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Older sketches

A Mindful Life: You Are the Driver of Your Own Bus

February 2024

Currently, mindfulness is practiced in many forms of psychotherapy and has gone far beyond the field of psychotherapy. Relatedly, studies on this topic are on the rise, and we are becoming more familiar with and exposed to the recommendation […]

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What is a thought record and how do I do one?

October 2023

You may have heard your therapist or someone else use the term “thought record” before. Perhaps you’ve even done one yourself without even realizing! A thought record is an essential element to the beginning processes of cognitive behavioral therapy. […]

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Why we find ourselves people-pleasing and how it can be harmful

October 2023

Have you ever considered yourself to be a people-pleaser? Maybe it is a label someone else has given you or you’ve taken ownership of yourself but you’re not really sure why you have consistently acted in this manner. People-pleasing […]

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The value of LGBTQ+ representation in media and its impacts on our mental health

October 2023

For many of us LGBTQ+ folks, we may have grown up not seeing ourselves in the media. We were watching tv shows and movies, or reading books about heterosexual relationships and cisgender characters. While our peers […]

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Dealing with homophobia

September 2023

Whether you live in a major city or a rural town, homophobia still persists. Depending on where you are in the country or who you have in your circles, it likely looks a lot different but can still hurt just the same. As LGBTQ+ individuals, we unfortunately […]

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What your birth order says about you

September 2023

Have you ever wondered whether your birth order affects who you are? Or find yourself relating to people who are also the youngest, oldest, or middle child? While all families are unique, the placement within our family can sometimes tell us a lot […]

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Why is it so hard to make friends in your 20s?

August 2023

As a young person in your twenties, you might be finding yourself struggling to make new friends. Perhaps you just moved to a new city or accepted a new job, and are craving that social connection but you don’t […]

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Why is mutual empathy important for connection?

August 2023

Oftentimes, we may get stuck in relational patterns that promote disconnection or isolation. For example, we might not feel safe engaging in conflict with a certain friend so we keep our feelings to ourselves and avoid bringing up how we feel. Or maybe […]

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Book Review of Group by Christie Tate

August 2023

“You don’t need a cure. You need a witness.” – Christie Tate’s therapist Group is a memoir about one woman’s powerful, healing experience with group psychotherapy. At the time the story begins, Tate is a top-of-her-class law student living in Chicago with the prospects […]

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Taking a break after a fight

July 2023

We’ve all gotten into a heated argument with someone. Whether it was someone we are close to (like a partner or a friend) or someone we are less close to (like a coworker), there may have been things said that we wish we could […]

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The Spooky Truth about Ghosting

July 2023

With technology becoming such an integral part of communication, socializing, and dating, ghosting has unfortunately also become common. Though scary, ghosting in this sense does not refer to phantoms, spirits, or halloween. Ghosting refers to the act of abruptly ending all communication with another person […]

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Why will my therapist not say more about themselves?

July 2023

Self-disclosure is the process of therapists revealing parts of themselves in therapy to clients. It can take many forms and can be as subtle as a therapist sharing emotions they are feeling in the here and now (e.g., “It makes me […]

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Does my therapist’s approach matter?

July 2023

When we make the decision to begin therapy, there may be various questions we might have about the process. These questions might include “Does the gender or race of my therapist matter?”, “How often and for how long should I go to therapy?”, “How do […]

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Nutrition and mental health

June 2023

Many times, therapists hear clients say that they don’t have time to eat throughout the day. Sometimes it’s because they are tired and want to sleep in and other times it is because they are too busy at work to eat lunch. We may not even […]

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The Anxious Voice

June 2023

You have a voice in your head; your conscious and subconscious self. This voice tells you what to say, what to do, how to feel. This voice is an artifact of a life lived, lessons learned, plans for the future, hopes, dreams, wishes and fears. This voice […]

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Book Review: Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents By Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD

June 2023

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents highlights different characteristics of emotionally immature parents, how children raised by these parents are influenced in adulthood by their experiences, and methods […]

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Taking accountability and dealing with guilt

June 2023

The phrase “take accountability” is widely understood as synonymous with taking responsibility, whether it be for one’s actions or words that have harmed a person or multiple people. When you are harmed or when your communities are harmed, there are a variety of things […]

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Celebrating others when you’re going through a tough time

May 2023

When you’re going through a tough time, it can be hard to see the success of others, especially those close to you. Your response to your loved ones’ happiness and success may make you feel like you’re a bad person and […]

