Tag: mental health

man yelling into megaphone. Text that reads "Affordable counseling in Georgia"

Affordable Counseling in Georgia- Resources & Contact Information

In 2016, 13.9% of Georgia residents were uninsured. For uninsured individuals, comprehensive mental health care, including therapy, is often a rare commodity. The following resource list contains agencies in Georgia who offer affordable counseling, and other mental health services.

       Brenau University 

Low cost clinics are available in two locations: Norcross and Gainesville. In addition to counseling, psychological assessments are available at a reduced rate.

Care and Counseling Center of Georgia

A nonprofit, ecumenical organization offering low cost counseling, pastoral care and education to individuals, couples, and families. They have several counselors in training. Located in Decatur, GA; 404-636-1457.

Emory University Outpatient Psychotherapy Training Program

A Department of Psychiatry training program for new psychiatrists, providing evaluations and individual, couples and group therapy, as well as medication management, on a sliding fee scale; 404-727-0399.

Emory University Psychological Center

A Psychology Department therapy training center providing individual, couples, family and group psychotherapy on a sliding fee sale. They also provide a variety of lower cost psychological testing, including IQ, learning disability, attention deficit disorder and neuropsychological assessment services; 404-727-7451.

Georgia Community Mental Health Service Boards

The publicly funded adult and youth community-based mental health service system in Georgia, provides affordable counseling treatment for mental health and addiction disorders; 404-657-2136.

Georgia State University Psychiatry  Clinic

A Georgia State Department of Psychology training center for new therapists providing individual, couples, family, group psychotherapy, and psychological testing on a sliding fee scale; 404-413-6229.

Heartwork Counseling Center

A therapy training center providing some low fee counseling through their “Project Open Heart” program.  Located in Inman Park, near the Marta station; 404-658-1222.

Jewish Family & Career Services

An organization that provides health, career and human services, including low fee counseling services, serving people of all faiths. They have several locations and counselors in training; 770-677-9305.

Karuna Counseling

Located off Clairmont Road just north of the Emory campus; 404-321-4307.

The Link Counseling Center

A nonprofit community counseling center located in Sandy Springs, 404-256-9797, and Cobb County, 770-541-1114.

Mercer Family Therapy Center

A Mercer University training clinic for new therapists, providing couple and family therapy; located at Piedmont Hospital, near Buckhead; 678-547-6789.

Metropolitan Counseling Services

A nonprofit community counseling center and training center for new therapists providing affordalbe counseling services to adults, located in Atlanta, on Buford Highway; 404-321-0305.

Open Path Collective

Website where therapists register and clients can search for therapist by zip code. This site is for discount sessions $30.00-$50.00 per session. Client’s must pay an initial registration fee of 50$. Individual therapist set their own prices for their counseling services.

Sage Center, Sage Therapy and Education Partnership (STEP Program)

The Mission of the Sage Center is to promote comprehensive wellness in the community by providing quality support services through counseling, consultation, education, and mentorship to individuals, professionals and organizations. Sage Center is committed to serving with integrity, compassion and respect in a balanced and collaborative environment. Reduced fee counseling services available now between $40 – $95. Clients seeking services through the STEP program may complete a short application at www.sagecenteratlanta.com that will help identify the counselor that can best meet the client’s needs and also determine fee. For more information or to inquire about services, please visit www.sagecenteratlanta.comor call Sage Center at 404-419-4221 Extension 103. Sage Center is conveniently located in North Atlanta near interstates 85 and 285 inside the perimeter.

The Training & Counseling Center at St. Luke’s (TACC)

An outreach of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church serving people of all faiths, providing sliding fee scale. Located in downtown Atlanta just south of Crawford Long Hospital off of Courtland Street; 404-876-6266.

Authentic-Life Counseling does not have first hand experience working with any of these agencies.

The reference list of agencies offering affordable counseling in Georgia has been provided as a resource.

Special thanks to Allyce Wellons, psychotherapist, who originally posted this content.

