Relationships

Five Tips To Improve Your Self-Esteem

Five Tips To Improve Your Self-Esteem

Do you sit in the mirror with jaded lens and pin point all of your flaws? Do you find yourself daydreaming of how much happier you would if you could just change a certain part of your body? Do you hide behind layers of clothing? You are not alone and many are in the same struggle towards self acceptance.

I was that young teen afraid of the mirror. The mirror showed me a side of myself that I despised and wished I could magically change. I had wonderful friends that loved and accepted me but that just wasn’t enough for me to love myself. This self-hatred poured into my adult years but I learned to mask it a little better. I wore a girdle on a daily basis, spent hours on my hair and make-up, and hid behind jokes, kindness, and being a pretty awesome human being BUT even with the approval of others I could not stand to look at myself in the mirror.

Orlando Self Esteem CounselingI know I am not alone and that many have experienced or are experiencing this very same thing. What I can say is that this self-inflicted emotional abuse does not need to consume your life and does have an end. It is not an easy journey but I can honestly say that it is possible to love yourself wholly and accept yourself for who you are and where you are.

Stop the negative self-talk.

Have you ever taken a day to just listen to your self-talk? Your self-talk are the comments you say to yourself about yourself. For example, if you drop your lunch […]

EMDR | Orlando Trauma Therapy

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a treatment used to “desensitize and reprocess” memories that have been stored in your brain as a result of traumatic experiences (this can be a small trauma to a larger trauma).  EMDR is  considered to be an effective therapy because of the quick and lasting relief clients feel from their emotional distress.  EMDR therapy repeatedly activates opposite sides of the brain, which releases emotional experiences that have become trapped in the nervous system and can be completed by the eye movement, audio to tactile methods.

EMDR is shown and used at Life Counseling Solutions to have effectiveness in treating the following conditions:

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Overwhelming Fears
  • Relationship Problems
  • Loss of a Loved One
  • Performance Enhancement
  • Post Traumatic Stress (Rape, Robbery, Natural Disaster, Car Accident, Fire, Earth Quakes)
  • Sexual, Physical, or Emotional Abuse

Orlando Trauma TherapyHow Does EMDR Work?

The EMDR therapist works with a client in revisiting the traumatic experience, the feelings about the experience, and any negative thoughts or feelings.  The therapist then uses bi-lateral stimulation (either eye-movement, tactile, or audio methods) to activate both sides of the brain to bring quick and vibrant images that are then processed by the stimulation bringing about relief and resolved feelings.  

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 […]

4 Healthy Boundaries in Social Media | Orlando Counseling Services

Strength Behind the Screen

In a world of selfies, hashtags, and tweets, social media and the pressures it brings have bombarded our lives. It is well understood by now that social media can be used to bring harm, heartache, and even “acceptance” to its users, but it is surprising how often we gain “strength” behind the screen to promote, defend and process.

SocialMediaBoundaries

The most common types of statuses and comments that we come across (or have posted ourselves) are ones like the following:

The passive aggressive, not so passive status: “I usually do not post statuses like this, but I just have to vent with how frustrated I am with…”

The vague, not so vague, post about someone, who knows that they’re the someone that the post is about: “I want to unfollow you because I see you with her, but I can’t because it’s my only connection to you.”

The posts that are fishing for compliments: “Feeling frustrated because I can’t seem to shake these last few pounds” which are usually followed by “What are you talking about?! You look amazing!”

The outright fights that people have via comments, which doesn’t need an example. We’ve all seen it!

While social media can be fun and even beneficial at times, it is important to understand when to limit yourself and your thoughts to the entire world. Here are some helpful tips to keep healthy boundaries online and to take that strength that you have behind the computer or phone screen into the real world.

  1. Do not pick fights over the Internet – When you are upset with someone social media is not the place to hash things out, even if they start the […]

Friends With Benefits: Is It Really A Benefit?

Friends With Benefits: Is It Really A Benefit?

A Walk in Jane Doe’s Shoes

Jane Doe wakes up every morning and goes about her day like any regular woman in her twenties and thirties.  She takes her coffee bold, a little extra hot and with a hint of hazelnut for flavor.  She knows what she wants, known for being confident, educated, and even a tad bit sassy.  She is technically single but could pass for the new popular status: “it’s complicated”.  Why?  Because she has fallen into the 50% of woman her age who have, have had, or will have a “friend with benefits”.  So the question might be burning us all to ask, is Ms. Doe really happy with her no-strings-attached boy toy?  Is there really a benefit to having a friend with benefits?

I have had the pleasure of sitting down with this lovely lady we call Jane Doe and many others in her very same situation.  For the most part the decision to just hook up without the ties wasn’t even the plan to begin with.  Ms. Doe in particular has had her friend-with-benefits for two years now who we’ll call John.  She met this gentleman at work and was invited out for drinks one night with a couple other coworkers.  That night after a few too many drinks, she bashfully admits, they both got a bit “carried away” in a night of passion when they were the last two closing down the bar that evening.  She admitted that she was attracted to John from the moment they met, shared flirtatious banter back and forth at work, and read into their fun sexy night as a possible start to a romantic relationship.  […]

Dangers of Teen Codependent Relationships| Orlando Teen Codependency Counseling

Dangers of Teen Codependent Relationships| Orlando Teen Codependency Counseling

Codependency is a term that can be defined as “excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction.” Unfortunately, codependence can affect anyone and it is an issue that is even affecting teenagers. Codependent relationships in teens can be extremely dangerous, as we have learned by recent events in Windermere, Florida.

