Emotional Hunger vs. Physical Hunger

Have you ever used food to cope with stress or any other emotion? Sometimes people use food to avoid emotional discomfort or distract themselves from distressing thoughts. First, take a few deep breaths, and acknowledge that you’re human! It happens! Today, you are going to learn the difference between two different types of Hunger: Emotional [...]

On Being Self-Compassionate

“If my friend was struggling with the same thing I am, would I speak to them the way I just spoke to myself?”  This is a question that I encourage clients to ask themselves when I hear them being overly self-critical.  It serves as an introduction to the importance of exercising self-compassion when improving our [...]

The Art of Mindful Vacationing

If you're anything like me, you dread the post-vacation slump which often shows up bright and early the Monday morning following vacations. It's no secret vacations can be stressful and often times we set the bar extremely high. We try to cram in a plethora of experiences in a very short space of time. It shouldn't come [...]

Dealing with Chronic Pain

Dopesick is a drama miniseries on Hulu and I believe on Disney Plus. The eight-part drama series is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Beth Macy,  examining the dreadful causes and effects of the opioid crisis unleashed in large part on the United States by Purdue Pharma, and its “non-addictive” painkiller [...]

On Saying Yes

Self care is all the rage and, in most articles, memes, and TikTok advice it’s all about saying no to things. That is something that is a challenge for many of us, and saying no is an important skill. That said, so is saying yes. When was the last time you said yes to something? [...]

What is Professional Burnout and How to Handle it

For those of us in the working field, heavy workloads and deadline pressures are things we have all experienced at some point in the job. Who doesn’t feel overwhelmed or stretched thin sometimes? But when relentless work stress pushes you into the debilitating state we call burnout, it is a serious problem. It affects not [...]

Expressing Emotions

Expressing emotions doesn’t come naturally for all of us. Learning to recognize your emotion, label it and get curious about it can help build a healthier self-esteem and relationships with others. Unfortunately, ignoring emotions, pretending they don’t exist, and operating in silence can cause long-term emotional distress. Labeling  Try practicing labeling, a simple technique to [...]

About Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a therapeutic technique that allows your brain to reprocess a negative event, memory, or situation that has occurred in your life and gives you the ability to think about the event in a more adaptive way. Sometimes when an event like that occurs, the brain gets stuck [...]

The Productivity Paradox

How many times have you found yourself with a canceled appointment and you frantically looked for something to do to fill that space? We’ve all been there. Not wanting to waste a single moment of possible productivity.   Somewhere along the way we’ve managed to attach our happiness and success to our productivity. This has resulted [...]

Five Morning Routines to Start Your Day Off Right

This month for Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to share five morning routines that can help start your day off right. Taking time for self-care is so important - even the smallest change in routine devoted to self-care can make a big difference in your day. Here are Five Helpful Morning Routines:  1. Meditation: [...]

Taking the Pressure Out of Intimacy

We often hear "healthy communication is key". But what happens when healthy communication still adds pressure? Being sexually intimate with our partners can seem easy in the beginning stages, sometimes referred to as the "honeymoon phase" but eventually the passion can die down, and maintaining a healthy sex life begins to require more communication and [...]

How Can I Convince Someone To Go To Therapy?

We can all think of at least one person in our lives who can benefit from going to therapy. Seeing a loved one struggle with mental health issues can be scary or overwhelming. It’s natural to want to help them by bringing in a professional but you can’t force a person to change. Instead, you [...]

How to Help a Loved one with Depression

Many people have either experienced depression themselves or at least know of one or more people who have suffered from depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 17.3 million American adults in the U.S suffer from depression. Symptoms of Depression:  You or a loved one may be suffering from depression if you [...]

Tips on Self-Care

  How to add Self-Care to your daily routine.  As the saying goes, "an empty tank will take you exactly nowhere. Take time to refuel."  Self-care is not selfish so erase that concept from your mind. If anything, it benefits not only you but those who are around you. You cannot properly care for others [...]

No Show or Show Up?

Your First Counseling Session: Trying something new for the first time can cause quite a bit of anxiety. I felt pretty anxious before I went to my first barre class (you know, that trendy exercise fad right now combining Pilates, yoga and ballet?). I imagine this is what it feels like to start therapy for [...]

Where Self-Compassion and Boundaries Intersect

Self-compassion and boundary-setting are two things that I find myself very energized to work with in the therapy space. When I heard Brené Brown speaking about the intersection between these two topics (on a recent episode of Armchair Expert) I knew I wanted to elaborate further. What Do Compassionate People Have In Common?  Let’s first [...]

