Mother navigating postpartum depression in NY.

Bringing a new life into this world is an awe-inspiring moment that's often clouded by the unanticipated emotional turmoil of postpartum depression (PPD). If you find yourself feeling unusually despondent, anxious, or overwhelmed after giving birth, it's crucial to recognize that you're not alone in this struggle. Understanding the fine line between normal hormonal changes and symptoms of PPD is the first step toward healing. This guide is designed to walk you through the maze of emotions and help you find your footing again.

Understanding the Normal Hormonal Roller Coaster

The days and weeks following childbirth are a tumultuous time for a new mother's body, largely due to the dramatic hormonal shifts that occur. After delivery, estrogen and progesterone levels, which were significantly elevated during pregnancy, rapidly decline to their pre-pregnancy states. This swift change can significantly impact a mother's emotional and mental state, contributing to mood swings, feelings of sadness, and irritability. These symptoms, often referred to as the "baby blues," are a common experience for many new mothers as their bodies attempt to recalibrate. While unsettling, these feelings are typically short-lived, usually resolving within the first two weeks postpartum. It's crucial for mothers to recognize these hormonal fluctuations as a normal part of the postpartum period, understanding that these emotional responses are a direct result of their body's natural adjustment process.

Identifying the Signs of Postpartum Depression

Identifying the signs of postpartum depression requires a discerning eye, as its manifestations can be far more severe and persistent than those of the typical post-birth hormonal adjustments. Symptoms that might indicate the onset of PPD include a pervasive sense of despair, intense anxiety, or a profound detachment from your newborn, which might feel like an insurmountable gap. You may find yourself struggling with an overwhelming sense of inadequacy as a mother or harbor intrusive thoughts of harm towards yourself or your baby.

Unlike the transient nature of the "baby blues," these feelings linger well beyond the initial two weeks following childbirth. Recognizing these symptoms as potential indicators of PPD is a crucial step in advocating for your mental health. It’s imperative to understand that such experiences, while deeply distressing, are not reflections of your capability or love as a mother but signals that you may need support and treatment to navigate this challenging period.

When and How to Seek Help

If feelings of despair, intense anxiety, or detachment persist beyond the initial weeks following childbirth, it's imperative to initiate a conversation with a healthcare professional. This crucial step can pave the way to receiving the comprehensive care necessary for recovery. A doctor or mental health specialist can offer a tailored approach to treatment. This may encompass therapy sessions, medication, or a blend of both, depending on the individual's specific needs. Additionally, it's beneficial to openly discuss your experiences with close ones. Sharing your struggles not only fosters a supportive environment but also demystifies the challenges of PPD. It will encourage a collective effort in your recovery process. Engaging in dialogue about your feelings is not an admission of failure. It's a proactive measure towards reclaiming your well-being. Remember, seeking assistance is a proactive gesture of self-care and an important milestone on the path to healing.

Building Your Support System

People supporting each other with postpartum depression in NY.

Creating a strong network of support is crucial for mothers facing the challenges of postpartum depression. Identifying those in your life who can offer practical and emotional assistance is vital. Family members, friends, and even neighbors who understand what you're going through can be invaluable resources. They can provide a listening ear, share experiences, or help with daily tasks. This will make it easier for you to focus on recovery.

Consider joining a support group for new moms, where you can connect with others who are navigating similar experiences. These groups offer a safe space to express feelings and share coping strategies. Additionally, leveraging online communities can also provide support and information at any time of the day. It can make it easier to find encouragement even during late-night feedings. Embrace the help offered by those around you; it's a sign of strength to accept support when you need it the most.

Exploring EMDR Therapy

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy has been gaining traction as a notable option for managing symptoms of postpartum depression, especially for individuals who have experienced traumatic events. This form of psychotherapy utilizes bilateral stimulation, such as guided eye movements, to help patients process and integrate distressing memories and traumas that may be contributing to their current emotional state.

For mothers grappling with PPD, EMDR offers a pathway to address underlying traumas that might be exacerbating their symptoms. This will facilitate a deeper healing process. It's essential to consult with a mental health professional skilled in EMDR to assess its suitability for your specific situation. This therapy is not a one-size-fits-all solution. For many, it provides a valuable tool in the recovery toolkit. This can offer a ray of hope for those feeling ensnared by the grip of postpartum depression. Engaging in EMDR could be a pivotal step toward emotional resilience and a more positive postpartum experience.

Self-Care Strategies for Managing Symptoms

Be strong! Find therapy for postpartum depression near Smithtown NY

Incorporating self-care into your routine is pivotal when navigating the complexities of postpartum depression. Focusing on nutrition by choosing balanced, nourishing meals can significantly impact your overall mood and energy. Engaging in physical activity can uplift your spirits and improve mental clarity. Even if it's a short walk around the neighborhood! Prioritize sleep whenever possible; although challenging with a newborn, seizing moments for rest can be rejuvenating. Carve out time for activities that replenish your soul, whether it's reading, soaking in a warm bath, or practicing mindfulness.

Even brief moments of self-indulgence can foster a sense of normalcy and personal well-being. Embrace these practices not as luxuries, but as essential components of your recovery journey. Acknowledge that caring for yourself empowers you to care for your baby with renewed strength and positivity.

Navigating Relationships and Setting Boundaries

In the throes of postpartum depression, the dynamics of your relationships may shift, underscoring the importance of clear communication and the establishment of boundaries. It's essential to express your needs and limits to those closest to you during this sensitive period. Asserting what you're comfortable with, be it declining social visits when you're not feeling up to it or requesting specific types of help, is crucial for your emotional health. Encourage an open dialogue with your partner, emphasizing the need for mutual understanding and support. Remember, setting boundaries isn't about pushing others away. It is about safeguarding your well-being and creating a nurturing environment for both you and your baby. Recognize that it's healthy and necessary to ask for space or assistance, and those who genuinely support you will honor these requests without judgment.

The Power of Trust and Letting Go

Let go of postpartum depression and find therapy near Bohemia NY

Navigating the tumultuous waters of postpartum depression often requires a deep dive into self-trust and the acceptance of help from others. It's a journey that illuminates the importance of acknowledging our human limitations and the strength found in vulnerability. Embracing the fact that perfection is an unattainable standard. This can free you from the self-imposed pressure that compounds the stress of new motherhood.

Trusting in your inherent capabilities as a mother and allowing yourself the grace to make mistakes can significantly lighten the emotional load of PPD.

Additionally, relinquishing some control and entrusting others with tasks, even those involving your baby, can foster a healthier, more balanced environment for everyone involved. This act of letting go not only helps in redistributing the weight of responsibilities but also in strengthening the bonds of trust with those around you. The journey through PPD is one of gradual healing, learning, and growing stronger in the realization that it's perfectly okay to not have all the answers, and that reaching out and opening up is a sign of resilience, not weakness.

Pregnant mother and her child.

The journey of balancing pregnancy, work, and motherhood is akin to performing a high-wire act without a safety net. The stakes are high, and the fear of falling can be overwhelming. In this complex juggling act, pregnancy introduces a new level of challenge. This can stir up a mix of emotions and significantly amplifying anxiety. However, amidst the chaos, there's a path to harmony and well-being. Let's explore how to navigate this multifaceted journey with grace and strength.

