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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.

Have you told yourself how awesome you are today?

Have you told yourself how awesome you are today?

The impending stress of the holiday season can bring about a mix of emotions, especially to those dealing with mental health challenges. We all could benefit from reminders about how valuable we are. Sometimes, we have to be the one to give that reminder. Always remember that you have the right to feel good about who you are, and there are steps you can take to feel better about yourself. Below, we offer tips on how to boost your own self-esteem this holiday season.

Think positive thoughts

One of the first steps in changing the way we feel is changing the way we think. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones and say them out loud or in your head with full confidence. Give yourself a reminder that you are enough, and make it a daily task to mentally accept both your strengths and your flaws. You might not feel immediate results, and that’s OK. Slowly and gradually, positive self-talk will begin improving your quality of life.

Do unto others

Once you start telling yourself you matter, let others know they matter! Showing kindness and compassion to others is rewarding. Make time to volunteer, spend time helping your family or simply tell a stranger good morning. Take note of how you feel when you set aside time to focus on cultivating positive relationships with others.

Find things that make you happy

You deserve to take time to treat yourself. Find something healthy that you like doing, and do more of it. Make an effort to take time out of each day to do something you enjoy – no matter how big or small the activity.

Staying committed to boosting your own self-esteem can be difficult but definitely not impossible, and regularly talking with someone about it can help. If you’re looking for someone to talk to, our Mental Health and Substance Abuse clinicians might be who you need this winter. South Bay strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance.

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

 

 

Beat the holiday blues: Tips for staying sober during the holidays

Beat the holiday blues: Tips for staying sober during the holidays

The holiday season can bring a mix of emotions to those dealing with addiction. Whether you’re battling anxiety over having to socialize without drugs or alcohol; depression over thoughts of a loved one you’ve recently lost; or discomfort about having to explain your sobriety to friends and family, don’t be discouraged – you aren’t alone! Here are a few tips to help minimize triggers and thoughts of relapse throughout the holiday months.

Have a plan
It’s important to prepare yourself for certain situations so you aren’t caught off guard in the moment. For example, if you know you’ll feel uncomfortable without a drink in your hand, come up with a list of non-alcoholic options you could order. If you know you’ll want to leave early, it might be best to take your own car to the function or ask another sober friend to be on-call to pick you up. If you think you’re going to be asked about your sobriety, be ready to address it in a way that you’re most comfortable. If you prefer not to bring it up, use excuses such as, “I’m trying to go on a run in the morning” or “I’m on a cleanse.” Or, if you feel comfortable addressing it, remember you don’t need to justify your sobriety to anyone. If you’re living a healthier, happier life, those are the only reasons you need.

Avoid people pleasing
Always remember that your health is far more important than attending a holiday function. Be choosy about the events you attend, and don’t feel like you must say “yes” to every invitation. If you don’t need to attend or just simply don’t want to, replace it with a fun, healthy holiday activity! For example, go ice-skating, treat yourself to a nice dinner, volunteer, host a gift-exchange with other sober friends, see a movie or take a relaxing, weekend trip.

Find healthy activities
When you’re at a holiday party, try not to hang around the bar or people who are there to drink and let loose. Instead, position yourself near the food; offer to help out in the kitchen; throw the football with the kids; or even hit the dance floor to stay active and get your mind off of drinking.

Having fun while staying sober can be difficult but definitely not impossible, and regularly talking with someone about staying sober can help. If you’re looking for someone to talk to, our Mental Health and Substance Abuse counseling services might be what you need this holiday season. South Bay strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance.

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