Dr. Greenfield has decades of experience in treating a range of mental health issues, including:
Trauma and PTSD
Unfortunately many of us experience situations and events in our lives that are above and beyond typical daily living and these painful experiences can have powerful psychological effects. If we are victims of abuse, violence, or if we witness violence, natural disasters, or other powerfully traumatic events, it can lead to the development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Not everyone exposed to extreme events develops PTSD but a percentage of the population does. Sometime the presentation of symptoms can occur immediately after the event or in can be delayed in and experienced months or even years after the event. Sometimes you can be exposed to a traumatic event and there are no symptoms and then after exposure to an additional traumatic event the symptoms will emerge. PTSD is very treatable and responds well to the use of EMDR as well as other therapies and procedures.
Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD are:
- Intrusive/Disruptive thoughts (frequenting thinking about and reliving events in your head)
- Hyper vigilance (always being on edge waiting for something bad to happen)
- Startling easily; loud noises or sounds can trigger strong emotional reactions.
- Dreams and Nightmares about the event
- Excessive fear or anxiety
- Feeling “numb”– feeling emotionless
- Emotional over-reactivity (emotional reactions beyond a typical response)
Marital and Relationship Problems
All intimate relationships have the potential for satisfying intimacy possibility but often can cause pain or conflict. The more invested we are in a friendship, relationship or marriage, the more likely we will experience strong emotional reactions to what is said and done in that relationship. The idea is to become more conscious of how we unconsciously and defensively react to each other. In doing so we learn how to dialogue in a way that can heal old wounds and provide antidotes and methods allowing for creating marital and relationship satisfaction.
A lighthearted look at relationships and communications.
Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and Stress are part of living. A certain amount of anxiety is needed for peak performance and daily functioning. However, too much stress or anxiety can also become debilitating and cause the release of too much Cortisol– a stress hormone. This over-arousal or anxiety can affect your sleep, diminish your ability to concentrate, and impact your memory. Too much anxiety and stress can leave you feeling depleted and exhausted. You can also have specific focal anxieties around performance and public speaking, phobias and fears (e.g. fear of heights), or generalized anxiety which leaves you feeling an overall sense of dread or fear with no obvious reason.
Depression can present itself with a wide range of symptoms: from mild sadness and lack of motivation to complete psychological paralysis and lack of functioning. The good news is that depression is highly treatable and responds very well to Psychotherapy, and at times medications, along with a variety of other procedures such as EMDR.
Some symptoms of Depression can be:
- Low energy
- Inability to experience pleasure, e.g. things that you used to enjoy no longer excite you
- Increase or decrease in appetite; possible weight loss or gain
- Feeling sad or “blue”
- Not wanting to get out of bed in the morning
- Loss of sex drive
- Thoughts of suicidal or harming oneself
- Low-self esteem
Having one or more of these symptoms does not definitively mean you are depressed as it depends on frequency, intensity, and duration which can be determined in your initial consultation.
Addictions and Compulsive Behaviors
The potential for addictive and compulsive behavior is inherent to the human condition. We all have times in which we find ourselves compulsively using or abusing behaviors or substances. Often, if not most times, these behaviors come and go and we are able to achieve control through our own redirection and efforts. However, sometimes they escalate to unhealthy levels and affect our home-life, work, family, friends, and relationships.
Subtance Addiction vs. Behavioral Addiction
- Alcohol – wine, beer, liquor
- Amphetamine or similarly acting sympathomimetics – speed, crystal meth
- Benzodiazepines – Xanax, Valium
- Caffeine – coffee, tea, sports drinks
- Cannabis – marijuana, grass, hash
- Cocaine – coke, crack
- Hallucinogens – acid, ecstasy
- Inhalants – poppers, aerosols
- Nicotine – cigarettes, cigars, nicotine patches
- Opioids – heroin, morphine, painkillers
- Phencyclidine (PCP) or similarly acting agents – angel dust, ketamine
- Sedatives, hypnotics or anxiolytics – sleeping pills, downers
- Computer – internet, video games, social networking sites, cybersex, online gambling
- Eating – overeating, bingeing
- Exercise – weight loss, sports
- Gambling – VLTs, casinos, slot machines
- Gaming – computer games
- Sex – porn, cybersex, multiple partners
- Shopping – spending, stealing
- Work – overwork, money, power
Signs of addiction are:
- The person takes the substance and cannot stop
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Addiction continues despite health problem awareness
- Social and/or recreational sacrifices
- Maintaining a good supply
- Using to numb themselves from problems
- Secrecy and solitude
- Excess consumption
- Dropping hobbies and activities
- Having stashes
- Having problems with the law
- Financial difficulties
- Relationship problems
Although we can never eliminate the potential for overusing, abusing, or being addicted to certain substances or behaviors, we can minimize these circumstances and learn to recognize the underlying emotions and issues that tend to move us in an automated way toward these patterns and behaviors.
Abuse, Overuse and Addiction to the Internet, Smartphones, and Digital Technology
The use of the Internet, smartphones, and other Digital media devices produce pleasurable effects in the form of elevations in the neurotransmitter dopamine and therefore tends to evoke repeated use. The fact that the repetition of these digital pleasurable behaviors exists despite any potential negative consequences, is well established. What we find particularly with Internet, video games, and smart phones is that they seem to mimic the same phenomenon that occurs with gambling abuses as well as other substances. All Internet-based abuse and addictions seem to follow a pattern of variable ratio reinforcement. The variable ratio reinforcement schedule simply means that a reward is received by certain Internet behaviors, and that this reward is unpredictable in term of what it’s going to be (level of attractiveness) and when it’s going to be received (frequency). The Internet reward can come in the form of receiving a desired email, text, tweet, chat or finding something you are surfing for. This pattern can lead to overuse, and at times move toward abuse and even addiction.
Maximizing Performance and Productivity
Many of us have periods of time where we are not performing at our peak capacity. This could be in our careers, our academic performance, our hobbies, or in athletics. The idea is to be able to maximize our performance and productivity by minimizing performance anxiety, decreasing our stress response, and through other therapeutic and neurophysiologic techniques develop greater access to your potential.