Navigating the Emotional Rollercoaster of Pregnancy and Work

working mother raising her children

Embarking on the journey of pregnancy while managing a full-time career and existing family duties can often feel like navigating an emotional tempest. This period is marked by a complex blend of exhilarating highs and daunting lows. The anticipation of a new family member brings joy, yet the balancing act of work and personal responsibilities heightens anxiety.

To sail through these tumultuous waters, it’s essential to cultivate a mindset of flexibility and kindness towards oneself. Understand that it’s natural for energy levels and capabilities to fluctuate during pregnancy. Accepting this fact can lead to a more compassionate approach to self-expectations and workload management.

Embracing open communication with your employer about your needs and potential adjustments in your work environment or schedule is crucial. Likewise, building a support network that includes colleagues aware of your situation can provide a safety net for days when the balance feels particularly precarious. It’s about finding and implementing strategies that cater to your changing needs. It is also about ensuring that your health and the well-being of your unborn child are prioritized. By acknowledging the unique challenges of this journey and actively seeking solutions, you pave the way for a smoother transition through each trimester, fostering resilience against the backdrop of professional and personal demands.

The Unseen Battle: Anxiety, Depression, and Motherhood

The interplay between motherhood, pregnancy, and work often serves as a fertile ground for the development of anxiety and depression. The relentless pursuit of perfection in every aspect of life can spiral into a cycle of self-doubt, persistent overwhelm. This can lead to an eventual sense of burnout. It's imperative to recognize these emotions as a normal response to an exceptionally demanding set of circumstances. Early recognition of anxiety and depression symptoms is critical, allowing for timely intervention and support.

This phase can particularly intensify the challenge of managing everyday stressors, leading to an increased risk of experiencing feelings of not being good enough and a fear of losing control over one’s life. The pressure to maintain an unwavering façade of strength and composure only adds to the emotional load, making it harder to reach out for help. However, acknowledging these vulnerabilities can be transformative, setting the stage for a journey towards healing and equilibrium.

It's important to understand that these feelings do not define one's capabilities as a mother or a professional. They are, instead, indicators of the need for a more supportive environment and possibly professional help. Recognizing the signs and seeking assistance is a sign of strength, paving the way for recovery and a more balanced approach to the dual demands of work and family life.

Seeking Support: You Don't Have to Do It Alone

Find support with therapy in Smithtown NY

In the dynamic and often demanding journey of managing pregnancy, work, and motherhood, the strength found in community and support cannot be overstated. Acknowledging the need for help and actively seeking it is a testament to one's wisdom and resilience, not a mark of inadequacy. It’s crucial to lean into the networks available to you, whether they consist of family, friends, or professional resources. Opening up to a partner about the pressures you’re facing can create a shared understanding and collaborative solutions. Engaging with friends who uplift and encourage you can provide emotional respite and practical assistance. Furthermore, professional support groups or counseling services offer structured guidance and understanding from those well-versed in these challenges.

Embracing assistance allows for a redistribution of the load, making the path forward less daunting. It is through this sharing of burdens that a more balanced and sustainable approach to navigating this period becomes possible. By welcoming support, you not only fortify your own wellbeing but also model for your children the value of community and vulnerability. This journey, while uniquely yours, need not be a solitary one. The act of reaching out for help can illuminate the way, revealing a landscape of resources and allies ready to walk alongside you.

Setting Boundaries: The Art of Saying No

woman putting up boundaries in Oakdale NY

Mastering the art of setting boundaries is an invaluable skill in the labyrinth of pregnancy, work, and motherhood. It’s an act of self-preservation, a declaration that your well-being and that of your family take precedence. The essence of setting boundaries lies in discerning what truly merits your energy and attention. It is acknowledging that not all demands are equally deserving and that some may, in fact, detract from your ability to maintain balance and harmony in your life.

Embracing the power to say no is not about closing doors but about opening up space for what truly enriches you and your family. It’s an exercise in prioritizing, making conscious choices about where your time and energy are best invested. This may mean declining additional projects at work that conflict with your health or family time or opting out of social engagements that leave you more drained than fulfilled.

Learning to navigate these choices without guilt is critical. Society often glorifies busyness, equating it with importance or success. However, true strength lies in recognizing when less is more. By setting boundaries, you safeguard your mental and emotional well-being, ensuring that you remain resilient and energized. It is through these deliberate choices that you carve out a path that respects your needs and nurtures your family’s well-being.

EMDR Therapy: A Ray of Hope for Anxiety and Depression

EMDR Therapy, standing for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, emerges as a promising solution for those grappling with the shadows of anxiety and depression amidst the whirlwind of pregnancy, work, and parenting responsibilities. This therapy operates on the principle of facilitating the brain's innate healing processes, particularly focusing on how traumatic memories and emotional distress are processed. Through guided eye movements and a structured approach, EMDR aids individuals in revisiting emotional disturbances in a safe and controlled environment.

What sets EMDR apart is its ability to delve into the root causes of emotional turmoil without the need for detailed discussion of the distressing events, making it a less verbally intensive yet profoundly impactful therapy. This aspect is especially beneficial for those who may find traditional talk therapies daunting or re-traumatizing. By reprocessing these memories and reducing their psychological impact, EMDR therapy fosters a significant decrease in the symptoms of anxiety and depression, paving the way for a clearer path to emotional well-being.

Incorporating EMDR therapy into a holistic approach to mental health can assist in unlocking a more balanced state of mind. It stands as a testament to the power of innovative psychological treatments in overcoming the complexities of emotional distress, offering a ray of hope to those navigating the intricacies of motherhood, pregnancy, and professional life.

Incorporating Self-Care into Your Daily Routine

Pregnant mom loving herself

In the whirlwind of balancing pregnancy, work, and family responsibilities, dedicating time to self-care becomes both a strategic move and a profound act of kindness to oneself. It's about identifying and integrating practices that replenish your energy and bring you joy, grounding you amidst the chaos. Consider simple pleasures and activities that resonate with your soul, whether it's indulging in a favorite book, enjoying a peaceful walk in nature, or savoring moments of solitude.

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep-breathing exercises, can also be powerful tools in managing stress and enhancing your emotional well-being.

Physical activity, tailored to your body’s changing needs during pregnancy, can significantly contribute to your overall health and mood. It's not about rigorous exercise routines but finding joy in movement, be it through prenatal yoga, swimming, or gentle stretching. Moreover, ensuring adequate rest is paramount. Pregnancy and early motherhood can be physically demanding, making quality sleep and relaxation crucial for your body’s recovery and well-being.

By weaving self-care into the fabric of your daily life, you create a sustainable foundation that supports not only your health but also enables you to nurture your family with renewed energy and patience. This commitment to self-care is a reflection of your strength, allowing you to embrace each day with resilience and grace.

Trusting in Your Strength and Abilities

Amid the flurry of managing pregnancy, career demands, and nurturing a family, it's crucial to anchor yourself in the belief of your own strength and capabilities. This chapter of your life, teeming with its own set of hurdles and highlights, demands a deep-seated trust in your resilience and ingenuity. Embracing this period means understanding that you possess an innate power to overcome obstacles and forge a path that aligns with your values and aspirations.

