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Posted on in Inner Workings

We’ve all heard someone say to us, “Just take it one step at a time and you’ll be okay!” Well, that’s easier said than done. Life has many stressors and life doesn’t care when those stressors hit us either. There’s the stress of financial problems and wondering how you are going to afford your $200 car payment, the stress of the family member who is battling depression, and for those of you in college, the stress of how you are going to maintain your grades, and also balance all of these other stressors on top of that. So, what do you do when you have so many things going on at one time and you’re trying to please 50 people while making sure you stay happy and well? It’s a tough question to think about. When you think about it, we have multiple identities that we must satisfy. We can have the identity of a student, a wife, a mother, a friend, a coworker, or even a counselor. We don’t act the same exact way in front of every single person. Well, I am a student, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a co-worker, a friend, and also a person who is trying to make it through this crazy life. So you might be wondering, how do you make sure to please everyone, get tasks done, and also maintain your mental wellness in this process. It’s not easy, that is for sure. And it’s important to remember that before you please others, you’ve got to make sure you are healthy, happy and well yourself! Two years ago I got engaged and almost one year ago I got married to the person I call my best friend today (I know that saying is overused, but it’s true!). I knew it would take a while to plan a wedding but I had a goal in mind. I wanted to lose a little weight before my wedding, maybe 20 pounds or so. I began eating healthier (counting most of my calories) and working out about 5 times a week. I can’t even describe in words how much better I felt about myself! It’s like I got addicted to being healthy. I did lose about 20 pounds overall also. Meeting my goal helped my mental wellness. Even though I had the stress of school and taking tests and volunteering in research with my professors, the exercise is what kept me going and actually reduced my stress! During this time I was in my junior year of college so it was definitely getting close to the end, but at the same time it was so far away. I actually went through a brief time a few months ago of feeling depressed. I figured out why I felt that way. It was because I wasn’t exercising the way I had been. Some people understand this logic, and then there are some people who think I’m crazy for running 3 miles a day. The thing is, you don’t have to run 3 miles a day to improve your mental wellness! There are other things you can do such is walking, joining a yoga class, getting involved in a campus club, or even just being more conscious about what you eat most days. It WILL make a difference. The rates of depression, anxiety, and stress in college are extremely high. It shouldn’t be that way, but I think it may be because people don’t know how to improve their mental wellness state. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, 40% of college students don’t ask for help when they feel anxious or depressed, and 80% of college students do feel overwhelmed with their lives. I have to say, I get that way sometimes, but it is critical to step away from what is stressing you out, pray about it (that is always what I do to make myself realize I’m not alone), and realize that you WILL get through it. Do something to distract your mind from the stress you feel such as exercising, meditating, yoga, or talking to a supportive friend. There are going to be obstacles in your life. Things happen that are unexpected, but the way you LEARN to deal with them will help your mental wellness, and that is extremely important. I hope that you who are reading this realizes that there is a healthy way to handle stress, since it is inevitable. Find a way that helps you, because your health matters and so do you!

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Posted on in The Counselor's Cafe

Perseverance. It’s a word that makes us cringe. It reminds us of the times that we have been tested, pressed, and molded into the person we are today. It’s a bittersweet word. It is bitter because the process of perseverance can be straining. It’s sweet because it makes us a better person. When we follow through with the process of perseverance and don’t give up, we learn, we grow, and we become stronger. We jumped over a hurdle when we thought we couldn’t even pick one leg up. Perseverance is difficult because you never know when you will get rewarded, or if you will even get rewarded. Sometimes your perseverance may not pay off until months, or maybe years later. Sometimes you may think, “It wouldn’t be bad to just give up”. But it would. You would be losing an opportunity to grow. The more you persevere, the more natural it becomes to work hard consistently. Marie Curie invented the theory of radioactivity. She came up with the techniques to isolate radioactive isotopes, and she discovered polonium and radium. Imagine if she would have given up? She helped disprove the theory that the atom is indivisible, and she invented mobile x-ray vehicles. Wikipedia predicts that over one million wounded soldiers were treated by her x-ray mobiles. Can you imagine what our country would be like if she did not make this discovery? Who would have done it? America would have been behind in science and lives would not have been positively impacted by her discovery. So how do you persevere? I think the key is in a quote from Marie Curie. She says “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” We must believe that we have a purpose on earth. We must not get discouraged, but instead, move forward with confidence in ourselves. Take hope that Marie Curie made mistakes as well. Keep pushing forward by keeping your confidence and remembering there is a greater purpose when you look past all of the little mundane tasks. Intern Mary Anna Works Cited: MLA style: "Marie Curie - Facts". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 17 Feb 2016.

