Stephanie Livingston–Psychologist

Archive for February, 2011

Test Anxiety

by on Feb.20, 2011, under performance anxiety treatment

Coordinator of Student Services

To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter to introduce myself to you and to inform you of the benefits of psychological strategies used in an educational setting. I have been a licensed psychologist for almost 20 years and have found that these techniques are very helpful to students who want to perform at an optimal level. As you are probably aware, many college students suffer from mental disorders ranging from depression, anxiety, and personality disorders, which can in turn affect their ability to perform on tests. Making the transition from high school to college can be very intimidating, especially if the student does not have the necessary resources to cope with this major life event. Many students fail to matriculate through college in a timely fashion because of poor study habits, writing skills, and test taking abilities. Test anxiety can paralyze and otherwise competent student and prevent him or her from performing adequately. Furthermore, women suffer more from all types of anxiety than men.
Some colleges and universities provide services to assist the student in making this adjustment. I think my services will help to augment what you may already offer.
*test anxiety treatment
*career counseling
*psychotherapy
My specialty is combining proven psychological principles with technology, to affect physical, behavioral and cognitive functioning. Test anxiety in particular has been shown to be helped by behavioral strategies and physiological feedback retraining Heart Rate Variability (HRV) treatment. Em Wave® by Heart Math. You can learn these strategies in just eight to twelve weeks.

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singles support group

by on Feb.06, 2011, under Support Groups

Are you having difficulty finding a mate? Do you seem to be doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result? Why not try a new approach. This is an eight week support group that focuses on psychological and behavioral factors that may be hindering your ability to find a suitable mate. This approach uses proven psychological strategies to help you to break down those barriers that keep getting in your way. The support group is led by a licensed psychological with over twenty years of experience in treating relationship issues. Working from the inside out by treating underlying emotional and behavioral issues, rather than from the outside in, dating randomly in hopes that you will find that needle in a haystack, will increase your chances of finding a healthy relationship. Start today.

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Heart Attack or Panic Attack?

by on Feb.06, 2011, under Support Groups

Have you had episodes of rapid heart beat, dizziness, or sweating, accompanied by an overwhelming fear that you were going to lose control. If you had these symptoms and went to your doctor, who said that all your medical tests were negative, and that it may just be anxiety, you may have been having a panic attack. Panic atttacks are just one of the many types of anxiety disorders. Although the etiology of panic disorder is not completely understood, psychological factors clearly play a role in the triggering and maintenance of the disorder. If gone untreated, this type of anxiety disorder could lead to agoraphobia, avoiding situations that trigger the panic attack. Consequently, it may be more and more difficult to live life (eg, driving a car, going to the grocery store, being in crowds), due to this paralyzing fear. This eight week support group will help you to identify psychological factors that may be underling your anxiey, make behaviroal changes, and assess your progress. The support group is led by a licensed psychologist, with years of experience in treating anxiety disorders. Come and learn these proven strategies to overcome your anxiety.

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Control Your Weight Before It Controls You

by on Feb.06, 2011, under Support Groups

Have you been frustrated with trying to lose weight and keeping it off? Have you tried various fad diets, diet pills, weight loss programs, and exercise, but are still falling short of your weight goals? Maybe you need to take a closer look at the psychological aspects of weight loss. Usually, by the time a person is significantly overweight, they are eating for reasons other than hunger. Depression, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, and stress are just a few of the triggers for overeating. This eight week program will help you to identify underlying psychological and behavioral issues that may be hindering your progress, set goals, and evaluate your results. The group format, led by a licensed psychologist with years of experience in weight control, will provide a supportive environment to help you to overcome emotional blocks that may be preventing you from achieving your weight goals. Join today!

