Services

Click the toggles below to learn more about my services.

Anxiety and Panic

Keeping us safe is one of our brain’s most important jobs. As it scans our surroundings, any sign of trouble will cause it to activate our bodies to deal with the threat. Whether it’s a speeding BMW approaching in the rearview mirror or an acquaintance rolling her eyes as we speak, we’re liable to notice our hearts pounding, our stomachs churning, and our muscles tensing up before we’ve even had a chance to think about what’s going on.

Then the danger passes and we heave a sigh of relief. But the brain, with its 100 trillion neural connections, doesn’t learn from the experience. The next time we’re facing a similar situation, it will have our body revved up instantly.

What if the brain and body get highly reactive, ready to jump at the least sign of danger like an over-protective parent? People have many different words for this kind of experience. Anxiety is something that everyone is familiar with. When it’s extreme it can take the form of panic attacks. Often those seem to come out of the blue.

We’re available to team up with you to come up with a plan of action. First, we can talk about things that people have often found helpful in calming their bodies down when their insides are churning. When it comes to dealing with this problem in the long run, there are many different approaches that have been useful. No two people are alike, and we’ll work closely with you to figure out what works best for you.

If you have any questions about how we deal with anxiety and panic, call us at 651–269–4937 or send us a message.

Brainspotting (BSP)

The effects of traumatic events are stored in the body. That means if we want relief, the body has to be involved in the effort.

Brainspotting (BSP) makes use of the natural phenomenon of where you look affects how you feel through its use of relevant eye positions. Together, the therapist and client pair a fixed eye and body position to an unresolved issue. This rapid, highly effective mind/body centered therapy technique appears to go beyond the cognitive awareness and connects one to their body’s innate wisdom to heal itself.

Why would this kind of thing relieve stress symptoms that may go back years or decades? We don’t know. Brainspotting is a powerful, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing and releasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation and a variety of other challenging symptoms.

When the processing of a troublesome memory with Brainspotting is completed, people may discover, often to their own amazement, that they can still remember it — but it no longer bothers them.

How long does Brainspotting treatment take? In the case of a single traumatic event, one two-hour session is sometimes enough. When there’s been both abuse and abandonment early in life, the therapy can take years. In any particular instance it can be hard to predict how many sessions it’s going to take.

If you’d like to learn more about this way of treating trauma, call us at 651–269–4937 or send us a message.

Connections

Our brain is wired to connect.

When it’s not busy with a task, it keeps going over our relationships, past and present, and evaluates where we stand. How often do you have dreams without other people in them?

Disruptions in those relationships hurt. Break-ups, losses, and moves can make us feel lost, alone, and uncared-for. Being left out or laughed at can hurt just as much. It violates our sense of belonging.

Certain regions of the brain light up when a person is feeling the pain of an injury. When a person is left out of a game, some of the same brain regions are activated. When connections are lost, it hurts.

Catastrophic events — an accident, an illness, an assault — can leave people feeling tense, jumpy, and unsafe. If they had to face the experience alone, the absence of connection makes it that much harder to deal with.

We are committed to working with you to get strength from the relationships that help you to be your best and feel like you belong. Often we end up re-discovering barely remembered connections — a grandparent, a neighbor, a pet from long ago — that bring up feelings of warmth, of comfort, and of truly being seen and valued for who you are.

When you have your therapist’s full attention and you feel truly heard, reconnection and healing can happen.

Are you feeling disconnected in your relationships? We can help. Call us at 651–269–4937 or send us a message.

Depression

Usually the less we understand about a condition, the more theories there are to try to explain it. About depression there is an abundance of theories.

Those of us who are old enough to have been around in the early days of desktop computers remember what would happen if we tried to get ours to do too many things at once. It would crash. Humans are no different. When subjected to prolonged stress, we’re liable to shut down — in other words, to become depressed.

It’s hard to get things done if you can’t sleep at night — or if all you want to do is sleep — and you can’t get out of bed in the morning without a monster effort. When your batteries are drained, every little task becomes a mountain. That relentless critical voice inside your head, telling you that you’re worthless and what you’re saying is stupid, can take all the fun out of get-togethers with friends and family.