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confused, indecisive woman holding a ball that says Yes and one that says No

Responding to The Unreliable & Wishy-Washy People In Your Life

If you love a person who is wish-washy, unreliable and commitment-phobic (WWUCP), I feel your pain. Many people feel your pain. The unreliable person is a far to common complaint.  We give a pass to serial no-shows, last minute change of plans, and an inability to make a commitment.  Because of the passive-aggressive nature of the WWCUP actions, we are made to feel unjustified in expressing our unhappiness with the constant disappointment.

We should recognize that trying to cultivate a meaningful relationship with unreliable people has a negative impact our mental health. It is not good for us. It is time to respond to the Wishy-Washy, Unreliable and Commitment-Phobic People (WWUCP) in your life.

Stop Feeling Guilty About Setting A Boundary.

If a friend or family member was stealing from you, you would set a boundary and put a stop to it. If you do not, you are enabling their behavior.

Unreliability and an inability to make a commitment is a passive-aggressive form of theft. It steals your time which is a precious commodity.

Time manipulation is often tolerated because of the passive-aggressive nature. We don’t see it as a form of disrespect and theft, but it is.

Stop Accepting The Never Ending Excuses

We all have busy lives. Your time is not more valuable than mine. Unreliable people cancel with weak excuses. Don’t accept them. Weak excuses include canceling plans at the last minute because “Something else came along” or “I changed my mind at the last minute” is more than inconsiderate, it is disrespectful.

lady sitting at river bank
Social isolation and loneliness are one of the effects of having unreliable people as friends.

Call Out Minimizing

WCCUPS friends and family members are great at minimizing their behaviors. “What is the big deal?” “You could have still gone without me.” “Why are you getting so upset?” are familiar justifications. Minimizing their inconsiderate behavior while attempting to shine a light of hard-to-please, demanding, and needy behavior on you.     

Opportunity Cost

Often used in business, an opportunity cost is defined as –  A benefit, profit, or value of something that must be given up to acquire or achieve something else. Since every resource (land, money, time, etc.) can be put to alternative uses, every action, choice, or decision has an associated opportunity cost.

Your time is valuable, and when it is manipulated, unreliable people make you pay an opportunity cost.

Social Isolation

Loneliness and social isolation has been linked to depression, low-self esteem and shame. If you are experiencing lack of social contact because of WCCUPS’s manipulation of your time, you should understand these mental health implications. It is time for you to set a boundary.

Setting Boundaries with Inconsiderate People

Don’t Wait

You should feel confident and assured when setting a boundary. You are not being mean or inconsiderate by expressing your feelings and insisting on respect. The longer you tolerate the WCUUPS behavior the more resentful you will become. Inevitably this leads to you expressing how you feel when you are angry. Don’t wait.

Boundary Setting With WWUCP

If you do not know what to say, use this basic boundary setting format. It allows you to express how you feel while minimizing the risk of creating defensiveness.   

“I feel blank when you do blank.”

Examples:

I feel manipulated when you cancel our plans at the last minute.

I feel sad that I missed the opportunity to go out and have fun on my only day off.

Use Appropriate Levels of Firmness When Setting Boundaries

Start with a lower level of firmness and increase as necessary.

A lower level of firmness might include explaining your feelings of disappointment. Lifting the firmness level up a little would include an more assertive body language such as raising your voice slightly, changing the tone. Be mindful that when you set a boundary you never use an apologetic tone. Use a tone of voice which is confident and assured but kind. Give the WCUUP the benefit of the doubt that they do not understand the impact of their behaviors.

Ask for what you want and need in terms of commitment and reliability. For example, canceling plans at the last minute without a good reason is frustrating.    

Use Higher Levels of Firmness When Necessary

After determining your needs and asking for what wait to see how they respond. If your needs and desires continue to be ignored you have some tough decisions to make. This may include limiting contact and declining future invitations. The relationship may only be able to continue in a  superficial manner. You may need to face the fact that it is time to find new friends.

 

I hope this was helpful. Please leave a comment below and tell me how you are affected by WWUCP’s.    Be in peace – diane

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Ninja Ego

Ninga Ego 

The Ninja Ego

The ego. An elusive but dominating force. It sneaks up on us and takes control of our thoughts, words, and behaviors in a wink of an eye. I have had many discussions with clients, friends and family about the importance of understanding one’s ego.  I have been trying to understand mine for a long time.

