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!
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.
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!
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!
Sometimes I wish I had a tape recorder that could record my client’s inner voice. If I played it back to them they would likely be horrified at how mean they are to themselves. These are some of the things we would hear: “You are so stupid, why did you do that?” “Every other mother is better than me; I am the worst mother ever.” “I can never do anything right.” “I am weak, I am broken, I am a burden to others.” “I am crazy.” “I need to get over myself.” “I can’t do that, I could never be successful.” “What they did is so much better than what I did.” “What is wrong with me?”
I find many of my clients struggling with the issue of control, specifically the anxiety that surrounds so many of us when we are not in control. Do you ever find yourself spending countless hours worrying and stressing over another person’s behavior, what people think of you, how a decision you want to make for yourself will be perceived by others, what may or may not happen tomorrow, what did or did not happen yesterday?
You are not alone. It is common, normal and something that you can change if this pattern is not bringing you happiness.
The key to optimal mental health is to begin to recognize when you are expending energy on things you cannot control (other people) and to shift that energy towards the things you can control (your health). This is the tricky part – You have to do this while honoring your feelings about the things you cannot control (see my post on validation for more info on this).
Here is a simple exercise to get you started. Think of it as bit of spring cleani.....
If I asked you what you have done to take care of yourself today – what would your answer be? My guess is you would be hard pressed to come up something.
As adults, we are often put in charge of caring for others –for our children, for other family members, for friends, for co-workers, for pets...and for many of us it is part of our paid job.
When clients come into counseling, for whatever reason – depression, anxiety, lack of fulfillment in interpersonal relationships, we ALWAYS look at their self-care. Ninety-five percent of the time they are neglecting themselves – and any self-care they do engage in is shrouded in guilt.
I want you to listen to this. SELF CARE IS VITAL FOR YOUR WELLBEING. If you are not creating time and space to nurture yourself you will not be able to reach your own health goals – mental or physical, and eventually you will no longer be able to care for others in the way you want to.
To help my clients reach optimal mental health I am almost always working with them to learn how to validate their feelings. Validation simply means accepting, honoring, and valuing how you feel. This is essential to mental well-being; if you do not validate a feeling you cannot move on from it.
Let’s look at the issue of stress and time management. Many of my clients come in to my office thinking there is something wrong with them because they are overwhelmed with the work-family balance. There self-talk looks like this “I don’t know what is wrong with me, I must just be an awful parent, I feel so overwhelmed and I know I shouldn’t, many people are so much worse off than me…”.