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Secular Therapy, secular therapist, tampa secular therapy, religion, spirituality, deconversion, nonreligious counseling

Secular Therapy – What it is and Who can Benefit

I should probably start by saying that most therapy – unless otherwise specified – is or at least should be secular in nature.  The term “secular” simply refers to “attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis”.  Practices and theories for psychotherapy are rooted in evidence-based practices, so as I already suggested, therapy for mental health issues starts off with the assumption that it is secular in nature unless marketed as otherwise (Example: A trained therapist who identifies as a Christian Counselor and who works with this population by combining spiritual/religious elements into the treatment process, might make this clear when speaking to potential clients and that’s perfectly fine.)  We therapists, however, are trained to meet clients where they are.  We understand that we won’t always work with clients who share a similar worldview as it relates to religious beliefs, values, political affiliation, etc.  This means that if a therapist is serving someone who has a different worldview, the goal should be neutrality – understanding the client’s goals and helping them meet those goals in order to thrive without attempting to influence their values or beliefs.  From my experience, most therapists are great at this. This generally makes it possible to get good care and therapy regardless of a therapist’s own worldview. Their worldview, after all, is not the focus and it may never be necessary to know.  Because of this, when seeking therapy, it’s generally not important to know where a therapist stands in terms of their own values or beliefs. Read more

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How to Find Meaning in Life – When Meaning Doesn’t Seem Obvious

Most people – regardless of worldview, religious beliefs, or cultural background – have given at least some thought to the idea of “meaning” or “purpose” in life.  For some, it’s not much more than a passing thought.  For others, it’s a struggle; a lifelong pursuit in finding the answers to questions such as “what does it all mean?”, “why am I here?”, “what’s my purpose?, or “Is there any purpose?”.  When the sun dies out and the solar system is void of all life, will anything I’ve done have mattered?  If you ask these questions to enough people, you’ll get responses that range from “There is no ultimate purpose in the Universe” to “Your purpose has been assigned by a higher power” and everything in-between – some responses more or less satisfying than others.  What you’ll find proposed here comes not from an authority on the matter, but from a more “existential” sort of view of life that puts an emphasis on freedom and responsibility; freedom to define meaning and purpose for yourself and responsibility to take action now. Struggling with a diminished sense of meaning and purpose can lead to feelings of hopelessness and futility.  Because of this, it’s worth it to not only explore what it is that makes living life meaningful, but to find some kind of a clear definition of meaning as it relates to your unique human experience. Read more

mindfulness, tampa therapy, therapy tampa, counseling tampa, tampa counseling, tampa counselor, counselor tampa, male therapist, secular therapy

8 Ways to Practice Mindfulness Everyday

Full disclosure: Even though mindfulness is something I’ve been preaching for years, it’s something I have a hard time fully putting into practice.  That being said, the ways I have been able to implement mindfulness strategies and concepts into my daily life (without having to meditate) have benefited me significantly. Mindfulness has proven to be more than a trendy buzzword for me, individuals I’ve worked with, and for researchers in the field who have found benefits of mindfulness to include a reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression, improved cognition, better sleep, improved emotional regulation, and decreased stress. Read more

tampa therapist, tampa counselor, male therapist, get unstuck

Your Therapist – on the Journey as Well

The “therapeutic relationship” refers to the relationship between counselor and client in therapy.  Therapy is a kind of human interaction and relationship that is different than most.  When we engage in therapy, we are engaging in a kind of contract that outlines the roles of the Therapist vs. Client. What is expected of each is entirely different and without the kind of reciprocal expectations one might find in that of a friendship or relationship with a family member.  The therapist provides the trusted ear, the safe and confidential place for change, and the knowledge/perspective gained from years worth of education and experience.  The Therapist is the provider – the one meeting the needs.  The Client, on the other hand, (aside from the fee) is free from the expectation of meeting the needs of the provider. It’s a relationship that includes a framework, and appropriately so, certain boundaries.  Client and Therapist, for example, keep the relationship in the room where the session takes place.  This means that other than the possibility of an email or a phone call/text to sort out scheduling details, interactions don’t take place outside of therapy.  It’s personal, yes – but also professional. Read more

therapist tampa, carrollwood therapist, what happens in therapy, what is therapy

“So How does that make you feel?” – What Really Happens in Therapy?