The persona of my ego is a ninja. It is shadowy, elusive, potentially dangerous but never far away.

When the conditions are right my ego-ninja takes control of the wheel by hi-jacking perceptions, emotions, rational thinking and behaviors. Often the agenda of my ninja are at odds with my true objectives.

The Latest Coup Attempt 

Please let me provide a little background information for the recent conditions which made a coup attempt perfect for my ninja . My family, like many families, has suffered a great deal due to alcoholism and substance abuse. If you have or have had substance abuse in your family, you know that it is the bad gift that keeps on giving through the years and sometimes, sadly through generations.

Right Conditions

The conditions could not have been more perfect for my ninja ego. It’s summer and I’m at a pool party. An acquaintance, I will call Dean, is drinking shots of Jack Daniels. And…as people do when drinking Jack Daniels…. Dean is becoming obnoxious and loud. A group of vibrant 20 year old girls are at his table. Dean tries  to convince the young women to drink shots with him. None of them do thank goodness. However, Dean was perfectly modeling a crash course in Binge Drinking 101. Responsible Drinking 101 is the course that would benefit the young women. Not to mention Dean’s is breaking the law. And, not to mention, maybe the families of these young women would like to be the ones who introduce them to alcohol by modeling responsible drinking ie Now that you are legal drinking age, would you a glass of wine with dinner?

The Ninja Takes Control

After observing Dean’s actions, I was quite angry. After calming down, I decided to talk to Dean and explain why his actions were not OK on many levels. The discussion I planned to have with Dean began running through my head. It was only through a deep awareness that I understood what Ninja Ego truly wanted. My true objectives were to try and help Dean see how his actions encourage binge drinking of hard whisky to young women and why that is dangerous.   Ninja had a different agenda. Because of my past pain, Ninja Ego wanted to make Dean feel stupid and ashamed. Trying to shed some light on Dean’s behavior had taken back seat to Ninja Egos objectives. Ninja Ego wanted Dean to pay… a little. And at the end of the conversation, Ninja wanted to feel superior and smarter. Yes, Dean should be told that what he did was not smart and explain why. But Ninja wanted more

Surprise….You Too Have an Ninja Too

Your ego has ninja qualities too. Look for them. Understand them. What makes your ninja ego plan a coup? To answer this ask yourself, what do you defend? Is your existence or worth based on some idea of what it  is to be a good man/woman, Republican/Democrat, vegetarian/meat-eater, victim, Protector of Young Women?

When anger, frustration, judgement, intolerance arise, your ninja ego ninja is close by. She is elusive. She is in the shadows, but she is there. Before you know it your good intentions are vanquished.

The most interesting aspect of this experience was the subtle nature of ninja. I barely saw the true intentions, which were to make Dean feel bad, and for me to feel superior and smarter. It was if ninja ego was somewhere, very, very far  back in my subconscious mind.

I know you are there ninja ego. I am watching out for you.

be in peace – diane

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Watching the news is stressing you out

Is Watching the News Stressing You Out?

Watching the news is stressing you out

Images in the news of  police violence, racial tension, domestic and international terrorist attacks, and a divisive Presidential Election are constantly streaming. These images become part of our conscious mind. The result is that 

Watching the news is having a negative affect on our mental health.

I have noticed relationships between family and friends straining and breaking  as we argue and disagree about the causes and solutions to our problems. What I know about problems and solutions is this: Creative and solutions focused thinking, deep listening and flexibility are the ingredients  needed to solve the complicated problems we face in our families and communities. Stress, worry, ego and anxiety will always prevent collaboration and understanding.

If you are stressed out, understanding the root cause is critical, and will dictate the best course of treatment. The root causes of anxiety vary a great deal from one person to the next. Some of us are predisposed to anxiety because of heredity factors.   

We inherit personality types from our parents which make us susceptible to becoming  easily excited, aroused or threatened.

