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“If it takes a village to raise a child”, a village (community) can help individuals when they are in the middle of divorce, struggling with addiction, working through relationship problems, or even struggling with depression.
If you have a question that you have been dying to ask, feel free to ask it on our community counseling forum. Or, if you have the ability to answer questions, feel free to respond to the community.
The basic ground rules for discussions on Thriveworks are simple: be polite. Our fellow community members will treat guests in these forums with courtesy and respect. The forum is a place for counselors and members alike to ask questions and receive help…
To start asking or answering, visit the community forums today.
Some of the forums already started:
- How to deal with depression?
- How do you overcome addiction?
- How have you forgiven someone that hurt you?
- When do you ask for financial management help?
- For Counselors: What are the best insurance panels to be on?
- For Counselors: Education is Expensive: Is it worth obtaining a Doctorate or a Ph. D degree in Marriage and Family Therapy?
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Sometimes, however, talking is not enough. When you find yourself repeating the same story over and over again, or hearing your friend’s unchanging story for the tenth time, you’ve hit that impasse. This is when you cautiously suggest that your friend might need counseling, or you enlist the aid of a therapist yourself. We’re fortunate to live in times when this is no longer stigmatized and in a part of the world where there’s an abundant supply of trained ears who bring a practiced wisdom to their listening. Often, this is all that’s needed to get over that hump, to make the necessary changes so we don’t go around sounding like echoes of ourselves.
And sometimes it is not. Sometimes we need to stop talking and start listening. Not to other people, but to ourselves. Obviously any good therapist facilitates this process. A deeper listening is possible, however, when we bring attention not only to our minds, which can talk endlessly, but to the quieter language of the body. When we expand our awareness to include what’s happening in the body, we can tap into a wisdom that goes beyond ordinary thought and discourse. We touch into the world of feelings and emotions and intuition. Like poetry, the body uses metaphor to express itself against a backdrop of silence that offers the possibility of peace as well as profound insight.
One of the reasons that the fast pace of modern Western life is so stressful is that it cultivates a split between mind and body. We drive our bodies until they scream at us to stop and even then we often find it difficult to heed their message. The body moves at a much slower pace than the mind does. In our minds we can be days, weeks, even years ahead of ourselves, lost in fantasies and plans about the future, or equally preoccupied about the past. The body is much more rooted in the present. By paying attention to our somatic experience, we keep ourselves rooted in the here and now. A radical shift in consciousness often takes place when we finally take the time to listen to what our bodies have to say.
For people who have been traumatized, the body is even more important. Bessel Van der Kolk, a renowned clinician and researcher in the trauma field, emphasizes the importance of working “from the bottom up.” By this, he means bringing clients into direct contact with their corporeal experience and not just talking about what happened. Work with trauma survivors has shown that traumatic memory is encoded more as somatosensory and emotional information than as narrative like normal memory. All the talking in the world cannot clear out those sensory imprints. That’s why simple things like sounds, smells, and touch can trigger flashbacks in traumatized people. Body-focused work becomes absolutely necessary at a certain point in recovery, but it must be done sensitively and slowly, with a great deal of caution, presence, and compassion, in order for it not to be re-traumatizing.
Most of our early memory from the first six years of life is nonverbal as well. Since this is when we’re most impressionable and our basic patterns get set, being able to access these memories through bodywork can be tremendously helpful. As infants, we get our sense of security and safety in the world from the way we are touched and handled. When we become toddlers, it is through the movement of our bodies that we begin to assert ourselves and separate from our mothers, developing a sense of our own individuality. If our caretakers were unable to treat us tenderly when we needed it or to support our separation skillfully, we carry the negative effects of this into adulthood and especially into our relationships. Through touch, a skilled therapist, cognizant of the issues involved, can help one renegotiate these developmental stages and redress emotional wounding left over from them, freeing us to live happier, healthier lives.
Bodywork offers the possibility not only of healing the past but of experiencing the calm and tranquillity of spiritual states as well. Deep relaxation requires a surrender of the defensive holding or muscular tension in the body that is the physical analogue of the ego. It asks us to let go of who we think we are and just be. As roles, ideas and images of ourselves fall away, we can be carried into altered states of consciousness. We may experience a deeper intuitive knowing and insight, or find our hearts opening to a vast peace, love or joy that is beyond words.
We’ve come a long way since Freud, and our understanding of the connection between mind, body and spirit has given rise to many different modalities. There’s a whole field now called body or somatic psychotherapy. Even the medical field has begun to recognize the importance of the mind/body connection in addressing disease and illness in the field of psychoneuroimmunology. But one does not need to be at death’s door or suffering extreme physical or emotional pain to take advantage of the many body-focused disciplines available. Prevention has always been the best cure. But more than that, we open ourselves to expanded consciousness and powerful transformation when we venture beyond the place where words alone can take us.
