6 Ways to NOT Let Your Family Stress You Out Over the Holidays

Gilmore Girls family fighting

Are you dreading the holidays? Chances are it’s because every year your family stresses you out when all you’re trying to do is take a break from the stress of work. It’s especially bad if seeing your family evokes painful memories and dredges issues you would rather save for a therapist.

To help you manage this stress, here are six tips for staying calm and dealing with the most challenging members of your family. They might reduce that holiday dread.

1. Set Boundaries

Sometimes family members upset us frequently to the point where we have a rough idea of how long it takes for them to stress us out. Do you know what your limit us? If so, make sure you can say goodbye to your family before approaching that limit. Tell them your time frame ahead of the reunion so they can manage their expectations. This will also help you avoid hurting their feelings.
If you don’t know what your limit is, try to be careful and figure it out for next time. For now air on the conservative side.

You can also set limits on what you’re going to do when you’re with family. If they have a holiday habit of goading or guilting you into something you hate, tell them ahead of time that you’re not going to put up with that. Continue reading 6 Ways to NOT Let Your Family Stress You Out Over the Holidays

Meet Our Consultation Therapists: Jennifer K. Fuller

Jennifer K. Fuller Gerhart Talkspace therapist headshot

Name: Jennifer K. Fuller
Licensing Info: Licensed Professional Counselor [LPC] in OK #4972, Certified Traumatologist
Where you live: Tulsa, OK
Amount of time working at Talkspace: two years
Time working as a therapist: seven years

Why are you working in therapy/mental health?

I love connecting with people and I was born a very empathetic person. The field of psychology and the human mind fascinate me. It always made sense to me to be working in this field.

But I like to think no matter what job I were to work in I would still be impacting other people’s lives. We all have something to offer one another. That can be done whether you are a therapist, a custodian, a musician, a stay at home mom, entrepreneur, anything.

Everybody is making a difference in others’ lives and the world, even when they don’t realize it. I try to be mindful of that. Continue reading Meet Our Consultation Therapists: Jennifer K. Fuller

Talkspace Is Officially Sponsoring ‘This Is My Brave’

This Is My Brave logo

We are proud to announce our sponsorship of This Is My Brave, an organization that fights against the stigma of mental illness. This Is My Brave pursues this mission by helping people share personal stories about mental illness via several mediums, including live performances, blog posts and social media content.

By sharing stories that humanize and normalize mental illness, This Is My Brave is empowering people to be open about mental illness and seek treatment. We are excited to help them further this amazing and important work.

Part of Talkspace’s mission is combatting the stigma of mental illness and therapy. Many of our clients have stories about how stigma has been in a burden in their lives. By supporting This Is My Brave, we can put stories like theirs on stage.

We’ve helped thousands of people benefit from therapy for the first time. If you want to learn more about online therapy or text-messaging therapy, click on the links. You can also learn more about Talkspace by exploring our homepage.

To support This Is My Brave, visit their website, follow them on social media, donate to their cause or watch the video below!

The 4 Phases You Will Encounter When Making Progress in Therapy

four phases of therapy

Therapy can be daunting. Even if you’re considering working with a psychotherapist, you might not know much or anything about the therapeutic process.

Like all clients, you will want to make progress so you can live a happier life and develop cognitive skills that will help you cope with various challenges. It can seem like a shot in the dark, though. What if you have no idea what the journey will be like or what you need to do?

To illuminate your path, we outlined the phases of making progress in therapy. Rather than forging blindly ahead, you can use this article to navigate the process. Continue reading The 4 Phases You Will Encounter When Making Progress in Therapy

Meet Our Therapists: Kendra Simpson

Kendra Simpson Talkspace therapist headshot

Name: Kendra Simpson
Licensing Info: Licensed Clinical Social Worker [LCSW], Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor [LISAC] Where you live: Arizona
Hometown: Michigan
Amount of time working at Talkspace: almost two years
Time working as a Therapist: 15 years

Why are you working in therapy/mental health?

I’ve known I wanted to be a therapist since middle school. I began working in this field because I felt an innate drive to help others and had a huge curiosity toward the human mind and human behavior.

Over time, however, I have begun to realize this work grants me knowledge beyond what I imagined. Most recently I am reminded that despite all the negativity we are exposed to in this world, I get to interact with positive, hopeful, brave and courageous people each and every day! Continue reading Meet Our Therapists: Kendra Simpson

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

woman picture frame

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

8 Mental Health Challenges Single Moms Face

mom daughter smiling couch

Imagine you suddenly had sole responsibility for two children, earned around $26,000 a year, found your friends drifting away, and continually felt judged for your parenting, no matter how well you handled it.

Welcome to the life of a typical single mom.

As the founder of ESME.com (Empowering Solo Moms Everywhere), I’m astounded by the resilience and fortitude of single moms, who currently are raising 23 million children in the United States alone. The route women take to single motherhood varies, but parenting alone is physically and emotionally demanding. For some single moms, it can take a toll on their mental health. Continue reading 8 Mental Health Challenges Single Moms Face

When Your Family Brings Up Post-Election Politics During Thanksgiving

thanksgiving family turkey politics

It’s going to happen. You’re praying it doesn’t, but it’s inevitable.

During Thanksgiving, one of your relatives is going to bring up post-election politics. If your family members have opposing political views, this could be the beginning of a terrible evening. Your annoying uncle might say Trump isn’t so bad, which spurs your equally annoying aunt into going on a rant about how your uncle hates women.

A few minutes later everyone is shouting and arguing about issues and people you are sick of hearing about: Trump, his cabinet, Hillary, her emails, the electoral college, Bernie Sanders, Obamacare, 2020 and much more. There’s a chance someone will rope you in and pressure you to take a stance in front of the whole family.

What do you do? How do you handle the situation and the stress? Continue reading When Your Family Brings Up Post-Election Politics During Thanksgiving