January’s Mindfulness Exercise

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 to reach optimal wellness.   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.

January’s Mindfulness Exercise:

This month, we are going to use our mindfulness exercise to explore the topic of control. Begin by noticing your breathing and without judging it or changing it, check in with your thoughts at this moment, your emotions, and how you are feeling physically.

What is in your control in this moment? Notice your thoughts as they pop into your head. Notice where your thought path takes you.

What is outside your control in this moment?

As you breathe consider these two questions without engaging in any active change. Continue to breathe and practice mindful awareness. After a few minutes, return movement to your body by wiggling your fingers and toes.

Take one more minute to notice how you feel after completing this exercise, and what (if anything) you might like to do differently as you go about the rest of your day.



NOTE: This is not intended to replace therapy.  Please contact Johanna at (585)406-3012 if you are interested in engaging in counseling for optimal wellness.


Reading for Perspective Summer Edition

Johanna loves to share good books with her clients. Periodically, she will post here about a book that can be helpful as a part of the therapeutic process or just as good food for thought. If you’d like to join in “reading for perspective,” feel free to learn more about Johanna’s new favorite book below!


Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly” shares some of her fantastic research and personal thoughts about what it means to dare greatly.  Brene Brown is a researcher and clinician who has spoken on TED talks and written books about shame and vulnerability.  In “Daring Greatly,” Brene writes about the idea of being wholehearted, which she describes as a way to use vulnerability as a catalyst for engaging in courage, compassion, and connection.  She writes about how vulnerability is NOT weakness, and how engaging in vulnerability allows us to develop genuine relationships.  She also writes about shame, and how we can build our shame resilience by recognizing it, checking in with whether it is accurate or not, and giving voice to the shame to keep from internalizing it or disengaging from those around us.  She shares the idea that daring greatly is not about success or failure, but more about having the courage to engage with the world in a vulnerable and genuine manner.

One idea that she touches on that can come up a lot in therapy is the idea that “you are enough.” Our society often teaches us that we must make a certain amount of money or achieve a certain goal in order to be happy or respected as “enough,” but Brene Brown writes that we are enough, just the way we are.


Brown, B. (2012). Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. New York, NY: Gotham Books.

NOTE: As always, if you find that you could use an outside perspective or are struggling emotionally, please call to set up an appointment at (585)406-3012. This book review is not intended to replace therapy.