Mark Stoller and his wife, Andra, moved to Falcon with their family in 2007. Both are U.S. Air Force veterans and enjoy life with their daughters, extended family and adopted rescue dogs in Latigo. Mark is fortunate to have his wife and daughters as his muse for topics, people to meet and places to investigate.
(Ava Stoller is home from college and pinch hitting for Mark this month.)
Therapy is for everyone
By Ava Stoller
As January is The New Falcon Herald’s health and wellness month, I thought it would be a great time to share one of the biggest impacts to my wellness over the past two years: therapy.
Going to college was not an easy decision for me and choosing which one to attend was even more difficult. The stress and anxiety surrounding college became too much and was affecting my everyday life.
The spring I graduated from high school, I finally made an appointment with a therapist. The unique thing about my therapist was that she teamed up with a life coach who owns and operates a pottery business. So, for the first four months, I did clay therapy, where I would make something out of clay during the session; later, when it was ready, I painted it. Additionally, I benefited from the expertise of both the therapist and the life coach, where one perspective would make more sense or the other had more experience dealing with a topic. The strategies and healing I received from the sessions helped me significantly improve my daily anxiety. I am now in my second year of college and continue to utilize therapy as I learn to cope with the different stressors that come with independent living.
Now, I was originally very hesitant to start therapy with the thought of sitting on a couch and having someone stare at me while I talk. However, there are many types besides the traditional talk therapy. For example, experiential therapy focuses on engaging individuals with hands-on, interactive activities to explore and address emotional and psychological issues.
From the American Addiction Centers website, art therapy uses images or creative artistic processes, such as painting or sculpting, to develop awareness and reduce negative experiences. Music therapy involves any number of techniques using music to instill positive changes in behavior. Animal-assisted therapies incorporate animals in the therapeutic process such as equine therapy (caring for horses), the use of dogs in actual therapy sessions and other forms of caring for the needs of animals as actual therapeutic interventions.
Adventure therapies occur when there is active participation in events, such as cooperative games, wilderness or outdoor expeditions, zip line or rope courses, etc.
Of all the therapy options, I have been involved in clay therapy. However, I have volunteered for an equine therapy organization (StableStrides) and found it to be a very rewarding experience. Not only is the client learning and improving, being around the horses has been therapeutic for me, too.
Throughout my time in therapy I have noticed reduced anxiety, coping skills for change and better stress management. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as I am continuing to learn and progress. Ppsychcentral.com identifies more benefits: “Psychotherapy often helps you develop your ability to solve problems. It offers practical and supportive ways to manage stress and other difficult parts of your everyday life. (You will) have a better understanding of your mental health, develop wellness goals, identify triggers that lead to symptoms or unhealthy behaviors, improve interpersonal relationships, cope with stress, create a personal plan for a mental health crisis, make sense of past trauma, overcome fears, create routine and stability.”
I know one of the hardest parts is deciding where to start, so here is my suggestion. Psychologytoday.com will provide you with a list of therapists in your area, and it has filters so you can narrow your search, including insurance and the type of therapy. As a personal recommendation, I suggest Colorado Experiential Counseling; they provide experiential counseling and life coaching. Visit https://www.psychologytoday.com for more information.