We believe that depression is rarely something that’s a part of you — it’s usually the effect of events in your life. A lot of things have been shown to help.

Has depression cast a shadow over your life? Give me a call at 651–269–4937 or send us a message.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Therapy is useful in teaching clients skills to manage difficult emotions. It also incorporates mindfulness practices and provides practical methods for improving communication in relationships.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

The effects of traumatic events are stored in the body. That means if we want relief, the body has to be involved in the effort.

EMDR therapy is an effective way of doing that. It stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy — only the eye movements are no longer mandatory, just as horses are nowadays optional for most members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

EMDR practitioners have found that taps, vibrations, or sounds generally work just as well, so long as they go back and forth between the two sides of the body while the person lets her or his mind go back to the troubling experience and to whatever other memories may be connected to it.

Why would this kind of thing relieve stress symptoms that may go back years or decades? We don’t know. Aspirin had been around for 70 years, relieving millions of headaches worldwide, before its mechanism of action was discovered. No doubt a bright mind will do the same for EMDR therapy sooner or later.

When the processing of a troublesome memory with EMDR is completed, people may discover, often to their own amazement, that they can still remember it — but it no longer bothers them.

How long does EMDR treatment take? In the case of a single traumatic event, one two-hour session is sometimes enough. When there’s been both abuse and abandonment early in life, the therapy can take years. In any particular instance it can be hard to predict how many sessions it’s going to take.

I am EMDR Certified, which, involves extensive study and consultation in the treatment of trauma. Do you think EMDR might be helpful for you? Give me a call at 651–269–4937 or e-mail me.

Groups

 

Connections — Based on the research of Brené Brown

This group for women (18+ and older) will explore topics such as authenticity, vulnerability, courage, shame, resiliency, and worthiness.
 
Mondays beginning December 2, 2019 – February 3, 2020
5:00 -6:30 p.m.
5000 West 36th Street
St. Louis Park, MN  55416
$50/session (fee collected at the beginning of each session)
 
Contact:  
Ruth Spiegel, LMFT, LADC

A Positive Environment for Girls: Girls Teen Group

This group is for teen girls, 12-14 years old, who would benefit from a positive peer group. This group provides a safe and validating atmosphere to gain support from others, as well as myself and is structured to help teen girls thrive in, but not limited to, healthy relationships, self-esteem, self-care, and healthy boundaries.

Ongoing Groups:

Wednesdays
3:30 – 4:30 pm
5000 West 36th Street, Suite 207
St. Louis Park, 55416
Most insurance plans are accepted

Contact: Gail Yost, LMFT 
Email Gail
call: 651–269–4937

 

Hypnosis

Have you ever driven somewhere only to realize that you don’t recall driving there? To some degree, we experience dissociation also known as, daydreaming or one’s imagination. It is a natural phenomena.

Hypnosis is a procedure during which a health professional suggests changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, or behavior. The hypnotic context is generally established by an induction procedure. Although there are many different hypnotic inductions, most include suggestions for relaxation, calmness, and well-being. Instructions to imagine or think about pleasant experiences are also commonly included in hypnotic inductions.

People respond to hypnosis in different ways. Some describe their experience as an altered state of consciousness. Others describe hypnosis as a normal state of focused attention in which they feel very calm and relaxed. Regardless of how and to what degree they respond, most people describe the experience as very pleasant.

A person’s ability to experience hypnotic suggestions can be inhibited by fears and concerns arising from some common misconceptions. Contrary to some depictions of hypnosis in books, movies, or on television, people who have been hypnotized do not lose control over their behavior. They typically remain aware of who they are and where they are, and unless amnesia has been specifically suggested, they usually remember what transpired during hypnosis.

Hypnosis has been used in the treatment of pain depression, anxiety, stress, habit disorders, and many other psychological and medical problems. We will work with you to determine if hypnosis would be a beneficial part to your therapy goals.

Do you feel hypnosis could help you? If so, call us at 651–269–4937 or send us a message.

