Salt Lake City Mental Health is a private mental health practice site.
Short-term therapy is often the most effective form of therapy for many individuals. It is our belief that within 8-12 sessions, the majority of groundwork for life change can be completed.
With that groundwork, an individual will be equipped with the skills necessary to execute change independently. Although some situations will require a longer therapeutic timeline, we endeavor to minimize time spent in the office, while still achieving results.
How we can help.
We help clients to identify their individual problems, understand why those problems exist, and outline achievable strategies to propagate change. Real change is achieved outside the office. Therapy merely shows you how.
At Salt Lake City Mental Health, we take the privacy of our clients very seriously. It is our goal to provide you with a safe, comfortable and confidential environment that can assist in your recovery.
Your confidentiality will be absolutely protected.
Counseling available for adults, children, adolescents, parents, families and couples.
Divorce and Custody Evaluations
Occasionally divorces involve litigation with a custody evaluation.
Therapeutic Services for Adults, Children & Adolescents
- Drug/Alcohol Abuse or Addiction
- Pornography Addiction
- Grief and Loss
- Stress Reduction
- Anger Management
- Adult Children of Alcoholics
- PTSD and Childhood Trauma
- Intimacy Issues
- Bipolar Disorder
- Relationship Problems
- Eating Disorders
- Personality Disorders
- Grief and Loss Counseling (death, divorce, moving, deployment, changing of schools, imprisonment)
- Physical and Sexual Abuse Issues
- Eating Disorders
- Anxiety and Depression Counseling
- Problem Solving
- Behavioral Problems
- Gifted and Talented
Therapeutic Services for Parents, Families & Couples
- Traumatic Family Events
- Infidelity Issues
- Effective Communication
- Behavior Plans
- Improve Family Function
- Family Therapy
- Sibling Conflicts
- Parent-Child Conflicts
When a divorced couple is involved in litigation, a custody evaluation may take place. I have experience serving as such an evaluator. I have worked many cases involving issues such as domestic violence, physical/sexual/emotional abuse, infidelity, substance abuse, etc.
To make the necessary recommendations, I will interview the parents as well as see the children. The age of the children will determine what approach is taken (e.g., very small children will engage in play therapy, rather than interviews). I will also potentially gather data from schools, counselors, and/or doctors, depending on the situation.
Frequently I will utilize a standardized psychological test such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) for the parents. If there are special circumstances, such as allegations of child abuse, chemical dependency, or alienation, further test instruments may be administered.
Parents undergoing custody evaluations are understandably nervous and sometimes think that I am going to determine “the best parent” in a win/lose battle.
In reality, I am trained to look for the overall best combination of parenting for the particular needs of the children, based on their ages and other factors. The standard of practice in psychology and social work holds that “children need both parents,” and their mental health is at risk when a parent-child relationship is severed or damaged. Children love both their parents even when the parents no longer love one another. My evaluation will take into consideration what will be best for each individual child, as a result of having met with them, both parents and other potential collateral contacts.
My focus is on the well-being of each individual child, and I do not represent EITHER party specifically when conducting the evaluation. Should you have additional questions on the nature of custody evaluations, the scope of evaluative areas, or other factors related to this subject, do not hesitate to contact me.
Have you repeatedly tried to stop? Have you promised yourself that this would be the last time? Is it starting to have negative consequences in your life?
Addictions can take many forms.
Millions have found themselves in the midst of addiction. It is difficult to comprehend how behavior can escalate. What may have begun as simple curiosity or an otherwise appropriate behavior can quickly spiral out of control.
A variety of factors can put an individual on the road to addiction. Far too often, a behavior can become destructive and rob an individual of a sense of happiness and self-worth. Once an addiction has formed, it can be nearly impossible to overcome without external help.
Addictions are often born out of a desire to mask unwanted feelings or to create a heightened sense of pleasure. As the compulsive behavior increases in intensity, life consequences can start compiling. Lives and relationships are ruined. Hope is lost. The behavior once used to control unwanted feelings is now controlling you.
Addictions can take ANY form
Some of the most common are:
- Self Harming
- Eating (restricting, binging or purging)
- Video Games
Here are some indicators that a compulsive behavior has become an addiction, and that it can no longer be stopped on your own:
- Do you feel the need to be secretive about your _______?
- Do you have trouble controlling your _______?
- Have family or friends made comments about your _______?
- Despite CONSCIOUSLY knowing there are NEGATIVE consequences, do you continue to _______?
- Do you take significant time out of your day to plan your _______?
- Do you ever feel guilty after _______?
- Do you ever fail to meet work, family, church, or other life duties due to your _______?
- Do you constantly think about _______?
- When you have any sort of problem, does your first thought turn to _______ as a means to deal with it?
- Do you want to stop _______, but have not been able to, despite REPEATED efforts to do so?
In recent years, pornography-specific addiction has taken hold of the lives of an increasing number of individuals. When pornography use occurs over an extended period of time despite repeated efforts to stop, addiction exists. Negative consequences follow.