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Friendships in adulthood

May 2023

There are some transitions we expect to experience in adulthood, but many changes during this period come as a surprise. No one prepares us for the shifts in our friendships, or the difficulty of navigating friendships in adulthood. From childhood to young adulthood, initiating and maintaining […]

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Why conflict avoidance is unhealthy

May 2023

Sometimes clients come into sessions expressing that they are non confrontational and that they do not express frustration until it becomes too burdensome for them to carry. If we find ourselves relating to these clients, we may be conflict avoidant. People often think they […]

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Don’t be afraid to ask for help

May 2023

For many people, the concept of an adult has taken on a meaning that may be damaging to our mental health. The term adult seems to have become synonymous with “having your life together” or succeeding in isolation from others. This interpretation […]

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The Nature of Feeling Good

November 2022

Our ancestors were onto something in regards to their reverence of nature. In many ways, nature is a reflection of the human experience. Nature evolves, endures, shifts, and grows, as we do. Nature can be unpredictable, as we can be. We need our planet […]

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Things your therapist wants to know

August 2022

At times, it can become easy just to listen to what our therapist tells us during our sessions and to just accept what they have to say. We do this because we trust our therapists and view them as the expert in the […]

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How should I prepare for my therapy session?

July 2022

Therapy is a safe space where people can get what they need, whether that is clarity, insight, relief, or just peace of mind. Because of this, it is important to think about what you might need before and after entering your […]

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Grief

April 2022

Grief is the process that takes place after the loss of something or someone you love. Grief can consist of physical (e.g., Sleep disturbances, weight change), emotional (e.g., anxiety, irritability, depression), and behavioral symptoms (e.g., forgetfulness). Contrary to what society portrays, grief is not limited to the death […]

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Moving forward with a diagnosis of personality disorder

April 2022

It is exceedingly common for people who receive a diagnosis of personality disorder to experience a sense of hopelessness. The term personality disorder refers to several distinct disorders with unique facets; however, the feelings of pain, fear, and shame that may […]

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Is jealousy in relationships healthy?

March 2022

Jealousy is a complicated emotion that stems from feelings of insecurity and fear of losing something. People worry that their partner may be unfaithful and break their relationship agreement or fall in love with someone else. For a long time, many people have argued […]

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It’s okay to feel your emotions

February 2022

Many times I have experienced people expressing discomfort with feeling their emotions— they resort to finding distractions to quickly avoid confronting them, suppressing their feelings altogether. There is fear that if some emotions are felt, they could have a devastating impact on their […]

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What is Trauma Dumping

January 2022

Trauma Dumping is a term that has recently made its way into the social media discourse on mental health. The term refers to sharing one’s traumatic experiences with someone who is not consenting or prepared to hear and process them. Unfortunately, widespread use of the term in […]

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What does it really mean to “self-soothe”?

January 2022

The term self-soothe is most commonly used to describe the ability of a young child to regulate their own emotions without the physical presence of a caregiver. This ability is very important in western society, where children and adults are expected to […]

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Book Review: The Body Keeps the Score

December 2021

“Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means that you live in a body that is always on guard.” Bessel Van Der Kolk  The Body Keeps the Score has taken society […]

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Starting medication for depression and anxiety

December 2021

The decision to start psychotropic medication is deeply personal and complex. Many people have big feelings about medication, and struggle with insecurities that the use of medication to treat depression or anxiety is in some way a moral failing. These feelings can come […]

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Handling the holidays with a dysfunctional family

November 2021

This is the time of year where people are planning to take trips back home, share meals, warm moments, and create lasting memories. That sounds ideal, but you may be feeling more dread than anticipation about gathering with your family. There is […]

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Discussing Scary Topics in Therapy

October 2021

Therapy is a wonderful place for individuals to explore various parts of themselves, gain insight on their lives, and get some relief. However, therapy can also be a place to discuss some scary things (that have nothing to do with witches, ghosts, or October). […]

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“Let the daylight in”: Seasonal affective disorder

October 2021

As the earth takes its natural journey in the solar system, the consequences of its course are felt all around. With the recent autumn equinox following winter, we will continue to see changes in daylight and weather. The weather itself might reduce […]

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Navigating Ruptures in Therapeutic Relationship

October 2021

Therapy is a personal space for you to explore your thoughts, feelings, insecurities, traumas, and so much more. As such, therapists should ensure that they are fostering a warm and nonjudgmental environment, so that you feel safe enough to explore those parts of yourself. […]

