Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Strengthen your support from home through family therapy, continued...

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As a newly Limited, Licensed Professional Counselor, I am interested in helping families because I feel that a healthy family is the foundation to the success of our homes, communities and so on. Considering this I am curious about the dynamics of family therapy. I feel pretty fortunate with my family; I wonder if I really did pick them at a spiritual level? Although we’ve had our moments in the past, I can call any one of my loved ones and I believe they would help me in any way possible and I would do the same for them. This is something I do not take for granted because I have seen many families who are unable to count on one another in times of need.

If you can’t count on your family, whom can you really count on?

The strength we get from those who can really understand our life circumstances is extremely empowering. Although we may have grown up in the same environment, we can perceive things differently and this perception depends on many factors like where we rank in birth order, our personalities, physical attributes etc. But while we may live with perceived differences, we can better understand the lives of our siblings because of our overlapping journeys. When we care and we’re genuinely curious about individuals in our family, this attention gifts warmth back. Just like in any relationship, there is give and take. But, if healthy relationships were never really modeled and dysfunction has become the norm, it may be time to take action and to reach out to a professional for help. At least open the dialogue and see who might be willing to embrace positive change, it’s worth a shot!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Empowered by our authentic selves, continued...

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC photo- Follow your instinct!

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Who we perceive ourselves to be and whether we see ourselves as being capable to accomplish our heart’s desires really does make or break our success. If you believe you are not capable, you will block yourself from being capable. If you believe you will fail, you will fail. And, to believe otherwise, to be positive about your abilities and the outcome of such endeavors takes courage; it requires you to be vulnerable because you are taking a risk. But the key to putting yourself out there is learning how to positively support you and in doing this you must redefine the concept of failure. Every time you try something and you don’t end up making the mark, hitting the top spot you envisioned, you still gained something from the experience. Each and every time you try something, if you truly look at what you’ve done, you will find growth.

So, if you are a Debbie-downer about your life and the lives of others, it is time to change this pattern and work hard to be positive. You’ve heard the expression, “Fake it to you make it,” there is really something to this.

We’ve discussed our perception of ourselves, which is foundationally to our self-esteem, it basically encases it and holds it up. But, if we do not believe we are worthy, we will put out an energy that tells others this negative message and suddenly the world will, in turn, treat us as if we are not worthy.
We must find our strengths, things we value about ourselves, and hold onto these attributes in order to manifest more of this good energy. If you are breathing today, your life has value and you are worthy of a purpose; go out and find it!

So, think about all of this and then let me know what you are worthy of? I know it is greatness!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sexual assault advocacy, continued...

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC photo- Our neighborhoods should be safe after dark. 

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As I sit and write this article/blog tonight I am working on-call as a volunteer in Washtenaw County to support domestic violence and sexual assault survivors who may come forward over the next 15 hours. In Washtenaw county, if a person goes to the hospital and communicates that he or she has been assaulted, the state requires the hospital to call an advocate to support the survivor and the police. Advocates, like myself, support the survivor by going to the hospital, regardless of the time of night, being at the survivor’s side, talking with the survivor about his or her feelings, legal rights, informing the survivor of the process and safety planning. Most importantly an advocate is there to assure the survivor it is not his or her fault and to listen empathetically. No one deserves to be sexually assaulted regardless of the what, when, where or why of his or her situation. 

As a support person to someone who has been sexually assaulted, it is important not to ask “why questions.” These types of questions, like, “Why were you there at that hour?” or “Why did you go alone?” only insinuate blame and, instead, this person needs support not your insinuation of blame.

Encourage self-care and professional help so your friend or family member can work through the trauma he or she suffered.

The number, (800) 656-4673 is to the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline and this organization can provide local contact information where you or your loved one can seek help.

Let’s stand together and strengthen our communities by arming ourselves with the facts of sexual assault; united, we can make the world a safer place to live!

Friday, October 16, 2015

The importance of positive self-concept to your success, continue

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It is interesting to me how important our relationship with others (social concept) ties into our relationship with ourselves (self-concept). Why? Because I believe that although it is important to develop independence, and appreciate individuality, we are meant to love and be loved. Our relationships encompass many different degrees of love and without compassion for self or self-love; it is impossible to whole-heartily feel the love of another.

We hear a lot about self-esteem and self-confidence but I believe self-concept is all encompassing of these other aspect, it’s more like an umbrella.

I believe the 3 “S’s” I offer in the article to be most important to our wellbeing; self-awareness, self-compassion and support.

With this agenda, and by embracing it authentically, we can improve self-concept, which will in turn help us not only change ourselves but also change our world by positively impacting the relationships in our lives.

I’ve been working to tweak my article all week because of the importance of my message about the power of positive self-concept. When you have it, you will shine!

Tell me what you think. Does this make sense to you?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dream work and psychology, continued...

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I often wonder if I created a journal of all of my dreams over the years, and published it, if I would be rich and famous like Stephen King. I’ve had some pretty scary adventures over the years. As a child, a young adult and into my forties, I still have some nights filled with terror. I’m sure many of these earlier dreams stemmed from growing up in an environment tainted by domestic violence. Who knows how many years of nighttime trauma it took me to understand and work through such suppressed fear and emotion.  Of course, the awareness of this in my awakened hours helped me to process also. I really got into dream work during my divorce about 15 years ago. I did log a good number of my dreams and took the time to look up the symbols and themes for interpretation. After unraveling the dream with a little help from my dream dictionaries, the message always seemed to make sense to me. The more I was able to overcome my fears during my sleeping hours (the braver I got in my dreams) the more I pushed forward in my daytime life. I was convinced this link was very real and empowering.

Today, after achieving my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, I am even more convinced of this healing path.

These days, with the Internet at our fingertips, dream interpretation is pretty easy.  I’ve used among many others websites and books. I challenge you to write down a dream and then really consider the theme, your feeling while it was taking place and the items, people, names, colors, places, and things said in the dream. Interpret it all and then put the puzzle pieces together to decipher its message. I think you too will be as amazed as I have and continue to be through the process. It leaves me awestruck each and every time I process a dream. I believe it is a celestial gift that many of us never unwrap.

Give it a shot and then let me know if it was helpful or not. I’m curious.