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.
There are many apps now that use behavioral exercises and relaxation techniques to help with anxious thoughts and feelings. The apps work in different ways to help reduce anxiety symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with anxiety or suffer from anxiety symptoms, here are three apps that can help.
If you are one of the people who grew up with social media in your younger years, you are likely being reminded of some of the past events and posts that occurred on your social media sites. Things like TimeHop had their debut before fizzling out, only to be replaced by Facebook “On This Day”. Being only a click away from some of your old pictures and past experiences can bring up lots of emotions, one of them being a complex feeling of nostalgia.
Perhaps part of why suicide is such a heavy topic is that so many of us have been affected by it in some way. In 2017, my close friend experienced a heartbreaking tragedy when his brother died by suicide. In addition to feeling the weight of the loss being experienced by my friend and his family, I distinctly remember this devastating event being part of what inspired me to pursue counseling as a career.
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.”