1) higher confidentiality standards (no insurance accepted)
2) Email support between sessions
3) Coordinate care with your medical provider, if you wish
4) Quality Assessments done periodically
5) Progress updates every 6th session
6) Handouts to reinforce what you’ve learned
8) Testing for depression and anxiety, with actual test numbers reported
9) Reduced fee/sliding scale counseling available with Intern Therapists
10) You will leave the first session with a “Prescription” of immediate, practical suggestions
At this time of year we often find ourselves around people who stress or frustrate us. The problems between us arise again and again as the holidays progress. This is a good time of year to set some fresh resolutions; not about losing weight or saving money, but about dealing with our loved ones in a compassionate yet assertive way. Here are some ways to achieve this goal.
Understand that _______experiences life from her/his perspective, not mine.
Be kind, calm AND assertive with ______so I can be at peace with my own behavior.
Accept _________where they are now rather than trying to “help” them change.
Give up trying to make __________ happy.
Believe in __________________’s ability to do the necessary to live their own life at this time.
Let __________experience their own feelings (guilt, fear, anger etc.) without my getting caught up in them.
Let __________experience and deal with their own emotional pain.
Do not take control of things that __________should do on their own as a grown adult.
Set and maintain my personal boundaries with ___________
Forgive the past and focus on the positive aspects of my relationship with ____________.
Accept my own feelings about ___________whenever they come up and don’t try to push away those feelings.
As the holiday season draws near, so do the stressful encounters with family! Here are some tips for making it through with your holiday spirit intact.
1. Remind yourself that people are under more pressure and are going to be harder to get along with on special days.
2. If you choose to speak up-and “rocking the boat” is NOT a bad thing—use an “I message.” Example: Mom, I feel hurt when you criticize my cooking.
3. Try to have those “I message” conversations privately and directly with the person who has offended you. Avoid the words “always” and “never.” After all, no one is ALWAYS guilty of something!
4. Avoid being drawn into family triangles. A triangle is where people discuss another family member behind their back. It may feel good to be included, but it almost always comes back to haunt you later when you indulge in gossip. If someone attempts to draw you in, excuse yourself and invent an urgent gravy emergency.
5. If the dinner is at your house, you have the right to set all rules and boundaries, such as no alcohol, no smoking inside, etc. Be polite but firm. The rules are always the choice of the host/hostess: the guest’s choice is whether or not to attend.
6. Get outside for a walk, or at least a deep breath of fresh air. Remind yourself that it’s only one day. Promise yourself a relaxing treat later (such as a hot bath, TV show, good book). This will help manage your depression or anxiety.
7. Try to look past the person’s irritating manner to the wounds that cause the actions. This does not mean you don’t speak up, it simply means you speak up calmly
8. Thank your hostess profusely. You have no idea how much time and effort it takes unless you’ve done it yourself!
9. Spend some time being thankful and enjoying the people you love.
10. Never skip our appointments during the holiday season, no matter how busy you are. Like sleep and exercise, your sessions are essential to keeping you in balance and moving forward.
How we see it is how it will be.” (Anonymous)
We most often suffer more from what we FEAR than what actually HAPPENS, so it’s important for you to learn how to evaluate what you are thinking. Things always look less fearful when we face them head on vs. running or distracting ourselves into TV, alcohol, food, or work.
Spend some time in your journal with your anxious thoughts, asking yourself these questions:*
1) What is the situation that I’m stressed or worried about?
2) What am I THINKING or IMAGINING?
3) How much do I believe that thought? A little? A lot? Or give a percentage
4) How does that thought MAKE ME FEEL? (assign a feeling)
5) How STRONG is that feeling? A little? A lot? Or give a percentage
6) What makes me think the thought is true?
7) What makes me think the thought is NOT true or not COMPLETELY true?
8) What’s another way to look at this situation?
9) What’s the worst that could happen?
10) Could I still live through that?
11) What’s the BEST that could happen?
12) What will PROBABLY happen?
13) What WILL happen if I keep telling myself the same thought?
14) What COULD happen if I changed or challenged my thinking?
15) What would I tell my friend _________________ if this happened to him/her?
16) What should I do now?
17) How much do I believe that negative thought now? A little? A lot? Or give a percentage
18) How strong is my negative FEELING now? A little? A lot? Or give a percentage.
Remember: you are not alone! I am here for you to evaluate and explore these fears and help you learn new ways of thinking and seeing your life.
*from the work of J.S. Beck
Ten Signs You May Need Professional Therapy
We all go through challenging times in our lives, but some experiences are worse than others. There is NO problem that can’t be eased—a little or a lot—by seeking professional counseling .
Some problems are like a sore throat—we go to the doctor, get a short round of treatment, and feel better. But others, such as death of a loved one, relationship issues, parenting problems, moving to a new city, living with the after effects of abuse from childhood, dealing with an elderly parent, health or weight issues—are more like a cancer. The problem only grows without professional intervention.
So what are you experiencing?
1) I have low energy, “blahs”
2) someone in my life puts me down or threatens me
3) I can’t relax
4) I have the same fights over and over
5) people keep disappointing me
6) My sleep is disturbed
7) I can’t keep a job and/or a relationship
8) My temper gets out of hand
9) I wouldn’t mind if I weren’t here anymore
10) I feel guilty all the time
I have extensively studied how to help these and many other issues common to all people. Let’s get started making your life better! We will gently examine the things that are troubling you and I will guide you toward new ways of thinking and dealing with people to lead you toward freedom. Homework is an essential part of this process, as you take the suggestions I give you and try them out between sessions. Are YOU ready to change?