Marriage and Family Therapy

Single on Valentine’s?

Humans are wired for connection so it is no wonder that being single on Valentine’s Day can bring with it a sense of feeling left out.

Society has a way of communicating that being in a relationship is the only way you get to celebrate Valentine’s Day. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE! Whether you are single by choice or single for reasons beyond your control (e.g., because we are in a pandemic 😷), you do not have to be in a relationship to take part in this holiday.

There is no rule that says you have to celebrate Valentine’s Day but if you would like to, these tips may help:

—Shift the focus and be your own secret admirer

Practice self-care, compassion, and self-love. Instead of focusing on what you may not have, reframe your mindset onto what you do have and treat yourself well.

—Reduce or eliminate love triggers

Today may not be the day to watch a movie with a romantic love story or listen to love songs. Rather, try a new genre or better yet plan something new that you can look forward to. Focus on your holistic growth by going on a hike, trying a new virtual workout, participating in a new activity, and/or tuning into YouTube for some virtual travel sights. In fact, research shows planning, watching, or re-living a past travel experience in your mind can elevate the feel good chemicals as if you were actually on the trip.

—Plan a Singles Zoom Date with Friends

Get together with others to play online games, watch a movie, cook a meal together, or just hang out.

—Shower someone else with care

Do you know of someone else who is single or recently lost a loved one? Sending a small but thoughtful gift could mean the world to another. Bonus, it may bring increased levels of happiness and connection to you also.

Valentine’s Day can be a joyful time if you are within a relationship but quite difficult if you find yourself alone. If you’re struggling with severe feelings of loneliness and inability to cope, it may be a good idea to reach out to a caring mental health professional. The global pandemic has brought with it a whole array of difficult and residual effects. We all need someone sometimes to help and support.

#alone #valentine #depression #connect #mentalhealth #california #lakeelsinore #temecula #murrieta #therapy #counseling

Marriage and Family Therapy

Are you a Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean?

A young woman went to her Grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

Her Grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her Granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft and mushy. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardened egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee.

The daughter smiled as she tasted its deep flavor and inhaled its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What’s the point, Grandma?”

Her Grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water – but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin, outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her Granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong? But with pain and adversity, do I wilt and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a fluid spirit but, after death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water – the very circumstance that brings the adversity, the pain, the hardship – into something quite wonderful. When the water gets hot, it releases it’s fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better, and change the situation around you for the better.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?

ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?

~ Author Unknown

Marriage and Family Therapy

Tending to the Campfire of Life

When we build a campfire, does it burn eternally? Do we build it once and never tend to it again? No, of course not, similar to our devotion of creating a rich, full, and meaningful life, we have to tend to that campfire every single day to keep the flames burning. Life is similar, we have goals we are striving for, obstacles we face, and things we must put into action to keep our flames blazing. This may include stepping back and assessing the campfire several times a day to add new logs to the campfire and generate new sparks and/ or maintain the everlasting campfire (i.e., a rich, full, and meaningful life). Of course, within balance, once we have a strong campfire built, life is also about just being and enjoying the warmth of the campfire you have built, adoring the dance of the red, orange, and yellow flames, throwing a new log on occasionally to keep the spark alive, and remembering life is not a destination, it is a journey…sometimes a journey that takes many logs being added to our campfire. Live the intentional life, a life full of campfires.

Marriage and Family Therapy

Lighthouse

It may be difficult to see your way to shore amongst the storms of life.

While you may not need someone to row the boat for you, it can often be helpful for another to shine the light onto the path towards a rich, full, and meaningful life.

Providing a safe harbor for my clients to seek refuge and safety from the storms of life.

Marriage and Family Therapy

The Fish Tank of Life

How is your Fish Tank?
Marriage and Family Therapy

Numbness Iceberg

Part of being human is the experience of emotion. Emotions serve to communicate to us when things are going well and not so well so that we may formulate a response. With this, the feeling of numbness may be something everyone experiences from time to time—from feeling overwhelmed by a life stressor to some form of trauma. Typically the feeling is temporary and allows us mental and emotional processes of shutting out feelings in order to move through something difficult. However, for some, this feeling of emotional numbness can linger for a duration—often serving as a protective defense that guards us from further emotional or physical pain. While this shield of numbness can serve us well in the short-term, such as to get through a life stressor; when it stays for a duration, it can have long-lasting consequences such as the inability to problem solve, experience pleasure and other positive emotions, engage in life, and be the whole person we can choose to be.

Numbness can show up differently for each person. The cause could be wide such as symptoms associated with PTSD, Grief/ Loss, Depression, Anxiety, Abuse/ Neglect, and/ or a whole array of past life experiences that have now come to haunt your present. When feelings of numbness linger or stay for the duration and exceed our ability to cope, it may be time to consult a mental health professional to support in unpacking and processing within the causation of the emotional numbness.

Treatment may include a Therapist (such as myself) who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Work, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), and other treatment approaches.

Marriage and Family Therapy

Stuck—Not Broken

MY APPROACH TO HELPING

There may be days when you attend a social function, engage in a relationship, or complete a work task and appear to function just fine to others but, on the inside, you feel ramped up, on edge, feel a bit off, worried, and misunderstood—all the while your inner critic tags along and may even replay the events of the day over and over within your mind as if you are stuck in a perpetual vortex that you cannot seem to escape.

Perhaps you recently lost a loved one and find yourself enveloped within the effects of the loss. There are days when the heaviness is so great that it takes all you have to put on your armor and go out into the world with a brave face—all the while feeling shattered inside.

There may be days when you struggle with low energy and all you want to do is retreat, avoid, and push away thoughts and feelings yet you manage to the tasks at hand— all while knowing you are not fully engaged.

Perhaps you use to have a zest for life and just cannot get that feeling back or even wonder what others mean by having a zest for life.

Within this life, we may all come to feel stuck—perhaps through our spiral of suffering within anxiety, depression, grief and loss, relationships, or other life transitions and struggles—and not know how to get back to or on your life path and purpose. You may be stuck but you are not broken.

I love working with and helping people! I will partner with and empower you on your unique life journey. I use a down to earth and open minded approach towards your healing and growth. On this journey, I will walk alongside you and navigate as we work together to design a personal roadmap towards your desired destination. This approach allows for the greatest possibility of you getting back to or the discovery of your best self!

MORE INFO ABOUT MY PRACTICE

I believe that everyone’s story matters. I am driven to live out my passion and purpose of supporting others every day. Through a personally tailored approach, I partner with my clients to offer a therapeutic healing space that promotes empowerment and positive self-growth. I work best with those who are ready for and motivated towards a pivotal change—wherever that may lead us on your unique life journey. 

MY ROLE AS A THERAPIST

It is my belief that, at the core of all healing, is a supportive relationship. We each have the ability to live a rich, full, and meaningful life. I will serve the role of a guide, encourager, and advocate for you to live optimally.

When I am not at the office, I enjoy spending time with my family, listening to podcasts, practicing mindful living, traveling far and wide, reading, savoring my coffee ice cream and chai tea latte, and sitting in coffee shops catching up with my friends. One of my favorite quotes is
”You are the author of your own life story…so make it a good one!”

I am eager to meet you and excited to share in your journey!