Remember Your Why

I was recently inspired by a client who carries a list she created to remind herself why she is committed to her job, even on the very tough days… People enter therapy for many different reasons, and it is truly a process unique to the individual. Addressing challenges and amending issues takes time, practice, patience, [...]

The Dangers of All or Nothing Thinking

All or nothing thinking, also known as black and white thinking, is a cognitive distortion. Cognitive distortions are exaggerated or irrational thought patterns that result in feelings such as anxiety or depression. All or nothing thinking is when we look at things in extremes, see a situation as being either this way or that way, [...]

A Mental Health Take-Away from “March Madness”

Intensions and Uncertainty  If you turn on your television over the next few weeks you can enjoy the physical, emotional, and psychological ride of college athletics through “March Madness.”  In the spirit of these student-athletes, let's take a moment to feel into their reality of uncertainty when it comes to this tournament.  Yes, they have [...]

Techniques for Time Management

Do you ever catch yourself saying “I just don’t have time!” or “I wish I had time for that.” Or maybe you notice that despite your best efforts, something keeps slipping through the cracks. Time is tricky. Here are some tips and techniques to help you manage your time better. Pomodoro Technique This is a [...]

What is Social Work Anyway?

When I decided to go back to school later in life to pursue social work, I soon realized how many misconceptions there are around what social workers do. Many people assumed social workers’ only role was doing child protective work, which is no surprise since that is often how social workers are portrayed in the [...]

Scavenger hunt, anyone?

So,  who doesn't like a good scavenger hunt? Not only are they fun, but scavenger hunts also help children work on essential skills like problem-solving. It also helps to reinforce act-out methods they have been taught by parents or teachers in a physical way, leading to increased retention. They are also easy to customize to [...]

Trusting the Therapy Process

Therapy is an involved process.  The first step being, entering into a therapeutic relationship where you feel seen and heard, as well as open to looking at yourself and life in a deeper way.  Some personal challenges are going to take longer to sift through. Some issues, after being addressed, may yield quicker positive results and feelings.  I [...]

A Message to Men in Need

“To progress again, man must remake himself. And he cannot remake himself without suffering. For he is both the marble and the sculptor. In order to uncover his true visage, he must shatter his own substance with heavy blows of his hammer.” ~Alexis Carrel, Man, The Unknown Look the reality is; though most of us [...]

Helping Kids with Deep Breathing

Children regularly have big emotions, and it can be more difficult for them to calm down than it is for adults. Sometimes even when we tell kids to take a deep breath they start hyperventilating, coughing, or choking. They may need a little extra help. First we want to educate children on why deep breathing [...]

How Loneliness Impacts The Workplace

Technology allows us to speak with others across the country and around the world without having to leave the office. While these modern-day opportunities may be convenient, they can actually be contributing to loneliness. As human beings, we all have an innate need to be connected to others, to belong. Loneliness pulls us away from [...]

The Holidays and Being Body Positive

The Holidays can be a magical time of year. For many people the holidays are a time for giving, making memories, spending quality time with loved ones, and… eating good food! Unfortunately, many of us can fall into engagement with negative self-talk resulting in feelings of shame and guilt during this time of year when [...]

5 Questions To Ask Your Therapist

Going to therapy can be very beneficial. It is a place where you can learn more about yourself; understand the symptoms of mental health you are experiencing; receive advice and support to help achieve your goals, and work on forming more meaningful relationships. It is a place for someone who needs someone to listen or [...]

Grieving the Loss of a Pet

The loss of someone you care deeply for can feel absolutely devastating. The same goes for the death of a cat, dog, or any other pet you may have. The experiences and feelings we have with our pets are unique to our relationship with them. There is no one else that has experienced that relationship [...]

The Value of Exploring Our Experiences Using More Curiosity and Less Judgment

Shifting a judgmental mindset.  An essential component in my approach to therapy involves assisting clients to see things clearly, rather than in a biased, judgmental way. Our judging minds typically conceal a wider, more realistic picture of our life experiences, ourselves, and of others. This skewed inaccurate view often results in our emotional suffering in [...]

Break Through Resistance

It happens to all of us. We make a commitment to change, and then, resistance hits. Unexpected barriers, that we don’t know how to deal with, can be one of the biggest reasons that we don’t achieve our goals. Resistance can easily discourage us and give us reasons not to change.  For some people, resistance [...]

