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Could Therapy Help Me?

Could Therapy Help Me?

I get it. Thinking about starting therapy and talking about your past can be so hard. The emotional toll it could take on you seems overwhelming. The thoughts that tell you not to share what you did or what they did can be loud and scary. What I also know is that doing nothing only worsens all of the emotions and takes an even larger toll on your current life and important relationships. If you can relate to this, I encourage you to hang in here with me and read through this blog. Could you work with a therapist to help you heal from past wounds? Therapy helps if you are willing to put the effort in.

There are many different circumstances that lead to us needing the help of a therapist to sort out our feelings toward them and their affects. Below we will take a look at different types of counseling and how it can help you.

Trauma Counseling

Trauma often times comes from our childhood but can occur at any time in our lives. It can result from experiencing a traumatic circumstance and also from the harmful words said to us. When left untreated, trauma can affect our relationships as well as our ability to carry out necessary life tasks and responsibility. Seeking therapy for trauma can help.

Anxiety Counseling

Knowing when anxiety is negatively impacting our daily life can be hard to recognize. All of us experience some level anxiety, it’s completely normal. Our body uses anxiety to alert us of something happening. But how do you know if you have too much anxiety? If most of your waking hours become consumed by physical and mental symptoms, it is time to talk to someone about your anxiety. Struggling with anxiety can impact every aspect of your life. It can leave you feeling overwhelmed and uncertain what to do. You do not have to handle the feelings of excessive worry alone, we have anxiety therapists who can help.

Depression Counseling

When feelings of depression and isolation consume you, it can be very scary and lonely. Does the sadness feel like it will never end? Feelings of worthlessness or thoughts that you just can’t go on can point to depression. Do you choose to stay home instead of going out with friends the way you used to? Do you lack motivation or excitement for life? When these feelings interrupt your work or relationships, it is time to seek help from a depression therapist. You don’t have to walk this journey alone.

Life Transition Counseling

Throughout our lives we will experience many seasons of change. How do you navigate change? Some changes are good and exciting, but some changes are hard and not what you desired. Someone else’s choices, a relationship ending, divorce or financial trouble are just a few life transitions that can be hard to navigate the next steps. Upstate Restorative Counseling can help you as you walk through the changes and help make the best choices for you walk forward.

Relationship Counseling

Let’s face it! Relationships can be hard. Your past wounds mixed with their past wounds can lead to hard relationship struggles that are not easy to overcome. You both may be feeling not heard or your emotions and opinions not being recognized. You both may have expectations in the relationship that do not align. This can bring hurt, anger and unresolved conflict. Therapy helps you achieve improved relationships.

Keep a Positive Mindset.

Keep a positive outlook focusing on your goals and need for healing. Look for a therapist you connect with. One who is a good listener, and you can establish a positive working relationship with.  It may not feel easy at first, just do not give up. Change doesn’t come from choosing to change nothing. We have to take steps of change to bring about new things in our lives.

Your first appointment may be scary, and emotions may be high. Calmly and kindly speak to yourself reminding yourself that it will be ok. Remember your goal of healing and change. It may help to take a step back and see things with a wider perspective. Your issues and past seem huge to you and affect everything, but your therapist helps people through their wounds every day. Your story will not be too much for them. You are not too messed up to seek help. There is more regarding your first appointment here.

What to Expect in Counseling?

Your therapist will want to get to know you. Conversation at first may seem like general conversation, but that is necessary for them to get to know you and you to feel comfortable with them. This will help them in working with your specific concerns. I encourage you to be as open as possible. Pick and choosing what you share could eliminate some really important details that could help your healing. You may even find that the general conversations put you more at ease for starting therapy.

Being honest to yourself and with your therapist will result in the best results. Your therapist is there to help you work on setting attainable goals, to provide encouragement and accountability to help you move forward to where you want to be. It will take work on your side. Dedication and time between sessions will be needed to process your conversation and do whatever homework you were given.

Next Steps.

Therapy is choosing to take steps to improve your quality of life. It is you choosing help to heal unhealthy relationships. It is you choosing a path toward freedom. Upstate Restorative Counseling has therapist ready to help you find your path forward.

Are Holidays with Family Hard for You?

