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AlysonRyan,LCSW's Articles

 

Mental Health and Media

 

When I was competing my Master's in Social Work, I had the opportunity to take a class on using film as a therapeutic tool when working with clients struggling with their mental health. Though you will often find me steering clients away from the media, or at least setting healthy boundaries around the onslaught of information we receive that is often alarming, false or distressing - I have come to appreciate the times when we see ourselves depicted in characters on the big (or little) screen. When mental heath struggles are presented in film and TV in a close enough to accurate manner they can help to normalize a person's experience, decrease the sense of isolation and misunderstanding the individual faces and also give friends and family members a glimpse into the minds of their loved one. Two of my favorites are the depiction of Schizophrenia in "A Beautiful Mind" and Anxiety in the quirky Australian TV series "Offspring" which can be viewed on netflix.

October is Bullying Prevention Month

We have compiled information for bullying prevention and resolution to help you and your child have the healthiest and happiest experiences. Tactics to reduce bullying include mindfulness. The technique has shown to reduce reactive behavior, and also helps all parties involved to develop a greater awareness of their role in bullying. Read on here for more information: https://www.mindful.org/using-mindfulness-to-reduce-bullying/ Using Mindfulness to Reduce Bullying - Mindful www.mindful.org Bakosh and Houlihan hope that the Inner Explorer programs will be implemented in schools in all 50 states within the next year. To date, there are instructors in 111 .. Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center indicates the immediate victim of bullying isn’t the only one affected by harassment. Bystanders and witnesses are more likely to use drugs and alcohol. http://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/facts.asp ...

Cooking with Essential Oils

Our South Bay Wellness Team has been raving over doTERRA essential oils lately. From spraying their all-natural bug repellent TerraShield, to diffusing soothing Lavender, to their rub-on PastTense headache reliever, we can just not get over how may exciting ways there are to use these powerful oils! And now, we've found that you can cook with them too! We have TWO awesome summer recipes that are not only healthy, but can help uplift your mood! Check them out and let us know what you think!

Why Project Be Free is Important to me

Imagine, if just once a week, I gave my children and husband the same attention and presence to the moment that I give my clients. Imagine if I wasn’t always rushing through my time with them so that I could accomplish some other “to-do” item off my work list. Or if I wasn’t rushing them to bed so that I could answer emails or check my phone…or if we sat and talked without the distraction of phones, computers and TV. What if we all spent some time being present with each other?

What you should know about therapy

Read more to learn what therapy IS and ISN'T about. I hope it gives some clarity to all those thinking about coming to therapy - because in all honesty - therapy is awesome!

10 Quotes I Love

I love quotes – I love the moment you read something someone writes that sets off a light bulb – or when you see a person take the jumbled thoughts in your mind and turn them into eloquently written words. Quotes can ground us when we feel out of control, give us support when we feel fragile, help us express ourselves and give us validation for our thoughts and emotions. These quotes speak both of the power of therapy and our innate potential to heal. I hope you enjoy.

How to keep the HAPPY in your holidays.

I always expect the phone calls for counseling requests to slow down over the holiday season...and every year I am reminded that they actually ring more. The holiday season is notoriously stressful. If you wold like to challenge yourself and family to a more enjoyable holiday season this year click here to read this years holiday tips!


Calling all pregnant moms and moms to be…Are you looking for a book about childbirth?

 If you are anything like me, you might have felt the urge to dash to the bookstore as soon as you found out you were pregnant. I did just that (right after I made my doctor appointment and did a quick internet search!) and bought EVERY SINGLE BOOK ON PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH ON THE SHELF. If you are looking for a helpful book on pregnancy click here to read more!


Breastfeeding – What’s in it for Mom?

Many of us are well versed on the benefits of breastfeeding for babies. It helps build their immune system, breast-milk is easy to digest, it reduces the risk of type II diabetes and childhood obesity, it may reduce the risk of SIDS – and the list goes on. But what is in it for Mom? Does breastfeeding have to be all about the baby? Click here to read more!


Understanding Therapy

 I love to teach – especially students learning to be mental health professionals.

When my summer course on Health Counseling started this past week the very first question I asked my students was “What does a counselor or therapist do?” It is a question many people either do not know the answer to or have false beliefs about. Even my students don’t fully understand, at least on their first day of class.

 

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