Break-ups are a common part of our relationship journeys—but they are uncommonly painful life events. Have you ever found yourself overcome by all-consuming intrusive thoughts? Insomnia, waves of unbidden tears? Unable to concentrate on work or school? Some people interpret this experience as a sign that you are still in love. Others are consumed by guilt or shame.
If your mind feels high-jacked by your ex, thinking about all the good times or obsessing about what went wrong, research suggests there is a reason for this temporary insanity…and it’s not weakness or a sign you should be together---it’s neurological.
Guy Winch is a psychologist, speaker and author of the book, How to Fix a Broken Heart, has dedicated much of his time researching romantic heartbreak. In his 2017 TED Talk, he shares research behind why breakups can be so painful and thought consuming. It turns out, brain scans of young adults who had experienced a recent breakup show that a breakup activates the same mechanism in the brain that is activated by drugs in someone who is experiencing drug addiction. Post-break-up obsessive thoughts are similar to cravings. It’s a withdrawal experience. During withdrawal, the brain amps up your emotional centers, increasing the intensity of all emotions and increases repetitive, OCD-like thoughts.
Similar to the neurology of an addict, the brain’s reward system and the neurotransmitter, dopamine are implicated. Each time we experience feelings of intense love when our partner walks in the door and gives us a hug, dopamine is released. Dopamine is a feel-good brain chemical. But what happens when that feeling is suddenly taken away? We want that rush of dopamine again, so we think about our ex-partner. We try to solve the mystery of what could have possibly happened to cause the breakup by obsessively thinking about it, looking at old pictures, or looking up our ex-partners on social media, but this behavior is feeding the reward system in the brain and reinforcing feelings of love. This in turn makes it even more difficult to recover from the heartbreak and will prolong the amount of time it takes to heal. Allow yourself time for grieving the loss and reflection on the relationship so you can learn and grow---but once you recognize that you’re experiencing non-productive thoughts such as the repetitive replaying of euphoric or painful memories, don’t reinforce this neural pathway. Divert your attention. Distraction is warranted here. Over time, your brain will return to normal.
Dr. Winch found that our mind is more likely to remember the positive aspects of the past relationship and therefore idealizing it. So, you may be inclined to focus on positive memories but not the fights that made you upset. To get yourself on the road to healing heartbreak, Guy suggests making a list of your ex-partners shortcomings. Write down those things that made this person not an ideal partner for you. The next time your brain tries to play tricks on you, pull up the list and read it yourself. This may sound painful, but it is worth it to heal from heartbreak.
Finding a therapist that specializes in relationships will help you to focus on post-break up growth and learning, understand the nature of your historical relationship patterns, overcome co-dependency and to put your happiness first in the next relationship.
To find a therapist in Denver look no further than Silver Lake Psychology! We’re a diverse therapist group with hundreds of therapists and specialties. No matter your needs, we know that you can find a therapist in Denver that you can trust!
Silver Lake Psychology is dedicated to working with clients from all walks of life. We’re pleased to offer therapists who specialize in trauma, anxiety, relationships, and depression as well as hundreds of other specialties. If you are looking for a trauma therapist in Denver, we can help.
How to find a therapist that takes insurance in Denver
Dealing with insurance can be hard too! If you are looking to find a therapist who takes Anthem Insurance for example, we can help! We believe that accepting insurance leads to more access to mental health care. The Denver location will offer therapists who take Anthem insurance, Tri-Care insurance, Beacon insurance, Cigna insurance and Aetna plans. Currently, we are accepting all PPO plans. We love PPO insurance plans because patients have unlimited choice, no gatekeepers or required referrals from your general practitioner. If you are looking for a therapist that takes insurance in Denver, Silver Lake Psychology is the therapist group that you can trust!
Tips to find a therapist that takes Anthem in Denver
Silver Lake Psychology is happy to announce that our therapists are taking Anthem Blue Cross insurance plans. We have therapists that take Anthem HMO and Anthem PPO plans.
We know that finding a therapist who takes Anthem Blue Cross in Denver can be difficult. You may have noticed that most therapists in private practice don’t take insurance.
Therapy is a big investment in yourself and worth paying for—but we believe that therapy should be widely accessible. The best way mental health professionals can be accessible is to take insurance.
So what is the proper way to find a therapist who takes Anthem?
On way to find a therapist who takes Anthem is to check the Anthem website for a directory of providers. However, the directory includes many individual counselors that may be full. Just give us a call and we’ll take care of the details to help you get in to see a therapist in Denver quickly.
Group therapy practices like ours often take Anthem and have plenty of available therapists.
Things to consider when you find a therapist in Denver
Insurance should not be the only factor in choosing a therapist. Research indicates that the ‘client–therapist fit’ is the best indicator of therapeutic outcome. The fit is both a match in personality and expertise.
If you have an anxiety disorder, you will need to find a therapist who specializes in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy which is the best treatment for anxiety.
If you are seeking treatment for trauma, you will need to find a trauma therapist with a specialization in trauma treatment such as EMDR, TRIM or TF-CBT (all research supported trauma treatments).
If you are grieving a loss, it will be important to find a grief counselor. At Silver Lake Psychology, our intake team takes the time to match each client with the right specialist based on your unique needs.
Silver Lake Psychology: How to find diverse therapists in Denver
We are pleased to announce that we’ve now added a group of therapists in Denver that are full of diversity. We also offer LGBTQ-therapists in Denver and therapists of color. As we continue to grow, our goal is to be an inclusive group that welcomes clients and therapists from diverse backgrounds.
Our company mission is to make quality mental health care more affordable by taking insurance and offering reasonable rates. Contact us today, we’d be happy to help!
Dr. Engler's Articles on the Huffington Post:
Should You Get Pre-marital Counseling?
Women's Health Magazine interviews Dr. Engler on the factors to consider.
Why Moving in Together Kills Your Sex Life, and What to Do About It.
Men's Health Magazine interviews Dr. Engler about how to improve your sex life, and reviews her book, "The Men on My Couch."
11 Things That Actually Surprised This Sex Therapist.
BuzzFeed reviews Dr. Engler's new book, "The Women on My Couch."