Are Holidays with Family Hard for You?

With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas fast approaching, some may feel like they have hardly had time to recover from being together with family. Not everyone enjoys gathering with family and the holidays feel anything but joyful. Sometimes family can be hard. Past family trauma can truly cause anxiety when we face having to gather. Today we are going to talk about that.

Is it My Family Causing my Feelings of Anxiety?

Does the thought of attending a family gathering set off stress and anxiety for you? Do you find yourself thinking through who all is going to be there and reeling through thoughts leading up to the gathering? Know that you are not alone. It is a common occurrence to feel anxiety leading up to the expectation that you will spend time with family. When family dynamics are dysfunctional or abusive, it is easy to understand why feelings of dread or anxiety may be present. Do you struggle with the preference of not wanting to spend time with your family? Today I encourage you to be gentle on yourself. There may be valid reasons for those feelings. Below are some circumstances that could point to some early childhood trauma.

  • Are you immediately defensive at the sight of someone?
  • Do you find yourself physically not feeling well when visiting?
  • Are you in a distant place when are with this person, removed?
  • Do you struggle with feelings of not being good enough or have critical self-thoughts?
  • Are you mentally taking notes of everything wrong with everyone during your visit?
  • Do you immediately feel like a child again and that someone is trying to control your decisions?

These are only a few examples that could signify that your family has some dysfunction that is still affecting you today. Recognizing a need for change is a wonderful first step. Below we will talk about why you could feel this way around your family.

Why do I Feel This Way Around My Family?

When we are children and growing physically, mentally and emotionally, we need support to do so in a healthy way. When we don’t receive that support in each area of growth, we have gaps in our ability to handle our thoughts, emotions and decisions in a healthy way. Depending on what circumstances we were raised in, we live out different effects of the trauma we experienced. If we never seek help with dealing with the trauma, we often live out the effects of trauma our whole lives. Unresolved trauma can wreck our minds, our bodies, our relationships and our health. Did you know that over 60% of children experience some sort of childhood trauma? Below are examples of unhealthy environments that could have led to childhood trauma.

  • Substance or alcohol abuse
  • Emotional, verbal or physical abuse
  • Name calling, criticism or gaslighting
  • Lack of resources for basic needs, moving from place to place

 

These are not the only circumstances that could have led to dysfunctional family relationships. In households where more than one type of trauma existed, therapy can be a great next step to taking back your life and growing toward what you desire.

How Can I Move Forward?

If you find yourself at a place of being ready to step away from the past and into a future where life doesn’t seem like one long stomachache, read ahead, there is hope and you are not alone. When choosing to change and shape your life into healthier relationships and more joyful environment, change will be necessary. We simply can’t achieve change by doing the same things over and over. Will it be hard? Will it dig up old feelings? Could you be stronger by choosing to face it and make the changes? The answer to all of these is Yes. Below are some suggestions that could help you take one step away from the past and one step closer to the future you envision.

  • Identify which of your family members are seeking to become healthy themselves and who isn’t. You can’t have a healthy relationship with someone who isn’t seeking help for themselves.
  • Does someone always choose a topic of discussion that makes you uncomfortable? Ask them to stop asking you about the topic. If they refuse, evaluate if you can still spend time with them. A person who respects others, also will respect what their requests.
  • Learn to detach from unhealthy situations. Avoid subjects that cause deep emotions. Carry out light and positive conversations.
  • Have a planned time for a visit. Know ahead of time your “time to exit topics”. Choose what topics you are willing to discuss and not discuss before arriving. Don’t be afraid to leave, respectfully.
  • Decide for yourself what topics in your life are open for discussion and which ones are private.
  • Learn to say no, even when it is uncomfortable or unexpected.
  • Know that you can not change anyone. They must decide to change themselves.
  •  It is ok to say no to a family gathering if you are not able to attend knowing that it will be detrimental to your own mental health.

Trying to navigate family gatherings after trauma can be very difficult. Often times, help is needed, and that is ok. If you have tried to take some of the above steps but find that either your relationships are not improving or family continues to not respect your boundaries, it may be time meet with a therapist and let them help you. Understanding boundaries and knowing when to cut ties can be hard. If you would like help in moving forward for you and away from childhood trauma, reach out today. We would love to help you.