Diana Lightmoon is a psychotherapist, bodyworker, and meditation teacher with a private practice and weekly meditation group in Santa Fe, NM. She integrates the best of Eastern and Western approaches to psychology to help clients balance mind, body, and spirit. You can connect with her on Facebook.
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Physically and cognitively, they cannot do the things they used to do. Emotionally, this has been difﬁcult for them, but it has also been challenging for me. They need me for things they used to be able to handle themselves. I have had to learn to juggle my already hectic schedule so that their needs are met.
One might think this would be the hard part. However, I assure you, it is not. The hardest part for me is the wave of emotions I have ridden because this has forced me to make changes in my own life. In the last year, I have been angry, resentful, frustrated, depressed, and sad. At times, I have felt pity. Other times, I have experienced emotional detachment. For all of these emotions I have felt a deep guilt.
They are my parents. Why, when they need me the most, is it so hard to love them Recent statistics tell me that I am not alone. According to the Journal of Women and Aging, approximately 28 million adult children in the United States are providing some level of care and support to their aging parents.
The 2008 US Census reports that more adults are living into the eighth, ninth, and tenth decade of life than ever before in this countryʼs history. The census also reports that in 2007 there are 2 million people, age 90 and older, living in the United States, and this number is expected to reach 8.7 million by the middle of the twenty-ﬁrst century. In other words, this is the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States. This also means that, like me, there will be more adult children providing assistance to their aging parents. This at a time when they themselves are facing their own late midlife aging issues.
So I am not alone on this emotional roller coaster. What I am experiencing may be difﬁcult, but it is also normal. Many people my age are either in the seat beside me, or next in line to get on. It is important then to face these feelings and take measures that will help us through the process. I would like to suggest some things that have helped me:
Accept that things have changed. Roles have changed. Cognitive function has changed. Emotions have changed. Things that worked in the past may not work in the future.
Take things slowly. Expect nothing in return, but do expect anger and resentment, at least initially. Remember, you may realize that they need help long before they are willing to admit it.
Do not try to control them. It will be far more advantageous to offer suggestions than to give orders. Ask for their advice and allow them as much autonomy as possible. Yes, your life is changing. But so is the life of your parents. As hard as this may be on you, remember, for them, these changes are coming very quickly.
Treat health care workers with love and respect. Whether it be a cleaning person, case worker, doctor, or a caring neighbor, always be gracious and kind. You will need them if you truly want to provide the best possible care for your parents.
Talk to your friends. Many of them are going through the very same thing and will be valuable resource of information
Finally, allow yourself down time. Have some fun, and get away when possible. Whether it be an afternoon matinee or a weekend at the beach with friends, enjoy yourself whenever you can. You will need time to recharge and refresh so you can move forward and fulﬁll your responsibilities.
Through it all, I have come to the realization that I am not cursed, as I had originally believed. I am just a member of the generation that is now caring for their elderly parents. I have also come to realize that seeing my beloved parents through the ﬁnal years of their lives may be some of the most challenging and rewarding work I will ever do. I plan to do the work that I need to do to love them and do it well.
Kim Cartwright is a writer, speaker, and researcher who is passionate about helping people with issues such as self worth, eating disorders, and relationships. Check out her personal blog, (She)ology, and find her on Twitter @kimbrly63.
1 Natalie D. Pope and others. “How Women in Late Midlife Become Caregivers for Their Aging Parents” in Journal of Women and Aging (Nov 2012), 242.
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Tomiko challenged Atlanta (and people everywhere) to detox and purify so that they can get back to telling the truth.
Step 1 - People need to “level set”. This is an assessment.
How does it work? Monitor yourself and check out how you answer questions. Did you tell the truth?
Assess the complex and simple questions: such as, how did you respond when you were asked “Did you take out the trash?” It is so easy to lie on simple questions.
Once you have taken the assessment, record wether you lied or not. And then record why you lied.
Step 2 - Own your lies and offer forgiveness to yourself. In order to get rid of this, you need to go ahead and forgive yourself and seek forgiveness.
Step 3 - Choose to be honest. Be intentional about being honest.
Why is honesty so important? The truth helps you operate in authenticity. When you lie, you are telling yourself that you are not good enough. You feel as if you need to be someone or something else to be good enough.
Lying is toxic because it encourages a state of fear and anxiety. Telling the truth relieves anxiousness. If you tell the truth, you don’t have to worry about the truth being discovered.
To view part of the recorded segment:
A little about Tomiko Logan, LCSW
Tomiko is a client-centered Therapist in which her style is to create a safe and supportive space to partner with you in your journey to heal the emotional wounds of the past in order to live a more enjoyable now! She believes in your life’s purpose and works with you to address areas that may be keeping you stuck and in the way of you experiencing joy and wellness!
