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Ask a Therapist Anything – Part 1 of 3

I recently reached out to family and friends on Social Media giving them the opportunity to “Ask a Therapist Anything”.  In my Blog posts  I strive for as much transparency as possible and try to provide people with a glimpse into the often mysterious/private world of Therapy.  I’ve written about why people decide to go (or not to go) to therapy, benefits of therapy, a little bit about what actually happens in my office, and more.  I wondered, though, what questions people have about therapy that I may not have considered.  The response I got when providing people with the opportunity to ask me anything was great….and I want to go ahead and jump right in to answering the questions.  Although many of my answers are broadly true as it relates to therapy in general, keep in mind that the answers to these questions are from the perspective of one Therapist alone – ME.  Ask the same questions to another Therapist and the answer might be a little bit different. Follow this 3-part series to hear the answer to the question about whether or not I’ve been to therapy myself along with a long list of other questions that I hope you’ll find intriguing. Read more

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Finding the BEST Therapist in Tampa

Spoiler Alert: Although I know a lot of GREAT Therapists in Tampa, I won’t be recommending any single best Therapist for you in this blog post.  Why, you ask?  Well If I did have to make that recommendation, then my bias alone would force me to recommend myself 🙂 – and it might not be true FOR YOU.  That’s because the best Therapist just so happens to be the Therapist that is best for you. Read more

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My 100 Mile March – And all of the Benefits Noticed

At the end of February, I decided to set some pretty aggressive goals for March.  Goals varied in nature, but were linked to areas of personal growth, professional development, and overall improvement of my health. One of my goals was to run 100 miles in March by starting off each day with a jog early in the morning. I’m already a pretty regular runner, but usually had only ever averaged about 2 miles per day (or 60 miles each month) and rarely ever ran more than a few days in a row, so this was upping my normal routine by more than a mile each day and motivating me to avoid skipping any days. Read more

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Let me tell you about my Clients

Before anybody reading this freaks out, I should start by saying there are a few things that prevent me from sharing any specific details (or identifying information) about the individuals I work with. They’re things like HIPAA, The American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics, and a set of personal values/beliefs (outside of legal requirements) I hold that allow me to create an environment of trust. The sensitive things people share with me stay within the 4 walls of my office. As I attempt to draw a picture for you about the people I work with, I’ll do so in a very general sense – in a way that allows me to illustrate the kind of common traits I see and the admiration and gratitude I have for the people who allow me the privilege of joining them on a very personal kind of journey. Read more

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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

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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

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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

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Ask a Therapist Anything – Part 2 of 3

This is part 2 of 3 in my “Ask a Therapist Anything” Series.  Here, I answer questions about the difference …

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Ask a Therapist Anything – Part 1 of 3

I recently reached out to family and friends on Social Media giving them the opportunity to “Ask a Therapist Anything”.  …

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Finding the BEST Therapist in Tampa

Spoiler Alert: Although I know a lot of GREAT Therapists in Tampa, I won’t be recommending any single best Therapist …