Could Unmet Childhood Needs be Still Affecting Me?

Could Unmet Childhood Needs be Still Affecting Me?

Things that we experience in our childhoods can carry over throughout our lives if left unresolved. Could unmet childhood needs be still affecting me, you might wonder? The answer is yes. Unmet childhood needs can mold how we feel, how we think and how we respond to others and participate in our relationships. Would you like to be able to identify if unmet childhood needs are affecting your adult life? Today will talk about what our basic needs are as children as well as how having unmet childhood needs can affect different areas of our lives.

What are Basic Childhood Needs?

Childhood requires some basic needs be met to establish a balanced sense of belonging and to thrive into adulthood. Food, water, shelter, protection and clothing are examples of basic childhood needs. There are also social and emotional needs that each child needs modeled by their parents or guardians. Some of those emotional needs include security, unconditional love, acceptance, emotional coaching, routines, responsibility as well as play time. Do you find yourself thinking you could have unmet childhood needs in some of these areas? Would you like to be able to identify if you have unmet childhood needs? Below, we will take a look at ways to determine if some unmet childhood needs could still be affecting you.

How Does Unmet Physical Needs Affect Me?

When children are raised in households where physical needs are not met such as food, water, shelter, protection and clothing, there are symptoms that can be seen in adults that have not sought help for their behaviors. Some of those signs from unmet physical needs are below. anxiety mood disorder

  • Low self esteem
  • Eating disorders
  • Insecurity in relationships
  • Anxiety or mood disorders
  • Need to micromanage others

This list is not conclusive, but rather, a few examples of how physical needs not being met in childhood can carry over into adulthood. Do any of these signs seem familiar to you? If you would like help in creating an action plan to take steps to live more successfuly, we are here to help

How Does Unmet Emotional Needs Affect Me?

Like physical needs, emotional childhood needs not being met during childhood often carry into adulthood. Acceptance, approval, unconditional love, emotional coaching and play time are a few examples of these needs. Some of the signs from unmet emotional needs are below.

  • Fear of failureplaytime
  • “Yes” person, fear of saying no
  • Affirmation needed from everyone
  • Unhealthy relationships
  • Substance abuse

Again, this list is not conclusive, but a start at recognizing if you suffer from childhood needs not being met. Often parents will repeat neglectful behaviors, which keeps the cycle of unmet needs continuing generation after generation.

Do today’s topics feel heavy to you, but you don’t know where to start? We are here to help you. Upstate Restorative Counseling provides other services that can help you! We provide assistance with counseling in TraumaAnxietyDepressionNavigating Life TransitionsResolving Relationship Issues, and Online Therapy. When you are ready, our team is here to support you.

Can Choosing Gratitude Strengthen My Mental Health?

Can Choosing Gratitude Strengthen My Mental Health?

Is it possible by choosing to be grateful that you could see an improvement in your mental health? If you’re looking to see positive changes in your physical health, read further to get advice from a therapist in Greenville, SC and if being grateful can help you with how you feel and share your emotions.

Gratitude is a characteristic that allows a person to perceive and appreciate the good around them.  It opens their eyes and mind to see and feel the meaningful areas of their life.  It is choosing a mindset that allows you to look for the good, positive, and meaningful areas of your life instead of focusing only on the hard struggles and what is negative.

Choosing gratitude is a mindset and practice that will help us as we experience life, including the past, hard seasons and challenges of daily living.

There are some wonderful benefits to choosing gratitude. These benefits are good for our bodies, mind, and emotions.

Physically, gratitude can help with:

  • Reducing stress and how it manifests itself in our bodies
  • Can help to lower blood pressuresAn image of a woman relaxing at the beach representing peacefulness and gratitude. Find a Therapist in Greenville, SC to help you identify daily gratitude in your life. Whether wanting to begin a gratitude journal or understand the link between gratitude and depression our counselors can help.
  • Boosts our immune systems to be stronger
  • Can help to improve our quality of sleep

Mentally, gratitude can help with:

  • Focusing our mind on a positive experience
  • Helping us to look for and experience good
  • Start to help us be more present in the moments of our day
  • Help to gain momentum in choosing our mindset and not being pulled along by the experiences of the day or the tone set by someone else

Emotionally, gratitude can help with:

  • Feeling less sad
  • Being able to recognize and appreciate what we do have in our lives instead of focusing on what we feel is missing
  • Feeling less worried when you are able to see other concerns have worked out in a positive way previously
  • Experiencing more peace during your day
  • Feeling Calmer

Choosing to be grateful can start at any time with just one choice.

