Anger Management Therapy

Anger Management Therapy

 

To recognize and avoid anger triggers in people, psychologists and clinicians will often recommend anger management therapy. 

This type of therapy serves as a tool to successfully manage your anger and prevent it from affecting areas of your life. The target of that anger might be anyone, from you and your loved ones to a stranger in the street. 

Most of the time, you will find yourself furious over different events you can’t even control. 

So, when does anger become more than just a standard human emotion?  

 

Understanding Anger

We all get mad, and that’s completely normal. 

However, if your anger is misplaced or uncontrolled, then consider seeking help to manage it better. 

When talking about how this uncontrolled anger looks, it’s important to know that it depends on the person. 

Someone will feel furious on the inside, yet people around them will not be able to see signs of anger.

Another person might have a quick temper and they might even exhibit aggressive behavior. 

Although uncontrolled anger is common, it can be quite dysfunctional, especially because those who experience it are not aware of the impact it has on their lives and the people around them.

The reason why anger leads to bigger problems is because at first, it seems effective. 

For instance, you might lose your temper with your team members at work and it leads to better employee performance. 

Or, you might scream at your kids because they haven’t made their bed or brushed their teeth. In these and similar scenarios, you may get what you want, yet not for long.

People will often overlook the long-term consequences when it comes to anger. 

It can easily lead to undesired health effects such as high blood pressure and even an increased risk of heart disease. 

Yet, the most important effect uncontrolled anger will have is on your social life, including your family members, friends, coworking and everyone else close to you. 

 

Uncontrolled Anger Signs

Before talking about anger management therapy, let’s take a look at some of the common signs of uncontrolled anger. 

If you or someone close to you is showing these signs, consider anger management therapy:

  • More than one person has already told you that you have an anger problem.
  • You have distanced yourself from family and friends because of your behavior.
  • There are business establishments or private gatherings you’re no longer invited to.
  • You feel anger most of the day.
  • You often have a grudge or think about getting revenge. 
  • When angry, you act aggressively or violently or have aggressive or violent thoughts. 

 

Seeking Help

As already explained, it’s not so common that a person with uncontrolled anger is aware they need help. Often, they will be suggested to seek help from their loved one, a family member or a friend. When it comes to treating anger, the therapy has proven to be very efficient with most people.

A therapist will treat anger by focusing on cognitive-behavioural therapy mostly. For a person with uncontrolled anger, this means they will learn how to identify patterns that are harmful in any way. This way, they can change their inaccurate thoughts on how anger solves their problems. 

You can even expect to be exposed to imaginary events that usually provoke anger for you, which is known as Stress Inoculation. 

With this method, a counselor can see your anger in action and help you find coping methods that will work for you. 

Of course, the chosen method will depend on the therapist and the client’s emotions. The point is though, that to overcome uncontrolled anger, you will need to dive into it. 

You have to feel it to heal it!

 

Anger Management Therapy

The core of anger management therapy consists of learning how to handle your anger in a positive way. As much as we all want to completely destroy anger as an emotion, we tend to forget that every emotion we experience can be good for us, it only depends on how we react to it.

So, if the coping mechanisms you have are not serving you, regardless of whether we’re talking about sadness, loneliness or anger, you need to change them. To change the way you feel or react when you’re feeling angry, you need to understand what exactly are your triggers and the ways you reach in these types of situations. 

In most cases, you will need a clinician who does anger management therapy with their clients. 

They can help you learn how to manage your anger constructively and positively by staying calm. As it is with everything else that causes dysfunction in our lives, it will take time until you replace your old coping mechanisms with new beneficial ones.

Think of anger management as a new skill you will need to develop. It will require commitment, effort and more than anything else, time to build the patience to manage your anger. Once you recognize the trigger patterns and behaviors that come out of them, it will be easier to be in control of your anger. 

 

Managing Anger Without Therapy

If you are unable to see a therapist, there are still a few techniques that might be useful when trying to manage your anger. Make sure you remember them and use them anytime you start feeling the anger coming in. 

  • Breathe and while exhaling, think of the anger coming out of your body.
  • Do tension release exercises which move focus to your muscles by contracting and releasing them.
  • Start meditating to shift your mind from anger to a more neutral state.
  • Find a channel that works well for your anger such as running or exercising.
  • Boost your creativity with writing, drawing or listening to music as art.
  • Sleep at least six to eight hours because sleep deprivation leads to irritability!

