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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Debriefing Retreat

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 @ 2:48 PM

Have you ever planned a trip for business or ministry and then said, “While I’m there, I may as well take a few extra days and visit some sites in the area?” Combining vacation time with business travel is common. But what about combining vacation time with reflection time and personal growth?
One solution might be a vacation for self care. Engaging in down-time activity to give your body rest is one thing, but evaluating and discovering new ways of improving your mental, emotional, and spiritual status can take vacation to a higher level. Especially if your job or ministry is in people helping business, the everyday wear and tear and built up stressors can be weighing much more heavily than you, or even people in closest relationship to you, can recognize.
A number of years ago I discovered a model of personal debriefing for Christian missionaries that has helped thousands find new vitality and meaning for their work. The Le Rucher model of debriefing is a guided 5 day rest, for personal reflection, sharing your story, and finding new perspectives from God. Not only for missionaries, this is a proven method for all leaders to assess events of life and ministry in a safe, confidential, and supportive environment. It is a structured progression through stressors, associated losses, adjustments, and recovery of hopes and dreams. The result is fresh vision and energy for re-engagement.
My wife and I benefited as participants in this model ourselves. I also trained and became a certified debriefer in the model. I now offer the debriefing as a package with a stay at our Blue Rock Bed and Breakfast. More is described at http://bluerockbnb.com/healing/debriefing.htm . I encourage all Christian pastors, missionaries, ministry or business leaders to consider this for making the most of your next vacation or rest time. These five days of debriefing is a perfect way to begin a several month sabbatical or scheduled down time.
Call us or email to schedule a time for debriefing in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Level Up Parenting - new session starting soon

Thursday, January 13, 2022 @ 4:28 PM

Level Up Life LLC

Level Up Parenting is a group designed to help you connect and better understand your children. The group consists of week 1 - Video lesson on a parenting skill; week 2 - video lesson showing you an activity you can do with your child to help them learn more about topics from emotional intelligence to social relationships; week 3 - live online Zoom parent meeting (which will be recorded) where questions are answered and parents can share and find support; week 4 - blind bag family adventure activity (a surprise activity to do as a family).

The idea behind this group is that it can be done on your own time, at your own pace since schedules are tight as parents. It is hard to find time for yourself or catching up with other parents. But as parents, we are always doing the best we can and it is nice to have a place to voice our wins, concerns or bounce ideas off one another.

Join our waitlist by visiting www.level-up-life.org and click on contact us or join waitlist.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Habits and Anxiety

Tuesday, December 28, 2021 @ 12:03 PM

Can the simple act of thinking about a new project coming up or preparing for a holiday dinner lead to shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or panic attacks? Habits, whether good or bad play a huge role in our mental and physical health, success, and quality of our relationships. Our habits affect every area of our lives. Acts of anxiety can be embedded in your habits. Avoiding or pretending that you aren’t having these experiences doesn’t help. In fact, it only makes things worse. Physical signs of anxiety in everyday life can look like you are sweating, shaking, experiencing nausea, having to use the restroom more frequently, exhaustion, muscle weakness, dizziness, or irregular body temperature. Is this you?

In our society, we have learned how to cope with adversity and uncertainty. We take on risks in an overly apprehensive manner instead of processing what is happening and dealing with the anxiety of what has come before us. After a while, these apprehensive feelings begin to feel natural and normal. Therefore, unhealthy coping mechanisms become a habit resulting in unconscious behaviors. These behaviors can be embedded in our personalities. These habits can look like nail-biting, skin picking, hair pulling, cleaning too much or too little, hand washing, or substance addiction. This shows insecurity within the anxiety you are experiencing. Is this you?

This can be overcome by learning to cope with risk, uncertainty, and adversity in healthy ways. Recovering involves identifying and exchanging coping behaviors with healthy coping behaviors. Anxiety exists inside your habits that make up your everyday life. Habits are sticky. They don’t just go away. Depression and anxiety can show in our habits within our interactions. Anxiety habits can be prevalent in smoking, eating disorders, financial mismanagement, and much more. Many find as they overcome these bad habits and replace them with good habits, their lives change. How can you make healthy changes?

BECOME SELF AWARE
Pay attention to how you are responding to different scenarios and recognize potential triggers. While also paying attention to different scenarios, also pay attention to how your body is responding to the situations where you are feeling anxiety. The following are some potential examples:

· Perhaps you are unmotivated to do a task, you review your social media, you feel more anxious

· Perhaps you have an upcoming assignment or deadline coming up at work, you grab a snack to eat to distract the anxiety you feel.

· When you experience anxiety, you become more worried about it, then you feel more anxious

Proverbs 14:8 says, “The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving. Keeping an account of triggers helps to recognize potential triggers and will help to enable you to live a more peaceful life.

