June 26, 2020

Teletherapy Comfort

Posted in Communication, Online Counseling, Well-being tagged , , at 2:40 pm by kellyfdennis

 

computerandtabletwvseeFor many, those two words are mutually exclusive! So, here are some tips to make online counseling a little more comfortable.

-Set some time aside before your appointment to write down things you’d like to address, practice some deep breathing, and get into the “therapy” mindset (whatever that is for you).

-Make the space as private and comfortable as possible. Once you find a set up that feels good, use it every time. Find a comfy blanket, a stuffed animal (or a real one, if they won’t be distracting), light a candle, and allow yourself to feel safe and comfortable.

-Feel free to tell your therapist to change positions. Some clients like me to lean in so they can see more of my facial expression, some like it better when I sit back. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.

-Set aside some time after your appointment to decompress. Remember you used to have a car ride or a walk home after therapy, now you just open the door and Boom! you’re back with family. Take some time to transition.

-Keep your expectations in check. Online therapy is different from face-to-face, but different isn’t bad, just different!

I hope you’ll try some of those before your next online counseling session. Be well and have wonderful day!

March 30, 2020

COVID 19 Update

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:24 pm by kellyfdennis

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I have switched from the physical office location to tele-therapy. I understand that the past few weeks have been challenging. I’m doing my part to keep the spread of the virus down. This is a trying time, but we will get through it together as a community.

For those of you struggling with eating disorders, you may find an increase in behaviors or urges to engage in behaviors as a means for coping with the anxiety, fear, powerlessness, or loneliness you may be experiencing right now.

For those struggling with anxiety due to disruption in routines, worry or fears of the spread of the virus, or you or a loved one contracting it, you may be finding it difficult to calm the constant barrage of thoughts plaguing you.

For those struggling with depression, the social distancing and isolation (although that might be just what you think you need), can exacerbate the lack of motivation, lack of self-care.

I hear you, I see you (existing clients and those who are reading this for the first time) and even though I’m not meeting with folks in the office right now, I want you to know that I am doing my best to make tele-therapy a safe, secure, and viable option for you.

I am also accepting new clients via tele-therapy. Stay safe and healthy.

Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

 

March 22, 2020

Uncertainty, Isolation, Worry

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:04 pm by kellyfdennis

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A recipe for depression, anxiety, anger, and many other feelings. In this challenging time, you may find yourself struggling due to the lack of structure, unpredictability, being cut off from your social contacts. These circumstances can exacerbate existing mental illnesses. Instead of “waiting it out”, please contact your therapist and talk about what’s going on for you. Continued therapy is essential for mental wellness.

However, even those without formal mental illness diagnoses may find it helpful to talk and gain guidance in creating resources for mental wellness during this time. I am conducting counseling sessions via a video chat platform. In non-pandemic times, I require an initial face to face session before beginning teletherapy. However, I am waiving that requirement and accepting new clients vial the online platform immediately. I also offer a reduced feel/sliding scale option for those in financial need. Check out www.openpathcollective.org to learn more.

Please don’t struggle any longer. It is my opinion that this current state of affairs will last for awhile. So contact me, or another licensed therapist conducting telehealth, today. Make a plan to work toward feeling better.

*Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

 

February 13, 2020

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:47 pm by kellyfdennis

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Saturday, March 14, 2020; 9:00 am-11:30 am and 12:30pm-3:00pm at the Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Millersville, PA 17551

This 2-session course is designed to introduce the concepts of mindfulness and mindfulness strategies in a purposeful way in order to facilitate the integration of mindfulness into your daily life.

“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. It’s about knowing what is on your mind,” Jon Kabat-Zinn. As we learn to create purposeful present moment awareness we begin to see the changing of things in our lives that cause us stress. We learn to relate to our difficulties in life with more openness, compassion, and acceptance.

Mindfulness concepts covered will include: Mindfulness and the scientific research, Mindfulness of the breath and body, Obstacles to mindfulness, Mindfulness with difficult emotions, Mindfulness with difficult thoughts

Mindfulness Meditation practices will include:  Mindfulness of breath and body, Sensory mindfulness, Mindful eating, Mindful movement

Each session will be a combination of practice, lecture, and group discussion. Each session is taught in a supportive environment with no more than 6 people. The sessions are open to all ages, backgrounds, and religions.

