Counselors & Coaches

Performance Based Self-Identity

Self-identity is the recognition of someone’s potential and qualities as an individual. When we have a balanced view of our self-identity, we can find the worth and value in the many facets that make us human. For example, a person can say I am smart, I am kind to others, I am attractive, I have a great sense of humor, I have a good work ethic, etc. However, many people find their self-identity, and their self-worth, not in who they are, but what they do.

This is called Performance Based Self-Identity.

Performance Based Self-Identity creates two types of people: perfectionists and avoiders. Both of these types of people have the same mantra of “I must meet certain standards to feel good about myself” (taken from “The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee- highly recommended!)

self-identity, performance, failing, workaholicBeing a perfectionist is often viewed as a good trait because perfectionists work hard, get things done, and are reliable; however, being a perfectionist means that impossible standards are set and never obtained. No one is perfect; therefore, setting out to be is impossible and frustrating when not achieved. The perfectionist’s thinking of him or herself looks like, “Today, I got a 100% on my AP test; I got the highest promotion at work; I am a mom who has it all together…therefore, I am good/valuable/worthy/etc.” While these are all wonderful achievements, situations and circumstances change on a daily basis, so if a perfectionist feels valuable because he got the highest promotion, what will happen to his self-worth if he gets fired or laid off? This is when the perfectionist spirals into a state of devastation […]

“Her Story” Orlando Infertility Counseling

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Orlando Infertility Counseling with Life Counseling Solutions highlights an Orlando woman who is stepping out as an advocate and writing about “Her Story”.  She is a voice for other women who are feeling alone and struggling with infertility.

“Her Story”

 When my husband and I started trying to get pregnant, we just assumed it would happen naturally and quickly…the way that 50% of women get pregnant within 3 months, 75% within 6 months, and 90% within a year.  After about 9 months of no success, I finally got a referral for a reproductive endocrinologist, and that is when our journey began.  We learned that we had some mild male factor infertility and a low ovarian reserve.  That was a blow to find out, because, at only 32, I still considered myself young and healthy.  Our doctor encouraged us to get started on fertility treatments soon since “time was not on our side.” We started our first round of IUI a few months later.  Despite everything seeming ideal that cycle, we did not have success.  I remember crying the morning I got my period and thinking that it might never happen for us.  It seemed that everyone I know was getting pregnant.  I dreaded going on Facebook because I just knew that someone else would be announcing her pregnancy, but yet I couldn’t resist checking anyway.

We did another round of IUI two months later and at the end of the month, we got the news we had been praying for…a positive pregnancy test!  My beta levels were rising just as they should and we quickly spread the word among our […]

Flight Of A Mom With a Special Needs Child, Orlando Women’s Counseling

 

When we are about to take off on a flight, the flight attendants instruct us about our seat belts, emergency exits and oxygen masks. Few of us pay attention.  We are busy settling a baby, telling our kids not to kick the seat in front of you and getting the DVD player rigged up. However, we are told if the oxygen mask drops from the compartment above to put your mask on first. Do you remember why? You can’t help your child/children if you don’t help yourself first and pass out from lack of oxygen. So why don’t we apply this in other areas of our lives that have taken flight in a direction we haven’t planned for? Especially if you have boarded the flight of a mom with a special needs child.

When we become mothers we often neglect ourselves as we care for our children. I am a mom of two little boys and ride the turbulent flight of health and learning problems for each one of my sons. It has taken time and effort to make sure both have proper care, Doctor’s, OT, PT, Speech, Learning Specialists, finding the right school, educating teachers about their needs, researching and being an advocate.

Maybe your experience began during pregnancy, when your child was born, in the NICU or during his/her first few years of life. You took on the role of being a mom and your child’s care needs are many: appointments, medication, daily functioning, nursing, emotional and social needs. You cope with crisis […]

Sarasota Murder-Suicide, Postpartum Depression? | Orlando Women’s Counseling

Sarasota Murder-Suicide, Postpartum Depression?

 Police: Mom shoots baby, then herself in Sarasota murder-suicide.  

This weekend a devastating and very sad story aired on the Orlando news.  The city of Sarasota needlessly lost a mother and baby.  This story impacts us greatly at Orlando Women’s Counseling as we work with women who have suffered from Postpartum Anxiety and Depression. Recently in Florida May 2013, a mom left her baby in the car and the baby died.  She was suffering from Postpartum Depression.  We can’t help but wonder if we could make a difference! Could we have prevented a tragedy like this from happening?  Was the Sarasota Murder-Suicide, Postpartum Depression? If others knew how to find help for a mom and baby could we prevent this from happening?

