In private practice, I often utilize steps from the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) program developed by Dr. Stephen Ilardi. TLC is a 6-step program aimed at enhancing six key areas of your lifestyle in order to combat mental health problems. Originally developed for the treatment of depression, TLC is now often used in the treatment of other mental health conditions as well as overall holistic mind-body wellness.
Presented below is an overview of Step 5 in the TLC program: Social Support.
When deprived of social interaction, our stress hormones increase, mood and energy become impaired and decrease, and biological processes fall out of balance. Connecting and reaching out to others may be crucial for your mental health.
1. Increase healthy social interaction.
2. Avoid negativity. Focusing on negative thoughts and feelings during social time can be counterproductive. Social interaction must focus on something other than your symptoms and worries. Limit negative conversation to 5 minutes per visit.
3. It is best to spend time with friends and loved ones in person. When this is not possible, utilize phone calls and video chats for those who are out-of-town.
4. Alternaitve approaches to social time include support groups, sports leagues, community events, pets, church, volunteer organizations, etc.
5. Toxic relationships are a major threat to recovery. It is important to limit or end toxic relationships.
Ilardi, Stephen. (2009). The Depression Cure. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.
Holland Miller, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist, provides individual and group therapy for adolescents and adults in Austin, TX. Specializing in the treatment of depression, chronic low mood, and chronic stress, she incorporates cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLCs) to enhance positive mood, healthy functioning, and overall well-being.
Dr. Miller is particularly passionate about working with adolescent girls and adult women who want to boost their mood and energy, improve their self-esteem and relationships with others, better cope with stress while reducing anxiety and tension, and develop healthy lifestyle habits for lasting wellness.
When she is not in the office, Dr. Miller enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and two mischievous goldendoodles. She can be found discovering the latest Austin adventure, reading and researching, exploring the outdoors on hiking and camping trips, and trying out new recipes.
Social Support- Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) Step 5 of 6
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