-earth approach to therapy

Excelsis Behavioral Health

Individual Psychotherapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective in significant improvement in functioning and quality of life. A myriad of treatment strategies are affiliated with CBT. Notable ones are: 

  • Learning to recognize distortions in one’s thinking 
  • Gaining a better understanding of the behavior and motivation of others
  • Using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations
  • Developing a greater sense of confidence is one’s own abilities
  • Using role playing to prepare for difficult interactions
  • Learning to calm one’s mind and body

Psychodynamic therapy focuses life events, desires, and relationships and their correlation to one’s own feelings and choices. In practice, individuals will aim to identify compromises made to defend yourself against painful thoughts or emotions. For example, someone with an overbearing parent may unconsciously find it difficult to risk developing intimate relationships, out of fear that all close relationships will involve a domineering partner. By becoming aware of links like this, you may find it easier to overcome such obstacles.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is useful in therapy regarding trauma and complicated grief. During a typical session, clients are invited to process the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. This often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self that have grown out of the original traumatic event.

During Assertive Resolution sessions, the client is driving with the clinician guiding the process. Although some traumatic experiences can be very painful to think about, the therapy moves clients beyond being stuck in these experiences toward growth and positive changes. The process utilizes relaxing eye movements to change the way in which the negative images are stored in the brain. The end result is that traumas and difficult life experiences no longer trigger strong emotions or physical reactions. 

This clinical uses guided relaxation, concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness. In this naturally occurring state, an individuals may focus their attention, with the help of a trained clinician, on specific thoughts or possible psychological root cause of a disorder or symptom. 

This approach to couples therapy includes a thorough assessment of the couple’s relationship and integrates research-based interventions. The goals of this approach to couples therapy are to disarm conflicting verbal communication; increase intimacy, respect, and affection; remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy; and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a well-known humanistic approach to psychotherapy. This science has expanded our understanding of individual dysfunction and health as well as the nature of love relationships and family bonds.  Attachment views human beings as innately relational, social and wired for intimate bonding with others.  The EFT model prioritizes emotion and emotional regulation as the key organizing agents in individual experience and key relationship interactions.

Imago Relationship Therapy is a form of relationship and couples therapy that focuses on transforming conflict into healing and growth through relational connection. There is frequently a connection between frustrations in adult relationships and early childhood experiences. Childhood feelings of abandonment, suppression or neglect will often arise in a marriage or committed relationship. When such “core issues” repeatedly come up with a partner, they can overshadow all that is good in a relationship and leave one to wonder whether he or she has chosen the right mate. Through Imago Relationship Therapy, couples can understand each other’s feelings and “childhood wounds” more empathically, allowing them to heal themselves and their relationships and move toward a more “Conscious Relationship.”

This customized couple assessment identifies a couple’s strength and growth areas. It is one of the most widely used programs for premarital counseling and premarital education. It is also used for marriage counseling, marriage enrichment, and dating couples considering engagement. This approach uses a couple’s faith or spirituality as a foundation.

Couples Counseling

Family Therapy

This approach was designed to improve relationships and communication within the family structure by addressing an individual’s actions, emotions, and perceptions as they relate to their dynamic within the family unit. The basic principle of this method is the effective making contact and communicating with others. 

Narrative therapy encourages the individual to be their own person and to use their own skill set to address the problem and also to minimize the difficulties in day-to-day life. The idea of narrative therapy is that in life, individuals create personal stories that help them identify who they are and also that they possess the proper tools to navigate their lives. The point of this approach is to help clarify, develop, and support the narrator in life and help guide their journey.

This approach gives therapists the ability to examine interactions between individuals in a family across multiple generations. The family therapist’s observations and analysis of interactions helps the therapist to grasp the core issues within the family group. In addition to current issues, the therapist may also pick up on future struggles or stressful situations. Concepts of transgenerational therapy are used frequently with other therapies to help create a lens to frame the issue being addressed in sessions.

Therapy for communication issues is a common need especially as it pertains to relationship therapy and the cited issue between the couple is lack of communication. Communication issues between individuals can start from differences in cultural backgrounds to personal experiences. There are many options for addressing communication issues whether it be for an individual’s improvement or two involved in an intimate relationship. A therapist can help an individual decide what the best strategies may be for improving communication. Strategies include active listening, opening lines of communication and mediated communication.

Affirmative therapy is an approach to therapy that embraces a positive view of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) identities and relationships and addresses the negative influences that homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism have on the lives of LGBTQ clients.

