Mrs. Natalie Salera Bondy, LPC is a counselor in Ashburn, VA specializing in counseling.
Connect with this therapist via:
Video Visits - connect over video conferencing software for a virtual session -- almost as if you're there in person
Phone Visits - good old-fashioned technology for those who don't want to worry about appearance or who have might have internet bandwidth limitations; a little bit like connecting with an old friend, but with a counselor instead
Instant Message (IM) Visits - real-time chat -- like a phone call, but over text
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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a form of psychotherapy or treatment for mental illness. It comes in a variety of methods, but the basic concept behind all CBT is the same -- thoughts cause feelings, which cause actions. If someone wishes to change problematic behaviors or emotions in their lives, they need to start by changing their thoughts. CBT examines ideas and looks for patterns that may be causing harmful actions. The therapist helps patients modify those thought patterns and, in doing so, helps them feel better and cope more effectively.
CBT is one of the most widely studied forms of psychotherapy, and it has been shown to be extremely effective for a variety of mental illnesses. Some of the issues that respond well to CBT include mood disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, sleep disorders, and psychotic disorders. In some cases, CBT has been shown to be as effective or even more effective than medication. One of the interesting things that the scientific study of CBT has shown is that CBT actually changes the way the brain works, physically improving its function.
CBT differs from traditional psychotherapy in a few key ways. One of the most important distinctions is the emphasis on the power and responsibility of the patient in CBT. The patient will be encouraged to be the one asking the questions in CBT therapy, and most patients are assigned homework to complete outside of therapy sessions. There is a concept in CBT that everyone has power the power to change how they feel, even if they cannot control the situation, and this can be very empowering for patients. Because of this power shift, the therapist-client relationship is not as critical to success in CBT as it is in other modes of therapy. Patients should still get along well with their therapists, but they do not need a deep, dependent emotional connection to them. Finally, because CBT often treats a specific issue or problem, it is usually shorter in duration than traditional therapy. While some therapies may continue for years, CBT lasts on average just 16 sessions.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that people may develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. PTSD causes recurring nightmares, flashbacks, and disturbing memories about the traumatic event. It is frequently triggered by particularly intense and life-threatening incidents. For example, someone involved in a serious car accident may have severe anxiety about the accident months or even years later. War veterans and people involved in armed conflict are particularly prone to developing PTSD. In decades past, PTSD was called shellshock and was used to describe the negative emotions that soldiers endured from war. Today, medical professionals who treat PTSD recognize that it can occur in all types of people and can result from all types of traumatic incidents. It is not known exactly why some people develop PTSD, although PTSD frequently arises from:
People who have experienced significant and repeated trauma are more likely to develop PTSD. Those who have disorders like depression or a family history of depression may also be more prone to PTSD. PTSD symptoms typically begin one month to one year following the traumatic event. There are four main categories of PTSD symptoms:
The intensity and frequency of these symptoms can vary over time. PTSD symptoms may suddenly return after disappearing for years. Many PTSD patients find treatment helps to gradually reduce their symptoms over time.
The most common treatments for PTSD are psychotherapy and oral medications. Psychotherapy for PTSD can include cognitive therapy (therapy to change thought patterns), exposure therapy (therapy to confront memories of the traumatic incident) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR). EMDR integrates exposure therapy with guided eye movements to help patients confront and process their trauma. Certain oral medications may help with PTSD, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. Self-care, support groups, and relaxation may also benefit those with PTSD.
The path to overcoming PTSD can be long and challenging and people with PTSD can benefit greatly by seeking professional treatment from a mental health care provider. Treatment can reduce PTSD symptoms, provide essential coping strategies, and improve one's quality of life.
Self-esteem is the value one assigns to oneself based on a complex combination of factors such as confidence, identity, sense of belonging, and self-image, among others. Self-esteem plays a critical role in determining one's happiness and overall well-being. Those with a very positive self-perception are considered to have "high" self-esteem, whereas those with negative self-perception have "low" self-esteem. Self-esteem does not dictate one's true intelligence, skills, looks, or accomplishments, although it can undermine one's motivation and opportunities. Successful people can have low self-esteem, and in some cases, that low self-esteem might motivate people to work harder at establishing themselves. Self-esteem is also not a binary scale, but a broad spectrum that people may move up or down throughout the course of their lives.
Humans begin to gain self-esteem in childhood from being cared for by adults and reaching natural milestones such as learning how to tie one's shoes. Self-esteem evolves through adolescence and adulthood, and can change drastically based on one's positive and negative experiences. It's important to develop healthy self-esteem to navigate through challenges, make decisions, and gain motivation to pursue interests.
Self-esteem issues can influence one's emotions, behavior, relationships, and world view. Self-esteem issues frequently arise from low self-esteem. Low self-esteem can be caused by factors such as trauma, caregiver neglect, abuse, bullying, and academic, social, or professional difficulties. Stressful life events such as parental divorce, caregiver conflict, and financial problems may also contribute to low self-esteem. In recent years, researchers have highlighted the influence of social media in negatively impacting adolescents' mental health. Common signs of low self-esteem include:
Excessive self-esteem can also be problematic in that it can hinder one's ability to form relationships with others. People with extremely high self-esteem may appear to be conceited or entitled. Some researchers suggest very high self-esteem can lead people to engage in more risk-taking behaviors. Causes of excessive self-esteem are less well-known, but may include upbringing, personality, and cognitive biases.
Fortunately, self-esteem issues can be readily addressed at any time. Positive self-affirmations recognizing one's own accomplishments can raise low self-esteem. Accepting one's own weaknesses and imperfections can benefit those with both low and high self-esteem. People with self-esteem issues often find therapy is an effective means to improve their self-esteem and mental health. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help people with self-esteem issues identify and change destructive patterns of thought. Support groups, family counseling, and antidepressant medication may also help with self-esteem issues.
Maintaining a positive outlook and belief in oneself can go a long way towards forming healthy self-esteem. Developing a strong sense of self can be important for well-being and contributes to overall happiness and success in life.
She has a state license in Virginia.
Licensed In: Virginia
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Ms. Natalie Bondy specializes in counseling. Her clinical interests include stress management, adjustment disorders, and women's health issues.