When it comes to anger management, the most important thing to do is not to suppress it. 

Try expressing it from the moment you notice your anger kicking in as it still allows you to be in control. Express to yourself what this may mean for you. 

The more you practice it, the easier it will become. Once you learn how to manage your anger, you will be able to build quality relationships, be more concentrated on your work and lead a healthier life. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

“I Hate my Therapist”

“I Hate my Therapist”

 

It is startling how often we are told “I hate my therapist” and that is why clients are requesting services. 

Many clients show up to the first session, called an intake, and discuss how terrible their experiences have been in therapy thus far. 

Oftentimes, a session or two is spent talking about why they state “I hate my therapist.” Working through how that impacted them is important so we can make this experience different. 

 

Horror Stories from Clients

If some of these stories are too familiar to you, you probably do not have the right therapist. The stories are heard included some of the following: 

  • Many people have had TERRIBLE experiences in therapy
  • They were shamed
  • Therapists fell asleep
  • Connection was not great
  • Were not challenged
  • Were not validated 
  • Did not feel seen
  • Experienced a therapist who was discriminated against them

Topics listed here are horror stories from clients that stated they hated their past therapist. 

Unfortunately, in our society, it is considered normal to stay with a provider regardless of how “helpful” we feel it is. A lot of my clients felt like they had to stay with therapists, doctors, and other providers because “they had to.” 

Each of us have different needs in a therapist and that makes sense – we are all different! But having a therapist that works for you means YOU need to feel connected and comfortable with them. Therapy is vulnerable, emotional, and can be intense so it is important that you are getting your needs met. 

 

What Can I Do?

Here are some tips and tricks on some things to do to help you find the best fit for you.

  • Write a list of qualities you want your therapist to have
  • Figure out what you need to focus on, look up therapists who list that
  • Look up reviews on the therapist and the practice
  • Talk to people in your life about their experiences 

If you are in therapy already these questions might help.

 

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Do you feel connected to your therapist?
  • Do you feel heard by your clinician?
  • Are they collaborating with you?
  • Can you give them feedback or advocate for yourself?
  • Do they seem open and non-judgmental?
  • Are they clear? Are you able to clearly communicate with them?
  • Do they take accountability when they mess up or misunderstand?
  • Are they able to model appropriate behavior (boundaries, communication, etc)?
  • Do they care about your experience and your needs?
  • Do they notice your patterns?
  • Are they validating? Are they supportive?
  • Do they explore underlying issues?
  • Are they reliable? 
  • Do you feel like your goals are being met or addressed?
  • Are they responsive?
  • Are they on time? Do they end on time?
  • Do they ask your consent?

It’s important that we value ourselves and our care. 

I hope that this post helps when you hate your therapist! Please find a way to work with providers who you want to keep working with, this will help you have a conversation to help you figure out if they are the right fit for you!

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

IAM Communication

Using IAM Communication to negotiate for a Win – Win

Using IAM Communication to negotiate for a Win – Win

By Francesca Gentille & Edited by Amanda Pasciucco

 

Have you heard of IAM Communication?

For some of us, due to lack of attunement in childhood, attachment fears, hypervigilance and projections can cause communication issues. 

The Inner Aspects Method (IAM) created by Francesca Gentille discusses trauma triggers and missing skill sets so our relationships can thrive.

Instead of giving up or giving in, begin to question how you used to negotiate. In the beginning of the relationship, what was different? 

You may wonder how the relationship transformed from loving to where it is. 

It is difficult to find ways to collaborate that are connective. 

 

Most people were not taught how to do so. 

In most cases, caretakers used the “Old Paradigm” ways of raising children or talking to one another. 

These common yet dysfunctional communication styles view The Other (unconsciously) as an enemy or a flawed being that needs to be controlled, or punished. 

You may recognize some of these common, yet dysfunctional statements: 

  • You don’t get to!
  • Back off!
  • Who do you think you are?
  • I’m in charge. 
  • As long as you’re under my roof, you will do things my way. 

 

To collaborate and get creative in designing a win-win relationship is entering a New Paradigm. 

For many, it will take healing in some way to reduce reactivity to sensitized projections. 

In the New Paradigm, others we choose are friends, collaborators, and co-researchers in life as to what might work. Therefore, release knowing what is right or wrong. This is a journey of discovery to something new. 

Similarly, training in healthy forms of communication, like the ¨Non-Violent Communication¨ designed by psychotherapist Marshall Rosenberg (www.CNVC.org), may be helpful. 

