Spring Group in April

Someone has suggested Saturday April 21 as the next group date.  We can continue the message from the attendee-driven group from February, or we can start with a new topic.  Please call me if you are interested in coming.  There is a cap of 12 for the group usually held in Wendell.  

Chasing the “Unavailable”

There once was a girl that found herself in a relationship unlike any other that she had ever experienced.  Connections were met on all four levels-intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical.  You see, she had learned early to be tough and did not display her feelings easily.  During those several years together with him, she found herself exhibiting, what she learned later was, codependency-that semblance of control, as the relationship seemed to be slipping away.  She also exhibited increased anxiety and tears.

After the relationship ended, inside feelings of abandonment evolved, although at that time, that word was not familiar to her own situation.  She had never connected abandonment to feelings from her own family of origin.  She experienced physical pain in her body and reached out to a doctor as well as began her own therapy journey.  She learned that “Chasing the Unavailable” began in her family of origin with a parental figure.  The early feelings of “being left” emotionally and physically began as a child.

She learned to pay attention to her feelings and that she deserved more.  She needed that therapy to set the much-needed boundaries for when he tried to return.  It took 3 years for the pain to subside, as she had loved him like no other.  As she journeyed more into herself, her energy shifted, she learned about going after the “unavailable” people and she realized that he was actually given the ultimate gift from her – HERSELF, but he did not know what to do with it!

In return, and again it took years to realize this, that when she was given that “box full of darkness,” what a “gift” it turned out to be!

Need some upcoming group ideas

I have been asked by several, “When are we going to have another group?” Well I now have thought of several options that I can pursue for a place to hold a small group. So my next step is to see who is interested and topics that they would be interested in. This is for everyone! It could be parenting issues, codependency, boundaries, etc. This will be driven by the attendees. Are you interested in a Saturday morning or an evening during the week?

Need some more suggestions of topics, and also call or PM me to let me know who is interested. Probably 11 will be the number that we can seat. More suggestions could be self-esteem, or how your family of origin impacts your present and future relationships….

THOUGHTS AROUND SELF-ESTEEM FOR THE NEW YEAR

 

The definition of Self-esteem is: “a confidence and satisfaction in oneself.”

Where do we learn about ourselves and how do healthy or unhealthy thoughts about ourselves begin?  Anyone who knows me knows I will say, “From our family of origin!”

A few examples of low self-esteem:

Increased anxiety

Increased depression
Comparing self to others

Isolation

Fear of failing

Sometimes also, an increased fear of being alone

A few examples of high self-esteem:

Decreased anxiety when leaving “comfort” box

Self-care – knowing that it is okay to say, “No,” which is by the way, “the ultimate self-care!”
Accept the positives and challenges of ones’ self, accepting that we are a “Work in progress!”

Understanding that by changing your thoughts, you will change your mood, behavior and how you physically feel.

If your primary care-givers, one or both, did not exhibit high self-esteem, all is not lost!  You can learn to increase your self-esteem with the above examples as a start, along with therapy.

When your self-esteem is high, vulnerability is usually low.  You value your own beliefs and are not vulnerable to needing or seeking others’ guidance above your own.

When vulnerability is high, self-esteem is usually low.  You can be vulnerable and look too much to others for guidance.  What is it they say about too many opinions!

Again, when self-esteem is high, we want to conquer the world, when low, we want to hide. 

Let’s re-record the “tapes” we play in our head from our family of origin.  Focus inward in 2018!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

 

When Your Foundation is Shaken

In today’s day and time, we hear about “shaken foundations” all day/night with social media. 

The definition of a foundation is, “the lowest load-bearing part of a building, also an underlying principle of something, a starting point.”

What are some things that have shaken your foundation?

  • An illness of self or family
  • Something financial such as the loss of a job, a family member, a friend, a pet
  • The loss of a relationship

What to do:

Feel your feelings
Cry

Seek a friend or counseling to work through grief

What not to do:

Isolate

Internalize

Not cry

When our foundation is shaken it can be a starting point, even though it feels horrible at the time!