Anxiety might also be sustained through our beliefs, behaviors, or emotions. When we sustain anxiety we are often engaged in anxious self-talk, irrational beliefs, or disassociating from feelings.

Irrational beliefs often have their genesis in childhood. We inherit them from our family of origin.

For example, if the unspoken family rule was “We don’t talk about feelings”, we may assume this behavior. Irrational beliefs further support the behavior. We may subconsciously  think “I am weak when I talk about feelings”. As the cycle continues as we begin to disassociate. We try not to feel anything when in reality, anger, worry and fear is marinating somewhere deep inside, waiting for the right conditions to erupt. The final nail in the coffin occurs when we begin to only pay attention to the stimulus that supports our entrenched beliefs and perceptions. We see what we want to see. We only tune in to the news or radio shows which will support our pre-existing beliefs.

Short-term causes of anxiety are driven by experiences we have in the world. A personal experience with a traumatic event is the hallmark experience which leads to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Witnessing a traumatic event in which we feel threatened or in danger can create PTSD symptoms.

PTSD is particularly relevant  concern today. When we turn on the news we risk witnessing a traumatic event in which we feel personally threatened.

Here are a few solutions to reduce anxiety, stress and worry.

  • A healthy mind must be supported by a healthy life style.

    If your lifestyle lacks exercise, a healthy diet or adequate rest, try to address these issues first. Begin with small changes. If a gym membership makes you feel overwhelmed, begin with a 15 minute walk.

  • Minimize the personality traits that feed anxiety.

    If you are a glass half-empty personality, try to see the glass  half-full. Don’t expect changes to come all at once. This will be a gradual process.  Start with a paradigm changes few times during the day.  I like the book Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson which provides great exercises for changing how we internalize environmental stimulus from a half-empty to a half-full paradigm.

  • Find a therapist.

    Maintaining causes or short term causes of anxiety, are often sustained through a complex interplay of cognition, behaviors, perceptions, and emoting. It is very helpful to have an objective person to help you figure it out, provide support, and offer specific treatments. Use list services  such as Psychologytoday.com or Networktherapy.com to find therapist in your area. These websites also allow for searching by criteria such as areas of specialty, treatment options, gender and religion

  • Practice mindfulness.

    Breathe and be in the present moment. Learn to turn down the racing thoughts. Stop right now and practice. Find something in the present moment that is beautiful, graceful, calming. Often we over-look stimulus in the present moment that will bring us peace, joy, or calm. There are many options for learning mindfulness. Meetup typically offers local groups that provide instruction and support for learning and practicing.  I learned a great deal about mindfulness from reading books. You A. re Here by Zen Master Tich Nhat Hanh is beautifully written, simple and easy to apply. If you are new to meditation, begin with guided meditations which can be found on-line for free.

  • Use a comprehensive treatment approach.

    .We are holistic beings. A change in our physical behavior can change our attitude and vice versa. Do not limit your treatment to one area. If you take up exercise, that will likely reduce anxiety or other psychological symptoms. Try to expand your consciousness and be willing to try changing your behaviors, thinking patterns and how you emote. You can then learn to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.

I often tell clients to try and be the best version of you. This best version is not a version that is hyper-vigilant, afraid, or worried. The best version is flexible, expressive, authentic, happy and calm. Be this. The world needs you at your best.

be well, diane

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The Avatar of Ego

 

Guest Blogger Sonic Yogi

As soon as we begin to attach to an Identity we begin to build an Ego. What’s an Ego? The ego is an avatar that we have created. It seems worthy of love from others. An avatar is also something to be defended from others. So, ironically, ego keeps the connection to others from fully occurring.

We also begin to build the “Shadow”, or the part of of identity that is hiding from view. Shadow fears being discovered because it conflicts with the identity I have chosen. Shadow has desires that seem unacceptable and must be kept secret. This shadow is partly conscious, but mostly subconscious.