Self-Soothing vs. Self-Care

The term self-care has become extremely well known over the past few years. We talk about it at work, school, with our kids and with our families. But what actually is self-care? Believe it or not, self-care is not putting on your face mask at the end of the night or listening to relaxing music [...]

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep. We love it, we hate it. It can be a source of rest, but also a source of stress. When 50-70 million people in the United States suffer from a diagnosable sleep disorder, it’s clear that it is a prevalent issue. It affects our physical, mental, and emotional health. Just like you brush your [...]

Getting Un-Stuck

Change is scary, but acknowledging that you have the power to choose something different, may be even scarier. We can all at some point in our lives become paralyzed by fear, anxiety, worry, and disappointment. But, to get unstuck we have to choose change; we can't wait for it to happen. We have to get [...]

Common Holiday Relapse Triggers

As we approach the holiday season, there is a shift in the world as we enter what is typically considered a wonderful and joyous time of the year. Unfortunately, amidst all this joy and merriment there can also be increased stress. This stress can stem from the financial burden of giving gifts, entertaining company, or [...]

Tips for New Moms with Anxiety and OCD

Have you recently had a baby and are struggling with new mom anxiety? You are not alone. 85% of new moms develop some form of sadness and anxiety during the postpartum period. A common anxiety-related mental-health condition that can develop is hypochondria and OCD. Hypochondria is atypical levels of anxiety regarding one’s health or the [...]

Thoughts on Empathy

Recently a friend who was in the process of moving was telling me how stressful it was for her. This led me to reflect on my own stressful experiences with moving. Looking back on how I responded to her, I realize that I became so caught up in my own thoughts that I did not [...]

Exercise and Mental Health

When I was a teenager I thoroughly enjoyed sports, such a volleyball and horseback riding. I left high school and when I went to college I no longer participated in these fun sports. This was when I began to notice my mental health was suffering. College was hard work, stressful, and time-consuming. I tried to [...]

The Myth About Mindfulness

Mindfulness... it doesn't work. This is a common concern I hear from clients, and it usually includes a recent story about how breathing didn't help calm them down when they were in the midst of a panic attack.  Of course it didn't work.  Mindfulness is an incredible tool, but it's not the only useful coping [...]

10 Ways to Build and Maintain Boundaries

Many people know what the word “boundaries” means, but they have no idea what they are. You might think of boundaries as something like a wired fence or a brick wall used to keep people out. Boundaries are a way to take care of ourselves. They reinforce self-love and self-respect by limiting the access that [...]

Figuring Out Rest

How do you like to rest? Okay, I know that might feel like a silly question to some (I don’t know Jack, on my side, with a pillow between my legs?), but I want you to think a little bit deeper than just your preferred sleeping positions. I am talking about how you fill your [...]

How to be Mindful (Part 2)

Mindfulness practice can help us increase our ability to regulate emotions, decrease stress and manage anxiety and depression. It can help us to focus our attention and observe our thoughts and feelings without judgment. Here are 10 additional mindfulness exercises to do throughout the day to guide you along the path to find more peace [...]

Educate Yourself About Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are very serious mental health conditions with physical ramifications. There are a lot of false narratives spread throughout society. Eating disorders affect about 30 million Americans at some point in their lives. Many factors can lead to an eating disorder such as environmental influences, genetic influences, and trauma influences. Dr. Deitz has worked [...]

Therapy: A Last Resort?

When thinking about going to therapy, we often feel like it’s a last-resort option. After we have tried to figure things out for ourselves, talked with family or friends, or even tried Google or YouTube, it’s only THEN that we think about reaching out to a professional. Only if the problems we are facing seem [...]

What are Behavioral Addictions?

Behavioral Addictions, also known as process addictions, exist outside of the world of drug and alcohol use. As defined by the National Institute of Health (NIH), behavioral addiction is a compulsion to continually engage in an activity or behavior despite the negative impact on the person’s ability to remain mentally and/or physically healthy and functional [...]

How to Get Over Fear

We all experience fear. Whether it is fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being alone, fear of not being perfect or even being fearful of our emotions, fear can really get the best of us and make us feel alone, small, and dampen our ability to share our unique gifts with others. But, [...]

Family Dynamics in Addiction

Addiction does not only affect the person within their addiction it also affects the entire family. In a family, each member has a specific role for the family to function and maintain stability. When there is one person or multiple people in a family who are addicted to alcohol or other drugs, the family roles [...]

