Reality vs. Realities 

Realizing there can be more than one version of reality is probably the best thing that ever happened in my journey as a clinician. That realization allowed me to look at clients as individuals and help meet them where they were at with THEIR goals instead of trying to “fix” them and teach them “the truth.” 

Are hallucinations a symptom? 
Are they also a part of some people’s reality? 

It is naive to deny psychosis, delusions, symptoms of personality disorders, etc AREN’T a part of day to day life. 

Ultimately I found if you treat the person as a person and let them personalize their treatment plan, you should be good to go! 

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 

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!