Sharing to Relieve Anxiety

By Jessica Glynn, LMSW

Many people that live with moderate to severe anxiety experience thoughts that they perceive as shameful or embarrassing, leading them to keep these thoughts to themselves.  With no outlet, they stay within our mind and body, fueling and spreading the anxiety like a wild fire. This is when symptoms of anxiety and depression tend to peak and are at their most severe. Here are a few examples of symptoms and behaviors to look out for if your toxic thoughts are becoming overwhelming.

  • Low sense of self-worth or self-esteem. When shameful and negative thoughts plague us we tend to get down on ourselves.  We feel that there must be something wrong with us for thinking certain things. For example, you might believe you are a bad person because you thought about pushing someone in your way on the side walk (even though you didn't act on the thought).
     
  • Fatigue. Constant rumination or battling of our fearful thoughts can be extremely tiring. Especially when it causes physical symptoms of anxiety like shortness of breath and stomach sickness.
     
  • Escape or Self-Medication.  The fatigue and discomfort that come with toxic and anxious thoughts can lead us to try and escape from them with sleep, or to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

It's powerful to know that you are not alone. Many people experience similar thoughts or feelings but are hiding them as well. This is why sharing can sometimes be one of the most important outlets for relieving anxiety.  When we do share, and allow the space for others to reciprocate the sharing, we often find that they have also felt a similar way at one time or another. Whether you share with a family member, friend, or a therapist, you will find that you are not alone in these feelings. Finding similarities in the way we feel can help us feel less isolated and more deeply connected to others.

 It's important that when you do start sharing that it's with someone that you trust and know will listen. If you feel that you need a little help with sharing your anxiety with others, therapy is always a safe place to start. Your therapist can help you process these feelings and figure out how to start sharing with the important people in your life.

Jessica Glynn is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support in coping with anxiety contact Cobb Psychotherapy and see how therapy can help.

Boundaries as Self-Care

By Dorette Greene, LMSW

As a therapist I often find myself discussing boundaries with my clients. What they are, how to create them, and how to maintain them. I find that several of my clients struggle with this task, and my clients are not alone in this. Many people struggle with the task of creating boundaries, and more importantly, holding themselves and others accountable for respecting these boundaries. This doesn’t mean that once created they’re fixed and rigid. Boundaries can be as flexible and fluid as YOU want them to be; but not so flexible that they aren’t respected and honored by yourself and/or others.

One of the reasons it’s so challenging to create boundaries is that people find it difficult to define what they are. So what is a boundary anyway? Simply put, a boundary is a line (literally or figuratively) or point of limitation/demarcation. We learn what our own personal boundaries are based on our beliefs, life experiences, attitudes, opinions, social interactions, as well as social learning. Setting boundaries helps us inform others of what is or is not acceptable from our perspective. They help us to map out our own personal thresholds and they help inform the choices we make around our who, what, when, where, why, and how.

When working with my clients I like to assist them in identifying their need for boundaries, as well as helping them to conceptualize the function and terms of the boundaries they feel they should set. This is often done by completing the following steps:

1.       Identify the problem that needs to be addressed

2.       Create a boundary to address the problem

3.       Define the terms (as it relates to who, what, when where, why, and how) and streamline the parameters of how the boundary is to be applied

4.       Inform pertinent individuals of the boundary and terms

5.       Enforce the boundary

Setting boundaries can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Even for self-proclaimed “people pleasers.” In line with setting boundaries, learning to say NO in order to enforce those boundaries is also important. Ultimately, being able to set boundaries in your life is an essential act of self-care. When we don’t manage our boundaries it often indicates a lack of self-esteem and self-worth. As a result, it indicates to others that we don’t value ourselves and they don’t have to either. Creating, and more importantly, enforcing boundaries communicates to others that they must treat us with care and respect because that is the way in which we treat ourselves. Your inner peace is important and having clear and defined boundaries communicates that to the rest of the world.

Dorette Greene is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support in setting and maintaining boundaries contact Cobb Psychotherapy and see how therapy can help.

Your Imposter is the Fraud, Not You

By Amy Brightman, LCSW

As I sit on a plane and listen to Spotify on shuffle, Radiohead’s “Creep” catches my attention. Maybe it was because it followed a fun, upbeat One Direction song (yes, I said One Direction), but it also felt oddly familiar to many therapy sessions that start with: “I definitely have imposter syndrome.” Despite this psychological phenomenon being around since the 70's, it seems like clients just found a name for their self-doubt and self-defeating voice.

I’m a creep. I’m a weirdo. What the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here.

Sound familiar?

The thoughts we have about our abilities and accomplishments that lead to self-doubt begin to become conclusions about ourselves and our situations that are not based in reality. We get trapped in our feelings being facts. You probably do feel like a weirdo, an imposter, a faker (whatever you want to call it)—most of us do in some way—but this doesn’t mean you don’t belong. It means you need to use skills, be open to learning, gather information, ask for help, and be receptive to feedback. You must be vulnerable to develop new roles in your life. If you were a fraud, you wouldn’t even bother with process, you would be looking for the shortcuts instead.

Another characteristic of imposter syndrome is attributing our achievements, successes, and opportunities to luck. This understandably leads us to believe we have neither earned these gains nor deserved the success. As a result, we may begin to think we deserve to be “found out” or “punished,” leading to more anxiety about making mistakes for fear that it will expose us.  It is clear why we put tremendous pressure on ourselves to be “perfect.”

If we perceive our achievements as being products of luck, then we prevent ourselves from seeing the true cause for our progress. As a result, we are quick to deny reality—that we have, in fact, received training, experience, and education. Things in our past have allowed us to develop and new challenges in the future push us to grow. Just because you don’t know 100% of what you’re doing in your present life, that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be where you are. We are all learning in our present lives, isn’t every minute technically brand new?

Imposter and impossible are similar words for a reason. Stop doubting yourself and start participating in your life. The more you make things happen, the more you prove that rotten imposter wrong! Your imposter is the fraud, not you.

Amy Brightman is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support in working on self-esteem contact Cobb Psychotherapy and see how therapy can help.

