Physical and mental health is important for everyone. Yet, we often forget about differences in gender when it comes to managing health concerns. Men and women have very different responses to life's stressors. Their bodies and minds react in unique ways. For women, the response can often be even more complex.
In our modern world, women take on multiple roles. They have more career opportunities. Women can choose to be mothers, CEOs, caretakers, doctors, and more. In many U.S. homes, they are the main source of income. This means, however, women take on a bigger mental and emotional loads. Often the primary caregivers in a home, women raise our children and are caretakers of the older generations. Household tasks often fall to women, even when they are the breadwinners. Learning to manage the various stressors that accompany these multiple roles can be very difficult. As a result, we should look at a women's health through a lens that recognizes her varying concerns.
The reality is women experience physical and mental challenges that men do not. This includes navigating fertility and pregnancy. Possibly coping with infertility or the devastation of pregnancy loss can be a concern. Issues such as pain management, chronic illness, trauma, and financial issues are also are interpreted and managed differently by women.
Additionally, women undergo shifts in their hormones during the start of menstruation, perimenopause and menopause. As women age, hormone levels can become unbalanced. The results are challenging to devastating. Some symptoms include fatigue, infertility, bloating, irritability, and hair loss. Other issues can involve mood swings, drops in blood sugar, problems with concentrating, and more.
During these mental, emotional and physiological transitions, it is important to identify the signs and symptoms that signal the need for additional support. These include:
- Physical: headaches, insomnia, fatigue, sexual challenges, appetite changes, alcohol problems
- Emotional: anxiety, anger, unhappiness, irritability, despair, frustration, guilt
- Mental: excessive worry, negative thinking, procrastination, indecisiveness, emptiness
- Occupational: unemployment, workplace conflict, feeling unfulfilled, working too much
- Social: isolation, friendship and marital problems, marital issues, loneliness
With this in mind, Cognitive Behavior Associates (CBA) helps women by focusing on their specific issues. Studies have shown tailoring cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to a woman's needs as effective in treating many mental health issues. Depression, anxiety, coping skills, and overall quality of life can be helped with CBT.
CBT is a type a of psychological treatment that can be very effective. It is based on the premise that mental problems come from unhelpful ways of thinking and learned patterns of behavior. CBT involves using problem-solving skills to cope with hard issues. It helps clients identify distortions in thinking. It also helps people face fears instead of avoiding them. Some strategies to achieve this include role-playing and techniques to calm the body and mind. CBT can involve exercises and homework, which then help clients to become their own therapists in a way. It is about independence and resiliency in handling emotional and psychological issues.
We believe that a client who is well-informed about their mental and physical health will be more successful in therapy. All new patients begin with a two-hour evaluation. After assessment, therapists work with clients to develop treatment plans. We offer a collaborative approach, building a relationship between the client and the therapist. We also consult with other health care providers that our clients are working with. Being as clear as possible about the overall plan for treatment allows us to strive for the best possible outcomes.
The goal is to foster skills and behaviors that help manage life stressors and challenges. Support factors include self-acceptance, working on values, and learning to set healthy boundaries. Integration of work and life roles, as well as mindfulness are essential elements to personal wellness. Along with individual therapy, CBA provides couples and family counseling. Support services for families in crisis also are available.
Ultimately, women do not need to go through life's challenges alone. It is already hard enough to balance so many roles. Not to mention, our culture has many systems in place that make it harder for women. We see these in everything from workplace inequality to politics.
This is why we here at CBA are committed to helping women. With the right support, women can achieve a higher level of wellness. CBT can reduce anxiety, depression, and the other issues noted above. When those are managed, women can tackle life's hardships with a fresh perspective and begin to experience necessary shifts. Marriages improve. Friendships become stronger. Careers advance faster. Income increases. Physical health improves. All of these are potential benefits of wellness and healthy living can be fostered by CBT.
Click here to download the Women's Wellness brochure.