 

 

“If Someone Can’t Give Time, Give a Gift”

 

“If Someone Can’t Give Time, Give a Gift”

I heard this recently and began thinking today, as it gets closer to the Christmas holiday, of the above statement, “If someone can’t give time, give a gift.”  The gift could be money, etc. anything except their presence.  What does this mean from a child’s perspective, through their eyes, their heart?

Could this be their introduction to abandonment?  Abandonment means, “to leave completely, desert, withdraw from.”

Imagine this child’s story.   Picture a two-parent household.  One works traditional hours, the other traditional hours as well, plus other “jobs” that keep them away, giving time externally to others.  One thought as the child gets older might be, “You’re supposed to make time for what’s important, I’m not important.”  The young person begins to date and unknowingly, they look for someone like the absentee parent who abandoned them emotionally and physically.  With no therapy intervention, they will most likely marry them.   They are drawn to the familiar.  They will not know any better until the relationship ends.  If they get into therapy, they will learn more about themselves, their self-esteem will increase, and they will begin to understand why they chose the way that they did.  If not, they will continue the cycle throughout other generations.

This time of year, it is important to remember to give time to those you love, but also more importantly, remember this throughout the year as well.  

We make time for what’s important.  “Time is more valuable than money!”

Sometimes through the mess, we find out who we really are.  Remember, we are valuable!

VULNERABILITY AND ARMOR

VULNERABILITY and ARMOR

The definition of vulnerable is: “capable of being wounded.” This can take the form of emotional or physical hurt. Being vulnerable, open to moral attack, criticism.”

The definition of armor is: “a protective covering” and as a verb is: “to provide someone with emotional, social or other defenses.”

Questions to ponder:

From whom do we learn about vulnerability?

How do we act when we get hurt?

How/when do we learn to put ourselves out there?

When we think about doing something new or meeting someone new, the way we know that it affects us first might be a physiological response such as sweaty hands, shallow breathing or simply not going.  Brene’ Brown, a professor, states, “vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center of meaningful human experiences.”

Speaking of experiences with humans, I remember when I was in my late teens.  I had worked very hard to save for a fence at my family’s home.  I called a local fence company.  When he came out, the first thing he asked was, “Where is your father? I’m not dealing with a woman.”  I can’t tell you how I felt at the moment, maybe angry, or ready to cry?  I didn’t cry until he left.  Needless to say, I didn’t use him.  It took everything in me to make another call to a fence company.  I did, but not without putting on my “armor” for the next visit, vulnerability gone!  I’m sure there were other times before this, but this one I have never forgotten! After this, for a while, my thoughts were, “I’m gonna hurt you before you hurt me!”

I spoke above about armor.  We put on our armor the same way a turtle has a shell to protect against his unforeseen enemies and to keep him safe, “in control,” and in his comfort space.  We don’t have a “shell” per say to retreat in as a turtle does.  We have to learn to recognize our own vulnerability, take off our armor, and find the balance of our own personal, comfortable space versus the outside world.  One way to begin is to recognize your thoughts, breathe and let them flow through you without judgement.

What changes do you need to make around vulnerability and armor?  Visualize it and start making small steps towards it.  Remember, everyone has to start where they are.  “Without vulnerability, there is no love.”

Cool Your Angry Thoughts

Ask yourself, “What am I thinking?”

“How do I feel?”

“Is it important enough to verbalize?”

 

 

“Can I put it in perspective?”

If you can cool your thoughts and ask these questions, it will change your behavior, which in turn, will change the outcome of the situation.

If you have tried this and more, come see me for one-on-one counseling to learn to decrease your angry thoughts and change behavior.

Changing Your Thoughts

Why is it important to change your thoughts? Do you ever truly think about what your thoughts are? Well it is important because once you “catch” your thoughts, you will see that it creates a mood, a behavior, then how you physically feel.   So when you have negative, anxious, depressing thoughts, change them and it will change your mood, your behavior and your physical symptoms will decrease! Try it this week…

Loss

 

Always the Protector…

A loss is defined as, “the fact or process of losing something or someone, and/or the state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something of value.” This can be about such as I have written below, a relationship, a significant life change, or any other kind of ending. How one is affected is different with every person depending on whether they have lost many, a few, and also how your family of origin handled the loss of something or someone.