How to Support a Loved One's Mental Health

By Vanessa Kensing, LMSW

As a current or prospective client of Cobb Psychotherapy you may in interested in therapy to address your own anxiety, depression, and/or life stressors. Or you may be thinking about entering into therapy for support around helping a friend, family, or romantic partner that suffers from their own mental health concerns. Because supporting a loved one who has mental health issues can be complex, this article explores how to be of service to others while also taking care of yourself. 

Education

One of the most important part of providing assistance is understanding what is going on. Therefore obtaining education about the symptoms, subtypes of a particular disorder, causes, diagnosis, and treatment can be very helpful. The National Alliance for Mental Illness offer “Fact Sheets” for many common mental health issues that are an amazing resource. They can be found here, by scrolling halfway down the page: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Fact-Sheet-Library. Likewise, countless books and articles can be found at your local bookstore or online. Be mindful however of authorship and where information is being drawn from to ensure you are getting the right information. 

Education and understanding are also the hallmarks of empathy. Therefore when we understand what our loved one is going through we can truly empathize with their situation. In doing so we create a safe place where they can share their experiences and needs. 

Communication

Because of stigma associated with mental health, communicating effectively is important. It is possible that those suffering feel guilt and shame around their issues so being mindful of oppressive, judgmental, and critical language is important. Also it is important to focus on having a genuine dialogue with your loved one, not a debate about what they “should do,” and not forcing a label upon them. 

Boundary Setting

While we may want to take control when someone we love is suffering, it is important that they make decisions around their care themselves. Accepting the limits of your support and encouragement will help you be a resource to your loved one, and keep you from burning out and/or building resentment against them.  

Self Care and Support

Self care is about listening to what your mind, body, and soul are in need of. When we are caring for others, it is easy to forget about ourselves. However, if we are depleted we cannot truly support someone else. Self care is personal and therefore looks different from person to person. Some people feel restored by quiet time or a quick nap, while others are restored by spending time with others. If you aren’t sure what of what you need, here is a list of ways to support your own mind, body and soul:

  • meditation
  • make a gratitude list
  • do something on your to-do list that you’ve been avoiding
  • spend time in nature
  • unplug from your phone and computer for an hour
  • deep breathing
  • yoga
  • have a good laugh
  • spend some time in the sun
  • make connection with your community
  • spend time with animals
  • prayer 

The National Alliance for Mental Illness also offer peer run support groups. You can find the group nearest you by going to: https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/NAMI-Programs/NAMI-Family-Support-Group

Vanessa Kensing is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you are looking to explore further how to support someone you love please contact Cobb Psychotherapy. If you or someone you live is at risk of harming themselves or others please seek out emergency services. 

Common Misconceptions About Therapy

By Erica Cramer, LMSW
 

A client recently told me that they were embarrassed to be in therapy. They felt as though being in therapy was a sign of weakness and signified that they could not handle their own problems. After speaking with this client, I reflected on the many misconceptions I have heard about the therapeutic process and who exactly can benefit from speaking to a therapist. In this blog I want to shed light on some of these common misconceptions.

1. Therapy is for "crazy people."

Although there are many stigmas surrounding therapy, we live in a very complicated society where we are inundated with more information than most of us can process. Speaking to a therapist to manage your mental health is similar to working out at the gym to maintain your physical health. Devoting 45 minutes a week to sharing, processing, and analyzing your feelings with a non-judgmental professional is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. 

2. People who see therapists have “real problems.”

Everyone has problems and their problems are important to them. Regardless of how “serious” they are by society’s standards, they are serious to you. Whether you are upset about living on the street or chipping a nail, you are entitled to be upset about your problems. They deserve as much time and effort as you are willing to devote to them. Remember, therapists do not have a magic wand and resolving them is a collaborative process between you and your therapist.

3. Therapy is a place where you only discuss negative things. 

Many of my clients come into their session and say they have nothing to talk because "nothing bad happened this week." Another widely held misconception is that therapy sessions have to be negative and upsetting. Therapy is not always about complaining about your problems. It sometimes involves talking about what went well and celebrating your victories. If you acknowledge what you did right, you can replicate it or apply it to other areas of your life. The ultimate purpose of therapy is personal growth and development and that can be accomplished by acknowledging both our successes and failures.

4. People are in therapy for a distinct period of time.

Therapy means different things to different people. Some clients begin working with a therapist for a specific reason and once they have processed that reason they terminate treatment. Other clients pop in and out of therapy throughout their life. They see a therapist when they feel they need to and don't see one when they feel like they don't need to. Other clients go to therapy on a regular basis throughout their life. There is no specific amount of time you need to see a therapist. It is important to touch base with your therapist on a regular basis and ensure that they are giving you what you need from this process. 

5. The therapist is the expert and the client needs to listen to them.

Therapy is a collaborative process. Although therapists are professionally trained, clients are the experts of their lives and always know what is best for themselves. A therapist is supposed to guide clients on the journey to self-discovery not determine what they think is best for them when they do not know what it is like to walk in their shoes.

Erica Cramer is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would to learn more about psychotherapy and how it can support you in reaching your goals, contact Cobb Psychotherapy.

How Psychotherapy Changes the Brain

By Cherise White, LMSW

The brain is an intricate system and can be described from a structural, physiological, and functional level. Looking at the brain from a functional level can be interesting as it allows for a deeper understanding of how therapy changes the brain. 

In relation to therapy, it's important to learn about some specific areas in the brain, starting with the primitive brain. The primitive brain processes threat and fear, which is why it is our emotional center and formally known as the amygdala. Another key region of the brain is the frontal lobe where our executive control center resides. This center is involved in our thinking and reasoning processes. Below I outline how different types of psychotherapy influence these areas of the brain. 

https://brainytot.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/thoughtandemotion.jpg

https://brainytot.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/thoughtandemotion.jpg

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

A very common treatment modality, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), helps individuals work towards changing distorted patterns of thinking. Whitfield-Gabrieli et al. (2015) found that those who received CBT had stronger neuronal connections to the amygdala from other areas of the brain. In turn, these individuals had decreased symptoms of anxiety as a result of CBT. They noted effectiveness may be due to the improvement in functioning of the prefrontal lobe where thinking occurs. It was also highlighted that medication addresses the amygdala’s dysregulation of negative emotions. This is interesting, as it supports the saying you may often hear about therapy and medication being the best regimen for treating some mental illnesses. 