Choosing today to look for one good thing in your day such as:A person enjoying a cup of coffee and admiring the autumn leaves. Get help from a therapist in Greenville, SC to identify daily gratitude. Start a gratitude journal, or learn how gratitude works with anxiety.

  • a smile from a stranger
  • delicious foods you ate
  • a nice text from a friend
  • complimenting someone on a task well done today
  • a beautiful flower you saw on the way to work
  • warm weather for your walk tonight
  • enjoying the fall decorations
  • and so many more good things that if we can be present for a moment we may see

Once you start to be present and soak in these moments, you will be able to see how choosing gratitude can make a difference in your life in a positive and meaningful way.

How can I choose to practice more gratitude in my day?  Here are some suggestions to try:

  • Choose each day to see the good around you
  • Keep a journal and record each day the good you see.  Nothing is too small to record
  • Be open to accepting good things.  Often, we may love to be a giver, but can have trouble receiving
  • A photo of flowers, glasses, a pen and a thank you note. Discover a Greenville, SC therapist who will work with you to identify and express daily acts of gratitude. Our counselors have the ability to help you overcome anxiety and depression by acknowledging the link between them and gratitude. Reach out to get the help you deserve!Keep margin in your schedule to exhale and slow down a bit
  • Be present in the moment
  • Look for opportunities to give kindness to others
  • Practice saying thank you
  • Be mindful of your 5 senses and enjoy how they enhance your life
  • Think about others you are grateful for and share that with them
  • Take a few moments at the end of each day and think about the good things in this day.  How much good can you count?

Choosing to be grateful can be a difficult change for some who have experienced pain, sorrow, and hard seasons in their life.  If this is something you are struggling with, our therapists would love to work with you and help you to make positive changes to encourage and support your mental health needs.

Want to learn more about gratitude and how it can help you? Book now with our therapists in Greenville, SC.

If you’re looking for support in understanding and increasing your gratitude this next season, a therapist at Upstate Restorative Counseling can help, Learn more about Upstate Restorative Counseling in Greenville, SC.

Other Services Provided by our Therapists in Greenville, SC

We know that life is hard, you’re not alone in dealing with it. Upstate Restorative Counseling provides other services that can help you! We provide assistance with counseling in Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Navigating Life Transitions, Resolving Relationship Issues, and Online Therapy. When you are ready, our team is here to support you.

 

 

Are You Struggling with PTSD?

Are You Struggling with PTSD?

PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder and can occur when someone has experienced or had exposure to a traumatic event.   Often we hear about PTSD from those who have experienced a military trauma, a natural event trauma like a hurricane or flood, or maybe had an experience with violence.  While these are some of the situations and experiences where someone may struggle with PTSD there are so many more experiences that can also cause people to struggle with the symptoms of PTSD.

Symptoms that you are struggling with PTSD can affect every part of a person’s life.  There are physical, mental, relationship, and emotional symptoms.  If you are wondering if you may have PTSD or are struggling with some of these symptoms, we would encourage you to reach out to your family doctor or a therapist to further discuss how you are feeling as some of these symptoms can also be present in other concerns.

What might PTSD feel like physically?
  • Easily startled or frightened
  • Feeling as if you need to be on guard in all situations
  • Looking at circumstances and needing to immediate assess for danger
  • Choosing self-destructive behaviors such as possibly over-drinking, driving too fast, taking physical risks that you would not normally take
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Struggling with flashbacks
  • Having nightmares
  • Feeling restless and unable to relax
  • Feeling irritable
  • Unable able to control your anger
  • Aggressive behavior
What might PTSD feel like mentally?
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble working through processes to accomplish tasks you are used to doing
  • Memory problems
  • Trouble staying focused
  • Avoiding thinking about the trauma, your life, or what you may need
  • Always thinking about what has happened
  • Choosing to be quiet and withdraw from talking with others
What might PTSD feel like emotionally?
  • Struggling with having negative thoughts about yourself, others, and your circumstances
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships
  • Feeling detached from friends and family
  • Lack of interest in activities that you enjoyed before
  • Feeling numb
  • Difficulty expressing positive emotions
  • Overwhelming guilt
  • Feeling shame
There is help!

