Authenticity in Our Professional Roles

Authenticity in Our Professional Roles

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.

Social Media: Dopamine and Disappointment at your Fingertips

Social Media: Dopamine and Disappointment at your Fingertips

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.

Family is a Choice

Family is a Choice

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.

Thinking Errors Are NOT Just a Client Problem: Provider Blind Spots

Thinking Errors Are NOT Just a Client Problem: Provider Blind Spots

“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.

Hope

Hope

The definition of hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Many of the clients that we serve have lost a sense of hope. Circumstances and mental illness have brought pain and sadness into their lives.  Many become depressed and begin to feel like all is lost. Life holds no happiness in the present. The future only looks bleak and dark.

Mental Health Day at the Capitol

Mental Health Day at the Capitol

On March 14th, I had the privilege to be one of hundreds who traveled across the state to attend Mental Health Day at the Minnesota State Capitol. Organized by the Mental Health Legislative Network (fifty members, including MN DHS, NAMI and Wellness in the Woods) this annual event serves to educate and advocate for building the state’s mental health support system.

Exercise: Think Outside the Box!

Exercise: Think Outside the Box!

We all can agree that exercise is important to our health. As a wellness counselor in my previous Mayo Clinic career, I counseled people all day about exercise, often getting groans and sighs in response. To many people, the word “exercise” conjures up images and memories of huffing, panting, sweating, and feeling miserable. We do want to include getting a cardiovascular and stretching/strengthening workout into our routine. But this blog isn’t going to address exercise in this sense. This blog’s focus is on another important component of physical activity called Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).