 

Functional Adult Qualities:

  • Collaborative
  • Creative
  • Consensual 
  • Able to postpone immediate gratification
  • Able to grow at edges of comfort to give toward the relationship without resentment

 

From the Wise Functional Adult State we can ask ourselves and one another:

  1. How could it work?
  2. What else is possible?
  3. On a scale of 1 to 10 how important is this strategy, desire, wish to you (or to myself)?
  4. What is the underlying need that this is designed to fulfill?

A favorite phrase to ask as an empowered, functional adult is something like “would you be willing to collaborate with me to get BOTH our needs met? Then, we can then brainstorm possible options together.”

We might choose to try on a particular strategy for a week, a month, a couple months or some other period of time. Sometimes it feels easier to experiment for a limited time period than commit indefinitely. 

I recommend thinking of being collaborators and Field Researchers in the experiment of love and life. With a compassionate, creative, open mind, so much is possible!

We might take turns as to whose strategies get to lead, or base the decision as a couple on who has the most need (scale of 1 to 10). Also, consider professional guidance, support, mediation, coaching, or psychotherapy. 

We will make mistakes. Once we have agreements we will find out that not all of them were realistic or workable. I appreciate how this is described in The 5 Reasons Agreements Fail by Dawn Davidson. 

 

If we find it difficult to forgive or trust our partner, it is time to go back into therapy and-or other healing modalities. 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

How to get out of depression How to get out of depression

How to Get out of Depression – Step by Step Guide!

How to Get out of Depression – Step by Step Guide!

 

Depression is a complex illness and how to get out of depression is even more challenging. 

Depression can affect mental and emotional health, including physical, social, and professional side effects. How to get out of depression may be good for all to learn, as those we love may hide it. 

Put simply, the disorder is exhausting, life-altering, and sometimes deadly. 

Here are some ways to help you learn how to get out of depression! 

 

Step by Step Guide – You Can Read It In Order Or Apply Out Of Order!

 

Step One:

The low feeling might be caused by a chemical imbalance. Start by accessing what you are putting in your body. This includes smoking, drinking and food choices for those who are sensitive. After you have reviewed a couple days worth of intake choices, try by keeping the foods that are working and eliminating those that make your mental illness feel worse. If it has no effect, no problem. 

 

Step Two:

Do light exercising to get out of depression. Moving your body allows you to have a different relationship with your body. Not only does exercise allow for a distraction, it creates endorphins to help boost your mood. 

Depression is common among people who have had major surgeries or injuries, so be careful not to overdo it. A small chart or journal to record your daily activities will help you see the progress from the beginning. QUICK intervals of exercise are more effective than hurting yourself. 

 

Step Three:

If you are experiencing isolation, try a new or different environment. 

Maybe the living room of your house has little light and you feel extra gloomy in there. Have you considered that you can add a lamp? Even rearranging the furniture so your favorite chair is closer to the window might help create a new vibe in the room. 

In some cases, just finding 20 minutes to sit outside for fresh air can be the change of environment you need. Additionally, considering breaking out of the same routine each night can be a game changer too. Step by step on how to get out of depression is important. It isn’t going to happen all of the sudden!

 

Step Four:

Do something for someone else if you desire. So, by doing even the smallest thing for someone else (making them a card), your mood may get a boost. 

Sometimes depression can cause one to feel hopeless. Instead of focusing on what you cannot do, focusing on what you change in the world is important. 

It could be as small as picking a flower on your walk to the bus stop and giving it to the lady you see daily. In response to a kind gesture, sometimes, people are gracious back. That warm feeling does not have to cost you money and you get the endorphins by contributing to someone’s day being brighter. Contribution is a basic human need and it will help our mental health if we can access it. 

 

Step Five:

Find a way to reduce stress. Therefore, care for yourself in ways that comfort you. Wear comfortable clothes, draw a warm bath weekly, or simply pick up a book. Each person is different. So, maybe for you it is taking a painting class or cooking a new recipe for dinner.

For me, looking up recipes can be calming, yet the making of the meal can get overwhelming. If this is also true for you, this will not help you get out of depression. 

Attune the activity for your benefit. Check in and ask yourself what you did for hours as a child that brought you joy. 

 

Step Six:

Find “you” time by keeping boundaries. It is important to ensure time for yourself and a space where you feel relaxed. 

While life may take its toll, remember to shut all the daily bothers at a certain time of day (even for 15 minutes) just focus on you. 