PLAN
Learn about and create new coping mechanisms so that you have a catalog of additional coping behaviors to replace the unhealthy ones. Exercising mindfulness can be a healthy way to overcome the worry and anxiety you are feeling. Have patience with yourself and repeat the healthy behaviors until it becomes normal. Healthy habits can look like cooking, learning to cook healthy meals, spending time outside, reading, prayer, devotions, meditating, cleaning, and journaling. It may feel different but it will feel more normal over time.

REMOVE NEGATIVE SELF-TALK
Proverbs 23:7 says, “So as a man thinketh, so is he.” Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Therefore, while being organic about your situation, it is also important to speak life into what you desire to change. Affirmations are a powerful tool in assisting with changing the narrative.

REWARD MILESTONES
Don’t look at the end goal but reward the milestones that you make along the way. Reward yourself as you become more self-aware

COUNSELING SUPPORT CAN HELP
If you or someone you know needs a safe place to develop healthy habits and form strategies to remove bad anxiety-filled habits in your life and live a healthier lifestyle, counseling support is available. Call 443-860-6870 to schedule an appointment today.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Tips and Reminders for Coping with Brain Injury

Monday, December 27, 2021 @ 12:11 PM

MedCentre PLLC

Surviving and Living with Brain Injury can be a challenging life experience. There are typically a host of treatments and therapies that are usually prescribed on the road back to some essence of recovery...

Here are some Quick Medication Tips and Reminders while Coping with Traumatic Brain Injury.

Has coping been rough, do you need to talk about it - Please reach out to us!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Grateful For the Silver Lining by Caroline McMillan The New Life Group

Tuesday, November 23, 2021 @ 9:01 PM

Thankfulness is in season right now. The leaves turn color, the air is crisp, and everyone begins to think of family and home as the holidays approach. Thanksgiving, in particular, highlights those wonderful things in our lives we are grateful for. But sometimes we forget to be thankful for more than just the easy basics: food, shelter, and love.

Being grateful for all the good things we have can be easy. We fill up our lists with warmth, joy, a good bed, health, our favorite celebrity, and our paycheck (even if we’re not so hot about our job). But what about that friend who takes advantage of your hospitality, or the boss who’s never happy no matter what you do? What about the cold weather ramping up your energy bill? Can we be grateful for these things too?

The answer is, unequivocally, “Yes!” Perhaps your impinging friend helps you cultivate patience and set limits or your boss’s unreasonably high expectations do, maddeningly enough, make your work better. Or maybe the cold weather encourages you to spend more time with your family--whether that’s inside playing board games or outside shooting hoops to keep warm. The trick is to find the silver lining to your obstacles and be thankful for the whole package.

A life without difficulties isn’t very interesting. Think of all the classic stories that capitalize on problems to create things a character is thankful for. Without the betrayal of his friend in The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes would never have found the old priest’s treasure and become an educated, wealthy man of good standing in the community. Without Kitty’s embarrassing elopement in Pride and Prejudice, Lizzie would never have seen just how much Mr. Darcy loved her. Without a family in The Blind Side, Michael Oher would never have met Leigh Ann Tuoy and been inspired to become a star football player by capitalizing on his God-given gifts. The struggles in these stories make the endings sweet.

Perhaps that is why the struggles of a young woman in ancient times named Mary, who becomes pregnant out of wedlock, is so poignant even today. Luckily, her husband-to-be, Joseph, (who we all know is definitely not the father) takes her as his wife anyway but life still isn’t easy for them. With a census called, the young couple must travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem when Mary is nearing her pregnancy term.

On a donkey and traveling slowly, they reach Bethlehem after an arduous week of travel. As they near the little town, Mary goes into labor. Unfortunately, many people have come to Bethlehem for the census and every inn is full. Joseph knocks on door after door looking for a place to stay but no one can spare them room. Finally, an innkeeper takes pity and offers them a place in his stable. While it’s no five star hotel, they can’t wait any longer and Mary gives birth surrounded by cattle, goats, and sheep.

For the birth of a healthy baby boy, Mary and Joseph, as normal parents would be thankful but they know there is much more to be grateful for. They know that their child is the son of God and they are the earthly parents of their Savior whom Mary names Jesus. But the true payoff comes some thirty years later as Mary agonizes over her beloved son's crucifixion. Her pain is short-lived, though, when he is raised from the dead three days later. While she doesn't understand the full implications of what has happened, her son has just saved every believing person from the grips of Satan.

This isn't just any story--it's the story of redemption for the world. While it isn't Christmas yet, we can still be thankful for the sacrifices Mary and Joseph made as the bewildered parents of our Savior. Without a Parenting the Savior of the World for Dummies guidebook, I imagine there were many times they were truly flummoxed. And we can be truly grateful for the life Jesus lived and surrendered to save us.

