Tag: resilience

Mental Health and the Bisexual Community

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Mental Health and the Bisexual Community

Blog by Tanya Scuccimarra, GSCI at Agape Therapy Institute

Did you know that the largest population within the LGBTQ+ community are those who self-identity as Bisexual? 

Robyn Ochs, known bisexual activist and author, defines bisexuality as, “the potential to be attracted—romantically and/or sexually—to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.” 

The nuances highlighted in this definition are important because stigma & misconception and discrimination about bisexuality can have a profound impact on the mental health of bisexual individuals.

Stigma & Misconception:

  • “they are just confused about their attractions” 
  • “they are just experimenting”
  • “they are secretly homosexual or lesbian and too afraid to ‘come out’”
  • “they are more likely to cheat on a partner because they are attracted to everyone”

Discrimination

Many who identify as bisexual feel unaccepted by both the heterosexual and lesbian and gay communities. Bisexual individuals often hide their identity from family, friends, and peers, especially if they are in a relationship with someone of the ‘opposite’ gender. This is called bi-erasure or the dismissal of the existence of bisexuality. Being unable to express your identity for fear of rejection and/or discrimination, having a sense of un-belonging, and feeling invisible within communities can produce anxiety, stress, depression and result in isolation. 

Healthful Steps  

So, what are some of the healthful steps that you can take as a bisexual person that will improve your mental health outlook and empower your identity? 

  • Take charge of your mental health. Therapy can be an important step in living your truth.
  • Read articles and books by authors who identify as bisexual. 
  • Watch documentaries about bisexuality and television shows with bisexual characters. 
  • Learn bisexual history. You are never alone—many have come before you.
  • Follow bisexual activists and other members of the “B” community on social media.
  • Contact local LGBTQ+ orgs as they have meetups, peer support groups, and other ways to become involved and feel supported by your community.

Book an appointment with Tanya by clicking here.


Photo by Marcelo Chagas from Pexels.

Tags:

  • LGBTQ+
  • community
  • compassion
  • counseling
  • couples therapy
  • diversity
  • healing
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • multiculturalism
  • partnership
  • psychotherapy
  • relationships
  • resilience
  • self help
  • self-care
  • solution focused
  • telehealth

Compassion Fatigue

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Compassion Fatigue

Blog by Ashley Simpson, LCSW at Agape Therapy Institute

Are you a caregiver? Are you the primary caregiver of small children, have a child or other family member with special needs, have someone in the home who is ill, or have an elderly parent you care for? Do you work in a field where you are constantly taking care of others? Do you feel exhausted by negative news stories and find yourself thinking “why bother?” It is common for caregivers, and empaths, to experience something called “compassion fatigue.” 

What is Compassion Fatigue?

There are two definitions of “compassion fatigue” in the dictionary. One is: “the physical and mental exhaustion and emotional withdrawal experienced by those who care for sick or traumatized people over an extended period of time”. The other is “apathy or indifference toward the suffering of others as the result of overexposure to tragic news stories and images and the subsequent appeals for assistance.”

Signs of Compassion Fatigue

Essentially, your body, mind, and heart say “I can’t care about this anymore” and you shut down. You may be experiencing this syndrome if you feel annoyed, keyed up, or irritated by the person you are caring for, and/or others around you. You may not want to be touched. You may crave alone time, feel exhausted, and shut down to others around you. You may experience irritability in your everyday life and not know where it is coming from. You may experience feelings of anger, resentment, or sadness and not have an explanation for them.

Coping with Compassion Fatigue

  • Take a break.

This can look like scheduling time for your own self-care, hiring respite care to take a few days or weekend off, or shifting responsibilities around to take some of the load off of your shoulders. If you work in a caregiving profession, you may need to access resources on “burnout” and may need some time away from work. You may need to take a break from the news and/or social media for a little while. 

  • Do something to take care of you.

You have been taking care of others, and that often comes at the expense of your own self-care. What is something that feeds your soul? Is it art? Cooking? Music? Dance? Gardening? Exercise? Start scheduling regular times to “fill your cup” and do something for yourself. Schedule these things for yourself and stick to that schedule. 

  • Talk about it.

Sometimes telling another person how you feel can “lift the load”. Letting someone in on your sacrifices, frustrations, grief, etc. can be healing. This can be a trusted family member, friend, or therapist.

Book an appointment with Ashley by clicking here.


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.

Tags:

  • anxiety
  • caregiver
  • community
  • compassion
  • compassion fatigue
  • counseling
  • healing
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • psychotherapy
  • relationships
  • resilience
  • self help
  • self-care
  • stress
  • telehealth

​​Relationship Tips for 2020 – Part 5

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Relationship Tips for 2020 – Part 5

Blog post by Jenn Baker, GSCI at Agape Therapy Institute

Welcome to the fifth and final installment of Relationship Tips for 2020. If you have the time, please check out Parts 1 through 4 for tips on acknowledging your partner, taking time for yourself, connecting with friends and family, and communicating more effectively. 

I’d like to follow up on last week’s relationship tips and have you check in with yourself. Did you have a chance to think about the ways in which you communicate in your relationship? Were you able to try out the dedicated listening or speaking tips from last week? How did it go? It takes time to become comfortable communicating and relating in new ways. Please be patient and kind to yourself as you try out these new skills. If you’ve struggled with this, know that you are taking the first step toward improving your relationship just by reading these tips and focusing on yourself and your relationship. 

Since some of these tips are more challenging than others, I decided to save my favorite tip for last. 

This week I’d like you to focus on:

Having Fun Together! 

Most importantly, make sure that you schedule time for you as a couple to have fun together. Set aside this precious time each and every week to play and connect. Focus on the things that you love to do together. If necessary, find creative ways to modify and adapt these experiences at home or outside. 

A few ideas include:

    • Plan a romantic date night
    • Play games together
    • Re-enact your first date
    • Spend time learning new things about each other
    • Cook a meal together
    • Cook a meal together
    • Make lists of places you want to go together and things you want to do together
    • Go for a bike ride or walk outside
    • Give each other massages
    • Volunteer in your community
    • Read to each other
    • Redecorate e or fix up your home

I hope that you have enjoyed learning about ways to foster joy and connection in your relationships.

Be well within! 

Book an appointment with Jenn by clicking here.


Photo by Leah Kelley from Pexels

Tags:

  • codependency
  • communication
  • counseling
  • couples therapy
  • covid
  • depression
  • family therapy
  • healing
  • joy
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • partnership
  • psychotherapy
  • relationships
  • resilience
  • self help
  • self-care
  • solution focused
  • stress
  • telehealth

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