The time away from the troublesome bothers of your day will help you refresh and be able to handle them better.

If this doesn’t work, put in 15 minutes a day to actually fixate on what is bothering you, so then the rest of the day, you eliminate the automatic negative thoughts. 

 

Step Seven: Reconnect with Nature. While it seems easier said than done, many people do this daily and do not realize it. How many of you noticed the lack of attunement to others and nature during the pandemic quarantine? 

While some may think of reconnecting with nature as going hiking or camping, it could be as simple as opening your Uber window. The littlest observations with nature can help soothe and give your mind a new focus.

Buying a bird feeder and hanging out a window each day is one example of how to appreciate nature. 

As the seasons change you can observe what new birds come back during the year. This is something that I learned from living in a first responder family, because nature can be incredibly healing when you are terrorized weekly by what you see in your career.

 

Step Eight:

Chart & record your progress. Even the smallest improvements can be celebrated. Whether you choose to try all of the steps above or simply pick one and see how your mood changes, remember the smallest improvement can help you combat depression.

Overall, there is not one set way on how to get out of depression or cure your symptoms. It is important that we are equitable with ourselves and others to give them what they need. 

Depression does take time to combat, and each step in this guide can help lead you in the right direction. Of course, if you need personalized attention, seek counseling and psychotherapy! 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Anxiety Quiz

Anxiety Quiz or Is My Life Out of Balance? [WORKSHEET]

Anxiety Quiz or Is My Life Out of Balance? [WORKSHEET]

By Francesca Gentille & Edited by Amanda Pasciucco

 

Do I need an anxiety quiz or is my life just out of balance? Sometimes when life is challenging, it can feel like anxiety and depression are taking over.

One might notice:

  • Eating more or controlling/restricting food and movement
  • Sleeping more or having trouble staying focused and awake throughout the day
  • Sleeping less or having trouble sleeping
  • Shopping more and becoming present less
  • Feeling more irritable, withdrawn, depleted, depressed, or anxious
  • Feeling more aches and pains
  • Impulsively seeking substances more
  • Having a lower sex drive or feeling sexually compulsive

These could be signs of:

    • Hormonal imbalance
    • Loss and grieving
    • Systemic trauma and enculturation
    • A life that is out of balance

If it is due to a life that it is out of balance that means that there are more situations, activities, relationships, agreements, or expectations that might be inauthentic, over giving, lacking in support, high in criticism or something else. 

It might also mean that I am undernourished with situations, activities, and relationships that are replenishing. 

I may also have unresolved trauma or missed functions from childhood that have me:

  • Feel powerless and/or trapped
  • Blame others for my emotions and thoughts
  • Feel reactive, uncomfortable, and unsettled
  • Feel fearful, anxious, and / or insecure

If I am noticing that I either feel collapsed, numb, unable to make choices, overgiving, resentful, and/or reactive, then this is a sign that I have Inner Work to engage in to heal from childhood trauma.

 Not doing this Inner Work will deepen a sense of anxiety, reactivity, powerLESSness and depression. 

If I am unclear, I make 3 lists.

  1. What is not working, or not working as well as I would like. 
  2. What is working; Notice what nourishes me, gives to me, delights me, supports me, in some way. 
  3. I make notes of where I can take positive action. (Taking positive action is taking my personal power to make requests, express boundaries, and invite collaborations. I cannot make anyone else do or feel anything. My empowerment is over myself not another.)

If the list of what isn´t working is short, the list of what is working is short, I know that the issue is NOT that my LIFE is out of balance, yet that there might be something physically and or mentally wrong. Get professional help for your anxiety and / or mental health issues and instead of taking a quiz, see a psychotherapist. 

NOTE: Not all columns will be the same length. 

Anxiety Quiz

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.

Complex PTSD

What is Complex PTSD [Complex Post Traumatic Stress]

What is Complex PTSD [Complex Post Traumatic Stress]

 

Complex Post Traumatic Stress or  C-PTSD is something we see and hear a lot about in our lives. C-PTSD refers to someone who has experienced long term trauma that has resulted in a variety of symptoms and impacts on the individual and their system. 

What Is it?

Although overlapping with general PTSD diagnosis, C-PTSD is something that is chronic, long term trauma. PTSD is often related to one event or experience that results in someone experiencing various trauma symptoms. When multiple events occur or the experience lasts for a long time, people are at higher risk for developing C-PTSD.