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Intimate Partner Violence

September 2021

The phrase “intimate partner violence” can elicit various emotions or thoughts. Most people think of extreme physical violence, often what they see on tv or the news, which is true. However, it is only one form of intimate partner violence. A relationship might look healthy on […]

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I feel like crying

September 2021

Asking for permission to cry has been one of the most interesting questions I’ve heard as a therapist. Along with crying, there are often a series of apologies that follow crying. Of course, the reasons why individuals feel the need to ask for permission or […]

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Social Anxiety: More than a Social Fear

August 2021

Social anxiety may take the form of several mental and physical symptoms.  We may find ourselves thinking about how others interact with us and how we interact with them. We may find ourselves constantly evaluating our actions and how others might perceive […]

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Are the demographic characteristics of our therapists important?

July 2021

Many times, people who are new to therapy will ask whether the demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, etc.) of their therapists matters. That is, is therapy more or less effective based on the therapist’s demographic characteristics? The short […]

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What is the importance of LGBTQIA+ affirming therapy?

June 2021

Lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) affirming therapy is a therapeutic approach that focuses on embracing diverse sexual and gender identities. LGBTQIA+ affirming therapy is much more than being kind and welcoming to clients of diverse identities. It […]

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Counteracting Mental Health Stigma

May 2021

You’re considering seeking therapy for the first time, but a part of you may wonder what that means, or what others may think of you. Most of us have heard throughout our lives from family members that mental health is something that we don’t address; […]

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Tips for Coming Out to People

April 2021

Coming out is the process of revealing your sexual orientation and/or gender identity to yourself and to people you choose. People will come out to themselves, loved ones, and people they meet. Before coming out, it’s important to understand why you want to […]

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Tips to help you get through “bad days”

September 2020

You may not be able to turn a bad day to a good one all the time, but you may be able to get through it a bit easier with a few mental tools. Below you will find some tips on […]

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Subscribe to Therapy Sketches

You may not be able to turn a bad day to a good one all the time, but you may be able to get through it a bit easier with a few mental tools. Below you will find some tips on […]

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Why Is Trauma Informed Therapy Important?

August 2020

The word “trauma” can elicit numerous thoughts. One of those might be, “I don’t have trauma, why would I need a trauma informed therapist?”  That is a valid question; one that is completely understandable.   When we think of trauma we frequently think of […]

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How to Understand Your Sex, Gender, & Gender Identity

August 2020

Sex, gender, and gender identity, are all terms that are constantly used interchangeably, though all are different. Sex refers to a decision made by a medical professional as to whether a person was born male, female, or intersex. Sex has been used […]

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Managing work stress from affecting your personal life

August 2020

Do you struggle with separating your work from personal life? This has been a very common problem many people run into even before the global pandemic. Now, many of us are forced to work from home and it may be a little […]

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Figuring out our personal goals for therapy

August 2020

When we think about health, whether it be physical or mental health, we tend to focus on the things we don’t want. We go to the doctor because we’re sick, and we don’t want to feel sick or we go to the […]

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How to avoid perceiving productivity as an indicator of our self-worth

August 2020

Have you ever thought to yourself why you find success so important that it negatively affects your feelings of self-worth? Then, it may be fruitful to explore the genesis of these thoughts.  For many of us, the idea […]

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Setting boundaries with loved ones

July 2020

Boundaries are what we set with individuals in our lives to let them know: We set boundaries not only to keep us safe and to protect our energy, but also because others cannot read our minds. Learning how to effectively set boundaries with others […]

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3 questions to ask your therapist in your first session

July 2020

I can speak from personal experience just how challenging it is to find the right therapist because I never knew what I was searching for. Having a good connection with your therapist is indeed important, but you should be […]

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Understanding attachment styles with the guidance of the book, “Attached” by Amir Levine, M.D., and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A.

July 2020

“Most people are only as needy as their unmet needs. When their emotional needs are met, they usually turn their attention outward. This is the “dependency paradox”: The more effectively dependent people are on one another, the more independent […]

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Feeling anxious about your first time in therapy? Here’s what to expect:

July 2020

The thought of going to therapy can be a very scary one, especially if it is your first experience. It is completely common and normal to have concerns or expectations for what therapy will be like. It […]

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What is the difference between self-care versus self-discovery?

July 2020

The thought of going to therapy can be a very scary one, especially if it is your first experience. It is completely common and normal to have concerns or expectations for what therapy will be like. It […]

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Apricots

The thought of going to therapy can be a very scary one, especially if it is your first experience. It is completely common and normal to have concerns or expectations for what therapy will be like. It […]

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