Tips to take a break from therapy. Step 1- Don’t ghost on your therapist. Therapy starts with an intake and ends with a termination session to go over your progress (or lack thereof).Read More
…”at work, there is often still a stigma attached to therapy. Talking with your friends about going can be far easier than talking about it with the manager who decides your raises and promotions. And the vulnerability you create when you share that you do therapy can be used against you.
Bringing up your therapy appointments to your employer requires anticipating your boss’ reaction and having a plan prepared.”Read More
Check out this great episode of The Cut, where they tackle anxiety and what it looks like for various guests of the podcast.
Our 20s are a crucial time in our lives. It is the decade where we become independent, are expected to decide our vocation, find a mate, explore our sexuality and be "functional" adults. That's a lot of pressure! We can often overlook how important the time after graduating college can be. Keeping up with our own expectations, comparing ourselves to others and keeping face that we are always okay is really tough. How can we develop good mental health habits so we can cultivate our best lives?
The first step in maintaining good mental health is remembering the above- post graduation is a crucial time for self-identity with a lot of pressures involved, so be kind to yourself. This will require patience and acceptance. Staying mindful of this situation can go a long way in staying grounded and positive. There is a lot of research to support that mindfulness improves mood and outlook.
Don't stay in your own head- rumination can reinforce depression and anxiety. Reach out for support where ever and how ever you can. Get a fresh perspective. Turn to anyone in your support network who you know will give you empathy and acceptance. If you find that the support is not helpful, turning to a mental health professional is a great way to learn how to process your feelings in a non-judgmental space. Therapy can go a long way in helping you learn coping skills and challenge the patterns that aren’t working for you (and how to change them!).
Remember that we often times don't end up in careers and life paths in the typical way we'd hoped. We'd like to try and plan ahead, but we ultimately can't control what's going to happen. What we CAN do is transform our relationship with the difficult feelings we have during this process and know that they are normal and valid. We can also learn to manage our expectations, making sure to set realistic goals. Draw from as many resources as you can to take you through this experience. It's good practice for the inevitable difficulties that lie ahead. If you work on your tolerance and self-care now, you'll be better equipped to maintain a healthy, positive mindset in the future.
“…endearing reverse-psychology story about the silliness of quarreling as a lose-lose proposition”Read More
Feeling alone in the human experience and separate from others has serious consequences.Read More
…”stress at work is so common, finding a low-stress job may be difficult or impossible for many people. A more realistic choice would be to simply adopt more effective strategies to reduce stress at work. Here are some stress management techniques to try.”Read More
“…research shows that the partner who initiated the breakup feels less grief than the one who got dumped, but both often feel sorrow and regret at the way the relationship unfolded, often on different timelines.”Read More
Nowadays, where recent generations are departing from many old school ideals, it has become even harder to bridge the gap with older folks. In the past, the focus was on living the American Dream- it was more important to “make it” and fulfill individualistic cultural ideals. Now the American Dream includes self-actualization, as accomplished by therapy, self-help and mindfullness. These modalities are gaining traction, are widely accepted and encouraged. Introspection was not commonly sought after in older generations. It makes sense that sometimes it is hard to connect emotionally with your parents. Difference in values and ideals can be a big barrier. If you recognize your relationship with your parents could be warmer and stronger, make the first move!
The simplest and quickest way to start building that bridge is for you to take the first step and talk. Your parents will not do it, mainly because they never have. Don’t wait for them to come around. They might be taken aback by your efforts to improve the relationship, but stay consistent. Model to them how you want to be spoken to: with openness, honesty and with goals in mind. Have suggestions for what getting closer would look like to you (more frequent phone calls, quality time etc.) and adjust to what your parents feel comfortable with. Remember that you and them have a lifelong established way of interacting with one another and that will not change in one conversation. You will need to be patient and persistent, as well as adjust your expectations. Therapy can go a long way in helping you create a game plan on how to do this. It can also help you develop tools for how to cope when you don’t get the desired result, working on how to be open to connecting emotionally in a way that fits both you and your parents.
EVERY human has the right to self-expression. The fight to be recognized and accepted takes strength, endurance and most of all, self-love. Fighting so vehemently, for so long, can only come from an inner acceptance of the self. Although the struggle is far from over, we are living in a time where all genders, preferences and colors are starting to be recognized. When the LGBTQIA folks model self-love, it forces society to increase it’s recognition and acceptance of others.
Self-love means giving yourself a break and accepting yourself unconditionally. We are all prone to difficult life situations, but they do not take away from our value as humans. If we cannot accept ourselves, with all of our baggage, we can never achieve self-love.
Learning to love yourself takes time. Often times, our self-deprecating words and thoughts are directly tied with how we love and accept ourselves. Sometimes, we have to undo years, if not decades, of negative self-talk, difficult childhood experiences and traumas. Going through this process alone might not be the best idea. It is very difficult to objectively look at yourself and shut off the negative self-talk that got you here in the first place. Therapy and support groups can be good tools for this journey. Staying in your own head doesn’t bode well- sometimes you need an outside perspective to reinforce your worth. Be compassionate to yourself in this process because it’ll be uncomfortable. Don’t set time restrictions on your progress and lean on a good friend or supportive family member when needed.