Narrative Therapy

Our brains are hardwired to sense danger, even more so if we’ve experienced trauma in our lives. Narrative Therapy explores stories of our lives in a way that brings forth an alternative or preferred narrative. Narrative therapy helps patients explore their values and beliefs and frees up space in the brain for alternative, less problem saturated life narratives. Through Narrative therapy, we can experience ourselves in relation to the world in a different way that can be powerfully healing.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Traumatic experiences can have a way of sticking with us. This can often result in avoiding people, places and things that remind us of that trauma. Avoidance of these things only reinforces fear and allows it to continue to have a hold on our lives. Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy provides an outlet to finally process traumatic experiences that have taken hold of our lives and start to move past them rather than stay stuck in them. 
 
This is an evidenced based treatment frequently used by the VA to treat PTSD in soldiers and strongly recommended for the treatment of PTSD by the American Psychological Association. PE allows us to  gradually confront  trauma related fears as well as gaining a better understanding of the traumatic event and its long term impact on the individual. Success in PE is measured by clinically proven assessments and a decrease in previously avoided situations. 
 
Prolonged Exposure Therapy is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is highly individualized to meet individual needs.

Trauma and PTSD

All of us were born for action. Once in a while something comes along that’s too big for us to deal with. Our capacity to stand up for ourselves is overwhelmed. We’re helpless.

Yet our body desperately wants to do something, to get us out of danger. It wants to change the course of events. Even after the threat has passed, the body can seem like it’s still primed to deal with that situation. It can’t let go. It never gets deactivated.

So it happens that even years after a frightening experience, we can’t seem to relax. Minor events can trigger intense reactions, as if we were right back there.

We’ve learned that in order to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder effectively, we have to pay attention to the body. EMDR, in our experience, often helps people who are affected by PTSD to leave the past behind and re-engage with the present.

If you’d like to learn more about how I deal with the effects of trauma and PTSD, call us at 651–269–4937 or send us a message.

Services

Click the toggles below to learn more about my services.

Anxiety and Panic

Keeping us safe is one of our brain’s most important jobs. As it scans our surroundings, any sign of trouble will cause it to activate our bodies to deal with the threat. Whether it’s a speeding BMW approaching in the rearview mirror or an acquaintance rolling her eyes as we speak, we’re liable to notice our hearts pounding, our stomachs churning, and our muscles tensing up before we’ve even had a chance to think about what’s going on.

Then the danger passes and we heave a sigh of relief. But the brain, with its 100 trillion neural connections, doesn’t learn from the experience. The next time we’re facing a similar situation, it will have our body revved up instantly.

What if the brain and body get highly reactive, ready to jump at the least sign of danger like an over-protective parent? People have many different words for this kind of experience. Anxiety is something that everyone is familiar with. When it’s extreme it can take the form of panic attacks. Often those seem to come out of the blue.

I’m available to team up with you to come up with a plan of action. First, we can talk about things that people have often found helpful in calming their bodies down when their insides are churning. When it comes to dealing with this problem in the long run, there are many different approaches that have been useful. No two people are alike, and I’ll work closely with you to figure out what works best for you.

If you have any questions about how we deal with anxiety and panic, call me at 651–269–4937 or send me a message.

Brainspotting (BSP)

The effects of traumatic events are stored in the body. That means if we want relief, the body has to be involved in the effort.

Brainspotting (BSP) makes use of the natural phenomenon of where you look affects how you feel through its use of relevant eye positions. Together, the therapist and client pair a fixed eye and body position to an unresolved issue. This rapid, highly effective mind/body centered therapy technique appears to go beyond the cognitive awareness and connects one to their body’s innate wisdom to heal itself.

Why would this kind of thing relieve stress symptoms that may go back years or decades? We don’t know. Brainspotting is a powerful, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing and releasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation and a variety of other challenging symptoms.

When the processing of a troublesome memory with Brainspotting is completed, people may discover, often to their own amazement, that they can still remember it — but it no longer bothers them.

How long does Brainspotting treatment take? In the case of a single traumatic event, one two-hour session is sometimes enough. When there’s been both abuse and abandonment early in life, the therapy can take years. In any particular instance it can be hard to predict how many sessions it’s going to take.

If you’d like to learn more about this way of treating trauma, call me at 651–269–4937 or send me a message.

Connections

Our brain is wired to connect.

