Smile

Be your own reason to smile today. 

Because you are AWESOME. 

Whether your thoughts let you hear that today or not. You are. 

You are. 

So smile about that and then let it be contagious and lead to the next thing to smile about… 

Once you find one positive thing to be grateful in your life, it’s much easier to find another so start today by acknowledge how truly AWESOME YOU are! 

Whatever you’ve been through. 
Whatever you’ve done. Whoever you are. You are here. You find a way. You are trying. 

And you are awesome. 

So smile about it. 

ACA Conference + Creative Techniques: Movie Night

Make learning fun!

 

It’s something I’ve heard often enough, but I’ve felt limited by money or time or resources or theoretical boundaries to actually attempt. The longer I practice counseling, the more I believe that counseling CAN be interactive and entertaining.

 

Let me remind y’all that I practice CBT so my approach is very standardized in the way our therapeutic process should progress and which techniques I should use session by session. Additionally, I currently at a site that is state funded so we are even more rigorous than some when it comes to the way we implement CBT. 
HOWEVER it is my personal belief that learning CAN be fun if techniques are personalized and meaningful. 

I went to the ACA Conference earlier this year, that I can and should write about in depth one day soon, and one of my most meaningful take  aways was the exists of so many creative therapies and techniques. The conference was eye opening in more way than one, but this was one way I vowed to take back to Texas. 




Since then, I’ve tried to incorporate several techniques including road maps, drawings, chair dramas, and movies. I’d love to elaborate on each of them one day! Some I took directly from that conference. Others I created, but, I know were indirectly motivated by the sessions I attended. 

I am showing you just a glimpse into this Other World today to encourage you and say that it is possible. 


Don’t get bogged down in particulars. Figure out what you want to achieve, decide if you think a more creative means than strictly talk therapy would be appropriate, and just try! 

Making mistakes is OK! 

Mental health practitioners are human. I think we can be guilty of trying to be too perfect sometimes and not pushing ourselves to try something new. 

I know I have personally been guilty of this, but as I approach two months until graduation, I am trying to put my fear aside and TRY EVERYTHING. 


It’s never to late to try. Ever. But as a graduate level counseling student, I really have no excuses. So this summer, in addition to my individual clients, I’m leading one group completely dedicated to creative expression as well as another – a weekly women’s support group (something I’ve never led). 
In between my last groups and 
these, I had a free week so I chose to use it for a fun night – while still bringing it back and making it back and making it therapeutic. 

I sat up my group therapy room like a movie theater. I gave all my clients a bag of popcorn and some chocolate candies! It was definitely a different night. Everything about the look and feel of our room was different that night.

We watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and processed the experiences in the movie versus  those of my clients in real life. 


Y’all, I finish up this blog by sharing with you this silly experience of going to my “movie theater” and discussing this movie was one of the most therapeutic sessions we had all semester.


It cost hardly anything. They were more involved and attentive than ever. They disclosed more than usual- I would wager because the attention wasn’t on them so they felt more at ease. And it was. Awesome. 
I wouldn’t advocate to watch a movie every single group, but the success of this experiment did validate my belief in creative therapeutic means

This and similar experiences also helped water and nurture the seed that was planted at the ACA Conference. 


So here’s to trying new things! Sometimes they won’t work out, but sometimes they will. We will not know until we try though. Think outside the box and try a new, creative way of reaching your clients today! 

Wellness Check

I recently used these questions in a Wellness Group I am facilitating


If you follow my blog, you know I am big on insight and self care though so I think they are good for all of us to answer. Counseling and self discovery can benefit anyone. 


You do not have to have some traumatic event occur in your past or some life changing decision to make now to benefit from speaking with a mental health professional. 
Sometimes being able to learn certain skill sets to better your coping skills and increase your quality of life CAN be your goal. 

When this is the case, I would have you reflect on questions such as these. What have you tried? What are you trying? What are you willing to try? 

These are very useful tools in counseling, but are also good in our day to day life to keep us in check and challenge ourselves. We can say we want something or that it is important to us, but when we ask these simple questions we can better understand how much effort we are truly making. 

Thoughts for you as this weekend wraps up. I hope you all had a blessed weekend and go into this week ready to make the world a better place! 

Tana 

Importance of Travel

In my adult life, I discovered a passion of mine: traveling

I remember on one of my first ever trips I was able to fly out of state, which was in itself an experience. Once I was there, I feel like something changed inside me. Within me. 

I remember thinking how DIFFERENT everything was! 
I was a young woman from a small, country town. I had never been somewhere so big or awake.


I could feel the city. 



I remember when I was there feeling like I could be anyone or do anything. It was an incredibly powerful experience

The biggest lesson my trip taught me is how incredibly small my world was and how much I wanted to travel to help expand it

So travel I have. And travel I do. 

For today’s Self Disclosure Saturday, I am sharing with you my travel board. It does not include all of my travels because my magnet idea is relatively new. It is my new “thing” to do when I go on a trip, purchase my favorite magnet to bring back to commemorate the trip (cheaper than most souvenir junk and a lot smaller / easier to keep up with). 


My family has started to bring me magnets from their travels too! The poker chip in the corner is from my my mom’s trip to Vegas, for example, I’ve never actually been. 

So there it is, my personal disclosure and mantra. 

Travel far enough in life… in the world… in your soul… in your psyche… and you might find yourself. 

Blessings, 
Tana