Cheryl Glassford, reporter with Bay New 9 in Sarasota wrote, “Little is known at this time about what could have led up to the incident, still some residents in the neighborhood are wondering if they could have made a difference.”

 One of the neighbors interviewed stated “There is help out there for people that need the help, and just ask…people will help,” said Kizman. “I pray for the family. For everyone that’s involved.”

How can you tell if a mom is suffering or is at risk for postpartum depression?

First, you should know a mom may not be able to ask for help. Why not?  Media reports of severe postpartum issues create shock waves in the public.  The loss of a mother and child is painful and hard to understand.  It hurts deeply. Thus, shame becomes […]

New Mom Jitters or Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety? Orlando Women’s Counseling

 New Mom Jitters or Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety? 

“I’ve heard of Postpartum Depression but what is Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety?”

“How can I tell if my Anxiety is something to be concerned about or if it is New Mom Jitters?”

  15- 20% of women experience Postpartum Anxiety and Depression (PSI, 2010).  But did you know that some women may experience Pregnancy Anxiety or Postpartum Anxiety with or without the signs of depression? So is it New Mom Jitters or Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety ? New Mom Jitters are normal, the fear, worry and adjustment to being a mother are part of the transition.  Many women don’t openly talk about how hard it really is! So how do we know what is normal and what is not?  We are bombarded by so much information from pre-conception to birth. Experts and Doctors spelling out  the “Do’s” and “Don’ts”.  How can women not be anxious, overwhelmed and fearful? So how do I know if my worries have gotten too big?  First It’s “OK” to struggle and second don’t get overwhelmed by thinking about your anxiety. Educate yourself to help yourself. You can come out of this and feel like yourself again.

What does Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety look like?

  • Worrying all the time~ New Moms worry but if anxiety changes your routine or you are unable to do activities that you did before the baby, such as driving or going to the store, this is a concern. Ditto if you are pregnant.
  • Uncontrollable thoughts that something bad is going to happen~ New Moms have these thoughts ( normal) but if you can’t control or talk […]

3 Ways to Help a New Mom Cope…..Orlando Women’s Counseling

 

I remember coming home from the hospital with a new baby and feeling the fear, excitement and overwhelming stress of it all. Taking care of the baby, laundry, meals, and even taking a shower was like trying to juggle with my hands tied behind my back. For a new mom when trying to juggle household tasks, the most common emotions can be feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. You can’t accomplish as much as you would like to and the baby pulls you in so many different directions during the day. Trying to get it all done can just be too much! This is a huge adjustment for a mom. It is common to have feelings of happiness, to feel energized, excited but also fatigued, overwhelmed, irritable, problems sleeping and feeling sad. You can feel happy and thrilled and then a moment later tired, anxious and helpless. So trying to juggle household tasks can seem like walking on a tight rope while carrying the baby on your hip. Being a new mom is a wonderful experience but also an emotional and physical adjustment for the mom, her husband/ partner and family.

3 Ways to help a new Mom Cope and Juggle it all!

1. Have A Plan.
Having a plan before the baby comes makes the adjustment easier.
Many of us have agonized over detailed birth plans but what about after the birth? A “Mommy Plan” is just as important. The place to begin is with your
spouse or partner. Before the birth of the baby outline tasks that will need to be completed to baby proof your relationship with […]

Perimenopause Symptoms: 5 Things You Should Do….Orlando Perimenopausal Counseling

Perimenopause can occur for several years and  up to 10 years prior to menopause.  My aunt use to call it “Mental Pause”…her way of joking about the mental, emotional and physical changes during this time in a women’s life.  It can be  challenging and an unknown for many women.

The perimenopausal emotional and hormonal connection can often be overlooked. Oprah Winfrey was one of the  first pioneer women in media to openly discuss her own experience with perimenopause symptoms. Did you know… you can experience anxiety, increased heart rate, possible panic attacks and a roller coaster of emotions, even rage?  The Mayo clinic states, “some women may even experience perimenopause in their 30’s.”  And for those of us women who waited later in life to have children and are still trying to forget the struggles of trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, lack of sleep, the transition to motherhood,working hard to maintain our careers and family; perimenopause  is a whole new fire we are trying to put out.