When it’s not busy with a task, it keeps going over our relationships, past and present, and evaluates where we stand. How often do you have dreams without other people in them?

Disruptions in those relationships hurt. Break-ups, losses, and moves can make us feel lost, alone, and uncared-for.
Being left out or laughed at can hurt just as much. It violates our sense of belonging.

Certain regions of the brain light up when a person is feeling the pain of an injury. When a person is left out of a game, some of the same brain regions are activated. When connections are lost, it hurts.
Catastrophic events — an accident, an illness, an assault — can leave people feeling tense, jumpy, and unsafe. If they had to face the experience alone, the absence of connection makes it that much harder to deal with.

I am committed to working with you to get strength from the relationships that help you to be your best and feel like you belong. Often we end up re-discovering barely remembered connections — a grandparent, a neighbor, a pet from long ago — that bring up feelings of warmth, of comfort, and of truly being seen and valued for who you are.

When you have your therapist’s full attention and you feel truly heard, reconnection and healing can happen.

Are you feeling disconnected in your relationships? I can help. Give me a call at 651.269.4937 or email me.

Depression

Usually the less we understand about a condition, the more theories there are to try to explain it. About depression there is an abundance of theories.

Those of us who are old enough to have been around in the early days of desktop computers remember what would happen if we tried to get ours to do too many things at once. It would crash. Humans are no different. When subjected to prolonged stress, we’re liable to shut down — in other words, to become depressed.

It’s hard to get things done if you can’t sleep at night — or if all you want to do is sleep — and you can’t get out of bed in the morning without a monster effort. When your batteries are drained, every little task becomes a mountain. That relentless critical voice inside your head, telling you that you’re worthless and what you’re saying is stupid, can take all the fun out of get-togethers with friends and family.

I believe that depression is rarely something that’s a part of you — it’s usually the effect of events in your life. A lot of things have been shown to help.

Has depression cast a shadow over your life? Give me a call me at 651–269–4937 or send me a message.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Therapy is useful in teaching clients skills to manage difficult emotions. It also incorporates mindfulness practices and provides practical methods for improving communication in relationships.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

The effects of traumatic events are stored in the body. That means if we want relief, the body has to be involved in the effort.

EMDR therapy is an effective way of doing that. It stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy — only the eye movements are no longer mandatory, just as horses are nowadays optional for most members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

EMDR practitioners have found that taps, vibrations, or sounds generally work just as well, so long as they go back and forth between the two sides of the body while the person lets her or his mind go back to the troubling experience and to whatever other memories may be connected to it.

Why would this kind of thing relieve stress symptoms that may go back years or decades? We don’t know. Aspirin had been around for 70 years, relieving millions of headaches worldwide, before its mechanism of action was discovered. No doubt a bright mind will do the same for EMDR therapy sooner or later.

When the processing of a troublesome memory with EMDR is completed, people may discover, often to their own amazement, that they can still remember it — but it no longer bothers them.

How long does EMDR treatment take? In the case of a single traumatic event, one two-hour session is sometimes enough. When there’s been both abuse and abandonment early in life, the therapy can take years. In any particular instance it can be hard to predict how many sessions it’s going to take.

I am EMDR Certified, which, involves extensive study and consultation in the treatment of trauma. Do you think EMDR might be helpful for you? Give me a call at 651–269–4937 or e-mail me.

Groups

Connections — Based on the research of Brené Brown

This group for women (18+ and older) will explore topics such as authenticity, vulnerability, courage, shame, resiliency, and worthiness.
 
Mondays beginning December 2, 2019 – February 3, 2020
5:00 -6:30 p.m.
5000 West 36th Street
St. Louis Park, MN  55416
$50/session (fee collected at the beginning of each session)
 
Contact:  
Ruth Spiegel, LMFT, LADC

A Positive Environment for Girls: Girls Teen Group

This group is for teen girls, 12-14 years old, who would benefit from a positive peer group. This group provides a safe and validating atmosphere to gain support from others, as well as myself and is structured to help teen girls thrive in, but not limited to, healthy relationships, self-esteem, self-care, and healthy boundaries.

