Practicing Acceptance

How often is it actually helpful for someone to advise you to accept a certain set of circumstances when you are still attempting to grasp what is happening? It can be very off putting, frustrating as well as invalidating. You have to let it go! Just accept and move on! Throughout my years as a therapist, when even broaching the topic of … Read More

The Biological Stance of Trauma

  Have you ever wondered, ‘what would I do if I were to ever be in a terrifying situation? Would I fight the threat, flee, or shut down?’ If you’ve ever gathered around your friends to theorize about this, or even watched the show “What Would YOU Do?”, it’s easy to say, “Well I would do XYZ and definitely not … Read More

Thought Fusion: How to Adapt

Our brains quite simply put are impressive. Billons of neurons firing, keeping our bodies functioning automatically while our minds are freed up to do any additional heavy lifting. Such as planning, predicting, categorizing, basically preparing for a plethora of situations that may or may not arise. The power of the brain is an effective tool, but not totally infallible. We’re … Read More

Sustaining Judgment with our Thoughts

By Martín Prete, LCPC Being in our heads 24/7 can be difficult. Thoughts can be relentless. Passing through our stream of consciousness in a variety of manners. Sometimes it feels like speeding bullets while other times, we can barely think at all. Sometimes too, our thoughts can be nasty and cruel, even if deep down inside we don’t believe it. … Read More

Positive Affirmations and OCD

  As a clinician 8 years removed from graduate school, I have encouraged, and more than likely, annoyed a lot of people with the concept of affirmations. Positive affirmations to be precise. Because, honestly, what’s not to love about encouraging ourselves, reminding ourselves that we are capable, resilient, and worthy of love! Well, if those already are difficult words to … Read More

Journaling for Mental Health

by Carolyn Moriarty, LCPC Journaling is a common technique used to manage stress, anxiety and overall mental health. It seems simple enough, but many people find themselves stumped on what they should be writing about or how they should even begin. Have no fear. This post will at as your guide in making use of journaling to your full advantage. … Read More

The Nature of Intrusive Thoughts

Intrusive Thoughts - Chicago Counseling Center

As human beings we experience thousands of thoughts a day. Some are intentional, such as when we are planning for something or trying to remember something, and some are unintentional, such as a worry about something going wrong or a memory of someone being triggered by something. Thoughts can also be pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, though most often they are … Read More

What is Creative Hopelessness?

In past blog posts, we’ve talked about how to use mindfulness and acceptance to cope with uncomfortable thoughts, sensations and emotions. The take-away message is that in order to avoid unnecessary suffering, we must let go of any ideas about the way we wished things could be and instead accept the way that we are in the present moment. Once we accept our reality … Read More

Riding Out the Ups and Downs of Life

  The one thing in life we can count on to remain constant is fact that things are always changing. Change is like the undercurrent of an ocean. It’s always there, surrounding us. It affects us whether we like it or not. One minute, the waves of change are imperceptible and we float along feeling peaceful and safe. And then, … Read More

Do You Have Enough Self-Compassion?

by Carolyn Moriarty, LCPC As children, one of the first things we learn is how to be kind to others. A strong emphasis is placed on helping, sharing and what it means to be a good friend—unarguably imperative qualities to instill at a young age. However, Western culture places far less importance on showing that same kindness to ourselves—the thought … Read More