Have you noticed an increase in your drinking? Has it started to cause issues with your health, work, school, or relationships? Looking to cut back? Moderation - a harm-reduction approach - serves as an alternative to traditional philosophies on problematic drinking that suggest the only way to go is to surrender, to admit you're a powerless alcoholic, and to kick the habit for good. Although this approach (most closely associated with the 12-step AA model) has been helpful and necessary for many people, with the right planning, tools, and support, it's often possible to instead develop a healthier relationship with alcohol. See this list of 19 tools, tips, and strategies to help you be successful on your moderation journey!
If you're reading this it's probably because someone you know and care about has been struggling with some kind of disordered anxiety. Perhaps they're in therapy - or are considering therapy - and you're wanting to better understand what's going on, how therapy can help, and how you can help. Disordered anxiety goes above and beyond the "normal" anxiety we all experience from time to time and can be really challenging (in the most extreme cases, crippling) for people in the throes of it.
I often hear from people I work with that one of the most difficult aspects of struggling with anxiety is that other people just don't "get it". Although the physical symptoms of anxiety are VERY real, anxiety isn't something you can see. It often manifests itself in changes of behavior that just might not make sense to people not dealing with an anxiety disorder of their own. I hear about responses from family members that range from extremely supportive (but enabling) to downright dismissive. Wherever you land on this spectrum, this resource is intended to provide some basic education not only on the anxiety itself, but ways in which you can be supportive and most helpful to the person you know who is working on getting better. I'll answer some common questions and cover symptoms, types of anxiety disorders, what to expect, and how to help.
I recently started listening to a new podcast called "Very Bad Therapy". I just started, but the hosts (clinical counselors), interview other therapists and people who have been in therapy about bad experiences with therapy, questionable approaches, and times when therapy has been downright harmful. It's about "what goes wrong in the counseling room and how it could go better, as told by the clients who survived."
It can be hard to take that step...to make that phone call...to vulnerably reach out and ask for help. It can also be scary. We read website bios and directory listings hoping that we will find a therapist that in their language and unique style sound like they will speak to us...and be able to really help. Unless we've received a highly trusted referral, we never know exactly what to expect. Like online dating profiles, therapists often put their best foot forward when writing or speaking about the work they do, but how can we ever really know that they're as competent as they sound - and truly able to provide the safe, nonjudgmental, and objective space that's so crucial in the therapeutic setting? How can we let them know they'll be a good fit for us and what it is we are looking for? Well, we often don't.
Being a therapist sounds pretty easy, right? I hear that sometimes. How hard can it be to plop down in your chair, listen to someone talk for an hour, nod your head a few times, and maybe check in on how whatever it is they are talking about makes them feel every once in a while? Well, its really not quite that simple...unless you're just not a very involved or helpful therapist. Don't get me wrong. There's a lot to be said about the power of just being heard - in providing a nonjudgmental place for people to share their stories...their loss, their trauma, their suffering, their ups, and their downs....their wins and accomplishments... I won't discount that for a moment....but for a therapist who really wants to help, it's not as simple as just listening. It's about really actively listening. It's about trying to get a deep understanding of what's going on. It's about helping people untangle their thoughts and understand the complexity of themselves. It's about continuing to learn and to grow...It's about helping people "connect dots" with a deep level of curiosity and trying to figure out what it is that will help someone really heal...and that's hard work that takes about every ounce of energy and attention available. That, and outside of that sacred 50 minutes, there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes that many people who are not therapists aren't aware of. The time you reserve and pay for often extends far beyond the hour we spend together.
If you're looking for a Counselor in Tampa - or anywhere for that matter - it can be hard to know where to start. It's an overwhelming task. Look up therapists near me in the Tampa Bay area on Psychology Today directory and you'll get close to ONE THOUSAND results. Because there's a lot of filtering to be done, it can be helpful to get clear on a few things and to know what you're looking for before you begin. Here are a few questions to ask yourself and to answer to help you get started.
If you're reading this it's probably because someone you know and care about has been struggling with some kind of disordered …