When I was told I would have to do an internship I thought, “Here we go.” I had a preconceived idea that being an intern meant doing everything others don’t want to do. I came to understand that an internship can be so much more than that. An internship can change your life completely. Mine is changing a little bit every day.
On September 28th, 2019, a group from Thrive participated in the Minnesota NAMI Walk. This is a yearly fundraising campaign for NAMI to raise awareness of mental illnesses and raise funds to help individuals and families right here in Minnesota. It starts at Minnehaha Falls and turned out to be a beautiful day! Governor Tim Walz was even there before the walk, speaking about mental health and breaking stigma.
This has been a topic in the news recently as legislators in Minnesota have begun to discuss the decriminalization/legalization of recreational use of marijuana in this state. It will likely continue to be a topic in the upcoming legislative session. As a substance use disorder counselor and a Treatment Director in an agency that does substance use disorder treatment, as well as a person in long-term recovery, I’m quick to label the legalization of marijuana as a bad idea. But understanding that my perspective comes from bias drives me to be open-minded and do research.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 47,173 Americans died by suicide and an estimated 1,400,000 attempted suicide in 2017. These numbers themselves can be frightening and disheartening. However, due to the stigma around suicide, these numbers are estimated to be even higher than what is reported. So, what part, however small, can we play in order to reduce these numbers, even if it is only by one person?
Life is a matter of choices. From the second we get up in the morning, we make choices that alter the course of our life. Some of our choices are so routine that we don’t even think about them. From the choices of what we eat, to the choice of what we wear; it is these small choices that ultimately make up who we are and where we go in life. The power of mindfulness can allow us to make wiser choices; the ones that lead us toward living happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.
Since onset of my career, I have held the ideal that authenticity and genuineness are cornerstones of being an effective therapist. These ideals stem not only from humanistic and existentialistic therapies as I learned throughout my graduate program, but also from my own values of being honest and genuine as a human being. While it seems then, that being authentic in therapy should come naturally, I’ve learned that being authentic while also being in a professional role can create a dilemma that can be clumsy to navigate at times, especially in new or challenging situations.
The advent of the internet changed the world forever.
In more than 10,000 years of human history there has never been an invention that has affected the way humans live, work, and communicate. Electricity, invented in 1882, took half a century to be widely adopted in American households were still lit by gas lamps well into the 1920’s and 30’s. In comparison the modern internet -coincidentally invented in 1982- was adopted at a much faster rate. In 2006, merely 20 years after its invention, over 40% of American households had high-speed broadband Internet. Less than 10 years later, in 2015, about 75% of US adults owned some type of handheld computer and about 77% percent of US adults used the Internet.
We put so much attention and action into family gatherings we’d be remiss not to acknowledge what a family actually is. What does it mean? Who is involved? How do we get one? Are there rules to this “family thing?” We all need to examine these questions as responsible counselors and caregivers. Understand that family is choice. To understand that we have to understand what it means to be human and how we make choices.
June is Gay Pride month. What does this mean you may ask? Most people think it is just a time for the LGBTQ+ community to get together and have a party. It is so much more than that. The month of June for Pride was chosen to commemorate the Stonewall riots as they had occurred in June of 1969. It is remembered because this is the outcry that sparked the gay rights movement.
Happy Mental Health Awareness Month everyone!
Mental Health Awareness Month is always a time I look forward to because we have the opportunity to include more outings, activities, and events at our facility. I am always looking to expand what we include throughout the month and make it more exciting for both residents and staff.
“To err is human.” And yet, there appears to be a certain “elephant in the room” when it comes to our mental health profession. This is the false assumption that “thinking errors” are strictly a client concern, and we providers are somehow immune to the effects of such cognitive distortion or bias. However, in our profession, such oversights can be as destructive as a bull in a China shop (or an elephant as the case may be). Being aware of one’s biases is an important skill to hone in our work, and below appears several of the common thinking errors we providers sometimes stumble into, without even realizing it.