"Remember that We can decide what to do with the things that happen to us. In doing so, we use those boulders as an advantage, as a challenge to get around, instead of believing that nothing good can ever come of it and that our story is completely ruined." - robin helget
If you are the type of person who can sit down with a fictional book and read it from start to finish over the course of however many days, umpteen hours, and a few casual minutes, then congratulations. You successfully know how a book is supposed to be read and can read it accordingly.
If you cannot, then this is for you, and even if you can read a book in a proper form, then this may be equally as intriguing simply for laughing matters or to simply feel a little better about yourself. Yes, I’m giving you permission to laugh at me.
You may read this heading and wonder what this is going to be about. Well, let me forewarn you: there’s no hidden meaning or big takeaway. It really is about how I read a book...the structure of the reading, I mean.
You would think this would be a simple action, but I happen to do it a little differently.
I first started reading stories as a small child. My mom told me she used to read to me, and though I have no specific memory of this, I believe her because I loved to read as a young kid and even now as an adult. I also have an eye for improper grammar and spelling errors, and an even bigger need to verbalize these grammatical errors in people’s posts, letters, books, emails, and what people love the most: their speaking. I have, however, throughout my twenties gotten better about letting that go...mainly because you may have found a few spelling errors thus far, and I do not want to be hypocritical. Frankly, it's quite annoying too. Besides, words are hard.
I cannot properly explain how to read a book without talking about anxiety. I have struggled with anxiety in my personal life for many, many years. I’ve called it many things: depression, boredom, nervousness, worry, dissatisfaction, and my most favorite terms that other people call anxiety: dramatic or made up. After all, we all want to spend hours surfing through the tabs in our own head finding one minor detail to focus on for hours and hours, right?
In the last five years, my anxiety escalated. The fear of the unknown and being out of control sometimes paralyzed me, made me feel stuck inside a body that wasn’t moving or doing what I wanted it to do, and my conscious mind was stuck inside screaming.
Fear of the unknown caused escalated heart-rate, not the I’m having a heart attack kind, but the holy crap, my chest is heavy and I can’t breathe kind. Reading, then, became one of the coping skills I used more frequently to escape from the inner turmoil inside my own brain. It helped putting myself into someone else’s world when I could barely manage the world in which I were living.
As I started reading more and more, I started to notice something that seemed odd to me: I was becoming more anxious while I was reading. It no longer was an escape; it became a piece of my own reality. I’d put myself into the story so much that I would get anxious not knowing how the story would end. It only took a few fiction novels, mostly Jody Picoult of course, to determine that this was not working for me. I loved reading, though. I loved finding a book I couldn’t put down--someone else’s life I could get lost inside for just a moment. I was confused and even more frustrated with myself.
My reading style went a little like this:
Pick the book.
Probably base my decision on the book cover and synopsis on the back. Yes, I'm horrible.
Let the book sit on my nightstand for a few nights.
Finally start the book.
Read the first 3-4 chapters of the book.
Get super anxious because this is when the conflict tends to happen. I now know the characters and have enthralled myself into their situations.
Stop reading the book.
Think about the book the subsequent days following.
Get super anxious about what’s happening and not knowing the ending.
This is when it hit me. The light bulb moment I needed: I should read the ending.
That light bulb moment completely changed my reading pattern. I now could get to know the story, the characters, the plot, the setting, and as the conflict builds, I would flip back to the last chapter of the book and read it. (The epilogue just quite wasn’t enough to the put the pieces together). So there I was, finding myself flipping to the last 30-40 pages of the book that was causing more stress than my own life at this point.
As I read the last chapter, I immediately feel the anxiety decrease. I feel like I knew enough of what was going to happen and that would make me okay - no matter the outcome of the story. I just needed to know what it actually was.
Maybe it's more than how I read a book...
It’s not until I write this that I actually understand there is a bigger meaning to this section.
Don’t we get the most anxiety when we do not know what’s going to happen tomorrow or the next day or in my brain, ten years? Don't we get the most anxiety when the fear of the unknown encapsulates us? When the fear picks us up and throws us around with debris flying, as if we were in the middle of an F4 tornado? That’s when anxiety really takes over. If I could just know what would happen, take a glimpse into my future, I would be good. Or so I thought.
