7 Tools To Improve Mental Health

Therapy Talk Thursdays

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Mental illness, specifically untreated depression, is the leading cause of suicide. You are not alone. Seek help.

Mental illness is real. You can survive and thrive.-Shanna A. Jefferson

7 Tools To Improve Mental Health

  • Celebrate the positives of your loved one experiencing mental illness as well as those whom have lost their lives.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Keep It Real. “We must be honest and transparent”. –Shanti Das
  • Make the decision to be happy.
  • Engage in self-care.
  • Engage in physical activity.
  • Turn your pain into purpose.

NAMI

Seek Professional Help

Destination Greatness also offers convenient, confidential online and telephone therapy to residents of NC, SC, and GA. No insurance required.

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www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org

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Is Your Therapist Effective?

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In an age where mental health awareness is at an all-time high, many still have questions about the topic. One of the most important parts of someone’s journey with mental illness, is a person’s counselor.

 

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Below is an excerpt from NAMI’s website about effective therapist and things to look for.

“Do They Guide You To Your Goals?

Be wary of any therapist who makes promises like: “I can get you to recovery in six months” or “I can help you get rid of your anxiety.” Therapists should guide you towards reaching your goals, not make guarantees about when and how you will reach them. How you improve should be at your own pace. Additionally, they are not there to set your goals for you. This is your treatment—you’re in the driver’s seat.

Do They Show Acceptance And Compassion?

It’s one thing for your therapist to show concern or recommend against certain behaviors, but you shouldn’t feel judged or ashamed after a therapy session. Christine, a young adult living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), tells a story of when she felt shamed by a therapist:

“I went to a therapist to talk about a relationship I was having a hard time getting over. I told her I would do outlandish things to keep this relationship alive, even though this guy made it clear he wanted nothing to do with me. This therapist responded by saying, ‘Christine, men don’t like clingy women. You need to be coy and play hard-to-get.’ She completely invalidated that my fear of abandonment had been triggered; to her, this situation had nothing to do with BPD, I was just making myself too available.”

The most effective therapists make you feel accepted and validated, showing understanding and sympathy/empathy for whatever you’re going through. They will approach you with compassion and kindness, and build enough trust for you to share your darkest thoughts and memories with them.

Do They Challenge You?

It’s important to recognize that therapy is not synonymous with friendship. An effective therapist will challenge you and help you see things from a different perspective, even if it’s hard to hear. They will give you homework that you may not like. For example, when I feel anxious, my reaction is to try to get rid of that anxiety any way that I can. So, my therapist often tells me to “sit with anxiety, accept that anxiety has visited you and observe how you feel.” She pushes me out of my comfort zone to help me overcome my fears and work towards my goal of managing anxiety.”

 

The full article can be found at, https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/February-2018/How-Do-I-Know-if-My-Therapist-is-Effective.

 

Keep on, keeping on.

 

 

Katheryn Burton

Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18

Case Management Intern

Destination Greatness, PLLC

 

 

http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org/

 

 

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Is Your Therapist Effective?

Uncategorized

In an age where mental health awareness is at an all-time high, many still have questions about the topic. One of the most important parts of someone’s journey with mental illness, is a person’s counselor.

 

nami logo

Below is an excerpt from NAMI’s website about effective therapist and things to look for.

“Do They Guide You To Your Goals?

Be wary of any therapist who makes promises like: “I can get you to recovery in six months” or “I can help you get rid of your anxiety.” Therapists should guide you towards reaching your goals, not make guarantees about when and how you will reach them. How you improve should be at your own pace. Additionally, they are not there to set your goals for you. This is your treatment—you’re in the driver’s seat.

Do They Show Acceptance And Compassion?

It’s one thing for your therapist to show concern or recommend against certain behaviors, but you shouldn’t feel judged or ashamed after a therapy session. Christine, a young adult living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), tells a story of when she felt shamed by a therapist:

“I went to a therapist to talk about a relationship I was having a hard time getting over. I told her I would do outlandish things to keep this relationship alive, even though this guy made it clear he wanted nothing to do with me. This therapist responded by saying, ‘Christine, men don’t like clingy women. You need to be coy and play hard-to-get.’ She completely invalidated that my fear of abandonment had been triggered; to her, this situation had nothing to do with BPD, I was just making myself too available.”