July 27, 2016
One year ago today, I had to make the most heart-wrenching decision of my life. Besides my father, it has been the most significant loss I have ever felt.

Felix gave me his best for years. He began to show some challenging health issues a year after acquiring him. He lived to be 11, until I had to set him free of his pain. He was a very special, highly trained dog, that I acquired after a great deal of thought and at a significant time in my life. He was a “working” dog that protected until the end. I have much more to say, in the future about loss, as well as about Felix, but this will have to do for now.

Felix, you are imprinted in my heart and soul forever.
I miss you!

All this for an animal? Hell yes!

Loss is not something that I specialize in, but understand that no one is exempt from the pain. I wanted to share, as I am not alone in someone who has experienced grief.
Whether an animal or human, it takes a strong person to let something or someone go. This is also about many things in life. I’m still working through the tears. (Learning to be vulnerable and feel feelings sometimes sucks!)

Upcoming May Group – Relationships

RELATIONSHIPS

Our group was a success from what I’m hearing! I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS!  May will be here on Monday already.  Please let me know about either Thursday, May 18 or Thursday, June 1st.  I didn’t want to do the 25th because of the holiday.  It’s going to be on a first-come, first-serve basis and I will begin with the first 10 people to sign up.  

 One definition of a relationship is the way in which two or more concepts, objects, animals or people are connected, or the state of being connected. 

Do you yearn for a relationship(s) where you can show up fully as who you are?  Where there is mutual support, value and recognition of your unique essence?

JOIN ME to learn how to take your relationship(s) to the next level.  We will look at what keeps us repeating old patterns in relationships, what we would really like to experience and how to get there.  We will discuss these three pictures!

 

“Letting Go” Spring group

Spring Group/Girl’s Night Out will be on Thursday April 27th! We are almost full!  The “Letting Go” group will begin at 6:00 p.m. and cost will be $30 a person.  I ask that you prepay and I am now able to take cards if more convenient.  This group will lead to at least one follow up group. Call to secure your spot!

LIFE COACHING OR THERAPY WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Someone asked me the difference between life coaching and therapy, so I wanted to try to give it more clarity.

 

I have been in private practice as a licensed clinical social work for nine years.  Over the years, I began to not only use a personal coach, but also began learning to be a coach. 

 

A coach works in the present, usually on external issues and sessions look to the future.  It is collaborative (you and the coach work together) and it is goal-oriented. 

Coaching is not billed to insurance, there is no diagnosis-designed treatment plan and no signed commitments.  It is action-oriented, solution-oriented and goal-oriented. 

A coach might ask, “What is next for you?” always moving forward.

 

A therapist works in the past and present, and usually on internal issues.  A therapist learns about your past and gathers a history. 

A coach uses a discovery session where they get to know you better, learn what you hope to gain from coaching and what your goals are.

 

Things I do:

 

I do combine some aspects of life coaching into my therapy sessions.

I also verbalize that I take confidentiality very seriously, however in instances of suicidal ideation, abuse, neglect or other issues as defined by the law requires, confidentially will be broken as I am a mandatory reporter.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/benefits-of-therapy-life-coaching_us_567ac127e4b0b958f658d53a

What Sets My Practice Apart from Others in My Profession?

* I’m the only therapist in Zebulon, and have been for over nine years

 

 * I believe in quality and not quantity

 

* I answer my own phone as opposed to an answering service.

 

 * Clients can speak to me between appointments if there is an issue that needs

      discussion before the next session to decrease escalation.

 

* I am on most insurance panels.

 

* I have a wide range of experience.

 

* I offer Life Coaching (does not use insurance) as well as Therapy

 

* I am non-judgmental and have been told that I’m a good listener 🙂

Reaction versus Action

Reaction versus Action

 

To React means to act in return or to respond to a stimulus immediately.

