In my latest blog post for Psychology Today, I address how to manage the mental health impact (particularly, anxiety) of a COVID positive test result or the start of a COVID illness.
How do you know when it’s time to start or return to therapy?
In a first session, I often will ask a client how they knew it was time to come in. Sometimes people are coming in at the encouragement of a friend or family member; sometimes they know they need an outside perspective to explore an issue; sometimes it is clear that anxiety, depression or other symptoms are getting in the way of day-to-day life.
For therapists, it is easy to know when we need to go to therapy. When our own stuff starts coming up for us in the midst of counseling others, or if it’s at all getting in the way of facilitating psychotherapy, we know we need to talk to colleagues or get our own therapy. It’s like how doctors need to be healthy in order to treat their patients; counselors need to be emotionally healthy in order to treat our clients.
For everyone else, it can be harder to answer this question. Generally, I encourage someone to come to counseling when they have issues that are getting in the way of living their life the way they want to. (This could be due to any number of things: a stress response that is out of proportion to the stressor; difficulty sleeping; low mood; overwhelming thoughts; relationship difficulties; adjusting to a traumatic medical diagnosis or event).
When you feel you need a safe person to talk to, to process recent events or explore a part of your identity, it’s a good time to come to therapy. When you need to voice the loss you’ve experienced or the secrets that weigh on you, it’s a good time to come to therapy. When you feel ready to build on the strengths you’ve got and develop additional coping skills to face the challenges or burdens of your life, it’s a good time to come to therapy.
I always tell my clients that therapy is about balancing challenge and support. So, when you feel you need extra support in your life and you are ready to be challenged to grow – that is the time to come to therapy!
We all face stress on a daily basis! Take a look at the ways you cope with stress (and even think about stress) to improve your overall wellness. Johanna will present information about the ways we view stress and how that can impact our experiences of wellness. (Hint: it’s not always what you’d expect!). She will also facilitate exploration of self-talk and strategies for turning off the “to-do” list. Start building a wellness plan that will last this autumn!
Saturday, October 1st, 10:30am-12:00pm
To sign up, call Johanna Bond, LMHC, NCC, at (585)406-3012, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up in the office! Spots are limited.
Location: 721 Ridge Road, Webster NY 14580
Mindfulness involves observing and accepting the things around and within us in the present moment, without judgment. In therapy, Johanna may involve mindfulness skills to build awareness of various issues and to develop coping strategies. The exercise below is not individualized to your needs as it may be in therapy, but is rather intended as a general exercise that you may find useful.
July’s mindfulness exercise:
Mindfulness is the nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment. Today we will focus on metaphors. Every day, we use metaphors to expand our understanding of the world, describe our experience, and connect with others. Today, pay attention to how you use metaphors. Write one or two down throughout the day, and pay attention to the thoughts and feelings you have about this metaphor. If you’d like, write down what this metaphor means in your life. It could be a journey, or something as simple as “the elephant in the room.” Try to observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad.
NOTE: This is not intended to replace therapy. Please contact Johanna at (585)406-3012 if you are interested in individual or group therapy.
When you have a medical condition that restricts your diet, it’s important to find ways to manage the anxiety that may accompany social eating situations (like summer barbeques!). Here are some tips, from my latest Huffington Post blog, on how to do just that: