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Preparing for Therapy: How to get the most out of it

Preparing for Therapy: How to get the most out of it

The mental health stigma is real. Research shows that the majority of people have negative perceptions, attitudes, and stereotypes towards people with mental illness.

“Oh. You go to therapy?”

“Isn’t therapy for crazies?”

Well, let me tell you. In my experience in out patient settings like Balance, Health and Healing, typical clients in therapy are usually high functioning, intelligent, successful individuals dealing with a myriad of presenting concerns. So, no, you are not crazy for going to therapy.

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The Labeling Dilemma

The Labeling Dilemma

This last month, while leading my psychotherapy group, the theme of labels came up and group members shared how they identify themselves with certain labels. Common labels in this context included, “Disciplined” “an Athlete,” and “the Small one.” We explored their attachment to these labels and how that very same attachment is what was getting in the way of their recovery and important flexibility in how they view themselves. I asked the group, “What if the very label you so highly value, is, at best, keeping you stuck, and at worst, hurting you?”

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Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions

Remember a couple months ago when I was talking about the pre-doctoral internship application process that I’m in? Well, I just finished all of my interviews and submitted my rankings, leaving the fate of my future in the non-existent hands of some complicated matching algorithm. The hardest part of this whole process for me was deciding how to rank these potential sites, so this month I wanted to talk about how I made this literally life-altering decision.

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5 Tips to Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

5 Tips to Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

I was born and raised in Hawaii so for most of my life, the only seasonal changes I experienced were summer, when it felt hot as Hades, and winter, when it was slightly cooler and rainy. I was in for a rude awakening when I moved to Utah right before winter season in 2011 with my yearlong wardrobe of shorts, t-shirts, and slippers (which I have since learned that most people around here call flip flops). Since then, I have been better prepared with winter clothes, anti-freeze liquid for my car, and salt to sprinkle on my driveway and I’ve learned the hard way to not run or even walk briskly on ice, slow down on the freeway, and shovel the snow in the driveway before it sticks.

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Take-aways from The Giver

Take-aways from The Giver

Somehow I missed reading, The Giver by Lois Lowry, in middle school, when most people read it for English class. But better late than never! I devoured The giver in two days over the holiday break. While I’m sure it makes for great YA reading, I am glad I read it, now, as an adult. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the book and it’s themes since. Some important themes stand out and relate to how I view the world and why I chose to be a therapist.

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Ready. Set. GOAL.

Ready. Set. GOAL.

It’s the first week of January.  Have you set your New Year’s Resolutions?  Have you broken them yet?  If you’re like most of us, you’ve set resolutions and—unfortunately—you’ve possibly already broken them.

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New Year Resolutions: All-or-Nothing

New Year Resolutions: All-or-Nothing

As we approach the New Year, we will soon, if not already, be bombarded by the announcements and declarations of New Years resolutions. Like many others, I too have a history of joining in on the excitement to improve and progress at this time of year. This is how it usually pans out: In the first few days following January 1st, I set out to get a cute planner, new calendar, and download the latest apps to help me stay motivated and accountable because well, “failing to plan is planning to fail”. The first couple of days, weeks even, typically go as planned because the adrenaline rush keeps me pumped to stay focused, to keep my eye on the prize. But like many others, it doesn’t take much for me to feel discouraged about my resolutions, usually towards the end of January, when I don’t have my “summer bod” or all my debt isn’t completely paid off yet. Thoughts like, ‘If I can’t do it quickly or perfectly, why bother at all?’ start to creep in. This mentality is known as the all-or-nothing mindset and it can be a slippery slope. All-or-nothing thinking patterns will inhibit me and you from not only achieving your goals but also from learning, living, and thriving while working towards it.

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Imposter Syndrome: Am I a fraud?

Imposter Syndrome: Am I a fraud?

Back when Sheryl Sandberg, who is the current chief operating officer of Facebook, was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society at Harvard, she felt like she had everyone fooled and that “one day soon, the jig would be up.” Even after the success of her book Lean In, she said, “There are days when I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am.” Maya Angelou wrote eleven books and won several prestigious awards, yet, she often thought, “I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.” Even after becoming the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor frequently questioned if she measured up throughout her years at Princeton, in law school, and in her professional jobs.

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