Tag: mental health

Resilience

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Resilience

Blog post by Ashley Simpson, LCSW at Agape Therapy Institute

I was inspired yesterday by a quote that I read on social media. It spoke to the stories of resilience we all have. At times, and it feels like especially now, it can feel as though everything is negative, doomed, life-threatening, and dark. During times of darkness, stories can also be found of incredible resilience. 

This reminds me of the quote by Thich Nhat Hanh: “Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.” 

Have you been able to find happiness in the mud? Have you found moments of meaning in suffering? Are you having trouble finding any happiness or meaning through your metaphorical mud?

This is an extraordinary time. We are living through a pandemic, an election year, a suffering economy and high unemployment, and a movement for racial and social justice. Families have been stuck indoors with others that may or may not be healthy for them. People have been unable to physically be together, to give a hug or hold a hand of a friend, to go out to a movie or dine indoors. People have lost their jobs, lost loved ones. It may feel like there can be no joy.

This is where the essence of therapy makes its interlude. How can we work together to find your lotus flower. To find the ways in which you have bloomed through this struggle. What can we learn in this moment? What feelings or thoughts can we sit with and explore more deeply? What can we look forward to in the future?

If you are struggling in the mud, struggling to find your joy or connect to your resilience, therapy could be a very beneficial place for you. A place to tell your story and to connect with your own brave resilience. 

Book an appointment with Ashley by clicking here.


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

Tags:

  • counseling
  • depression
  • existential therapy
  • healing
  • joy
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • psychotherapy
  • resilience
  • self help
  • self-care
  • solution focused
  • stress
  • telehealth

​Want to Know Yourself Authentically?

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Want to Know Yourself Authentically?

Blog by Darcia Belizaire, LMHC at Agape Therapy Institute

Being “authentic” has seemed to become a universal cultural buzzword that many people are taking a more serious look at. Yet, it is probably one of the most difficult journeys a person will endure with a yet defined or measurable end. However, it has the best and most beneficial outcome and lifetime effect once achieved, and many of my clients who come for various issues have found that their lack of their authentic presence has played a role.

What is being authentic or authenticity you ask? To put it simply, no matter your setting or the people you are around, you are the constant. Now the reality of that is, it is much more complex when put into action, but these tips that you will get in this 4 part series hopefully helps you get a step closer to being your authentic self and say “I love me!.”

In part I, take a look at the level of attention to who you are and what matters to you. Oftentimes the basic components of self are overlooked or become adaptive based on roles and who we surround ourselves with. Getting back to the basics and taking a look at what matters without those things will help develop a clearer sense of self. Here are tips on how to explore that by asking yourself these questions:

  • Describe Yourself: Stick to character traits. It’s important to understand how you currently see yourself, and the difference between who you are now and what matters to you. 
  • What do I value?: Now this is where you look at what matters to you. Not always will how you describe yourself will be exactly the same to what you value, and in some aspects that’s okay. If unsure on how to begin answering this, you can simply google personal values to help you get an idea, but refrain from just choosing ones that sound good. When choosing, ask yourself why you value that.
  • What are my strengths and weaknesses?: To refrain from overwhelming yourself, start with two each, and use them as your foundation to build on discovering others, and make the necessary changes. 

You should be proud of yourself for taking a step towards self exploration and authentic growth. This journey can be hard to sift through and lead to more questions, and if that happens, that’s okay.  Seeking a therapist is a helpful and a beneficial option as they can guide you and break down potential barriers that arise. 

In Part II, look for tips on how to healthily assess what we have now become more aware of in ourselves!

To book an appointment with Darcia, click here.


Photo by Furi from Pexels

Tags:

  • counseling
  • existential therapy
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • psychotherapy
  • resilience
  • self help
  • self-care
  • solution focused
  • telehealth
  • yalom

​Relationship Tips for 2020 – Part 4

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Relationship Tips for 2020 – Part 4

Blog by Jenn Baker, GSCI at Agape Therapy Institute

Welcome to Part four of Relationship Tips for 2020. If you haven’t already, you can read Parts 1, 2 and 3 for tips on acknowledging your partner, taking time for yourself, and connecting with friends and family. 

I’d like to follow up on last week’s relationship tips and have you check in with yourself. Were you able to find some time to connect with a friend or family member through the phone, text, virtually, or in-person? When our lives get busy, we so often overlook these important ways in which to care for ourselves and our relationships. You may want to consider setting aside time on your calendar each week for this important time. 

For this week, I’d like you to focus on:

  • Communicating More Effectively – I’m sure you’ve heard it many times before, but communication is one of the most important keys to a successful relationship. This week’s tip focuses on listening and communication skills. So often in a relationship we spend more time thinking about what we want to say rather than actively listening to our partner. When we are feeling angry or hurt, it is especially difficult to listen to our partner with an open heart and mind. Here are a few helpful tips to try out:
  •  When Listening:
    • Practice listening without judging, interrupting, or correcting your partner.
    • Try to remain vulnerable and non-defensive.
    • Repeat back to your partner what you have heard them say. This simple act will help your partner feel heard and understood.
  • When Speaking:
    • Focus on your feelings rather than blaming or criticizing your partner.
    • Use “I” statements and make sure to identify how you feel. For example, “I feel hurt and worried when you don’t respond to my texts.”

Stay tuned for next week’s blog with another relationship tip for 2020.

Citations:

Koch-Sheras, P. R., & Sheras, P. L. (2006). Couple power therapy: Building commitment, cooperation, communication, and community in relationships. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

To book an appointment with Jenn Baker, GSCI click here


Photo by Burst from Pexels

Tags:

  • communication
  • counseling
  • couples therapy
  • family therapy
  • healing
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • partnership
  • relationships
  • self help
  • self-care
  • solution focused
  • telehealth

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