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Stay up to date with day-to-day challenges and how to handle them effectively.

Becoming Someone: Importance of Personal Identity

Becoming an independent person is a normal part of growing up. As we mature from teenagers into fully fledged adults, we are expected to start our own careers and pursue our own life goals without the guidance of parents or teachers. Learning to live independently is not only a matter of personal knowledge and ability…

Trauma and the Amygdala

No one experiences and reacts to trauma the same way. Two different people can face the exact same trauma, involving the exact same people, and still respond to that very trauma differently. A part of the reason why this happens is because of the amygdala.  What is the amygdala? The amygdala is a part of…

The 2-2-2 Rule

In the beginning of relationships, it is easy to put focus on our other half. You are getting to know each other, exploring what life is like with that person. As the relationship continues, we try to learn a balance between our relationship and other aspects of our life like work, hobbies, and friends. Unfortunately,…

Emotions: The Sixth Sense (of Self)

Your emotions are an important source of information. Just as we use our eyes and ears to gather information and understand the world around us, our emotions also provide us with a better understanding of our reactions to the world around us. Think of it this way, when you experience something that you like, you…

Managing use of Social Media for Better Mental Health

We are all well aware of how much impact social media has in our daily lives. It’s no secret that social media can influence our mental health as well. Learning to control our use of social media is now a part of our management of our mental health. While it may be tempting to delete…

Check for P.I.E.S.

One common excuse that people say about mindfulness and self care is “I don’t have time for that.” If you can spare two minutes, you have time for P.I.E.S. Who doesn’t love pie? Unfortunately eating dessert is not a mindfulness strategy. P.I.E.S. is an easy method of mindfulness that is realistic for the day to…

Materialistic Objects Vs. Experiences with Kids

Experiences (aka making memories) is far more superior than buying your children toys.  Something to utilize as a parent and/or guardian is to help your children gain more experiences and making memories with you.  As a parent, how many times do you buy you child a toy and/or object and never see them play with…

Am I Living Up to My Full Potential?

Guilt is an unpleasant feeling. This feeling is the result of believing that you are not living in the way that you believe that you should. The cause of your guilt is often clear and you can simply resolve it by correcting whatever wrongdoing you did to cause the guilt. Sometimes the source of your…

Play Therapy: Intro to a Child’s World

Children have continuously growing minds. They explore creatively and, at times, it feels that they are from another world. In counseling, children do have their own world that they explore through therapeutically. As adults, we process conflict, thoughts, and feelings through talking about it. Naturally, we assume this is the same approach for children. When…

“I” Statements

Conflict and disagreements in any relationship is healthy and even encouraged. It is how the individuals approach this that matters: Healthy communication during conflict is key. The goal during interpersonal conflict is not focused on who can win the argument, but how can we work together to solve the topic or presenting problem. A lot…

On Grief and Loss: Am I Supposed to Feel this Way?

Grief can be an isolating and frightening experience. The death of a loved one inevitably prompts us to experience many feelings and thoughts as our lives are forever changed. Death is rarely expected. We spend little time thinking about it, preparing for it. Is it any wonder then, that we rush to regain order and…

Positive Self-Talk

Do you ever just feel down on yourself when you make a mistake? Say things like “I’m so stupid”? It’s important to practice positive self-talk.  Positive self-talk is lifting yourself up and giving yourself credit for the great things in life.  It is important to reflect on what an individual is grateful for in their…

Warning Signs of Stress

It is common to hear “I’m just stressed out.” However, we typically think of it as a general feeling. But what does stress really look like? Stress is explained as emotional or physical tension How stress can affect a person is unique based on the individual’s current coping skills, locus of control, and thought processing.…

Are You Defining Your Life or is Your Life Defining You?

Deciding what you want for yourself in life can be difficult. To choose certain pursuits mean that you must give up some alternatives. Despite the anxiety this can cause, it is a fulfilling task to determine what you want to achieve in your life. Many people avoid such a responsibility by allowing others, family, friends,…

Love Language

Having relationship issues? Finding your love language is a great way to find how you and your partner need and show love in your relationship. There are five different categories of love languages: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Act of Services, and Receiving Gifts. Quality time is spending time with your partner. This…

Time Changes Everything

“It’s funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different.” – C.S. Lewis Do you ever reflect on life or past events and realize how much that event has change you as a person? This self-reflection can lead to self-awareness. So many times, we have events in our lives…

Do You Know Your Love Language?