To Act means an action, something done with thought.

When you react, your power is given away. When you act, you are keeping your power, hopefully thinking before you act. 

You have a choice, like any decision that you make, hence the “fork in the road!” 

No one says that you have to react or make a decision “right then.”

Take some time this week to examine your patterns to see if it makes a difference in your relationships,, but more

importantly, the way you feel! Hold on to that power and have a great week! 

Letting Go

let_go

The definition of “letting go” is to relinquish, to unhand, or to allow freedom.  (Perceived control, maybe?)

Let go of what you might ask?  When is it time? These may be some of the questions that go through your mind. 

The words, “letting go” can strike fear in the heart of many!  What are feelings associated with letting go?  Well that depends on our thoughts.  Feelings of sadness, happiness, and fear, are some of the many that can emerge.  There is strength, as well as a lesson(s) in letting go.

Examples such as:

*When a child first learns to walk, when they go to school, begin to drive, or leave for college. 

*Staying in a relationship too long.  Did you lose yourself or never know yourself as an

  individual before that relationship?

*What about when someone in a relationship outgrows the other?

*What if that relationship is draining everything in you, making you physically sick?

*Or in the stages of grief, when we lose someone or our animal in death?

We learn to “hang on” usually in our family of origin, since that is where we spend most of our early years before moving away from that primary caregiver.  Did someone have trouble letting go of you during those formidable years?

I have seen many clients over the years that have had trouble “letting go,” developing codependency issues that are deeply ingrained.  (Melody Beattie’s definition is:  a codependent person is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.)    

As you move forward, try to shift the focus back to yourself and “trust the process.”  When you do, you will begin to see others change their behavior around you. In fact, the more you “let go,” the closer someone will stay or feel free to come back!

Nothing sums up “let em’ go” or letting go in a more humorous way than Madea.  Copy/paste: vimeo.com/86149821   Let me know what you think!

Can Happiness Really Emerge from Unhappiness?

Some of us fear happiness.  Some of us think we don’t deserve happiness.  Sometimes our unhappiness is learned early in life or something happened in our family of origin, sometimes its genetics (depression.) Sometimes we need help from a therapist, and/or a doctor and that’s okay.

Sometimes our negative thoughts hide our happiness.  By clearing/changing our thoughts to calming (positive) thoughts, it changes our mood, behavior, and usually any negative physical feelings will disappear.

We all have to experience unhappiness at times in our life in order to grow, so YES, no matter how you became unhappy, you don’t have to stay there!

 

Women’s Workshop

Let’s fill up this workshop! Please call or email today to secure your spot before we are full!

Please join me Saturday November 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.at the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce Building. The focus will be person-centered around building self-confidence, increasing socialization, and discovering inside what you may not already know that you have!  We will have good (somewhat) healthy food and fellowship! Only $25 per person $20 if you bring a friend. Room for at least 15 people. If more, we will accommodate! Hurry to secure your spot! Please fill out contact form or leave me a voice message to sign up! 

 

Do You Allow the Holidays to Ring Your Bell?

It’s early October and the holidays are coming! Has anyone asked you if you have started your Christmas shopping? Halloween is next, then Thanksgiving, each of which is almost forgotten due to the ads for gifts, as well as the Christmas movies that are about to begin! Are you in the mood for the holidays, or are you beginning to feel the stress?

It is normal to feel the pressures of the holidays. If you have in-laws, or family that do not live in the area, you might need to reach a consensus on who to visit on what day. If you have young children, they might become upset thinking Santa Claus won’t know where to find them if they are not in their own home. If you have married children, you will miss them on the special days if they aren’t with you, but know that their lives have changed as they are creating their own traditions with their new family.  If that is not enough, there is the added pressure of the extra expenses associated with the holidays.

How often have we heard or even said, “I’ll be glad when the holidays are over”? Is there a way to deal with all of this? Yes! Routine is important as is the right and obligation to look after you. You can’t do it all and that’s okay. It is important to find humor in some of the chaos. Let’s talk about it before the holidays and say up front, “I will be okay and learn to once again capture some the warm feelings that I remember as a child as I make my own new traditions.”