Psychodynamic Therapy

Therapy is often viewed as a “top-down” regulation approach where therapists use evidence-based therapies to help you learn how to strengthen the neuronal networks in the prefrontal cortex. This is done through providing mental tools that help individuals regulate their fear center (amygdala). Karlsson (2001) highlights that psychodynamic therapy may also follow the top-down approach within the brain and potentially affect the same brain mechanisms. For individuals with panic disorder, researchers Beutel et al. found that when in distress, the prefrontal cortex underworked and the amygdala was hyperactivated. However, once the individuals went through psychodynamic therapy a level of balance in those two areas of the brain occurred. 

Interpersonal Therapy

In interpersonal therapy (IPT), one goal is to improve mood states influenced by relationship discord, social interactions, and major life events. A study conducted at UCLA by Dr. Arthur Brody discovered that individuals with depressed symptoms who were in either the medication only group or therapy only group experienced similar changes in the brain. Both displayed reduction in elevated prefrontal cortex activity. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often experience intense and extreme emotions. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), is an evidence-based therapy that treats emotional oscillation by introducing skills such as emotion-regulation. In the brain of those with BPD, there is over-activation in the amygdala. Goodman et al. (2014) found after 12 months of DBT, there was a decrease in arousal of the threat center in the brain (amygdala) as well as enhanced ability to employ emotion regulation skills. 

Overall, learning how the brain changes in therapy can be informative. Put nicely by Karlsson (2001), we can view psychotherapy as a method of learning, and learning changes the brain. Therefore, psychotherapy is a process that exceeds the simplification of people talking—it may be more accurate to say psychotherapists assist individuals in learning how to change the function of their brain.

References: 

Cherise White is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would to learn more about psychotherapy and how it can support you in reaching your goals, contact Cobb Psychotherapy.

Slaying the Four Hoursemen

By Nadine Burgos, LMSW

"69% of the time, a couple’s conflict is about perpetual issues that never get resolved." - Dr. John Gottman

The Four Horsemen is a metaphorical account in the New Testament adapted by Dr. John Gottman as a tool for identifying the predictors for divorce/separation.  Conflict between couples doesn’t necessarily indicate that a relationship is doomed for failure. It is a normal and healthy part of relationships when it can be productively managed to help communicate needs to be met. Conflict can become problematic when couples lack the essential communication skills to work through disparities. Whether you are unsure of your partner’s or your own communication style, you may benefit from managing the predictors that will potentially dismantle your relationship.

1. Criticism

Criticism is corrosive to relationships.  When you criticize your partner, you are essentially contributing to the prospect that your partner may internalize and believe your negative proclamations to be valid. Eventually, resentment will brew and lead to defensiveness.  Ultimately, criticism prevents the underlying issue(s) from getting resolved. The potential risks of ongoing criticism may lead to other harmful Horsemen.  Examples of criticisms include:

  • Complaining with blaming, “You never think of anyone else!”.
  • Name calling and insulting, “You’re so selfish!”
  • A verbal attack on their character, “Seriously, what is wrong with you?”

If you are tempted to criticize your partner by pointing out their faults or shortcomings, try using “I” statement to focus on the problem rather than criticizing the other person.

Solution Statements: 

  • “I feel (feeling word) about (thought or belief) and I would appreciate (whatever it is you’d like to see happen). Can we talk about this?
  • “I’m feeling frustrated that we are running late and I would appreciate that you make an effort to avoid delaying us in the future.”

2. Defensiveness 

The problem with defensiveness is that one partner feels unheard and under attack while being criticized by the other. Sometimes, a partner may counter criticism with their own. Rather than attempt to ward off a perceived attack or blame, try accepting responsibility for any contribution you might have made to the problem.  Listen for the truth your partner is trying to convey underneath his/her complaint. Examples of defensiveness are:

  • Whining
  • Counter criticism
  • Playing the innocent victim

Solution Statements:

  • “I can see my part in this.  I’m sorry for (specific thing). Please accept my apology.  I want to be _____, and sometimes I just don’t know how. Can we rationally talk about how we can make things better?”
  • “I feel a criticized in all this.  I can see my part in it, and I’m sorry. Can we talk about our problem as a team?”

3. Contempt

Contempt breeds insecurity in relationships.  Contempt is any statement or nonverbal behavior that shows that a person is beneath consideration.  It may involve one partner focusing on the qualities they dislike in the other, while assuming themselves as “better than” and the other as “less than.” Contempt builds up and grows over time. If you are tempted to use contempt to intentionally insult or avoid your partner, try appreciating something about them instead.  Try to remember a loving moment and appreciate their value and worth. Also, try to find the common ground between you. This will decrease your desire to insult or avoid contemptuous behavior as you discover something you agree on. Examples of contempt are:

  • mockery
  • eye-rolling.
  • mean-spirited sarcasm

Solution Statements:

  • “I know this is OUR problem, and I appreciate that you want to discuss it.  Let’s find our common ground.”
  • “One thing I really admire about you is…”

4. Stonewalling

Stonewalling is a form of dissociation that a partner engages in when they “shut down.” Someone who is stonewalling may physically and or mentally withdraw from the conversation, and may appear to be apathetic or dismissive. Most of the time, stonewalling occurs because a partner is feeling overwhelmed or emotionally flooded by the discussion. They may need some time to calmly reassess their thoughts and feelings as they relate to the conflict (CBT). Examples of stonewalling are:

  • Emotional and physical distancing from your partner.
  • Giving your partner the “cold shoulder” or the “silent treatment.”
  • Abruptly leaving a discussion without telling your parter where you’re going.

In order to avoid the temptation to stonewall, try your best to stay committed to reaching a resolution and engaged in a rational discussion.  You can also try to learn to identify the triggers that lead to either you or your partner feeling emotionally overwhelmed.  You may mutually agree to take a break, and calm down before you are ready to return to the conversation.  This way, your partner will understand that you are taking care of yourself, not trying to reject him/her.  On your break, try journalling your thoughts and feelings related to the conflict/event.  Challenge yourself to reduce the number of times, and duration of the breaks, so that you don’t fall into a pattern of avoidance. 

You can express your thoughts and feelings with the use of ‘I’ statements. You must also be willing to accept responsibility for where you might have contributed to the problem, and try to see your spouse as having value and worth in this moment.