If I could read the last chapter of the book that’s called my life, my anxiety may be completely gone. If I were to be able to see that everything that has happened to me and that everything that continues to happen to me along the way will work out, and that I am going to make it, I tell myself I will be calm--that if I know that fact when experiencing these events, I’ll be fine. HOW DO WE GET LIFE TO WORK LIKE THIS FOR US?
You know this, I know this.
Our lives are not a book already written, but one where the pages are continually being formed by the relationships, interactions, thoughts, and choices we make every day. One choice today can lead to a different plot twist, different characters, and a different ending.
If we were given the book of our life the minute we were born, would it really be a fulfilling life? If we 100% knew exactly what was going to happen, who the characters were, how the story begins, lives, and ends, what would we be really even living for?
You see, our lives are more than the words on a page, just like the books we read are more than a story.
Comfort in the unknown
It's been a month since I've become aware of my reading habits. In this month, I've read three books physically and a few audibly, and I've yet to flip to the last chapter.
It may seem like a small win, but I know that this is something that helps me practice having comfort in my life that seems completely unknown. I know that I trust myself to make choices that align with my values as a human, as a woman, as a professional, as someone in relationship with others, as a believer of God. I also know that I have to be aware of these choices frequently so I can continue to keep that alignment.
When we trust ourselves in our decisions and choices, we can begin to have some peace in what the future holds and how our lives play out. There are still going to be plot twists. There will still be times when we have no idea what's going on in our own story. There will be obstacles, boulders perhaps, that stand in our way to stop us from getting where we want to go. There will be things that life hands us, heartache, loss, worry, trauma perhaps, that seem to come out of nowhere and cannot control. In these times, remember to trust. Remember that we can decide what to do with the things that happen to us. In doing so, we use those boulders as an advantage, as a challenge to get around, instead of believing that nothing good can ever come of it and that our stories are completely ruined.
The unknown is scary, and I encourage you to trust yourself enough to know that whatever that unknown is, you WILL get through it.
I'm not going to ask how you read a book. I will, however, ask a bigger question: How do you write a book? Well, we write a book, one page at a time, one day at a time, one moment at a time. Keep writing.
Robin Helget, LSCSW, CPT
"Those who experience panic attacks on a regular basis often feel embarrassed or ashamed because they know, logically, that these attacks aren’t actually going to kill them." - marissa martin
If you have never had a panic attack before, here is one word to sum up the experience: debilitating. When someone is experiencing a panic attack, they experience a faulty trigger of their “fight-or-flight” response that is located in the body’s sympathetic nervous system. Your sympathetic nervous system is what causes your heart to start pounding, your vision to become blurry, and your head to start feeling dizzy. As a result, it is common for people going through a panic attack to start feeling like they are about to die, and make a beeline to the emergency room.
Those who experience panic attacks on a regular basis often feel embarrassed or ashamed because they know, logically, that these attacks aren’t actually going to kill them. But even though they know this to be fact, there is still something inside of them that is not 100% convinced that what they are going through isn’t catastrophic.
Although only 2-3% of Americans face panic disorder each year, roughly ⅓ of all Americans will experience at least one panic attack in their lifetime. It is important to know how to face these debilitating attacks when they happen so that one can save an unnecessary trip to the emergency room. By using the acronym AWARE, we can learn how to face panic attacks when they occur, and prevent the future manifestation of them.
Acknowledge & Accept
The first thing a person should do when experiencing a panic attack is to acknowledge the feelings of anxiety that come with it. Unfortunately, our first instinct in countering a panic attack is to act in a way that will increase the severity of the panic attack: avoidance. When we pretend that our feelings surrounding the panic attack aren’t actually there, we only make the symptoms worse.
When we acknowledge and accept these feelings, we are saying “I am currently feeling anxious and terrified, but I am not in any real danger. I accept these feelings that are currently occurring, and will make an effort to work with them rather than against them.” We should be accepting of these feelings because there is no actual danger surrounding the manifestation of a panic attack. It is important to remind yourself that no one has ever died of a panic attack, so you will not be doing any harm by acknowledging and accepting the feelings associated with panic.