How to be Mindful (Part 1)

Mindfulness practice can help us increase our ability to regulate emotions, decrease stress and manage anxiety and depression. It can help us to focus our attention and observe our thoughts and feelings without judgment. 10 Mindfulness Exercises Here are 10 mindfulness exercises to do throughout the day to guide you along the path to find [...]

Tips for Social Anxiety

Living in a digital world definitely has its pros and cons. Studies show people prefer texting to calling these days and people are leaning more towards online dating than going out to meet people. Many of us have been working from our homes and now are having to return to the office. Social anxiety has [...]

Weeds in a Neighbor’s Yard

There is an invasive weed in the neighbor’s yard, and I wanted to say something about it. I even thought of going over there and offering to help pull the weeds but was reminded that it was not for me to pull the weeds in the neighbor’s yard. I will let them continue to work [...]

Reasons to See a Therapist

It’s 2021 and “because you want to” or “because we are still dealing with a global pandemic” should be reason enough. There are all kinds of reasons to seek out help from an expert. Counselors and social workers have gone through several years of schooling, including a master’s program, as well as rigorous training for [...]

A Brief Introduction to Attachment

Let’s face it, humans need to be in close connection with others. We all possess a basic need to form close bonds throughout our lives. This need is so embedded in our biology. We are equipped with a system to manage our relationships with caregivers, partners, and children. This is known as our attachment system.  [...]

Three Ways to Improve your Mood

You’re doing the therapy thing but still feel some lingering depressive symptoms. Or perhaps, you just can’t seem to fit therapy into your calendar or budget but want to kick the familiar pings of overwhelm and exhaustion that are surfacing again. Whatever the reasons, if you are feeling a bit more run down and want [...]

What Changes After Trauma

While not everyone has experienced a life-altering traumatic experience that would be defined as a “big T” trauma, almost all of us can look back throughout our lives and point to instances of how the “little t” traumas, the everyday distressing events or stressors, have affected us and shaped how we are currently interacting with [...]

How to Deal with Transition

With summer in full swing and the “hopeful” end to a global pandemic on the horizon, we are experiencing transitions of all kinds. Spending more time out, moving, starting a new job, entering higher education, engagements, weddings, having a baby, becoming an empty nester… All of these transitions can be exciting, scary, sad, and any [...]

No Drama Discipline

Parenting the 'Whole-Brain' way to calm the chaos and nurture your child’s developing mind Every year when the weather gets warmer, my bookshelf gets a bit fuller. I admit; I am a bit of a nerd and love relaxing with a good book. This month, I am returning to an oldie but goodie.  If you [...]

A Different Perspective on Fear

Fear is very pertinent to most people and many of my clients, especially in this day and age. Fear is a great cause of suffering. It stops us from being healthy, prevents us from being successful, keeps us from developing relationships that are helpful, and stops us from being at peace. But at the same [...]

Hyperfocus and the ADHD Brain

Intense Focus in Kids and Adults A common symptom of ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) in children and adults is the inability to focus on a task at hand. Those who have ADHD are easily distracted and have a hard time giving sustained attention to a specific task, activity or chore. A lesser-known, and more controversial, symptom [...]

Tips to Prevent Relapse

Identifying External and Internal Triggers Related to Addiction In early recovery or sobriety, it is important to identify external and internal triggers that may lead to relapse. Relapse is a return to prior behaviors after a period of remission. For example, a relapse is when a person returns to alcohol use after a period without alcohol use.  Relapse and the Recovery [...]

Connecting On A Bridge

When you’re crossing a bridge, it is very difficult to avoid coming into contact with others. I found myself on a trail recently where I had to cross a bridge and thought about turning around when I encountered a group. There was worry about my dog who hasn’t been around other dogs in a long [...]

Spiral Grounding Technique

The Spiral Technique is really great for when a disturbing thought or memory seems to keep coming up for you in daily life. It is a technique that helps to take the focus off of the disturbance and the sensations that come up in your body when you think of this event. Here is how [...]

What To Do If Therapy Stalls

You did it.  In the sea of various credentials and types of therapy, you found a therapist that you can trust. Everything was great at first. And then…you hit a plateau. Month after month, you just don’t feel like you are making progress. It can be frustrating to feel like you are putting so much [...]

Starting Therapy—A Profound Act of Self-Care

Therapy is not just for dealing with a crisis. It can be beneficial for anyone dealing with mental health challenges, experiencing high levels of stress or who simply wants to gain more knowledge and awareness. Therapy can be a great place to learn and practice new skills as people take on changes and stressors associated [...]