Solution Statements:

  • “I’m feeling really hurt and overwhelmed right now. I think that it’s best that we both take a 'time-out.' I want you to know that this doesn’t mean that I don’t love you or that I don’t care. How about I make us both some tea and we can agree to calmly resolve this in 10 minutes?”

Nadine Burgos is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support with communication in your relationships, contact Cobb Psychotherapy and see how therapy can help. 

Are You Your Own Worst Critic?

By Sherry Atanasio, LMSW

I know quite a few amazing people with immense talent, successful careers and devoted friends and family. Despite this they are unable to shake feelings of discontent or a lack of fulfillment. For some, it’s hard to put their finger on what it is exactly, and for others it feels as though they are occasionally consumed by a cloud of intense emotions. “I’m not depressed,” they might say, “but I don’t understand why I’m not happy either.” Rationally, they know they have it all, yet there’s still a sense of something missing. When I ask, “Do you feel you’re being a little hard on yourself?” the answer is almost always “No.” Let's see if we can catch our ways of thinking that hinder our happiness and success by considering the following:

The Friend Trick
Think about your closest friend or your most valuable social support. What would you tell them about themselves and their achievements? What do they have to say about yours? Would you discount them or validate their efforts or successes? Is there a reason for not taking our own advice or judging ourselves more harshly than we would others?

Minimizing Our Successes and Magnifying Our Failures
Consider the promotion, the new relationship or milestone, and the ways we discount ourselves with thoughts like, “I only got it because I held the position longer,” “I might have a significant other, but what about all the other relationships I’ve messed up in the past?” and “Sure I graduated at the top of my class, but I had easy professors.” On one hand, this way of thinking fuels ambitious goals, and on the other, it never allows us to acknowledge what we accomplished. It doesn’t hurt to give ourselves credit. In fact, it might even motivate us to do more!

All-or-Nothing Perfectionism
Do you give yourself permission to make mistakes? Mistakes are part of the process and none of us as human beings are exempt from this. You may be capable of incredible feats, but you are not superhuman. Yet sometimes we think and act in ways that suggest we are never allowed to fall short of our expectations. We even beat ourselves up for minor setbacks along the way. Maybe we think, “If I am not the best, I have somehow already failed,” and we restrict ourselves from doing the things that will make us happy and complete.

Self-Judgments
Statements like, “That was weak (stupid, bad, etc) of me” or “I shouldn’t even be feeling this way,” are harmful to us! What if we allowed ourselves to feel what we feel without judging our emotions? Isn’t having a bad day enough without the extra dose of harshness? How we feel is how we feel. While we certainly don’t like feeling sad, lonely, etc., as human beings (and not robots) we do have emotions. How would it feel instead to give ourselves some compassion when we’re having a bad day?

Sherry Atanasio is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy.  If you would like support with negative thought patterns, visit cobbpsychotherapy.com and learn how therapy can help. 

A Blueprint for Getting What You Want.

By Salina Grilli, LMSW

“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!” ― Maya Angelou

Many different fears can get in the way of asking for what we want and asserting our needs. As a therapist, I often hear remarks such as: “I don’t want to inconvenience my significant other” and “I don’t deserve to get a raise at work.” In addition to breeding resentment, these thoughts send the message that our needs are less important than the needs of others. 

DEAR MAN is an objective effectiveness skill taught in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. The goal of DEAR MAN is to help us achieve our goals by using our voice to ask for what we want, saying no, and/or expressing our point of view. Using the pneumonic DEAR MAN can help you organize your thoughts and increase the likelihood that your needs will get met. 

Describe: First, describe the situation using facts, and facts only. This means setting aside any judgments and assumptions that you have about the situation. 

Express: Clearly express how you feel about the situation. Expressing how you feel or what you believe about a situation is important since it helps the other person understand where you are coming from. 

Assert: Next, be clear and assertive when asking for what you want or saying no. Being assertive differs from being aggressive. While aggressive communication involves attacking someone else, assertive communication respects the other person’s opinions and beliefs. 

Reinforce: The fourth step involves reinforcing your point of view by explaining how giving you what you want will benefit the other person. 

Mindful: Staying mindful involves holding onto your objective throughout the conversation in order to get your point across. When met with resistance, some people find it helpful to use the “Broken Record” approach, which as the name implies, involves continuing to ask for what you want or saying no until you are heard. If the other person responds with hostility or anger, ignore their attack and maintain your composure. 

Appear Confident: Even if you do not feel, using a tone of voice and body language that exudes self-assurance can help you get your point across. 

Negotiate: The final component of DEAR MAN involves negotiation. “Be willing to give to get.” You can also “turn the tables” on the other person, by asking them to come up with an alternative solution that is amenable to all parties involved.  

Salina Grilli is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support with achieving your goals and setting boundaries, contact Cobb Psychotherapy and see how therapy can help. 

Anxiety as a Survival Mechanism

By Allie Lewin, LMSW

For many of us, the fall season marks a time for transition, and with transition can come anxiety. But is anxiety really such a bad thing? 

There’s no doubt that being consumed by anxiety can be extremely uncomfortable and debilitating — it can cause us to become preoccupied with our internal experiences, which can lead us to have difficulty engaging in our external lives.  But the reality is that anxiety itself is not entirely negative.  In fact, it is extremely important for our survival. Understanding the function of this emotional experience that has served humans for over hundreds of thousands of years can be helpful in learning the tools to accept and rise above anxiety.

So what function does anxiety serve? Anxiety aims to protect us. When our brains perceive threat or danger, it signals our body to respond effectively through the fight or flight response, which enables us to cope with the threat. Imagine you are alone walking through a forest and you spot a tiger.  As soon as your brain processes this danger, your autonomic nervous system signals neurological and hormonal changes to prepare your body to take action, whether that means to run away or in some cases, to fight. The physical sensations we associate with anxiety, such as heavy breathing, rapid heart rate, muscle tension, and sweating are all the result of your nervous system working to ensure your ability to escape the predator and find safety. You see, without anxiety, your body would do nothing in response to the sight of the tiger and you would surely get eaten!