It's essential to remind yourself that while the journey is challenging, it also highlights your incredible capacity to adapt and thrive. Each day presents an opportunity to learn, grow, and extend grace to yourself, recognizing that perfection is not the goal—progress and well-being are. Celebrate the small victories, for they are testament to your perseverance and dedication.

By cultivating a mindset that appreciates your efforts and acknowledges your achievements, you create an inner dialogue that supports and uplifts you. Let this trust in your abilities be the compass that guides you through moments of doubt or uncertainty. Remember, the journey of balancing pregnancy, work, and motherhood is not just about surviving but thriving, powered by an unwavering belief in your own strength and potential.

Therapist with ADHD treating a client near Ronkonkoma, NY.

Welcome to the wonderful world of therapy where every session is a journey into the human psyche. But what happens when the journey is internal? When the therapist is also dealing with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)? ADHD is often viewed as an obstacle, but it can also be a source of strength, especially in a therapeutic setting. This blog post delves into the world of therapists with ADHD, exploring the challenges and triumphs of navigating this unique path.

Understanding ADHD in Therapists

ADHD doesn't just choose students or artists or entrepreneurs—it reaches into every occupation, therapy included. Having ADHD as a therapist is not a rare occurrence. It's a journey marked with a unique mix of struggles and advantages. With ADHD, therapists may find they have an innate ability to connect with clients on a profound level. Their tendency to notice the subtleties that others may overlook can give them an edge. However, it’s not without its trials. Struggles with organization and concentration—hallmarks of the profession—can turn into significant obstacles. Yet, understanding these realities is the first step towards turning potential stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

The Challenges of Being a Therapist with ADHD

A person climbing up a mountain.

For a therapist grappling with ADHD, certain professional duties can sometimes feel like climbing uphill. Organizational skills, time management, and maintaining focus during sessions - these are some of the areas where ADHD may pose challenges. The innate complexities of the role can compound these struggles.

For example, tracking the growth and progress of clients, planning for future sessions, or dedicating time for research can become daunting tasks. The emotional heaviness that often comes hand-in-hand with therapy can amplify ADHD symptoms like impulsivity and restlessness. It's like trying to juggle while walking on a tightrope - except the balls keep changing shapes and the tightrope is swaying. But acknowledging these challenges is the first step in crafting a plan to manage them, turning them into an avenue for growth and resilience.

ADHD as a Superpower in Therapy

Imagine ADHD not just as a hurdle to leap over, but as a secret superpower within the therapeutic landscape. Yes, it's a reality that those with ADHD can bring a uniquely powerful perspective to therapy sessions. Let's start with hyperfocus. This is a common characteristic of ADHD, and it can morph into an incredible tool. It can help therapists maintain intense concentration, facilitating a profound and insightful exploration of clients' challenges.

Therapists with ADHD are often excellent at thinking outside the box. This penchant for innovative problem-solving can lead to creative and effective treatment strategies. This is particularly beneficial in therapy, where a one-size-fits-all approach is seldom the answer.

Therapist with ADHD empathizes with her client near Smithtown, NY.

Empathy is another superhero cape that therapists with ADHD often don. Their firsthand experiences dealing with ADHD not only helps them connect with their clients but also equips them with a deep understanding of their clients' struggles. This can provide a sense of comfort to their clients, fostering a supportive environment where they can feel understood and validated.

It's not about dismissing the challenges; it's about recognizing and harnessing the potential strengths that come with ADHD. In the end, it's these unique traits that can enhance the therapeutic experience, creating a deeper, richer connection with clients, and helping them navigate their own journeys with renewed strength and resilience.

Strategies for Therapists with ADHD

So, how can therapists with ADHD navigate their profession while leveraging their unique qualities? Let's explore a few strategies:

Remember, while ADHD may pose challenges, it also offers unique gifts. These strategies can help you not only cope with ADHD in your therapeutic practice, but also thrive and excel.

The Role of Professional Support and Self-Care

Person holding a butterfly.

Seeking professional assistance and prioritizing personal well-being are essential aspects for a therapist with ADHD. Coaches and therapists specializing in ADHD can provide practical techniques to manage ADHD symptoms, helping therapists align their cognitive patterns with their professional responsibilities. It's like acquiring a personal navigation system, guiding you through your professional journey.

Meanwhile, it's essential not to overlook the vitality of self-care. See it as an act of refueling your mental and physical energy reservoirs, keeping you on top of your game. Regular exercise, for instance, can boost your cognitive function, improving focus and memory. A balanced diet nourishes your brain, enhancing mental agility. Sufficient sleep acts as a reset button, helping you wake up refreshed and ready to conquer the day. And don't forget mindfulness practices! Activities like meditation, yoga, or even simple deep breathing exercises can act as a salve to soothe ADHD symptoms and stress.

Together, professional support and self-care create a comprehensive strategy, fortifying you against the challenges ADHD may present. It's like suiting up in armor, ready to turn every challenge into a triumphant victory. Remember, self-care isn't a luxury—it's a necessity. And professional support isn't a sign of weakness—it's a pathway to strength. Cultivate these elements in your routine, and watch as they transform your professional journey, one session at a time.

Embracing ADHD in Therapy

As we close, let's reflect on the vibrant journey that is being a therapist who also has ADHD. Yes, it's an adventure punctuated by trials and victories. It demands a deep sense of self-awareness, abundant compassion towards oneself, and a well-equipped toolbox of coping strategies. But more than anything, it invites an embracing of ADHD, in all its multifaceted glory. Instead of viewing it as an impediment, see it as a stepping stone, a catalyst for growth.

As a therapist, you have the power to transform your ADHD into an asset, enhancing the quality of your practice and adding a distinctive flavor to your therapeutic interactions. After all, is there anyone better equipped to traverse the labyrinth of the human psyche than a therapist who courageously navigates it personally every day? By boldly owning your ADHD, you seize it as an ally, becoming a beacon of understanding, resilience, and hope for your clients.

Woman struggling at work with anxiety. Anxiety treatment near Sayville, NY.

Do you constantly feel like you don't belong or aren't good enough? Do you fear being exposed as a fraud and worry that your accomplishments are just luck? If so, you may be experiencing imposter syndrome. This common phenomenon can lead to intense anxiety symptoms and hold you back from reaching your full potential. But don't worry, relief is possible. In fact, with the right treatment, you could start feeling like a confident and capable individual in just a few days. Keep reading to learn more about how EMDR, TF-CBT, Mindfulness, and EMDR Intensive for Busy Professionals can help you say goodbye to imposter syndrome and its anxiety symptoms for good.

Understanding Imposter Syndrome and Its Impact on Mental Health

Imposter syndrome is a common phenomenon that can have a significant impact on mental health. It is characterized by a persistent feeling of not belonging, inadequacy, and a fear of being exposed as a fraud. People who experience imposter syndrome often believe that their accomplishments are a result of luck rather than their own abilities. This can lead to intense anxiety symptoms, such as panic attacks and persistent feelings of self-doubt.

The impact of imposter syndrome on mental health is significant. It can contribute to the development of anxiety disorders and depression symptoms. The constant fear of being discovered as a fraud can lead to a constant state of stress, which can manifest as physical symptoms, including sleep disturbances, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems.