The most effective therapists make you feel accepted and validated, showing understanding and sympathy/empathy for whatever you’re going through. They will approach you with compassion and kindness, and build enough trust for you to share your darkest thoughts and memories with them.

Do They Challenge You?

It’s important to recognize that therapy is not synonymous with friendship. An effective therapist will challenge you and help you see things from a different perspective, even if it’s hard to hear. They will give you homework that you may not like. For example, when I feel anxious, my reaction is to try to get rid of that anxiety any way that I can. So, my therapist often tells me to “sit with anxiety, accept that anxiety has visited you and observe how you feel.” She pushes me out of my comfort zone to help me overcome my fears and work towards my goal of managing anxiety.”

 

The full article can be found at, https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/February-2018/How-Do-I-Know-if-My-Therapist-is-Effective.

 

Keep on, keeping on.

 

 

Katheryn Burton

Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18

Case Management Intern

Destination Greatness, PLLC

 

 

http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org/

 

 

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Community Advocacy

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By: Kristen Pettaway, MA Student, Liberty University and Clinical Case Manager Intern, Destination Greatness, PLLC

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Saturday, October 7th marked the day of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 5K walk, which raises money to help further the efforts of awareness about mental illness.  On this day hundreds of walkers gathered at Grant Park in Atlanta GA IMG_0035to advocate on the behalf of mental illness in the community.  At the start of the walk over $108,000.00 dollars had been raised through sponsorships for NAMI walks.

 

 

 

 

Shanti Das gave her revealing testimony about her personal battle with severe depression, a disease that cost her father and cousin their lives. I spoke to Ashanti briefly and thanked her for sharing her story and congratulated her on her accomplishments. After introducing myself and Destination Greatness’ sponsorship to Silence the Shame I became a part of their walking family of approximately 15 others.

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I had a brief conversation with a lady who asked me if Shanti said that “prayer is not enough” to get her through her feeling of depression, to which I had said “Amen” to the statement. The lady was obviously offended. To that, I quoted scripture James 2:20 “faith without works is dead”. She replied, “bring all things to God in prayer”.  I then replied to her that God answers prayer by placing therapists to fill the gap fulfilling HIS will here on earth. She agreed and said, “you are right”. She moved from being critical and judgmental to seeing God’s handy work through His vessels of mental health providers. We parted gracefully and the walk began. God can do all things.

Brenda Wood also revealed her struggles with depression before announcing the official start of the walk. The mood was jovial, filled with strength and determination to make a difference.

Along the pathway through Grant Park individuals talked, laughed, cried, made friends and acquaintances but most of all walked for a collective cause.  No one was deterred from walking even as the glumly sky loomed overhead made way to mist and drizzle.  The event was too important to sway us.

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Fighting Cancer and Mental Health: A journey that will forever coincide.

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As October commences, so does Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many of us wear shades of pink frequently throughout the month of October, donate to the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen organization to raise money for cancer research, along with numerous other activities.

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According to Breastcancer.org, 1 in 8 American women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. This is about 12% of the American female population. While many of us have mothers, aunts, and sisters who suffer from this horrifying disease, not many of us think about a cancer fighter’s mental health. Not just women who are fighting breast cancer, but all people who are fighting cancer in general.

Cancer knows no race, no gender, no age. It simply will affect everyone at some point in their life.

Early in 2015, my sweet step-father was diagnosed with Stage Four Esophagus Cancer. Our journey fighting cancer was the hardest thing our family has ever gone through. Though, his initial prognosis was not as good as we hoped, there was never a day our Scotty did not fight.

I was told from the very beginning that he would not be considered a victim. He would only allow people to consider him a fighter, that is exactly what he was, a Cancer fighter. Many times, throughout our family’s battle with cancer, I wondered how our Scott was mentally holding up.