If you’ve never been to therapy before, there are probably a few things that come to mind when you think about it – and those things probably come to mind as a result of what you’ve been exposed to in the media and in Hollywood depictions.  Perhaps you imagine lying on a couch and being asked to talk about how you feel.  Your therapist nods his or her head, jots down some notes, glances at the time, gives you a prescription for something that will make you feel better, and then schedules your next appointment.  Or maybe you imagine being “psychoanalyzed” or having to dig up old childhood skeletons before being given instructions as to what changes you need to start making in your life. Read more

tampa therapist, carrollwood counselor, get unstuck

Why we get Stuck – And Steps to Getting “Unstuck”

Are you feeling stuck?  If so, you know it’s a frustrating feeling.  Whether in the context of a relationship, a career, or the mundane routine of day-to-day life, it comes along with wanting change – or wanting more.  You might feel like you’re on the treadmill of life – moving along, but not really getting anywhere.  Other times, it feels more like facing a multi-pronged fork in the road – being faced with several options or possible decisions to make, but with no idea as to which you should choose.  The fear of picking the wrong one can lead to no action at all.  Regardless of what it is that has you stuck, feeling stuck is actually a good thing and can lead to positive change if you’re willing to do something about it.  After all, you only feel stuck because you’re at a place in your life where you know something has to be done.  Although it won’t be easy, with some reflection and readiness for change, you can get unstuck. Read more

Things to do and not to do after a breakup

Healthy Ways to deal with a Breakup – Do’s and Don’ts

Breakups are on a short list of some of the most heartbreaking and painful experiences in life.  Whether the breakup was mutual, a decision you made, or something you didn’t see coming – it’s a loss.  After all, you invested time, energy, and emotion into the relationship.  A part of your identity was associated with your ex.  Daily routines probably involved communicating with this person, spending time with them, and relying on one another for some form of support.  Getting over a breakup isn’t easy, but there are things you can do to cope with the loss more effectively.  Below is a list of the things you should (and should not do) to cope best during this difficult time. Read more

thoughts keeping you up at night

3 Tips for Sleep when your Thoughts are Getting in the Way

I came up for the idea for this post, ironically, as I found myself lying in bed at 3am thinking about what to write for my next blog post.  After a few minutes of allowing my mind to wander and come up with new ideas for the next BIG smash blog post, I realized that it was only a couple more hours until I needed to get up for work and that now was not the time to be brainstorming. It was keeping me up, and I needed to be well-rested for a day ahead with plenty in store.  There was a better time and place to be thinking, and in bed at 3am was not the time nor place.  I immediately realized that THIS was exactly what I wanted to write about and picked up my phone to jot down a few of my ideas so that I could access what I came up with at a more reasonable time of day.  It took me about 2 minutes to jot down a few ideas.  I then put my phone down, closed my eyes, and drifted off to sleep. Read more

Cognitive Distortions

Recognizing and Challenging Distorted Thoughts

News Flash: Life is hard. All of the “positive thinking” in the world won’t change the fact that we’re bound to be faced with difficulties that make it hard to feel good at times.  The reality is – that along with life – comes stress, hardship, loss, having to deal with our own limitations/weaknesses, injustice, and being forced to deal with less-than-pleasant people.  It’s hard enough to navigate life without falling into the trap of thinking about yourself and your circumstances in a way that distort your perception of reality and make things seem even worse than they actually are. Read more

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Compartmentalize Problems to Decrease Stress and Move Forward

Does it ever feel like you’re facing a mountain of problems and negative feelings in your life?  Often times when …

Secular Therapy, secular therapist, tampa secular therapy, religion, spirituality, deconversion, nonreligious counseling

Secular Therapy – What it is and Who can Benefit

I should probably start by saying that most therapy – unless otherwise specified – is or at least should be secular …

tampa therapy, tampa counseling, therapist tampa, counselor tampa, male therapist, existential therapy tampa, existential therapy, secular therapy, secular counseling

How to Find Meaning in Life – When Meaning Doesn’t Seem Obvious

Most people – regardless of worldview, religious beliefs, or cultural background – have given at least some thought …