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Seeing a mental health clinician: It’s not so scary

Seeing a mental health clinician: It’s not so scary

For some, the thought of attending a counseling session isn’t easy. In fact, it can feel terrifying. It’s because there’s a stigma placed on mental health – a common misconception that seeing a clinician means there’s something “wrong” with you. We disagree. Asking for help indicates you are taking control of your life and of your mental health. While this can be scary, the things that often scare us are great opportunities for us to step up and grow. You may find that facing your fears will prove to be empowering, rather than petrifying.

Need a little more reassurance? Below, a few South Bay clients share how counseling sessions with our clinicians have impacted their lives.

 

“I have been attending South Bay for four months. South Bay has helped me regain my morals and values again. It has helped me to build upon my spiritual, physical and mental health. I was at a point where I was lacking in my life, and I needed South Bay. They were right there when I called. Just be open and honest with yourself while you’re here. Work on the issues you need to work on. Allow yourself the opportunity for the staff members to work with you. They have great staff members here, and they have a lot of experience. I would tell anyone to be open and receptive for a change.” – Morse  

 

“My son has come to South Bay’s Early Intervention program for about a year. He had a speech delay, and now he’s made so much progress with talking because of the services he’s received from South Bay. His attention span has improved. All the clinicians are great. Whether they’re coming to my house or we’re coming here, they’re amazing. They help him succeed and move forward, and they build relationships with you. I would recommend any parent brings their child here.” – Nicole

 

“I’ve been coming to South Bay for about a year. It helps me maintain my structure, and I learn ways to cope with problems that I have in my life. The clinicians are very down to earth. That makes it easy to open up – you see that they have compassion. My biggest advice is to just get past the first day.” – Matthew

 

If you’re ready to begin your journey to recovery, we encourage you to contact us today. South Bay Community Services strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance. At South Bay, you will find the support and guidance you need.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

Circuit cleaning: A strategy for decluttering

Circuit cleaning: A strategy for decluttering

By: Kelly M., senior clinician at South Bay

According to Dictionary.com, a circuit is defined as a roughly circular line, route or movement that starts and finishes at the same place or an established itinerary of events or venues used for a particular activity. Beautiful! What does that have to do with decluttering, you might ask? Well, before I get to that, we need a bit more information.

The first thing you want to consider when setting a decluttering goal – what needs decluttering? Perhaps you struggle with Hoarding Disorder and want to declutter your home or perhaps you want to declutter your lifestyle by placing restrictions or limits on people or behaviors. Regardless of your specific answer, this technique can be useful, but it’s important to have a clear idea in mind.

The second thing to ask yourself – are you willing to dedicate the time and energy to accomplish this decluttering project? If it seems like the universe is out to get you, it might not be the right time. This doesn’t mean you cannot work on this, but you may need to be creative with your timing and attention.

Let’s segue into attention now. Maybe you have a goal. Maybe you have the energy and time to accomplish this goal. As I have run South Bay’s hoarding group over the years, I have often heard, “I just can’t focus on one task. I jump from room to room, and I never get anything done so I get frustrated and give up.” Okay. That makes sense, but this is where circuit cleaning comes in handy.

Circuit cleaning works with the same design as circuit training. You do a set of reps on one machine, then another, then another and eventually work your way back to the first one and start the circuit all over again. So, instead of forcing yourself to try to focus on one task at a time, pick a very small project in each station of the circuit and work on it a little bit at a time. For example, if we use a hoarding situation: Create a small decluttering goal in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, etc. until you have done at least something necessary in each room. Then circle back around and start the circuit again. The hope is that eventually you will start accomplishing the small goal you set out to finish in each room.

Other additions would make this technique more effective, as in a timer for each station or a post-it or dry-erase board in each room with the goal on it. But, this technique works with the struggle of focusing and also avoids the potential for boredom.

So, if you’re trying to clean your house, your inbox, sort through old photos or whatever decluttering goal you set upon and other techniques haven’t worked, maybe you’re fighting inattention or boredom. Instead, change it up and give circuit cleaning a try.

Debunking myths about mental strength

Debunking myths about mental strength

Mental strength is the way you think, feel and behave during certain situations. Building mental strength will help you gain self-acceptance while working toward self-improvement. However, there are several misconceptions about what mental strength is and why it’s important. Below, we discuss common myths about developing mental strength.

Myth #1: Mental strength and mental health are the same thing.

Mental strength and mental health, although they may coincide, are not the same thing. Mental health isn’t something we can control – mental strength is. Factors such as genetics and past life experiences can lead to someone developing a mental health challenge, but this doesn’t mean that person isn’t mentally strong. Everyone has the ability to build mental strength, regardless of whether they have depression, anxiety, etc.

Myth #2: You’re either mentally strong or mentally weak.

There is no physical line that separates those who are mentally strong from those who are mentally weak. Everyone has room for improvement when it comes to building their mental strength, and working toward developing that strength does not mean that you’re weak. Just as increased physical strength requires daily work, so does mental strength. Coming to terms with the areas where we can grow stronger will help improve our overall mental fitness.

Myth #3: Mental strength means always thinking positively.

Constant positive thinking isn’t going to make you mentally strong – it’s learning how to think rationally and realistically that makes the difference. You might not be in charge of a situation, but you can certainly dictate your own attitude, reaction and plan of action moving forward. To do so, establish coping skills that will help you manage certain situations. Developing mental strength through coping mechanisms can increase your ability to assess both positive and negative thoughts, which can lead you to make more conscious actions.