Sex often is a taboo subject, especially in households. This sometimes can lead to an unhealthy relationship with sex, creating anxiety in association with the subject of sexuality. Oftentimes, this anxiety can inhibit an individual’s ability to form a healthy sexual relationship, which may have a lasting impact on quality of life and long-term relationships. Sexual concerns are one of the leading causes of relationship problems, often leading to alienation and tension in personal relationships. These problems sometimes lead individuals to remain isolated as a means of alleviating discomfort. Working with a therapist helps one move past personal issues with sexuality by becoming more aware of personal issues, anxieties, and fears in connection with their identity and relationships. The ability to form healthy relationships is fundamental to experiencing intimacy, and sex therapy can help clients overcome obstacles that may be preventing them from forming those types of relationships.

Using targeted discussion techniques, sessions address underlying emotional issues that may be impacting an individual’s approach to and feelings about sex. While therapy is sometimes offered as a form of couples counseling, it’s typically offered to individuals as a tool to help them overcome inhibitions associated with their sex life.

Sensate focus can be considered “mindfulness for touch.” A mindfulness practice involves meditation, or intentional focusing on something specific. Sensate focus is “mindfulness for touch” because it is an intentional focus on touchwithout expectations, judgment, or pressure. Sensate focus can teach a person how to be in their body experiencing, rather than in their head “spectatoring.” Sensate work uses non-demand touching, which means you are touching with no particular outcome or expectation in mind. This is different from sexual foreplay. You are not trying to arouse the other person or even to pleasure them. You are touching for yourself, with a sense of curiosity and exploration about your partner’s (or your own) body. Allow yourself to experience and enjoy touch for the sake of touch. Pay attention to the following aspects of the touch: temperature (warm/cool), pressure (hard/soft), and texture (smooth/rough). 

Mindfulness practices work by changing your brain’s responses to distressing situations and stressors. By reminding yourself to view the world with curiosity rather than judgment, one can strengthen the part of your brain that manages emotional regularity and decrease the neurological “fight, flight, freeze, and fawn” response that can cause anxiety. mindfulness practices can vary widely, and they can be applied in countless ways. However, there are a several common activities that you might encounter in psychotherapy sessions:
  1. Meditation – Meditation often the core mindfulness practice. While it can take many forms, one of the most common mindfulness meditations is loving-kindness meditation, which focuses on increasing compassion for yourself and others.
  2. Mindful breathing –  Mindfulness practices often include simple breathing exercises designed to help you focus on your breath and reduce your body’s stress response.
  3. Visualization – Your mindfulness practice might include specific visualization exercises, such as imagining your thoughts as clouds or your breath as colorful light.
  4. Body scan – An especially common mindfulness meditation is the body scan, in which you carefully imagine each part of your body in order to gain awareness of your physical existence and sensory experience.

Sex Therapy

Health Support Services

The geriatric care assessment purports to do is answer the biggest question of all: What do you need to still be you? A geriatric care assessment is a multi-disciplinary exercise that tests mental, physical, emotional, and psychological health, as well as assesses functionality, living conditions, socio-economic environment, social circles, family involvement, and everything else that goes into determining quality of life. A geriatric care assessment can determine quality of life and provide a framework to sustain and improve that quality. It can be a detailed look at what aging adults do every day, their abilities, and what families and loved ones need to do to provide maximum comfort and, if possible independence.

A diagnosis of HIV or AIDS is often likely to have a negative impact on the mental and emotional well-being of those diagnosed. The support of a therapist may be helpful while waiting for test results or coming to terms with a diagnosis of HIV or AIDS. In therapy, an individual can explore ways to cope with the mental health impacts of such a diagnosis. Family counseling can be beneficial to those who wish to inform their family of their diagnosis, explain what it means, and help family members adapt to the news. Some of those affected by HIV might find it difficult to cope with their illness. While medication is necessary in most cases to manage symptoms and prevent the illness from progressing, self-care may also help people with HIV and maintain a healthy routine and keep up their mental health. 

Substance Use Counseling and Assessment

The twelve-step approach which includes Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other stems is a staple of long term recovery. It can be a good way to maintain sobriety when used with other modalities and treatments. One of the main things an individual will require is support. The twelve-step approach does offer that. Success will involve willingness to participate.

Motivational therapy is a widely used therapy in rehabilitation. They help individuals find the motivation to successfully recover. Motivational interviewing is designed to reduce your doubts about stopping substance abuse. It begins with an assessment and followed up to two to four sessions of individual therapy. Individuals will begin learning motivational statements and discuss how to deal with situations that can cause relapse. Change will be monitored, strategies will be reconfirmed and one will receive additional support to keep motivation.

If you’re struggling to regulate your feelings, dialectical behavior therapy  is helpful. If you think you could self-harm yourself or have suicidal thoughts, this therapy gives you the tools to accept those thoughts. As you accept how you’re feeling and the behaviors you’re inhibiting, you are able to overcome them. The techniques in DBT involve relaxation techniques like mindfulness meditation and breathing techniques. You will learn ways to relax your muscles and eventually manage self-destructive thoughts and urges so they don’t take over your life. 

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Tampa, Central Office

We are excited to announce that we now offer tele-therapy!