Being thankful isn't always easy. I'm sure there were times when Mary and Joseph were at their wits end and not feeling especially grateful for the task God gave them of raising Jesus. But the silver lining never goes away. Our job is to find it and make sure we're always thankful for that. Without struggles, the end result just wouldn't be the same. So, while thankfulness is in season, remember to be thankful for the things driving you nuts because they're just as important as the good things in life.

The New Life Group ~ Pleasant Hill

140 Gregory Lane, Ste. 250

Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

(925) 351 7240

kithill@thenewlifegroup.org


Resources

New Life Ministries:

Cloud, Townsend, Stoop, Arterburn, Hubbard, Yerkovich and the whole gang. Rich material for growth at home, church and work!

John C. Maxwell Team

A leaership legacy continuing to make a powerful impact in lives and leadership circles - Call or email for seminars and or coaching. Ask about our MasterMind Groups!


Academic Consulting & Editing Team:

Got Dissertation? Got RFP? We do research papers! Research design, proposals and editing. Argosy University certified.


the New Life group

140 Gregory Lane, Suite 250

Pleasant Hill, Ca 94523

Office - 925 798 4551

Cell - 925 351 7240


kithill@aol.com

New Life Network member’s office, Pleasant Hill

John C. Maxwell Team – Founding Partner & Consultant


Our Staff

Mark S. Collins, M.S., LMFT

Kit Hill, Ed. D., LMFT - Director

kithill@aol.com


https://newlifenetworkpleasanthill.wordpress.com


https://kithillcounselingandconsulting.wordpress.com


The New Life Group

thenewlifegroup.org

925 351 7240

The New Life Group | thenewlifegroup.org


The New Life Group | 140 Gregory Ln, Suite 250, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
kithilleddlmft@live.com

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Anger Management (Online)

Sunday, October 24, 2021 @ 6:11 PM

Our anger management, online group therapy is designed to improve coping and problem solving skills.

-Learn how to identify and resolve thoughts that trigger anger before it becomes a problem.
-Recognize warning signs and red flags that can lead to anger.
-Discover the relationship between your thoughts and actions and how you can improve your mindset for more favorable actions.
-Learn more effective ways of communicating to improve your interactions and relationships with others.

New Season Counseling provides online counseling for individuals, couples, families and groups. If you or someone you know is in need of counseling don't hesitate to contact us.

Premarital Counseling (Online)

Sunday, October 24, 2021 @ 6:07 PM

Our Life-Together-Forever, online session is designed to serve couples seeking pre-marital education or to revive an already healthy relationship. As part of the "Twogether in Texas" program, it provides voluntary marriage and relationship education skills. Courses are available as individual or group sessions and will help you develop skills in:

-Communication
-Effective listening
-Problem solving
-Conflict resolution
-Goal setting
-Building healthy relationships

Completing the course will reduce your marriage license fee by $60 and waive the 72-hour waiting period. More importantly, discussing communication styles and expectations before marriage, you and your loved one can better understand and support each other in marriage.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Moving Forward After Covid-19 - Part 1 - Grief and Stages of Grief

Monday, October 11, 2021 @ 6:28 PM

As we transition out of lockdown and into a new normal, many of us may feel bittersweet. We are grateful for the opportunity to gather once again together and do the things we have been restricted from doing for so long, but we also may carry with us deep grief over what has happened this past year and a half. Whether we personally know people who have died or gotten very sick from Covid or just felt the trauma of a year of loneliness, isolation, and anxiety, it seems wrong to move forward without acknowledging the different losses we have all experienced. But to acknowledge our grief, we first have to understand what it is.

Many may want to choose to skip the mourning and run from the pain or numb their feelings of this past year with work, substances, alcohol, food, shopping, or engage in risky or destructive behaviors. Grieving is necessary because it helps you validate, understand, and acknowledge what or who you lost, but you don’t need to do it alone. Seek the support of safe friends and family members now that is possible. Also, seek professional support if you notice you are struggling on addressing it. We’ve all experienced loss to some degree this past year, so we all need the tools to understand our grief so we can move forward.

What is Grief?

Grief is defined in the dictionary as “deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone's death.” There are different stages of grief, which we will discuss next, but it is essentially that heavy feeling of sadness due to a loss that doesn’t seem to lift over time unless you process through it. People typically think it only has to do with someone they love dying, but you can be grieved over many different types of losses.

Types of Losses

While many people are grieving the loss of loved ones due to Covid, some are grieving the loss of friendships due to a lack of in-person connection, a marriage due to stress, missing celebrating special occasions like weddings, a new baby, graduations that were not possible to celebrate with family and friends, the loss of the sense of safety, loss of jobs, financial stability, the loss of time and not be able to work on goals, the impact of online school on students and parents, the loss of their mental stability trying to cope with everything going on in the country and world.


