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Anorexia

Eating Disorders Breed Disconnection

I have worked with hundreds of women who struggle with disordered eating and poor body image. Some clients obsessively track calories or Weight Watcher’s points. Some try to restrict their food intake all day then order large quantities of food to binge on at night. Some purge after meals or excessively exercise. Others restrict entire food groups. Some have tried every fad diet. Some say mean things to themselves when they look in the mirror, in hopes that this will motivate change. Some have found a community -- in Weight Watchers or Overeaters Anonymous -- to hold them accountable or to reinforce their guilt after a weekly weigh in. Some have convinced themselves that a juice cleanse is necessary for detox. Some only eat “clean” foods. Some only eat purple foods. Some never eat purple foods... (Those last two I haven’t come across, but I imagine someday I will).
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Habits

4 Steps to Making Any Change You Desire

Lucy was drawing to a close in her counseling work with me when she said, "You know, this isn’t how I thought I would feel."

"What do you mean?" I asked her.

"When I started counseling," she said, "I thought I’d have to become a completely different person in order to be happier. That I had to fix a deficiency in some way that seemed impossible and overwhelming. But it turns out that this feeling I have now -- of lightness, of possibility, of more confidence and trust in myself -- I just needed to lean into that more. Asking myself ‘in the moment’ if something is right for me is not selfish, but is actually kinder to others as well as me. I’m pleasantly surprised and so relieved that I didn’t need to transform into someone else to be more content."
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Brain and Behavior

Timing Is Everything: How to Produce Your Best Work

Producing high-quality work day after day is no small feat. When you use your brain on perpetual overdrive, you’re bound to hit productivity slumps where it feels like you’re fresh out of new ideas.
While there’s no shortage of tricks and tips to hack your way to more innovative thinking, timing is everything, says sleep doctor Dr. Micheal Breus, author of The Power of When. He believes working in sync with our body’s natural clock is the key to unlocking success to produce our best, most creative work.
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Creativity

7 Meaningful Ways to Start Your Morning—Especially If Mornings Aren’t Your Thing

Mornings tend to be tough for many of us.

You open your eyes to the blaring of your alarm, and think, “Ughhhh.” You think about your super-long to-do list and dread the day. You calculate the cups of coffee you’ll have to consume so your head doesn’t smack the desk. You scroll through random sites and social media. You check your email five thousand times.

After a snooze or ten, you finally stumble out of bed, and trip 18 times on various objects -- shoes, toys -- on your way to splashing water on your face.

In short, mornings aren’t exactly your thing.

But there are small ways you can turn that around. Below are seven suggestions for making your morning more meaningful, brighter, and a bit more fun.
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Anxiety and Panic

How Social Media Feeds Social Anxiety

Fingers flying, incessant texting, phones held to ear as secondary appendages gives the illusion we are well connected. We are chattering and snapping and “selfieing” (I think I just made that word up -- you can do that these days) all the live long day. Meanwhile scientists quietly dispense reports underlining an incredible finding: We are socially anxious people. Extremely socially anxious. So what gives?
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Creativity

9 Self-Care Tips to Put Your Life Back in Balance

Are you feeling run-down? Are you continually putting the needs of others before your own? Do you feel like your life is out of balance?

If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, consider investing in self-care. Self-care refers to the practices you engage in to decrease stress and promote general well-being. Practices vary from person-to-person, however, self-care as a whole creates similar outcomes: increased happiness, balance, productivity, reduced stress and a greater sense of control.

Practicing self-care tends to be the first neglected “to-do” during times of stress when in reality self-care is the antidote! When incorporated into your daily, weekly and monthly routine, you'll experience a profound impact relative to the time invested.
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Creativity

How to Unwind Without a Glass of Wine

It’s been a terrible week. You barely checked off any tasks on your to-do list, and nothing went the way you wanted it to. You’re finally able to sit on the couch and savor a tall glass of wine—or three.

Your toddler finally fell asleep after yelling nonstop for 30 minutes about…you can’t recall. You have some peace and quiet—and can drink your wine. After all, you deserve it after the day you’ve had.

You’ve been worrying about so many things lately, so you jump at the chance to meet your coworkers for cocktail hour. You literally jump. You could use a fun escape. In fact, you require it.
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Anxiety and Panic

Taking Time for Quiet: How to Make Every Day Feel Like Vacation

Throughout my growing up years, I rarely remember having quiet moments. My memories were guarded by loud TV's, talking with others, and the constant chatter in my head about my goals for the days and or worries. I don't remember having anyone around that taught me about quiet. It wasn't until I was in college, with the hopes (at the time) of becoming a dentist and feeling sort of lost by that, did I learn from my own life coach about the importance of making space for quiet.

Now working in private practice as a therapist I notice that this is the struggle with many clients and many of them have never even realized it, like myself prior. The idea of them making space to allow themselves to become quiet and relaxed is often very scary and I take pride in helping my clients down this journey of peace.
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General

Why We Sabotage Ourselves

Counseling psychologist Rosy Saenz-Sierzega, Ph.D, was working with a client who yearned to find a better job. But he wouldn’t apply for any job until his resume was ready.

The problem? It was taking him months to “perfect” it.

In reality, he was sabotaging his success, ensuring he’d stay stuck at his current company.

Sometimes, we sabotage ourselves by setting unrealistic expectations. We decide to try something when we can do it perfectly—which means we don’t do anything at all. We stay in the dead-end job. We stay in the toxic relationship. We don’t finish the degree.
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Grief and Loss

How Gratitude and Mindfulness Go Hand in Hand

Think of someone with whom you have shared happy moments or someone who has supported you and been there for you. Write them a thank you letter and deliver it to them. In your letter describe to the receiver why you are grateful to have them in your life and explain how their presence has given you growth and happiness. In a 2009 study, when researchers asked participants to do a similar exercise, they found that those who wrote thank you letters and delivered them reported an increase in their level of happiness that lasted for up to two months. Expressing gratitude significantly improved their well being.1

If you prefer to experience gratitude without having to express it to others, you can keep a gratitude journal. Every day before going to bed, write down three things that you are grateful for. A 2005 study found that research participants who wrote about three good things in their lives every night for one week reported an increase in happiness that lasted for six months.2
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Children and Teens

5 Suggestions for Setting Realistic Expectations for Yourself

Everyone has expectations for themselves. We often assume these expectations are reasonable. Yet many of them are anything but.

We expect ourselves to work without any breaks. We expect ourselves to have the same level of—high—energy every day. We expect ourselves to experience the same emotions—calm and contentment. We expect ourselves to be fearless.

We expect that we’ll handle difficult times like a to-do list, said Elizabeth Gillette, LCSW, an attachment-focused therapist in Asheville, N.C., who specializes in working with individuals and couples as their families grow. We’ll be quick and efficient with our sadness—like we’d be with replying to email or cleaning the kitchen.
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