Do you struggling with anxiety and fear due to lying? You don’t have to walk in that anxiousness or fear alone. Call us today!
To schedule an appointment, or simply to acquire more information, call us anytime toll-free at 1-855-2-THRIVE (1-855-284-7483).
Example 1: You are a new graduate seeking your first full time job in the real world. You send out hundreds of resumes, and you finally get a call back from an employer. Things are going well, but then they ask you to take an employee assessment test (employment testing) and you agree too.
Example 2: You are in the middle of your career and you are completely bored with what you are doing. You thought this job would be filled with adventure, excitement, or at least good pay, and you haven’t gotten close to any of those. Your friends talk about how much they enjoy their jobs, and you want to feel that way, so you start looking for new jobs. You aren’t really sure what career path you should take. You seek out a career counselor to take an employee assessment test.
Example 3: You are in college, and majoring in Art is what you would love to do, but you are afraid that career choice will not sustain you down the road. You are unsure of what to do. All of you friends have a driven career path, but you are unsure of which way to go. You seek out employment testing.
In all three cases, these are great reasons to seek out employment testing. But what happens when you fill out the tests?
Don’t lie. This sounds so simple, but in reality, when you are taking the assessment test, it is extremely easy to lie. We tend to think that we have more skills than we do. When asked if we are great leaders, have organizational abilities, or can handle disputes well, generally, we rank ourselves high because we may have a) (leader) led our friends on a great excursion to Vegas, b) (organizational skills) organized our contacts on our iPhone, or c) (disputes) calmed a dispute between our younger siblings (and these are all great qualities!), but make sure you answer these questions as they relate to the work force.
For example, who wouldn’t know the “correct” way to answer test questions like, “How thorough are you?” or “Are you persistent, or do you give up easily?” Why would you ever admit to not being thorough in your work?.
The last thing you want to do is get a job that you thought you wanted and then not like it. If you answer the questions honestly, you may or may not get the job or career you “thought” you wanted, but you will get the career that fits you! And finding a job that you enjoy, can bring you more happiness than finding a job you thought you could enjoy.
Answering the test honestly will help you and your employer from making a terrible hiring decision. Just because you don’t get the job doesn’t mean you weren’t a great candidate – it just means that there is something that you are better equipped to do!
Don’t answer the questions based on the impression you receive from others. Sometimes we are easily influenced by our friends and family members. Your friends may tell you that you would make an excellent lawyer, doctor, or marketing professional, but if you do not want to do those, then don’t answer the questions like you are.
When asked a question on the employment assessments, it is easy to think, “Well, my friends tell me I could be great at that.” And then you answer accordingly. Only answer based on yourself. Years down the road – you will be in this career and your friends won’t. Answer the questions based on what will make you happy!
Finally, Don’t answer the questions based on who you want to be, but who you are now. Most professionals will change careers 5 times in their professional life. It’s hard to know what you want to do in 5 years, let alone what you want to eat for dinner tonight. When taking the employment test, answer the questions based on who you are now. It is easy to think, “Well, I could be good at that!” And you probably could! but answer the questions based on you now.
Now what? If you are looking for career counseling or employment testing, Thriveworks offers career counseling and employment testing to help you excel in your career. To schedule an appointment, or simply to acquire more information, call us anytime toll-free at 1-855-2-THRIVE (1-855-284-7483).
We are shocked and saddened by the recent events that have affected residents of Boston and greater Boston areas.
Thrive Boston Counseling is offering free counseling sessions to victims of, and those experiencing trauma and grief caused by, recent events related to the Boston Marathon bombing. We are also working to quickly develop a Trauma Counseling Group.
For more information, contact our offices at 617-395-5806. We’re available by telephone Monday-Friday, 8:00am-6:00pm. In addition, there is a live attendant 24 hours a day.
Dr. Anthony Centore &
Your Friends at Thrive Boston Counseling
If you or anyone you know has felt the gravity of this tragic event and you need counseling in the Boston area, please call our Boston and Cambridge Offices.
Have you ever stopped and thought, “Do I need to see a therapist?” A lot of people have the big misconception that you only seek therapy during the middle of a life crisis: a death, a bad break-up, a serious life change, etc…
While it is absolutely true and needed to seek therapy during those times, therapy is also vital if you are seeking to add to your life’s vitality and happiness.
What are the signs that I might need therapy?
Feeling stuck (or in a rut), not enjoying life as you used to, not feeling hungry or not sleeping well, constantly worrying, or struggling with anxiety, weight, or anger may be indications that you need therapy. But if you are not in the middle of one of those issues, maybe you are just changing careers, or are in a big transition (relationships, moving, etc…), individual therapy would be great for you.