We may not be fighting off tigers in NYC in the 21st century, but our brains respond the same way to that tiger as they do to the sight of a taxi speeding through a red light, and in fact to any instances of perceived threat. This perceived threat could be failing a test, getting fired from work, or even not getting asked on a second date.  Without anxiety, we may not have the motivation to study for that test, get out of bed in the morning in time for work, or filter what personal information we share on a first date. So not only does anxiety help us escape danger, but it also gives us the motivation and discretion to prepare for big occasions and risky endeavors that ultimately enhance our wellness and ensure our survival over the long run. 

By no means am I implying that being distressed by chronic anxiety is pleasant or a good thing, but spouts of anxiety are normal automatic human processes and should be looked upon as such.  Anxiety becomes an issue when our brains consistently misinterpret the extent of the threat, overestimating the danger actually involved, and underestimating our ability to handle the situation. When this is the case and we find ourselves in a state of constant hyper arousal, something needs to change.

Our anxiety can push us to seek help through communication with loved ones or a professional, as well as make other necessary adaptations to appropriately deal with stress.  By better understanding our anxiety, we can begin to change our relationship to this experience and appreciate our brain’s good intentioned, albeit often misguided, attempt to protect us.  Through this process we can become less critical of ourselves for dealing with these emotions and feel more confident in not only moving past the anxiety, but in tackling life’s many challenges. 

Allie Lewin is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support with coping with anxiety, visit cobbpsychotherapy.com to learn more about how therapy can help.

Adjusting to Seasonal Changes

By Heather Matzkowitz, LMSW

With autumn right around the corner it's common to start noticing shifts in your mood. When your mind and body experience changes in the environment that come along with a new season, it can be difficult to adjust.

One of the most significant changes as we move into autumn is that there is less sunlight exposure throughout the day. Lack of sunlight can cause some of us to feel dysregulated, and sometimes even cause us to experience symptoms of depression. This is called seasonal affected disorder, also known as SAD.

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, in addition to seeking therapy, it may be beneficial to invest in a light therapy box, which has been scientifically proven to help prevent and treat SAD. Light therapy boxes work by mimicking the light from the sun, which cause chemical changes in the brain that can lead to an increase in mood and well-being. However, be sure to speak with a health care professional before investing in a light box. The combination of therapy and a light therapy box may help you overcome the lull you might feel with seasonal changes. 

In addition to therapy and a light therapy box, another way I lift my mood is by focusing on the things related to the specific season that bring me joy. For example, in autumn the leaves on the trees change into beautiful colors, so each time I am outside I make sure to be mindful of this and try to go for as many walks as possible.

Another aspect of autumn that I love is all seasonal foods. I don’t know about you, but I love pumpkin!  And once autumn comes around it means that there is pumpkin-flavored everything. If you enjoy pumpkin the way I do, make it a mission to try out different-pumpkin flavored foods this season. Additionally, Halloween happens to be one of my favorite holidays. If this is the case with you too, then put Halloween decorations around your apartment or take a trip on the weekend to a pumpkin patch. Reminding yourself of the things you enjoy during autumn (and other seasons) can help to elevate your mood and keep you feeling balanced.

Heather Matzkowitz is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support with navigating transitions, visit cobbpsychotherapy.com to learn more about how therapy can help.

The Upsides of Anxiety

By Erica Cramer, LMSW

Many clients start therapy because they feel anxious — they excessively worry about their relationships, careers, finances, and a plethora of other issues. Through the therapeutic process, they hope to learn coping mechanisms to control, limit, and possibly even eliminate their worrying altogether. This popular belief that we need to reduce anxiety insinuates that it is always a negative feeling. However, worrying can sometimes be a productive way to think about a situation. Here are five reasons why anxiety can be positive:

Anxiety can incite action. When you are worried about something, it may encourage you to be proactive about the situation and address your concerns. For example, if you are worried about a pain that a loved one is having you may encourage them to schedule a doctor’s appointment to find out if there is a legitimate reason to be concerned.

Anxiety shows that you are a critical thinker. It demonstrates that you are not the type of person that accepts situations at face value, and you take time to consider potential outcomes. But if you find yourself worrying only about the potential negative outcomes of a situation, try to think of the positive outcomes as well. Think about which outcomes are more likely to occur and perhaps even rate them accordingly.

Anxiety can keep you safe. Whether it is double checking if you door is locked or trying to determine the source when you hear a strange noise, anxiety can encourage you to be aware of your surroundings and, as a result, protect you from potentially dangerous situations.

Anxiety can inspire you to explore new opportunities. If someone is worried about the future of their company and fears they may lose their job, it can encourage them to explore new career opportunities. This worry could lead them to find a position that is more fulfilling or lucrative. In this instance, anxiety can encourage someone to take a positive step forward that they may not have otherwise.

Anxiety can help you be prepared. If you are worried about a trip you are taking, it may encourage you to be more thorough when you pack and plan the logistics of your trip. If you are worried about your finances, it may encourage you to put money into a savings account or to not spend so frivolously. These are just two of the many possible ways anxiety may encourage you to be better prepared for this future.

Erica Cramer is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support with coping with anxiety, visit cobbpsychotherapy.com to learn more about how therapy can help.

Therapist Feature: Cherise White, LMSW

We are excited to welcome Cherise White to the team! Learn more about Cherise below:

What initially inspired you to pursue a career as a therapist?

I have always been drawn to the field of psychology and taking psychology courses in high school and college confirmed it for me. In college I was intrigued by my abnormal psychology and biopsychology courses. During those courses, I instantly knew this was a field I would always want to be in as I had a strong desire to learn more. Till this day I still posses that strong desire to learn more. Therefore, pursuing a career as a therapist was my way of always learning about the mind, brain, and behavior as I connect with others, by helping them heal, cope, explore, and develop as they go through their life journeys. 

As a therapist, what are you most passionate about? 

As a therapist I am most passionate about letting people know they are not alone and someone is willing to be present as they make the choice to come to therapy. Secondly, I am passionate about discussing the role the brain plays in mental illness, cognition, and behavior as I feel it can be enlightening to understand the way in which our brains interplay in our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. 

What makes you unique as a therapist?

