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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Understanding vs Excusing Behaviors in Relationships and Conflicts

Wednesday, April 20, 2022 @ 2:00 PM

I've worked in the field of Mental Health Counseling for over eleven years and here is some of what I've learned regarding how we handle conflicts: How well or appropriately we are able to respond to the behaviors of others, draw boundaries and practice self care says a lot about our Emotional Intelligence (EQ), self esteem, self worth, personal identity and overall interpersonal effectiveness.

All too often when interacting with others we may be quick to judge a behavior, or on the other end of the extreme, we may be quick to excuse it away. Both can be equally destructive responses to those with whom we come in contact with. We often land on either of these extremes based on our own emotional overload, unresolved issues, negative thinking, or cognitive distortions. This is why its dangerous to react to another's behavior before examining our own emotions, thoughts and potential biases about what's happening.

Admittedly, there are exceptions to this rule. One determining factor that I like to use is, Safety. Safety includes protecting oneself or others from life threatening circumstances. In these instances, we would be remised not to take swift actions, quickly judging a behavior, in order to react in a way that keeps us safe.

Of course in this day and age we must be careful when using safety to make this distinction. There are currently to many cases where this determiner has been used as well as misused by powerful external forces to exact broad over reaching control on, and over, large masses and populations of people. This has been done with the claims to be in the best interest of public health and safety while stealing and ridding individuals of their inalienable rights. The former would be referring to a macro misuse of how such forces have dealt with and approached what has been deemed as life threatening, dangerous or risky behaviors. For the sake of this article, I am referring to individuals who are affected on a micro level as in interpersonal relationships.

For us as individuals, (outside of safety concerns) before we can either judge or excuse a behavior we must seek to understand it. Once we have done an thorough assessment (both long-term self work as well as briefly in the moment) of our own internal world, we then will stand in a powerful position to seek to understand another's corresponding behavior.

Before we can understand their behavior we must first acknowledge it, describing it in an objective, calm. rational, balanced way. We may only embark on this endeavor once we have properly addressed our own emotions, thoughts and biases using our EQ Skills. By unemotionally observing, accurately describing and properly labeling what actions we see, we help defuse the emotional charge that is often misappropriated towards said behaviors.

Ultimately, its not about their behavior but our reaction to them that prevents this required, needed process. Unfortunately, we may miss our chance to objectively observe and describe, when we overcloud and over look their behaviors with our own gross over reactions which prevent it. When we aren't Emotionally Intelligent we deny the other party, as well as ourselves, the opportunity to learn and grow from these experiences.

It's also important and worth noting that we need to clearly decipher and differentiate between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Seems simple enough, but try explaining the difference between concepts such as "anger" and "aggression," "crying" vs "sadness" or "happiness" vs "laughter." If you ever have or requested others too, you would understand the dilemma. However in order to proceed there can be no ambiguity in the matter. We must be clear that one category represents actions and the other feelings.

Once we accurately describe and label the observable behavior, we then have a few choices. We can either examine it on our own to better understand it. This may involve a type of grope in the dark of the "why's." We also on the other hand could examine it in a way that helps us determine our next steps. Our next steps may be to accept, overlook, ignore it or confront it with the party involved addressing it head on.

It should be noted that "overlooking," is often seen in many of those with "Self Sacrificing Schemas" described in the Other Directness category found in my Schema Therapy Course. It can also be identified in what's known as the Subjugation Schema. Either Schemas may result in deep seated anger, resentment and even health issues. No doubt the result of not confronting, identifying, expressing or addressing personal wants, needs, desires or feelings in emotionally healthy ways.

On the other hand we may choose to present (where safe to do so) our observations to the other party. Here, our decision would be to confront it, giving the other party the chance and opportunity to help us make sense of it. In this step of the process we may want to share (using "I" statements) how the behavior has affected us.

We could then decide if we need to draw a boundary around that behavior in order to stay safe or hold the person accountable. Drawing boundaries however isn't about controlling others. Boundaries are about loving, respecting, and honoring ourselves. Boundaries are about controlling ourselves, our own actions, our movements, and our willingness to receive or ingest what is being offered or submitted towards us, (including our emotions, mental cognitions/processes, energy, time, personal space, bodies, dwelling space, money, possessions or belongings). In fact, we must avoid all attempts at controlling the behaviors of others. We must understand that we only control ourselves. We must hold others accountable to control themselves.

In some instances (where its safe to do so), we can help and assist others in controlling their own behaviors by having open honest effective communications and dialogue as well as putting proper boundaries (in some instances consequences) in place. When doing so we must be absolutely sure to follow through on them.