Recognizing imposter syndrome and understanding its impact on mental health is the first step toward finding relief. By seeking appropriate treatment, individuals can overcome the negative effects of imposter syndrome and regain their self-confidence.

If you are experiencing imposter syndrome, there are innovative therapeutic approaches that can help. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and mindfulness techniques have shown promising results in reducing imposter syndrome symptoms. These therapies can help individuals challenge negative beliefs, reframe their thoughts, and develop coping mechanisms to deal with imposter syndrome.

In the following sections, we will explore the role of these therapies in combating imposter syndrome and how they can help individuals embrace their confidence and reach their full potential.

Innovative Therapeutic Approaches to Combat Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome can be a challenging mindset to overcome, but there is hope. Fortunately, there are innovative therapeutic approaches that can help combat imposter syndrome and its negative impact on mental health. Let's explore these approaches and how they can empower individuals to embrace their confidence and reach their full potential.

One such approach is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Originally designed to treat individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), EMDR has shown promising results in alleviating imposter syndrome symptoms. This therapy works by helping individuals reprocess past experiences and negative beliefs that contribute to feelings of inadequacy and fraudulence. Through targeted eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation, EMDR helps individuals process and integrate these experiences, leading to a more positive self-perception and increased self-confidence.

Another effective approach is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). This therapy focuses on identifying and challenging negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to imposter syndrome. By replacing these thoughts with more positive and realistic ones, individuals can begin to build a healthier self-image and develop effective coping strategies to manage imposter syndrome.

Mindfulness techniques are also invaluable in combatting imposter syndrome. Mindfulness involves bringing one's attention to the present moment and cultivating a non-judgmental awareness. By practicing mindfulness, individuals can gain insight into their thoughts and emotions, recognizing them as transient experiences rather than absolute truths. This can help individuals detach from imposter syndrome-related thoughts and instead focus on their skills, achievements, and strengths.

These innovative therapeutic approaches, such as EMDR, TF-CBT, and mindfulness, provide powerful tools for combating imposter syndrome. They offer individuals the opportunity to challenge negative beliefs, reframe their thoughts, and develop effective coping strategies to navigate imposter syndrome. With the right treatment, imposter syndrome and its accompanying anxiety symptoms can become a thing of the past, allowing individuals to step into their confidence and reach their full potential. Don't let imposter syndrome hold you back any longer - embrace these innovative approaches and start living your life with confidence.

The Role of EMDR in Tackling Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome can be a debilitating condition, causing individuals to doubt their abilities and constantly fear being exposed as a fraud. Fortunately, there are effective therapeutic approaches that can help combat these feelings and restore confidence. One such approach is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.

Originally designed to treat individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), EMDR therapy has shown promising results in alleviating imposter syndrome symptoms. During EMDR therapy, individuals are guided through reprocessing past experiences and negative beliefs that contribute to feelings of inadequacy and fraudulence. This can be particularly helpful for those who have experienced trauma or have deep-rooted insecurities.

EMDR therapy utilizes targeted eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation to help individuals process and integrate these experiences. By doing so, it helps individuals reframe negative beliefs, reduce imposter syndrome symptoms, and increase self-confidence. The effects of EMDR therapy can be long-lasting and can lead to significant improvements in overall mental well-being.

In addition to reducing imposter syndrome symptoms, EMDR therapy has also been found to be effective in treating PTSD symptoms, anxiety attacks, and depression. It addresses the underlying issues that contribute to imposter syndrome, allowing individuals to heal and grow.

If you are struggling with imposter syndrome, consider exploring EMDR therapy as a powerful tool to help you overcome these feelings and step into your confidence. With the guidance of a trained therapist, you can reprocess past experiences, challenge negative beliefs, and embrace your true abilities. Don't let imposter syndrome hold you back any longer - take the first step towards a more confident and fulfilling life with EMDR therapy.

Embracing Mindfulness to Counteract Imposter Syndrome

Embracing mindfulness can be a powerful tool to counteract imposter syndrome and its negative impact on mental health. Mindfulness involves bringing one's attention to the present moment and cultivating a non-judgmental awareness. By practicing mindfulness, individuals can gain insight into their thoughts and emotions, recognizing them as transient experiences rather than absolute truths.

Mindfulness can be particularly helpful in combatting imposter syndrome because it allows individuals to detach from negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to feelings of inadequacy and fraudulence. Instead of getting caught up in self-doubt and comparison, individuals can focus on their own skills, achievements, and strengths. This shift in perspective can lead to a healthier self-image and increased self-confidence.

Moreover, mindfulness has been shown to be an effective depression treatment and anxiety treatment. By practicing mindfulness regularly, individuals can reduce stress, enhance emotional regulation, and improve overall well-being. This can have a profound impact on combating imposter syndrome, as individuals are better equipped to manage their anxiety symptoms and negative self-talk.

Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can be as simple as setting aside a few minutes each day to practice deep breathing exercises, meditation, or body scans. By making mindfulness a regular part of your life, you can cultivate a sense of inner calm and resilience that can counteract the effects of imposter syndrome.

Utilizing TF-CBT as a Powerful Tool Against Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome can be a challenging mindset to overcome, but fortunately, there are effective therapeutic approaches that can help. One powerful tool in combating imposter syndrome is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).

TF-CBT focuses on identifying and challenging negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to imposter syndrome. By working with a trained therapist, individuals can explore the root causes of their self-doubt and develop strategies to overcome them. This therapy helps individuals replace negative thoughts with more positive and realistic ones, building a healthier self-image and increasing self-confidence.

TF-CBT is particularly beneficial for individuals who have experienced trauma or have deep-rooted insecurities. By addressing these underlying issues, individuals can heal from past wounds and grow into a more confident version of themselves.

Through TF-CBT, individuals also learn valuable coping skills to manage imposter syndrome in their daily lives. They gain tools to challenge self-sabotaging thoughts and develop healthier patterns of thinking. By integrating these new coping strategies, individuals can break free from the grips of imposter syndrome and step into their true potential.

If you're struggling with imposter syndrome, consider seeking out a therapist who specializes in TF-CBT. Together, you can embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. With the guidance of TF-CBT, you can overcome the limitations of imposter syndrome and embrace your confidence with open arms. Don't let imposter syndrome hold you back any longer - leap into a more fulfilling and authentic life.

Benefits of EMDR Intensive for Busy Professionals Struggling with Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome can be especially challenging for busy professionals who are constantly juggling demanding work schedules and high expectations. However, there is a specific treatment option that can cater to the needs of these individuals - EMDR Intensive for Busy Professionals. This unique approach combines the benefits of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy with an intensive treatment format designed for those with limited time.

One of the main benefits of EMDR Intensive for busy professionals struggling with imposter syndrome is the accelerated pace of treatment. Typically, EMDR therapy involves weekly or biweekly sessions over an extended period. However, with the intensive format, individuals can experience significant progress in a shorter amount of time, such as a few days or a week. This is particularly advantageous for professionals who cannot commit to long-term therapy due to their demanding schedules.

