"Instead of meeting in an office, during a Walk and Talk session, client and therapist conduct their meeting outdoors (usually a park or at an indoor space conducive to walking with some privacy)" - Samantha stites
There is a heightened awareness of the mind-body connection in today's society. More and more Americans are practicing mind-body-spirit activities like tai chi and yoga. Doctors are more frequently doing mental health checkups, and mental health professionals are acutely aware of how certain medical diagnoses can mimic mental disorders and are incorporating exercise and bodily interventions into care plans.
One of these interventions that is gaining traction is called Walk and Talk Therapy. Instead of meeting in an office, during a Walk and Talk session, client and therapist conduct their meeting outdoors (usually a park or at an indoor space conducive to walking with some privacy). The client sets the pace anywhere from a slow stroll to a light jog and has the freedom to take a break at any point to rest or interact with nature.
Walk and Talk Therapy can be especially helpful for people who:
· Struggle with mild-moderate depression or anxiety
· Are in good physical health
· Want to connect with nature
· Want to incorporate light exercise into weekly routine
· Have a hard time sitting still for an in-office visit
While Walk and Talk isn't an appropriate setting for some therapeutic needs, individuals can use Walk and Talk Therapy as a stand-alone service or as a supplemental service to their normal mental health care regimen. Additional benefits to Walk and Talk Therapy over the traditional office appointment may include:
· Mild aerobic exercise -> endorphins -> happiness
· Connecting with nature
· Better relationship with therapist from engaging in common activity
· Easier time opening up to therapist due to less eye contact
· Moving somewhere physically can help you "move somewhere" cognitively or emotionally
Now that autumn is here, there is no better time to give Walk and Talk therapy a try. Have questions or want to schedule a session? Email me at email@example.com.
Samantha Stites, 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
“There's nothing wrong if you quit something – it's actually a very necessary component to success. 'Quitting' just means you get to redirect your energy and focus to new and better things." -
Warren Buffett once said, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” While I do not feel that I am prepared to say "no" to almost everything, I do feel empowered to say "No" to the things that are not best benefiting me and my mental wellness. There’s nothing wrong with you if you quit something--sometimes quitting is exactly what you need to do!
Young adults, Millennials, Generation XYZ (kidding ☺), whoever you may be, you’re may still be finding out who you are or who you want to be. Quitting things is going to be okay. Not only is it going to be okay, but it’s going to be imperative! Sometimes it’s worth quitting 99% of things you try just so you can find that 1% that really “clicks” with you.
Do you really expect your first shot at anything in life to be your best shot? It would be a pretty stress free life if the first time we attempted something it was always the best result.Part of the fun of experiencing life is to experience all of the trials and all of the errors; through all of these are when you discover who you are, what your interests are, and what you’re passionate about. It’s important to set goals for yourself, but it’s also important to remember that you can quit those goals and pursue new ones if you learn that those are not what set your soul on fire anymore.
Put it in the perspective of going to counseling. Sometimes you find your perfect counselor on the first try, but more than likely, you’ve had to try out a few different counselors before you could find one that was a great fit for you! So if you gave yourself the grace to try multiple counselors before finding the right fit, what’s stopping you from giving yourself the grace to try out multiple jobs, multiple schools, and multiple relationships?
Today I dare you to quit something.
I double dare you to quit something you feel trapped in.
I triple dog dare you to quit something that you’ve been thinking about quitting for a long time, but always let guilt overcome you causing you to stay!
You can do this! Branch out and try new things, you may just find the perfect fit is the thing that you thought was the most unlikely fit! Funny how life works out sometimes.
Andrea McDonald, Counseling Intern
Expectations can lead to disappointment. What we often fail to do is live life in the middle of it. We are so focused on the end goal that we MISS the life! - ROBIN HELGET
Our realities are formed by the thoughts of how life should be in our head.
The thoughts in our head can make or break us. For years, many of my clients and practically everyone I've had an honest conversation with, have struggled with something I call the “inner critic” or for some, “inner demons”. This critic is the voice that tells you how things could be better, creates expectations of how life or circumstances should be, or tells you that you are consistently missing the mark. It tells you that you can’t yet rest or be happy because you have to get “there” first--wherever “there” may be.
This critic is often a primary player in depression, anxiety, and trauma. If we listen to it long enough, the words of the critic start to become our truth. We believe what the critic tells us so much that we become unsatisfied with our lives and constantly beat ourselves up for making small mistakes, eating the cookie, yelling at our kids, or snapping at our significant others.