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JULY WOMEN WAKING UP WORKSHOP!

Anyone interested in the last spot, please call! Anyone who has not confirmed their spot recently with me, or who has not received the “self-work” from the June group, please call!
FILLING UP FAST! MAYBE One Spot Left!
WOMEN WAKING UP WORKSHOP
Date: Saturday, July 18, 2015
Time: 11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m. (Lunch provided)
Location: 815 N. Arendell Avenue
Zebulon, NC 27597
$25 per person, per group, $20 if you bring a friend
Women Waking Up is a 3-part group that will meet once a month beginning in June – August. This group will provide a safe and confidential place for those who may have lost their voice, and examine behavior patterns in a room filled with mutual support! It will be a great place to connect with others for peer-sharing, as well as discovering your own uniqueness. Begin here to build on the most important relationship you will ever have…yourself!

WOMEN WAKING UP WORKSHOP

WOMEN WAKING UP WORKSHOP

Only several spots left!

Date: Saturday, July 18, 2015

Time: 11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.

Location:         815 N. Arendell Avenue

                  Zebulon, NC 27597

 $25 per person, per group, $20 if you bring a friend

Women Waking Up is a 3-part group that will meet  once a month beginning in June – August.  This group will provide a safe and confidential place for those who may have lost their voice, and examine behavior patterns in a room filled with mutual support!  It will be a great place to connect with others for peer-sharing, as well as discovering your own uniqueness.  Begin here to build on the most important relationship you will ever have…yourself!

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How My Career Found Me!

As an only child, and the daughter of a social worker, I swore there would never be another one in the family as I learned more about my mother’s work.  This changed when I was around 10 years old, when I heard her speaking about a family who had no heat and that the cold air was coming up through the floorboards.  To make things worse, they had a child around 5 years old that had developed pneumonia.  I listened to the story of the landlord who would make no repairs to the home and it tore at my heart.  I thought about this, spoke up, (imagine that) and plead my case.  My parents agreed that since my bedroom had hardwood floors, and we had heat, that we could pick up the carpet (back then it was only tacked down) and take it back to the family!  So my impending social work career began!  The road was long and hard.  I returned to college with a child in tow, long after I should have already had a degree.  I told myself that it did not matter how long the journey would take.  It ended at East Carolina University in 2004.  I opened my practice in 2007 and am still serving Wake and surrounding counties. 

 

My love of animals began very young at MacNair’s Stables in Raleigh.  Back then it was a daycare.  I rode horses, swam, and was outside every day.  Over the years I had many animals, even several horses.  The imprint this time in my life made on me, is still present today.

 

Several years ago, I began to hear about something called Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP).  This sounded like what I had heard about out West a long time ago, where wild mustangs were paired with at-risk, troubled kids, along with the successes with both the humans as well as the animals.  EAP uses tame horses, but all have different personalities that appear during the sessions.  I am now certified in the Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association model and have watched it spread through the United States and other countries.

 

I enjoy my job when meeting with clients in the office, but I am happiest outside, with animals. To be able to marry social work, with my love of animals, is a match made in heaven!

The Silent Treatment

 

I thought I would begin by defining the word, “silent,” defined as not making or accompanied by any sound.  Synonym is “unspoken.” 

 

Not only in my own life, but also in my practice, I often hear people speak of the “silent treatment.”  It means different things to different people, but I feel it is when someone, usually of importance, withholds any verbal communication for a little to a long period of time. 

 

As a child or teen, it affects deeply.  It becomes internalized to the child or teen as, “I’m not even worthy enough to be spoken to,” in others, it becomes anger, and later, the child or teen might begin to hurt others before they can hurt them.  These behavior patterns are repeated on family members, non-family members, and even their own children if not addressed.  It can be a hurt that cuts to the core when they are around this person as an adult, who has inflicted this kind of pain.  It’s like they immediately become that hurt child around that person, especially a parental figure. 

