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Reflecting on the Present Moment

7 Jun

Reflecting on the Present, Importance of Grounding

This image and quote from the Dalai Lama holds a lot of meaning. In stressing over the future or worrying excessively, many develop anxiety responses. In focusing on the past, trauma and pain from the past can prevent enjoyment of present. In being consumed with pleasing others or being “perfect,” the individual can neglect self.

Therapist-In-A-Box

29 Sep

Now you too can start a “Psychiatric ‘Lemonade’ Stand” Like Lucy in Peanuts.  Impress your friends and family, treat that obnoxious anxiety triggered by late night graduate school papers…

CLICK ME TO LEARN MORE

(Note: This product is meant for amusement only…not to be taken seriously.  Avoid counter-transference, multiple roles, and use at your own risk.)

Another semester…survived!

23 Jun

Well, I’ve finished another semester…which means I’ll have until July 11, 2011 to write as many blog posts as possible:);) It’s looking good so far, although I’m still waiting on a few grades to be turned in.  This semester I took (1) Principles of Psychopathology and Diagnosis, (2) Addictive and Compulsive Behaviors, and (3) Group Therapy.

Next semester I’ll be taking: (1) Human Sexuality, (2) Child and Adolescent Counseling, and (3) Mental Health Counseling Residency Track 2.

Last semester was awesome, I may post a slideshow I completed for Group Therapy as well as some excerpts of papers completed either on here or on my digital portfolio (or both)…I haven’t really decided yet.  Anyways, right now I’ stressing out trying to line up a future practicum/internship site for my experiential learning component required for graduation.  Counseling jobs are a bit scarce in Louisiana at the moment (giving me a somewhat not-so-mild panic attack); however, one thing at a time:) 😀

Remember! Keep on Swimming!!! (Watch the video below, it makes me smile when grad school gets tough!)

Randomness and Life…Myfitnesspal, a tool 4 self-awareness

7 Apr

Ok, this has nothing to do with counseling in a traditional sense.  In counseling, the counselor seeks to promote “mindfulness” or awareness of cause/effect.  Awareness can relate to eating habits, sleep patterns  (as in the ZEO product I discuss HERE), and/or mental/emotional awareness (through meditation and reflection), etc.

My fitness pal is a website (and an Iphone app) that lets users keep track of caloric intake, nutrition, and water consumption.  It also calculates (based on height/weight/activity level) the suggested calorie consumption to promote weight loss.  It’s completely free.  I was not contacted to review their site, and am not receiving compensation.

Physical health is tied to mental health and can influence depression, high blood pressure, anxiety, and dysfunctional coping strategies.  Since joining I’ve lost 7lbs:) (and goodness knows I haven’t hit the exercising/dieting hard).  Having the Iphone app also makes it easier to make decisions when eating out at fast food places (as you can see the values and select one based on your plan).  Unlike other programs (that will not be named), it is free.  Which makes it not so much a diet, as a change in behavior/habit.  Lifestyle changes are sustainable.  Diets, are not.

Counseling is about making small lifestyle changes that build to make larger impacts.  For myself, this meant using an Iphone app as a tool for mindfulness.  It makes me wonder what other resources to promote mindfulness are available that could be used to support client/individual interventions.

Stress, Anxiety, and Health

6 Apr

Click HERE for a video by Dr. Manny on the effects of stress and anxiety on physical health.

According to WebMd, there are many different types of anxiety diagnoses.  Anxiety is a mental illness with physical, social, emotional, and psychological repercussions.  In high stress situations (such as work and graduate school), stress can trigger physiological reactions promoting anxiety reactions.

How do I deal with stress?  Well, making a list of things that decrease stress can be a start.  Hobbies, mini “breaks,” exercise, and proper nutrition can all aid in decreasing anxiety.  Moreover, small steps (such as decreasing caffeine consumption 4 hours before bed) can help improve sleep quality and enable the mind to manage stress productively.  If sleep quality is consistently low, you may want to go to a sleep center to see if you have a sleep disorder.  Sleep disorders have physiological and psychological consequences and can even mimic or cause symptoms such as: fatigue, depression, high blood pressure, etc.

The body is a complex system.  It is important to start with small interventions/actions to treat stress and anxiety and then build to more medical and/or psychological treatments.  Medical does not necessarily equal medicine.  It can mean discovering a sleep disorder – like sleep apnea – and using a machine to improve oxygen flow or REM quality.  There is even a product called ZEO that measures sleep patterns to help you improve sleep quality, and notice patterns that may be warning signs.  Click the picture to check out ZEO.  Click HERE to watch the video by Dr. Manny on the effects of stress.

 


Another add to my “want to read” list: The Pocket Therapist

23 Oct

(click the image to view on Amazon)

 

You know the WWJD thing? (What would Jesus do?)  This book is suppose to be along the lines of “what would a therapist say?”

I must admit to a sort of curiosity coupled with worry…this could either be hilarious or completely crash & burn 😛 However, knowing me, the curiosity will win out.  Has anyone read this???  If so let me know what you thought of it 😀