Have you ever been really excited about something? Something that you have been looking forward to for a long time? Maybe it was an event, a date, seeing a person or saving and buying an item. Or, maybe it was getting married, buying a house, having a baby. You created so much hype around this particular thing, envisioning what it would be like, how you would feel, and what you maybe would say. However, you quickly found yourself disappointed or frustrated. This was going to make you so happy! So why do you feel worse than you did before?
Expectations can lead to disappointment. What we often fail to do is live life in the middle of it. We are so focused on the end goal: of the event, of the day, of the baby, of the man, of the marriage, of the house, of the job, of the life--that we MISS the life! Focusing on the destination often leads to lack of fulfillment. Why?
Robin Helget, LMSW, CPT
Millennial Therapist & Coach
"The more I begin to know, the more I realize HOW LITTLE I know." - Robin Helget
A few weeks ago, I met with a new colleague who is quickly becoming a good friend, Dr. Michael Brown with Nature's Path. During our existentialist conversation, he told me of this study where a scientist looked at the molecules of water. Now, typically, I would have zoned out at the word "molecules", but as he began explaining, he shared that this Japanese scientist took images of the molecules of water as they were freezing. I know what you're thinking, "Ok, so?"
He explained more in that when the scientist, Masaru Emoto, put words next to the water such as "Love", "Evil", "Grace", "Discomfort", etc., the water molecules photographed completely different. When he played Mozart compared to rap music compared to hip-hop, the molecules looked completely different.
Research suggests that our thoughts are physically impacting the brain. We know these thoughts impact how feel, but Emoto suggests that our thoughts are impacting every single thing in our life, including the water we drink and ingest. I know, I know. Mind. Blown. Need more information? I did too.
To see photographs of these images, please visit www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html
Our world is compromised of 70% water. Our bodies are made up of approximately 60%. Water is all around us. If our words, our thoughts, and our prayers or actions can impact something so complex like a water molecule, wouldn't our brains be impacted? Wouldn't it matter how we think or how we respond to other people?
What does this mean to me?
The more I begin to know, the more I realize how little I know.
Everything interacts with each other. Our words are powerful. This test has been done in multiple languages from multiple water sources, and the results are the same.
We are bigger influences on people and ourselves than we think.
Do good things.
Robin Helget, LMSW, CPT
“Change is situational. Transition, on the other hand, is psychological. It is not those events, but rather the inner reorientation or self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life. Without a transition, a change is just a rearrangement of the furniture. Unless transition happens, the change won’t work, because it doesn’t take.”- William Bridges
Life is ever-changing, but there are moments in our life when the transition can seem a bit more substantial than others. Graduating college, changing jobs, getting married, having a child, moving out of your parents house, these could all be classified as “big life transitions” and are defining moments in our lives. Many of the above mentioned transitions are also highly stressful and disrupt the established patterns we have created in the rhythm of life. That being said, big life transitions also give us the amazing opportunity to re-evaluate our day to day patterns and begin determining what was working for us previously as well as what we may want to incorporate into the new life we are creating.
Take a moment to pause and reflect
Our daily patterns, from where we buy our coffee to when we check our phones, often become habit by the third or fourth time we have done them, and we are slow to ask ourselves why we are doing things a certain way. When we change the scenery of our lives, with a new home or relationship, we get the opportunity to see our daily routine in a new light. Utilize this big life moment to step back for an hour (or even just ten minutes) and think about the pieces of your daily life that were life-giving and the pieces that were life-draining.
Write it down
After reflecting, spend some time writing down the things that were working well and those that aren’t working currently. Create a positive and negative list that helps you see whether a majority of your time is being spent. Once you have created this list, see if there are any behaviors, actions, or relationships that you would like to eliminate and those that you would like to see more of.
Imagine a Miracle
Imagine that a miracle has occurred and everything in your life is exactly as you would want it. What would you be spending your time doing? How would you start and end the day? Who would you hang out with? Use the information you have gathered from your positives and negatives list along with your miracle day to create a plan of action.
Create a plan of action for integrating these new ideas:
Amber Reed, LSCSW, LCAC
"Most of life is showing up. you do the best you can, which varies day by day." - regina brett
I want you to know they are not alone. I am here to connect: to hear your story and to help support you through the highs and lows of life.
As a counselor, I have the honor of being present with the hesitations, the fear, the need for answers and guidance in your first session. I also see the bravery, courage and self-belief gained through being vulnerable and sharing your story. I’m full of gratitude each time someone shows up because it means an opportunity to connect and see the world through a new set of eyes. It shows me that my clients believe in themselves, or they wouldn't be brave enough to show up in the first place.
A note to my future client...
Thank you for showing up.
I feel your exhaustion.
Take a breath...in...out. You are not alone. Your courage does not go unnoticed.
