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Showing posts from 2014

Free Yourself

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There is not a whole lot to add to this post.  The above image really says it all. 
We must face the very thing that brings us the most distress in order to move on and live a happy and fulfilling life.  Otherwise, we will continue to go about life being fearful, anxious, depressed, confused, resentful, hurt, angry, lonely, etc. 
This will be no small feat, it will be a journey with bumps along the way, however, the destination is well worth it. 
Allow one of our therapists at Kelley Counseling to be your comforting and supportive companion and guide for the journey.  Sometimes, there is no need for elaborate therapy techniques or theories, you simply need a supportive, therapeutic bond with someone who will be there, while you explore your deepest fears.  
The therapeutic relationship is all you need.  
So contact us today, if you are ready to free yourself.  We look forward to joining you for the journey.  
-Lauren K. Dawood 

When in Doubt, Just Add Glitter.

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Creating a glitter calming jar is an easy calming tool that you can make yourself at home! This is wonderful for children, teenagers, OR anyone that wants to try something new to help manage a variety of emotions.  

A glitter calming jar is wonderful, because it is so versatile! Here are a few suggested uses: 

Shake really hard when feeling angry, then sit and watch the glitter settle, by the time the glitter settles, you should be a bit more relaxed and ready to deal with whatever made you angry in the first place (you will be calmer, and able to make better decisions vs. the heat of the moment decisions). Shake the jar, and watch the glitter fall as you have the desire to self-harm, distracting yourself from the painful emotions you may be experiencing, and the urge to harm yourself. Shake the jar, and watch glitter fall, while counting your breaths to calm your anxiety. Shake the jar and use it for any other reason you need distraction, a few minutes to cool off, calm-down, relax, et…

Love, Time, Patience

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Love, Time, Patience

When I was on vacation I received this fortune of sorts with my dinner, immediately I thought of how perfectly this ties into counseling. Making the decision to begin counseling can be an overwhelming and scary time for many people. We would all like to reach our goals and solve our issues with the wave of a hand but unfortunately it is not that easy. Attending counseling on a weekly basis and taking an honest look at your pain, struggles, and past is no small feat. Many clients are critical of themselves for not "being ok" or not reaching their goals as quickly as they would like. This fortune addresses the difficulties that many face when engaging in counseling. Reaching your goals and working through personal struggles takes time, there is no fast track, no quick fix; to truly resolve challenging issues you must invest the needed time.

Patience and time fall into a similar category in the counseling world. There is a reason patience is regarded as a v…
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31 Days of Mindful Practice Welcome to Kelley Counseling's First Online Series! We invite you and your loved ones to take part in this experience in order to learn and grow through these free series that we will be offering at our practice. During  the month of October 2014 we as a community are going to learn and practice mindfulness skills. This is a perfect way to gear up before the holidays begin so that you have one more tool to tame the stress. 
Each day check back for the new skill. At the end of the month this post will feature all 31 informal and formal mindfulness skills so you can continue to integrate them in your every day life once the series is completed. 
We are honored by your presence and hope you enjoy this series!

Day 1:Today you begin your mindful practice starting with only 1 minute of your evening. When you set off to bed you will do your first informal practice while brushing your teeth. Be in the moment when you do this tonight. Think about the feel of the bru…

Anxious? ...Think Back To Your Younger Days...

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We all deal with anxiety every day in some shape or form.  Sometimes it is a minor stress or worry, and other times it can be a major distressing event that causes us to lose sleep and worry constantly... Being under constant stress is unhealthy for our minds AND bodies, therefore, we often try various techniques to relax, which are wonderful and effective.  HOWEVER, have you ever thought about grabbing a can of play-dough when stressed?  Well, play-dough can actually be extremely useful!  Think about the use of a stress ball... just having something in your hand to squeeze when you are feeling tense can give some relief.  So the use of play-dough can be very similar.   You could also go about this in a different way and even find that inner child, and use the play-dough to distract yourself for a few minutes, and build something out of the play-dough.  Anything that distracts your mind from the constant worries/stresses can be beneficial, even if it only lasts for a few minutes. Another…
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What Exactly is Mindfulness?



Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
How Do We Do it?
This concept is one that we share with many of our clients, and it truly is not as easy as it sounds. Every day we trudge through countless sensations, experiences and thoughts that are either subconscious, seemingly happening to us or pretty much out of our control. So with all of those challenges how does one "do" mindfulness. Well first let's make the distinction between the two types that can be practiced. 
Informal
This method of mindfulness can be done anywhere, anytime and in the midst of any activity, really! It can be practiced when walking the dog, washing the dishes, flossing your teeth or even playing with your children. The m…

"Cycology" - Power of thought and focus.

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Ever feel like the very thing you are trying not to think about you become or do? Many people are stuck with anxious thoughts and feelings that they just cannot seem to get rid of! 
Anytime a client or friend brings up being stuck I like to bring up the analogy of riding a bike. You know the feeling... hands on the bars, two feet firmly planted on the pedals and off you go. Moving swiftly forward
we aim stay on the right path, often straight, in order to stay safe and get where we want to go. Now what if when you were on this bike Itold you "do notlook at the tree to your left!" well often times even being told not to
do something puts your focus on it. You may look at it directly or even just out of the corner of your eye and if your looking at the tree there is a good chance you will drift towards it, even if you did not want to.
Anxiety,depression, bad habits and other feelings of being stuck in life can be 
very similar to the tree when your trying to stayon the right path…

A Starting Point

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"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. " - William James



This quote seems appropriate for the start of our new blog, seeing as this quote inspires me personally, to be highly aware of my own thoughts.  James was definitely on to something. The ability to focus on, understand and modify one's thought processes is now a major practice in a number of counseling theories and techniques today.  To name a couple of the evidence based theories that we use regularly at Kelley Counseling - Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).  Both therapies have a component of becoming aware of our thought patterns and learning to choose healthier, more positive thoughts, which in turn leads to less emotional distress.  Though James was not around to see CBT and DBT flourish and become increasingly important in the counseling world, it is evident that he was aware of the importance of examining our thought proces…