Most of ego is ingrained into society at a deep level so that it remains subconscious. When we are children, we are asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” What will you become? It’s as if what we are isn’t enough. We have to choose from a list of activities that will someday define us. It’s not the activity that’s the problem, it’s our need to define ourselves and our need to define others.LoveoverFear

Why is this all so insane? Because no one, not one soul on the planet, chose to be most of these things that define our ego. None of us chose to be White, Black, Yellow, Male, Female.. ..most did not even choose to be a certain religion etc.. ..before we got here. Some things are fundamental to us and others we have chosen, but NONE of them are what WE ARE. But what are we? Humans? yes.. but more importantly we are spirits..and we are psyches..which above all, desire to love and be loved…This is universal for every person and ironically it’s this desire that fuels the quest for identification and acceptance in the first place.

So, the ultimate stress reduction is to surrender, and let go of all of this, and to begin to choose Love over Fear.

About Sonic Yogi (Jon Adams)

Sound has the power to heal. During an experience with extreme anxiety, I found Sound Therapy to be a valuable tool for relaxing and letting go of stress. As a musician, I have always thought of music as a way to entertain and move our emotions. Now I see it’s potential as a healing force. Sound, used therapeutically, can help us relax, de-stress, reconnect and FEEL GREAT. Free downloads and insightful blogs are available at: http://sonicyogi.com/

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Meditation Class with Sound Therapy

Meditation with Sound Therapy July 13th  Offered by Authentic-Life Counseling and SonicYogi
Meditation with Sound Therapy
July 13th
Offered by Authentic-Life Counseling and SonicYogi

Meditation with Sound Therapy

an event for mental restoration

Authentic-Life Counseling and Sonic-Yogi  are pleased to offer a Meditation with Sound Therapy event on July 13th at 2:00 pm.

Location?  3444 Club Drive Lawrenceville GA

What Do I Need? An open mind, a yoga mat, and/or a meditation cushion

How Long Will It Last? Approximately 45 minutes.

What is the Cost?  There is no cost. However, offerings will be accepted to offset cost

What if I do not know how to meditate? This is the perfect event for the novice meditator or those with an established practice. Following a few minutes of instruction, Tibetan singing bowls will be sounded for 30 minutes. Novice meditators are encouraged to use the relaxing sound of the bowls to support their meditation practice, while experienced meditators can enhance their practice.    

Do I have to meditate for 30 minutes?  No. You can meditate as long as you would like. After 5 or 10 minutes of sitting meditation if you would like, relax on your mat, and let the relaxing vibration of the Tibetan singing bowls wash over you.

How can Meditation with Sound Therapy help you? 

Fast achievement of deep relaxation.

Gentle massage through sound and vibration.

Relief of tensions in the mind and body.

Reinforcement of self-healing forces.

Renewed sense of well-being.

Silencing mind chatter and connecting to inner stillness.

Improved sleep 

We live in a world of sound! Everyone likes music, and for good reason. Music is food for our soul. Not all music and sound is created equal, however. Come and learn how frequency and vibration can affect the way we think and feel. Our brainwaves and our thoughts themselves create frequency waves and are measured in “hertz”, just like sound waves.  Sound has the power to affect us not only emotionally, but also to affect our states of consciousness and our brainwaves. Most of the music we are exposed to is within an international standard for frequencies, but there are many other frequencies that we are not exposed to on a daily basis that can have a profound and beneficial impact on us both mentally and physically.

 

 

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Top 10 Suggestions for Good Mental Health

Top 10 Suggestions for Mental Health
Top 10 Suggestions for Mental Health

Top 10 Suggestions for Good Mental Health

Good mental health must be cultivated. There is a direct correlation between the time, effort and discipline one uses to cultivate good mental health and one’s actual mental health.

My top 10 list for cultivating good mental health falls into three basic categories : Behavior Modification, Skills Mastery, Self Mastery

Behavior Modification  –  Positive changes in the realm of physical health may also improve mental health.

10.  Exercise – Releases hormones and neurotransmitters associated with positive emotions.   

9  Healthy Diet  – Not only does a healthy body need good nutrition, so does a healthy mind. Our relationship with food is also significant and includes body-image, issues of control and emotional eating.  