However, because so many of us avoid, hate confrontation, or worse, its not safe, we often rob others and ourselves of the potential growth and development opportunities that could happen within us supportively challenging their negative behaviors. We also rob ourselves of potential valuable relationship strengthening, building and connection experiences when we work together to resolve impasses. At the very least or even best we may miss an opportunity to untangle and free ourselves, while escaping toxic situations.

Long story short, EQ and the related skills presented in my Emotional Intelligence Course will help and acts as a starting place to accomplish our Interpersonal Relationship Goals. If you are interested in learning more about how to successfully learn and practice these skills go to https://linktr.ee/epiphanytanya and click on courses.

Thank you for reading. Send me a message to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing of and seeing your work in this area.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

How Is Social Anxiety and Depression Related?

Tuesday, April 19, 2022 @ 9:49 PM

SOCIAL ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Social anxiety and depression are two of the most diagnosed mental health conditions in the United States. This disorder affects approximately 15 million American adults and is the second most diagnosed anxiety disorder following a specific phobia. The average age this disorder is diagnosed is during the teen years. Many confuse shyness with social anxiety disorder. However, this is not always the case for those diagnosed.

Depression is characterized by persistent sadness, whereas social anxiety presents an intense fear of social interactions. If you have social anxiety, you may have trouble making friends and maintaining close relationships.

Fear of social interaction can even result in missed opportunities. Without treatment, your symptoms of social anxiety can lead to

· Frustration

· Feelings of hopelessness

· Isolation

· Depression

· Impairment of social functioning

· Impairment of occupational functioning

· Risk of suicide

Many with a social anxiety disorder also experience strong physical symptoms such as rapid heart rate, nausea, sweating, or a full-blown panic attack when confronting a feared situation.

Some people with social phobia also have a history of being bullied, rejected, or ignored. These experiences can affect your self-esteem which can trigger depression.

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN SOCIAL ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

While these are separate conditions, they can occur at the same time, creating a unique challenge. In fact, according to a 2014 review of studies, for nearly 70% of people diagnosed with both disorders, social anxiety comes first, then depression. In many instances, social anxiety can be a trigger for depression. Studies show that social anxiety disorder can also show a relationship between major depressive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alcohol disorders among others.

Not everyone who has been diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder experiences the above-listed symptoms. Both social anxiety disorder and depression may involve social withdrawal. The causes of withdrawal can be different for those who struggle with this disorder. People with social anxiety disorder expect that they could enjoy themselves if they could somehow interact appropriately with others, whereas those with depression don’t ever expect to enjoy themselves.

Depression is often what leads people to seek help, even though social anxiety disorder may be the overlying problem. Usually, people who have social anxiety disorder will not speak to anyone about the problems that they face and often do not realize that they have a treatable illness. As a result, most people with social anxiety disorders do not usually receive treatment unless the disorder occurs alongside another condition.

THERE’S HOPE

Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” Talking with someone who understands and can offer proper support can assist you with being comfortable with being among groups of people and moving from a place of sadness to joy.

Although many of the treatments recommended for depression are also effective in treating social anxiety disorder, treatment must still be tailored to the specific disorder. With proper counseling treatment, you can get help and feel better.

Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) With a Christian counselor, you can work with someone who not only is familiar with treatment to help you get to a better place, but you will also work with someone who will support you in your relationship with Christ. Since He is your hope, you will continue to be encouraged to turn to Him while learning how to deal with the pressures that you are facing.

Call 443-860-6870 to schedule an appointment today.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

It's a Virtual Women's Retreat!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022 @ 10:34 PM

Are you looking forward to being renewed? Are you seeking a life changing experience? Guess what?
You are invited!

It's a Virtual Women's Retreat: Renew You in 2022!

I hope to see you there!

Friday, April 8, 2022

Upcoming weekly podcasts

Friday, April 8, 2022 @ 7:44 AM

Stay tuned for upcoming podcasts concerning topics ranging from Mental Health to Parenting tips. Guest speakers will include therapists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Pastors. Podcasts will be available on Facebook, Youtube, and http://RejuvenationHouse.com

Support Group: Women Surviving Toxic Mothers

Friday, April 8, 2022 @ 12:44 AM

This support Group is for Women Surviving toxic Mothers. This group will be a 6 week support group to teach skills on forgiveness, self-love, worth, value, and creating a space of healing. The foundation of this group is based on Christian and Biblical principles to guide each woman through their journey of healing.