Wait & Watch
Whenever someone feels an intense onset of panic, they may feel a strong urge to leave the situation that they find themselves in. By giving into these urges, we feed into the fear that is manifested by our panic attacks, and it leads to us avoiding these locations in the future. When we utilize “wait” during our panic attacks, we give ourselves time to collect our thoughts and feelings before making rash decisions based on our panic. A helpful way of thinking about the “wait” step is to view it as counting to 10 whenever we feel angry. Allowing ourselves time to process our emotions and thoughts keeps us from making decisions that we will regret later.
After waiting, one should then spend time looking at the panic attack in particular. Filling out a panic diary entry is one way that people can analyze what is happening to them during an attack. By listing all of our symptoms, the time our attack occurs, and all of the environmental factors associated with the attack, we are able to get a big picture look at what goes on exactly during our panic attacks. It is important that we are actually getting this information down on paper, rather than simply thinking about each of the questions. By writing the information down on paper, it allows us to get some distance from our emotions that are debilitating us.
"one third of all americans will experience a panic attack in their lifetime."
Once we have accepted and watched our panic attack, the next step is to act. An important thing to note is that we cannot act in ways to end our panic attacks; we can only act in ways to help ourselves feel more comfortable during an attack. Some ways that can help us calm down include mindfulness meditation, diaphragmatic breathing, and positive self-talk. There are certain mindfulness exercises that are designed to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which eases our sympathetic nervous system.
Once we start to feel better, we may immediately experience another wave of panic. People often experience this, and feel like the coping mechanisms above didn’t do anything to help. The important thing to do when this happens is to remind yourself that this is normal, and that what we’ve done in the previous steps can help you! Repeat these steps if you start to feel the onset of panic again, and continue to do so until you start to become more relaxed.
This step is here to remind you that all panic attacks come to an end, and that you won’t feel like this forever. Regardless of how you approach your panic attacks, they will eventually face completion, and the only thing you can do until then is make yourself as comfortable as possible. Panic attacks will always pass.
The AWARE model was adapted from Dr. David Carbonell at anxietycoach.com.
Marissa Martin, Counseling Intern
"How do you maintain your work/life balance? Maybe you had a terrible dy, and you decide going for a run or a walk would help clear your head and de-stress more than doing the laundry. don't make yourself feel guilty for this." - alexa lingren
How do you maintain your work/life balance? Maybe your idea of a great Monday night is spending the evening hanging out with your friends after a long day, venting about work and life, getting home, falling into bed, and waking up to do it all over again. Maybe you would rather come home, make your house feel clean and organized, watch mindless TV by yourself, and fall asleep on the couch by 9pm. Whichever category you fall into, you may find yourself frustrated if you don’t balance your time with a little dose of both options.
How do you get energy?
Some people are introverts and recharge by being alone. Other are extroverts and enjoy socializing and getting energy from other people. Knowing yourself in this way can be very important when thinking about your own personal work/life balance. Maybe you set limits to attending two social events per week. If you know you will feel burnt out after saying yes to a third event, practice “saying no” when you get invited to that third event. Know yourself and know when staying home and getting things done around the house would make you feel better the next day versus going out for that event. Also, recognize when you’ve maybe spent too much time alone that week and need some socialization. Saying no can also refer to working outside of work. Of course, you may have required things you have to do off the clock, but if they are not required, try to prioritize when you’re thinking about bringing work home. Can you shift things around and get it done while at work? Does it have to be done the night after you worked a 12 hour day, or can it wait until tomorrow?
Another work/life balance concern is the amount of time spent at work or talking about work. Those who spend 40+ hours a week tend to use the fleeting hours they have off the clock, talking about work. I have had clients who have said to me: “How do I stop spending my entire evening complaining about work to my friend/significant other/coworkers? I feel drained getting home at 7pm, talking about work until 8, and waking up at 6 to go back and do it all over again. This only gives me 2 hours of work-free time.” One idea I give people is to use the “two positives and one negative” rule.
