You, me, and counseling in 2016.

We’re nearing the end of 2016. About to make some major anxiety-invoking-political-decisions (the American Counseling Association is actually offering resources for folks dealing with election-anxiety this cycle). It’s been a leap year. And I think it’s safe to say we can blame Mercury in retrograde for some other off-kilter happenings.

2016 has brought about so many changes, including my transition to focusing on developing and growing my private practice and being able to help folks that otherwise have a hard time attaining it.

What does that mean to you?

Well, to be honest, it can mean a lot of things or a lot of nothing. One of my goals of counseling at my private practice is changing the stigma around mental health challenges. Reaching out for help doesn’t need to mean there is something blatantly awful going on in your life. It can mean you’re dealing with some difficult transitions and would benefit from some insight from an outsider’s perspective. It can mean you have a very concrete issue and you need some goal-directed action to overcome that specific obstacle. Or it could mean you’re not exactly sure what is going on in your world, but you know you don’t feel right and you know you deserve to be happier but don’t know how to go about getting to that more fulfilling phase of your life.

So many people report how nervous they are about taking the first steps- making the call to different therapists and then showing up to that first appointment. And while it can be nerve-wracking to meet someone new, especially someone you plan on baring your Self to, that’s okay and completely normal. Being open and vulnerable can be terrifying. But you should also be proud of yourself for overcoming those steps and reaching out. When you attend your first session, we’ll talk through your nerves and attempt to discern what the best mode of action for you is and what your options may be.

I receive several inquiries about whether I do *THIS* type of counseling or *THAT* other specific technique that is all the current rave. And while these are great questions and it’s awe-inspiring that you are taking an active role in your treatment,  I like to encourage folks to be open and willing to try different things. Sometimes you may come in for a very specific challenge and realize there are some other underlying thoughts causing some maladaptive feelings and behaviors.

I’ve also revamped my logo thanks to some common themes that have come up with clients. I like to use the tree analogy in our work together. You, the individual, are the tree trunk; it’s core. While anxiety or autism or schizophrenia are parts of your Being, branches if you will, they do not compromise your entire Self. They do not solely define you. They’re merely different facets of who you truly are. Sometimes we get caught up in a diagnosis or a specific barrier, but I like to remind clients that these aspects are a fraction of the whole; you are more than just your problems.

Since this post, I’ve officially been granted my PA license to practice as a Professional Counselor, moved, and had a little minion that wrecks havoc on the world.

Anyway. Drop me a line. Let’s have a conversation.


Hopscotch Your Way to Happiness

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.- Plato

Do you have time to be silly? Most will say no. Time to be professional! Time to be an adult! Time to pay bills, but no time to have some fun.

One of the main reasons I enjoy working with kids is because of their willingness to play. They don’t really need that new talking Furby* or the latest Beyblade*. Sure, they’ll kick and whine about it but give them a few regular Lego*, or whatever trinket is hanging out in the impulse buy section of a check-out line and magic will happen.

It truly is amazing. Often times in play, individuals will feel more free to express themselves. Yes this is true for little ones. But once you get an adult to sit down and play, they’ll typically use it as a means to express how they really feel instead of trying to hide behind a facade of what they think they should feel!

Ask any grade schooler what their favorite subject in school is and most will say recess. Next time consider joining them out there. Absorb all the giggles. And most importantly, enjoy your Self!

Source: unknown
Source: unknown

*Michelle does not endorse any of the products mentioned in this post nor is she being paid to mention them in the post.