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Mental Health Topeka KS – Angela’s Blog

We all have those moments where we wish we could start fresh. Maybe a bad habit has gotten out of control, or a negative thought pattern is holding you back. Whatever the reason, the desire to "turn over a new leaf" is a powerful one. But how do you actually make that change stick?

Therapy can be a transformative tool in this process. Here's how a therapist can support you on your journey to a new you:

  • Unearthing the Root Cause: Many negative behaviors or thoughts stem from deeper issues. A therapist can help you explore past experiences, traumas, or limiting beliefs that might be fueling your current struggles. By understanding the "why" behind your patterns, you can begin to address them at the source.
  • Developing New Coping Mechanisms: Unhealthy coping mechanisms like avoidance or self-medication often accompany negative behaviors. Therapy can equip you with healthier tools to navigate challenges. This could involve relaxation techniques, communication skills, or emotional regulation strategies.
  • Building Self-Awareness: Sometimes, we're not even fully aware of our own thoughts and behaviors. Therapy can help you develop self-awareness by identifying negative thought patterns and their impact on your actions. With this awareness, you can make conscious choices to break free from unhelpful cycles.
  • Creating a Support System: Change can be difficult, and therapy provides a safe, non-judgmental space to explore your struggles. Your therapist can be a cheerleader, offering encouragement and holding you accountable as you work towards your goals.
  • Developing a Personalized Plan: Therapy isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. A good therapist will work with you to create a personalized plan that addresses your specific needs and goals. This might include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness techniques, or other evidence-based approaches.

Taking the first step towards positive change can be daunting, but therapy can be the key to unlocking your potential. Remember, turning over a new leaf isn't about perfection. It's about moving forward with a newfound understanding of yourself and the tools you need to create a happier, healthier life. ~ Angela

Here at Firm Foundations Counseling Inc. we believe in  "Walking alongside you on your "Road of Self-Discovery".  Often, finding a therapist that is right for you can be a daunting and even intimidating first step to take on that road. Finding the right therapist is a crucial step in taking charge of your mental health. It's an investment in your well-being, and a little careful consideration can make a big difference. This post is intended to equip you with the knowledge and basic steps to navigate the process and find a therapist who feels like the perfect fit.

1. Know Yourself, Know Your Needs

The first step is to identify what you want to gain from therapy. Are you struggling with specific concerns like anxiety, depression, or trauma? Do you want to address relationship issues or navigate a difficult life transition?  Knowing your goals, whether it's short-term problem-solving or long-term personal growth, will help you target the right type of therapy.

2. Therapists: A Diverse Field of Expertise

There are various mental health professionals available, each with their qualifications and specialties. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who can diagnose mental health conditions and prescribe medication. Psychologists have doctoral degrees and can provide therapy and psychological assessments. Licensed therapists and counselors hold master's degrees and offer psychotherapy using different approaches like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, or mindfulness-based techniques.

3. Research and Find Your Match

The search begins with reputable online directories like Psychology Today or GoodTherapy. Here, you can filter therapists by location, insurance, and areas of expertise. Look into the preferred psychotherapy techniques used by therapists.  Additionally, consider asking for referrals from trusted friends, family, or your healthcare provider. Reading therapist profiles and reviews can sometimes offer valuable insights into their experience and approach(es). Remember to check their licenses and credentials to ensure professionalism.

4. Practical Considerations for Seamless Sessions

Imagine therapy sessions that fit seamlessly into your life! Consider a therapist conveniently located near your home or workplace, with appointment times that align with your schedule. Teletherapy, commonly referred to as on-line therapy or e-therapy, may be another option to fit better with your work life balance situation. If insurance coverage is a concern, explore therapists who offer self-pay options or sliding-scale fees.

5. The Initial Consultation: Exploring Possibilities

Many therapists offer initial consultations, often free or at a reduced cost. Other therapists connect and respond back and forth with potential clients through email. Either way, early communication with a therapist can help establish understanding, answer questions, and manage expectations. This is your chance to interview the therapist!  Prepare questions to understand their approach to therapy, their experience with your specific concerns, and their overall therapeutic style.

6. Building Trust: The Heart of Therapy

Therapy thrives on a strong therapeutic relationship. During your initial sessions, pay attention to how you feel with the therapist. Do you feel comfortable, understood, and respected?  Trust and empathy are key ingredients for successful therapy.  Every therapist reads and responds differently which may or may not align with your needs or preferences.. How do you feel about your therapist’s style and approach? Your therapist can’t read your mind, so being open and honest in your feedback is important. 

7.  Listen to Your Gut

The client - therapist relationship is very personal and actually very individualized. Tastes and preferences vary so don't underestimate your intuition! It's absolutely okay if you don't click with a therapist. Thank them for their time and continue your search. Remember, therapy is a journey, and your needs may evolve over time. Don't hesitate to switch therapists if your initial choice doesn't feel like the right fit anymore.

