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 [...]

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 [...]

“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 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 [...]

Box Breathing Exercise

By Jack Fox, M.A. Resident in Counseling in Northern Virginia  We are headed towards fall weather! While some may be excited by the change of seasons, others may be worried about what the colder weather might mean for their ability to use calming techniques like being outside or going on a walk. As we transition [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Taking Time to Pause

By Jackie Carrera, MSEd, Resident In Counseling in Northern Virginia  We are in a time of uncertainty where some relationships have been strained due to a variety of stressors. For some it has been a time of thriving in being close to another, while for others it is a challenging time. We are always relating [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Decorating Your Private Office With Purpose

Photo by Alvin Engler on Unsplash First impressions are everything! This is important to remember when planning to decorate your office. You don’t have to have a degree in interior design in order to “wow” and welcome your clients into your space. Think “family room” instead of “doctor’s office.” You want your space to be [...]