Good Grief: Honoring Loss
A Treehouse for Adults
Have you ever attended a funeral for a goldfish? To some this may sound like an odd question but consider this: as young children, many of us didn’t think twice about whether or not our loss was significant enough to warrant grieving. We didn’t judge our sadness. We were simply sad and most likely cried if we lost something we cared deeply for and loved.
Recently in my own life, our dog, Rugby died unexpectedly. I took him to the vet to get some teeth pulled and not long after he was gone.
I’ve spent several sessions of my own therapy now talking about the death of our dog. I feel guilty when I start to think about how
Anxiety: Where the End is a New Beginning
We may have grown-up, but we do not grow-out of our need for a calm and safe space to process our thoughts. What might have offered a safe haven as a child can be different from our needs as an adult. In childhood that sanctuary may have been a treehouse. In adulthood, a place many find refuge and support is the office of a therapist. Are you ready to know if an adult treehouse might help you get what you want from life?
Clearing the Clouds of Depression
Recognizing or being diagnosed with a disorder is not an end. In fact, a diagnosis is simply a label that allows professionals to categorize, communicate, and provide effective treatment. A diagnosis might very well be the beginning to overcoming an affliction that is limiting an individual’s ability to enjoy life. Treatment for anxiety comes in many forms, from a quick fix to a long-term strategy. Quite simply, the quick fix is prescription medication. While medication is sometimes necessary, the more effective, long-term solution is talk therapy.
Typically, therapy will initially focus on learning the function of the anxiety and how something that often is very helpful has become uncontrollable.
Sailing Away from Addiction Toward a New Way of Life
What if the grey clouds consistently loomed over your head for weeks or months on end, and you stopped believing the weather would ever change? This is often how individuals suffering from clinical depression describe their life. They wake up to grey clouds, they live the day with grey clouds, and they go to bed with grey clouds, the sky above never changes, the forecast begins to always looks the same: bleak.
The most important thing is that if you or a loved one suffers from clinical, diagnosable depression, grey clouds overhead do not need to be the status quo. Assistance is available to help clear the gloom and provide the opportunity for the sun to shine.
Building Stable Attachments
Navigating the seas of addiction is a precarious odyssey. First and foremost is recognizing that the waters you traverse are those of addiction. However, equally as important is truly wanting to sail from murky waters to those of brilliant blue. Oftentimes, those who suffer an addiction fail to accept that the addiction is truly a problem.
Blake Blankenbecler, MS, LPC-MHSP (temp)
A favorite memory from my childhood is racing to a closet under the stairs, at my grandparents’ house, where treasure awaited. The treasure was a bin of white plastic building blocks that belonged to my father and his siblings. Think Legos before Legos came to the Unites States. While the shapes and sizes weren’t as varied, and the only color was white, the concept was the same, and the building blocks were every bit as entertaining because they were unique. Recently, while reading an article on attachment, these blocks came into my mind.
Finding the Release in Anxiety
This month we’re shining the spotlight on Blake Blankenbecler, MS, LPC-MHSP (temp). Blake attended Lipscomb University where she earned a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Play Therapy Specialization in August 2017.
Taking the "Versus" Out of Emotions
Recently, I returned to my favorite amusement park growing up, Cedar Point. The ‘Magnum,’ ‘Raptor,’ ‘Iron Dragon,’ and ‘Corkscrew’ are all still operating and are still able to both make me scream with excitement and leave me a little nauseous by the end of the ride. Since my last visit near the end of high school, Cedar Point added a new ride, the ‘Millennium Force,’ the eighth tallest rollercoaster in the world. After waiting for over an hour, it was nostalgic as the rollercoaster began climbing the towering ascent, slowly clicking along. I could feel my adrenaline and anxiety increase as I awaited the inevitable moment I would reach the summit.
Anxiety: Charting a New Course to Stay on Track
So much of life is sorted into categories. Healthy vs. unhealthy. Good vs. bad. Villain vs. hero or heroine. However, when it comes to emotions, there needs to be an ideological shift. Labeling emotions as either good or bad simply doesn’t work. Feelings just are. The very essence of what makes us human is our ability to feel hurt, happiness, lonely, relief, shame, sadness, joy, anger, calm, and so on.
Depression: Finding a Way Up the Rabbit Hole
Running. One of my favorite sports. It’s an activity that can be calming, exhilarating, and rewarding. In a certain respect, running mirrors life. Think about it. Life, itself, is a marathon. Within the marathon there are peaks and valleys. Life events can be likened to a sprint or short-distance runs. But what happens when life isn’t a series of rhythmic steps? What happens when nervousness, restlessness, tension, rapid heart rate, a sense of impending doom, sweating, trembling, or difficulty controlling worry eclipse the run and make it nearly impossible to keep on the path? It could mean that you are suffering from debilitating anxiety.
The Four C's of Marital Therapy
When I think of how to describe Depression to someone without first-hand knowledge, the book, “Alice in Wonderland” springs to mind. Partly, because I find that there are many loosely held parallels between Alice’s story and that of Depression. Many believe that depression is a choice, just as Alice had a choice to go down the rabbit hole. Depression is not a choice however.
Individual Counseling / Therapy is a Workout for the Mind
What happens when the novelty of marital or relationship bliss wears off? Well, just as you might suspect, reality resurfaces. There’s not one map to to navigate the twists and turns of an ever evolving relationship. However, a commonality rests in focusing on recognizing and resolving conflicts to improve or rebuild and strengthen relationships.
Refreshing the Steps of the Couples Dance
Just as working with a personal trainer leads to better results at the gym, working with a therapist leads to better results in life.
Taking that First Step; a Pre-Therapy Primer
There is a certain romanticism to dancing. The movement to the music conveys emotions, even passion and desire. Couples dancing conveys emotions to the observer as well as from one partner to the other. In the finest of dancing the flow of the steps and movement looks choreographed and effortless, with the couple perfectly gliding over the dance floor in harmony.
Mayweather vs. McGregor: the Weight of "Should"
“I made it to my first workout class!” This was a text my friend sent to me early one Tuesday morning. To understand how exciting this really is, you need to understand my friend Brian had been solo attempting different home workout videos for more than a year. He knew he wanted to attend a class to benefit from professional instruction and needed camaraderie to stay motivated, but nearly every morning he could find a new and better excuse to stay home. The text meant Brian finally decided to leave his living room, and excuses, behind and give class a try. Guess what, he loved it! Purchased a quarterly package and sent the follow up text, “Don’t know what kept me from giving class a try.”
Reconciliation through Apology
When betting on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight first opened, Mayweather opened as a HUGE favorite, coming in at -2250, with McGregor coming back at +950.
Assuming you don’t do a lot of betting on boxing, that means Mayweather was such a heavy favorite, that a bet of $2250.00 would return $100.00 if Mayweather wins the fight. McGregor being the clear underdog, if you bet $100.00, a McGregor win would pay you $950.00.
With such underwhelming gambling odds, it is strange that this fight is being hyped as the biggest pay-per-view event in the history of combat sports.
Often times in therapy the central topic of a session is processing when someone has done something ‘wrong.’ From my perspective as a therapist, the simplest type of ‘wrong’ is when the offending or ‘wrong’ party feels a sense of guilt, admits fault, and wants reconciliation. (Other times a session is centered around a disagreement of if the client’s action(s) or words are in fact ‘wrong,’ but the work of this type of session is entirely different than the focus of this article.)