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Posted on in Inner Workings

Anxiety and stress in college is a real problem. College is a very busy time where students try to balance academics, a social life, and sleep.

 

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Posted on in The Counselor's Cafe

Blake

Sad Book by Michael Rosen is a beautiful book about a man who is sad. This man is sad because his son Eddie, and his mother have passed away. He describes a grey cloud following him around, and how sometimes he just wants to be gone. He also says that sometimes he does crazy things because he is sad. He screams in the shower, bangs objects around out of anger, and he says some things are so bad that he cannot tell us about them.

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Posted on in The Counselor's Cafe

flatrabbit

Have you ever read something and thought, “Did I skip a page?” and then go back and re-read the entire story just to realize no...that’s it...that was the whole story. That was me the first time I read The Flat Rabbit by Bardur Oskarsson. When I got to the Iast page, for the second time, I closed the book, said “What?” out loud to myself and put the book down and did not look at it again for a couple of days. Then, I thought and I thought. I like books that make you think. This story is about a dog and a rat that find a “flat” rabbit. They do not know what happened to it, but they want to help. They can’t just leave it, so they decide to take it to the dog’s house and try to do what any dog and rat would do in their situation… try to make sure the rabbit is having a good time. They do so by taping her to a kite and letting her fly high over the city.

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Posted on in The Counselor's Cafe
My first experience with Mandalas was at the annual Prater’s Mill arts and crafts festival in Dalton, GA when I was about 9 years old. My twin sister, Michaela, and I got tired of walking after about 10 minutes and needed a caramel apple for motivation. After the sugar high wore off, we sat at the kid’s table and colored Mandalas. I didn’t know that was what they were called then, but I knew the designs were pretty and the nice lady at the booth had a LOT of different colored markers. My sister and I had very different approaches to coloring in the intricate designs. Michaela, the meticulously detail oriented twin, planned out her color scheme before she even touched the markers. I, on the other hand, was a little more intrigued by all the pretty colors and took a more “abstract” approach to my design. The vastly different approaches we used show the variety of ways this tool can be used, especially in relation to counseling! #internsavannah #futurecounselor 
 
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Clinically, Mandalas can be used like I mentioned above, by letting a client pick a design and color it in, while you talk or not. Some relaxing music and the distraction of the drawing could help a particularly standoffish client open up. They can also be used in a sand tray setting. A blog by Lavelda Naylor, a Marriage and Family Therapist from San Antonio, talks specifically about using the mandala in a clinical sand tray therapy setting: “The word “Mandala” comes from a Sanskrit word that generally means “container of essence,” and the idea is used artistically to represent the whole self and the Cosmos in its totality.” Sounds way more complicated than it is. The shape represents the client’s “world.” In sand tray therapy, having the client create a mandala can be very telling of how they view their life. For example, an empty mandala (shape in the sand) could suggest depression. A mandala with no people could possibly suggest abuse. Of course there are always exceptions to those ideas. They do not realize it always, but the client is describing how they think their life looks. This is a great way to gain insight, especially for clients who do not respond well to one on one conversations. The added distraction of sand can help them let their guard down without even realizing they have. 
 