Stages of Grief

There are five generally understood stages of grief. They are:
· Denial
· Anger
· Bargaining
· Depression
· Acceptance

Not everyone goes through the stages in the same order, or even all the stages, but this is the generally recognized pattern of grief. There is also no common pace at which people move through the stages–it is different for everyone.

Denial
It is our mind’s natural reaction to feeling so overwhelmed by a loss that it feels it has no choice but to deny it. It is a self-protective mechanism–if we were to feel the pain of a great loss right away we might be completely crushed by it, or so our minds think. It’s easier at first to pretend it didn’t happen than to acknowledge something so precious to us has been lost. At the beginning of the pandemic, many of us (myself included) denied the seriousness of it. We thought it would be over within weeks. None of us could have foreseen just how destructive and all-consuming it would become. It was easier to see it as a small threat or inconvenience than to anticipate the incredible havoc it would wreak on our world. Only as it became apparent that the rates were going up and things were looking more and more grim were we forced to move from denial to anger.

Anger
On this stage we realize we can no longer deny the problem or loss and have to confront its existence. Naturally, that makes us angry. It is the second line of defense, the only way our fragile psyches know how to take some kind of action against the pain. Wherever we direct that anger (to God, to our spouse, toward ourselves), it has to be directed somewhere. And unfortunately, that usually causes more harm than good. Nevertheless, it is a step most of us must work through before we can move to the next stage. We’ve seen so much anger and outrage this past year over various political and social issues that have seemed to come to a head during the pandemic, amplified due to the already grieved state of our country. Anger is a natural response to a deep loss, but we must not stay stuck in it or there can be dangerous consequences.

Bargaining
The third stage of grief, bargaining, is when we get desperate. It’s when we’ve moved out of anger and simply are begging for some kind of relief from the pain. It can take on many forms, perhaps most commonly as trying to make a deal with God to relieve the pain. We are searching for any kind of reprieve we can get for our heavy souls, no matter what it takes. It may also look like regret, chastising ourselves for what we could have done differently to avoid the loss. While anger often turns outward, bargaining can become more inward-focused.

Depression
The fourth and sometimes longest-lasting stage is depression. This is what many people equate to grief itself, but it is in fact only a stage of grief. Most people are familiar with depression in general, but this kind of depression is specifically related to your loss, which in some ways can make it easier to heal from than general depression that has no seeming “cause.” Please take into consideration that children and youth signs of depression may be demonstrated with anger.

Acceptance
Finally, if you are able to move through the previous four stages, you will eventually come to acceptance. Acceptance is not forgetting or being completely okay with what has happened, but rather acknowledging that the loss impacted you but you are able to move forward with hope. In this stage, emotions have been recognized, accepted, and expressed. In this stage, one can realize the magnitude of the experience and understand that he/she will be fine. As the pandemic seems to come to a close, I pray that we can collectively reach the stage of acceptance and allow the losses that we have experienced to shape us into more compassionate and loving people who don’t take health and community for granted.

Going through the five stages of grief is a painful but necessary process for true growth and healing. Wherever you find yourself in this cycle, know that you are not alone and so many people are in the same stage as you. Reach out for support from your community, family and friends. If you notice that this is not enough, seek the help of a professional counselor to help you work through the stages. There is no loss too small or too great to heal from!


