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 [...]

Key to Success in Setting Intentions

I believe the key to success in setting intentions in any area, at any point in our lives, is consistency.  Certainly, adjustments in our process may be necessary. Other than small rudder steers from time to time, we need to practice consistency in any endeavor to achieve success.  The best way I have heard this [...]

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. [...]

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, [...]

What’s Your “Upside Down” Magic?

This weekend my family watched the movie, “Upside Down Magic,” for movie night. In the movie, a group of young children are deemed misfits because of their “wonky, ” “unorthodox,” and “upside down” magic. When the school gets attacked by “Shadow Magic,” the children must confront the parts of them they once avoided to rediscover [...]

Cultivating Positive Mental Focus – Part 4

By Bruce Craig, MA, Resident in Counseling in Northern Virginia  In everything and everyone we encounter in life there will be aspects we appreciate and aspects we maybe don’t prefer. As we discussed in earlier articles of this series our minds naturally focus on the negative first because this was necessary in some ways for [...]

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 [...]