The LGBTQIA community can teach the world a lot about unconditional self-acceptance. Pride month is not only a time to revel in all the progress the community has achieved. It’s also a time to celebrate and appreciate the tremendous strength it takes to love yourself no matter what.
Disappointment is a natural reaction to any situation where the outcome doesn't meet expectations. It's an important reaction! Disappointment tells us when something is not quite how we want it and can be an opportunity to re-evaluate. However, we can't deny that it sucks to feel that way. So how do we handle when things don't turn out like we planned?Read More
So you started seeing someone who you think is the one. All the stars have aligned and you can see yourself starting a life with this person. This can cause a various range of feelings including excitement, joy, and pure happiness. It can also leave you feeling scared and anxious. So what do you ask before making the big leap? Here are a few things to consider when you start thinking about the future.
If you start seeing someone and you feel there could potentially be a future, it’s important to start asking questions sooner than later. First, it’s important to know what you are looking for in your ideal partner and what values are most important to you. Sometimes we can confuse something that is “fun” with what is right for us. Asking the right questions in the beginning of the relationship can help navigate to determine if this is what you’re looking for.
In the “ getting to know you” stage, it is important to explore the individual and get an idea of who they are as a person. You will constantly be learning new things about your potential significant other and it can be really exciting yet overwhelming at the same time. Asking questions about hobbies and life goals can give you a good idea of a person’s interests and what they value to see if they match up with yours for the long run.
First date activities should consist of fun things that you both enjoy doing. Sometimes something as simple as a picnic in the park or a stroll in your neighborhood with a cup of coffee and good conversation can go a long way.
The first few dates will navigate your road map for your potentially future relationship. Paying attention to any red flags in the beginning is important as they may likely come up again later on in the relationship. If there is something that you question, make sure to ask further and allow the person to explain themselves in their own terms.
Dating is a fun, unique experience. Every experience is different. Knowing when and what questions to ask can go a long way and can make sure you wind up with the right person for you.
Cheating on your partner is something that can damage an existing relationship in a matter of seconds but people still find themselves in the situation and commit the act. Why do people do it? There are many reasons as to why someone may turn to cheating on their partner(s), but we also have to define what is cheating?
The answer is a different as the people you ask. In relationship counseling, we’d define cheating as explicitly and on purpose not living up to the goals of emotional and/or sexual fidelity arrangements implicit in the current relationship.
One of the issues of people who cheat in their everyday relationships is due to the lack of sexual intimacy that they have with their current partner. Sex is a physiological need for all human beings. When the need is not met, an individual will seek it elsewhere. This situation is one of the most common complaints of clients in long-term relationships who seek therapy.
Another common issue is lack of communication. Clients often come in stating that they feel unheard by their partner which leads them to believe they are not loved in the way they long to be. This can lead to self esteem issues for an individual which can result in them straying away from their current partner to seek the satisfaction of feeling wanted by someone, although they do truly love their partner. It is important to be open about your sexual desires and needs in her current relationship. Letting your partner know what you want should be something that is openly discussed.
One more reason people cheat is because they are simply bored in their relationship. It is important to spice up your sex life and talk about what pleases your partner together. Many people often go stray on their significant other solely because they are no longer having fun and think that nothing can change when in fact, if the communication is right, the issue can be solved.
Everyday situations occur in the work place, on the street, or at the local grocery store. When there is mutual attraction and both parties are interested and willing to engage, the things list above will play a major factor in causing someone to turn to infidelity. Remember to discuss what is on your mind and compromise with your partner so both of your needs are met. If you are having constant arguments, having a third party, such as a therapist, listen to help resolve your problems, is never a bad idea.
Here’s a great guide on how to handle failure and practice some unconditional self acceptance.
Does self-compassion serves us better than boosting self-esteem? In REBT, we try and foster unconditional self-acceptance and through self-compassion, we can get there!Read More
What we feel affects our perception of reality and more often than not, we do not question if there is actual, factual basis for our perceptions. For instance, when we feel alone, we conclude that our loneliness must mean that people around us don’t care and we are really alone- why would you be feeling this if it weren’t true? First used in the 70’s during the advent of cognitive behavioral therapy, emotional reasoning is a thought distortion that leads us to believe that what we feel informs our reality.
Let’s look at how emotional reasoning plays a part in how we perceive mental health. There is a big under-representation of mental wellness in the media, pop culture and politics. Mental health, and seeking professional help for it, is still highly stigmatized. Because it’s not talked about often, it can feel like you are the only one struggling. This, therefore, informs the ‘reality’ that you shouldn’t seek support because you think no one can understand what you are going through. But what’s the reality? That 1 in 5 people in the U.S. suffer from a mental illness in any given year! And that’s of the people that reported- perhaps this number is as high as 1 in 4 or 3.
Why is emotional reasoning a problem? Because it leads us to believe things that are not based in reality! It causes stigma, unfounded conclusions and unrealistic ideas about ourselves and the world around us. It stops us from getting help and talking openly. We become less empathic and understanding (especially to ourselves), more distrusting of others and experiences. Ultimately, we create a reality that keeps us in our maladaptive patterns. It’s very difficult to objectively look at ourselves and figure out what our emotional reasonings are. A CBT trained therapist can help identify when emotional reasoning takes over and how it plays a role in every day fallacies. You can learn to recognize emotional reasoning with some hard work, but it’ll help create a more grounded, realistic understanding of your world.