There are 10 spots available. Register by April 30, 2022 by emailing contact@bitofhopehealing.com or by calling the practice at (770)765-5602

Monday, April 4, 2022

The Troubled Leader: Seven Keys To Leadership Renewal

Monday, April 4, 2022 @ 9:45 PM

You're burned out, mad, tired and thinking about becoming a short-order cook. Is this your life as a leader? Parents, pastors, and all leaders get frazzled at some point. Here's a way to find renewal. (Based on The Seven Keys To Spiritual Renewal)

The Troubled Leader: Seven Keys To Leadership Renewal
1. Surrender. Seek out God and safe others and surrender to them by being vulnerable about what you're struggling with as a leader.
2. Acceptance. See the truth about who you are and your difficulties as a leader and a person. Asking for honest feedback is an important part of this process.
3. Confession. Speaking the truth about what you're struggling with to trusted others and going to God and asking him to help make a fearless inventory is a key to finding healing and growth.
4. Ownership. Taking responsibility for your part in whatever trouble you're having is a leader is another key to turning things around. Not that you're responsible for people but you are responsible to people no matter what type of stakeholder they are.
5. Forgiveness. Forgiving others, forgiving yourself, grieving and letting go are important steps again for moving forward. Forgiving is merely cancelling debt and it does not mean trusting and it comes before the feeling of forgiveness.
6. Transformation. This is where we really start to work on ourselves and our character as a leader. Here we go to God and others and begin to look at how we can make real changes.
7. Preservation. Staying at it or persistence is key to this step. Preserving the new changes you've made by consistently practicing the other steps will keep you on the road to recovery. Remember that recovery is not a destination: it's a journey.

Friday, April 1, 2022

New Beginnings: Biblical Framework considerations for coping with Bipolar Disorder

Friday, April 1, 2022 @ 12:27 PM

MedCentre PLLC

Bipolar Disorder is the term for a set mental health conditions as defined in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition).

Common bipolar symptoms, of which 3 or more are present representing a significant change from usual behavior in frequency and/or intensity, and impacting activities of daily living or relationships:
• Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
• Decreased need for sleep
• Increased talkativeness
• Racing thoughts
• Distracted easily
• Increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation
• Engaging in activities that can result in detrimental outcomes (eg. shopping spree, promiscuity)


From a Biblical Framework standpoint, common bipolar symptoms as described by DSM-5 would be categorized as follows:
• Lack of Love (LOL) towards God and others (e.g. unloving attitudes, words and behaviors such as unforgiveness, irritability, hostile comments, anger, aggression or assaultiveness, unnecessary risk taking, recklessness, sexual immorality, unethical practices, etc.)
• Guilt (eg. insomnia or decreased need for sleep, fear of judgment, lack of peace, etc.)
• Apparently Uncaused (AU) Fear (e.g. anxiety, insomnia, racing thoughts, pressured speech, increased talkativeness, flight of ideas, lack of peace, psychomotor agitation, restlessness, etc.)
• AU Fleeing (e.g. inflated self-esteem or grandiose thoughts, reckless or excessive involvement in pleasurable activities, behaviors, substance use, extravagant purchases, distractibility, etc.)


Examples of Treatment options for Bipolar Disorder include:
• Lifestyle Interventions: Adequate Exercise, Nutrition (e.g. Mediterranean diet), Sleep, Stress Reduction
• Psychotherapy/Psycho-Educational Programs: (e.g. Individual or Group therapy, Counseling, etc.)
• Pharmacotherapy (Medications): Help to alleviate the bad feelings, provide symptom management. Some examples are Lithium, Valproate, Aripiprazole, Risperidone, Olanzapine, Ziprasidone, Olanzapine-Fluoxetine combination, Quetiapine, Lurasidone, etc… depending on whether one is treating an acute episode or follow-up maintenance, if the most recent episode being treated is described as acute manic, depressive, or mixed, as per expert consensus guidelines and health provider findings and impressions, among other considerations (e.g. additional symptom features, comorbid conditions, seasonal onset, pregnancy/immediate post-delivery onset, etc…).
• BFC (Biblical Framework Coaching/Counseling): Help to mature in Christ, grow in His Word, bathe the mind with the truth of the forgiveness one has in Jesus Christ, be continually filled with God’s spirit, become a channel of His love back to God and to others (Thomson, 2012).
• Bright-light Therapy
• ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy)
• Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)


For more in-depth discussions on this topic, please schedule to join one of our:

“Beh-Best” Ladies Mental Health Peer Group 2-Day-2-Session “Deep Chat” groups of 10-12 ladies for an in-depth 90-minute chat session on each day. There is a modest cost that will reap great benefits if you or your loved ones have ever grappled with bipolar disorder, divorce, domestic abuse, or similar kinds of mood disorders and/or life traumas.

Contact me at medgal8@gmail.com or DM me at medgal, check out our FB group at bit.ly/behbest