Category: Self-improvement

Finding A Therapist That Works For You

So, you’ve finally decided it’s time to see a therapist, only to find out there are many types of professionals, including Psychiatrists, Social Workers, LCSW’s, Ph.D’s, and MHC’s, who address many issues like childhood trauma, depression after a job loss, managing a break up, life transitions and more, which can make the search confusing. It’s important to know it can take a bit of research, time, trial and error, and patience.

To help you better navigate finding a therapist or mental health provider, we have compiled a super easy list below. Several professionals across the U.S. have joined in collaboration of this project, including Amanda Fludd, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-R) and NYC Therapist, to give you all the tools you need to navigate the challenging task of finding a psychotherapist.

 

  1. Start with a Licensed Professional. A licensed professional means the person in front of you has had to meet a standard of supervised training and education and took an exam designated by their State governing body to earn their license. Their license usually also requires them to take additional training to maintain their license, so they are constantly learning and growing. If someone is unlicensed, you will want to ask if they are supervised by a licensed professional (get their name and research them), and how that would work in your case. Some limited permit holders or interns are examples of unlicensed professionals who can help, if they have quality supervision and regular oversight to best address your

 

  1. The fit. Knowing yourself and the type of person you best respond to is essential in this process. For example, if you’ve experienced a traumatic experience with a male, you may not be ready to talk openly and honestly with a male therapist. In general, you want to feel comfortable with your When looking for one, something about their description when researching should speak to your need. Fit is important to us at Kensho Psychotherapy Services. From the initial consult, we are listening to your needs and assessing who on the team would be a good fit.

We always recommend staying with your therapist for at least two months to see if a working therapeutic relationship can develop where you are open, you’ve developed goals, and feel like you are doing work in therapy. Therapy is a beautiful working process, and sometimes it’s just not the right fit for the client and therapist. You as the client, may also come to realize you may not be ready to commit to the time therapy requires, or face deep emotional work, and on the other hand, the therapist may recognize your needs like complex trauma, anxiety or chronic depression are out their scope of practice, and in that case refer you out. If you just want general support and direction, and less intensive work, you may benefit more from a counselor, that unlicensed intern, or a life coach. At Kensho Psychotherapy we treat the difficult and offer deep connections and strategies and specifically specialize in general anxiety, depression, trauma work and minority mental health.

  1. Be patient. As more people are looking for therapy, it means there may be wait-lists and trouble getting through to someone on the other line. It helps to reach out to multiple providers that may be a fit and leave a message with your concern, type of insurance, and the best number that you can be reached. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t reach the first person you call. Other places to look include Psychologytoday.com, Therapy for Black Girls, or just reach out to us here, and we will do our best to connect you.

4. I’ve found someone, now what? It is important to know that everyone is nervous for the first                                 appointment and your therapist will be asking you lots of questions to figure out what’s going on, and if                     they can help. You can also ask questions too because you need to know if this is a potential match for you                 as well. Just go right with this list and ask:

  • Have you treated other clients with my particular issue?
  • Do you have a niche you enjoy working with? What about a particular clinical approach? Can you tell me more about that?
  • What will sessions look like?
  • What happens if I’m not comfortable, and this isn’t working out, how would we end services?
  • How long have you been practicing and are you a licensed professional?
  • If unlicensed, what has your training looked like and are you under supervision? Can I have your supervisors name.
  • Is it easy to reach you, how can I reach you in an emergency, or non-emergency?

 

Therapy isn’t always pretty; it’s work. With these tips, you are well on your way to finding a good connection on your journey to a healthier and more balanced you.

 

The Kensho Psychotherapy Team

Sometimes I Sit and Wish I Was A Kid Again

Feelings of nostalgia are common when remembering the care-free days of childhood, when we couldn’t wait to grow up. Those were idle moments, when our spirits were light and the possibilities were endless before trading in books in our backpacks for responsibility.

Our imaginations knew no bounds- we were pirates who conquered the sea, or scared but brave kids who went past the invented line down the block that your parents told you not to cross. As kids, we had incredible capacity to dream and create before we grew up and the world dictated how our stories should go.

If your imagination were a muscle, would you say that it grew with over time or has it become weaker over time? The sad truth is that, as we grow up, the world places more emphasis on reality and because of that our creative power diminishes and we become slaves to routine and the norm. Ever wonder how we might get back to that place of freedom and wide-open curiosity? Is it even possible to reconnect with our inner child in order to repair the damage that societal pressures have caused? Absolutely! We can strengthen that muscle that has weakened over time.

By tapping back into our own originality, creative visualization, and spending time in free-spirited play, and embracing all that is possible in this moment right now, it is possible to once again view the world (and ourselves) as we did when we were kids.

Buckle up! The Way to Rekindle Your Relationship with Your Inner Child Is About to Be Revealed …

1. Drop the leather brief case and go play – go for a bike ride, escape around the block before your kids notice, or take 5 minutes on a swing set. Photo by Malcolm Garretfrom @malcolmgaret

Photo by Malcolm Garret from Pexels

2. Train that imagination muscle – make time to think of scenarios outside of reality that bring you joy. Write down what your dream life looks like.  Have fun envisioning a lifestyle that appears impossible to achieve in as much color and description as you can and put it up somewhere you can see it.

3. Get creative – color a picture, throw some paint on a blank canvas, mash up some playdough…anything that has minimal rules involved and will give you a feeling of freedom.

4. Ask yourself – what brings me joy? Sit for a moment and plot out a list of things that you like to do regularly and would like to do if you had more time. Maybe it’s going for a walk, cooking, hot yoga, horseback riding, karaoke, playing an instrument, window shopping, or checking out a Broadway play. Collect a list of your toys and then schedule a play date with yourself!