When it comes to interpersonal relationships, we are all different. Have you noticed there are some people in your life that are “huggers” and others that have a large personal bubble? This could be because of how they interpret love and affection. Showing love to people can be confusing to navigate. This is where love…

Depression: The Lesser-Known Symptoms

What comes to mind when we talk about depression? You may envision a long-lasting sadness, a pessimistic attitude, maybe even feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or helplessness. While these are some of the most recognizable symptoms of depression there are many other indicators that you, or someone you know, might be struggling with depression. What are…

Boundaries

Is it hard telling people “no?” Boundaries can be difficult to set and can be even more difficult to maintain. The topic of boundaries is tossed around in conversations, but what does it really mean to have healthy boundaries? Having healthy boundaries vary depending on the person and situation. Ultimately, boundaries focus on the individual’s…

Mania: The Other Half of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating depressive and manic moods. While many understand the symptoms of the depressive state, fewer understand what the manic phase looks like. The manic phase can encourage risky behaviors and disrupt the stability of your life. Understanding the manic phase of bipolar can help you understand your behavior or the…

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety is a fear of social situations. Everyone has felt nervous about how they will handle a social event from time to time. Such anxiety in and of itself is not a problem. Social anxiety is only a problem when it is not proportionate to the concern that we are facing. When our fears…

Death Anxiety: The First and Final Fear

The fear of death is an experience that we all face at some point in our lives. This fear is universal because death is universal. Feelings of anxiety concerning our passing may increase as we enter the latter years of our life. This does not mean that exploring our death anxiety is a task reserved…

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or known as PTSD affects a lot of people that have experienced or witnessed a terrifying event (Maya Clinic, 2021). It is often seen within a month after a terrifying traumatic event has happened. These traumatic events include abuse or neglect of all sorts, veterans that have seen combat, experiencing a terrible…

What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

What does anxiety feel like?  Common anxiety symptoms are: Feeling nervous, restless or tense Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom Having an increased heart rate Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation) Sweating Trembling Feeling weak or tired Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry Having trouble sleeping Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems…

The Ins and Outs of Depression

Have you ever noticed yourself or a loved one having a lack of motivation? A random, but sudden change in mood and habits? A lack of interest in things that you/they once loved to do? Think about it like a wave. Depression can hit at random points throughout one’s life or after a major event. …

Do you know someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism is a disorder that ranges in severity.  Symptoms typically surface in childhood.  Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is four times more likely to occur in males. Early signs to look for. A person with ASD might: Not respond to their name (the child may appear deaf) Not point at objects or things of interest, or…

Do You Have ADHD?

ADD and ADHD have become popular buzz words to describe being inattentive, implusive or forgetful.  ADHD symptoms are: People with ADHD may exhibit signs of hyperactivity and impulsiveness but also…. Fail to give close attention to details or make careless mistakes in work Have difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or fun activities Don’t listen when spoken…

Fear, Worry and Anxiety Can Be Paralyizing

Do you let fear, worry and anxiety stop you from moving forward in your life? Did you know that these things can paralyze you so that you cannot properly respond to the events that life might throw at you?  A counselor can help you reframe events so that you can see how they will help…

How Heavy is your Suitcase?

Do you feel like you are walking through life carrying a suitcase that just keeps adding weight with each struggle that life throws at you? Some days, it may feel like the weight is something you can carry. Other days, it might feel so heavy that you feel crushed. Consider meeting with a counselor to…

The Lies You Choose to Believe

What lies are holding you back? I really should have it all together. Everyone has a perfect life except for me. No one else makes mistakes. Your lies may sound different, but you can choose not to believe them! Life happens, and sometimes it is necessary to have a neutral party to listen. A counselor…

Therapy and Counseling are Two Different Things

Therapy and counseling are two different things. Let me explain. Counseling is short-term and is perfect for overcoming grief from the loss of a loved one, divorce, or any other traumatic life events that you just need help wrapping your head around so you can get closure. Therapy is long-term and is good for deep…

How Are You Doing? Really?

