Having a support system when experiencing mental health symptoms is directly related to recovery; there are numerous research studies to support this.
However, many clients with whom I work do not have adequate supports, and as a result, end up feeling extremely alone and isolated. Like they are the only ones experiencing the difficulty getting up and moving in the morning, random bouts of anxiety during the day that seem to come out of nowhere, the insomnia when all that’s needed is sleep… and the list goes on.
While awareness about mental health is increasing, there is still a stigma for individuals to be honest with friends and family about their true struggles. People fear being dismissed, minimized, judged, or even ignored. Read More
When it comes to thinking, therapists usually try to dissuade from black and white thinking, as it is problematic. However, when it comes to boundaries, clarity is KEY. Read More
You don't have to jump on the resolution bandwagon because it's January. You are enough, as is. You have permission to not change a thing. Read More
It’s ok. I’ll just die here before I inconvenience you. That was the way I was treating myself before I accepted my life-threatening peanut allergy. Read More
Here's the pattern: I see many perfectionists; people who work hard, give a lot to others, and don't ask for a lot in return. They may not self identify as a perfectionist, but there is fear of failure or disappointing others under the surface which looks like perfectionism from above. When they get to my office, they are weary and worn out. They cannot understand why they don't get anything back from the people to whom they're giving. So they continue to give, do, be, and turn themselves inside out to try to get something back. Read More
You are not responsible for others’ feelings and behaviors. They are. We grow up believing we are responsible because others blame us for their pain. “It’s your fault I’m mad.” “If you hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t feel this way.” “You made me mad/upset.” “You make me crazy.”
→ This makes you believe you are in control of others’ emotions, and you learn that you want to avoid the shame results from another’s blame like the plague. You learn to alter your actions to avoid making someone “mad,” and being perceived as a disappointment or an instigator. Read More
It’s not a secret that American culture glorifies self-sufficiency and hyper-independence. We want to go it alone, do it all ourselves, and have all the control. When we encounter a speed bump or road block, the internal messages we hear sound like: buck up, soldier on, suck it up, just deal with it. Like, dude, what's wrong with you? Just GET OVER IT.
Not that it’s bad to pull yourself up by the proverbial bootstraps or motivate yourself to go on in the face of hardship. However, the subliminal message to this cultural value and norm is: If you need anyone or anything to help you, you’re weak. If you can’t do it alone, there’s something wrong with you. When we feel that the burden is all ours whether we need help or not, it can get very heavy. Read More
People think that perfectionism is the relentless drive to be perfect. There is another way that perfectionism rears its head in a way you wouldn’t necessarily think of as perfectionism. It shows up as the refusal to be wrong and the avoidance of mistakes, or avoidance of anything that could lead to a mistake. Read More