Often times, we thought we’d mastered something until a new set of hyper-specific, unforeseen circumstances presents itself and we’re face to face with a whole new challenge
I am currently pursuing a Masters in Counseling Psychology at Northwestern University. That sounds pretty intimidating when reading it in writing. But, when I step back and take a look inside, I remember -- I did not find my way to Northwestern overnight. Like many things, it was a custom-made path that had a lot of bump and turns. There were many paths that led me to where I have chosen to be today. My passions have only begun to be revealed. I realize now that it was okay to feel a bit helpless along the way. It’s in the wondering that you begin to see a strength, a match, and some growth into an expectation for yourself. It can become a mission.
When I was young, I had epilepsy. And for a while, I let the diagnosis become me. Through the practice of meditation, yoga, sleep patterns and support from others, I overcame the affliction. Despite being seizure free for years, the scars still remained. I wanted to “forget” this period in my life; I was plagued by the curiosity of how things may have been different if I never had those seizures.
I allowed myself to live in this space of “what ifs” or “if only” until I found yoga and psychotherapy. At a time when I needed to learn to understand my own mind, the power of these practices allowed me to breakthrough my fears and begin the healing of my personal relationship with myself. I found a little miracle in the reflection of a mirror and on this path I now find myself walking. Becoming a clinical mental health counselor was important to me to help others be inspired and find deeper meaning and enjoyment of their authentic being. In my vocation, I want to help cultivate gratitude, build community, strengthen from the inside and enliven a commitment to personal growth for others just as I was once helped.
So, why work with me? Why is my personal experience relevant to you? Will I be able to help you and understand the path you are on and the choices you have made to put you there? Am I as capable as a licensed counselor to help you? These are all real and valid questions.
We are all unique and perfect in our OWN way, but we are wired neurologically to question ourselves, to question what we choose to do, and to question others. Decisions are difficult to make, and we become a collection of those choices. In working with me, I want to help you see that you are worthy and capable of love and belonging. You have all the "right" decisions within you, and it takes deep work to discover and trust.
Together, we can learn to examine the struggles in decision-making and blossom to positive outcomes. I have a unique personal experience base, and when matched with my professional training, I have the empathy and understanding to help guide you in seeing your truth. I am excited to build on a valuable foundation to help you on your path to empowerment and achieve the change you are seeking in your life.
Love this piece, give it a read! : https://www.theodysseyonline.com/when-you-give-girl-pair-of-cleats
I, too, was once this girl. In the beginning, my cleats felt awkward, too small, too big, I didn't move like the "other girls" in their cleats around me. I wasn't "athletic", I didn't feel fast or agile. But I had coaches and I had people who let me figure it out and encouraged me to keep going. There were others who were not so encouraging, but they didn't matter, because the one who believed in me kept buying me cleats and giving me high fives. They came to all my games and gave me a hug after, no matter what the result was. Whether it's cleats, a paintbrush, a pencil, a keyboard, an instrument, or leotard (the list goes on), it truly is the foundation of character, courage, and relationships that will last forever.
If you are interested in:
This mixed gender process group (ages 18+) is for people navigating through interpersonal struggles, trauma, codependency and anxiety. It is also appropriate for those who are examining their relationship with food, exercise, drugs and/or alcohol.
When: Wednesday evenings 5:15-6:30 pm
Where: Groups will take place at Center for Behavioral Medicine, 25 E Washington Suite 1025
Cost: Groups are $50. We also accept Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and Aetna
Contact Anne Carter, LSW, CADC at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603) 667-1471 with questions or to schedule an appointment to discuss group.
Self Help books can be difficult to navigate. Sometimes they repeat themselves, or after we read them we don't really feel like we have gained any super helpful tools. And then sometimes, it just seems like a daunting task to have to face our vulnerabilities in a book...
SO! Here is our list of favorite books. The books that actually make you feel GOOD, and NORMAL, and like there is a way to apply change, mental shifts, increase happiness, and feel like you can be "your best self". There certainly isn't a "one size fits all" to being happy, rich, less anxious, BUT these are great sources to start making the shift!
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown (ALL of her books are great!)
We will continue to update this list!
This weekend, Serena will be offering a workshop for all at Room to Breathe. She will be teaching how Yoga can be used for all - shapes, sizes, backgrounds, beliefs, goals- and how you to wrap your head around, what is, the most ancient and effective practice for healing and development.
Working With the Body To Clarify the Mind
with Serena Brommel
Saturday, January 14, 1pm to 4pm
How do the physical practices of yoga postures and breathing techniques relate to the deeper work of resolving emotions and inducing mental clarity? This workshop aims to demonstrate the clear linkages between the primary tools of breath-centric yoga and the foundations of meditation.
