Mental Health Awareness Month!

Mental Health Awareness Month!

This month is mental health awareness month.

Mental health refers to your overall psychological well-being and the state of your emotional, cognitive and social functioning. Mental health touches many parts of our lives, from our relationships with others to what makes us feel fulfilled and how we deal with life’s challenges” according the to Cleveland Clinic.

In honor of mental health awareness month, I wanted to talk about therapy!

DoctoronDemand.com says that “Emotional and mental health is important because it’s a vital part of your life and impacts your thoughts, behaviors and emotions. Being healthy emotionally can promote productivity and effectiveness in activities like work, school or caregiving”.

Having a professional to talk to, is one of the best things we can do to help with our own mental health.

Therapy sessions allow you to share thoughts and emotions and therapists offer research-based advice to support you.


Listen to the podcast here.


Therapy Types!

It’s crucial to receive guidance from a relatable therapist you feel comfortable with, who’s invested in your progress and growth.

There are several different types of therapy and I’ll share six, with brief descriptions, listed in on the Psychology Today website.

👩🏻‍⚕️ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps “clients identify, challenge, and change maladaptive thought patterns in order to change their responses to difficult situations”.

👨🏻‍⚕️ Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy
“Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, MBCT, is a modified form of cognitive therapy that incorporates mindfulness practices that include present moment awareness, meditation, and breathing exercises.

👩🏻‍⚕️ Solution Focused Brief Therapy
Solution Focused Brief Therapy “concentrates on finding solutions in the present and exploring one’s hope for the future in order to find a quick and pragmatic resolution of one’s problems”.

👨🏻‍⚕️ Narrative Therapy
Narrative Therapy can help “those who define themselves by their problems, whose lives are dominated by such feelings as “I am a depressed person” or “I am an anxious person” can learn to see their problem as something they have but not something that identifies who they are”.

👩🏻‍⚕️ Expressive Arts Therapy
Expressive arts therapy draws from a variety of art forms, and this integration of methods can help patients access their emotions.

👨🏻‍⚕️ Strength Based Therapy
Strength-based therapy is a type of positive psychotherapy and counseling that focuses on your internal strengths and resourcefulness, rather than on your weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings.

Search Psychology Today for a therapist in your area, and the for type of therapy that best suits your needs.


Finding Help!

Where to Find Help When you Need it!Therapy can be comforting especially in a safe and supportive environment, where you are free to express thoughts and feelings without judgment.

The first step in finding help is contacting your insurance provider to see what therapists are available in your area.

Many providers offer online Telehealth and will also see you in person or possibly a combo.

You can also visit Betterhelp.com and pay out of pocket. “BetterHelp offers access to licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (PhD / PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), and board licensed professional counselors (LPC)“.

In addition to weekly online therapy sessions, you get unlimited classes.

No matter what type of therapy option you choose, do the research, ask questions, and select someone based on your own needs.

Once you’ve decided, schedule your first appointment!


Therapy Criteria!

Sometimes it takes a couple of sessions to figure out if the therapist is a good fit. To determine this, here are some questions to consider after a couple of sessions.

🩵 Did they provide knowledge, insights, and teach practical strategies?
🤍 Did you feel validated and were they empathetic?
🩷 Did they suggest helpful tools and resources?
💜 Did they have a sense of humor, and appear positive?
💚 Did they seem relatable and did they offer analogies or personal life experiences?
💛 Did they seem naturally conversational and engaging?
🧡 Did they show up on time?

At times, it may not feel like a good fit. Here are a few examples:

🔻 They asked repetitive “why” questions.
🔸 They appeared robotic or stone faced.
🔻 They kept saying “just be positive”.
🔸 They seemed judgy.
🔻 They didn’t listen and spoke mostly about themselves.
🔸 They were late.

It’s important to go somewhere where you feel validated, understood, and treated with empathy, kindness, and respect.


Book Recommendation!

Mental Health and Wellness Book Recommendation!My therapist recently told me about a wonderful book called “How to Be the Love you Seek” by Nidole LePera, a holistic psychologist.

If you’re on a journey toward healing, read this book!

The description says “In How to Be the Love You Seek, #1 New York Times bestselling author Dr. LePera—whose integrative, holistic approach to psychology has attracted an international audience of millions—offers a new path to healing our relationships. Harnessing the latest scientific research, she teaches us to recognize how unmet needs from our earliest relationships, create our current, dysfunctional relationship patterns, and leave us in a state of constant internal threat, even with those closest to us”.

This book includes stories, exercises, journal prompts, and other practical tools.

It’s important to pay attention to our daily mental health, because it affects how we think, feel, act, and react.

It’s also about how we handle stress, and relate to others.

As Mel Robbins says “Your mental health is everything — prioritize it. Make the time like your life depends on it, because it does.

If you’re struggling or having trouble coping with life’s stresses, don’t be afraid to reach out to your health provider.

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