Another benefit of EMDR Intensive is the focused and concentrated nature of the treatment. With longer sessions and daily practice, individuals can delve deeper into the root causes of their imposter syndrome and work towards resolving them. This targeted approach allows busy professionals to address their imposter syndrome more efficiently and effectively, leading to quicker and more noticeable results.

Additionally, EMDR Intensive provides a supportive and safe environment for busy professionals to explore their imposter syndrome. With a trained therapist guiding the process, individuals can openly discuss their challenges, fears, and insecurities. This collaborative approach helps busy professionals gain valuable insights and develop personalized strategies to combat their imposter syndrome.

By investing in EMDR Intensive for imposter syndrome, busy professionals can experience transformative changes in a condensed timeframe. They can break free from the grips of self-doubt, gain confidence in their abilities, and ultimately excel in their personal and professional lives. Don't let imposter syndrome hold you back any longer - take advantage of EMDR Intensive for Busy Professionals and step into a future filled with self-assurance and success.

Final Thoughts: Stepping Into Confidence Despite Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome can be a challenging and persistent mindset to overcome. It can make you doubt your abilities, constantly fear being exposed as a fraud, and hold you back from reaching your full potential. But here's the good news: you have the power to step into confidence and conquer imposter syndrome.

Remember, imposter syndrome is just that - a syndrome. It's not a reflection of your true abilities or worth. It's a mindset that can be changed. The first step is recognizing that imposter syndrome is common and that many successful people have experienced it too. You are not alone in this.

The next step is to seek appropriate treatment. Consider the innovative therapeutic approaches discussed in this blog post - EMDR, TF-CBT, and mindfulness. These therapies have shown promising results in alleviating imposter syndrome symptoms and helping individuals embrace their confidence.

EMDR therapy can help you reprocess past experiences and negative beliefs that contribute to imposter syndrome. It can help you let go of self-doubt and embrace your true abilities.

TF-CBT can help you identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs, replacing them with more positive and realistic ones. It can help you build a healthier self-image and develop effective coping strategies.

And mindfulness can help you detach from imposter syndrome-related thoughts, focusing instead on your skills, achievements, and strengths. By practicing mindfulness regularly, you can cultivate inner calm and resilience.

Remember, overcoming imposter syndrome takes time and effort. But with the right treatment and mindset, you can step into your confidence and reach your full potential. Believe in yourself, celebrate your accomplishments, and embrace the amazing individual that you are. Don't let imposter syndrome hold you back any longer!

Online Trauma Therapy for First Responders in near NYC

First responders face highly stressful and risky situations every day. The life of a first responder is demanding, and the toll it takes can be profound. Living with the symptoms of unprocessed trauma, such as depression, stress, posttraumatic stress, suicidal ideation, and various functional and relational conditions, can feel like an unending battle.

The weight of these symptoms can make you feel:

Our team at Long Island EMDR provides specialized treatment for first responders dealing with the symptoms mentioned earlier. We understand what you are going through and know how challenging it can be. You are not alone, and we are here to help you find a path forward.

Picture a life where you:

Our evidence-based therapies are designed to help first responders move forward, no matter how challenging their past experiences have been. Our program utilizes treatments like eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and EMDR intensives to help individuals make progress more quickly. By implementing more flexible scheduling options, we make treatment even more accessible.

If you're ready to take action and work on improving your life, then Long Island EMDR is here to support you. When you join our program, we provide you with a welcoming environment that caters to your specific needs. We offer tailored programs and individualized support, all in the name of ensuring that you can achieve the best possible outcomes.

How Trauma Therapy for First Responders Works:

Our treatment program begins by identifying your specific pain points and what you would like to work on during therapy. Afterward, our experienced clinicians create a customized treatment plan tailored to your needs. Your treatment may include EMDR intensives or other evidence-based therapies that help reduce symptoms like stress, depression, and suicidal ideation. By taking this approach, we can offer flexible treatment schedules, and get more rapid results.

Benefits of Trauma Therapy for First Responders:

Man saluting in front of American Flag. PSTD treatment near Bethpage, NY.

First responders face highly stressful and risky situations every day. The life of a first responder is demanding, and the toll it takes can be profound. Living with the symptoms of unprocessed trauma, such as depression, stress, posttraumatic stress, suicidal ideation, and various functional and relational conditions, can feel like an unending battle.

Our evidence-based therapies are designed to help first responders from the invisible wounds of your profession. We offer the support and guidance needed to take that first step forward. By prioritizing our patients' mental health needs, we can help first responders get back on track to live the lives they deserve. With our innovative treatment program and compassionate approach, we are committed to your success.

If you're struggling with symptoms of stress, depression, or post-traumatic stress, we want you to know that help is available. At Long Island EMDR, we offer innovative and evidence-based treatment that has been shown to be effective for first responders. Our compassionate approach prioritizes our clients' needs and fosters a supportive environment that leads to healing and progress. If you're ready to take that first step forward, then contact us today and start your journey to healing.

Worried dog laying in bed. Looking for  therapy near Sayville, NY.

Flashbacks are our brain’s way of processing traumatic events that we’ve experienced. Our subconscious taps into those important memories but they are not contained- meaning they tend to spill out everything related to the traumatic event. For many individuals, this experience can be just as terrifying as the initial event, and result in panic or anxiety.

Flashbacks usually happen without warning. Most result from a “triggering” that occurs by an external experience. Triggers are typically sensory-based experiences that manifest via smells, sounds, tastes, textures that remind the person of the traumatic event. The sound of fireworks or a car backfiring can remind a soldier of gunfire. I once had a patient who would have flashbacks around flower shops, as the overwhelming smell of flowers would bring him back to his sister’s funeral.  

Living with flashbacks is very difficult, but with practice there are some ways you can work through these disturbing events:

1. Remember

Remind yourself that you are in a safe place and having a flashback. Use that self-talk and tell yourself, as many times as necessary, that these are only memories until you can feel yourself begin to calm.

2. Empower Yourself

Someone in sneakers on a hike. For trauma counseling near Bayport, NY.

Sometimes using your five senses can help you to be in the present moment. If one sense is causing the flashback use your other senses to place yourself in the actual current environment. The tactile experience of stamping your feet on the ground can remind yourself that you are free to get away from any situation that has become uncomfortable for you. See more here on mindfulness tips.

3. Breathe

Fear and panic causes our breathing to become shallow and erratic. Shallow our erratic breathing exacerbates the stress we feel in that moment because our body is literally panicking from a lack of oxygen. In these fearful moments, when we slow our breathing and take deeper and deeper breaths, we actually signal to our brain and body that everything is okay. One of my favorite breathing tricks is to trace one hand with the opposite. When you go up a finger breathe in, then breathe out as you trace back to the palm of you hand. Repeat till you are calm and your breathing is regular. A meditation app such as Insight Timer can be very helpful too.

4. Honor the Experience

Going through trauma alone is not really advisable. I understand there may be feelings of shame, guilt, fear that are preventing you from feeling comfortable opening up. However, it is important for you to have supports.

Friends supporting each other over a cup of coffee. Anxiety treatment near Holbrook, NY.

It’s important that you let loved ones know about your to help you through this process. Opening up to trusted loved ones can allow for them to help you work through flashbacks and process what has happened. You may also want to open up to a mental health professional to gain a deeper understanding of what is happening to you, how to cope with flashbacks and triggers and work through those difficult memories and emotions. 

