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Recovery Tips for the Optimal You

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Recovery Tips for the Optimal You

This is an article by Adam Cook that he wanted to share on my blog.

Adam Cook is the founder of Addiction Hub, which locates and catalogs addiction resources. He is very much interested in helping people find the necessary resources to save their lives from addiction.

Addiction recovery is difficult. Its success is not measured quickly, but rather over a long period of time. People often speak of beating addiction, but the real challenge is not defeating one’s substance abuse but being able to successfully contribute to your recovery. Relapse can happen anytime, but it is also quite possible to avoid if one works hard and surrounds oneself in the right kind of support. There are ways to bolster ones recovery to ensure success in the long run.

One way to help maintain sustainable sobriety is through a holistic perspective. Holistic refers to a whole-body approach to dealing with conditions such as addiction. A whole-body approach treats not only the addiction, but also its causes, while simultaneously providing comfort and support so that long-term change is possible.

Create a healthier you through diet and exercise
Optimal physical health is crucial to successful recovery. One can ensure health by eating right and increasing their physical activity. Those who have dealt with addiction also might find that they are nutritionally challenged. Substance abuse is so diametrically opposed to healthy living that addicts’ diets are often horrendous. Bodies are physically ravaged from addiction, too, so nutrition is needed to repair damage.

This year, focus on your diet by incorporating more vegetables and good fats. All vegetables and fruits are healthful, but adding avocados and olive oil can make you feel more full and satisfied. Believe it or not, doctors and nutritionists now advocate for bacon as a component of a healthy diet. So enjoy a salad with bacon and avocado and watch your health improve, little by little.

Exercise is another way to improve one’s health holistically. Fitness helps build strength that is crucial for stamina during recovery. Exercise also can help push addictive behaviors out of one’s life. Exercise triggers similar brain chemicals that result from using substances. When people work out, they feel senses of elation and stamina. Both of these characteristics help in managing addiction.

More importantly, exercise and diet foster healthy living. When someone exercises and eats better, they tend to make other decisions that support both of these components of their life. When you have a great day working out, you are less likely to eat junk food, go drinking or skip sleep or rest. The positive quality of exercise and diet can help those fighting addiction to persevere.

Get outdoors and benefit from nature
When exercising, try to incorporate some outdoor activities in the mix. As helpful as exercise is to managing addiction, outdoor exposure is linked to increased mood. When you feel better, you are much more likely to strive to be better. Outdoor exercises that are helpful include hiking, walking, running, cycling and swimming. Each of these exercises can also be done indoors to some degree, but the natural element simply takes the experience to another level. Treadmills and stationary bikes are boring. A beautiful mountain vista is anything but boring.

Keep sobriety going with a positive hobby
Another way to support addiction recovery is through finding a positive hobby. It doesn’t matter so much what the hobby is – just make sure that it is something that you enjoy. The overall goal is to fill your life with positive and rewarding activities. Hobbies can bring joy to anyone’s life, but are especially beneficial for someone going through recovery.

By combining a healthy diet, exercise, outdoor exposure and hobbies, anyone who is going through addiction recovery can help power through the tough days. This fuel is key to sustained addiction management.

At peace 

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I am in a contemplative state. My mind is full of thoughts about life. I am thinking about some patients that has touched me, and the new job I’ve begun in. It is still amazing to me that I have come so far in my life. 

Now i will rest for a while,

Quote from Pinterest

Summertime gladness

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In two weeks we will be in Croatia. I can’t wait, but unfortunately have to. Not only that, these two weeks will be very busy, since I have much work to do. Due to a change in the group of patients I will work with, I have to say goodbye to many of my trauma patients (but not all, luckily), and that means overtime.

But, it will be worth it. I can process the loss of not seeing many of my lovely patients while lying on a beach in split, and look forward to all the wonderful people I will see in my office come August.

What Do EMDR, Running, and Drumming Have in Common?

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• September 1, 2015 By Lisa Danylchuk, EdM, LMFT, E-RYT, GoodTherapy.org Topic Expert

Nope, this isn’t a strange riddle where someone is found in the desert in a scuba suit. The answer to the question posed above is actually pretty simple: brain integration.

What is that? Excellent question; I am glad you asked. As you may know, we have two hemispheres of the brain. Neuroscience is a relatively young field, and we are continuing to learn more about the complexity of the brain and its function with time and as research evolves. We do know that there are different roles played by different sides and areas of the brain, and that integrating neural networks appears to be helpful in resolving traumatic memories.

The success of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in treating trauma and mental health challenges teaches us that alternating right- and left-brain stimulation, via visual, auditory, or tactile experience, helps facilitate emotional processing. Through the simple act of holding something that buzzes between your right and left hand, or listening to something shifting from your right to left ear, a memory that was once charged with emotion can become less distressing. During the process, it is common for relevant associations to arise, for memories of thoughts and body sensations to arise. With support, this process can facilitate lasting and integrated healing.

Find a Therapist for Trauma / PTSD

Right-left brain stimulation may sound like a scary, science fiction-like process, but I assure you there is no electricity involved in this type of therapy. Your body receives input in the form of sound, touch, or sight, without any added energy.

Along with helping us process emotions, EMDR can help build up positive memories, experience, thoughts, and feelings. We call this resourcing, and use imagined or real resources to cultivate feelings of peace, nurturing, protection, and wisdom. In addition to and as part of processing negative experiences, it is crucial to cultivate the positive, sometimes the opposite of what occurred in the experience of trauma.

Think about your life for a moment and ask yourself: when do I engage in an activity that engages my right and left brain in alternating rhythm? How do I feel before, during, and after the fact? How can I incorporate this information into my healing path?