I look forward to working together,
Counseling Intern, Level 2
“Without the human community, one single human being cannot survive.” -Dalai Lama
In modern times, frightfully, we have the ability to go through an entire day without actually interacting face to face with another human. We can work remotely, get our groceries delivered, pay someone to pick up our laundry off of our front step and can text our friends and family members instead of inviting them over. We have all struggled with staying connected in a world that facilitates disconnection- scrolling on our phones when out with friends, not saying hello to our neighbors and forgetting to call our family members on their birthdays. Sometimes our days are too hectic or packed too full of to-do’s to stay connected, but as our autonomy increases our human connection decreases and we oftentimes find ourselves isolated and lonely.
Loneliness not only makes us feel blue, it can also shorten our lifespan. According to Dr. Vivek Murthy, the 19th Surgeon General to the US, weak social connections and loneliness can reduce a persons lifespan at the same rate as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Murthy also stated that, “During (his) years caring for patients, the most common pathology (he) saw was not heart disease or diabetes; it was loneliness.”
The antidote for loneliness is clear: its connection, real life, face to face, genuine connection. And not just connecting with anyone who is around but connecting with your “tribe”. Your tribe is a group of people who you have carefully picked to be a part of the intimate parts of your life, the people who support you and whom you support. They may or may not be your family, your neighbors, your high school friend or your co-workers.
Below are some steps to cultivating and maintaining your tribe:
Amber Reed, LSCSW, LMAC
Too often, we wish we would have done something but didn’t make the time. Now is your chance to truly have a rewarding summer, full of purpose and accomplishment.
It’s that time of year again! The weather is warming up, school is winding down, and teens are excitedly awaiting their summer. For many teens, summer plans include sleeping in, going to the pool with friends, less responsibilities, and less stress. Although this can be a great time to relax and recuperate from an overwhelming school year, the decreased structure and social connection can bring a variety of unwanted feelings. Many teens face a real challenge in the summer, especially for those experiencing depression.
Too much free time: When a teen doesn’t have the external expectations and structure that school provides, they have all that time to THINK. For those with depressive symptoms, their negative thoughts lead to distorted beliefs that they “don’t have a purpose”. These thoughts can lead to feelings of guilt, frustration, shame, and anger. School provides teens a sense of purpose and opportunity to feel accomplished on a daily basis.
Isolation: With all this free time, teens are more likely to isolate from family and friends. They get in a habit of watching tv, being alone, and closing themselves off from social activities. It’s often easier, and safer, in their minds to be alone. Although the school setting can create conflict and stress with peers, it also provides them the opportunity to check their negative thoughts with reality and make healthy comparisons with their peers.
Lack of stimulation: We all know that the school year can be overstimulating for many teens, especially those with anxiety and depression. The benefit to these social engagements is that it allows their attention and focus to be distracted from their negative thoughts and feelings. They may not always enjoy being stimulated in a classroom but can create healthy stimulation for themselves in the summer.
Structure and social connection are extremely important to continue throughout the summer to combat this. There are many ways that teens can continue to implement what school provides in a healthy and desirable way.
If you need help creating structure or want to focus on combating those negative thoughts during your downtime, I encourage you to reach out. Summer is a great time to work through your anxiety or depression and learn new skills to support you now and in the next school year.
Allison Kidd, LSCSW, LMAC
"IT is helpful for teens to hear from others that they have similar issues and this normalizes the challenges that they face, allowing them to not feel alone, feel more accepted with their peers, and feel a relief in being able to share about their struggles." - allison kidd
Let's start by answering the question I know you have: what is group therapy?
Group therapy is typically a psychoeducational group where skills are taught and then discussed and applied to each group members own life. Psychoeducational groups are where a clinician (therapist, counselor, social worker) brings together a group of individuals who have similar concerns and teaches them skills. This can include coping skills to help them manage difficult situations in a positive, healthy way. They can be social skills to learn about boundaries, communication, and practice them in a safe environment. Some groups focus specifically on anxiety, depression, grief and loss, or life transitions. The overall goal in group therapy is to help individuals better understand their self and have a deeper understanding of feelings, behaviors, and reactions.
Group therapy can be a very rewarding experience for those attending and participating. When teens engage, they practice giving and receiving support from peers. This can lead to hope, inspiration, encouragement, and validation. It also teaches empathy, which is important for this age group! Group therapy provides:
The key to group therapy is regular attendance and participation. In order to get the most from the experience, it’s important to contribute. When you share your thoughts and experiences, others may find this to be meaningful to them. In turn, helping others will help you too.
What’s the difference between group and individual therapy?
Please visit our website here to view a list of groups currently at Resolve.
Allison Kidd, LSCSW, LMAC