In this third installment of Learning the Basics to Being Better, I relate depression (and other mental health concerns) to being wrapped up in a less-than-satisfying blanket. I discuss the struggle to make the effort and take the risk to search out a better, happier blanket. I hope you'll watch and that the video offers some encouragement for you to upgrade your own blanket!
To continue the series Learning the Basics to Being Better, I present this video explaining my frequently used analogy about needing to understand where you are starting from in order to use your directions. I hope you'll watch the video and take some useful encouragement from it to examine where you are and where you'd like to go.
The first step in the Learning the Basics to Being Better series is starting to set a foundation to work from, with making small changes to eating, sleeping, and moving. Watch the video for tips about these three topics to work on identifying what you need to practice to start the cycle of feeling better!
As I mentioned in the video, I use a calendar to track success with small, daily goals. Here are blank PDF and Word versions you can print off (or put on your smartphone or save to your computer, whatever works for you!) to track your own successes. Make it visible to help remind you, then start racking up the check marks!
All therapists are going to approach the initial phase in their own ways, but many are offering consultations to get an idea of why you are seeking therapy, what you are looking for, and to offer a chance to assess how their style might fit you. Of course, you can't get a full picture of how a therapist will operate based on a consultation, but it can give some helpful clues as to whether you think it will be a good fit.
Don't worry about being particularly prepared for the consultation. All you need is to make the initial phone call, email, or online appointment. Once you have your consultation appointment, the therapist will take the lead. Personally, I'll ask about what has been going on for you lately, how long this has been a concern, and what you types of goals you have. Plenty often clients don't know their goals right away, so we can spend time in the first few sessions identifying what will be different when the presenting problem is gone or better managed.
In this consultation, we are able to assess whether our therapy is likely to be right for you. If not, we can help link you with more appropriate resources. This might mean a different type of mental health (such as me referring to a clinic for those that aren't Skype-appropriate) or to community resources, like recreation centers, town supports, and self-help groups.
So, the most important message is, try not to stress yourself with expectations for the consultation. You don't have to direct the conversations, just answer questions to the best of your knowledge. Don't worry about if some of your answers are "I don't know." And don't worry if your answers aren't the most eloquent, we understand!
Just getting started in therapy can be anxiety-provoking enough to completely avoid it. Even if you don't suffer from social anxiety, just having to make the first phone call, or even email, can be too overwhelming. There are so many questions we end up asking ourselves when we are nervous, and sometimes we know they don't even make sense, but we ask them regardless. Here are a few of what I expect to be the most common, along with some rebuttals to hopefully help you feel ready to try!
What if I am so nervous that I make a fool of myself when I call?
What if I am not right for therapy or if the therapist can't help me?
What if I don't like the therapist or have had a bad experience in the past?
What if I have something embarrassing to share?
about the Posts
In these posts and videos I share information about my own practice, therapy in general, and skills you can use in your daily life.