You may need couples therapy if: you find that you are constantly arguing, have this one issue that you can’t seem to resolve, face dilemmas on how to raise the kids, face money problems, or even intimacy issues. Couples therapy can help you reconnect and rediscover the passion you used to have. Don’t wait until there is no hope – therapy can help.
Whether you feel like you are in a rut, are in an unfulfilling relationship, or are having less energy than normal, therapy will give you a safe place to express yourself and find ways to help get back to you.
Sadly, many people think therapy is a last resort, or is a sign that you have given up on life, but in reality, it it the exact opposite. Therapy is one of the best steps you can take. People who are seeking therapy are not down and out; they are not even lost – they are strong, not giving up, and pursuing everything that life can offer them.
What can be more hopeful and strong than that?
And with those latter mistakes often come overwhelming feelings of guilt. Shame. Self-condemnation. Humiliation. Counselors and life coaches have found that these emotions can lead to stress, depression, anxiety disorders, and even heart disease if ignored. Not exactly leading to a joyous 2013.
Forgive. We’ve all heard the word before, but what does it mean? And why is it so important?
Dr. Frederick Luskin at Standford University reports that “learning to forgive helps people hurt less, experience less anger, feel less stress and suffer less depression. People who learn to forgive report significantly fewer symptoms of stress such as backache, muscle tension, dizziness, headaches and upset stomachs. In addition people report improvements in appetite, sleep patterns, energy and general well being.”
But why is self-forgiveness so hard if it seems so easy?
Too often, we want to punish ourselves for past mistakes, as if we could somehow “make up” the wrong that we’ve done. We walk through the day in guilt and shame. We think of ourselves as losers, chained to the past mistakes we have made, holding onto the hurt, and letting no one close to our issues.
The negative emotions we feel gnaw away at our joy and satisfaction in life.
Counselors and life coaches report that the hardest person to forgive is yourself. Not the friend who backstabbed you. Or the dad that wasn’t there for you. Or even the ex who broke your heart. Why? Because you know yourself and you live with yourself every day. Go figure.
If you feel stuck in the rut of your past failures, try these tips for embracing forgiveness:
What can you do?
Seek Forgiveness and Forgive Yourself
Talk about it. When it comes to the past, silence can be deadly. So stop pretending. Free yourself from the bondage of holding it all in. Talk about what’s tearing you apart inside. Express the emotions you feel to a counselor, mentor, or friend you can trust. Join a community group in your local area. Forgiveness starts with being honest and vulnerable about who you are…the good and the bad. So say what you need to say. Most often, there is someone walking with the same struggles.
Be honest with yourself. “If I just pretend it never happened, maybe it will all go away,” we tend to think. Sounds nice…but not true. Choose to break out of denial. Be honest about how you’ve messed up and the consequences of your behavior. Journal out the specific behaviors and actions that are causing you angst.
Seek Forgiveness. This is a hard one. If you feel guilt or shame for something that you have done to someone else, the hardest yet most freeing thing your can do, is seek forgiveness from someone. Once you can accept that you have done something wrong, go seek forgiveness from the person you have offended. It is incredibly difficult, but the words, I am sorry, please forgive me? will go much further than you even imagined.
Accept it for what it is. As an imperfect person, you will make mistakes in life. Face it. You will hurt people sometimes. You will have regrets. It’s part of living in a fallen world. Don’t wallow in your mistakes, do something about them and seek forgiveness.
Tired of living as a prisoner? Make the choice today to forgive yourself and seek forgiveness.
Dr. Frederick Luskin, Research from Standford University, http://learningtoforgive.com/
Lewis B. Smedes
A number of psychiatric studies have shown that repeated exposure to a stimulus, leads to familiarity, and then a preference, fondness, and even an affection for it.
This is why you buy an album only liking one or two songs, but eventually like every track.
Decades of scientific research support this phenomenon. In one study conducted in the 60’s at Oregon State University, a “mystery student” attended a class for 2 months completely covered by a black bag. At first, the Oregon State students treated the mystery student with hostility. However, researchers discovered that over the course of the semester, they became friendly and even protective toward the mystery person.
This, and studies like it, show that our preferences often aren’t rational. And might give some insight into why you’re started to become interested in that person at work or school, that you didn’t used to give a second look.
Question of the day: Do you have a story about a time when at first you didn’t like something, but then really it stated to grow on you? Share you story in the comments. Also, be sure to subscribe above, and like the video below.
Anthony Centore is CEO of Thriveworks, including Thrive Boston Counseling, now offering Psychiatry to Cambridge, and the greater Boston area, learn more online at: http://www.thriveboston.com/boston-psychiatry.html