Help for Families of Addicts
"We do not control the timing of a change of heart. We make ourselves available for it by faithfully doing the right things for the right reasons; that much does lie within our control." – Terry Warner
Easy access to pornography, together with the immediate gratification it provides, makes everyone with internet access a potential target.
Repeated exposure to pornographic images causes a physical and chemical shift in the brain, frequently leading to dependency. Pornography becomes just as chemical as a substance addiction. A person is not addicted to the pornography itself, but rather to the CHEMICALS RELEASED by viewing such images. Once an individual has become addicted to pornography, a cycle is created that replicates itself neurologically, engraining the addiction even further. For this reason, “simply stopping” can appear an almost insurmountable task, making external assistance imperative.
Pornography addiction should be treated similarly to substance addiction. Studies have indicated that the best chances of recovery will be provided by a combination of individual therapy, participation in a 12 step program, ecclesiastical support (if applicable) and the support of family members or loved ones.
More than 70% of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month (comScore Media Metrix).
28% those admitting to sexual addiction are women (internet-filter-review.com).
The Internet was a significant factor in 2 out of 3 divorces (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2003 - divorcewizards.com).
9 out of 10 children aged between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed pornography on the Internet, in most cases unintentionally (London School of Economics January 2002).
Largest consumer of Internet pornography: 12 - 17 year-old age group (various sources, as of 2007).
Utah has the nation's highest online porn subscription rate per thousand home broadband users.
25% of all search engine requests are pornographic.
Information for Families of Addicts
The pain experienced when watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be profound. This pain can have debilitating effect on the lives of those living in a relationship with an addict. Frequently a “co-dependent” pattern emerges wherein the pain experienced in support of an addict compromises the life happiness of the supporting individual, possibly leading to certain personality changes.
Co-dependency—the inability to have a healthy meaningful relationship with someone due in part to a negligence in meeting one’s own needs—can often affect a spouse, parent, sibling, friend, or co-worker of a person struggling with addiction.
A balance must be achieved between the desire to support the addict and the need to meet your personal needs. Attempts to fix the other person will almost always backfire. Being too involved in their recovery will be detrimental to you both. Learning to let them “fix it” themselves will be difficult, but essential. Your efforts, energy and attention is much better invested in your own capacity to care for yourself, thus maintaining your own stability and capacity to effectively set boundaries.
Questionnaire To Identify Signs Of Co-dependency:
- Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments?
- Are you always worried about others’ opinions of you?
- Have you ever lived with someone with an addiction or other destructive behavior?
- Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who hits or belittles you?
- Are the opinions of others more important than your own?
- Do you have difficulty adjusting to changes at work or home?
- Do you feel rejected when significant others spend time with friends?
- Are you romantically drawn to those who are "messed up?"
- Are you uncomfortable expressing your true feelings to others?
- Do you frequently feel inadequate?
- Do you feel like a "bad person" when you make a mistake?
- Do you have difficulty taking compliments or gifts?
- Do you feel humiliation when your child or spouse makes a mistake?
- Do you think people in your life would go downhill without your constant efforts?
- Do you frequently wish someone could help you get things done?
- Are you confused about who you are or where you are going with your life?
- Do you have trouble saying "no" when asked for help?
- Do you have trouble asking for help?
- Do you have so many things going at once that you can’t do justice to any of them?
The mind frequently creates obsessions. Perfectionism is one of the most destructive.
Perfectionists become obsessed with the need to convince either themselves or others that they have value and worth. Despite frequently performing well, anything short of flawlessness will be perceived as failure. Heightened criticism and focus on mistakes makes daily living extremely difficult. Instead of focusing on a larger picture, a perfectionist allows imperfections to contaminate the entire image. This leads to profound feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness.
All-or-nothing thinking hallmarks anxiety.
Many who struggle with addictions have obsessiveness underlying the undesired behaviors. When an individual feels powerless to fix an obsession—a significant worry about an idea that does not go away despite repeated efforts to address it—certain compulsions will take place. Some compulsions may be non-destructive, while others may be very destructive and self-injurious. Part of combating addiction includes the identification and detachment from obsessions.
Symptoms of Anxiety Include:
- Feeling constantly "on edge"
- Raging heartbeat
- Trembling, sweating, shaking
- Fear, fright, afraid, anxious
- Being hyperactive
- Excessive stress
- Excessive worrying
- Difficulty breathing
- Inability to control thoughts
- Always anticipating the worst
- Impaired functionality in school, work, relationships
- Feeling like you are about to lose control
- Feeling that something bad is going to happen
- Difficulty sleeping due to worrying or fears
- Feeling like you are "going crazy"
- Sudden increased heart rate
- Pounding heart, difficulty breathing
- Fear of any situation triggering unwanted feelings
- Feeling claustrophobic
- Being irritable or angry
- Wanting to stay indoors
Clinical depression is more than just merely feeling "down." It is a pervasive inability to function and enjoy life. It often involves a loss of interest in what used to be pleasurable and can lead one to isolate themselves from others.
