Wishes for 2016

The New Year is just a couple of days away.  What do I hope for my clients in 2016?  Self-compassion, connection to others, insight, and growth.  Read more in my Huffington Post blog, written as an open letter to my clients and all those who are clients in therapy.

If you find there are areas of your life in which you feel stuck, or if you find that you have a New Year’s resolution that could use an outside perspective, please call to set up an appointment for individual counseling at (585)406-3012.

December’s Mindfulness Exercise

Mindfulness is something that everyone can incorporate into daily life.  Mindfulness involves observing and accepting the things around and within us, without judgment.  In therapy, Johanna may involve mindfulness skills to build awareness of various issues and to develop coping strategies.  Johanna also runs a six-week mindfulness group.  If you are interested in the next group cycle for mindfulness, please call the office.  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.

December’s mindfulness exercise:

Pick an everyday object.  This may be a rock from the ground, a piece of jewelry, a chapstick, wallet, or keys.  Take a deep breath in and out.  First hold the object in your hand and turn your eyes away (or close your eyes).  Notice how much space the object takes up in your hand; if the temperature is warm or cool; and what the texture is of the object.  Next, look at the object and observe the colors, pattern, shape, texture, size, and the way the light hits the object.  Notice if it looks the way you expected after holding it in your hand.  Perhaps drop it from one hand to the other to notice the weight of the object.  Pay attention to any thoughts or feelings that may come up within you as you complete this exercise.

NOTE: This is not intended to replace therapy.  Please contact Johanna at (585)406-3012 if you are interested in individual or group therapy.

Perspectives and Re-framing: Sunrise or sunset?


Is the sun rising or setting in this picture?

The way we think about things shapes the way we see them and the perspective we take.  In this picture, the sun is setting.  However, you might not automatically know that from the picture.  The ways in which we perceive interactions with friends and family, daily events in our lives, and the world around us is influenced by our perspective.

In counseling, you have the opportunity to work on seeing things from different angles; increasing insight about your own perspective, your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors; and making change to gain a healthy point of view using your personal strengths.  Changing the way you think about a situation is called a cognitive re-frame, one of many tools you will encounter in a cognitive-behavioral based approach to counseling.

Welcome to Perspectives Mental Health Counseling!

I invite you to bring your old strengths into a new perspective, and to share in a conversation that is both challenging and supportive.  At Perspectives, you really are welcome.  You may come to gain a viewpoint outside of your current network of friends, family, co-workers, teammates, and to take a look at your own perspective as well. 

By gaining new insight, you will find ways to make positive change in your life and cope with whatever it is you carry with you through the door.  Together we can, through talk therapy, work towards discovering and helping you to become the healthiest you.

Look around the website and please feel free to contact me with further questions.