My therapeutic approach is what I feel makes me unique as a therapist. I believe in taking a person-centered integrated approach to therapy. I have been trained in various modalities but in my experience, when appropriate, I prefer to take different skills from those modalities and integrate them to create a treatment plan that fits the individual's therapeutic needs. We are all unique, and so I believe treatment plans should do the same and be custom-made for challenges the individual in therapy seeks to address. 

Everyone needs self-care. How do you practice self-care?

My self-care has always been engaging in something that makes me laugh. Whether it be talking with a friend, watching a comedy, reading a book or magazine, or mindfully reflecting on a time where I was moved to laughter.

What is your favorite

Quote: "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” Abraham Maslow

Book: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Movie: Inception

What is one thing that is important for anyone to know? 

"Vulnerability is not weakness. And that myth is profoundly dangerous.” - Brené Brown 

Cherise White is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. To schedule an appointment with her or learn more about how therapy can support you in reaching your goals, contact Cobb Psychotherapy.

How to be More Present When You're Feeling Anxious

By Bethany Nickerson, LMSW

Anxiety has a way of hijacking our brains and even our bodies. I’m not sure about you, but for me, when I am feeling especially anxious it's easy for me to forget all the many coping skills that can help me feel better. You hear phrases like, “centering yourself” or “grounding” but it can be hard to know how exactly to go about being more present. I like to focus on the body and the breath because those are two things you always have with you. Some of my favorite ways to ground myself when I am feeling anxious or stressed out have to do with using my senses. 

  1. Go on a walk. As you walk feel your feet on the ground, listen to the sounds around you, and take long deep breaths. Notice what you smell and what the temperature of the air is. 
     
  2.  Make a cup of coffee or tea. As you prepare it breathe in the scent and feel the temperature of the cup. Notice if the temperature is warmer or colder than you hands. Take a sip of the coffee and notice the sensations in the body as you swallow. 
     
  3. Rub your first finger and thumb together and notice the texture of your fingerprint. Taking notice of something that you normally pass right over is a great way to get out of your own head.
     
  4. Visualize you breath. Pick a color and imagine starting at the top of your head and slowly breathing the color down until you get to your feet. As the color reaches each part of your body see if you can give yourself permission to release any tension you hold there. If your mind starts to race just bring your attention back to the breath and back to the color.
     
  5. Take a chocolate kiss (or a hard candy) and focus on its taste and size as you eat it. If you notice that your mind starts to wander bring your attention back to the flavor of the chocolate and notice it getting smaller and smaller.

It's easy to get overwhelmed with anxiety and focus on past events and what you wish you had done differently, or worry about what the future holds. When that happens, tuning into your senses keeps your attention on the present and gives your thoughts a chance to slow down and return to what is happening in the moment.

Bethany Nickerson is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support with coping with anxiety or increasing mindfulness, visit cobbpsychotherapy.com to learn more about how therapy can help.

Prioritizing Self-Care Around Transitions

By Kristen Quinones, LMSW

With Labor Day behind us, fall is definitely in the air. Can you smell the pumpkin spice lattes? With fall comes a lot of exciting things, but it is a season of change. For many that means returning to school — a big transition regardless of how old you are. It's vital to implement specific stress and time management skills and self-care practices during these times in our lives. This applies to any life transition such as a move or a new job. Sometimes we default to making the change the first priority in our life, stretching ourselves so thin that our physical and mental health suffer. We want things to be perfect and go well, but if our health is not a priority, how can we expect to adjust and flourish in the best possible way? The two must go hand-in-hand. So how do we prioritize both?

1) Managing Physical Health

The human body reacts well to routine. Having a schedule for balanced meals, exercise, hydration, and sleep is important. There is some flexibility here, but waking up at 6 a.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. on weekends is not going to keep your body feeling good. It's better to allow a smaller window on weekends to sleep in within a couple of hours of your normal wake time.

2) Time Management

Making a visual of your priorities can be helpful. We schedule work and doctor's appointments, so why not schedule self-care? This means writing in time with family and friends, time for hobbies and relaxation, and time for ourselves. Using this visual not only keeps us organized and balanced, but it can also be a tool to build insight on if we have more time to manage tasks than we thought or in recognizing if we have too much on our plate and need to make some adjustments

 

sampleschedblog.PNG

3) Self-Care

Self care at any level is important. Whether it involves taking a detox from social media, a walk on your lunch break, meditating on the train, or taking a warm bath followed by some fuzzy socks and pajamas, there is no self care practice too small. It's the little things that help keep us feeling comforted, loved, and supported, and we should do that for ourselves every day to maintain health and a high quality of life.

4) Self-Compassion

Lastly, it is very important to do some perspective taking during transitions and recognize that we are allowed to feel stressed during change. We are human. It is okay to take more time to take care of ourselves during an adjustment period and be a bit more patient with ourselves. We often give empathy to others more freely than to ourselves, but self-compassion needed for success, health, and happiness.

Kristen Quinones is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support with navigating transitions, visit cobbpsychotherapy.com to learn more about how therapy can help.

Living Life to the Fullest : Choosing Wellness Over Beauty

By Sarah Spitz, LMSW

Two summers ago I completed a training with Chelsea Roff, the founder of a non-profit called Eat Breathe Thrive, which supports individuals in overcoming food and body images challenges.  The Eat Breathe Thrive program uses interactive activities and mind-body practices to offer participants tools for long term recovery.  One of my favorite parts of the curriculum focuses on “functional action,” which means acting in a way that puts our body’s utility/wellness before beauty/attractiveness. This means appreciating our body for what it can do, rather than for what it looks like. 

So what does “functional action” really mean?

In regard to our bodies, the Eat Breathe Thrive program views “functionality” as our ability to embody the full potential of human life. When we make “functional” choices, we support our body’s ability to fully engage in life. For those of us with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image struggles, many of our choices may not be “functional" and can lead to negative and harmful consequences. Below are some concrete examples to understand functional action. 

What does functional action look like in practice?

Eating: “I eat x because it does not cause weight gain”
Exercise: “I go to the gym everyday because I want to have a flatter stomach”
Social Life: "I will ended up eating too many calories so I usually don't take my friends up on invites to got out to dinner."

The above statements put “beauty” over "functionality". These types of thoughts and statements are not considering what is actually best for our bodies. These choices can lead to health consequences, as well as keep us from engaging fully in life.