Florida Teen Double Suicide Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 10.20.13 PM

On Saturday, March 22nd, two teens shot and killed an officer and then themselves. Suicide notes were found by parents along with notes to each other and plans of the future. The plans included that the couple desired to get married (Brandon Goode being 18 years old and his girlfriend Alex Hollinghurst only 17 years old), steal a boat and sail to Panama. Brandon painted Alex a “romantic” idea of a future by saying, “We could live on a beach, just you and me, forever;” however, this isolation and dependency is exactly what fed into the couple’s toxic relationship. Another letter was found where Brandon was apologizing for creating so many problems for Alex and breaking up with her. According to letters, and the events that ensued on Saturday, obviously the break up did not last.

Often times, teenagers get a tumultuous relationship confused for a passionate one. They think the codependency is romantic rather than unhealthy. And the on again/off again relationship as destiny to be together, rather than being unable to set and maintain healthy boundaries. This kind of behavior is definitely dangerous to one’s mental health, but as Windermere and the families of […]

How To Cope This Holiday Season: Loved One’s Eating Disorder

As wonderful as the Holidays can be for many of us, this is often a time of stress, anxiety, and despair for many suffering from an eating disorder. The Holiday Season is not only focused around gifts, and time with loved ones, but FOOD. Food is an obsession that those with an eating disorder struggle with every day, and the holidays just intensify this obsession.

OrlandoEatingDisorderCounselingHolidaysThe following tips will help you cope with your loved one’s eating disorder and make the holidays merry and bright.

o Do not put a huge emphasis on what your loved one is eating.
o Check in with your loved one privately and see how he or she is doing emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally.
o Be genuine with your loved one. Remind him or her that they are loved and valued no matter what.
o Make the focus of the holidays about family and quality time together, not food or eating habits.
o Do not draw attention to the eating disorder.
o Do not talk about weight loss or weight gain, even if referring to yourself or others.
o Be patient. This is an especially difficult time for your loved one.
o Have your loved one seek counseling.

Although there are some specific guidelines to help your loved one this holiday season, do not feel that you have to “walk on eggshells” and be unnatural. The more natural environment that you create, the easier it will be for your loved one to cope and not feel the pressure of his or her eating disorder.

If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, then call Eating Disorder Counseling Orlando with  Life Counseling Solutions today for a COMPLIMENTARY […]

What You Need To Know: YouTube & Self-Harming | Orlando Teen Counseling

This week, I was brainstorming on what to write for the Orlando Teen Counseling| Life Counseling Solutions blog. I decided I wanted to find an inspirational video on YouTube about cutting and expand on that. Unfortunately, instead, I came across some disturbing videos about teens and self-harming.

Because I have worked with many teens that self-harm, I have heard stories about them finding people they can relate to on YouTube, being inspired through YouTube videos and even posting their own videos. My desire is to inform parents of what is out there and what is easily accessible to their children.

Popular YouTube Self-Harm Videos Include:

  • 36 Self Harm Scar Excuses
  • What to do if you cut too deep
  • How to cut deep (for bigger scars)
  • Real cutters vs. Fake Cutters
  • How to hide self-harm scars with makeup
  • Cut the pain away
  • How to self-harm
  • Covering self-harm without long sleeves
  • Self-Harm (Warning graphic content may be triggering)

The scariest part about these videos is that they have anywhere from 300,000 to 1,000,000 views. This is the newest outlet for teens to express their hurt and pain. Many of them share their story to get “comments” from other teens encouraging them, or just to get their feelings out in the open.

5 Things You Can Do

  • As a parent, be very aware of what your child is posting and watching on YouTube.
  • Check their Internet history.
  • Have open communication with them about their feelings, emotions and behaviors.
  • Find out what type of music, shows and movies they are into at the moment.
  • Be involved in your teen’s life (and social media) as much as possible so that he or she is not seeking out guidance, help, or direction from YouTube or other unhealthy sources.

If you think or know that your […]

6 Ways to Combat Holiday Social Anxiety | Orlando Social Anxiety Counseling

Halloween has come and gone and now we are starting to see Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, and retailers decking the halls with sales and specials. Thanksgiving has gotten lost amongst the hustle and bustle of it all, which means one thing: The Holidays are upon us. The Holidays are a time when people enjoy Christmas parties, family gatherings and work events. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, right? Well, not for someone suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder.

Orlando Social Counseling

The Holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year for someone who suffers from Social Anxiety. This may even be a time that he or she finds dreadful. Here are Six Ways to Combat Social Anxiety During the Holidays and make this season a merry one.

Six Ways to Combat Social Anxiety During the Holidays

1) Inform Yourself: Anxiety comes from the unknown: “Who will be at this party?” “What if everyone thinks I’m stupid for bringing this gift? What are we even supposed to bring?” “What time is everyone showing up?” If you ask the host these questions and get this information beforehand, it may alleviate a lot of that anxiety.

2) Stick with the least threatening situations: If you are the most comfortable at a small family gathering or an intimate dinner rather than the annual corporate Christmas party, then go to those events. You do NOT have to go to every event that you are invited to, but you DO need to remain social during the holidays. Avoidance will only fuel your social anxiety.

3) Avoid/Limit alcohol: You may think that a few glasses of wine may help calm your nerves, […]

“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 […]