Women and the Stigma of Mental Health Issues.

Women and the Stigma of Mental Health Issues.

The issue of women’s mental health problems and the stigma that comes with it has raised concerns in the recent years.

Mental health issues impact both men and women. However, according to the American Psycology Association, “Women are more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression, while men tend toward substance abuse or antisocial disorders.”

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Animal-assisted Therapy: An Undeniable Bond

Animal-assisted Therapy: An Undeniable Bond

Pet Therapy, or Animal-assisted Therapy, is a unique, but growing trend within therapy and mental health counseling that we here at Mindful Therapy Group are proud to be a part of. We have undeniable bonds with many of the animals in our lives and these bonds can be used to help facilitate therapeutic outcomes as well.

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Mindfulness, Meditation, and Taking Control of Your ADHD

Mindfulness, Meditation, and Taking Control of Your ADHD

 

Back in 2008, a research study created quite a stir among therapists and those suffering from ADHD. The study, titled Mindfulness Meditation Training in Adults and Adolescents with ADHD: A Feasibility Study, indicated a reduction of up to 30% of symptoms for participants in the program.

What was even more surprising was that this reduction happened without the addition of any therapy or medications. Now, 30% is a pretty serious improvement for a meditative practice that can take only 30 minutes a day.

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10 Ways to Deal with Post-election Stress

10 Ways to Deal with Post-election Stress

Were you feeling the stress and just drained emotionally during the election campaign? Many of us thought everything would get better once the election was over, but things only seem to have gotten worse.

No matter what side you are on, the recent election has been incredibly stressful on everyone. Just a brief look at your Facebook newsfeed is enough to tell you that people are deeply divided and upset for a whole variety of reasons.

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How do you track progress in your life?

How do you track progress in your life?

This begs the next question- how do you track progress in your life? Do you use similar measures?  Is it necessary to track progress?  How do you determine what goes on this list? Are there categories to consider- home, work, relationships, travel, family, self, faith? Which come first?  Do you feel guilty if you don't meet your goals or engage in negative self talk if you don't meet your own expectations?

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The Value of Doing Nothing

We are led to believe that every action requires some sort of a reaction. We knee jerk, we impulsively respond to every request offered our direction. Winnie the Pooh is a master of observation.  He listens carefully, states what he sees, and without judgment.  Next time you're faced with something painful, challenging or requiring a response, try to make the choice to not respond. Sit on it for a day, or say "Can I get back to you on this?" and listen to what you can't hear. Pooh would approve. 

Resources: The Tao of Pooh, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k

Assertive Communication: 6 Techniques for Saying What You Mean and Meaning What You Say

Assertive Communication: 6 Techniques for Saying What You Mean and Meaning What You Say

Some mistake assertiveness for aggressiveness- in fact it is quite the opposite. To be assertive is to demonstrate self-compassion, to value yourself and your ideas. Assertive communication is a core communication skill, which can help to improve self-esteem and communicate more directly and effectively with others. It is based on the ideas of mutual respect and accountability....

...Even if you don’t have the confidence to stand up for yourself (yet), here are some ways and techniques you can employ in order to “fake it ‘til you make it”.  You might just find it feels really good. 

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10 Ways to Help your Kids With Back to School Depression or Anxiety

10 Ways to Help your Kids With Back to School Depression or Anxiety

We often think about the beginning of the school year as a “fresh start,” a “clean beginning” or a time to learn new things. It holds the promise of endless possibility, growth and exploration. The beginning of the academic year signals a time to renew friendships, see teachers from the past and learn from new teachers. And yet, the start of school can also lead to anxiety and depression for children and teens.

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Is your partner feeling the "blues"? Here are some ways to help

Is your partner feeling the "blues"? Here are some ways to help

Husbands and partners are important to the recovery process for women suffering from postpartum mood disorders.  Research suggests that consistent support from a significant other will greatly reduce depressive symptoms. However, dealing with a postpartum mood disorder is very demanding for everyone involved and husbands and partners, in particular, suffer when their wives or partners are sick.  It can be difficult to know what to do or say.  Here are some useful suggestions.

