journaling

From Maesk Counseling in Fort Lauderdale - Getting the Most Out of Therapy

No matter if you are coming to Maesk Group Counseling for depression help, anxiety help, marriage counseling, or other issues, many factors determine the depth of relief and satisfaction a client experiences from their counseling.  Here are some suggestions for making your therapeutic experience the best possible:

1) Be totally honest.  Believe me, I've heard every story.  The human condition contains basic elements that exist in all problems presented, and you're not going to shock me, nor am I going to disapprove of you!

2) Be open to new ways of thinking.  Although you are free to examine, use, or discard any suggestions I make, remember that behavior change is required for growth.  "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten."

3) Understand the difference in professional therapy and "talking to a friend."  A minimum of seven years of college is required to legally practice as a counselor.  We are also required to get several thousand hours of internship experience and supervision before being licensed.

4) Expect some resistance from family or friends.  Change, even good change, can be threatening, and comes with a price.  Your relationships will change because your world changes when YOU change.  There will be people in your life who resist this, who want you to "stay in your box."  It is indeed necessary to rock the boat for things to ultimately improve. 

5) Do your homework.  The true change of the therapy experience only takes place outside of the office, as you test the new ideas I give you and report the results back to me. 

6) Journal, journal, and journal some more.  The research is compelling: journaling continues the therapeutic progress outside of the session, releases tension, and moves you forward faster.

7) Attend as regularly and as often as possible.  For most people, that means a commitment to weekly therapy.  It’s also smart to come in occasionally after therapy has ended if you sense a downturn in mood or thinking. 

8) Be patient with yourself.  It took you a lifetime to develop these thinking patterns; it will take more than a session or two to change them!

9) Make notes after the session.  Ideally, schedule enough free time after your therapy to go somewhere and process what came up.

10) Take responsibility for the session.  Notice during the week what bothers you, excites you, what insights come up in your journaling that need to be explored further.  Bring this information to session.

From Maesk Group Counseling in Fort Lauderdale - Untreated Depression

Untreated Depression is a Threat to your Mental and Physical Health

Depression creates chaos in the entire body by throwing the stress response system out of alignment. The risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and cancer are all raised as normal immune function is disturbed by anxiety, stress and /or depression. Difficult relationships, parenting and work issues all contribute to this situation. 

This post contains my“prescription” for becoming (and staying) healthy.  Here’s what we should all be doing for a healthy, happy lifestyle:

  • Get a yearly physical exam.  Depression and anxiety can be related to thyroid and other issues;
  • Exercise: it relieves stress, raises endorphin levels. It’s even better if you get outside in natural light to exercise;
  • Journaling: research shows it increases hopefulness, releases stress, and calms the brain;
  • Regular Sleep: essential to mood stability and a healthy immune system;
  • A good social or family support system increases longevity and raises immune system function; and
  • Professional Therapy: coming for a session BEFORE symptoms are out of hand and regular follow-ups. 

Now maybe you are thinking, well, if I could MAKE myself do all of these things, I’d be fine! What you may not realize is that a mental health provider is trained, licensed and qualified to be a resource to help you do these things. A therapist can be your encourager, your supporter, and your guide in prioritizing and planning your best, healthiest life. 

Therapy helps uncover the roadblocks to your success that exist outside of your awareness. These roadblocks include childhood messages, both told to you and modeled by your parents, and negative experiences that impact your habits to this day. Together we can gently uncover and examine these self-defeating beliefs without shame or judgment. When “the truth sets you free,” you are then able to move forward and achieve new levels of well being.

Maesk Group Counseling is here to help.  Call 954-353-4680 to take that first step.