C-PTSD can be created due to various factors from living within an abusive household, being in a toxic relationship, living somewhere where there is a lot of violence around, being a first responder, being oppressed or discriminated against, or being at war. 

One of the hardest things for people to understand in trauma is that trauma is about the individuals experience. So while something may be traumatic for one person, it may not be traumatic for another. Often, people are dismissive of people’s traumas because they do not understand which results in a lack of empathy and compassion for the person who is struggling with it. 

This dynamic and invalidation often creates an exacerbation of symptoms for the individual. Feelings of hopelessness, shame, and powerlessness are common with CPTSD.  When people do not believe or dismiss people’s experiences it certainly increases the impact of the C-PTSD for that individual. 

C-PTSD Symptoms

Symptoms can look like: 

  • Difficulty regulating emotions, (e.g. extreme anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, and quick swings from one to another)
  • Avoidance about what reminds the individual about the trauma(s)
  • Intrusive memories or thoughts (not being able to change or control their thoughts)
  • Losing memories of the trauma  
  • Reliving memories from the trauma through flashbacks or feeling like it is happening again
  • Dissociating, or feeling detached from oneself (almost like they are floating or in a movie)
  • Changes in self-perception, including feeling totally different from other people and feeling ashamed or guilty
  • Significant difficulties in relationships, including difficulty trusting others, or even seeking an abuser, codependency, difficulty trusting themselves
  • Distorted perceptions of reality or the people part of this traumatic event. (e.g. placing all the power to this person, becoming obsessed with him or her, or becoming preoccupied with revenge)
  • Difficulty sleeping or having nightmares about the event(s)
  • Loss of a system of meanings, such as losing one’s core beliefs, values, religious faith, etc.
  • Shift in presentation or the way they seem to people around them
  • High risk behaviors
  • Difficulty taking criticism or feedback from others. Experience things as personal attacks. 

Complex PTSD

Although this list includes many of the symptoms, it is challenging to name them all. Often times after reflecting on these skills it is hard to differentiate between this experience and some personality disorders.

Personality disorders (PD) are a way of taking in a variety of factors to determine when C-PTSD is accompanied or surpassed into a PD.  Often with PD’s we look towards factors such as genetic, responsiveness to treatments, length of episode, and intensity and duration of symptoms. Various PD’s have other symptoms that accompany many listed above. 

If you demonstrate the symptoms listed above or any of the aforementioned information feels true for you, it is almost always helpful to connect to a mental health provider who engages in trauma work to help you manage and address your needs. 

IAM

Throughout the pandemic the Inner Aspects Method (IAM) has been my go to trauma modality as it only requires the client and a quiet space. IAM is a method of therapy that is similar to Interal Family Systems (IFS). It focuses on the various parts of ourselves that make up who we are. Just like we have multiple parts of our body, IAM identifies their various aspects of ourselves as people. 

The benefits of using this particular modal is that it allows clients to identify their younger selves and work through the trauma(s) that have happened to them throughout their lives, which as you can imagine is very helpful with those healing from C-PTSD. The idea is figuring out the ways inner aspects have been harmed and impacted by the trauma, finding the strategies that are utilized. Recognizing and holding compassion for those strategies as survival techniques. And being open to finding new strategies that are more healthy and adaptive. 

Additionally, the IAM focuses on building compassion for ourselves and our various inner aspects. This includes being able to provide and meet the needs of our own inner aspects rather than relying on external forces to solely regulate. The idea is to co-regulate within yourself and meet the needs of yourself and bring consciousness to the decisions one is making surrounding their emotional responses. This consciousness reduces reactivity, brings intention and compassion to those applying the techniques. 

For those with C-PTSD, this can help de-personalize the trauma, address feelings of shame or powerlessness, build compassion for themselves, and identify ways to regulate and respond more consciously in their emotional experiences. The concepts of providing and building self compassion, internal  validation, empowerment, and self love allow for healing to take place. 

I have also found that applying the IAM method with Compassionate Communication (Non-violent communication). Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) have also been useful supporting modalities to help others healing from C-PTSD. IAM and EMDR together have allowed for the ability to fully engage in the inner aspects and reprocess trauma. 

C-PTSD is SUCH a difficult thing to go through. It is so important for people with it to have the supports and resources needed to help address these struggles to heal. And learn how to find strategies to support your health and wellness.

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.