Set a timer
You can set a timer on your phone, give yourself 10-15 minutes, and discuss your day; however, make sure you end with at least two positives from your day and only one negative. This process is beneficial for two reasons: it helps you keep the discussion to a 10 minute minimum, and it helps you put your day in perspective. Yes, maybe you felt like nothing good happened all day, but chances are, if you really think about it, you can find at least two positive events. And yes, it may feel therapeutic to complain about all the terrible things that happened, but really, they may have felt worse because of the one major thing that happened that day. So, keep your conversation to 10 minutes, and don’t forget to point out the positives.
Finally, it may help to keep your time off the clock somewhat organized, so you don’t start to feel stressed or overwhelmed to have some time at home, not knowing what you should be doing. Keep a whiteboard or notebook in your house that you use to make a weekly list of things you want to get done. Make a note of doctors appointments you need to make, bills that need to be paid, and household chores that have to get done that week.
Make time for yourself
And lastly, make time for YOU when you think about your priorities. Maybe you had a terrible day, and you decide that going for a run or a walk would help clear your head and destress more than doing the laundry. Don’t make yourself feel guilty for this. You will get the laundry done on the weekend, and you took the time that day to help yourself shake off the bad day and show up to work ready to make the next day better. So, no matter how you choose to personalize your time off, make sure to balance it in a way that will help you feel like you are able to have a life outside of work, but are also able to return to work each day ready to do the best you can and feel happier doing it.
Alexa Lingren, LMSW, LMAC
"Children and parents can have bad days, but if noticeable changes in mood are happening often, there could be an underlying mental health issue." - Lori Cull-Deshmukh
Understanding a child’s behavior can be difficult sometimes. All children have trouble from time to time with emotions, but unlike adults, children are not as good at regulating their emotions. How do you determine when challenging behavior is typical or something more? Let’s start by asking yourself the questions below.
Are my child’s problems getting in the way of his or her day-to-day functioning? A tantrum or procrastination getting ready in the morning, avoiding chores or homework and/or getting to bed on time can be typical. However, if this behavior happens daily, or multiple days a week, for many weeks without successful redirection, this is worth looking into with the help of a professional.
Does my child get enough sleep, exercise and nutrition? Adequate sleep, exercise and nutrition are essential for healthy kids. If you feel your child is lacking in any of these areas, set some goals to make sure these needs are met.
Can my child stay focused when they need to? Sure, children get distracted. But if not being able to focus is preventing them from getting their homework done each week, it may indicate a mental health problem.
Does my child change moods for no apparent reason? Children and parents can have bad days, but if noticeable changes in mood are happening often, there could be an underlying mental health issue.
Is my child flexible with changes to their routine or new situations? All parents hear “I don’t want to” at some point. But if it feels like a struggle whenever something unexpected happens, it’s worth looking into further.
Did something scary or violent happen to my child? When children experience an event that is extremely upsetting or violent, they can develop symptoms and behaviors that may need specialized treatment.
Parents and caregivers are in the best position to observe and consider their children’s behavior. Communicating what you know and asking questions of yourself and mental health professionals can support children in overcoming barriers to mental health. The earlier you raise concerns, the easier it is to reduce symptoms and improve your child’s well-being. Just like your child’s physical health, there is a certain time when you may need to get a professional’s help.
"Taking care of ourselves regularly and filling up our own tanks through following up with counselors, attending appointments regularly, doing hobbies, positive relationships, etc. will prevent your tank from being empty and running out of gas." - Robin Helget
This month, Resolve clinicians have focused on providing four main points in Suicide Prevention. Suicide takes the lives of too many people, and we are often are unsure of how to provide support, know what signs to look for, or how to take action when needed. After taking action, making a call, joining a group or starting to see a counselor or psychiatrist, it's important to follow-up. Whether you have sought services for yourself or for someone else, follow-up to see how that person or how you are taking care of yourself on daily basis to prevent further crises.
With that, think about how well you take care of your car.
Do you take it to the get the oil changed every few thousand miles? Do you rotate the tires to ensure a smoother ride? Do you clean the inside at times and make sure to take in the trash? Do you do what you can to prevent any major issues from happening?
Do you regularly fill up on gas and not wait until you’ve completely run out to fill it back up?
I would imagine you likely answered “Yes” to one or more of these questions, and that’s fantastic that you take good care of your car. However, I would also imagine that some of us take better care of our cars than we do ourselves.