Ongoing Groups:

Wednesdays
3:30 – 4:30 pm
5000 West 36th Street, Suite 207
St. Louis Park, 55416
Most insurance plans are accepted

Contact: Gail Yost, LMFT 
Email Gail
call: 651–269–4937

 

Hypnosis

Have you ever driven somewhere only to realize that you don’t recall driving there? To some degree, we experience dissociation also known as, daydreaming or one’s imagination. It is a natural phenomena.

Hypnosis is a procedure during which a health professional suggests changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, or behavior. The hypnotic context is generally established by an induction procedure. Although there are many different hypnotic inductions, most include suggestions for relaxation, calmness, and well-being. Instructions to imagine or think about pleasant experiences are also commonly included in hypnotic inductions.

People respond to hypnosis in different ways. Some describe their experience as an altered state of consciousness. Others describe hypnosis as a normal state of focused attention in which they feel very calm and relaxed. Regardless of how and to what degree they respond, most people describe the experience as very pleasant.

A person’s ability to experience hypnotic suggestions can be inhibited by fears and concerns arising from some common misconceptions. Contrary to some depictions of hypnosis in books, movies, or on television, people who have been hypnotized do not lose control over their behavior. They typically remain aware of who they are and where they are, and unless amnesia has been specifically suggested, they usually remember what transpired during hypnosis.

Hypnosis has been used in the treatment of pain depression, anxiety, stress, habit disorders, and many other psychological and medical problems. I will work with you to determine if hypnosis would be a beneficial part to your therapy goals.

Do you feel hypnosis could help you? If so, call me at 651–269–4937 or e-mail me.

Narrative Therapy

Our brains are hardwired to sense danger, even more so if we’ve experienced trauma in our lives. Narrative Therapy explores stories of our lives in a way that brings forth an alternative or preferred narrative. Narrative therapy helps patients explore their values and beliefs and frees up space in the brain for alternative, less problem saturated life narratives. Through Narrative therapy, we can experience ourselves in relation to the world in a different way that can be powerfully healing.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Traumatic experiences can have a way of sticking with us. This can often result in avoiding people, places and things that remind us of that trauma. Avoidance of these things only reinforces fear and allows it to continue to have a hold on our lives. Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy provides an outlet to finally process traumatic experiences that have taken hold of our lives and start to move past them rather than stay stuck in them. 
 
This is an evidenced based treatment frequently used by the VA to treat PTSD in soldiers and strongly recommended for the treatment of PTSD by the American Psychological Association. PE allows us to  gradually confront  trauma related fears as well as gaining a better understanding of the traumatic event and its long term impact on the individual. Success in PE is measured by clinically proven assessments and a decrease in previously avoided situations. 
 
Prolonged Exposure Therapy is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is highly individualized to meet individual needs.

Trauma and PTSD

All of us were born for action. Once in a while something comes along that’s too big for us to deal with. Our capacity to stand up for ourselves is overwhelmed. We’re helpless.

Yet our body desperately wants to do something, to get us out of danger. It wants to change the course of events. Even after the threat has passed, the body can seem like it’s still primed to deal with that situation. It can’t let go. It never gets deactivated.

So it happens that even years after a frightening experience, we can’t seem to relax. Minor events can trigger intense reactions, as if we were right back there.

We’ve learned that in order to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder effectively, we have to pay attention to the body. EMDR, in my experience, often helps people who are affected by PTSD to leave the past behind and re-engage with the present.

If you’d like to learn more about how I deal with the effects of trauma and PTSD, call me at 651–269–4937 or send me a message.

COVID-19 Update

During this pandemic and beyond, Gail Yost and Associates is now offering telehealth/virtual visits for your convenience and care. We understand that times like this can be challenging on many levels and want to be sure that you feel supported. Please make sure to read the CDC website at cdc.gov to learn more about symptoms and additional information regarding risks and precautions.

At this point, with risk of infection still fairly low but growing, this measure is an attempt at social responsibility – an act of care for the wider community to which we belong. By taking precautions not to spread the virus, we are helping to ensure that hospitals are not stretched to capacity and those who need the most care can receive it.

Thank you,
Gail Yost, Owner
Gail Yost and Associates, LLC