Setting Boundaries

Using the Inner Aspects Method for Setting Boundaries in Conversations

Using the Inner Aspects Method for Setting Boundaries in Conversations

 

Many times, clients ask how to use the Inner Aspects Method (IAM) for setting boundaries in conversations. 

When it comes to conversation, be intentional about what you can offer and what you cannot.

Boundaries within communication are important to any respectful exchange.

Yet most of us know that if we respond and engage too quickly in a conversation without awareness of our limits, boundaries, and true needs, that we often can cause a disconnect between ourselves and another.

We use the Inner Aspects Method to stop, take a breath, and observe what is going on. 

Often, our adult part, our representative is a mask of a younger self that is often more nervous, anxious. This part may be afraid of abandonment or afraid of entrapment. 

Parts Theory

To have more responsible and respectful conversations and connections, it is important to look at a situation from various angles and perspectives.

You ever see people get rageful on the road driving? What about silly and playful? What about numb and mindless. This is a quick way to discuss parts theory. Moment to moment, we can get hijacked by different parts of us.

Even though we only have one body, we have multiple parts of our identity. 

While observing, it is often necessary to take a step back from how you usually view the world to find a more observational self (a helicopter view of your life) to identify what you are feeling and what you need.

Emotions are the messenger and not the message. An emotion lets us know that we are feeling something strongly. A boundary has been crosse, something is important to us, etc. 

Our emotions are for us to know. In healthy boundary setting and conversations, the emotion is something to process with yourself or with someone who consents to hearing the emotion. 

If another person consents to hearing what you have to say, let them know up front what you are comfortable with as a response. Ask the person speaking if they want reflective listening, one of your life experiences, or something else. 

Examples of Setting Boundaries and Accountability in Conversations

  • I feel unheard and disrespected in our relationship.. 
  • I choose to share my time with those that are respectful, accountable, compassionate. And work towards their own growth and healing.
  • When I perceive to be disrespected, teased, when sarcasm is used, when my boundaries are not heard or acknowledged, it results in me feeling less connected to you and less of a desire to be with you in the future. If your goal is to create a healthy relationship with me. I ask you to find an alternative approach with me when expressing your emotions… 
  • I feel frustrated and harmed when I receive advice from you that I have not requested. Or when you tell me how much you love me and then react angrily. I feel upset and hopeless when you use guilt as I then try to set boundaries.
  • Also I would feel more willing to create connections if my requests and boundaries were value. And to see that you are dedicated to making shifts in our relationship. If you are confused on what I need, I can share that more clearly. 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.

Social Media Therapy – “I Saw on Tik Tok [or Instagram]”

Social Media Therapy – “I Saw on Tik Tok [or Instagram]”

 

Generally speaking, and more frequently since COVID started, many individuals are engaging in social media therapy. “I saw it on Tik Tok or Instagram” is now a common occurrence. 

The purpose of this blog is to address this phenomenon and provide tools to identify what is actually helpful for your mental health that you might see on social media. 

Social Media Therapy

With all the social media platforms, there is a mass amount of information accessible to individuals based on what they “like” or “heart” and based on what they follow due to the algorithms.

These algorithms have set individuals up to connect with what they seem to be most interested in and what they search as most relevant to their lives. 

In some ways, this is beneficial, and in other ways, this is not helpful. 

Social media therapy matters as it is not proven as a way to benefit mental health.

Many therapists, mental health professionals, and providers (including myself and LCAT) have taken to social media to provide free resources to clients and the community. The purpose of social media therapy is to allow further connection to those who may not have been given the opportunity to engage in therapy sessions. 

Therefore, social media therapy can be INCREDIBLY useful. 

However, more often than not, when individuals share what they have learned on Tik Tok, Instagram, or Facebook, it is skewed. All social media messaging has bias – specifically the bias of the mind of the reader. 

When a client has a specific person that they have followed, and shared something meaningful, this is great. 

However, there are a few things to be skeptical about: 

  • The qualifications of the person saying it. What is their background, who is sponsoring them (if anyone), and what ethical board are they a part of (if any)?
  • The accuracy of the information taken and reframed into what you desire and the algorithms you engage with. 
  • Self-diagnosing after hearing about a disorder on a social media platform does not make that person qualified to diagnose. 

Exploring this information with your licensed therapist is not a problem.

However, taking what you see on social media at 100% face value, without exploring or understanding the context of the information, or knowing the credentials of the person sharing it perpetuates misinformation. 

What this means is that your social media therapy may be the next source of “fake news.” 

What Social Media are You Following? 