https://www.healthline.com/health/stages-of-grief#order

Friday, September 24, 2021

Betrayal

Friday, September 24, 2021 @ 10:49 AM

How does a person heal from the betrayal of a friend, loved one, or a close relationship? I hear this question often in my office. I also have had to struggle with this in my personal life. I have had individuals and even churches talk about me to others instead of coming to me and finding out the truth. I can tell you it hurts. Even as I write this, it is in the middle of the night; I cannot sleep because of the betrayal of someone close to me. The first step of moving on from betrayal is searching yourself to see if the betrayal is because of something you did to the other person and if you need to apologize for something and seek forgiveness. Having a trusted advisor, your spouse, or a pastor work you through this process can be helpful. It is a good idea to have someone look at the situation from their point of view and see if you did anything that could have resulted in the other person betraying you. If you identify something you did, this is not betrayal, it could be retribution, but that is for another blog! If the answer is no, nothing you did was malicious or ill intent; then it is time to start your inside healing from betrayal.
First, we need to know that giving to others, providing our time, money, emotional support, wisdom will in itself open us up for betrayal. Psalms 41:1 King David says, "Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The LORD rescues them when they are in trouble." This entire chapter of Psalms talks about the person who gives to the poor. That person is rescued from the LORD when they are in trouble. The next verse states that God will provide them with prosperity and rescue them from their enemies. David understood that giving to those who are poorer than himself is a good thing, but he also knew that God would rescue him when it goes sideways (notice I said when it goes sideways, not if). Amid a betrayal, we must remember that the joy of giving to others does not come from the giving; it is directly from God. We gain supernatural joy from God, so we can still find joy and know that God will rescue us in times of trouble and betrayal!
Secondly, in verse 9 of chapter 41, David says, "Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me." You need to understand that it is those closest to us that can hurt us the most. They know the right words to say to cut us to the bone! This is so hard because we believe that those closest to us will never let us down, I am sorry to tell you this, but that is just downright false! Yes, you heard me correctly; those closest can hurt us the most, so what do we do? Do we stop letting others close to us? I would say NO! I have far more friends that have not betrayed me than those who do. So, what do we do? We accept it. We will be let down, but we also will be cared for by our true friends.
Third, remember your position. Verse 11-12, "I know you are pleased with me, for you have not let my enemies triumph over me." Being a follower of Jesus, we can know absolutely that God is pleased with us. We can go into his presence, and in God's eyes, we are innocent, even from the most significant betrayal our enemy can try to throw at us. They will not triumph over you, remember this, pray this and live your life knowing that whatever others say about you, God, the creator of everything, is pleased with you! “You have preserved my life because I am innocent; you have brought me into your presence forever."
If you are struggling with the pain of betrayal, pray this prayer, "God help me to see the joy that you give to me and to stop focusing on the pain this person has caused me. Father, open my eyes to the love I receive from you and my friends who genuinely care for me. Bless my enemies Father, and may they find joy and happiness in their life! Would you please help me to focus on you and not the betrayal? I know you are pleased in me, and you will make me prosper. I love you, God, Amen.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Paracletos Counseling Certification training -- October 14-16, 2021

Monday, September 6, 2021 @ 8:50 PM

Dr. Lehome' Bliss

Join us for a dynamic 3-day training leading to certification as a Paracletos Counseling Specialist. Help your clients achieve whole person wellness using our techniques to uncover root causes and identify hidden stressors.

Paracletos Counseling Mind Care can be customized to meet the needs of each client. Care for the mind God's way by combining Biblical prescriptions with evidence-based therapeutic techniques.

Find out more today. Visit our website: paracletosinstitute.org or call Dr. Bliss at 678-522-5361.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Finding Peace in Christ: A Mindfulness Experience

Monday, August 30, 2021 @ 3:46 PM

Generations Church

This past year has been a challenge. Have you felt overwhelmed by stress or fear? Have you wondered where God has been in your life? This 2 hour seminar is designed to help you create moments of stillness through mindfulness meditation. We will discuss what God has to say about mindfulness, how to cultivate it, and how it applies to our faith as Christians. To sign up or to request more information, please email therapywithdavid21@gmail.com. The class is $20. The class will take place at Generations Church: 18422 Bloomfield Ave, Cerritos, CA 90703.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Let's peer into the beginning of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy & CBT

Monday, August 23, 2021 @ 6:13 PM

Let's take. journey into the realm of The Lord's insight, wisdom, revelation and knowledge. I mean, after all, He is Alpha and Omega, beginning and The End, Author and Finisher of our Faith, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient...well, you get the point.

Genesis 4:3-10, we see Cain and Abel. We can read through this and see the pattern of THOUGHT, EMOTIONS, DECISION, BEHAVIOR. Abel brought his best, Cain did not, and The Lord respected it. See verse 5, Cain was VERY angry AND his countenance fell. The Lord in His mercy gave Cain time, alternative thoughts and a way out in verses 6-7 (DECISION), and Cain let the emotions ride....BEHAVIOR in verse 8.

A thought came, emotions from the thought(s) arose, decision(s) were then made and was at the crossroads of the decision, which gave birth to a maladaptive behavior.

What a privilege it is to administer the love of god, The Word of God and walk in the wisdom of God, with and through, the mind of Christ, to assist people in their journey to health and wholeness!

Walk a Mile With Me Virtual Support Group

Monday, August 23, 2021 @ 2:10 PM

The focus of our group is to create a safe place of healing for those wanting to engage in conversation and self-expression related to the complexities as well as triumphs related to depression and anxiety. Topics include but are not limited to:

Various physical and mental symptoms of depression and anxiety
Fear and how it affects those dealing with depression and anxiety
Stress Management
Deep breathing techniques
Muscle relaxation
Identifying fearful self-talk with realistic thinking
Spirituality
Community Connection

Where: https://doxy.me/elishasleectc

Time: Each Tuesday starting September 14, 9:00-11:00 am Through October 26

Space is limited and pre-registration is required to save your spot. Please complete the registration form to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.