Stay Shining,

Jamie Vollmoeller, LCSW

By Jaclyn Martinez, LMSW - Long Island EMDR

People’s motivation to exercise can vary so significantly depending on their personal values, goals, hobbies, and ways they take care of themselves. 

My Journey with Exercise

On one hand, there are people like me who struggle to get motivated to work out. I know it’s good for me, and I’ve seen amazing results in the past. My close friend Jessica Lopez is a personal trainer who helped me lose a significant amount of weight, tone up, and improve my overall mood, energy, and confidence after giving birth to my first child. I never felt better, and was so grateful to her for her guidance and expertise! But over time, I noticed that with additional responsibilities and a second baby on the way, I slowed down my exercise routine to the point of being out of commission for at least 2 years. My energy is always low, I’m always grumpy, and then I get all butt hurt by the fact that I’m fluffier than I prefer these days. And whose fault is that?!

But anyway, there are other people who dedicate their lives to exercise, not just for the desired physical outcomes, but because it’s like a high for them (ugh I wish I had that!). People like my friend Jessica base their lives around wellness rituals such as exercising, nutrition, and grounding to maintain positive energy in their lives. 

As reflected by Jessica Lopez, Personal Trainer, “Reaching your fitness goals is such an excellent tool to see exactly what you’re capable of with unrelenting focus and dedication. Along the way you develop habits that will allow you to keep the results. Exercising and eating a healthy, balanced diet will boost your overall mood, it’ll positively affect your decision-making skills, and even raise your own standards and expectations for yourself”. 

Benefits of Exercise

Multiple studies have shown that regular exercise can significantly improve overall mood as well as clinical symptoms of depression and anxiety. According to Mayo Clinic, ways that exercise improve mental wellness include the endorphin (a cannabis-like brain chemical) releases, distraction from stressors, improved self-confidence, socializing (meeting new people at the gym or having a consistent work out buddy) and promotes healthy coping rather than turning to substances or overeating. 

The National Center for Biotechnology Information notes that with aerobic exercise, anxiety and depression symptoms decrease due in part to increasing blood flow to the brain, stimulating parts of the brain such as the limbic system, responsible for motivation and emotion; and the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory, mood, and motivation. This blood flow in the brain helps to foster improved mood, energy, and motivation to keep up with regular exercise and fitness goals for both physical and emotional wellness.

So why do mental health providers recommend exercise? It’s not just to torture you, I promise. It is because exercising, even just taking 30 minute walks out in nature with beautiful scenery 3 days a week not only gets your blood pumping, but it can be quite relaxing and grounding to have that self care. It helps you to be able to get out of your head for a little while and just focus on the present moment. You can notice your surroundings, how your body feels, and just observe your thoughts and let them pass without judgment. Incorporating these pieces of mindfulness alongside working out can be very emotionally empowering in addition to having improved self confidence.

How do we get motivated to create and maintain the habit of working out? 

So here, we need to get creative. Motivation is not a one-size fits all. We have to take a look at what our reasons for increasing physical activity are; whether that be to improve physical health conditions, bodybuilding and/or toning, losing weight in general, or coping with emotional symptoms such as those that come with depression, anxiety, grief, and/or trauma. 

After establishing your motivator for working out, it’s time to create a schedule. Figure out how many days per week and at what times will be the most realistic for you so that you hold yourself accountable to your exercise goals. You’re doing this for a reason, so find ways to keep yourself in check and stay consistent. It gets easier and more routine when you maintain the consistency of making these new changes. 

Next, it’s time to figure out what form of exercise your body and mind need to have the best possible self care. Whether that be 30 minute walks, jogging, zumba, weight training, crossfit, body lifting, yoga, barre, pilates, or whatever floats your boat. Find your groove and stick to it. Make sure that whatever form of physical activity you choose is something you actually enjoy, otherwise it's easy to come up with a million excuses on why “I’m too busy to work out today”. 

Working out and engaging in wellness does not have to be a drag. We can find ways to fit this into our daily routines at least 3 times per week to have a noticeable change to our mood, energy, cognition, and productivity in our lives. I highly recommend hiring a personal trainer to help you assess your current needs to ensure your fitness goals are being properly and safely addressed as they have the expertise to help you reach your goals safely. You will feel a world of difference with a little added consistency and encouragement from others, such as personal trainers, or fellow work out buddies to improve physical health and have an emotional outlet. 

By Jaclyn Martinez, LMSW - Long Island EMDR

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/

By Jillian Martino, CAT-LP

What is Self-Love?

So, what is self-love? We all talk about it and influencers constantly preach about it. But what exactly is self-love? Why do we all want it? Most importantly, how do we get there? Self-love is the practice of having a positive attitude towards yourself. The main ingredient of self-love is learning to accept and appreciate yourself for who you are and understanding your worth and value. When you are actively engaging in self-love, you are able to have a healthy relationship with yourself and take care of your emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing. Loving yourself is about being kind and compassionate to yourself, as well as recognizing and honoring your needs.

Finding, accepting, and loving yourself is the best thing you can do for your own growth and mental health. When you love yourself, you truly understand yourself. Learning to love yourself also helps us go after what we want, because we finally know what we deserve, making life more fulfilling.

For a lot of us this sounds great on paper but sounds as realistic to us as wizards and warlocks. So, this begs the question, how do we learn to love ourselves when we were taught against it from birth? This blog will explore that exact thing. Before we can make you a self-love master, we need to talk about what is blocking and making loving yourself so hard.

The Impossible Task of Self Love

Loving yourself doesn’t come naturally to all of us. Even though it’s something we are all capable of, some of us find it harder than others to unconditionally love ourselves. I myself was one of those people, knowing firsthand how hard it can be. I have also learned also how to move through the high and lows that come with this journey.  

Self-love can be difficult because we often have trouble accepting ourselves as we are and recognizing our own worth. It can be difficult to practice self-love when we are surrounded by messages from society that tell us that we are not enough or that we need to compare ourselves to others, not to mention the standards we set for ourselves or from our families. We cannot have self-love without acknowledging our own unique strengths, challenges, vulnerabilities-accepting ourselves in spite of our “imperfections”. It requires us to focus on our needs, and not feel selfish or guilty for taking care of ourselves. It's not easy, but with practice, self-love can become one of the easiest and most rewarding parts of our life. Let’s breakdown some of the common reasons people struggle with self-love: 

 What you think is self-love isn’t realistic… 

Sometimes loving yourself is hard because we have an unrealistic definition of self-love. Have you ever taken a moment to think about what it means to you to love yourself??  If you are anything like me, you believe self-love is some giant overly indulgent act of kindness to yourself, and frankly who has time for that? Not me. Where was I supposed to fit in an hour of self-care with my schedule? I loved a “Treat-yo self” moment, but it fit better in Parks and Recreation than in my world. 

The problem was I didn’t understand that self-love isn’t something I needed to carve time out for, but a mindset that I could carry throughout my day.

It’s not about blocking out an hour to have a bath or get a facial (although this is a great way to give yourself some love and care), but rather it is embedded in all of the actions you take throughout the day. Starting as early as the moment we wake up. 

