The holidays are a difficult time of year for so many of us. Thanksgiving, in particular, can be especially hard for some. For instance, how can one be “thankful” when there are so many reasons to feel the sting of loss? If being together for Thanksgiving feels more like a time to grieve than a time to be thankful, what is one supposed to do?
Have you ever had to forgive someone for doing harm to you? When you think about forgiving someone, how do you know you are ready? While there are many different thought leaders in the field of forgiveness, one of the most liberating concepts in the forgiveness world is that we can choose to forgive even when we don’t feel emotionally ready.
One of the struggles the mental health field has struggled with was accessibility to those who need services. With social media, millions of people can access 2+ years of graduate work in 60 seconds without, sometimes, having to see a professional. In a way, this has created a watered-down effect on mental health because we hear things like this:
My goal as a counselor is to help adults, adolescents, and children by providing a space to be heard, process life’s challenges, and develop the necessary skills to thrive mentally, physically, and spiritually. My overall approach to therapy involves cognitive behavioral methods (exploring one’s thoughts and beliefs relative to emotions and behaviors), as well as narrative therapy (engaging personal stories that view people as separate from their problems). I view counseling as a collaborative effort in helping clients to recognize strengths, identify needs, understand conflicts, discover new options, set personal development goals, and make informed choices.
How often do you use your phone or Google calendar to schedule meetings, appointments, hanging out with loved ones, etc? We stay on track of these time commitments because we prioritize them. In that same vein, when was the last time you scheduled time for yourself?
What are ‘cognitive distortions’ and why do so many people have them? Cognitive distortions are ways that our thought patterns can convince us that something is true or false. These are typically thoughts that occur automatically, and are usually used to reinforce negative thinking or emotions. Our automatic thoughts can feel rational and accurate, and most of all, they can feel factual.
Have you ever been in a therapy session and your therapist casually drops a phrase you’ve never heard before? “Hold space”? “Sit with a feeling”? You’re sitting there smiling and nodding politely, but you’re probably thinking, “What does that even mean? Who says that?” Being a therapist, these phrases make sense, are easy to say, and have become second nature over my years of practice, so sometimes it’s easy to forget that not everyone speaks “therapist.”
At some point in your therapy journey, your therapist is likely to assess for protective factors that help individuals with resiliency and coping bandwidth when going through difficult times or managing mood disorders or traumas. One protective factor we look for is FRIENDSHIP! Having healthy friendship is a protective factor for both emotional health and physical health.
Individuals have many needs- both physical, emotional, and spiritual. The focus of this series will take a quick dive into the nine different emotional needs. When someone is suffering, we can often take a glance at their emotional needs, and work toward fulfilling those that might not be satisfied. Thankfully there is a way to examine the needs and see which ones may need nourishing, so that you can begin taking the steps toward more emotional contentment.
“Daring greatly means the courage to be vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you’re feeling. To have the hard conversations.” – Brene Brown
Being brave is not about the absence of fear, it’s about having the courage to be vulnerable – to press on in spite of fear.