February 16, 2012

See the Stars

When it gets dark enough, you can see the stars.
Charles A. Beard

It may come as a surprise to few that many people present for therapy during the darkest of times.  New patients may feel powerless to change their circumstances, hopeless to overcome their problems.  We clinicians like to point out that, through therapy, people often gain the tools necessary to first cope and then to feel stronger, maybe stronger than ever, and then ultimately to overcome the difficult obstacles they face.   

It can help to believe that dark points in our lives may be fulcrum moments, the very point at which we gain the help we need to make substantial life changes.  To find the power within ourselves to take action and change.   

It would be foolish to suggest that we should look forward to low moods and hardship.  But it is worthy to suggest that when they arrive we can learn to accept them  as temporary turning points.  Maybe even necessary turning points.  To embrace the potential adversity presents.  As an end to stagnation.  The pivotal shift we need to grow.   Stronger.  To learn. To succeed.  To  flourish. 

As this quote suggests, we can learn to look beyond the clouds.  Look into that darkness.  Look for the stars.  We might just find incredible, life fulfilling opportunity.  

February 1, 2012

Your Brain on Sleep

Seems we cannot talk enough during therapy sessions about the importance of getting the right amount of quality sleep.  So much research is pointing toward the role of sleep deprivation in mental health problems are surfacing.  And more and more we are becoming a sleep deprived nation.

Many factors interfere with getting a quality night of sleep such as anxiety/worry/stress, alcohol and caffeine use, medications with stimulating side effects (for example, decongestants and ADHD stimulants such as Ritalin), and late night activities including video game playing, internet surfing, and television viewing.

 When I saw this excellent graphic on the OnlineCollege website, I decided to post it here.  A lot of information packed into one colorful visual can be a helpful tool.  And especially appreciated when someone else put the work into it.  So thank you OnlineCollege.  You may want to enlarge the graphic - on my PC I click Ctrl +