While not in session though, you could use them in other ways. For instance, you’re a mom of two that like to express herself with drawing. Your kids want to color? Perfect! Get out your “special adult coloring sheet” and enjoy the moment. Because most likely that is all you will get before they get bored and want to do something else. However, when you’re sitting in the car rider line, waiting at the doctor’s office, or when your kids finally drift off to sleep, etc. Take that time to focus on you, even just for a few minutes. You need it and you deserve it. As a college student, these are especially helpful to me during finals week. If I get stressed out from studying or writing papers, I take a 10 minute coloring break. For the artsy fartsy types like myself, it is a great way to use a “container of essence” to express what you are feeling.
 
There’s my two cents about Mandalas. Hope it made you feel inspired to go color. If you follow us on social media, you can print off any you like! Thanks for reading.
 
Intern Savannah
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Posted on in Inner Workings
Hits: 1736

Posted on in The Counselor's Cafe

jail

 

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Posted on in The Counselor's Cafe

Louis’s mouth is a volcano! Everytime he gets an exciting idea or story to share he can’t help but erupt. He has to share his ideas with the world! Don’t we all? The problem here is that sometimes our ideas come at an inconvenient time like right in the middle of someone else’s ideas. I don’t blame Louis. Sometimes I get exciting thoughts to share as well, and what happens if I don’t spit them out? I forget them. How sad. In the children’s story My Mouth is a Volcano! written by Julia Cook, Louis has a bad habit of interrupting everyone with his important words. No doubt, children’s words are important to hear; they just need to be taught the best way to present them. After having his own talk time interrupted Louis learns what it feels like to be interrupted all the time. His mother teaches him a clever technique to wait his turn to speak by pushing his words out of his nose and then inhaling them back in through his mouth when it is his turn to share. By taking a deep breath. Louis learns to respectfully wait for his turn to speak (a trick many adults could probably benefit in learning as well).

Sam Intern in Waiting

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Posted on in Inner Workings

At Garrett Counseling we understand how important coffee is. We understand that it is not just a beverage but for many people an escape, a reflection, a connection, a moment to savor. This is why on September 29th Garrett Counseling is offering a free wellness coffee break at Java Jolt from 9am-5pm. We will be giving out fresh brewed hot and iced coffee, as well as, delicious Jolt pastries. Please come by for some free goodies, as well as a chance to meet some of our team members. We will be offering many activities for wellness. 

 

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Posted on in Inner Workings

You see them all the time. Your Facebook feed is clogged with them. The articles that all have the same title. Blank # of tips for something to make you better. Here are 10 tips for better arms, 17 ways to tone your butt, 12 tips for weight loss, and 27 other ways you are not adding up to other people basically...Stop! Even my fitness Pinterest board is a motivational and information black hole of tips. Yep, I said it. Pinterest is a wonderful and terrible black hole of DIY. Most of those tips are probably extremely helpful and beneficial. However, when you read 87 in a row, you overwhelm yourself. Yes, exercising is great. Yes, eating McDonald's every day is bad for you. Yes, you should drink more water and less coffee (haha jk. Coffee is the best). The point is, you know what to do. Exercise regularly and give your body the nutrients it needs.

If you want to work on living healthier, try one thing at a time. What!?! Intern Savannah, you’re crazy! I have to do ALL of these things so I can be really fit. Otherwise nobody will love me and I will be alone forever!!! Ok, kind of dramatic, but you get it. It takes twenty-one days to form a habit. So, this is my challenge to you, dear reader. Try one thing on your never ending list of tips for twenty-one days. So, drink two bottles of water a day for twenty-one days. Or workout three times a week for twenty-one days (Yes, I realize that is not a total of twenty-one days of working out, sassy pants), but for someone who is just starting their wellness journey, that might be all they need.

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Darkness is everywhere. It is a gripping fear that many young children experience. Lemony Snicket captures the essence of this fear quite poetically in his children’s story The Dark. Those who are familiar with Snicket’s work know that he has an act for writing in a non- traditional sense. This story is no different. Laszlo is a young boy who is afraid of the dark. This book tells the story of how Laszlo came to face his fear of the dark. The darkness wasn’t there to bother Laszlo, but ultimately to help him. As someone who was fearful of the dark myself when I was a young child I found it easy to put myself in this book and feel the eerie mood Snicket created. I was able to empathize with Laszlo as he was following the dark throughout this story.

