December 19, 2018

Do You Struggle with Making Decisions?

Posted in cognitive behavioral therapy, Well-being tagged , , , at 10:06 am by kellyfdennis

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Try This:

STEP 1: Identify the decision to be made. You realize that a decision must be made. Your awareness may be triggered by a variety of things: the need to declare a major, pressure from friends and family to make a vocational choice, or a general sense of dissatisfaction or unease. You then go through an internal process of trying to define clearly the nature of the decision you must make.

STEP 2: Gather relevant information. Most decisions require collecting pertinent information. The real trick in this step is to know what information is needed, the best sources of information, and how to get it. Some information must be sought from within yourself through a process of self-analysis; other information must be sought from outside yourself-books, people, and other sources.

STEP 3: Identify alternatives. Through the process of collecting information you will probably identify two or more possible paths of action. You may also use your imagination and information to construct new alternatives.

STEP 4: Weigh evidence. Draw on your information and emotions to imagine what it would be like if you carried out each of the alternatives to the end. You must evaluate whether the problem or need identified in Step 1 would be helped or solved through the use of each alternative. Eventually you are able to place the available alternatives in priority order, based upon your own value system.

STEP 5: Choose among alternatives. Once you have weighed all the evidence, you are ready to select the alternative that seems to be best suited to you. You may even choose a combination of alternatives.

STEP 6: Take action. You now take some positive action that begins to implement the alternative you choose in Step 5.

STEP 7: Review decision and consequences. In this step you experience the results of your decision and evaluate whether or not it has “solved” or helped to solve the problem in Step 1. If yes, you may stay with the decision. If no, you may repeat certain steps of the process in order to make a new decision.

November 5, 2018

Mindful Self-Compassion Workshop

Posted in Compassion, identity, Mindfulness, Self Image, Well-being tagged , , , , , at 7:32 am by kellyfdennis

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(Each of these workshops is different from the previous one)

Saturday, December 1, 2018 9-11am @ Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Suite A, Millersville, PA

This 2-hour workshop will help you learn the skills of self-compassion so you can respond to difficult times in your life with kindness and care.

You will learn how to:

  • Practice self-compassion and kindness in your daily life
  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Support yourself during those times when you suffer, fail, or feel inadequate.
  • Appreciate yourself

A large and growing body of research, much of it conducted by Dr. Kristen Neff, suggests that self-compassion reduces anxiety and depression, enables us to develop healthy habits, and more satisfying personal relationships, makes us more resilient in the face of challenges, and improves overall wellbeing.

Facilitator: Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC: Contact Kelly to sign up, space is limited.

Kelly@kellyfdennis.com

Cost: $75.00

October 3, 2018

Self-Compassion Workshop

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , , at 11:49 am by kellyfdennis

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October 20, 2018 9-11am

Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Millersville, PA 17551

Take time to nourish yourself during this 2-hour workshop. Join us as we explore the importance of self-care through compassion and meditation. Some topics we will cover include:

  • How cultivating self-compassion enhances our inner and outer life experience
  • How self-compassion leads to greater compassion for others and enhanced relationships
  • Ways we can “nourish” ourselves for an enriching life experience
  • Deepening our connection with ourselves and others
  • Exploring various meditations that cultivate self-compassion, connection and inner peace

Facilitator: Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC; Contact Kelly to sign up, space is limited.

Kelly@kellyfdennis.com

Cost: $75.00

June 14, 2018

Families are Affected by PTSD, Too.

Posted in cognitive behavioral therapy, Post Traumatic Stress, Well-being tagged , , , , , , , at 8:35 am by kellyfdennis

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Family members of a person with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) may experience the following:

Sympathy

You may feel sorry for your loved one’s suffering. This may help your loved one know that you sympathize with him or her. However, be careful that you are not treating him or her like a permanently disabled person. With help, he or she can feel better.

Negative feelings

PTSD can make someone seem like a different person. If you believe your family member no longer has the traits you loved, it may be hard to feel good about them. The best way to avoid negative feelings is to educate yourself about PTSD. Even if your loved one refuses treatment, you will probably benefit from some support.

