Do Things Truly Get Better When You Come Out as LGBTQ?

a woman with black nail polish holds rainbow candles

Coming out is the process of acknowledging both internally and socially that you are LGBTQ.

Unfortunately, we live in a world in which “coming out” is still demanded of LGBTQ folks, as heterosexuality is seen as the default (read: normal) sexuality. As a result, we often push people to come out, especially publicly.

Let’s explore some of the nuances of coming out, and how this important step in an LGBTQ individual’s life can be both beneficial and challenging.

Continue reading Do Things Truly Get Better When You Come Out as LGBTQ?

Why World Mental Health Day 2018 is Especially Important

A group of teenagers talks in a circle

Today is World Mental Health Day, an opportunity for organizations and individuals around the globe to bring awareness to mental health and surrounding challenges.

Each year, the World Federation For Mental Health (WFMH) selects a theme that facilitates discussion around a growing mental health epidemic or challenge. This year’s theme is “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.”

Continue reading Why World Mental Health Day 2018 is Especially Important

How to Help Someone Who is Avoidant of Their Mental Illness

A woman lies on her bed surrounded by photos, while covering her face

Often in therapy, clients come in prepared to discuss a single issue, and one that’s relatively minor in their eyes. However, it can quickly become evident they are struggling with severe mental health issues they likely aren’t aware of.

Relatedly, people may come in with a family member or partner who urges them to get help for a specific issue, but the client is defensive about the very idea of having this issue.

To better assist those we feel should seek help for mental illness, it helps to understand common examples where the potential client may not understand our concern for them.

Continue reading How to Help Someone Who is Avoidant of Their Mental Illness

What is the Myers-Briggs Personality Test (and How To Take It)?

Taking a multiple choice test

Have you ever overheard a friend or coworker declare “I’m an INFJ!” or another seemingly random four-letter combination? It’s likely they’re talking about their Myers-Briggs test results.

This personality-related test was developed in the 1940’s, yet continues to be discussed and applied in modern instances. Why has it become so popular over the years, and how can you take the test yourself? Answers below!

What is the Myers-Briggs Test?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test, typically based on psychological attributes and is used to determine differing strengths and types of personalities in a workplace or other setting. The questionnaire’s battery of tests can provide insight into the subject’s perception, decision making, leadership skills, and other attributes may contribute to personal or professional success.

Continue reading What is the Myers-Briggs Personality Test (and How To Take It)?

What is Hypochondria and How to Get Help

A doctor checks a patient's blood pressure, surrounded by medical implements

For most people, a sneeze is just a sneeze. But for hypochondriacs, a sneeze can have much bigger implications, making them fear it’s a sign they have a horrible disease.

Put simply, a hypochondriac is an individual who lives with the fear that they have a serious but undiagnosed medical condition — even when diagnostic tests from professionals show there is nothing wrong.

Continue reading What is Hypochondria and How to Get Help

Can Anxiety Make You Depressed (or Vice Versa)?

A rogue potato tries to escape into the tomato bin

Anxiety and depression are intricately linked, which is why the same types of therapy and the same classes of medications are often used to treat both disorders.

In my practice, I have noticed that many clients that have self-diagnosed as depressed are actually experiencing anxiety. Similarly, many clients who identify as anxious are often depressed. Here, I will explain the connections between anxiety and depression, and why one can lead to the other.

Continue reading Can Anxiety Make You Depressed (or Vice Versa)?

A Therapist’s Guide to Cohabitation

Plastic dog and cat figurines phase in and out of colorful walls

Cohabitation is the practice of living with another person while in a relationship, typically of a romantic or sexual nature.

Cohabitation is relatively common these days, with some past estimates (from 2012) indicating that as many as 7.8 million couples were living together, unmarried. This number has dramatically increased in the past few decades as our culture has shifted from a more religious and conservative stance to a more progressive and practical (though anxious) one.

It’s almost more uncommon to meet a couple who hasn’t taken the proverbial “test drive” in cohabiting before marriage. It’s a relatively practical solution to difficult emotional problem — how two people can coexist peacefully and happily under the same roof.

Continue reading A Therapist’s Guide to Cohabitation

6 Ways to Bounce Back After a Relationship Meltdown

A man lays next to a candle in the dark

Relationship meltdowns happen to the best of us (and they’ve certainly happened to me).

As humans it’s only natural that we make mistakes, have freak-outs, and overreact sometimes. Lots of things can cause us to have a meltdown, from fear of abandonment to jealousy issues. We can’t control the past, and once we freak out, what’s done is done. Luckily, we can control how we act after we have a meltdown, and that’s what’s going to make all the difference.

Here are 6 steps for bouncing back after having a relationship meltdown.

Continue reading 6 Ways to Bounce Back After a Relationship Meltdown

How a Breast Cancer Diagnosis Affects Your Mental Health

A woman's hand covered in dried pink paint

Everyone affected by breast cancer knows the physical hardship it can bring. What’s less commonly talked about, but also important, is how breast cancer affects patients’ and survivors’ mental health.

A history of mental illness can be exacerbated by a breast cancer diagnosis, and the rigors of treatment — while life-saving — are difficult, leaving many women depressed, anxious, or feeling alone.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to recognize women affected by breast cancer and raise awareness about breast cancer prevention. Many breast cancer survivors have spoken up about their struggles with mental illness. To honor their voices, here’s what you need to know about breast cancer and mental health.

Continue reading How a Breast Cancer Diagnosis Affects Your Mental Health

What Is Reparenting and Why You Should Consider It

A little girl attempts to put on high heels

When you think of therapy, a stereotypical scenario comes to mind: A person lying on a dusty leather couch while some guy with a small notepad sits somewhere by their head, or perhaps across from them, jotting down insights as they speak, probably about their twisted relationship with their parents.

There’s some truth to this scenario (the couch does always seem to be leather, no?), and while talking about your childhood it isn’t the case for all therapy interactions, it is for reparenting.
Continue reading What Is Reparenting and Why You Should Consider It