by Melissa Laks, LMSW
Why should we identify our emotions
Identifying our emotions and learning to manage them is one of the most important skills we can have. Feelings are powerful and can become overwhelming at times. With time and practice, we get better at knowing what we are feeling and why. This skill is called emotional awareness. Emotional awareness helps us know what we need and want (or don't want).
For us to deal with uncomfortable emotions, it is helpful to know exactly what we’re feeling in the first place. For example, feeling a general sad is going to be experienced differently than if you are feeling lonely. So, comforting sadness would look different then comforting loneliness.
by Caroline Rudin, LMSW, MS.Ed., PMH-C
“Congratulations!” There are balloons and bouquets of flowers all over the hospital room. The room smells sweet and clean. Your makeup and hair are beautifully done up as you lie in bed with soft, cozy sheets and blankets, cradling your newborn in your arms. Your partner is sweetly standing over you, holding your hand, in amazement of your efforts and your child. Your family rushes into the room to gush over your baby and take turns holding and changing her for you so you can begin to rest.
Does this sound like a fairytale? A television commercial? Most times, it is. Let’s rewind, shall we?
Managing panic attacks
by Linda Montalbano, LPMHC
Have you ever experienced a panic attack? Heart pounding…thoughts racing…stomach rolling…palms sweating…ears ringing…Maybe you have experienced all these symptoms, or for you, symptoms look differently. No matter the symptoms, it can be terrifying. Some people feel as though they may be having a heart attack. Others describe panic attacks as a sense of dread. It is frustrating; it is scary.
However, panic attacks can be managed successfully! It is helpful to understand what triggers panic attacks. Common causes of anxiety include:
Stories in the news
Family issues: a sick loved one, a death
Learned behaviors: mimicking others who experience panic attacks.
Once we recognize what could be causing or triggering the panic attacks, it is easier to understand why they occur. Working on or through the triggers can help reduce the onset and severity of panic attacks. But there are some useful tips to reduce the symptoms of panic attacks.
by Denise Wright, Ph.D, BCBA, LBA
When we decide we want to change our behavior, we have turn our dream into an actual goal. The goal outlines the outcome in a specific measurable, achievable and relevant time-based format.
Specific- You must describe exactly what it is that you intend to do.
Measurable- The goal must include something that can be counted or quantified such as duration or frequency.
Achievable- The goal should be based on something you can do; it must be something that does not require vast change that would be insurmountable.
Relevant- The goal must be related to the dream- it must be something important and meaningful that will help you to accomplish the goal.
Time based- The goal must have a time frame by which the goal should be met to measure efficacy and hold one accountable.
by Melissa Marconi, LMSW
What is Reassurance Seeking? We all have days in our lives when we need extra support. Our loved ones can lift us up when we need encouragement or provide feedback when we are working through a problem. Sometimes just the sound of someone’s voice can give us comfort. Social connection is invaluable and is linked to lowered depression and anxiety symptoms and improved overall health and well-being.
However, sometimes we start to rely on these loved ones (safety persons) and this can lead to problems. Though we may find short term relief, it actually increases our need for more reassurance. Not only will
Simple tips for stress management
by Jayoti Chabra, LMSW
Being overwhelmed can be triggered through many aspects of your life. Work, family, friends, school and other mental, physical or emotional factors play a role. These experiences individually may not amount to much, but the sum can be greater than the individual parts. If we don’t have the appropriate coping mechanisms, there can be an avalanche type of effect. In order to avoid this, there are many tips and tricks that can be used to help manage and cope with the stress in a healthy manner.
Some of these techniques include the following:
Therapists in the media
by Bryan Johnson, LMSW
Therapists are individuals who are trained to help others with the many difficulties they can experience in their lives. They are empathic, kind, knowledgeable and authentic. The media does not always view therapists in the same light!
An example of this is from the movie “The Santa Clause.” In this movie, there is a character who is a child psychologist, and the film portrays him as being very obnoxious and a know-it-all. This type of portrayal has impacted how individuals view therapists and all mental health workers. While this movie was made in the 90’s, this is still a common theme in today’s media.
A movie produced more in the present, “Split” is based on an individual who has 23 different personalities and is seeing a psychologist for therapy. This psychologist became so emotional and invested in this patient that her inappropriate interactions cost her her life. These shows are just two examples of a wide variety of mental health characters that have been portrayed wrongly to the public. No wonder so many people "don't believe" in therapy or wonder how talking to someone can even help. But what is the difference between media portrayals and real life therapy?
Take Some Time to Meditate
With Links to Get Started
by Melissa Marconi, LMSW
Meditation is a great tool to add to your wellness routine as it can give you a sense of calm, peace, and balance. It can benefit both your emotional well-being and your physical health. Meditation can help you learn to stay centered and keep inner peace.
Screen time for kids
by Jessica Satkunasingham, MS
When you think about your family and the amount of screen time that they watch, what comes to mind? Do they watch too much? Too little? Just the right amount?
By Andrea Panebianco, MS
What is trauma? Trauma is a lasting emotional response that individuals experience once having lived through a distressing or painful event. While many people endure traumatic events, it is important to remember that the experience of trauma can significantly impact one’s ability to function in their everyday lives. This notion is particularly true for adults and children who have experienced prolonged trauma, including trauma related to pervasive racism, poverty, and other adversities.
So, with this, what is executive functioning? Executive functioning includes a multitude of mental processes that enable us to communicate, attend, focus, and multitask; it helps us remember and apply information, plan and achieve goals, and make healthy decisions for ourselves and others. Importantly, these types of skills are related to the physical development of our brains. Executive functioning, therefore, is a crucial element for maintaining academic, cognitive, social, and behavioral success throughout our lifetime.
How, then, does trauma impact someone’s executive functioning skills?