When you stop to think about it, you can probably identify physical manifestations of your emotions. It’s not uncommon to hear people describe the state of being excited as “light” or a “butterflies in my stomach” feeling. When we are sad, we may identify as feeling sluggish or tired. Grief is similar- when we experience profound loss, there are physical symptoms that accompany the intense, dysregulating emotion. Commonly described physical manifestations of grief are things like headaches, stomach pain, back pain, chest heaviness, weakness or tightness in muscles, and changes in breathing and sleep. (more…)
When my children were younger, I tried to instill in them the concept of “kindness begins with me”! When unkindness cropped up among siblings, I would ask the offending party, “Who does kindness begin with?” and most of the time, the child would respond with, “me!”, albeit reluctantly. This practice made it into our family lore on the day that our spunky Gracie, at age 3, was picking on her older brother. I pulled her aside and reminded her, “Gracie, kindness begins with…?” to which she answered angrily, “BEN, you idiot!” (more…)
I recently had a little bit of a coping wake up call.
I’m sure many of you can relate-the unique stress of this year has dialed up the heat slowly but steadily. Are you familiar with the frog in the pot analogy? A frog, if plopped in a pot of boiling water, would jump out quickly, realizing in it’s froggy brain- “hey! A pot of boiling water doesn’t feel good!” But, if you place a frog in a pot of lukewarm water over a flame that will heat the water slowly but steadily to the point of boiling, the frog won’t notice the subtle temperature differences over time and ends up getting boiled. (more…)
While doing some holiday shopping with my daughters, we found a pretty funny little sign in a local shop. In red glitter letters, it read, “hope spending time with your family for the holidays doesn’t undo all the progress you’ve made with your therapist”. We all had a good laugh (and yes, that sign made it home with me!) but seriously–family time can be the best or the worst. Sometimes it just depends on the minute.
A high percentage of the clients I work with identify themselves as faithful, and while we don’t spend much time in therapy discussing an individual’s specific religious beliefs, we do at times talk about the way certain beliefs influence or impact the individual. (more…)