The truth is caring for ourselves begins with how we speak to ourselves: 

It can be hard to be positive, especially when we are used to being negative with ourselves. Trust me even, I’m still working on it, but you can begin to bring in more self-love by canceling out some of the negativity with positive affirmations. Here are a few affirmations that I love: 

Some fun ways I like to include affirmations into my life is by writing them on my mirror or by setting reminders on your phone, so they pop up in the day. Setting them as your phone background is also another fun easy way to make affirmations a staple in your life. 

Learning to love yourself is about being mindful of the choices we make throughout the day and paying attention to how our choices affect our wellbeing. 

2. You are hardwired to have a negative bias for yourself.

Most humans struggle with shame, which is one of the largest reasons we have trouble loving ourselves. Shame keeps us focused on the “should ofs”, “could ofs”, and “buts” of our life. Shame is the voice in our head saying we are never enough, and we can always do better. It keeps us focused on our past failures and not where we are right now. Shame’s main goal is to convince us we are not worthy of love. For a lot of us, shame can be very convincing. 

We experience shame when we feel a sense of guilt, humiliation, and/or embarrassment around who we are.  Oftentimes, it is connected to the belief that we are failing to meet social expectations or our own personal standards. It makes us feel unworthy or inadequate and can lead to a laundry list of negative feelings such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. It is important to recognize the difference between guilt and shame, as guilt is often a sign of healthy self-reflection and accountability, while shame can be damaging in the long run. Guilt is, "I'm sorry I made a mistake” while shame is, “I’m sorry, I am a mistake.”

Before I learned to love myself, I was the queen of self-deprecation.

The truth is that it is easy to fixate on all of the things we’ve ever done wrong and go over all the ways in which we wish it was different for the rest of our lives. However, our thoughts can’t change the past. All we can do is accept that we’re human and sometimes. We may not like who we were or things we have done. If anything, that is even more reason to send that little you love. In the wise words of Rupaul “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Can I get a hell yeah?? Self-love means showing up and presenting yourself to the world fully without fear or shame. The truth is that it can only come from you!

For as long as I could remember I would look back to the decisions I made in my late teens and think “Girly what were we thinking?” I would berate myself for all that I was, and all of the things I thought I should have been that I clearly wasn't reaching.  The truth is that I was powered by a whole lot of shame. No matter what I did, I was never enough, and my family was really good at reminding me of that exact thing. 

Dealing with Shame

It was easy for me to live in this space of shame. It was all I knew and was fed to me in so many areas of my life (but we’ll get into that in a further section). Shame is hard, but it took me actively choosing to make a difference, to change the narrative of what I had been telling myself, and finally seeing myself for who I am and not who I thought I was. Sometimes you have to draw a hard line in the sand and decide you deserve better than being your own bully. I needed to choose to love myself in every form- especially the parts that felt so impossible to deal with. 

3. The War between Acceptance and Perfectionism 

It can be hard for us to love ourselves because how we feel about ourselves is based on what others think of us. This can become our mentality for many reasons, such as:  

We were all born worthy and loveable, however over time along the way we collect a narrative from other people that we aren’t all these things. As we experience negative situations/interactions, it can affect us and damage our self-worth. 

This lack of self-worth leads to us becoming our harshest critics-and start to focus on our flaws and scrutinizing our flaws to no end.

We end up being a perfectionist and start comparing ourselves to others, asking ourselves why we aren't thinner, prettier or smarter. In some areas, being a perfectionist can be a good thing, but when it comes to ourselves, it’s a losing battle. You’re not a project, and ‘perfectionism’ doesn’t exist. However, many of us get stuck on feeling as though we need to be perfect by society standards, or unrealistic standards we or our families have set for us. For many of us, our parents, teachers, or other significant people around us have told us who and what we should be from a young age. You might have thought that you’ve needed to be financially stable, a certain weight, or in a relationship in order to be worthy. 

Avoid Unhealthy Comparisons

It can become very easy to get stuck in the loop of comparing ourselves to others, especially with the unattainable perfectly photoshopped bodies we see on social media and the external expectations that have been set for us by society. All these comparisons do is keep us stuck in an endless cycle of not fully seeing ourselves and accepting ourselves for who we are. 

4. You think self-love is selfish… 

Okay so let’s talk about one of the biggest misconceptions around self-love. 

Self-love is entirely selfless. Loving yourself does not harm anyone, but what it does is make you a better friend, partner and colleague. Why? Because when we love ourselves, we are happier. We show up for ourselves, go after what we deserve, and never accept anything less.

After I was able to stop telling myself that I was selfish for loving myself, a change happened. People in my life started to comment on how I seemed lighter, happier, and more me. I started attracting healthier friends and partners. I finally not only knew who I was but loved who I was, and the right people noticed.

It may sound narcissistic to focus on loving yourself first. But it’s not. The point isn’t to believe you’re better than others, or to accept things about yourself that you really do need to change. It’s about developing a healthy and nurturing relationship with you!

Self-Love Mastery 

The act of loving ourselves is our birthright and brings you to the life you are dreaming of. We are the key to having everything we want, but first we have to believe we are deserving of it. Like the saying goes, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into place.”

 Self-love is essential for a healthy and balanced life. It means understanding your needs and feelings, and responding to them in a positive, adaptive way.

Here are some tips on how to practice self-love during your day to day:

Learning to love ourselves is an ongoing process. It takes time, effort, and lots of patience. But it’s worth it and mostly you’re worth it. Self-love will bring you more joy and happiness in life, and it’s something that we all deserve. I know it may feel impossible, but you are capable! <3 Jillian Martino, CAT-LP


We all go through unenjoyable experiences, which can be unpleasant all the way up to a full-blown crisis.  At the mild end of this spectrum, it could be the cat seriously stunk up the litter box, you forgot to put out the garbage before the collection time, or someone left just a quarter-cup of milk left in the carton – you know, enough for them to lazily put it back in the refrigerator, but not enough for you to do anything with it. These are all a series of annoyances but generally they are not enough to disrupt our entire day.

There are also those times in our lives when we will experience far more severe circumstances, such as the death of someone we cared about, the end of a relationship, or financial hardships. Sometimes these events can be compounded, too, further adding to the burden. For instance, perhaps you were the caregiver to the person who died. During the caregiving journey, your romantic partner became fed up with your anxiety about the person’s illness and oncoming death, and so they broke up with you. That exacerbated your stress further, and you found yourself recklessly spending to cope with all the stressors. But then you fell behind on paying your credit cards, utilities, and other bills. As a result, you feel as if you are drowning from all the pressures.
However, some people, such as those with borderline personality disorder (BPD) feel the distress of these situations more intensely than others. Furthermore, their psychological pain can be seemingly out of nowhere, as if driven only by internal factors – it can be difficult for them to identify the source or reason of the pain, and only know that it hurts.

It is important to learn effective, healthy, long-term skills to properly cope with intense psychological pain, thereby surviving crises. For those with BPD or other disorders where emotional pain can be especially sharp, if they have not learned the right coping skills to tolerate these issues and the emotions, they may end up coping through dangerous or impulsive means for an immediate “fix” to the situation (i.e.., self-harm, substance abuse, promiscuous sex, overspending, etc.). These behaviors may feel helpful in the moment because they take the edge off, but in the long term they are only making things harder for the individual.