Step one is figure out who you are following. 

  • Are the people you are following “helpful” or “harmful”?
  • What is the purpose of following their page?  
  • Entertainment? Information? Memes? Growth?

If the person is “helpful” and provides one or more of the above mentioned aspects, keep following them.

Understand the value of the social media accounts you follow. 

If you are following someone for information surrounding news, health, or personal growth, etc. It is imperative that you look into their mission, certifications, qualifications, and experiences. 

If you are following them because their take on things is an entertaining perspective, it is okay, yet this is not therapy. Realize if someone is qualified to diagnose or offer treatment suggestions, because many people are not. 

You may be surprised by this; however, not everyone on Tik Tok knows what they are talking about! 

Know and understand who you are following! 

Informed consent and understanding is important for making decisions on how to use information.

Check in with Your Therapist or Coach

If individuals do not know how to take this information in, it may be helpful to contact a psychotherapist and ask how to find accurate information. 

There are many positive aspects to engaging with social media and learning about various topics. As some say, knowledge is power! 

However, knowledge without context leads to projection. It doesn’t actually lead to healing. 

Do not take anything on social media as definitive. They are speaking about a small example in limited characters and time. Work with a therapist and coach to determine if the information is relevant to your life and your goals. 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Life sucks

What to Do When You Think Your Life Sucks? 

What to Do When You Think Your Life Sucks? 

 

Today, we are explaining how we help clients when they say “my life sucks”.

Life sucks is a common thing heard in sessions these days and clients often ask us “why does my life suck,” in hopes that they can shift their life around.

Life Sucks in a Pandemic

First off, we are living in a pandemic that has turned our world and our way of living upside down. 

That is a legit piece of why “life sucks” right now. 

As humans, we are wired to NEED connection. The pandemic has created shifts in how we get connection and the way we can access closeness with others. 

Additionally, the pandemic has increased loss globally. 

There has been a massive loss of life, health, connection to others, employment, and even privacy. This is because many are stuck in their homes with the same people for over a year now. 

Loss and grief have continued to become a more prominent part of our day-to-day lives, and that has certainly impacted why you may think your life sucks right now.

The pandemic has caused many of us to feel hopelessness, disconnected, under-resourced – emotionally, physically and financially – and fearful. These feelings have contributed to increased rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Lifes sucks

Taking a look at the above chart, we see mental health rates were on the incline for millennials prior to the pandemic hitting. Now, imagine a crisis where most providers are at capacity for taking new patients. 

Individuals are needing more and more certainty in their lives, because the pandemic has increased the amount of uncertainty in our households, communities, country, and world.

Creating Certainty in Uncertain Times

Outside of the pandemic, I encourage people to focus on what they can control and ways that they can create certainty. 

Although it is incredibly important to look at the contextual and systemic factors at play, it is vital for each to reflect on accountability and ways that you yourself are contributing to why your life sucks. 

It is critical to empower ourselves to address what we can change rather than focusing on what we cannot. 

Parts of the “suckage” are within our control and require us to focus on the things we can create certainty in – what we can control vs. what we cannot control. 

Similarly, taking a cue from the serenity prayer, individuals must recognize the difference of what they can and cannot change.

Many clients are working hard to find ways to empower themselves in what they can do to help create more certainty in their lives. 

Here are some strategies to consider: 

  • Acknowledge your feelings and recognize WHAT you are feeling. When we ignore our feelings, it does not help in the long run.
  • Notice your most common thoughts. If you are constantly thinking negatively or focusing on things you cannot control,you are depleting yourself of valuable energy..
  • Shift negative thoughts. To be clear, it is shifting the WAY or the PROCESS of the message or way that you are thinking, rather than DISMISSING those thoughts.
  • Take APPROPRIATE responsibility. . Recognize what piece of the circumstances are yours to own. I work with so many people who take on MORE responsibility than is appropriate and also have seen people deflect responsibility completely. RECOGNIZE the difference and be fair to yourself and to others.
  • Create something. For some, that is through building, painting, art, gardening, etc. For others, it is creating certainty and predictable structure (including meals or bedtimes). Create community or connection! When we focus on creating we are OPENING our mind to new possibilities and building ways for us to feel empowered.
  • Focus on that which is in your control.We can only control ourselves, our reactions, and the way we do things. You do not have control over the pandemic, your partner,and to some extent your kids, etc. When we focus on controlling things outside of ourselves it creates POWERLESSNESS, because we cannot control others. Focus on what you can do, which is empowering. 
  • Find the good, find the beauty, find the pleasure in your life. In our group practice, we share each day on a group chat something that brought us pleasure. For some it is about connection, others it is about love or sex. It can be something simple, or something huge, but whatever it is, sharing openly  has created a pleasure-centered culture in our practice of self care..

