If you have questions, or wish to discuss an appointment, please call staff at: (414) 877-1071
  1. Group Therapy

    American Behavioral Clinics Group TherapyDuring group therapy, patients meet in a small group with others who may relate to their current condition. Depending on the size and nature of the groups, the setup of group therapy will vary. Typically, groups may have as many as 12 people or as little as 4 people. Groups meet under the supervision of a therapist who guides the sessions. Depending on the group’s needs, our therapists will guide the questions and discussions to bring out the most productive group session.

    Advantages of group therapy

    Group therapy paired will individual therapy produces better clinical outcomes.  Group therapy instills hope. By meeting with others who can relate, or who also face life struggles, patients see they are not alone. In a group setting, patients may share stories or offer information to encourage and support one another. The power of relating to one another and encouraging one another often enables patients to make life changes. In addition, patients may experience that their guilt, stress or pain is lessened in the company of others who can empathize or have been through similar situations. Those in the group experiencing progress or recovery will model new behaviors for other group members; those members, in turn, may be encouraged and find hope.

    Group Therapy – Building a Support System

    Group therapy builds a support system. Groups may form based on a variety of conditions. Some of our groups have formed to assist patients through relational struggles, psychological disorders, family problems, grief and loss, body issues, stress and anxiety and more. In group therapy, you can benefit from others even during sessions when you say very little.  By carefully listening to others many people find that they have important things in common with other group members. This often leads to learning more about yourself.  Group members may also bring up issues that will strike a chord that you may not have been aware of in your own life. An important benefit of group therapy is the opportunity to receive feedback from other group members in a supportive environment. Group therapy provides a safe place to learn more about yourself and others. Current Specialized Groups At American Behavioral Clinics
    • Adolescent Group
    • Bipolar Disorder Group
    • Fibromyalgia Group
    • Substance Abuse Relapse Prevention Group

    Ready to take the first step? Call (414) 281-1677 to schedule an appointment with a therapist.

  2. Coping With the Death of Your Pet

    Coping With the Death of Your PetCoping With the Death of Your Pet

    When a person you love dies, it’s natural to feel sorrow, express grief, and expect friends and family to provide understanding and comfort. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t always hold true if the one who died was your companion animal. Many consider grieving inappropriate for someone who has lost “just a pet.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Members of the Family

    People love their pets and consider them members of their family. Caregivers celebrate their pets’ birthdays, confide in their animals, and carry pictures of them in their wallets. So when your beloved pet dies, it’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your sorrow. Animals provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love during the time they share with you. If you understand and accept this bond between humans and animals, you’ve already taken the first step toward coping with pet loss: knowing that it is okay to grieve when your pet dies. Understanding how you grieve and finding ways to cope with your loss can bring you closer to the day when memories bring smiles instead of tears.

    What is the grief process?

    The grief process is as individual as the person, lasting days for one person or years for another. The process typically begins with denial, which offers protection until individuals can realize their loss. Some caregivers may try bargaining with a higher power, themselves, or even their pet to restore life. Some feel anger, which may be directed at anyone involved with the pet, including family, friends, and veterinarians. Caregivers may also feel guilt about what they did or did not do, and may feel that it is inappropriate to be so upset. After these feelings subside, caregivers may experience true sadness or grief. They may become withdrawn or depressed. Acceptance occurs when they accept the reality of their loss and remember their animal companion with decreasing sadness.

    Coping With Grief

    While grief is a personal experience, you need not face loss alone. Many forms of support are available, including pet bereavement counseling services, pet-loss support hotlines, local or online Internet bereavement groups, books, videos, and magazine articles. Here are a few suggestions to help you cope:
    • Acknowledge your grief and give yourself permission to express it.
    • Don’t hesitate to reach out to others who can lend a sympathetic ear.
    • Write about your feelings, either in a journal or a poem.
    • Call your EAP about referrals to a pet loss support group.
    • Prepare a memorial for your pet.
    You may also want to ask your veterinarian or local animal shelter about available pet loss hotlines. Explore the Internet for pet loss support groups and coping information.

    For Children

    The loss of a pet may be a child’s first experience with death. The child may blame himself, his parents, or the veterinarian for not saving the pet. And he may feel guilty, depressed, and frightened that others he loves may be taken from him. Trying to protect your child by saying the pet ran away could cause your child to expect the pet’s return and feel betrayed after discovering the truth. Expressing your own grief may reassure your child that sadness is okay and help him work through his feelings.

    For Seniors

    Coping with the loss of a pet can be particularly hard for seniors. Those who live alone may feel a loss of purpose and an immense emptiness. The pet’s death may also trigger painful memories of other losses and remind caregivers of their own mortality. What’s more, the decision to get another pet is complicated by the possibility that the pet may outlive the caregiver, and hinges on the person’s physical and financial ability to care for a new pet. For all these reasons, it’s critical that senior pet owners take immediate steps to cope with their loss and regain a sense of purpose. If you are a senior, try interacting with friends and family, calling a pet loss support hotline, even volunteering at a local humane society. If you know seniors in this situation, direct them to this article and guide them through the difficult grieving process.

    For Other Pets

    Surviving pets may whimper, refuse to eat or drink, and suffer lethargy, especially if they had a close bond with the deceased pet. Even if they were not the best of friends, the changing circumstances and your emotional state may distress them. However, if your remaining pet/s continue to act out of sorts, there could actually be a medical problem that requires your veterinarian’s attention. Give surviving pets lots of TLC (“tender loving care”) and try to maintain a normal routine. It’s good for them and for you

    Getting Another Pet?

    Rushing into this decision isn’t fair to you or your new pet. Each animal has his own unique personality and a new animal cannot replace the one you lost. You’ll know when the time is right to adopt a new pet after giving yourself time to grieve, carefully considering the responsibilities of pet ownership, and paying close attention to your feelings. When you are ready, remember that your local animal shelter is a great place to find your next special friend.
    Humane Society of the United States. (2009, October 26). Coping with the death of your pet. Retrieved August 28, 2012, from http://www.humanesociety.org

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