These are a few of the symptoms that can be present when you are struggling with PTSD.  No one person is affected with the exact same symptoms and there can be other symptoms that can also be present.  These symptoms can also be a result of other physical, mental, and emotional concerns.

When you are struggling with any of these symptoms of PTSD you should not try to walk this journey alone.  There are many benefits when working with a therapist who is trained in tools that can help you manage your PTSD.  That journey begins with having someone who will listen and respect your story.  That is the first step with all of our therapists.

Working with a therapist will also help you to better understand and work through your personal story, the events and trauma that you have experienced.  They can help you determine the triggers that you are struggling with.  Once those are defined, they can help you to see how your physical body, mind and your emotions react to those triggers.  They will provide tools that will help you to manage those triggers and allow you to have control back in how you will react and work through these concerns. Our therapists believe in providing individual tools and plans for each client that meets their needs and will help them to move forward towards the life they want to have.

For more information on the services that our therapists provide for PTSD and trauma please see https://upstaterestorativecounseling.com/trauma-therapy/

The First Appointment

The First Appointment

Congratulations on taking the first step to a healthier you!!  It is a big step to research therapists, choose one who you will think will be a good fit and then schedule the appointment.

Now that you have found a therapist and your appointment is approaching, you may begin to feel a little uncertain or even anxious not knowing how to prepare for that time or what to expect in that first session.

What Should I Do Before My Appointment:

Determine Your Why.

This first session is just the start of working with your therapist. If you are not sure what you want to begin with, it might be helpful to think through some of these questions:

  • What is your biggest struggle right now and how is it affecting your daily life?
  • Where are you at in your life right now and where do you want to be?
  • Is there an event or circumstance that you are struggling to work through?
Complete Initial Paperwork.

Most therapists will have some paperwork they would like you to complete prior to your first session. There will probably be:

  • Disclosures to sign giving the therapist consent to meet with you
  • Disclosures on confidentiality and what your expectations for your privacy are
  • Practices policies of your therapist-this will tell you how they operate like hours, how to reach them, what to do if you need to cancel
  • Insurance information if they accept your insurance
  • Credit card or payment method for sessions
  • Questionnaire that provides you with a place to share why you are seeking a therapist
Check Insurance.

Depending if the therapist takes your insurance, you will want to verify that and how much your plan will pay towards your sessions. You can call the number on the back of your insurance card, and they should be able to help you.

Now that you have completed the initial paperwork, what can you expect from your first session?

Purpose of the First Session.

The purpose of the first session is for the therapist to get to know the client as a person and to begin to understand what the client wants to get from therapy.

What to Expect from the Therapist.

At the beginning the session, your therapist will review some of the disclosures you signed and make sure they have the needed information to begin.  After the paperwork is reviewed, they will ask you to share a little about yourself and why you want to to begin therapy.

Your therapist should be a great listener and be respectful to you and what you are sharing. This is beginning of a therapy relationship, and you will need to be able to share hard emotions and circumstances to move forward in your healing.

Your therapist may take a few notes and ask some questions to make sure they are understanding what you are sharing.

What the Therapist Will Need from You.
  • -be open to the therapy process
  • -begin to share your story and why you are there
  • -ask questions

It is crucial to remember that this first session is just the beginning of getting to know your therapist and them starting to learn about you and your story. Building a relationship takes time and as the relationship and trust develops, you will feel more comfortable sharing more and working on the goals that you want from therapy.

In our practice, our therapists believe it is critical for each client to feel heard and seen in order for them to be able to work together in therapy. They are exceptional listeners and work with their clients on the goals that the client has shared. They treat every client with respect and will work with the client to determine what tools and therapies will best help them reach their goals. They would love to meet with you and see how they can help you on your journey to the life you want.  For more information on our therapists, please see https://upstaterestorativecounseling.com/about/