Are you a Maximizer or a Satisficer?

There are all kinds of schools of thought, theories of psychology, and personality quizzes boasting to understand us. One you may not have heard of, however, is Herbert A. Simon’s position on decision-making. He received the Nobel Prize in 1978 and is best known for his work as an economist and cognitive psychologist. Earlier in [...]

Substance Use, Abuse, or Addiction: What’s the difference?

In the world of substance use treatment, there are various terms that can become confusing when one begins treatment or are new on their journey of recovery. One area of confusion is understanding the difference between substance use, abuse, and addiction.  When a person can define and fully understand what they are experiencing, it can help them in the process of healing [...]

Art-Making and Process

The process of art-making can be multilayered. I am an encaustic artist, which uses wax in the painting process. Painting with wax has allowed me to learn a lot about myself. Attending my first encaustic workshop was very stressful for me. There was a lot of self-doubt about my ability to learn this new painting [...]

The Difference Between an Anxiety Attack and a Panic Attack

Often used interchangeably, the terms Panic Attack and Anxiety Attack are used to describe intense emotional and physiological distress. Is there a difference? Yes, let’s learn! Differences between Emotional and Physiological Distress:  First, let’s discuss how they are similar. Anxiety attacks and panic attacks can result in some of the same symptoms. For example, many [...]

Thoughts on Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is something that many of us struggle with. We are sometimes hard on ourselves as we strive to do better or live up to expectations that we set for ourselves. It can be a heavyweight to carry. Many years ago, I attended a talk on the Dalai Lama’s book How to Be Compassionate.  I [...]

“Pretzel Breathing Technique” for Children

Sometimes we tend to tell our children to calm down without ever giving them explicit directions on how to deal with stress and anxiety. Today’s technique I want to share with you all is a good exercise for kids to experience calmness and reduce anxiety. This technique, called the “Pretzel Breathing Technique,” is a quick [...]

The 8 Phases of EMDR

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is an incredibly useful technique that was originally developed for the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Since its inception, research has been done that has shown EMDR to be an effective treatment option for multiple mental health issues such as eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and more! As EMDR [...]

Connecting with Your Child

When Emotionally Exhausted Last month marked the one-year anniversary of COVID-related social distancing policies, new schedules, new ways of being in the world, and an abrupt goodbye to pre-pandemic life. There has been an upsurge in hitting the “pandemic wall”—our brains are full and tired and our kids are feeling the weight of boredom. New [...]

Conceptualizations

I have noticed in my work with couples and individuals that people often remain in a state of suffering because of their own conceptualizations.  We hold on to things like “it is your fault” or “I am right, and you are wrong” type conceptualizations.  This way of being keeps us in a place of feeling [...]

Recognizing Transference

Have you ever had an experience where someone reminds you of a person you have known before and you view and interact with them as you did with that person from your past?  If so, you may be experiencing transference. Transference Can Be Positive or Negative Transference occurs when a person directs feelings and experiences [...]

Connecting to Recovery Resources

During the Covid-19 Pandemic Prior to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, 12 Step Meetings, whether the meeting is Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and so on, were usually fairly easy to find. One could find a list of meetings in their area by the day of the week and time on AA.org or NA.org. A person [...]

The Impact of Anxiety and Fear

“Life cannot be lived nor can death be faced without anxiety. Anxiety is a guide as well as an enemy and can point the way to authentic existence. The task of the therapist is to reduce anxiety to comfortable levels and then to use this existing anxiety to increase a patient's awareness and vitality.” ~Irvin [...]

How The Past Changes Present Perception and EMDR Therapy

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a therapeutic technique geared towards the treatment of trauma or disturbing events. The technique works to target specific events that are remembered as distressing and take the emotional response to these events out of the memory. Doing so can often help to stop triggering experiences, flashbacks, and [...]

The Power of Assertive Communication

One key component of any healthy relationship is communication.  And it is important to not just communicate but to communicate effectively.  One way to ensure this is done is to use assertive communication techniques. Assertive communication occurs when an individual is able to state their own needs, wants, and feelings directly and confidently, while also [...]

Cultivating Understanding

Like any other useful human trait, understanding must be intentionally cultivated through practice.  Understanding does not necessarily mean agreeing with someone. We can have different values than others and respect their point of view.  Like any other mindful practice, it must be based on compassion. Compassion for ourselves as well as compassion for others.  Compassion is what will allow us to [...]

Recovering Perfectionist? Me Too.