In the beginning, when he was still able to eat and go out comfortably we would meet for lunch weekly at a little diner near my college apartment. We would discuss things from politics to sports, to how things were going in each of our lives.

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Once he was not able to go out anymore, I called him weekly to check on him, being that I was away at school I could not get home every week. I would ask him questions like how are you feeling and how are you

feeling and how are you holding up?

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No matter what, he would always tell me he was fine. Even when I knew he was exhausted from fighting.  I learned that he would write about his journey with cancer and that seemed to be how he kept his mental health in good shape. He was trying to be strong for our family, he was still setting an example of what a good father and husband was to look like.

This story, is not to make one feel sympathy for myself or my family, or take attention away from Breast Cancer Awareness month, but to encourage people who are quick to wear pink or walk a 5K for Cancer Awareness, to call someone you know who has cancer. Ask that fighter how they are doing. I challenge you to Volunteer your time at a local cancer center. Be an ear to listen to a fighter, sometimes, that’s all they may need.

 

Katheryn Burton

Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18

Case Management Intern

Destination Greatness, PLLC

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In loving memory of our sweet Scotty. Forever Bigham Strong, Powered by Prayer

 

 

About Destination Greatness

Destination Greatness is a mental health and substance abuse psychotherapy agency dedicated to assisting individuals and families in maximizing their level of functioning on all life domains in pursuit of Greatness. Destination Greatness provide individuals and families with the opportunity to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. Destination Greatness strives to enrich each individual and family through greater self-awareness, focus on strengths, and belief in a greater destiny.

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Reasons Mental Health is NO Joking Matter

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There are so many reasons that people bully others, but have you ever thought of why we shouldn’t do this to each other? Have you ever wondered what a stupid joke might mean to someone else?

Joking about mental illness is never cool, ever. What people who suffer from mental illnesses live with daily is traumatic enough, we don’t need to add any additional emotions to their lives. Unless of course they are positive, then feel free to spread the love.

Countless people who suffer from mental illnesses and many who do not, suffer from the lack of self-confidence. This is a main reason we should all be uplifting each other, rather than joking about it.

There are infinite stigmas surrounding mental health. Which makes it impossible to cover every stigma, but we can start with a handful.

Listed below are 3 reasons everyone should educate themselves on mental health issues and stop joking about them immediately.

  1. You probably know someone who suffers.

 

One in Five. According to NAMI, one in five American adults will experience mental illness in a year. That means that in your family of five, someone will likely suffer from a mental illness. You wouldn’t joke about your auntie’s cancer or uncle’s high blood pressure, so why joke about someone’s mental health?

  1. You are making someone feel worse.

By joking about mental illness, you are creating an illusion that mental health is not a big or serious deal, when in fact it is just as important as physical health. By joking about mental health, you are making people who already feel alone in this cruel world, more alone.

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  1. It makes people less likely to get help.

 

My father’s side of the family has been known to joke about mental health, leading me to believe my issues weren’t real.  Now, after taking multiple courses on mental illnesses and disorders, I know that my symptoms were real. I also know the ones making jokes about my symptoms that I let go untreated for so long, show symptoms of mental illness too. After hearing my family joke about mental health for so many years, when I finally decided to get serious about seeing a therapist, I hesitated to even schedule an appointment.

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There are so many things to joke about in the world, mental health is not one of them. Take a moment research the symptoms, check on your family members, and show compassion for those who might suffer from a mental illness.

Katheryn Burton

Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18

Case Management Intern

Destination Greatness, PLLC

 

About Destination Greatness

Destination Greatness is a mental health and substance abuse psychotherapy agency dedicated to assisting individuals and families in maximizing their level of functioning on all life domains in pursuit of Greatness. Destination Greatness provide individuals and families with the opportunity to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. Destination Greatness strives to enrich each individual and family through greater self-awareness, focus on strengths, and belief in a greater destiny.DG Logo

 

ALL PHOTOS CAME FROM https://pixabay.com/en/photos/?