8  Hobby  – Spending time engaged in activities which bring us joy fosters well-being.  

Skills Mastery  – A few basic skills can be of a tremendous help in relationships and self growth

7  Relationships Skills – Many skills such as assertive communication, active listening and attending to relationships cultivate the loving relationships where we find support, validation and a sense of belonging  

6  Take in the Good – According to neuropsychologist Rick Hanson we have a biological and evolutionary propensity to be negative. Our ancestors had to remember the location of the hostile tribes, not necessarily the location of the gorgeous waterfalls in order to stay alive.  To stay positive, notice the positive. Stay with them and try to enhance the experience.

5  Learn to Set Boundaries- Most of us have  a tendency of either passive or negative energy when we set boundaries.  Learning assertive behaviors and communication is empowering and fosters confidence and a sense of control.

Self Mastery – These skills allow us to master our thoughts, emotions and responses to our environment

4. Energy Hygiene – We are energetic beings. The intensity of negative emotions can be  diminished, and positive emotions can be easily instilled by learning and using simple energy hygiene exercises such as Emotional Freedom Tapping. 

3   Know thyself  – What have you packed away in your ego? We all have something. Is it an inflated (egotistical) or deflated (low self esteem) sense of self ? Discovering how you define self is a fascinating journey. Yet, the ego remains unconscious to many of us, even though it defines how we see and respond to the world.

2  Mindfulness – When we stay in the present moment, we touch life.  We become aware of the miracles around us. We begin to think more clearly and can subsequently respond to our environment in a more adaptive manner.

1  Meditation –   Is the deepest of mindfulness practices. As we focus on the breathe we observe our  thoughts as they arise. This is different from attaching to our thoughts. Meditation also generates  a sense of peace, improves concentration, and slows down racing thought patterns.  

with blessings – diane

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This Moment Points At Me

This Moment Points at Me

Mindfulness practice and a craving for pancakes points to some truths about me
Mindfulness practice and a craving for pancakes points to some truths about me

This moment, the essence of now, points to the truth. The grips of grasping, attachment and delusions which control our behaviors and thinking are revealed in the now.  The essence of now points to the essence of me. Who am I? Who am I in this moment?

As I sit at my desk, visual, auditory, kinesthetic stimulation influence “me”.  I am slightly aware of the soreness in my back. I see my dog.  The house is currently quiet. Pleasant sensory stimulation.  I feel calm, happy and grateful. But the pleasant sensory stimulation will change. It always does. Just give it some time. Will I be able to remain mindful, calm, happy and grateful when the neighborhood dog starts barking? If my back pain gets worse? If my dog becomes insistent that I take her for a walk?  If the stimulation provided to my five senses changes from pleasant to unpleasant, how will I change in that moment? And what does that say about me? Which sensory change will have the most impact? The barking dog, back pain, or interruption?

The Sense of Mind

We have another sensory faculty which has a strong influence on the present moment and points to “Me”. This is the Sense of Mind. Our Mind Sense includes beliefs, intentions, cravings, perceptions, will, concentration, general tone (good or bad mood), and desire.

I become aware of my mind sense, it’s influence on the present moment, and what that reveals about “me”. I am aware of my intentions. At this moment they are clear. Intentionally write a blog about mindfulness. Through mindfulness practice I know that my intentions are not always clear. I have gained some insight as to how/why they become muddled through mindful attention.

Cravings are starting to hijack me the longer I sit. I can’t stop thinking about pancakes.  I want pancakes for breakfast. Mindfully, I have observed my cravings. I look inward to them. My cravings often have specific themes of food and general themes of comfort. There is  knowledge about me when I look at what I  crave.

Mindfully I recognize a vague belief about making pancakes. I believe that making and eating pancakes for breakfast brings peace to Sunday mornings. This is a delusion. I wish it were so easy. Pancakes cannot guarantee peace.

I am hopeful that this will be a peaceful and happy Sunday morning. If I stay mindful, I believe it will.

with blessings – diane

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Righteous Anger

Righteous Anger

Is Anger ever the right response? Is it possible that the “right” expression of anger, used in the “right” circumstances serves a purpose? Is it possible for anger to be expressed consciously? Jesus was certainly enlightened and conscious, and he became angry. Flipping over tables in the temple, rebuking Peter, and calling the Pharisees hypocrites are a few examples. Are we enlightened and conscious enough to use righteous anger in a productive manner?