3 Ways College Students Can Manage and Cope With Anxiety

Monday, August 23, 2021 @ 1:42 PM

Is the pressure of everyday life keeping you up at night?

Are you having emotional outbursts as it feels like the walls are closing in dealing with everyday tasks?

Do your muscles tighten or tense up at the thought of an upcoming paper or project?

What you are experiencing are signs of you feeling overwhelmed. Here are three tips to assist in managing anxiety.

1.MAINTAIN A REGULAR ROUTINE OF PRAYER AND BIBLE READING

Maintaining a routine of spending time in God’s Word and prayer can center you and allow your perspective in a particular situation to be shifted. Establishing and strengthening your personal relationship with Christ can provide you with courage in times that you need to be brave. You can find support in times where you may feel like the situation is helpless. Hope when you may feel like the situation is hopeless. Increase your faith when situations appear to be impossible to overcome.

Studying God’s love can change how you see yourself and redefine how you view God’s love in your personal life and how you can show God’s love towards others. As you conduct these studies, you can create a vision board reflecting how God sees you. Having a visual picture reflecting images of how God sees you can be a daily encouragement that you can overcome the daily stressors of everyday life.

Meditating on the promises of God and speaking to them over yourself can help to remind you that where you start out at is not where you stay. This can be an encouragement when dealing with difficult challenges and facing stressors head-on.

2.BREATHING EXERCISES

The way that you breathe inhale and exhale can reflect the level of tension that your body is taking in. Breathing exercises are a form of deep relaxation technique that assists in managing anxiety. Breathing exercises can help to decrease

· Your heart rate

· Your respiration rates

· Your blood pressure

· Your skeletal muscle tensions

· Your metabolic rate

· Your oxygen consumption

· Insomnia and fatigue

· Migraines and headaches

· Asthma

· Headaches

· Self-blame

Studies show that breathing exercises can improve

· Skin resistance

· Increase wave activity in the brain

· Energy level and productivity

· Concentration

· Memory

· Stress builds up over time

· Self-confidence

Tension can show in shallow breathing and rapidly high in the chest. When you are relaxed, you breathe more fully and deeply. Abdominal breathing allows you to breathe more fully, deeply, and become more relaxed. This type of breathing:

· Increases oxygen supply to the brain and muscle

· Stimulates the nervous system

· Encourages greater feelings of connectedness between mind and body.

· Releases the body’s toxic substances in a holistic manner

Here is an exercise you can try:

· Put your hand on your abdomen and beneath your rib cage

· Inhale through your nose. Your hand should rise as you do this.

· Do a full breath. Pause. Exhale slowly through your nose or mouth

Studies show that regular practice of deep relaxation for 20-30 minutes a day can produce a more relaxed response.

3.RECOGNIZING AND MANAGING TRIGGERS OF ANXIETY

A trigger of anxiety is a fear of the unknown and feeling as if you are out of control. You may be constantly asking yourself what-if questions and playing different scenarios in your mind reflecting failure. This can lead to depression and muscle tension in your back, shoulders, chest, or stomach.

Creating a schedule where you include leisure activities can help you feel like you have control. The feeling of control and reduce stress and help you to have a more positive outlook in how you approach everyday activities. Having someone to talk to and develop a plan on how to manage your stress can help.

You’ll have a safe place to explore your feeling and discover an anxiety treatment plan that will meet your unique needs. Counseling can provide a place where you will know that you are understood and validated. Call 443-860-6870 and make an appointment for your no-cost initial consultation.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

What is the Relationship Between Imposter Syndrome and Depression?

Wednesday, August 18, 2021 @ 5:43 PM

You’ve worked hard to be in your current position. Finally, you made it. But perhaps:

• You feel like a fraud.
• You feel like you are underserving of everything you have worked for.
• You may feel like you aren’t smart enough
• You may feel like you aren’t good enough
• You think success is difficult to achieve
• You think you are incompetent despite showing otherwise in your performance
• You are afraid of not meeting other people’s expectations and letting them down
• You feel like you are your past successes and hard work was due to luck
• You feel uncomfortable receiving praise or congratulations
• You are disappointed over your current accomplishments. You feel like you could have done
better despite your accomplishment and doubt your success.
• You put yourself in constant pressure to achieve better than you did before.

You may feel this way at your place of employment, but it can also affect other areas of life. It can affect anyone from athletes, scientists, or office workers. Those who are high achievers are more commonly known to experience Imposter Syndrome. These feelings of inadequacy can bring you to a place of feeling stressed, anxious, and depressed.

How Does Someone Experience Depression When Dealing with Imposter Syndrome?

