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 [...]

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 [...]

You’ve Got This! Three Holistic Steps to Managing Anxiety

By Diane Bonilla, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor in Northern Virginia The two most important things to understand about anxiety are that it is universally  experienced and that it is holistically managed. You are absolutely not alone in  experiencing anxiety, though it can feel that way. Anxiety symptoms can impact our  emotional, physical and spiritual health. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Worry and Growth

By Jackie Carrera, MSEd, Resident in Counseling in Northern Virginia  I’ve been thinking about the struggles that we have been experiencing during this stay-at-home period. It has been a challenging time and many people are experiencing a lot of worry or fear. I have seen this in the art world, with friends, and hear it [...]

Two Arrows (Emotional Objectivity)

By Bruce Craig, MA, Resident in Counseling in Northern Virginia  There is a Buddhist metaphor that I have found to be a great way to think about emotional objectivity. When something difficult happens in life, as can be expected from time to time, we often internalize how we feel about it subjectively. This is where [...]

Keeping It REAL as a Parent!

By Mary Jackson, MSW is a Supervisee in Clinical Social Work in Northern Virginia  Parents…this one is for you! Have you ever had one of those days when you feel as if you are going to LOSE IT? Recently I did. It wasn’t just parenting that had me overwhelmed. It was the sum of EVERYTHING. [...]

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 [...]

Art-Making and Mental Health

By Jackie Carrera, MSEd, Resident in Counseling in Northern Virginia Creativity and mental health go hand in hand. I am a visual artist who enjoys painting, working with pottery, and photography. I turned to art-making during a high stress time in my life and it helped me find balance. One of the texts that taught [...]

Self-care ideas!

By Kayla White, M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Resident in Counseling If you are anything like me, practicing self-care and self-love can often get placed on the back burner. Also, I am not a proclaimed morning person, so other than those things I NEED to do, I've learned they likely won't get done until I'm [...]

Body Positivity vs. Body Neutrality

When Body Positivity Seems Impossible, Aim for Body Neutrality By Grace Kim, Resident in Counseling in Northern Virginia  The idea that a woman’s body should look a certain way has been reinforced through social media, movies, magazines and even our parents. This concept doesn’t only apply to women, but men as well. Societal standards have [...]

Challenging Your Negative Thoughts

By Shelton Piland, Supervisee in Clinical Social Work in Northern, VA During this uncertain time we all may be more prone to depression, anxiety and poor self-esteem. Irrational negative thoughts could be the culprit! Since many of us are stuck at home, social media use has been on the rise. We may accomplish one thing, feel good [...]

Positive Impacts of Journaling

By Kayla White, M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Northern Virginia  Journaling allows people to clarify their thoughts and feelings, thereby gaining valuable self-knowledge. It's also a good problem-solving tool; oftentimes, one can hash out a problem and come up with solutions more easily on paper. Here are some of the studied positive impacts of [...]

Self-Compassion Break

Photo by Michelle on Unsplash By Dr. Debra Rezendes, HMT Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy in Northern Virginia  For so many, the recent months have required a bit of flexibility. The pandemic has left many individuals, parents, and families juggling multiple roles. We are all trying to figure things out day by day. In moments of high [...]

Navigating Uncharted Waters: COVID-19

By Dr. Debra Rezendes, HMT Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy We are in uncharted territory together as our community braces to contain the impact of COVID-19. Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash As a parent, you have likely had to shape-shift into many forms this week—comforter, fear-slayer, information-gatherer, preparer, and more recently teacher. You have likely [...]

Three Calming Activities

To help anxious children (and you!) that can be done in the home! By Kayla White, M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash These activities are great for children and adults to help them practice mindfulness, live in the here and now, and learn to reduce symptoms of anxiety. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: What is [...]

Sleep and Mental Health

By Jack Fox, M.A., Resident in Counseling Photo by Jonathan Fink on Unsplash In almost all the different mental health issues that people face, a common factor is troubles with sleep. While there are many factors that affect how a person is sleeping, there are a few easy ways to help improve the quality of the sleep we [...]

Mindful Self Compassion

By Bruce Craig, Resident in Counseling Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash In the last couple of blog articles, we have covered how to begin tuning in to our mental process to begin noticing moment-to-moment what our mind is up to.  As we tune into this process, it is likely you will notice some negative self-talk.  These negative [...]

Change is hard. But worth it.

By Jack Fox, M.A., Resident in Counseling Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash Are you healthy and well, or just comfortable? Comfort can be a tricky subject when dealing with health and wellness. Often times, individuals find themselves in poor health, either mentally or physically, because they are comfortable and unwilling to change. Humans are conditioned to seek the [...]

Noticing the Mental Process

By Bruce Craig, Resident in Counseling Pixabay Image Practicing Mindfulness in your daily life as often as possible can give us the power to become less reactive to thoughts and feelings.  We can begin to intentionally notice what are mind is up to and begin to retrain it to operate in a more useful way. [...]

5 Ways For a Stress-Free Sleep

By Kayla White, M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Resident in Counseling Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash We’ve all been there. You turn to look at the clock and it’s 2:00 am, then 3:00am. You have to get up in a few hours but, you are still wide awake with what feels like a million thoughts running [...]

New Year, New You?

Photo by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash By Dr. Debra Rezendes, HMT Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy As one year closes and another begins, it is natural to think of what we hope the journey ahead entails. Certainly, New Year's resolutions can be guide posts to help us stay on track towards big goals. But often, we tend [...]

Do The Next Right Thing

Photo by Dustin Belt on Unsplash By Alison Morogiello, MEd, NCC , Resident in Counseling Upon viewing the new “Frozen II” movie with my two young nieces, there was a mantra throughout the film that allowed the characters to move forward when things felt hopeless. “Do the next right thing”. Sometimes in life, we are faced with overwhelming [...]

The 5 Signs of Burnout

By Dr. Debra Rezendes, HMT Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy During the holidays, there can be a lot of emotional resources going out. One way that we can practice self-care is to recognize the signs of burnout and pull back when we feel like too much of ourselves is going into caring for others. [...]

Gut Microbes and Mental Health!

By Kayla White, M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Resident in Counseling Photo by Brandless on Unsplash It's no secret that mental health and the gut-brain membrane is a new, flourishing research area! One study found that Coprococcus seems to have a pathway related to dopamine, a key brain signal involved in depression, although they have no evidence how this [...]

Daily Mindfulness Practice Basics

By Bruce Craig, Resident in Counseling Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash A simple and effective way to cultivate a more calm and peaceful life is to take the time to notice the thoughts that lead to our feelings. Our brains are always thinking even if we are not tuned into our thoughts.  These thoughts lead to feelings whether [...]

Tips on Self-Care

We wanted to focus this month on Self-care. 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 without [...]

What I Do For Fun & How It Helps Me Grow

Photo copy write Practice of the Practice Most of us wear many hats, often leaving us to feel stretched thin, uninspired and exhausted. As a wife, mother, clinician and business owner, it’s important I do things to keep me feeling motivated, energized and excited. If you are feeling overwhelmed and are looking for some ways [...]