If we took as good of care of ourselves as we do our automobiles, how would our lives be different? Preventative, maintenance and follow-up care for our mental health is just as, if not more, important as taking care of our vehicles.
Changing the oil: Every 5-10k miles, you likely need an oil change in your car. If we applied this to our lives, this looks like a regularly scheduled appointment every week, every few weeks or every month or so depending on your needs or treatment plan. It is helpful to take a good look at how we are doing mentally on a regular basis. This doesn’t have to include digging deep into your childhood, but rather taking a look at the different pieces of your life and seeing how well they are integrating, functioning and serving you, as well as identifying changes, alternative approaches and other ways of thinking that could help make your life run more smoothly.
Rotating the tires: We all know we may run into some bumps in the road. If our vehicle is equipped to manage and handle it, then the bump may not cause a complete tire blow-out or derailment. However, if we wait until we have a tire blowout to make sure we have a spare in our vehicle or a jack, we may be in a bit of a pickle. Seeing a counselor regularly can ensure that you have the tools needed in case you do reach a bump in the road that causes a blowout. Something that could have been a complete disaster is now manageable because you have the tools and skills needed to change the tire.
Cleanliness: I once heard that the insides of our cars are a reflection of our lives. If the inside of our cars are messy and disorganized than there is a good chance that our lives are as well. When our space is clean and organized, our mind can be too, or vice versa. Sometimes our minds become more cluttered than we anticipated. Talking through the clutter with a professional can be helpful before the clutter completely takes over your life (or your car). Learning ways to put the pieces in place and dealing with the stress that a cluttered mind can cause can prevent a crisis and again give you tools to maintain healthy habits and thinking.
Maintenance: When we take our cars in for check-ups, the mechanic will often tell us things that need replaced or fixed in order to prevent something from getting worse. Most of the time, we will follow their advice so that it will prevent something like the Check Engine light from coming on because when that happens, we know it won’t necessarily be an easy or cheap fix. Our lives and mental health are the same. We don’t want to wait until a crisis or the Check Engine light is on in our minds or lives before we get help; however, many of us do. What many don’t know is that the most effective work in our lives and mental health can be done when we are not in crisis. When our lives don’t feel like they are in shambles, we can focus on the hiccups and stressors that would lead us into crisis if they continued. When in crisis, or when the Check Engine light is on, our main focus is to fix that specific problem; however, it doesn’t address or solve any of the issues that made the light come on in the first place.
Gas: Think of the gas tank in your car as an energy tank for yourself. Do you wait until your tank is completely empty before you put more gas in it? Probably not. If we apply this to ourselves, we have to find things in our life that are putting energy in our tank versus things that are taking energy out. If we continue to give away all of our energy (emotional, physical, mental, spiritual) to others, we will be empty with no energy left to exert or nothing else left to give. Taking care of ourselves regularly and filling up our own tanks through following up with counselors, attending appointments regularly, doing hobbies, positive relationships, etc. will prevent your tank from being empty and running out of gas.
All-in-all, how do you take care of your car? What can you do to start taking care of yourself in the same way so that crises are fewer and preventative care becomes a more attainable, doable, routined pattern that ensures a functioning vehicle and functioning you?
Robin Helget, LMSW, CPT
"I had been silently struggling with depression for quite some time and was having a hard time convincing myself that life was worth living."
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month! Part of starting the conversation is about hearing and sharing real stories and being inspired to take action, so I'll share some of my own story and some things I've learned along the way.
As a seventeen-year-old college student, I had been silently struggling with depression for quite some time and was having a hard time convincing myself that life was worth living. While moving away from home is a big adjustment any student, for students like me who did not feel support at home, college can feel especially lonely. Things I could normally rely on to make me feel better, like my success in sports and academics, were no longer available - I wasn't playing a sport and college classes were challenging. Many days it was a fight to get out of bed, and sadly, it was the fear that someone would think there was something "wrong" with me that would force me to get dressed and go to class and the cafeteria.
That's why fighting stigma by starting the conversation around mental health is so important. Had mental health services been viewed as normal and healthy, I would have been more apt to speak up about my struggles. A pivotal moment in my journey was when I learned about organizations like To Write Love on Her Arms, who work to raise awareness about depression, addiction, and suicide. Soon after, I realized I wasn't alone and was able to work toward getting healthier.