How do walking, running, and drumming factor in? Think about it for a moment. When you walk, run, or drum, you are using your body in a rhythmic way, alternating the stimulation or use of your right and left brain throughout the activity. Have you ever gone on a hike or run and felt that you were sorting through your thoughts, developing new insights, or becoming less distressed about something? We know that exercise has many benefits; EMDR highlights for us some of the mental and emotional benefits.

There are a million ways to alternate right- and left-brain activation, including dance, yoga, and some tai chi moves. People have naturally gravitated toward right-left movements in many healing rituals across the world. Think of how many sacred rituals involve drums, movement, or voyages on foot. Understanding brain integration, plasticity, and resilience gives us some insight into why these rituals have been effective and why they continue to be passed down through generations.

Think about your life for a moment and ask yourself: when do I engage in an activity that engages my right and left brain in alternating rhythm? How do I feel before, during, and after the fact? How can I incorporate this information into my healing path?

If you are looking to heal from specific traumatic memories, I highly recommend working with a skilled EMDR professional who can provide structure and guide you toward health and resolution. Consider how your own choices outside of therapy can support your process as well. Perhaps you will choose to walk or bike to your therapist’s office this week, or do a little dance after your session. Whatever you choose, may it serve your healing and integration.

© Copyright 2007 – 2018 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org.

Protected: A walk to remember

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Scrapbooking

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I want to share some of my scrapbooking project since I love to work with canvases and cards. Hope you like them!

The speed of life

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Time shifts. I take another sip from a crystal glass, the red liquid slithering down my throat. The glass sits on the table, resting. It can do nothing else than be. It has nothing it to do, it just stays put.

Time shifts yet again. I know I have to go soon, to meet two small kids and N. That we will be walking through the woods and eat pancakes. I will be present, quelling the unease and nervousness that is already here. I must look at the trees and remember I have nothing to prove. I am just here, like the trees. There is nothing I can do wrong. I can just be.

When we think about the future and past, we fail to see the now. Every second ticking by is an illusion. There is nothing else than what we experience at this moment. What was before, was the now then. What will become, is another now that we know nothing about. So right now I am sitting in my bed. The glass next to me, more present in the now than I ever can be. I need to breathe, to feel everything around me without trying to change it.

If the earth was devoid of life, it would be meaningless to ask a tree: What time is it? It would laugh, and say: “It`s now!”. While our clock is ticking, we forget that time has no meaning. The only thing that matters is what you do right now.

The blanket 

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I put a blanket around my thoughts to keep them warm. To comfort them and make them feel safe. After all: who normally needs it most: The welladjusted child or the emotional wild child who must fight its battles around? My thoughts can’t help being unruly, turning and tossing, jumping around. They simply are, and the warm blanket will collect them and calm them down.

Scared selfless

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61lGujJeS3L__SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Some stories bury themselves deep into your soul, leaving marks and holes. When the marks are gone, scars appear to remind you not to forget. This story did that to me. From now on, I will not forget. I will not forget that there is always hope, no matter how terrible your life was. Because this book is about extreme abuse. This post might be triggering, so refrain from reading further if you can be triggered.

I have just read Scared Selfless by Michelle Stevens. It is hard to describe how important this book was to me. Working as a psychologist myself, this was like finding the famous needle in the haystack. When I stumbled upon it on audible, i knew it was about trauma, but I had no idea that it also was about multiple personality disorder and that the author (a psychotherapist) was the one sharing her story. When I first listened to it, my boyfriend heard the first chapter too. Unfortunately, he couldn’t stomach the horrible abuse Stevens has experienced as he started to think about his own daughters. For me, it was impossible to stop listening. It was such an emotional journey, taking me from despair to horror and then hope. There has been such a long time since a book managed to evoke these feelings in me, and I realized one thing: Humans must keep searching for stories like these, that reminds us there’s always hope; That we truly are survivors, no matter what we’ve experienced. I will take this book with me in all conversations with my lovely clients from now on. And if I ever feel hopelessness, or that I can’t offer anything more, I shall remember that is just not true. By loving what you do and remembering why you do it, we can all change lives. Ourselves and others.

From Amazon:

“A riveting memoir that takes readers on a roller coaster ride from the depths of hell to triumphant success.”—Dave Pelzer, author of A Child Called It

Michelle Stevens has a photo of the exact moment her childhood was stolen from her: She’s only eight years old, posing for her mother’s boyfriend, Gary Lundquist—an elementary school teacher, neighborhood stalwart, and brutal pedophile. Later that night, Gary locks Michelle in a cage, tortures her repeatedly, and uses her to quench his voracious and deviant sexual whims. Little does she know that this will become her new reality for the next six years.

Michelle can also pinpoint the moment she reconstituted the splintered pieces of her life: She’s in cap and gown, receiving her PhD in psychology—and the university’s award for best dissertation.

The distance between these two points is the improbable journey from torture, loss, and mental illness to healing, recovery, and triumph that is Michelle’s powerful memoir, Scared Selfless.

Michelle suffered from post‐traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression, and made multiple suicide attempts. She also developed multiple personalities. There was “Chelsey,” the rebellious teenager; “Viscous,” a tween with homicidal rage; and “Sarah,” a sweet little girl who brought her teddy bear on a first date.

In this harrowing tale, Michelle, who was inspired to help others heal by becoming a psychotherapist, sheds light on the all-too-real threat of child sexual abuse, its subsequent psychological effects, and the best methods for victims to overcome their ordeals and, ultimately, thrive. Scared Selfless is both an examination of the extraordinary feats of the mind that are possible in the face of horrific trauma as well as Michelle’s courageous testament to their power.

Thank you Stevens, for sharing your story.

If you are a survivor of abuse yourself this homepage might be of help. Finding a good therapist can help too. Don’t be afraid of trying to find help, it can help you to heal.