Below are ways in which “functional action” can be applied to the above exampes: 

Eating:“I eat x because it improves my digestion and gives me energy” 
Exercise: “I go to yoga three times a week because it helps me to de-stress after an intense work day."
Social Life: "I am going out for dinner tonight with friends who are really important to me, and am looking forward to enjoy their company over a delicious meal."

When trying to determine how to apply functional action to your life, think of what choice is nourishing to your body - physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.

Sarah Spitz is therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support with disordered eating or body image struggles, contact Cobb Psychotherapy and see how therapy can help. 

Therapist Feature: Chelsea Irwin, LMSW

We are excited to welcome Chelsea Irwin to the team! Learn more about Chelsea below:

What initially inspired you to pursue a career as a therapist?

At around 8 years old, I saw my first therapist depicted in a cartoon.  It was the classic caricature of a man sitting with a clipboard and glasses, and a patient lying on a couch. I found myself fascinated by the fact that there were people who made a living by helping everyday people navigate their inner most worlds. From this early age, I found myself insatiably curious about other people’s stories and in sharing my own. In college, after my first big heartbreak, I saw my first therapist and experienced the first-hand transformative effects of therapy.  It was pretty clear then, that at some point, I would pursue therapy as a career.  I continued to study and remain curious about ways to maximize my own and other people’s potential. This curiosity and desire to impart the gifts of therapy to others is what fuels my work today.    

As a therapist, what are you most passionate about?

I feel most passionate in my work, when clients are able to bravely confront what scares them most, and emerge more confident, self-assured, and present in their lives and relationships. Many clients arrive to their first session feeling alienated and unique in their suffering.  I’ve found that therapy increases a sense of connectedness for people; and when they experience this in their lives as a result of the work we do, I imagine this ripple effect. My hope is that in helping people connect to themselves and others, that one person at a time, I’m helping to increase the connectedness of our society.   

What are your specialities and what drew you to them? 

I developed an interest in working with people who have experienced trauma in one of my positions as a therapist in an outpatient clinic.  I’ve found that many people, whether they have explicitly experienced trauma or not, respond well to some key themes in a trauma-informed approach. A key theme is the fact that many people have experienced an adverse event that changed the way their bodies respond to stress. In my therapy, I emphasize learning to acknowledge the body’s response, thanking the body for its attempt to handle the stress, and re-writing the narrative that all this is happening through some personal fault or shortcoming.  Finding new and creative ways to adapt this process to each unique client is what makes work interesting and worthwhile.  

Furthering the narrative aspects of a trauma-informed practice, I also specialize in identity-affirmative therapy (these include all the ways someone identifies themselves whether through the lens of sexuality, race, cultural heritage, beliefs, and more). What is the story we tell ourselves about who we are? Which parts of it is helpful? How much of it is true? As someone at the intersection of many different identities myself, I enjoy helping others navigate these internal and external complexities.  

What makes you unique as a therapist?

As I navigate my own personal and professional journeys, I am humbled and challenged to walk through life and therapy sessions with a deep sense of connectedness to our shared humanity.  Through this lens, I am able to tune in deeply with my clients - to tune in to what is said, what is unsaid, to their strengths as well as their suffering. This translates to listening carefully and intently as my clients share heartbreaking details of their lives, while also listening carefully and able to call attention to those times when my clients attempt to cheat themselves out of being their best selves. 

How would you describe your therapeutic approach?

I have a mixed bag of experience to pull from, and I think each client relationship calls for a unique mix of each.  I would say, I’m “relational” first and foremost. Yalom said, in his book The Gift of Therapy, that “Therapy should not be theory driven but relationship-driven.” For me, an environment of trust and safety are the foundation of the most effective work.  In my experience, if therapist and client are able to create symbiosis, talk freely, and work through differences, a few great things happen: 1) many of these relational skills are carried out in other relationships in clients’ lives 2) patterns can be more easily detected, and 3) the relationship provides a safe space for the client to try new and different things without fear of judgment. My approach is also Psychodynamic, which means that I believe many of the patterns we use to relate to others were learned at some point in the past. I also have training as a Life Coach, which allows me to help clients with more concrete goals, such as extinguishing a habit, or overcoming obstacles like navigating a career change.  

Everyone needs self-care. How do you practice self-care?

Warm baths and laughter, especially standup comedy

What is your favorite...

Quote: “I’ve had many worries in my life, most of which never happened” - Mark Twain

Book: Almost anything by Brene Brown or James Baldwin

Movie: Childhood favorite, Hook - I can still probably recite all the words

What is one thing that is important for anyone to know? 

Curiosity is better than certainty.  As a recovering perfectionist, I’ve found that clinging to certainty, perfection, and the “right” answers has contributed to much of the disappointment and emotional pain I, and many other people, have experienced in their lives. Taking just a milli-second to curiously examine an obstacle as “interesting” instead of judging it as burdensome can make a huge difference. 

Chelsea Irwin is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. To schedule an appointment with her or learn more about how therapy can support you in reaching your goals, contact Cobb Psychotherapy.

Therapist Feature: Bethany Nickerson, LMSW

We are excited to welcome Bethany Nickerson to the team! Learn more about Bethany below:

What initially inspired you to pursue a career as a therapist?

During my undergraduate degree I was planning on pursuing a career in medicine. I got a job at a residential treatment center for substance abuse. I loved it. I remember having many days at work where I felt like I couldn't believe I got paid to do something I enjoyed so much. What started off as a job to help me pay for school ended up changing the course of my life. I got my degree in biology and then decided to go on and get my masters degree in social work. 

As a therapist, what are you most passionate about?

I really love building a therapeutic relationship with my clients and getting the chance to listen to their stories. Watching my clients make positive changes, reach their goals, and build lives they love is the most rewarding part of my job. 

What are your specialities and what drew you to them? 

My background is in working with survivors of trauma and the anxiety and depression that comes along with it. I also work with women who are experiencing relationship issues, pregnancy (and postpartum), and infertility. 

What makes you unique as a therapist?

I am a firm believer in the power of the mind body connection and all the ways it helps people heal. I incorporate movement and breathing exercises into my sessions and also use the five senses to help my clients learn various grounding techniques. 

How would you describe your therapeutic approach?