Cost: $95.00 for the 2 sessions (full day sign up here) and materials needed for the course. You may sign up for Morning only here for a cost of $50.00 or afternoon only here for a cost of $50.00. Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC is the facilitator. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

January 30, 2020

Radical Compassion-Day 10

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:55 pm by kellyfdennis

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Sounds True and Tara Brach present a 10 day radical compassion challenge.

My takeaways today are many. Listening to understand and to connect with the reverence for all lives. Even those lives with whom you strongly disagree! Yikes! Van Jones was persistent in this interview about the ways in which we don’t “see” the other person, we just “see” what they are arguing for or against. Compassion starts with a yearning to understand another’s humanness.

Tara’s meditation today focused on bringing others to mind and seeing our shared vulnerability with them. Those we love, those we’re in conflict with, those we don’t know because they are so different from us, the other beings that inhabit this planet with us and the earth herself. “Cultivating a reverence for all life.”

What a journey! I am so thankful to have made the time for this!

January 29, 2020

Radical Compassion-Day 9

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:57 pm by kellyfdennis

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Sounds True and Tara Brach present a 10 day radical compassion challenge.

Very powerful messages today from Krista Tippett about vulnerability, compassion and love. I adore this quote, “To love someone is to learn the song that is in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten.”-Arne Garborg.  We need to lean into compassion and compassion requires curiosity about others. A willingness to be surprised and learn from them, even if we disagree.

Tara’s meditation was a good reminder. We are so quick to notice the flaws of others. The  meditation focused on the goodness and appreciation of another.

Good Stuff!

January 28, 2020

Radical Compassion-Day 8

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:51 pm by kellyfdennis

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Sounds True and Tara Brach present a 10 day radical compassion challenge.

Some things that popped out today in Tara’s interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn were more of the theme of our interconnectedness and mindfulness needing to have “heart”. When we are “othering” we are not able to be empathetic or compassionate. We are all connected-to each other, to the earth. The concept of mindfulness can become very intellectual or cognitive for  me, so I really appreciated the reminder to pay attention to the feelings associated with mindfulness. Not getting caught up in the feelings, but noticing what happens in the body when engaging in the practice (or all the time, really).

It was great reminder for me to put myself in places where I interact with people who are different from me. Only with proximity can we truly come to understand and befriend others.

Good stuff!

January 27, 2020

Radical Compassion-Day 7

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:03 pm by kellyfdennis

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Sounds True and Tara Brach present a 10 day radical compassion challenge.

I enjoyed the practical way that Sandra Oh described her meditation practice. She acknowledged it taking a long time for her to feel comfortable, but now knowing that she “knows what to do” when feeling afraid or stressed. She focuses on the soles of her feet or “just the next breath” to bring herself to her body and the present moment. When we do that we are taking ourselves out of the trance of ruminating or worrying.

Tara’s meditation “RAIN on Blame”, was powerful. Only when we can recognize what might be going on for another person, what may be behind their behavior, can we truly come from a place of empathy. We still stay present with our own experiences, but we open ourselves up to the experiences of the “other.”

Good Stuff!

January 26, 2020

Radical Compassion-Day 6

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:50 pm by kellyfdennis

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Sounds True and Tara Brach present a 10 day radical compassion challenge.

Today’s interview with Valarie Kaur was vibrant and interesting. What a story she has! Revolutionary Love…interesting. She has overcome challenges that I can never dream of. And that made me take pause. Then Tara’s meditation. We all have stories, that other people know nothing about. I loved the story she told about the guy that was going through anger management and learning mindfulness. I won’t spoil it for you, but yes, we all could benefit from pausing and wondering about what the stories the people around us carry.

I will say that if this is your first time doing this kind of meditation-tonglen, it may have been difficult. I remember it was for me the first time I did it. The trick is to pay attention to your bodily reactions and to return to the breath or sounds, or whatever your anchor is so you don’t get overwhelmed in trying to take in the other person’s pain. A challenge to say the least, but incredible nonetheless.

What’s your experience on this journey?

January 25, 2020

Radical Compassion-Day 5

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:58 pm by kellyfdennis

khadeeja-yasser-FHT0KEOwtyg-unsplash

Sounds True and Tara Brach present a 10 day radical compassion challenge.

Wow! I really connected with the meditation today, compassion toward people we know. I especially liked the 3 capacities of being present:  Genuine Interest, Deep Listening, and Feeling With. I want to practice this more in my daily life!

The interview with Dacher Keltner, the director of the Greater Good Science Center. The research he mentions about how our brains are actually wired for compassion and we get in the way, was very eye opening.

I hope you get a chance to listen today!

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