Anger Begets Anger

A husband becomes angry with his wife after she is caught lying about her impulsive and out-of- control shopping and spending which is threatening their financial future. The husband has been patient, understanding and supportive up until now. After the husband reviews the facts about the spending, and the financial implications to their family, he begins to outline the consequences of her behavior. In a raised voice he states her actions have changed their relationship. He can no longer trust her, particularly with money. He then sets boundaries and outlines the steps he will take to separate their credit and finances. The wife in-turn becomes angry and defiant and accuses the husband of being controlling, stingy and harsh.

Anger : The Slippery Slope of Emotions

Anger can be a slippery slope because Anger often begets Anger. That does not mean it is wrong, it just means that you should be prepared to accept these consequences. The expression of Righteous Anger can result in a person finally hearing and recognizing the consequences of their actions. However, shame, resentment, defense are common reactions. So, if you must use anger to be heard, be prepared for the emotions that anger may illicit. Jesus probably did not make new friends at the temple after turning over the tables. Also be sure of the motivation for your anger. If you are angry because your ego has been threatened or challenged, then pull back. Acting with anger is probably not the right response. Instead, take a deep breath and a step back. If your anger is about you, it is not righteous. If you act in anger because something bigger than you is under attack, exploited, cheated etc. perhaps using anger productively might be the emotional response that gets through, that is heard, and helps a person to realize the consequences of their actions.

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Mental Health Wellness

Welcome to my blog

My name is Diane Chrestman, and I am a mental-health counselor, with a private practice in Suwanee GA. I serve individuals and families who are suffering due to emotional and cognitive difficulties, trauma and complicated relationships. My intentions are for the comments, observations and ideas that are shared in this blog to move us all in the direction of peace, joy, and awareness.

Let’s take a look at the statistics

According to the Food and Drug Administration the number of people disabled by a mental health illness has doubled since 1987. In 2007, it is estimated that 1 in every 76 Americans suffers from a mental-health illness. Do we have a mental-health epidemic in our country, community, families? I think that we do.

Mental-health professionals have many different opinions as to the cause of this startling rise in mental health illnesses, and I will likely discuss some of the various hypothesis in future blogs.

Whatever the causes may be, I believe that an equally important facet of the discussion is identifying and promoting prevention measures which help us achieve and maintain mental health wellness. I believe several options are available to us all and that including mental-health wellness activities should become part of our daily health routine.

Promoting good mental health means preventative measures

Prevention measures can be simple and inexpensive. One of the most important steps we can take is to make a commitment to our mental-health. We make jokes about needing a “mental health day” but it seems by the time we make this comment we are at the end of our rope.

Good mental health requires time, be patient

I am convinced that if you want to feel emotionally balanced, centered, grounded, and happy, you must routinely attend to your mental health. Being, remaining, or becoming mentally healthy can take time and commitment, just as eating healthy may require a little more time and planning. Committing to your mental health also takes the right amount of effort. One 10 minute attempt at meditation, will probably not realize any long-lasting improvements in concentration abilities.

Another reason to love exercise…

Exercise is another (free) mental health wellness activity which has been linked to relieving depression and insomnia. Meditation is a particularly powerful tool that has been shown to be beneficial in relieving a host of mental health issues such as emotional regulation, reducing anxiety and panic symptoms, and improving concentration. Making time to be with the people we love is also good for our mental health.

Or get creative

Expressing yourself in a creative manner is immensely therapeutic. Try picking up a sketch pad, paintbrush or even arranging flowers, sticks or whatever you can find outside. Try something!! Make a conscious effort and commitment to do something today, the rest of the week, the rest of the month.

But in the end, the first step is commitment

Take care for your mental health. To deepen the experience, make your intentions conscious. Say to yourself that you are making a commitment to (fill in the blank – exercise, meditate, be creative etc) because you are important and committed to your mental health. Let’s do it!! (I feel inspired just writing about it).

With blessings – diane

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