When to Say, “I Love You,” According to a Therapist

gay men holding hands

Relationship problems are one of the main reasons people seek out therapy. And there is no time in our lives more complicated than the beginning stages of a romantic relationship. Our goal is usually aimed at doing everything we can to maintain the relationship.

We spend a lot of energy trying not to scare the other person away, right? In the early stages of a relationship, we often find ourselves walking on eggshells. Sometimes we hide our true opinions and feelings in an effort to keep the peace. This can leave us confused about when we should say, “I love you”.

What if this scares your new boo away? What if you come off as “needy” or “desperate”? What if they don’t say it back?! Continue reading When to Say, “I Love You,” According to a Therapist

What Are People In Therapy Saying About Life Post-Trump Victory?

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As a therapist, I experienced a variety of client reactions following the election results on November 8. Some clients were happy with the results. Others were fraught with intense anxiety and fear over what the next four years would be like for the United States.

Some of the country experienced shock at the election results. A theme I keep hearing from clients is the realization of such stark differences in viewpoints across the country.

For many those viewpoints are different than those in their immediate surroundings. These viewpoints are different than those people have seen in their social media feeds.

Everyone is in shock. The impact, however, is revealing itself in different ways. Continue reading What Are People In Therapy Saying About Life Post-Trump Victory?

4 Mental Health Resolutions: Try Something Different This New Year

woman hopping 2017 new year

Now that the new year has started, many of us are deciding on some of the classic New Year’s resolutions: weight loss, eating healthier, getting in shape, etc. These can be great goals.

They only focus on physical health, though. What about mental health? Continue reading 4 Mental Health Resolutions: Try Something Different This New Year

Talking About Myself Was the Only Way for this Client to Trust Me

black male therapist female client

I once had a woman come into my office who had been referred from another provider. She was seeking therapy and had tried many times over the years, but she had a difficult time opening up and trusting counselors.

She felt that her background as a survivor of abuse and a former sex worker from an underserved background made her inaccessible to many providers. She thought I was no different. Continue reading Talking About Myself Was the Only Way for this Client to Trust Me

The Mental Health Issues People Living with HIV Deal With

HIV/AIDS red ribbon

Being diagnosed with HIV is no longer the end of a life. For those with access to appropriate treatment, being HIV positive is the beginning of a life with different challenges.

As a psychotherapist, I have seen how these challenges affect the mental health of those who live with HIV. Using my experience, I outlined the mental health issues these people tend to deal with. By learning about them, you can — if you live with HIV — improve your mental health or more effectively support people who live with HIV. Continue reading The Mental Health Issues People Living with HIV Deal With

My Experience With Survivors of Suicide, as a Therapist and a Person

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Everyday, 117 people in the United States die by suicide. Suicide is also an international health crisis.

Typically when we talk about survivors of suicide, we refer to those who suffered the crisis of an attempt themselves. But survivors also exist in the form of family members and other loved ones who witness or deal with the effects of a completed attempt. Continue reading My Experience With Survivors of Suicide, as a Therapist and a Person

We Need to Talk About Intimate Partner Violence in LGBT Relationships

lesbian couple park bench

Most often when people discuss the impact and dynamics in domestic violence [DV] relationships, they assume the victim is a woman and the perpetrator a male. This discounts the experience of many people across the country and world who identify as LGBT or are male victims of intimate partner violence [IPV]. Intimate partner violence can occur in the context of any relationship pairing, although the media would lead you to believe only straight women can be victims. Continue reading We Need to Talk About Intimate Partner Violence in LGBT Relationships

The Basics of SAD and How You Can Treat It: A Therapist’s Perspective

woman coffee light therapy

Many people with mood disorders, and those without, struggle in the cooler months with shorter days and much less sunlight. When the sun goes down, so does our energy and mood.

For those with Seasonal Affective Disorder [SAD], this change can be debilitating. The change in seasons and less daylight hours can lead to missed days from school or work, relationship problems and drastic changes in mood and weight. The effects of SAD can be devastating.

As a therapist, I come across many clients who experience symptoms such as these and come to understand these cluster of behaviors and experiences as SAD. As the summer months wind down, I can hear the worry and concern in their voices: “But what is winter going to be like for me?” Continue reading The Basics of SAD and How You Can Treat It: A Therapist’s Perspective

Why Is Suicide Increasing in Black Children?

young black girl sad

In July 2015, published research by JAMA Pediatrics indicated the suicide rate among elementary school children (under 12 years of age) had stabilized over two decades. What they were surprised to find was that Black children were at an increased incidence of suicide whereas their White counterparts demonstrated a significant decrease in suicide incidence. While White children’s rates of suicide has stabilized, those of Black children had increased.

What’s happening to our young Black children? Continue reading Why Is Suicide Increasing in Black Children?

My Journey, as a Therapist, from In-Person to Online Therapy at Talkspace

jor-el carabollo talkspace therapist headshot
Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC and Talkspace Therapist

When I first heard about the idea of online counseling, I was skeptical. Talk therapy has a well-known reputation for being an in-person experience. You call and search for a therapist, and anxiously wait to meet with them in their office waiting room for the first session.

Their voice sounded nice on the phone, but you still aren’t sure what to make of them. Are they genuine? Are they the right match for you?

With online counseling you might also wonder: Could this be as effective as in-person therapy?

I’ve been a provider on the Talkspace platform for almost two years now and I admit I came in with a lot of trepidation about meeting clients on the platform. Could I be effective in this medium? Continue reading My Journey, as a Therapist, from In-Person to Online Therapy at Talkspace