Resource List 

Greetings all, 

I am currently working on updating my resource list to create a page to add to my webpage. If you have a business or organization that benefits persons that struggle with mental illness, substance abuse, anger issues, their caregivers, or the like, feel free to send me your information for consideration! 

You can post it directly here 👇 or you can email me on the Contact page. 

It is my goal to eventually put together a strong list of both local and global referrals that individuals can consider as needed. 
❤️

Little Things + Big Results

I’ve been looking for little ways to practice what I preach this week. 

I tell my clients it’s simple to make little changes and that they add up. Which I 100% believe

I do not think recovery is black and white. I THINK it’s a series of steps and it’s small progress, with days getting a little easier and a little easier. 

After a challenging appointment this week, this concept I preach, I decided to put into my own practice. Remember when I said EVERYONE can benefit from evaluating their mental health at a given time and assessing the tools / coping skills they are using? 

Well, I mean ANYONE! 

Obviously some people are more vulnerable for mental illness than others and some are under more psychological stress than others, but we could ALL benefit from a good self exploration and tune up every now and then. 
So why am I any different? This week was about self discovery and putting words into action!
Three new things I’ve done this week:

  • I am using brightly colored cups to drink my water during the day. Black has been my favorite color all my life, y’all, but black is not really associated with happiness and positive mental health so I’ve consciously chosen bright yellow cups (or pink or teal). Color can trick your brain into a more happy mood.  
  • Likewise, I bought a new toothbrush (it was time anyways #boringselfcare) in YELLOW. Again yellow is not my color, but I’m learning to associate yellow with sunshine, light, and happiness. I swear it’s working! Seeing something colorful first thing everyone morning flips a little trigger in my brain, “Oh yeah. We are going to be colorful today. We are going to be positive and happy.”

  • Last but not least, I’ve rededicated myself to morning workouts. There is a ton of research out there to suggest working out first thing in the morning is a great idea! It gets your body moving and it gets you on track for the day. I actually challenged myself and took it a step further this time. I chose to do an at home yoga practice. I found a disc online that I felt met my needs and so far, so good. Yoga seemed like a win, win for what I was trying to accomplish because IT IS a workout (for the doubters out there), but it’s also wonderful for stress relieving, relaxation, and mediation. Overall, it’s a good mental health tool! I’ll keep y’all update on how that goes. 

So I guess you could put this post under professional, but maybe it’s more personal. I really challenged myself this week to practice what I preach and see if it would benefit my day to day life. 

The results are in and The answer is…. YES

I even had one coworker comment that I looked “extra nice… and shiney” this week. Ha! I told her… “I think it’s happiness!” 

After brushing my teeth with my yellow tooth brush, fixing my hair, and putting my happy, shiney face on! 😂😊😍

So to wrap it up…

  • Clients: find something that works for you! The first thing may not work, but something will. 
  • Clients: counselors are humans too! Read above. We aren’t here to judge you, but help you. 
  • Counselors: you aren’t here to judge your clients, but help them. Remember and mean that. Think of creative ways to try it. 
  • Counselors: remember you are a person too! Think back to your training about self care and burn out and put it into use. We can’t help anyone if we can’t help ourselves. 

❤️

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