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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.

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.

How to cope with things that are out of your control

How to cope with things that are out of your control

It’s not easy knowing there are some aspects of life where we have limited or no control. And, learning how to accept life’s curveballs can be extremely difficult. Just know – feeling overwhelmed by these circumstances is completely understandable, and finding ways to help manage how you cope with these situations can lead you to live a happier, healthier life. Below are steps you can take to cope with things beyond your control.

Determine what you are able to control

When something happens that’s out of your control and it makes you uncomfortable, shift your focus to what you can control – your perception. A new, fresh perspective on various aspects of life can jolt us into a better mindset. You might not be in charge of a situation, but you can certainly dictate your own attitude, reaction and plan of action moving forward. A great way to start is by adopting positive behavioral habits, such as writing your feelings down on paper.

Focus on the present

Most anxieties come from things we can’t change (the past) or things we can’t predict (the future). Try to shift your mindset to focus on the present. Overthinking can be debilitating – use that mental energy to work on solutions. You’re in control, so ask yourself what went wrong and what actions you can take to help get you through future, similar situations.

Find ways to manage stress

It’s essential to practice healthy habits. In these situations, they can help you cope. A key step in managing stress is to never go through it alone. Get the right support. Talk to someone who has a fresh perspective on your situation. This might be a support group, a new friend or a clinician.

If you or someone you know struggles with stress and could benefit from learning how to cope with things out of their control, we encourage you to contact South Bay Community Services. We strive 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.

Helping teens care about mental health

Helping teens care about mental health

Every teenager is going to experience pressure at some point in his life – pressure to achieve academically, pressure to fit in, pressure to establish a career path, etc. With the increasing demands put on teens today, it’s essential for them to understand the importance of mental wellness. Developing self-confidence through mental wellness will make it easier on teens to resist peer pressure.

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial for teens to appreciate its role in wellness as they prepare to venture into the world on their own. Below, we offer a few tips on how to encourage your teen to prioritize mental health.

Teach coping skills

Learning how to deal with and conquer negative emotions takes time. Work with your child to establish healthy coping skills that will ease the stress of the daily struggles he faces. Coping techniques can be different for every teenager, so work together to find what works. The goal is to establish a habit that will help your child put his negative feelings into perspective, allowing him to seek a healthy solution. 

Be open to having hard conversations

It’s no secret that talking with teenagers about controversial subjects can be challenging. However, being open to discussing mental health issues with teenagers not only diminishes societal stigma, but it also allows parents to prove themselves as an ally and a confidant. Look for everyday situations that can be used as teachable moments.

Instill self-esteem

Let your child know his worth. Make sure your teen knows he is good enough and accepted no matter what. Praise your teen, regardless the size of the accomplishment. And if the outcome is not what was hoped, make sure you still commend the effort. Encourage your teen to always stay true to himself, and let it be known that he is free to explore the interests that makes him a unique individual.

Your teen is not alone in his struggles. You’re not alone either. If you feel your child is struggling with his mental wellness, you might be interested in learning more about our Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative Services. 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 college stressors: Back to school for college students

Beat the college stressors: Back to school for college students

Whether you’re a college freshman who’s independent for the first time or a college senior who’s tasked with landing a job upon graduation, students of all ages deal with a lot of change, which can often be stressful and scary.

It’s true that your college years can be some of the best years of your life. But, we won’t sugar coat it – life in college can definitely be hectic, demanding and intimidating for some. The good news is you’re not the only one feeling this way. Experiencing anxiety over major life changes is normal. Some levels of stress can actually be a good thing, as the right kind of stress can lead us toward positive change and growth. However, stress and anxiety become a problem and a health risk for students when they exist for an extended period of time and seem impossible to control.

Whether it’s social or academic pressures, it’s important to seek resolutions from healthy outlets instead of harmful ones – such as drugs and alcohol. There are several resources available on campus to help you cope with and manage student stress. If you feel you need further guidance and support, these resources can connect you with a therapist – such as a South Bay clinician.

Whether you’re entering college or leaving college, know that it’s not a weakness to feel anxious about these life changes, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. Below, we outline a few of the most common stressors students experience, plus advice on how to take steps toward coping with them.

Living away from home

For many students, college is the first step toward complete independence. Experiencing this in an unfamiliar environment can be intimidating – especially since your support environment has changed. If you’re struggling with a lack of in-person support, connect with a South Bay clinician. A one-on-one session between you and a clinician will allow for a deep examination of your life, emotions and relationships. Treatment pace is based on your vision – it’s a balance of minimizing risk and achieving your goals. Our clinicians’ primary goal is to build a deep trust and understanding with you while guiding you through anxiety-management techniques.

Academic demands

Academic demands in college may be very different and more intense than they were in high school. Test anxiety symptoms can come in both physical and mental forms. If this anxiety hinders you from performing your best on an exam, seek assistance from academic advisors who can provide you with guidance. The on-campus academic services office should be able to arrange a tutor or other academic help.

Financial problems

Experiencing financial responsibility for the first time can be scary. Whether it’s textbooks, food, gas or social life, college can be expensive, and figuring out ways to budget your expenses is necessary. The financial aid office will have information and advice about money management, on-campus job openings and scholarship opportunities.

South Bay’s outreach program is unparalleled to any other behavioral health service in the area, which gives our clinicians the opportunity to physically reach those who need us most no matter their circumstances or where they are, including colleges.

Are you a parent feeling anxious about sending your child off to college? We understand how stressful the process can be. Counseling sessions with a South Bay clinician could benefit you, as well.

If you think you could benefit from our counseling sessions, we encourage you to contact South Bay Community Services. We strive to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance. Let us help you have the best possible beginning this school year!

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