Psychologists coined this term in the 1970s as there appeared to be more professional women struggling with self-doubt, feeling incompetent, and expressed fears of not performing well. No matter how hard you try, you are never good enough nor worthy of the good that you are receiving from others. As a result, you may feel:

• Helplessness
• Worried all the time
• Racing thoughts
• Having the strong desire to isolate yourself from others because you don’t want them to see
the real you

Depression comes as you recognize that you can never reach the level of competence that you think you should have. Therefore, nothing you do is ever good enough. As a result, you may decide to give up as the situation appears to be something you can never resolve.

How Does Someone Who Struggles with Imposter Syndrome Display This Type of Behavior?

You can display yourself as someone who is dealing with Imposter Syndrome in different types of ways:

• Perfectionist – You are perfect and show yourself to be perfect, despite your physical and mental health. You are constantly wearing a mask, and no one sees the real you.
• Superwoman/ Superman – You are constantly saving the day. You are a work addict and constantly pushing yourself. You work all the time and have no balance nor time for a social life nor self-care.
• Natural Genius – You have big dreams and lofty goals. Instead of scaling, you will set up a goal to do the big things on the first try.
• Expert – You never feel like you are good enough, despite the time you’ve spent in learning your craft, gaining your degrees, and certifications.

As you can see, it is easy to feel frustrated, stressed, and anxious because no one can meet the expectations that you set for yourself. There are no set causes for someone who deals with imposter syndrome as it can be a variety of factors such as upbringing, personality, temperament, and genetic make-up.

What Can You Do to Overcome Depression and Imposter Syndrome?

There are five things you can do to overcome Imposter Syndrome:

1. Prayer and Spending time in God’s Word – Take time out of your day to pray and read the Bible. Focus on Scriptures that reference how God sees you and how much He loves you.
2. Acknowledge – Before overcoming any challenge is to admit the challenge exists. From there, you can develop a strategy to begin to change your mindset.
3. Take Steps to Have a Balanced Lifestyle – Rediscover what you like about yourself and what makes you happy. Have fun with it and do those activities. Get out of your comfort zone and try doing new things.
4. Pay Attention to Your Health – Make your health a priority. Pay attention to your diet and exercise routine. Studies have shown that having a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy exercise routine can alter our perspective in a positive way.
5. Talk to someone - Talking to a good friend or counselor regarding how you are feeling can help you in your healing journey.

Get Help Today

You don’t have to continue feeling like you are struggling with Imposter Syndrome and Depression. You will not be alone in your healing journey. It is a journey that I will walk along with you. As you receive counseling and support, you will find joy again.

Call 443-860-6870 for your no-cost initial consultation today.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Ladies Mental Health Peer Groups: "Beh Best"

Monday, August 16, 2021 @ 10:10 PM

MedCentre PLLC

Calling on ladies to get together, support one another via virtual Zoom groups - Let's "kiki" or chat!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Are You A Highly Sensitive Person

Thursday, July 29, 2021 @ 4:19 PM

If you are a highly sensitive person (HSP), you may often hear people say things to you that sound like these:

Just STOP being sooooo sensitive!
The world does not revolve around YOU!
You need a break!
You are over-reacting!

Many of my clients are HSPs. They seem to feel things more deeply than others. They seem to be more sensitive to – well, to everything. They are often more sensitive to textures, sounds, lights, people, smells, the moods of others, and their own thoughts and emotions. They are also more spiritually sensitive. In many ways these people are gifted. These special people are the artists, musicians and worshippers that draw us to them because of the depth of their understanding and insight. If you are or someone you know is an HSP, this article may help to understand the challenges you face and how to develop strategies for coping better with the challenges faced by an HSP.

To read the full article please go to: https://www.experiencematterscounseling.com/post/highly-sensitive-people

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

10 Ways to Manage Social Anxiety as Restrictions Lift

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 @ 9:12 PM

How have you been navigating through post-pandemic social gatherings? I was in a meeting the other day where we discussed this very topic. While restrictions are being lifted, many people are not comfortable with going out and resuming the life they had before the pandemic. From the conversations I have had with several colleagues, you are not alone if you are currently feeling this way. It may even feel particularly worse for you if suffer from social anxiety.

Levels of anxiety can increase when you feel like something is beyond your realm of control, and this may be one reason why you are feeling reluctant to resume your former life post-pandemic. One remedy for this is to plan. Having a plan or strategy will help you feel more comfortable you head back out into the world.

HAVE A PLAN
What you include in your plan or strategy for gathering in groups may vary to the outing or the group of people that you are going to be around. It is okay for your plan to look different and not be the same every time.

1. Bring a Friend. One thing to consider when going to social gatherings is bringing a friend. It always helps to have someone with you. Having a good friend to lean on can help you build your confidence when going into uncomfortable spaces.

2. Limit Time. There is not a rule book that states that you must stay the entire time at an engagement. If attending an event is overwhelming, then limit the time you spend there. Having control of your time can help to lessen the anxiety you may be feeling when attending the event.