 Perimenopause Symptoms: 5  Things You Should Do

1. See your doctor. Rule out any other medical sources and then get information “is it” or” is it not” perimenopause? Symptoms can be gradual and you may not even know this is what’s happening to you. Many women don’t and suffer needlessly. If you experience increased heart rate, panic and unmanageable anxiety see your doctor right away, take it seriously as women are at risk for heart disease too. Your doctor will help you manage perimenopause through hormone testing, low dose birth control if needed, supplement recommendations such as calcium, vaginal lubricants and other options. If […]

By |July 1st, 2013|Adults, Anxiety, Articles, Counselors & Coaches, Couples, Depression, Maternal Wellness, Relationships, Womens' Wellness|Comments Off on Perimenopause Symptoms: 5 Things You Should Do….Orlando Perimenopausal Counseling

3 Reasons Mothers Should Lean In! Orlando Women’s Counseling

3 Reasons Mothers Should Lean In! Orlando Women's Counseling

3 Reasons Mothers Should Lean In! Orlando Women’s Counseling

Every day, I talk to women in the grocery store, at my kids’ school, birthday parties, doctors offices and online. These women share their real stories of motherhood and struggles. They have courageously shed their capes and dropped their masks. They say, “I was suffering during pregnancy and after the birth of my baby.  I felt alone.” They had difficult pregnancies, births, trouble breastfeeding, anxiety, depression, bumpy relationships with their spouse or partner, adjusting to staying at home, working full-time and the fulfilling but, rocky road to motherhood.

These women are brave leaders; standing up and saying this road is difficult.  Motherhood is confusing and the role more complicated than ever before.  Mom’s and expectant mothers are supposed to be all things: homemaker extraordinaire, enthusiastic lover who wears nothing but Victoria Secret, provider who works full-time in the corporate world and “Super Mom.” Whether or not you agree with Sheryl Sandberg and her book “Lean In,” it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that women need to support one another; allowing us to be real and mother’s who can have it all.

3 Reasons Mothers Should Lean In!

  1. Who are we? Women are in danger of losing themselves as they fulfill their roles and care for all but themselves!  These expectations are unrealistic and can’t be reached. Why do we think we can reach them without real Super Hero Powers? There has not been another time in history where there were so many roles and expectations of women.  […]

3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Single | Singles Counseling & Therapy

girls night out 2I took nearly two hours to get ready for a fun night with my single girlfriends.  My Michael Kors outfit was fab, my makeup was spotless, and the compliments were overflowing from my girlfriends.  We were going to paint the town red, or at least that was the plan. But on that particular night I felt empty and more so than usual.  I was looking for acceptance, validation, and recognition, but not from my girlfriends. I was hoping that my Prince Charming would magically appear and whisk me away into the sunset. HE never showed up! My expectations weren’t much after all; I was only asking for a half decent looking guy with a pulse. Was that too much to ask for? Years later, I realized it was too little to ask for.

Hindsight is 20/20. I wish I had the self-love, self-worth, and self-confidence that I do today.  Why isn’t this a high school graduation requirement?  Why aren’t children taught the meaning of self-respect and self-love before they are taught Algebra I (which most won’t use anyway)?  The truth is I can’t go back in time and whisper to myself, “love yourself Joann, you are good enough.” I struggled and felt empty.  But what was I truly missing if love wasn’t the answer?girls night out 5

1. I was missing a positive inner voice.  I was too busy focusing on what others said, waiting for them to affirm what I should have already known.  I was good enough, worthy enough, and beautiful enough that night and every other night for that matter.  […]

Theme Park 101 for New Moms! Orlando Women’s Counseling

 

 

We all love theme parks, the excitement, characters, rides, the magic that thrills adults and children.  As a mom you want to take it all in and have an experience of a lifetime with your family. You and your partner/husband, baby and toddler in tow, may want to attack this foreign land with the determination of climbing Mount Everest. It can be challenging and feel like trying to reach the summit with a stroller, baby, toddler and significant other strapped to your back. The air may start to thin and you ask yourself, “What Was I Thinking?” Moms often are command central for vacations and planning. For a new mom/ mom with a new baby it can be overwhelming.

Yes, I was one of those moms! I flew with my 6 week old, toddler and husband to the Mecca of theme parks. It is an understatement to say that I was not prepared. Our trip began with a ride on the boat to take us across the magical waters to the Kingdom. Getting off the boat I did not anticipate the jockeying that was required when handling a stroller and competing with scooters for asphalt. Yep, I narrowly escaped a collision with a diehard theme park lover on a scooter. This was hard core!

The crowds were overwhelming; and the mommy/ baby area was at the front of the park, who knew? Time to feed baby: I couldn’t find anywhere to sit down. My husband was in a ride line with our toddler. I did what I could; I ducked behind my stroller, hunched on a curb, nursed my baby and prayed that […]