5. Borrow a kid– If you have access to your own kids, or maybe can borrow one, like your niece or godchildren, put down your phone and join them in what they love to do. Ask them why they love it and play without judgment in their space if even just for 20 minutes and see what magic happens for them and you. If you don’t have access to a kid, then who else can you recruit as a partner in crime? 

Charles Bukowski once said, “Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”

Taking time out of our lives to reconnect with our inner child gives us room to strengthen our sense of self.  Not only does it crack the door to self-discovery, but it totally kicks it in and demolishes all the walls that were around it (walls created by ourselves and our perceptions of what the world wants us to be). Learning how to be a kid again is the ticket to remembering our authentic selves and allows us to gift our uniqueness and originality back to the world.

Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R @Kensho Psychotherapy #Therapyisdope

Beating The Fear of Change

They say change is constant, but what happens when it comes so fast you can’t quiet catch your footing? Some people take it as a challenge embracing a new adventure and for others it steals their sleep and leaves their minds in agony with endless what if scenario’s triggering anxiety, avoidance, or opposition.

The question lingering in the back of our minds when faced with change is, “can I really handle this?” When the answer is “yes”, we are unphased and ready, maybe even overjoyed. When it’s “no”, we trigger our internal stress reaction; a reaction that is both physical (like sweaty palms, stomach aches, or a racing heart that prepares us for ‘flight’ or ‘fight’ response) and within our minds (enter in feelings like anxiety, sadness or maybe racing thoughts).

The funny thing about change: we don’t really know what will happen. The many what if questions are a figment of our imaginations causing real physical and emotional reactions. Add in judgmental beliefs abouteverything catastrophic that can happen and we fuel the fire even more. The truth is we just don’t know much about what will be and sometimes its just to observe our thoughts and feelings about change, look at it with curiosity, slow down, catch our rhythm, and stay in the moment. Just stay in this moment right now. Embrace the wave. This is all I can handle right now.

Is Positive Thinking Still Relevant?

Absolutely! Through our life we receive messages from everyone, family, work, the media and somewhere we decide what they said was true and build a life on that.

A lot of times when we fall short of those expectations, the narrative we give ourselves is we can’t, we are not good enough, it’s too much, there is something wrong with me or sometimes its yelled to us by parents, spouses, bosses.

So many thoughts and opinions that limit us.  

However, what if we changed the game and spoke differently to ourselves?

Our emotions and actions line up with what we think and that’s why positive thinking is so important.

You are molding your life into your own truth and away from limitations and negative experiences when you simply change the script.

Write it out loud, put those new statements on post its, I even tell clients to schedule it as reminders on their phone at random times. Surround yourself with a new story.

. . . An excerpt from an article with Upjourney that featured Clinical Social Worker Amanda Fludd and other game changing therapists in the field. To continuing reading the benefits of positive thinking just go here.

A History of Compassion Today

Is a mBlack Historyonth ever enough to celebrate the contributions of African Americans to our American experience? As we pause to reflect on those who have forged a way forward in liberty, justice and compassion, let us also examine how we can be informed and inspired today. Black history month signals an invitation to remember, act with purpose and re-engage with compassion.

Compassion is an emotion that comes from a place of concern for others. It’s a sense of shared suffering and with a deep desire to go out of our way to alleviate or reduce that suffering in others. As we interact with diverse communities, we have to be aware of the realities that these communities face. Many Black people feel that there are not tresilenceated fairly in our country, particularly by law enforcement, in hiring practices, immigration policies, higher education and mental health systems. Compassion is coming from a place that the injustice of one impacts all people. We can do our part to change larger injustices but cultivating compassion in our families, our workplace, our schools, our institutions, and simply within ourselves.

Compassion can help you feel happier as you work to do things that promote happiness in others. Contribute is a distress tolerance skill we often teach in therapy because doing for others when you are depressed has a favorable impact on you and the person you did something for. Compassion has been found in scientific studies to increase DHEA hormone which counteracts the aging process, by counteracting the stress inducing hormone cortisol. Overall, those who have a positive connection to others are healthier and found to be more resilient to illness. That makes compassion beneficial to your physical and mental wellbeing.

The key to developing compassion in your life is to make it a daily practice.

3 Compassion Practices

  1. Create a morning routine. Start your day bringing awareness to you. Notice your body in bed, take a few deep breaths, slip into your prayers or maybe a morning affirmation like this one: I am loving and compassionate to myself and others or today, I abandon old habits and take up new, more positive ones or “today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can,” the Dali Lama.
  2. Read carefully. Expand your library and invest in books that nurture your social conscience. Books that will facilitate conversations about relationships, the human struggle and empathy. Books like Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Crossing the Wire; Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria; The Emperor Has No Clothes; and Wonder. It’ll give you a chance to consider things from a new perspective.
  3. Seek opportunities for awesomeness. What can you actually do to ease suffering? Volunteer at a local nursing home, put on a free workshop at a local library using your gifts or trade, pay for someone’s meal, donate to a charity, send flowers to a friend, bring your assistant coffee, pass along a book you’ve read, research other ways to lend a hand, invite someone to lunch and practice these tiny acts regularly, even daily.

 

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

Finding A Therapist That Works For You

So, you’ve finally decided it’s time to see a therapist, only to find out there are many types of professionals, …

Sometimes I Sit and Wish I Was A Kid Again

Feelings of nostalgia are common when remembering the care-free days of childhood, when we couldn’t wait to grow up. Those …

A Trauma Focused Approach for Care Takers

Traumatic events are one of those things that can feel more like a tsunami in your life, followed by less intense tidal waves. …