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Alternative Approaches to Relieve Anxiety and Panic

Alternative Approaches to Relieve Anxiety and Panic

Dealing with anxiety or panic attacks can seem impossible at worst and overwhelming at best. It's hard to know where to turn to look for relief. Psychiatric medication can be very effective for some people, but medication isn't for everyone. There are many alternative approaches worth trying, either before you go down the pharmacological path, or after you've tried and failed with western medicine. 

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The Addict in Each of Us

The Addict in Each of Us

Addict is such an ugly-sounding word. It suggests weak-willed, bad people and an immitigable sense of shame. 

Addiction is not about a particular substance or behavior—those are merely symptoms of an underlying issue—it’s about a maladaptive pattern of coping and an aversion to being authentic and vulnerable. This is partially why “dry drunks” and other addicts who equate abstinence with recovery tend to have such a high risk of relapse—abstaining from a problem substance or behavior does not get to the root cause of the addiction.

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Meditation: Can you be bad at it?

Meditation: Can you be bad at it?

Four times today, as I browsed through blog comments and scanned Facebook posts, I saw comments like  “I am bad at meditating” or “I’m bad with meditation” or “I’m just no good at it.” - See more at: http://peacefulplanetcommunication.com/2011/10/13/you-cant-be-bad-at-meditation-heres-why/#sthash.PSTflWvK.dpuf

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Mental Illness and the Meds: Dealing with Stigma

Mental Illness and the Meds: Dealing with Stigma

I think most of us hate our depression, our anxiety, our insomnia, our PTSD, etc. We not only hate it, but feel shame for being afflicted with it.  This hate is born out of the narrative that our “mental illness” means something is wrong with us. What if our Nervous Depletion/Brain Fatigue is actually a symptom of how ill suited our culture, society, childhood histories or lifestyles are to the bodies and brains we have? 

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Stop Interrupting You: How an End of Life Book Can Be Applied to Your Life, Right Now.

Stop Interrupting You: How an End of Life Book Can Be Applied to Your Life, Right Now.

In The End of Your Life Book Club, there are several references to Jon Kabat-Zinn's bookComing to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness. In one section of Schwalbe's book, he writes about Kabat-Zinn's perspective on interrupting. Shwalbe says, "we all know it's wrong to interrupt each other. And yet we constantly interrupt ourselves." We split our energies, sometimes to the point that there is really no value, no quality to any of our interactions. But at the end of life, there is a different kind of knowing;...

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Authenticity, Self Compassion, Mindfulness, and the “Gifts of Imperfection”: Book Review

Authenticity, Self Compassion, Mindfulness, and the “Gifts of Imperfection”: Book Review

Last year, I went on a Brené Brown kick, as I like to call it. Her TED talk- “The Power of Vulnerability” was a viral hit, reaching more than 1 million hits on youtube.  I read several of her books, watched her TED Talk, and went to see her speak when she came to Seattle. I couldn’t get enough of what she had to say, it resonated deeply with me. There were so many ways I was sabotaging myself and preventing myself from being entirely authentic with others and myself.

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Sinking in Sadness, Swimming in Self-Compassion

Sinking in Sadness, Swimming in Self-Compassion

You’ve most likely heard of a P.D.A. (public display of affection) but have you heard of a P.D.S.? I found myself experiencing one last week unexpectedly at a YMCA during an aquafit class. P-D-S: Public Display of Sadness. There I was in the middle of a pool with happy, chatting, splashing Seniors when a huge wave of sadness washed over me about an impending loss of a loved one in our family

I looked around, initially feeling embarrassed and hoping none of these fellow exercisers would notice me. Then I looked for the nearest pool stairs in case I couldn’t pull it together and needed to quickly make an exit mid-class. Next came my strategies to redirect my thoughts and use my mindfulness techniques to bring me back to the ‘here and now’.


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Book Review: "Wonder" by RJ Palacio

Book Review: "Wonder" by RJ Palacio

A book review by Sierra Sanchez, MS, LMFT

How a book about starting middle school relates to every stage in one’s life. 

“The best way to measure how much you've grown isn't by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or even your grade point average-- though those things are important, to be sure. It's what you've done with your time, how you've chosen to spend your days, and whom you've touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success.”

 --RJ Palacio, Wonder

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