Avoidance

Avoidance is one of the symptoms of PTSD. Those with PTSD avoid situations and reminders of their trauma. As a family member, you may be avoiding the same things as your loved one. Or, you may be afraid of his or her reaction to certain cues. One possible solution is to do some social activities, but let your family member stay home if he or she wishes. However, he or she might be so afraid for your safety that you also can’t go out. If so, seek professional help.

Depression

This is common among family members when the person with PTSD causes feelings of pain or loss. When PTSD lasts for a long time, you may begin to lose hope that your family will ever “get back to normal.”

Anger and guilt

If you feel responsible for your family member’s happiness, you might feel guilty when you can’t make a difference. You could also be angry if he or she can’t keep a job or drinks too much, or because he or she is angry or irritable. You and your loved one must get past this anger and guilt by understanding that the feelings are no one’s fault.

Health problems

Everyone’s bad habits, such as drinking, smoking, and not exercising, can get worse when trying to cope with their family member’s PTSD symptoms. You may also develop other health problems when you’re constantly worried, angry, or depressed.

Summary

Family members may feel hurt, alienated, or discouraged because your loved one has not been able to overcome the effects of the trauma. Family members frequently devote themselves totally to those they care for and, in the process, neglect their own needs.

Social support is extremely important for preventing and helping with PTSD. It is important for family members to take care of themselves; both for their own good and to help the person dealing with PTSD. (posts.va.gov)

June 7, 2018

“The Guest House”

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Self Image, Well-being tagged , , , , , , at 9:06 am by kellyfdennis

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I love this poem by Coleman Barks:

“This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice. Meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”

From Barks and Moyne.94

May 17, 2018

Counseling May Help

Posted in cognitive behavioral therapy, Communication, Compassion, Eating Disorders, identity, Mindfulness, Online Counseling, Well-being tagged , , , , , , at 8:39 am by kellyfdennis

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Engle Printing & Publishing designed the ad.

December 14, 2017

Talk Less, Listen More

Posted in Communication tagged , , , , , at 3:48 pm by kellyfdennis

CatunderTreeSome people are very guarded and quiet in their communciation style, almost as if they are afraid of being found out somehow. Others talk incessantly, desperately attempting to be heard and validated. Then there are those folks that seem to blame everything wrong in their lives on others, or those people who don’t really listen, but are quick to offer unsolicited advice. None of these approaches to communicating is effective.

Let me ask you something: What if you felt at ease and comfortable being your true, authentic self in your relationships with others? What do you think would happen if you felt safe to share your thoughts and feelings with others and they felt safe enough to do the same with you? When we practice effective, satisfying communication, we are rewarded with relationships filled with more love, intimacy, understanding, and trust.

Communication is so much more than just a way of talking or getting one’s opinion out in the air. Essentially, communication means transferring ideas, thoughts, desires, feelings from the privacy of one’s own mind to a common place where other people can share them and receive them. Words, body language, facial expression, tonality, and style are all a part of effective communication.

The elements of effective communication are easy to list, but can be challenging to implement:

-Use “I feel_________, when you____________, because__________.”

-Steer clear of “always”, and “never”.

-Pay attention to what your body is doing while you are talking or listening.

-Check your tone.

-Don’t keep things bottled up and then try to effectively communicate when the volcano finally erupts.

-Listen whithout judgement and without thinking about what you will say next.

-Put aside your need to be “right”.

-Use reflection: “What I hear you saying is______. Am I hearing you correctly?”

-Communciate in a way that will make sense to your recipient. For example, communication is different when you are talking to your 10 year old son versus your 40 year old coworker (or at least is should be!).

Communication is complex and wonderful and is certainly relationship enriching when done well. The above list really just scratches the surface, but it’s enough to get you started. Be curious about learning to be heard and understood, and learning to hear and understand.

Be Well and Have a Wonderful Day!

 

 

stefdennis

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