I am Type A. I’m an Enneagram 1. I love my planner, fresh sheets, organized spaces, and when I say I have a list for everything… I mean everything. Scheduling and de-cluttering brings me delight. I have been described as rigid, an overachiever, and some other not-so-kind things. And it has taken me a long time to [...]

Communication In The Moment

It is important to have communication in the moment or near the moment. Recently, I talked with a friend about an event that occurred many years ago. I didn’t bring it up at that particular moment, but I realized that I had been holding onto this for a very long time. I remember the event [...]

Managing the Post Holiday Blues

We’ve all been there…the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over and the post-holiday blues can tend to set in. All the gifts have been opened, friends and family have left town and we must settle back into our daily routines. The cold and dark months of January and February can cause us to [...]

What is Post-Traumatic Growth?

Trauma can be life-changing, leading to a distorted worldview, a sense of betrayal, and an inability to feel safe. Trauma plays a role in the development of mental disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). On the other hand, post-traumatic growth (PTG) indicates the experience of finding new meaning. It can also create a deeper sense [...]

Three Myths About Emotions

Emotions are a central piece of the human experience because they guide many decisions in our lives and many of our reactions to the world around us. But what exactly are emotions? Throughout the decades several thought leaders have attempted to answer this question.  Modern neuroscientific advances have deepened our understanding of how the brain [...]

What Is Your Window of Tolerance?

Jack Fox, M.A. Resident in Counseling in Northern Virginia You are gearing up for a test at school, a performance review, a presentation at work, or a few days home with your kids for a long weekend. These stressful events are often times manageable for us on a day-to-day basis. These kinds of stress-inducing events [...]

Understanding Stress and Anxiety

Contrary to Popular Belief, Stress and Anxiety are Not the Enemies By Jasmine Payne, Resident in Counseling More often than not, stress and anxiety are viewed as dreadful things that we need to eliminate completely. Many of us think something along the lines of “if I had it all together, I wouldn’t feel so stressed [...]

General Observations on The Link Between Clients Managing Their Trauma Background and Navigating a COVID-19 World.

By Bradd Buckingham, Resident in Counseling Since the beginning of COVID-19, I have professionally observed as a counseling intern working in a community mental health clinic, currently as a resident in counseling as well as personally with friends and family, a shift or slide backward in the management of their trauma symptomology and the meaningful [...]

What does Trauma mean?

By Jack Fox, M.A. Resident in Counseling in Northern Virginia In my work with clients, I often notice a hesitancy to admit or acknowledge that events in their lives have been traumatic. Due to the news or social media, we are trained or accustomed to think of trauma only as being big events that capture [...]

Efficient Problem Solving

By Shelton Piland, Supervisee in Clinical Social Work in Northern, VA Patients frequently come to me for advice when they encounter a problem and do not know what to do, where to go next or how to address the problem. We are usually able to work together to dissect the issue and make a plan [...]

Key Ingredients for Emotional Connectedness in a Relationship

Dr. Sue Johnson, an expert on couple’s emotional connectedness, created the acronym A.R.E. to describe three ingredients that are needed to create healthy, emotionally satisfying relationships. Relationships that embodied accessibility, responsiveness, and engagement tend to have the highest relationship satisfaction and are characterized by high levels of trust and commitment.   What exactly is A.R.E.? “A” [...]

10 Ways To Elevate Mood During A Pandemic

By Grace Kim, Resident in Counseling in Northern Virginia We are well under eight months into the current COVID-19 pandemic that started back in early March. For some, the pandemic has been the perfect opportunity for rest, reconnecting with those we lost touch with and completing tasks we’ve been putting off for some time now. [...]

Thoughts on Stressful Conversations

By Jackie Carrera, MSEd, Resident In Counseling in Northern Virginia There are difficult conversations taking place as we experience worry concerning different areas of our lives. A lot has happened during the past six plus months and it has been a stressful time for many of us. I wrote about communication in a previous post [...]

Character Strengths

By Bruce Craig, Resident in Counseling  Often in our society we are taught or conditioned to look at our weaknesses and constantly try to improve them.  This approach can be limiting and make real growth almost impossible in some situations.  This often leads to negative self-talk and a lowered self-esteem. I encourage people to instead, [...]

Couples, COVID, and Cabin Fever

By Jasmine Payne, Resident in Counseling Back at the beginning of 2020 weren’t we all wishing we could spend more quality time at home with our loved ones or our partners? When true quality time was only able to be squeezed into the weekends or maybe weeknights (if the dishes got put away and the [...]