Conclusion:  Taking Charge of Your Mental Health

Finding the right therapist is an empowering step towards prioritizing your mental health. I hope this guide has equipped you with helpful  knowledge and basic tools to navigate the process. Now, take action! Start your search, schedule consultations, email therapists you’re considering, and embark on your self discovery road and journey towards a healthier, happier you. ~ Angela

At Firm Foundations Counseling Inc., we make your safety our highest priority. During this pandemic environment, please allow extra time for therapist to clean and disinfect office space between counseling sessions. Face masks are required to wear in the building and in the waiting room. Firm Foundations Counseling Inc. is also providing HIPAA compliant tele-therapy (virtual) services for your convenience and safety. All of your information is kept 100% confidential. -Angela

Transitioning to Seeing Your Therapist Using Technology

Firm Foundations Counseling Inc.  has recently added teletherapy services to meet the mental health needs of clients. Teletherapy is a great alternative to the traditional face to face counseling session you might be used to. Telemental health services have been around for many years and have been gaining in popularity the past decade.   For busy schedules, the convenience of scheduling an online counseling session using secure video conference technology is a game changer.  Telemental health is effective and increases access to care without leaving your home.  In the current global pandemic environment and recent requirements for social distancing, the need for mental health services is more important than ever and teletherapy can provide a bridge between you and your therapist. I have teamed up with TheraNest, a respected mental health practice management system to offer a very convenient, HIPAA-Compliant teletherapy video platform to better serve you.    If you are interested in utilizing this service please contact me for more information.   Please take a look at the links provided below to learn more about TheraNest's HIPAA-Compliant Telehealth Platform.* Be aware  and avoid  providers offering teletherapy services that are non-secure and non-HIPAA compliant (Facebook Facetime,  Google Hangouts, Skype, etc) 

Clients: How to Prepare For Your First Telehealth Session

Thank you,

Angela

February is Eating Disorders Awareness Month. In a lot of ways, the traditional image of a woman in stock photos mirrors the common stereotype of a person with an eating disorder: young, slim, attractive, and white. However, we all know that those stock images don’t reflect the world around us, and yet most marketing and advertising relies on those images without any alternatives. *Learn More https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

Feeling so sad that people continue to put so much time, energy, and effort into hurting others.

We have so much amazing beauty within people, our country, and our world, so let's start utilizing these blessings and gifts vs. destroying one another. If you are angry, depressed, resentful, stressed, internally-focused, resentful, feeling like hurting self or others, use that energy to be the change we want to see in others, seek help, OR if you are truly planning on doing harm, ONLY act on yourself, not others. We (general population and leaders) MUST focus on supporting one another, lifting ourselves and others up, providing needed education, mental health, addictions, and financial resources to EVERYONE vs. focusing on "protecting" only "certain" people, places, things, and/or "interests". Is this the type of world we envisioned for ourselves, our children, families, friends, and/or others? We should not be afraid to leave our homes for any reason. Our fellow man/woman should watch over our homes while we are away vs.or when struggles happen vs. rummaging through our homes, businesses, etc. We should grab a person's hand if he or she is going to fall vs. stepping on that person to get in front of him or her. Let's use our energy, time, and focus to be people of true character, i.e. respectful, honest, loyal, and authentic; be people who would not hurt someone just because he/she can. LET"S ALL BE THE CHANGE WE SO BADLY WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS. The only things we can control are ourselves, our thoughts, feelings, and actions!!!! So, control yourself please. I am praying for all those impacted by the turmoil in our country/world.

-Angela

Got them holiday blues? You're not alone. At Firm Foundations Counseling Inc. we know that the holiday season is a festive time for many, but also one of the most difficult times of the year for others.

Many people can experience feelings of anxiety or depression during the holiday season. People who already live with a mental health condition should take extra care to tend to their overall health and wellness during this time.  Extra stress, unrealistic expectations or even sentimental memories that accompany the season can be a catalyst for the holiday blues. Some can be at risk for feelings of loneliness, sadness, fatigue, tension and a sense of loss.  A lot of seasonal factors can trigger the holiday blues such as, less sunlight, changes in your diet or routine, alcohol at parties, over-commercialization or the inability to be with friends or family. These are all factors that can seriously affect your mood. There are several things you can do to help during the holiday season to help reduce the "blues".  Here are some simple tips that may help.  https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/November-2015/Tips-for-Managing-the-Holiday-Blues

 

13-Humorous Mental Health Quotes

Those of us who suffer from a mood disorder know that this is a serious illness. Depression can rob us of our relationships, work, career, passions and most importantly our joy for living. Likewise, therapy, used to treat our depression is serious hard work. Our mental health and wellness is critical for us and for our family and friends. Yet in all this seriousness I think it is important that we sometimes take a step back and appreciate the humor in all this. Yes humor. Laughter can sometimes save us in our darkest moments. In fact some say that laughter can be the best medicine.  In this post I tried to find the most offbeat, humorous, and absurd quotes, jokes, and sayings about mental health. Enjoy!