3. Exercise. Taking time to exercise and work out increases endorphins that help relieve stress. Regular exercise helps to make you feel more comfortable in stressful situations. You are setting yourself up for success by exercising regularly.

4. Do a Practice Run. Taking a drive a few days before the event and visualizing what the experience may be like or what it could be a way to make you feel calmer about attending the event.

5. Socialize in Other Ways. Many events have become hybrid with an option to choose whether to meet at a location or virtually. You can continue to meet others online and socialize if you are uncomfortable meeting people in person.

6. Visualization. Visualize yourself at the event. Seeing yourself at the event and imagining different scenarios can help calm any fears of what may or may not occur at the event.

7. Deep Breathing. Deep breathing helps to regulate digestive issues, heartbeat, rapid breathing, and blood flow. It also helps to avoid the response of fight or flight when facing scary situations.

8. Gratitude. Living a life in a place of gratefulness helps to lessen anxiety. Focusing on the good things and the positive people in your life instead of what is missing or what you don’t have can help change the perspective of upcoming stressful events.

9. Compassion. Show yourself and others compassion. People are at different places when it comes to deciding how to navigate through life as restrictions start to lift. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Do what makes you feel comfortable while respecting others’ choices in the process.

10. Prayer and Meditation. Prayer and meditation of Scriptures can also help with getting relief from anxiety.


GET HELP TODAY
Do you need help figuring out what plan will work for you? Getting the support of counseling can help you with the anxiety you may be feeling. Call 443-860-6870 to schedule a no-charge initial counseling session today.

3 Ways Depression Affects the Brain

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 @ 9:07 PM

Have you had a bad mood that you cannot shake?

Are you constantly feeling sad and hopeless?

Are you having difficulty sleeping or are you sleeping too much?

Are you always tired?

Have you experienced weight gain or loss?

Are you experiencing restlessness?

Is your sadness stemming from feelings of shame or guilt?

Are you having difficulty concentrating?

Do you have the desire to escape and run away from your problems?

You are not alone. Depression is a common mental illness affecting many people. It can be debilitating and cause serious complications. Sadness can impact the body by increasing fatigue, cause digestive issues, and produce chronic pain. Untreated depression has the capacity of altering the brain, making the episodes worse.

1. DEPRESSION CAN AFFECT CORTISOL AND MEMORY IN THE BRAIN

The hippocampus releases the hormone cortisol. When there are stressors, it floods the hippocampus thereby stunting the growth of neurons. When the hippocampus shrinks in size, there can be memory loss. The problems of memory can show through forgetfulness or bouts of confusion that you may have when in conversation with someone. As a result, studies have shown that there is a tie between short-term memory loss and depression.

2. DEPRESSION CAN AFFECT YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSES – THE AMYGDALA

When you are depressed, the amygdala in your brain can be enlarged. When the amygdala is enlarged, it becomes more active. This can lead to deep disturbances, changes in how you handle anxiety, as well as other hormones. It is not uncommon for people who have depression to also experience anxiety. Side effects include:

· Memory problems

· Difficulty thinking clearly

· Guilty feelings or feelings of hopelessness

· No motivation

· Sleep or appetite problems

· Anxiety

As a result of the amygdala being enlarged, you may experience more intensity within the emotions you have. For instance, if you’re remembering a painful memory, then the pain of that experience will be more intense than it would be for someone who isn’t depressed.

3. DEPRESSION CAN AFFECT INFLAMMATION IN YOUR BODY – MEMORY AND MOOD

Studies have shown that there is a link between inflammation and the brain. The more depressed you may be, the more problems you may have with depression. Reduced oxygen is linked to depression in the body. An inadequate amount of oxygen can lead to inflammation within the brain. The death of brain cells has an impact on memory and mood. It can also speed up aging within the brain.

THE TIE
The correlation between depression and how it affects the brain is yin and yang. This connection between depression and how it affects the brain can be deep and widespread. Unfortunately, it can worsen over time. But there is hope. Studies show that brain circuitry is affected by joy, healthy pleasures, and positive emotions. What do you enjoy doing? Doing things we like focusing on things we can control, helping someone, enjoying a good meal, or taking a walk are ways to activate brain circuitry and reverse depression. Depression, when treated, can be life-changing and you can experience better health in your physical body.

Perhaps you have been sad for so long you do not remember what brings your joy. You want to get better but do not know-how. Working with a counselor can help you rediscover what makes you happy and what brings you joy. While you may no remember what made you happy, through counseling, you can discover yourself again.

You will not be alone in your healing journey. It is a journey that I will walk along with you. With counseling and support, you will find joy again.

Call 443-860-6870 for your no-cost initial consultation today.