Suicide awareness is more than just being aware, it's about taking action. By seeking out those we know who are struggling and offering something as simple as a smile, a chat over coffee, or a game of basketball, we sometimes offer more than we know. My journey toward mental health began when a girl in my dorm saw that I could use some encouragement and befriended me. Instead of sitting in my room alone, she invited me on walks on quiet trails in the woods near campus. Sometimes we discussed our favorite bands or what our families were like or shared a funny thing that happened in class that day. Other days we'd stroll in silence, watching butterflies float from flower to flower along the trail. I discovered walking around in nature to be calming and more importantly, I found friends and professionals who cared about my well-being.
I was shocked to read that in 2016, 8.8% of adults 18-25 years old had suicidal thoughts in the last year. To put that into perspective, that's two people in your 24-person chemistry class, or seventeen of your 200 Facebook friends who have thought that the world might be better without them at some point last year. Connect with a loved one or classmate over lunch or go for a walk in a nearby park. Share your story or ask them about theirs!
If you’re struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK.
Samantha Stites, Counseling Intern
It's time to take action.
Thank you for tuning in this month as we #starttheconversation about suicide prevention. At the beginning of the month, we discussed how stigma can prevent people from seeking help. Last week we had a conversation around warning signs of suicide. This week, we answer the question “Now what?” So far you:
> Have reduced judgement and think getting help is a good idea.
> Know how to identify if you or others need help.
Now, simply put, it’s time to take action.
The acronym ALGEE guides you to take action on preventing suicide.
Assess for risk of suicide or harm.
Give reassurance and information.
Encourage appropriate professional help.
Encourage self-help and other support strategies.
There is an overwhelming list of resources available for you or someone who needs help. Keyword: overwhelming. My #1 suggestion is to connect with a real human. Below are three easy ways for connecting with a real human. Note: In an emergency, meaning someone’s life is in danger, call 911.
Taking action is key. You can save someone's life. Below are additional resources in assisting you in taking action for yourself or helping someone else. Still not sure where to start? Give Resolve a call, and a licensed professional will answer the phone and help walk you through what you can do.
Kansas City Resources:
Protective factors shine a light in dark places and find peace in overwhelming situations. - jessica nickels
Life is a series of ups and downs. We stabilize by searching for meaning and purpose. The compass, which tells us the way back to equilibrium, is our value-system. Our resilience in the midst of these ups and downs depends on our protective factors. Protective factors shine a light in dark places and find peace in overwhelming situations.
Protective factors are influences that contribute to our well-being. Like most things in life, there are some protective factors you can influence and some you cannot. For example, you cannot control your genetics, the neighborhood where you grow up or your family. However, you can influence your social support, how to cope with problems, and how you spend your time.
Identifying our protective factors and understanding the influence they have is a powerful and healthy way to surf the ups and downs of life.
Here are six common protective factors that you can influence:
Which two factors are you strongest in? Which two factors need more focus and strength? For example, if you feel strong in social support and physical health, but weak in healthy thinking and self-esteem, start working on your relationship with yourself.
Strengthening Protective Factors
Below is a list of ideas on how to strengthen each area, but I’d love to hear some of your ideas. How do you strengthen your resilience?
Jessica Nickels, Counseling Intern
"Suicide. The word suicide catches people’s attention. The truth is that suicide catches everyone’s attention. It’s the actions that lead up to suicide that often go unnoticed." - Allison kidd
According to the National Institute for Mental Health, four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs. When we hear statistics like this, many questions surface such as:
Some might even think, those “signs” aren’t really a cry for help, they’re just to get attention.
People in crisis don’t think, “I’m going to act different to get people’s attention”. Often times, people struggling to make it through the day are more focused on hiding their symptoms than publicly displaying them.
Some people, however, do want you to notice those behavioral changes as a cry for help. They may not be able to verbalize their needs so they suffer on the inside, struggling to acknowledge and admit to others that they need help. This is their way of gaining that attention that they so desperately need in order to take action and get help.