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GET YOUR HEAD TOGETHER

by on Feb.02, 2011, under ARTICLES, Articles

GET YOUR HEAD TOGETHER
Psychological approaches to male sexual dysfunction
Every night we are bombarded with commercials pushing drugs that claim to improve a man’s sex life. We see a middle aged couple sharing a moment together in a bathtub, on the beach, with running water everywhere. The good looking aging baby boomer, who has taken one of these sexual enhancing drugs, is comforted by the notion that when the moment arises, will be ready to perform in the bedroom. He is guaranteed an erection to meet his partners’ needs. But let us not forget the disclaimers (eg, you may have an erection for several hours, numerous side effects, contraindications). These commercials play on the fears of men who are growing older and fear not being able to have a satisfying sex life.
Are you taking one of these sexual enhancing drugs, used to address erectile failure, or are you considering taking one of these drugs? Before you make this decision, first discuss with your physician non-medication approaches to this problem. Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability of the penis to maintain and full and firm erection sufficient for penetration during intercourse. ED can include premature ejaculation and erectile failure. ED can be caused by a number of different things such as: the side effects of certain medications (eg, anti-hypertensives, narcotics), disease (high blood pressure, diabetes), depression or anxiety. Your doctor will help you to rule out any medical reasons for having this problem. If your doctor says that there do not appear to be any physical ailments that seem to be causing the problem, then you might consider psychological explanations. In fact sometimes ED can begin as the result of a medical issue, such as side effects from medication, but later be maintained because of psychological reasons, even after the medication has been stopped. For example, I once treated a 45 year old male in the Hypertension Clinic at The University of Chicago Hospitals for sexual dysfunction. He complained that the high blood pressure medication that he had been given was causing him to lose his erection. He had become very anxious about having sex, for fear that he would not be able to maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse with his wife. His wife was supportive and encouraged him to see his family doctor, but for many months he refused because he was too embarrassed. Finally, she made the phone call and he had a check up and told his doctor about the problem he was having with the medication. His doctor, changed his medication to a drug that had fewer sexual dysfunction side effects and sent him on his way. Unfortunately, this change in medication did not solve the problem, because by this time his performance anxiety was so high that he was afraid to try sex for fear of failure. The medication issue had resolved, but now it was the anticipatory anxiety that triggered the problem. At this point he agreed to try psychotherapy to address this problem.
He and his wife were evaluated, and it quickly became apparent that anxiety was playing the predominant role in his ED. After several sessions of treatment using cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation training, and biofeedback he was able to manage his anxiety and was able to perform sexually without difficulty. Those ED problems that are organic in nature (eg, prostate cancer, uncontrolled diabetes) will not likely be resolved with these psychological approaches alone. However, there are many options available to those with disease that has affected sexual functioning, including penile implants and sexual enhancing drugs, such as those previously mentioned. If you have discussed your problem with your doctor and he/she has recommended these approaches, then proceed. Otherwise, psychotherapy and marital therapy can be helpful in treating the patient and/or couple cope with diminished sexual functioning. There are also good self-help books that can step you through dealing with this problem.
With the prevalence of sexual enhancing drugs, that we see on television commercials almost every night, many men are falling into the belief that there sexual functioning should be enhanced even if they are not middle age or older. Some men in their thirties, who are healthy and have no disease processes are taking these drugs because they feel they need a boost. Chances are their issues could be resolved with psychotherapy. Oftentimes, these are men who have issues of self-confidence or they merely want to increase their sexual desire and performance, even if it is at a normal level. Those who seek out these drugs need to be aware that all drugs have side effects and the risks of taking such drugs should be discussed with your doctor. But more importantly, if there is another way to achieve sexual satisfaction without medication, why not give it a try. In the absence of disease, sexual desire and orgasm is 99.999999% psychological. Focus on getting your head together. That is, the one on your shoulders.
GET YOUR HEAD TOGETHER
Psychological approaches to male sexual dysfunction
Every night we are bombarded with commercials pushing drugs that claim to improve a man’s sex life. We see a middle aged couple sharing a moment together in a bathtub, on the beach, with running water everywhere. The good looking aging baby boomer, who has taken one of these sexual enhancing drugs, is comforted by the notion that when the moment arises, will be ready to perform in the bedroom. He is guaranteed an erection to meet his partners’ needs. But let us not forget the disclaimers (eg, you may have an erection for several hours, numerous side effects, contraindications). These commercials play on the fears of men who are growing older and fear not being able to have a satisfying sex life.
Are you taking one of these sexual enhancing drugs, used to address erectile failure, or are you considering taking one of these drugs? Before you make this decision, first discuss with your physician non-medication approaches to this problem. Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability of the penis to maintain and full and firm erection sufficient for penetration during intercourse. ED can include premature ejaculation and erectile failure. ED can be caused by a number of different things such as: the side effects of certain medications (eg, anti-hypertensives, narcotics), disease (high blood pressure, diabetes), depression or anxiety. Your doctor will help you to rule out any medical reasons for having this problem. If your doctor says that there do not appear to be any physical ailments that seem to be causing the problem, then you might consider psychological explanations. In fact sometimes ED can begin as the result of a medical issue, such as side effects from medication, but later be maintained because of psychological reasons, even after the medication has been stopped. For example, I once treated a 45 year old male in the Hypertension Clinic at The University of Chicago Hospitals for sexual dysfunction. He complained that the high blood pressure medication that he had been given was causing him to lose his erection. He had become very anxious about having sex, for fear that he would not be able to maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse with his wife. His wife was supportive and encouraged him to see his family doctor, but for many months he refused because he was too embarrassed. Finally, she made the phone call and he had a check up and told his doctor about the problem he was having with the medication. His doctor, changed his medication to a drug that had fewer sexual dysfunction side effects and sent him on his way. Unfortunately, this change in medication did not solve the problem, because by this time his performance anxiety was so high that he was afraid to try sex for fear of failure. The medication issue had resolved, but now it was the anticipatory anxiety that triggered the problem. At this point he agreed to try psychotherapy to address this problem.
He and his wife were evaluated, and it quickly became apparent that anxiety was playing the predominant role in his ED. After several sessions of treatment using cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation training, and biofeedback he was able to manage his anxiety and was able to perform sexually without difficulty. Those ED problems that are organic in nature (eg, prostate cancer, uncontrolled diabetes) will not likely be resolved with these psychological approaches alone. However, there are many options available to those with disease that has affected sexual functioning, including penile implants and sexual enhancing drugs, such as those previously mentioned. If you have discussed your problem with your doctor and he/she has recommended these approaches, then proceed. Otherwise, psychotherapy and marital therapy can be helpful in treating the patient and/or couple cope with diminished sexual functioning. There are also good self-help books that can step you through dealing with this problem.
With the prevalence of sexual enhancing drugs, that we see on television commercials almost every night, many men are falling into the belief that there sexual functioning should be enhanced even if they are not middle age or older. Some men in their thirties, who are healthy and have no disease processes are taking these drugs because they feel they need a boost. Chances are their issues could be resolved with psychotherapy. Oftentimes, these are men who have issues of self-confidence or they merely want to increase their sexual desire and performance, even if it is at a normal level. Those who seek out these drugs need to be aware that all drugs have side effects and the risks of taking such drugs should be discussed with your doctor. But more importantly, if there is another way to achieve sexual satisfaction without medication, why not give it a try. In the absence of disease, sexual desire and orgasm is 99.999999% psychological. Focus on getting your head together. That is, the one on your shoulders.

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