Some say that depression feels like an overwhelming despair invading their life. Many feel a lack of energy and can't concentrate. Others find themselves frequently irritable for no apparent reason.
Whatever the symptoms, depression differs from normal sadness because it interferes with the ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy life. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and relentless.
Some strategies for combating depression will include education about practical techniques on how to redirect negative thinking and engage in more uplifting behaviors. In some cases, therapy can also help to identify the root of depression, helping to reduce symptoms from their origination. Identifying triggers and learning to live healthily will be a primary focus.
Depression is a treatable illness.
Some indicators of clinical depression are:
- Excessive feelings of guilt or worthlessness Feeling that you are "going nowhere in life"
- Feeling "empty" or that something is missing
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Difficulty controlling negative thoughts
- Shifts in sleeping, eating habits or appetite
- Mood swings
- Lack of motivation
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Difficulty completing once simple task
- Frequent desire to isolate or be alone
- Pulling away from family and friends
- Decreased energy, constantly feeling fatigued
- Thoughts of suicide or just not wanting to be alive
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
If you have experienced more than five of the above symptoms for longer than two weeks, you are encouraged to seek external assistance.
Love is one of the most basic human needs. Meaningful relationships are an important part of life fulfillment. While relationships can be fulfilling, they can also be a source of profound pain. Unhealthy relationships create heartache, stress, frustration and disappointment.
Dysfunctional dynamics can occur between parents and children, siblings, in blended homes or in friendship. Learning to manage discord is essential to the creation of a safe and happy environment.
Love is a process, not an event.
Successful relationships require work, whether they be romantic, professional or personal. One of the most crucial elements of a healthy relationship is communication. Enhancing communication involves learning to convey information effectively to the partner.
When dysfunction exists for a sustained period of time, resentment and negative feelings towards those we once loved can corrode our capacity to connect with them and with ourselves. When problems become severe in any relationship, outside
intervention is frequently necessary to salvage the connection. The safety of a therapist's office can provide the grounds to have serious conversations facilitated by a trained and empathetic professional.
Skills such as conflict resolution, compromise, mutual understanding, needs expression, and boundary creation are invaluable resources when attempting to heal the disconnect between family members.
Personal accountability from all parties is essential if shifts in the relationship dynamic are to occur. Insecurities, anger, and blame prevent a person from feeling peace. Whether or not the other person is willing to address the concerns, personal healing can always take place. When one individually heals, the dynamic of the relationship shifts positively.
Feel free to send us a message
Where can you find us?
(801) 277.2129 - Call or Text
Salt Lake City Location
1174 E. Graystone Way, Suite # 6
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
(Graystone Way is 2760 S.)
Evening and weekend appointments are available.
Directions To The SLC Office
From I-80, take exit 126 (1300 East). Go south on 1300 East to 2700 South. Turn west (right) on 2700 South to Highland Drive. Go South (left) on Highland to Graystone Way (2760 South) and turn right. The Graystone Office Building is located within the Graystone Condominium Complex.
About Ryan Leybas, PLLC
Since 2002, Ryan Leybas has worked throughout the United States, Canada, and Venezuela to assist others in creating change. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Ryan received his Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. He also speaks fluent Spanish.
Although Ryan currently works in private practice, he has worked in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. Most notably, he worked as a primary counselor at the Cirque Lodge drug treatment center, one of the nation's most prestigious chemical dependency programs. Ryan also spent several years with Valley Mental Health as a clinical therapist, exclusively treating adolescents battling a variety of mental health and substance abuse issues.
How Ryan can help you.
I take a direct approach to treatment. Although eclectic in my style, I am most closely attached to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). We will focus on the aberrant thought processes and the behavioral responses that are contributing to the life dissatisfaction you are experiencing.
I am solution-focused. The atmosphere will be empathetic, but our goal will be to effect change in your life. We may discuss your childhood, family relationships, or specific losses and grievances, but only to the extent necessary to understand what is happening now. The majority of the session will focus on current life situations. We will look at your past, but our focus will be on the present and working towards a healthy and successful future.
The relationship you have with your therapist will be one of the most important factors in determining whether or not therapy will be effective for you. It is important that you find a therapist with whom you can feel comfortable. Our meetings will be conversational, friendly, relaxed, and upbeat. If after our first meeting you do not feel that you and I connect well therapeutically, we will work together to find you a therapist to help you achieve your goals.
Methods of Payment
We currently accept cash or check for payment of services.
We are a contracted provider for the following insurance companies:
WISE Network/8th District Electrical/Teamsters
Beech Street/Educator's Mutual/Everest
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Other insurance plans may offer an out of network benefit.
In addition to traditional daytime office hours, appointments are available on evenings and weekends. Phone and computer sessions are also available.
Workshops and Presentations
Specific Topics Include:
- Substance Abuse/Dependence
- Self Esteem/Worth
- Personal Motivation & Leadership
- Goal Setting
- Conflict Resolution
These workshops can be tailored to fit the individual needs of the sponsoring agency. Powerpoint or other video presentations are typically included.