My therapeutic approach is client centered. It is very important to me that the client and I work together to address their concerns by using their expertise on their life and my clinical skills. I am certified in EMDR and also use acceptance based mindfulness exercises to support clients.

Everyone needs self-care. How do you practice self-care?

Some of my favorite ways to practice self-care are:

  • Spending time with loved ones...including my dog.
  • Getting out in nature and going for a walk or a hike.
  • Writing and mailing thank you notes.
  • Watching or listening to stand up comedy and laughing my head off.
  • Making lots of playlists for all different moods and listening to them
  • Creating art
  • Moving my body...yoga or dancing
  • Going and listening to live music whether that means a concert or street musicians. 

What is your favorite...

Quote: "Its a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any". - Hugh Laurie

Book: This is a really hard one for me because I am a big reader...one of my favorites is The Book Thief. 

Movie: Remember the Titans

TV show: Grace and Frankie

What is one thing that is important for anyone to know? 

Be as kind to yourself as you are to all the people you love. 

Bethany Nickerson is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. To schedule an appointment with her or learn more about how therapy can support you in reaching your goals, contact Cobb Psychotherapy.

Transitioning Back to School...Already?!

By Alisha Bennett, LMSW

It’s hard to believe that it is already mid-August and summer is coming to an end.  Right around the corner is September, and  so there are just a few short weeks left until the routine of the school year starts back up.  This transition can be difficult for a lot of us after a summer of relaxation, sleeping in, and vacationing.  Here are some tips for parents of children, college students, and teachers for making this transition a little easier on you this year. 

Start to structure your day little by little. If you’ve enjoyed the freedom of not planning your or your child’s day, start to do this a little more each day. Going from zero structure to a lot of structure may make it hard to get back into the swing of a school day. You can make a visual schedule of the day with an established wake-up time (or range), and a schedule of a few activities that are planned for the day.  For a child, this can be made into a poster that you hang up on a wall for them to see. For adults, this can be done in a bullet journal format or just a simple checklist. 

Make checklists for routines that you want you or your child to get back into. If it’s a nightly routine: packing a bag, lying out clothes, brushing teeth, and getting to bed by  _:00pm, make a visual checklist. This can also be done for a morning routine: waking up by _:00am, brushing teeth, getting dressed, eating breakfast, etc. 

Start to get back on a sleep routine. If there hasn’t been a bed-time all summer (and I don’t blame you, that’s one of the many freedoms of summer break), start to establish one. Make this reasonable and break it down into increments every few nights. Don’t try to go from 1am to 10pm in one night. Start to go to bed a little earlier every night by 15-20 minutes and wake up 15-20 minutes earlier. Then by the time post-Labor day comes, you hopefully won’t be staying up too late and have to wake up super early. Getting a good night’s sleep will give you energy for that first week of school Hopefully, getting into the habit of doing some of these things will make the first couple weeks back feel a little less uncomfortable and tiring.

Alisha Bennett is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy.  If you are looking for support with parenting or navigating transitions, visit cobbpsychotherapy.com to see how therapy can help.  

Therapist Feature: Allie Lewin, LMSW

We are excited to welcome Allie Lewin, LMSW to the team! Learn more about Allie below:

What initially inspired you to pursue a career as a therapist?

When I was sixteen years old I developed a life threatening illness that landed me in the intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital for weeks. When I got out of the hospital, I relied heavily on the support of my family and medical team, including a psychiatrist, to regain strength and recover both physically and emotionally. During this process I realized how much mental health affects a person’s day-to-day functioning, and how life events can completely rock a person’s sense of security. I recognized how lucky I was to not only have survived my illness, but to have had the social support in my life that allowed me to thrive despite the obstacles I faced. From then on, I could only see myself in a career directly helping others, and given my innate interest in psychology, specializing in mental health seemed extremely fitting. Beyond that, the relationship I developed with my therapist after I was sick and continuing throughout my adolescence was immensely valuable to my growth as an individual and finding happiness, so the idea of being that person for others was extremely exciting and I imagined quite fulfilling. 

As a therapist, what are you most passionate about?

I’m most passionate about helping others learn about themselves and move forward with making the changes they want for their lives. Nothing makes me happier than when a client comes to session having thought more in depth about something we discussed or having put into practice changes we explored in the room. When I see firsthand that a client is serious about doing the work, I become overwhelmed with pride and gratitude for any part I can play in their success. 

What are your specialties and what drew you to them? 

My specialties are depression, anxiety, and disordered eating, all issues I have grappled with at some point in my life.  For years after I was sick I struggled with debilitating anxiety, spouts of depression, and using food as an attempt to control my emotions and fears. Through therapy, self-reflection, and a lot of trial and error, I learned to trust myself and live my life from a place of gratitude instead of fear.  I hope my journey can help others who struggle with similar issues, as well as the other inevitable challenges life throws, to become the person they aspire to be and find their place in the world. 

What makes you unique as a therapist? 

When people get to know me they typically remark on my openness and transparency, characteristics I definitely bring into the room as a therapist. I think I’m naturally a warm and accepting person, so as a therapist I tend to see people’s strengths and the possibility for a brighter future despite the symptoms and self-defeating patterns they find themselves facing. 

How would you describe your therapeutic approach? 

My therapeutic approach draws on elements of cognitive behavioral therapy as well as psychodynamic therapy. Every person is different, so depending on the presenting problem, the individual’s unique set of circumstances, and their way of relating to themselves and the world, my style changes to fit their needs. Regardless of modality, my style is warm, collaborative, and active. I enjoy teaching my clients skills they can use outside of therapy, often incorporating homework in some capacity so they have the opportunity to test out new beliefs and behaviors explored in the room in their everyday lives. 

Everyone needs self-care. How do you practice self-care? 

Self-care for me includes yoga, cooking, and spending time with loved ones. It also includes indulging in a little reality TV to de-stress and unwind. 

What is your favorite...

Quote: “Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” 

Book: The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

Movie: The Silence of the Lambs

What is one thing that is important for anyone to know? 

The most important relationship you have is the one to yourself. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion and you are far more likely to find the motivation, productivity, and strength you are looking for as well as enjoy healthier and more fulfilling relationships with those around you. 

Allie Lewin is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. To schedule an appointment with her or learn more about how therapy can support you in reaching your goals, contact Cobb Psychotherapy.