 

This is often when someone comes to therapy to address their family of origin issues and begin working on their child within.  When the person begins to focus on healing the child within, they begin to know who they are and then very importantly, who they are becoming.

Love

Have you ever loved someone so much that it hurts?  And, not in a good way, I mean physically hurts? Sometimes, even in our own family-of-origin, we find that no matter what we do, we are not loved by others the way that we love them.  

Well what do you do?

Try loving those people from a distance, creating some space, setting a boundary, even in your own family.  By doing this, you are loving yourself, which is the ultimate self-care!

What is Self-Talk and Why is it So Important?

What is self-talk?  A conversation we have in our head…our thoughts.  They can be positive or negative.  Most times, we are not aware of our thoughts.  Take a minute, what are you thinking?  Make it into a sentence.  Is it a positive statement or a negative statement?  If you are finding that you are making negative statements more often to self, practice changing that negative statement into a positive one.   Let’s say that we have a negative thought, which produces a mood such as sadness or anxiety, then a behavior (what we actually do such as wringing hands or crying) and then how we physically feel such as a headache, stomachache, hands sweat, or an increase in heart rate.  This happens many times a day and often is a vicious cycle.  Do you feel aches and pains and don’t know where they come from? The following diagram will show the clock-wise process.

         Thought

Physical Feeling                                         Mood

          Behavior

Change those thoughts to positive ones and notice how much better you feel!

“Bad” word for the week of 12/14-20/14

Control – to regulate or to exercise authority over.  Many of us think we have control when we really don’t.  How many times have we become frustrated with others, their decisions, or a situation without even understanding exactly why?  We are trying to CONTROL!  When we draw the attention back to ourselves, paying attention to our own thoughts, moods, and behaviors, then the real work begins and where inner peace is found.  Practice this coming week as you may need these new tools during the holidays! 🙂

Weekly Tools for the Tool Box

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Each week, I will be sharing information on a subject with which I have some experience with, as well as what I see quite often in my practice.  The subject is, Codependency.  I usually utilize a book entitled, Codependent No More by Melody Beattie.  Ms. Beattie has written many books on this subject, but this is one of my favorites.   She defines a codependent person as, “one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.”  This other person can be anyone closely connected to that person.  Use this week to think/write about how you have “allowed” someone else’s behavior to affect you and the outcome.  Make it a great week!

 

 

“Bad” Word for the week of 12/7-14/14

My “bad” word for this week is “predict.”  Why when someone “predicts” is it bad?  Because it may or may not be true.   The dictionary states that the word, “predict” means, “to say in advance what one believes will happen.”  But first, even before we say it, we THINK it!  One example of predicting is, thinking we know what someone is thinking, feeling, or how they will behave.  Such as, “He or she hasn’t called because they have a lot going on, or they are working.”  We really have no idea!  I am exploring my own communication/behaviors, how they make me feel, and where they originated.  I challenge you to explore yours!

Losing Our Masks – Shifting Our Relationships

I ran across this quote today, and it got me thinking…, “Sometimes it’s not the people who change; it’s the mask that falls off.”

Have you ever noticed that when you’re changing, there are some people in your life who get offended or frightened of the change, and there are others who celebrate, support, and encourage you in the process?

The above quote sheds a great deal of light on why this is.

Those people who have entered into a relationship with the persona we’ve presented (our mask), will understandably become upset or frightened, when we begin to become someone they don’t recognize. That is a threat to the very basis of the relationship, and they will often fight quite fiercely to keep the relationship on familiar ground.

And those people who have seen and recognized us, behind our masks, will celebrate, support, and encourage us to drop the false personas we’ve carried, as what they appreciate is the person that we really are.

This understanding can help you be compassionate with the people who fight your change… even if it means you might need to withdraw from the relationship. You can appreciate why it is difficult for them.

As you recognize those supportive people in your life who see and support you emerging authentically, cherish those relationships, and look at shifting the balance of whom you spend time with, to move towards these life giving connections!