And why is this pain more intolerable? Consider the following. Dr. Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., ABPP, who developed a renowned therapy for BPD called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), said, “people with borderline personality disorder (and those like them) are people with third-degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement.”


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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Through DBT, people who experience severe emotional turmoil can learn distress tolerance skills that will let them endure painful situations and cope with the urges to surrender to harmful behaviors. Dr. Linehan splits distress tolerance skills into three groups: crisis survival techniques, sensory body awareness, and reality acceptance. Please note as this article is meant to be a simple introduction to DBT, the skills listed below all pertain to crisis survival skills; it is not meant to be an exhaustive, final list of all the distress tolerance skills!

Distress Tolerance

DBT is a subform of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Originally, it was designed for people with BPD and/or suicidal ideation – essentially, the people in the greatest emotional turmoil. Over time, research found that DBT can be effective in the treatment of other mental health diagnoses, too, such as depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some of the skills are useful regardless of if a person has a mental illness or not, and simply need a better way to cope with a situation.

DBT is especially beneficial for people with a highly sensitive temperament.

DBT is taught in four modules: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. This article will only focus on distress tolerance as the writer plans to cover the other modules in future articles.

The Goals of Distress Tolerance

According to Dr. Linehan, the point of the distress tolerance skills is the following:

The When/Why/How to Use Distress Tolerance Skills for Crisis Survival

The crisis survival skills are considered skills of last resort. They should not be executed for coping with minor frustrations, or changing a situation or emotion, as those issues are better for the emotional regulation skills. Rather, the crisis survival skills should be employed for the following cases – anytime there is an actual or perceived crisis:

Below are three of the distress tolerance skills for crisis survival.

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Final Points…
The skills listed above are not the typical “psychology 101 self-help” skills, but rather are ones that are meant to be utilized only after being fully understood to thus prevent misuse that could end up making the situation backfire. Without context and more background, it can be difficult to know when, why, and how to properly use the skills. This writer emphasizes the importance of working with a DBT-informed therapist for DBT skills. Contact Long Island EMDR today if you are interested in such help!

– Valerie Smith, LMSW, CFTG

What are some of the most commonly asked questions about the LGBT+ community? Ranging from the coming out process all the way to questions about LGBT+ marriage, there’s curiosity surrounding the curious. However, in this case we will keep it so that curiosity does not kill the cat. It’s okay to be uncertain, uninformed, puzzled, perplexed, anything when it comes to a topic that you have not heard much about. Being ignorant towards a particular subject does not make you an ignorant person; however, speaking out of ignorance can lead to further ignorance. Below are some commonly asked questions about the LGBT+ community.

What is the coming out process like?

For me it was a process, my friend. It was something that I was juggling around in my head, self-doubting, felt shameful, it was something that I kept secret for too long. For some, the coming out process does not start with the individual telling friends or family about how they identify, the process starts at the very first inkling of curiosity. I had to come out to myself first, I had to figure out who I am before I made myself vulnerable. I think it can be really hard for some people to come out because of their families beliefs or morals, but what is most important is that you do what is healthiest for you; which is living your true self.

For me, the hardest people for me to “come out” to were myself, my father, and my sister. This is not because of our values or beliefs, because deep down I knew that my family would be accepting. However, you do have those thoughts that try to prove you wrong. I have had a great relationship with my dad and my sister, which is why I think it was harder for me to bring myself to speak my truth. I think it was harder for me to initiate the conversation because I was still afraid of the reactions for some reason. 

I will say that now that I have come out, I have been happy with living the life that I always thought I would deny myself of.

How should I know what pronoun to use if I’m unsure?

If you’re not sure, that’s okay! Usually the rule of thumb is that if you are unsure of someone's pronouns, you can either ask them or use “they/them” until you are sure. It’s not a shameful thing to be unsure, the fact that this is a question you may have shows understanding as well as effort towards being compassionate. If it is your first time meeting someone and you are unsure of what pronouns they use, asking the question of “What are your pronouns?” can open a lot of doors. 

Asking this simple question can allow the individual to become comfortable, may reduce their social anxiety, may reduce their worries about discrimination, as well as allows the individual to be referred to in a way that feel ostracized. 

Did you choose to be LGBT+?

I think this is a very commonly asked question by society. The question is being LGBT+ a choice or is it something that is genetic? If you ask around the LGBT+ community, you may get several different responses depending on who you ask. For me, I think a lot of people neglect the history of LGBT+ people before there were terms for sexual orientations and gender identities. There have been some historical depictions of LGBT people in rock paintings as well as medical texts; which shows how this has carried on through generations. 

Epigenetics are a part of our gene expression in our DNA. To be a little scientifical, gene expression can be altered throughout generations while the genetic code itself can remain unaltered. These changes can occur during development and can be passed down through generations. There has been some talk that some of these changes in gene expression can be linked to same-sex attraction. 

If you ask someone who is LGBT+ if they chose to be that way, you may be met with a response along the lines of “Yes, I chose to live a path filled with discrimination.” 

Are those who identify as LGBT+ a danger to children?

Simply, no. There is no evidence attached to the thinking that LGBT+ people may be a danger to children. It is this kind of thinking that continues the stigmatization of the community. If it is your preference as a parent to restrict anything relating to LGBT+ to your kids, that’s fine because that’s your parental choice. However, if you are restricting your children in fear that they will become gay, that’s just not how it works. Portraying LGBT+ people as dangerous to your children is offensive, inaccurate, and just damaging to those children figuring out their own sexual orientation or gender identity.

What kind of human rights violations are LGBT+ people exposed to?

There are a lot of human rights violations that people are subjected to on a daily basis, simply because of who they are. Across the world, there are active human rights violations occurring. For those who are a part of the LGBT+ community, some are physically attacked, some are kidnapped, some are sexually assaulted, some are murdered for who they love. There are some countries where same-sex relationships can result in jail or worse. There are violations that can be experienced in the workplace, out in public, in schools, at home, anywhere. 

LGBT children will often be met with bullying, teasing at school because of their identity and it may not end at school; oftentimes the home life of these children are much tougher. It may get to the point that the LGBT child does not feel safe enough to go to school, and therefore cannot get the same education as all the other students. For those who identify as transgender, they may even be denied their identity papers for their process of changing their identity to their preferred identity.

There is a lot of work to be done as a society to avoid all of this!

Is it possible to change someones sexual orientation or gender identity?

Again, simply no. Someone’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity cannot be changed or altered. Conversion therapy has been disproven plenty of times, although some still believe in its supposed effectiveness. Conversion therapy is a human rights violation in of itself because of the severe trauma that can be inflicted. It is very uncommon to see conversion therapy around now, although it still is legal in some states. Also, I think a more important question that should be asked is why would one want to even change someone else's identity?

What now?

Like it was said in the beginning, there is nothing wrong with being curious about something! It is always better to ask questions rather than to just make up assumptions about something, no matter the subject area. You may have some other questions relating to the LGBT+ community, and my advice to you is to do your research! Doing your own research and learning is a great way to be well-informed, which in result may even help others become more informed.

-Conor Ohland

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