Graduation Reflection 

Guess who graduates in THREE DAYS? 👊 That’s right! This girl right here! 🌻

Never did I imagine people would be coming to ME asking questions about getting their degree or careers in counseling! I’m “little ole nobody.” 

Right

You’ve probably said it before.  I did

Week after week. 

Month after month. 

Until finally I decided to ignore or better yet reframe those negative thoughts to something positive

I AM ME.

I AM STRONG.

IT WILL BE TOUGH, BUT SO AM I. 

I CAN DO THIS. 

Ever since I decided to get out of MY OWN WAY, nothing has stopped me. 

Some days have been harder than others, but every.  single.  one of them have been worth it to get to this point. 

This is the point in my life where I show that insecure, doubting girl from 2.5 years ago that SHE DID IT! 🎉

Positive Energy + The Ivy 

Another counselor at my office gave me a stem off her Ivy several months ago. I warned her not to. That I kill all things green, but she said she had faith in me (bad idea). 

The plant quickly started to die. The three leaves it had at the time started to whither and turn brown. I knew this look as I had done it to plants before. 

I sadly confessed to her what I had done and she said, “It’s feeding off your energy.” That was a little TOO holistic for me, but who was I too judge. My plants are dead. Hers are large and beautiful. She gave me some tips to revive it and I said I’d try again. 

Y’ALL. I don’t know if it’s “my energy” or some small factor I may have changed, but look at this plant! 🌱🌱🌱 

It’s not dead. It didn’t give up. It held in there with me through my toughest semesters and obstacles. As I start to breathe and look forward…
 so does my plant. 
Maybe she was on to something after all. 

#ivy #greenthumb #plants #growth #progress #perservere #fighter #survivors #counseling #therapeutic #grounding #groundingmyself #positiveenergy #depression #anxiety #gradschool #composmentiscounseling 

Article Review: Living with Anxiety

Living with Anxiety

 

Anxiety is an issue faced by nearly every client I treat. Seldom will I meet with someone who doesn’t identify any struggles with anxiety at all. Key points were when it stated anxiety can be a lifelong phenomenon, but that’s OK! The author speaks about the role of family and the community in the client’s life as well and how a support system and routine can be helpful. Part of a counselor’s job is to educate clients and then help them develop coping skills to utilize for the anxiety.

The bulk of this article focused on the coping skills themselves:

  • Identifying negative thoughts
  • Learning to only worry about what you can control
  • Normalizing the experience and existence of anxiety
  • Scheduling “worry time” or utilizing a Kuhn’s “worry tree”
  • Practicing mindfulness, meditation, relaxation techniques
  • The butterfly hug *a deep cross arm hug provided to self during deep breathing
  • Walking
  • Teaching clients not to stereotype situations
  • Becoming aware of your negativity and purposely avoiding it
  • Practicing healthy habits: diet, exercise, sleep hygiene, social media, substance abuse
  • Externalizing the problem *”I am anxious.”   -“No, you are Susan, and you have a problem with anxiety”

The author reminded counselors to be up to date on their knowledge of anti-anxiety medications as some clients will choose to use them. It can be part of our role to help with educate, stigma busting, and also helping the client cope with their own comfort with the medicine. It is also important to know if a client is on meds so you, the counselor, can keep an eye on the dosage. No, you are NOT a medical personal nor are you a prescriber, but you should have a general understanding of how they work and can refer them back to their doctor as needed or work with them more on coping skills if symptoms seem to be increasing.

Lastly, remember that the person in front of you is that, a person. Ultimately, what most matters is their presenting problem and how the two of you can develop and utilize a recovery plan to accomplish their goals.

 

Bray, B. (2017) Living with anxiety. Counseling Today, 59(12).

 

Maslow’s Hierachy 

Happy Monday, y’all! 

After having pneumonia for a WEEK and missing much of my work week, I’m back today! Playing catch up on paperwork and calling clients. 

One fun thing I’ve worked on is updating my cork board. 

In my last clinical class, we talked about the need of involving case management in counseling. That the two do not have to be mutually exclusive and a good counselor SHOULD be checking on their client’s basic needs. Well, we referenced Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs and it stuck with me. 

Today for my board, I added this new posting. 

My hope is that it is clean and simple enough that clients can understand it and reach out as needed. I feel like I will probably ended up changing the way I phrase my writing or the way I display it all together, but I loved the idea so I wanted to go ahead and put it into play AND share with you guys. 

What do you think? Do you believe you can truly do counseling with someone about their interpersonal relationships, self esteem, etc if they don’t have food and water at home? 

I pride and market myself as being a holistic counselor. I think it’s good to take a step back and remember to look at the person as a whole. Really look. Ask if needed. What’s going on in their life. How can you help? 
Asking about basic needs and having a resource list ready seems to be a good fix  for this missing link. 
My thoughts for the day. 

Best, Tana 

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. 

❤️