Know the warning signs:
Warning signs are clues that people exhibit that caution us something isn’t right, and we should investigate further. Individuals might already display some of these behaviors on a regular basis with no concern noted. The real concern lies when behaviors are new, out of the ordinary for a person's character, or have increased in frequency or severity.
The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide created the acronym F.A.C.T.S. to detect the warning signs for suicide. This is a helpful reminder of what to look for in your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, or yourself.
Feelings: different from the past
Actions: different from the way they normally act
Changes: in personality, behaviors, sleeping patterns, eating habits
Threats: that convey a sense of hopelessness, worthlessness, or preoccupation with death
Situations: that can serve as "trigger" points for suicidal behaviors
No matter the reason for behavior changes, mental health and suicide should always be taken seriously. If someone mentions that 7 letter word or is acting in a way that you are concerned about, START THE CONVERSATION with them about how to safety plan and get action. If you yourself are experiencing uncomfortable thoughts, images, thinking patterns, or changes in mood and behaviors, START THE CONVERSATION with yourself and a trusted individual.
Know the signs, start the conversation. One conversation can change a life. #starttheconversationkc
Allison Kidd, LSCSW, LMAC
I can see the light! This December, I will graduate with my Master’s in Counseling Psychology. Over the past year, working as a Counseling Intern at Resolve has been the highlight of my Master’s program. I want to briefly reflect on why I have enjoyed my internship, and share a little more about Resolve’s Counseling Internship Program.
MY TOP 3:
During my time at Resolve, I have had the opportunity to work with kids, teens, adults, couples and families. Each client brings a diverse background and unique goals for counseling. Working with these individuals is the best part of my entire graduate program. Working with my clients reassures me of why I spend so many nights and weekends away from my own family to complete this degree.
James and Amber, the owners of Resolve, have worked with me on a weekly basis to ensure I am providing the highest quality care to my clients. Their expertise and drive motivates me to be the best version of myself in this field. They have a contagious passion and serve as beacons of hope in our community.
#3: Professional Network
The team of clinicians at Resolve are a great source of knowledge and experience. The variety of specialties is very rich and I’m grateful for their willingness to mentor me this past year. Community partners who have allowed me to come deliver seminars, facilitate support groups or attend a continuing education course have also been a highlight.
Thank you Resolve for having me!
ABOUT RESOLVE’S INTERNSHIP PROGRAM:
Resolve is committed to our community, and in doing so, we want to be able to provide a counseling option for everyone. This means providing quality services that are cost effective for any budget. We are able to do this is through our Counseling Internship Program.
Resolve’s Counseling Internship Program consists of Graduate level students (like me!) who are pursuing degrees in Counseling Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy or Social Work.
Qualifications of Counseling Interns:
Prior to embarking on their internship, Graduate students complete many of their core classes such as Counseling Theories, Helping Relationships, Diagnosis, Human Growth & Development and Ethics. Graduate students must be approved by their university prior to starting an Internship Program.
Counseling Interns meet weekly with both a Site Supervisor (Resolve Clinician) and a School Supervisor (Professor). During these supervision sessions, Counseling Interns consult on their current client caseload and receive guidance on applied theory, professional attitude and behavior, clinical practice and cultural competency. The Counseling Intern practices under the Site Supervisor’s professional license during the program.
Quality of Service:
Counseling Interns are eager to help others. They are constantly absorbing education and consulting with other professionals. As mentioned above, Counseling Interns work closely with supervisors, ensuring clients a high quality of service from multiple professionals.
Who should work with Counseling Interns:
Resolve is a unique practice that provides a variety of focus areas for counseling. This includes adults, kids, couples, and families. Our clinicians have expertise in trauma, anxiety, substance use, relationships, parenting and much more. As a part of our diverse team and under supervision, Counseling Interns are highly capable to work with clients experiencing mild to moderate symptoms and looking to grow and enhance their lives.
Counseling Interns in the Community:
Counseling Interns are also able to facilitate groups, provide onsite education and participate in events to promote Mental Health. Counseling Interns are a great fit for other non-for-profits and social service organizations that might not have a large program budget.
Interested in working with a Counseling Intern? Contact us today or set up a session using our easy online scheduling system.
Jessica Nickels, Counseling Intern