 

Instead of asking yourself why your life sucks, find ways to empower yourself. 

Find a voice and ways to connect. Also find ways to grow and ways to create. Find ways to love yourself and others. Find ways to build mastery. 

When you try to attend to your underlying needs, life sucks a little less each day. Does this solve all the suckage? No. Will it help if you are willing? Absolutely. 

LCAT can help you transform your problems and start experiencing a pleasure centered, self accountable, empowering life.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.

How to Deal With Loneliness

How to Deal With Loneliness

 

Many people ask how to deal with loneliness, especially during times of extreme stress and pandemics. 

Even though the number of people who experience loneliness is more than usual, we can all understand the feeling of being alone. 

Loneliness can cause emotional pain and affect people in many other ways by:

  • Affecting your physical health
  • Causing anxiety and depression
  • Leading to physical pain

 

How To Deal With Symptoms of Loneliness

Several studies support that loneliness does affect your general well-being. 

When loneliness and depression affect your emotional health, it is time to seek services. Studies show that the part of the brain that processes social exclusion is also responsible for processing physical pain. So, if you’re lonely, that part of the brain will react by causing physical pain.

Similarly, one study has shown that lonely people tend to suffer more from depression than others. They also tend to be less social and fear social interactions.

 

Signs of Loneliness

When a person is lonely, they may experience the following:

  • Mental health problems
  • Believing that no one cares about them
  • Withdrawing from those they care about
  • Reporting suicidal thoughts

Loneliness is a common issue right now, and many lonely people are looking for ways to connect to you and others online. 

 

How to Deal with Loneliness

1. Radical Acceptance that loneliness is a part of a pandemic

Accepting that loneliness is normal, and many people experience it. It doesn’t make it easier to deal with loneliness, yet it makes you normalize the experience instead of thinking you’re odd. 

About 40% of people admit to experiencing loneliness at some point in their lives. Similarly, anyone can experience loneliness, regardless of their social class, marital status, financial situation, or social cycle. You may even know a person with lots of friends and family, yet they still say they’re lonely. Honestly, loneliness is subjective so it’s important to remember you’re not the only lonely person in the world.

 

2. Join a Group

Joining any class or online group will help you meet people. Instead of avoiding, it’s important to lean into conversations with those whom you share common interests. 

It actually may help you develop a sense of belonging, thus improving your creativity and ability to innovate. 

 

3. Volunteer

You can also volunteer to be part of a cause you believe in. There are animal shelters and soup kitchens in Connecticut that are looking. That means other states and countries may have this opportunity too! By doing this, you can get satisfaction to live a healthy lifestyle.

For those who have never done it, offering a hand to those who need it does provide a sense of gratitude within you for contributing. 

 

4. Be Mindful Of Your Thoughts

Remember, loneliness can be a state of mind. Spending time alone is not a problem, yet if you drift into loneliness, it may become one. 

Be mindful of your thoughts when you’re alone and remind yourself that you’re more clever than what your inner critic may say. 

 

5. Practice self-kindness

When you’re feeling lonely and depressed due to challenges, practice self-love. Take care of yourself by taking a walk, having fun, dancing, moving your body in a way that feels joyous, or something else! 

 

6. Pay attention to what makes you lonely

If you do not pay attention, you may not discover the reason for your loneliness. Identify times of day that are more lonely and notice what leads to those moments. 

So, how you deal with loneliness is the opposite action! Find connection, support, and friendship from those online, and share any information in a journal so you feel like you can go through some of your thoughts. 

 

7. Strengthen Existing Relationships

Try to strengthen your relationship by calling or texting others more often and asking if you could send each other voice or video messages. 

 

If none of these work in dealing with loneliness, see a therapist

If you don’t get fulfillment from engaging in activities like your hobbies, you may decide to seek psychotherapy. Sometimes, overcoming loneliness doesn’t just happen; you need to put in the effort to make it work. 

If you find it challenging to overcome loneliness and depression after trying out the tips above, you may want to consider seeking advice from a psychotherapist. 

You can also seek the help of an online therapist, and they’ll be more than happy to help you out. 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do