How are you feeling….really?  Winter is in full swing and there is less sunlight. If you notice that you aren’t feeling like your normal self, you are not alone! Many people experience seasonal depression.  The lack of Vitamin D can cause what is called Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It is appropriately abbreviated as SAD.  Typically the…

Life Hacks for the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all in ways that we could never have imagined when the year 2020 started.  Basic routines that we took for granted are suddenly unavailable to us! What were some routines that your family had prior to the pandemic?  Did you go out to dinner as a family?  Did you…

What’s Your Vibe?

What’s Your Vibe? Take a good look at your life.  What kind of energy is in it?  Do you experience anger or a lot of negativity?  Do you experience positive and uplifting moments? Now that you have considered that for a moment, think about what kind of energy you are putting into the world.  Newton’s…

What is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder When you hear the phrase PTSD what do you think of?  Military veterans returning from war?  To be truthful, many people do!  There are so many other situations that can cause the disorder, though. The actual definition is “a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of…

Sail

I love pictures of sailboats on the water. I love the idea that the sailboat uses wind, which can sometimes be labeled as “bad”, to its advantage. The ballast of a sailboat is found underneath it. It is made of heavy metal to offset the heavy winds that can catch the sails. The sails need…

Everything is Working for Good

You are what is beyond the fog in your brain. You are the space above the white clouds in the sky. Like the airplane that glides above them and stays the course. It follows the course plotted in spite of the clouds, because it knows there is a beautiful destination beyond the clouds. There is…

Life Hacks

Growth = More = Better What in your life needs more?  What do you need to measure, move and change? What do you measure in your life?  Sometimes we don’t like the objective picture of where we are.  We don’t have the right job, we don’t make enough money, we don’t have the right car,…

How Do You Define Life?

Life = The sum of your trials, storms, valleys, pain and your very sweet rewards.  You need the trials blended with the sweet stuff. Even the sweetest cake wouldn’t taste the same without the salt to add flavor. There is life and death in the words you speak.  Leadership is taking someone to a place…

What Would You Say??

I had to do it.  I just did.  I love music and as soon as I hear the phrase, “What would you say?”  – I immediately think of Dave Matthews Band!  My husband is not as big of a fan as I am.  His loss!  We definitely joke about it, though!  The fun cut up…

We Are All Just Human, After All

Who are you….really?  Do you label yourself by a job title, by your role in a relationship, by your own personal accomplishments?  Let’s be honest…that’s really all they are.  Labels.  Labels can be peeled off, ripped apart, and thrown in the trash.  Why would you want to label yourself with anything that is so temporary?…

The Weakest Link

The Weakest Link Did you ever watch the show “The Weakest Link?”  I can still remember the part of the show where contestants voted off a team member who they believed was the weakest link.  The announcer would always state in a monotone voice, “You are the weakest link.  Goodbye.” Have you ever noticed that…

How to Win at Parenting

Have you ever been at Wal-Mart waiting to check out and you suddenly hear a child screaming for candy?  When their mother tells them no, they proceed to flail and scream until they get what they want.  The mother cannot stand the crying and whining and gives in to the demand for candy.  And so,…

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby!

“Let’s talk about sex baby, let’s talk about you and me.   Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be.”  I still remember hearing the song as a kid.  It was fun, upbeat and it just had a way of making you want to sing along. How do we bring…

Sunglasses At Night

My 4 year old insisted that he needed to wear sunglasses at night. As a parent, I chuckled about this and then tried to explain to him how silly it was. It was futile to even attempt the conversation. He was wearing them, because they fit his mood at that very moment. Or, they happened…

Negative Thoughts Impact Your Health!

In the last blog post we talked about the ANTS (automatic negative thoughts that enter our brain.)  They are strong little creatures that can carry the heavy weight of a negative thought into our brain and totally disrupt our neurochemistry, causing unnecessary anxiety and stress. For every thought you have, a surge of electrical currents from…

ANTs

  Did you know that ants can lift 50 times their body weight?  Another fun fact about ants – some ants take over and enslave other ants. There are many other fun facts about these tiny creatures, but these two facts stand out to me. I can picture them forming lines and carrying heavy pieces…

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