Procrastination 101

Effects of procrastination

Nothing exposes my procrastination quite like the holiday season. Every year I have aspirations of getting my gift shopping done earlier and sending cute family Christmas cards in the mail. I tell myself, this Christmas I’m going to be on top of things. Yet, despite my noble intentions, here we are…another Christmas is quickly approaching and I still have gifts to buy and no cards to send.  While the holiday season seems to magnify my procrastination, the truth is that procrastination creeps its way into my best-laid plans and ambitions year-round. My hunch is that I’m not alone.  Whether you find yourself putting off schoolwork, ignoring financial obligations, avoiding decisions, or postponing work projects, habitual procrastination can potentially lead to...

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Courageous Beginnings: 10 Reasons to Start Therapy Today

New Beginnings

Do I need therapy? How can therapy help me?  If you’ve ever asked these questions, you’re not alone. Therapy is one of those words with many preconceived ideas attached to it. Some think therapy is only for people with severe mental health diagnoses. Others think therapy is only for crises or processing major life events. And some think therapy is a sign of weakness. I hope to offer some brief thoughts on the value of therapy, and some reasons to start therapy today. “There will be moments when you bloom fully and then wilt, only to bloom again. If we can learn anything from flowers it is that resilience is born even when we feel like we are dying.” These...

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Dear Parents: Get Over Yourselves


Did I get your attention?  You might be wondering what this blog is about.  It’s been heavy on my heart over the past few years in my practice that so many teenagers don’t get the support or help they need because of their parents.  Even some teenage clients who have made it to counseling don’t improve because their parents make their child’s counseling about themselves or attempt to control it.  Today I’m going to talk bluntly about the importance of allowing your child to get the help they need—without making it about you. If you are the parent of a tween or teen, this blog is for you! Teens and Mental Health According to Mental Health America, Clinical Depression will...

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Do You Live in a Depressed House?


This time of year can be especially difficult for those who are prone to Depression.  Lately, I’ve noticed an influx of clients who are really depressed and struggling with the cold, dreary days we’ve been experiencing.  Whether it’s Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or both—it can be hard to function when the days are so short and gray. Have you ever heard of a depressed house?  It’s a household that has one or more people who struggle with Depression.  When even one person in a house struggles with Depression, it changes the whole dynamic of a house.  So how can you help your household? When You Are the Depressed Person Depression can look very different from person to person.  For some,...

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Why Your “Good” Kid is at Risk for Teen Depression

teen depression

I work with a lot of teen Depression.  It’s not unusual for a client’s parent to be upset when their teenager is diagnosed with mental health issues.  It’s common for them to say “But my kid is a good kid”.  The problem is, depression and anxiety (and other mental health issues) do not discriminate.  Your teen could be the best kid, and they could still struggle. Today my hope is to obliterate the stigma that good kids don’t struggle with mental health issues.  Because they definitely do.  I want to talk about the pressures put on kids today, and how that also impacts their emotional well-being.  And maybe how we can work together to help prevent mental health issues and...

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6 Ways We Are Perpetuating the Mental Health Stigma

Mental health

Although we’ve made a TON of progress around the stigma of mental health, we still have a lot more work to do. Today I’m going to talk about some of the most common things I hear from people who are resistant to therapy and treatment.  My hope is that if you have ever said any of these things, that you will reconsider taking care of your mental and emotional health.  It’s imperative that we stop the stigma so that those who need help can get it….without fear of condemnation, shame, or judgment. “I must be crazy to go to therapy” Contrary to popular belief, the people who walk through my door for counseling are not crazy.  In fact, many of...

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What to do when it’s Hard to Make Friends


Let’s face it—it was soooooo much easier to make friends when we were little.  Our friendships back then were usually based on convenience.  For example, your friends were probably in your class at school, lived in your neighborhood, or went to your church.  We had instant access to our friends every day at school or at home.  We didn’t have to seek friends out. Even if you didn’t have a friend close by, all you had to do was say “hi” to someone on the playground, and you were instantly friends, even if only for the next 20 minutes.  Children approach friendships with innocence.  They haven’t been hurt, back-stabbed, or betrayed by friends.  They don’t understand quite yet that friendships...

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15 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude


Life can be hard, and it can be very easy to focus on everything that goes wrong.  Sometimes it is a choice to be positive and to focus on the blessings we have.  Practicing gratitude is an everyday decision to focus on the little things, and not take them for granted.  Gratitude is "the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful".  It’s reminding ourselves that despite everything that may be going wrong, there are many things going right. Gratitude has many health benefits, including providing help for Depression and Anxiety.  When you focus on the positive and being grateful, your brain produces feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin.  Practicing gratitude also teaches you to reframe negative thoughts into positive...

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When Depression Feels Different


If you’ve ever seen a commercial for an anti-depressant medication, you probably remember something along the lines of a sad person walking around, with a gray cloud following them.  And if you’ve ever experienced a textbook type of depression, you may be able to relate to that a little.  Loss of interest, little to no motivation, and extreme sadness are all definitely depression symptoms. But what about other types and symptoms of depression?  What about the type where you “function” but still don’t feel well?  What about the type where it feels like you’re not an active participant in your own life?  Or when it feels like it’s impossible to focus?  Or you just feel angry all the time? Today...

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Is it Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder?

seasonal affective disorder

This time of year can be very difficult.  Little to no sunshine, being cooped indoors, short days, and long nights.  It’s not unusual for clients to come into the office, and complain of feeling some depression symptoms.  Recently I have been talking to many clients about the differences between depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  SAD is a form of depression, but is often misunderstood.  So what does SAD look and feel like? Symptoms Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder have similar symptoms.  Some of these may include down or depressed mood, loss of pleasure in activities, self-isolation, loneliness, canceling social plans, lack of focus, no motivation, low energy, sleeping more or less, change in appetite, an increase in irritability, and thoughts...

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