Nancy Johnson Smith

919-671-8475

Family of Origin-A Call to Heal

Often as we come up on the Holiday Season, unresolved issues with our families of origin poke their heads up.

For some of us, it is a treat to spend extra time with our family of origin… but for many of us, it is a grit-your-teeth-and-bear-it, sort of thing.

Old patterns of relating, left over from our childhood, or teen years, insert themselves back into our adult lives.

We can find ourselves regressing into people we don’t like to be, when around our families.

Old jealousies, power struggles, feeling ‘less than’, falling into old roles…  all color the experience.

 

Recognizing that these dynamics are here is the first step towards healing them.

One of the gifts you can give yourself is the chance to sit down and talk with someone about what’s happening here. Becoming aware of these patterns and putting them out on the table, where you can look at them in the plain light of day is the first step towards changing them.

 

Receiving feedback and insight from someone who understands this growth process, helps it to shift more quickly, and easily, than if you struggled with it alone.

 

It’s natural to have these difficulties cycle back through. In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity, to heal them, so you won’t be faced with the same pattern playing out year after year.

 

If I can help or support you here, please call or email:

 

Nancy Johnson Smith

 

919-671-8475

De-Stressing the Holidays

Regardless of what Holidays you celebrate, during this coming season, the one thing that our culture does together, is get stressed!

On top of work, home, and life commitments, there are a whole range of expectations we simply breathe in and absorb.

Expectations to feel cozy and connected with friends/family/loved ones.

Expectations to spend extra time with friends and family.

Expectations to buy gifts/send cards to people.

Expectations to recreate the joy and wonder of the season – for ourselves/for our children/for our friends and family.

 The expectations go on…  I’m sure you could easily add to the list!

 One of the best tools for de-stressing the Holidays, is to sit down now, before they start, and outline what expectations are driving you the most, what ones do indeed resonate, what ones do NOT resonate, and set a realistic idea of how YOU want this holiday season to be. By bringing awareness to these unconscious expectations that drive you, you’re able to decrease the stress they produce, and be proactive about creating a Holiday season that aligns with your values, your resources, and your path.

 If you need help with this process, feel free to contact me! Having an outside, objective person to process this with, helps put you back into the driver’s seat more quickly.

 Nancy Johnson Smith

 919-671-8475

Why Choose Me?

 

What sets my practice apart from others in my profession?

 

* I’m the only therapist in Zebulon, and have been for six years

 

* I believe in quality and not quantity

 

* I answer my own phone as opposed to an answering service.

 

* Client’s can speak to me between appointments if there is an issue that needs

      discussion before the next session to decrease escalation.

 

* I am on most insurance panels.

 

* I have a wide range of experience.

 

* I am non-judgmental and have been told that I’m a good listener 🙂

Cool Your Angry Thoughts Before Actually Getting Angry!

Questions to ask self:

What am I thinking?

How do I feel?

Is it important enough to verbalize?

Can I put it in perspective?

If you can cool your thoughts and ask these questions, it will change your behaivor, which in turn will change the outcome of the situation.  If you have tried this and more, come see me for some one-on-one counseling to learn to decrease/cool your angry thoughts and change your behavior.

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Changing Your Thoughts

Why is it important to change your thoughts?  Do you know what your thoughts are on a daily basis?  Well it’s important because once you learn to “catch” your thought(s), it creates a mood, then a behavior, and then affects how you physically feel.  Ever wonder what brought on a headache, stomach-ache, etc? It could be your thoughts! So when you have negative, anxious, depressed thoughts, try to change them, and it will change your mood, your behavior, and your physical symptoms will decrease!  If you are having a hard time doing  this, this is where a therapist and weekly counseling can be useful.

Codependency

Most everyone is codependent in some way… What is your definition of codependency? I often use a book entitled, Codependent No More, an excellent book that I will quote from now. “A codependent person is one that has allowed another person’s behavior to affect him or her and is obsessed with controlling that person’s behaivor.” Codependency does not have to be tied to drug addiction as many people believe, and again is in all of us. How has codependency affected you? Are you in a codependent relationship now? What does that look like for you?