“You might be afraid of the dark, but the dark isn’t afraid of you. That’s why the dark is always close by.”

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Posted on in The Counselor's Cafe

string

Sometimes we feel lonely. Sometimes children feel lonely. Patrice Karst’s story The Invisible String illustrates how no one is really ever alone. This is a great book to demonstrate to kids how love brings people together, even through distance. The Love String tells a story about how a mom teaches her kids that love overcomes space and time, demonstrating how everyone in the world is connected through love. Sometimes we are afraid, but we are never alone.

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Posted on in The Counselor's Cafe

Dr. Seuss is known for his children styled writing. He writes in rhymes and makes up words that sometimes seem to make no sense, but Dr. Suess never fails to make a point even through his nonsense words. It seems to me that sometimes there is freedom in nonsense. In his short story Who Are You, Sue Snue? Dr. Suess covers a topic that is so important even to those my age, an undergraduate, maybe more so than a small child. I’m talking about the topic of finding yourself. This story is about a young girl who is pressured to decide who she is going to be and what she is going to do with her life- something many high schoolers and college students feel pressured to do early on. With different people pulling you every which way trying to influence your path, it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to pick a path for your future. The verdict? Dream big, but be yourself. All you have to really decide is to just be you. Unapologetically you.

Sam
Intern in waitingSnue

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Posted on in The Counselor's Cafe

waitingblogKevin Henkes book Waiting is absolutely precious with a powerful punch. His theme of this story- good things come to those who wait- is adorably illustrated through a few friends who wait patiently for something wonderful to happen. Waiting is a major part of being a kid. Actually, waiting is a big part of being an adult as well. We wait in line, we wait on people, we wait on direction of where to go and what to do next. Henkes book puts a classy perspective on how patience is important and that waiting pays off in the end.

 

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Inspirational quotes and JPEGs that attempt to put thousands of years wisdom, into one statement, motivate me. It is a source of internal dissonance that something so simple does. Evidence of this is clear in the many near attempts of taking my life, as I have nearly (too many times to count) fallen off of the treadmill while trying to download, like, or pin one of them.

I post polar opposites in mere seconds, looking like the manic fool I am.

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Posted on in Inner Workings

MadisonAshley. AshleyMadison. So I admit I follow gossip trends daily, thanks to my Facebook addiction. Even if i dont read it in depth, and even if I make myself feel better by not knowing the real name of whatever the website was about. Something about it intrigues me. Maybe it makes me feel better about myself for just a minute. But beneath my innocent Facebook scrolling, there is an ugly ugly truth.

Whether I mean it or not, I am guilty. No matter my intentions. I am guilty. Oh, that tastes horrible in my mouth.  But I must face it, because to not taste it, is worse. I am guilty of having my thoughts on this MadisonAshley subject (and many of my friend's political posts if I'm really putting it all out there!), guilty of judging the names on the list, guilty of judging the people who shared it (what about the families hurt?!)....but more than anything it has me face me.

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Posted on in The Counselor's Cafe

Redacted Writing Activity

Over the past few months I have taken to using this therapeutic intervention with individual and group sessions. One of the many reasons I find it so useful is that it allows both right brain and left brain clients to engage in a meaningful manner. There are many creative adaptations and we would love for you to share yours with us! Supplies Needed: A selection of book pages, newspaper, journal entries, poems, magazine articles for client to choose from. Many prefer to bring their own book pages or personal writings. Although a client many find this more meaningful and introspective, it is not necessary for the interaction to be thought provoking.

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Posted on in The Counselor's Cafe

whatpetshouldiget

Bookshelf: What Pet Should I Get

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This sweet book addresses themes of ownership, responsibility, protection, and connection. Maria Popova has a wonderful article at Brain Pickings on this work of art. To read full article.

In case you would like to draw your own moose, Mr. Jeffers will give you a step-by-step in the video above.

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