 

7 Tools To Improve Mental Health

Therapy Talk Thursdays

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Mental illness, specifically untreated depression, is the leading cause of suicide. You are not alone. Seek help.

Mental illness is real. You can survive and thrive.-Shanna A. Jefferson

7 Tools To Improve Mental Health

  • Celebrate the positives of your loved one experiencing mental illness as well as those whom have lost their lives.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Keep It Real. “We must be honest and transparent”. –Shanti Das
  • Make the decision to be happy.
  • Engage in self-care.
  • Engage in physical activity.
  • Turn your pain into purpose.

NAMI

Seek Professional Help

Destination Greatness also offers convenient, confidential online and telephone therapy to residents of NC, SC, and GA. No insurance required.

DG Logo

www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org

1-800-273-8255

Uncategorized

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Mental illness, specifically untreated depression, is the leading cause of suicide. You are not alone. Seek help.

Mental illness is real. You can survive and thrive.

Logic recently performed “1-800-273-8255” at the VMAs sharing his struggles with depression and suicidal ideation.

I want you to be alive.-Logic

Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline if you need to talk about your struggles. 1-800-273-8255

Call 1-800-273-8255


 

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Destination Greatness also offers convenient, confidential online and telephone therapy to residents of NC, SC, and GA. No insurance required.

 

Use the code “Survivor” for 15% off of your initial session.

www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org

Shanna A. Jefferson, MSW, LCSW, LISW-CP/S

 

 

Coping with Natural Disasters

Therapy Talk Thursdays

Natural disasters can significantly impact the mental health of many including those directly impacted, first responders, survivors of previous natural disasters, and those watching the coverage.

Mental Health America (2017) identifies the following common reactions to natural disasters.

  • Disbelief and shock
  • Fear and anxiety about the future
  • Disorientation; difficulty making decisions or concentrating
  • Apathy and emotional numbing
  • Nightmares and reoccurring thoughts about the event
  • Irritability and anger
  • Sadness and depression
  • Feeling powerless
  • Changes in eating patterns; loss of appetite or overeating
  • Crying for “no apparent reason”
  • Headaches, back pains and stomach problems
  • Difficulty sleeping or falling asleep
  • Increased use of alcohol and drugs

The following coping skills can be employed to assist anyone experiencing any of the above symptoms.

Have the Courage to Ask for Help

Most of us have a sense of independence.  Having faced hardships in the past we feel a natural disaster is something to fight and overcome.  We have operated for years under click bait news coverage and weather channels trying to hold your attention for just a few more minutes.  In doing so, we have become a bit immune to the exaggerations of the news.  When a true disaster occurs, it can leave us in awe.  Hurricane Harvey is a prime example of such an event.  The key to surviving a disaster of this magnitude is to ask for help when you need it.  If you are responsible for more than yourself, being able to ask for help is all that more important.  Sounds simple but for some, it takes great strength, and can be the difference between life and death.

Escape the Stress

A natural disaster is the poster child of stress.  Make time for yourself.  Talk with others and try and enjoy activities you normally do.  It won’t be the same, but a little dip into a normal life can help your cope and deal with stress.  It gives you a break.  If you love football, you may not be able to play it, but the simple act of talking about it or thinking about it can help reduce your stress and level your head.  Any break from there disaster around you can help you overcome and give you strength.  If you are able to perform activities that you enjoy it’s vital you do.

Avoid reading and watching the disaster.  Studies have shown increased level of stress with prolonged exposure to the obsessed media trying to capitalize on your fear and stress.  It’s important to touch base with news for updates but avoid prolonged exposure.

Take Care of Yourself

Self-care is critical for overall health on an ongoing basis. Self-care may consist of reading, engaging in an enjoyable activity, connecting with your spirituality, or spending time with others. Click the link below for a Free Self-Care E-Book.

Self-Care EBook

Resources

If you are currently in an area impacted by a natural disaster, contact your local Red Cross or the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI).

For anyone in NC, SC, or GA Destination Greatness will offer you discount therapy via telephone or online. Please visit our website at http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org or email info@destinationgreatnesspllc.org.

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