If you’re ready to take the next step in improving your mental strength, we encourage you to contact us today. South Bay Community Services strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance. At South Bay, you will find the support and guidance you need.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

Overcoming initial reluctance when seeing a clinician for the first time

Overcoming initial reluctance when seeing a clinician for the first time

It’s common to experience fear when you decide to begin therapy sessions. At first, you may feel uncomfortable speaking about personal issues with someone you don’t know. While fear is a natural emotion, it can be confronted by reframing your anxious thoughts. Below, we offer a few tips on how to overcome your doubts about speaking with a professional clinician.

Decide what you’d like from your clinician.

From the get-go, be open and honest with your clinician about what you need from the session. Do you want someone who will offer advice? Listen silently? Would you like the conversation to be casual or feel more like you’re speaking with an expert? If you express your needs from the beginning, the clinician can then guide the session accordingly. Clinicians will work with you to better understand your needs and help you through life’s struggles.

You don’t have to go into it alone.

If speaking to a professional in a one-on-one setting scares you, you might find comfort in group therapy. In this environment, it’s up to you if you want to share your feelings or just simply listen to others, all of whom are working to navigate similar challenges. Depending on the goals and objectives of the group, the purpose of a group therapy session is to share experiences, address symptoms and discuss treatment goals. You might find that group sessions will help boost your confidence when it comes to discussing your personal challenges, making it easier for you to ultimately try one-on-one sessions with a clinician.

Know that each session doesn’t have to include a “big conversation.”

Sometimes, small struggles carry just as much weight in our minds as the bigger ones do. Don’t be embarrassed to spend time in your session discussing the smaller challenges in your life. No struggle you face will be seen as insignificant. After all, discussions about small issues could lead to bigger revelations during your session. Knowing that treatment pace is based on your vision can help alleviate the pressure.

If you’re ready to begin your journey to recovery, we encourage you to contact us today. South Bay Community Services strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance. At South Bay, you will find the support and guidance you need.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

Post-grad depression: How to deal with it

Post-grad depression: How to deal with it

From kindergarten through college, school is one of the main constants in a young adult’s life. Even though exams, projects and homework can be overwhelming and stressful for students, attending school provides a structure and potential support system that some people may not realize they depend on. And once graduation time hits, it can be intimidating to enter the “real world.” With stressors such as debt, job searching and social media expectations surrounding post-graduation, the transition can be challenging and can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. Fortunately, every step along the way can be taken in stride – if equipped with the correct mindset.

Below are a few tips and words of encouragement to help conquer the battle that post-grad depression brings.

Recognize the risks of social media

Social media creates the facade that everyone is living the perfect life, which produces feelings of envy and anxiety in most young adults. Comparing yourself to others online can be damaging to your mental health. Know that social media only shows the highlight reels, and the hard times simply aren’t shared. Try giving your friends on social media a call instead. You may learn that they are experiencing similar problems, and you can confide in each other.

Follow your own path

Your journey might be different from others around you – and that’s ok. Start by coming to terms with the fact that life after college might be difficult and start preparing for the stressors of debt, loneliness, etc. This doesn’t make your outlook on life negative – it makes it realistic. Know that everyone goes through scary transitions at some point and that you aren’t alone.

Know your worth

Don’t be ashamed if things don’t go how you imagined them. You conquered an incredible feat – graduating college! You have a bright future ahead of you, and you are worthy of finding a job, meeting new friends and more. Accepting this will help push you through this temporary situation. To start the process, begin integrating stress-management activities into your daily routine. Make a point to involve yourself in activities you enjoy – no matter how big or small! Take up journaling, painting or even a new language. Anything that challenges you to stay motivated can help you in your transition.

If you identify with the emotions discussed in this blog post or recognize some of the above characteristics in a friend or loved one, know that help is out there. South Bay Community Services strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance. At South Bay, clients can find the support and guidance they need the most.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

Tactile learning: the importance of hands-on activities for children

Tactile learning: the importance of hands-on activities for children

Did you know that the first three years of a child’s life are the most impressionable? From ages zero to three, children begin to develop their own personalities and socialization skills and conquer some of the most important physiological milestones. These skills expand throughout childhood, which is why it’s important to leverage a system of teaching that aids learning through the senses, particularly through the sense of touch. Below, we explain the importance of tactile learning in helping promote strong, positive mental wellness in your child.

Helps children with learning disabilities

Since cognitive learning and physical activity are parallel and essentially reinforce one another, tactile learning methods can help improve a child’s concentration and learning capacity and increase self-confidence. A play-based learning technique allows children who struggle to maintain focus and learn in a traditional setting to succeed. This type of learning allows children to become engaged through intentional play tactics that help build the foundation for future education.

Promotes positive growth

Consistent, positive interactions with adults and other children their age allow a child to develop a positive, more relevant perception of the world around them. With instructors and parents engaging in play, whole parts of the child’s brain are engaged, which helps develop crucial connections that lead to positive development and growth. Tactile environments allow children to be free to experience learning through the senses.

Endorses learning through play

Children thrive when surrounded by supportive, interactive programs that focus on their mental and physical development. Not only is hands-on learning an excellent way to help children develop better social and motor skills, it’s also easy to get them involved. Since the activities use colorful toys for demonstration, children are more willing to play along and gain a better understanding of the subject.

At South Bay, we offer Early Childhood Services and Early Intervention programs that help families ensure growth, stability and well-being. Our approach is to help them identify their own strengths so they are empowered to foster their children’s growth and development. If you would like to learn more about how our programs can help you and your child, contact South Bay Community Services at 508-521-2200 or click here.