Join Serena for an exploration of techniques and a discussion of the theories that drive them. Develop a deeper understanding of what you’re doing on the mat that will help enrich your personal practice and build momentum for deeper, more effective yoga.
Through our practice and conversation we will:
+ Learn how breath-centric yoga develops concentration
+ Explore energy from a yogic perspective
+ Look for stillness through opposing movement
+ Conceive the mind as a field of movement that we can actively influence
+ Discuss common misconceptions that may impede our growth
This is not an advanced practice; all techniques we explore will be accessible to newer students. A little prior yoga experience will be helpful, but it is not required. Wear comfortable clothing for gentle movement, and a pad and pen in case you want to take notes.
One of the cornerstone ideas I'll present is yoga as a systematic process for growth and transformation. This, to me, is the essence of yogic philosophy. Yogic philosophy, including what's presented in the Yoga Sutras, provides us with the roadmap for HOW to make this work, practically speaking.
Here's a great quote from Gary that we'll use as a jumping off point:
“Life is inherently stressful, and the effects of that stress cause suffering. The ancient yogis understood this very well. Although it’s hard to imagine what daily life was like for them thousands of years ago, what is clear is that they created and handed down a systematic approach for overcoming the effects of stress on the mind and body: [this is] yoga.”
– Gary Kraftsow, founder of the American Viniyoga Institute
Our pre-summer newsletter!
A blog on the pressures of being "good enough"
Written by Ryan Shuda
There is a secret hiding in this photo, a secret that a growing number of teenagers and young adults can relate to. Even though they can relate to the secret, few people want to acknowledge it. Can you figure out what I am talking about yet? The secret lies in a constant feeling of being unable to “measure up” and questioning “Can I even do this?” These perceived expectations come [somewhat unconsciously] from a child’s parents or siblings, teachers, coaches, peers, and images and messages in society as a whole. What we don’t always recognize as parents, grandparents, friends, coaches, peers, and members of the community is, the message and standards we are communicating are leading to extreme pressures on the next generation leading to extreme measures to be “good enough.”
As adults, most of us take technology for granted, whereas for most teens, technology is their life and social realm. “Do your homework,” now means “Get your Ipad/laptop.” “Call your friends to see what they are up to” is now “I’ll text them and start a group chat.” “Spending time” with friends is now messaging them on Facebook, Skyping with them, or playing video games online together. In this case technology, right or wrong, can help people who are shy open up and make friends easier. Unfortunately though, young kids use technology so extensively that they may receive mixed messages from major support figures in their life like parents, coaches, and even loved ones. The teenager may hear the suggestions and turn them into “rules” or “expectations” of how they should act or be acting. Today’s teens though have a drastically different skill and comfort level than we do. Inadvertently, these well intended suggestions frequently end up turning into more thoughts that the teen is not “measuring up” or doing what is expected of them.
Personally, I see a number of teenagers and young adults being treated more and more like adults. No longer is it good enough for children to just go to school, get good grades, and maybe participate in a sport or club. Instead, teens are put into multiple sports or extracurricular activities which take away significant time from their academics and overall social growth and development. Children are also being asked to do more and more to get into a “good” high school, and even middle school. The application process for some high schools require teens to go through an interview, application, essay, and even an orientation. That was required for me to get into college, not high school. More and more children are pushed to do more to get into a school only to still have the risk of saying “We regret to inform you but our enrollment has met its capacity,” but what children read and hear is “You weren’t good enough.” Children are no longer just allowed to participate, but they have to “succeed” and “measure up” to others, when the reality is that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.
On top of using technology to build relationships, having extremely busy schedules, being exposed to a lot of high pressure situations, consider another role technology plays today. Not only is the constant exposure to be “cool” plastered all over Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, and Facebook but these “cool” things get put next ads that are sexually suggestive, promoting the use of drugs and/or alcohol, and even sometimes extensive ridicule from other people. Again, this sends mixed messages that reinforce the idea of not “measuring up” to what other people their age are saying and doing.
So, adults, specifically parents, coaches, grandparents and loved ones, what can you do to help the teens and young adults in your life? The first suggestion I have is for you to understand and recognize how your teens world is different from the world you grew up in. Next, I want you to take a look at your child’s schedule and find your child’s “downtime.” If you can not find any time where they are not involved in extracurriculars, doing homework, or any other type of “work” then your child needs some! Downtime is supposed to be just that, time that they can do something that THEY enjoy (age appropriate of course). An additional suggestion I have is to help your child identify his/her values by asking them about situations they see on social media regarding the people or pop icons they follow. Lastly, and most importantly admit to making mistakes. Everyone, yes I mean everyone, has their own strengths and weaknesses and admitting our own mistakes will help shrink those thoughts of being “unable to measure up.”