Counseling & Therapy Newsletter February 2020
Feb 19, 2020
Hello and welcome to FamilyMeans Counseling & Therapy’s Newsletter. Each month we will address a different topic surrounding mental health, highlight a treatment perspective from the field, as well as showcase a few of our own clinicians. Our hope is that the newsletter helps to raise awareness, begins conversations around tough topics, and instills hope.
February is Boost Self-Esteem Month
Healthy self-esteem can be described as “a realistic, appreciative opinion of oneself…our core worth is independent of externals that the marketplace values, such as wealth, education, health, status, etc.”. Self-esteem influences how you feel physically, mentally, how you perform at work and/or school, and how you interact in relationships.
Many things can affect self-esteem including, but not limited to; negative experiences, negative self-talk, and comparing yourself to others. Society is in a unique time right now where social media is influencing how you think, see, and perceive everything. You are able to see the best and happiest parts of people’s lives and you start to compare this with your own life. ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ is harder than ever before because it is constantly in your face. We often forget that people are choosing what to post and putting out for others see. Oftentimes you don’t see the bad days, the struggles, or the rough patches. If all you see are the ‘best’ or ‘happiest’ moments you may start to believe that’s all that others are experiencing and something is wrong with you for not always being this way. This can quickly lead to a downward spiral and have a negative impact on you physically and mentally.
In order to change this negative spiral downward, you must first recognize that this negativity is happening and that you can change it. Changing it is a process, not a quick fix. All of the negative thoughts you have come to believe about yourself or your life were learned over time. You now have to unlearn them and replace them with more positive thoughts and experiences.
Clients often ask FamilyMeans clinical staff: how they can improve how they feel about themselves? Our statistics show that this is the number one reason clients came to us in 2019. Therefore, we have compiled a list of tips to get you started on your path to boosting your self-esteem this month.
Master something new: find something you enjoy and get good at it. This helps build confidence.
Create a YAY list: keep a list of all the things you’ve done well or accomplished; flip your focus to the positives you are doing.
Do something creative: get those creative juices flowing whether it be drawing, painting, writing, crafting, or dramatic expression.
Help someone: it feels good to help others and others will appreciate you and your efforts. Many local organizations, including FamilyMeans, offer volunteer opportunities!
Read something inspirational: sometimes if helps to find inspiration from others first, click here for a list popular inspirational books!
Let negative people go: surround yourself with people who can support and inspire you.
Stop worrying about what others think: be true to who you are.
Get uncomfortable: go to the edge of your comfort zone in something and stretch it a bit further.
Wear your favorite outfit: wearing something that you truly love or are completely comfortable in can improve how you feel.
Dig deep within and figure out your values: ask yourself the tough questions of what, at the core, do you value and stick with them.
Be mindful: be more present in each moment. Notice when negative thoughts creep in, and then replace them with something positive. Thoughts are just thoughts and we can change them.
Avoid ‘should’ or ‘must’ comments: often our ‘should’ or ‘must’ list comes from other people yet we don’t need to live up to others ideas of us.
Heal the past: work through reasons your self-esteem started to decrease.
Many of these tips you can do on your own, yet if you don’t see improvements maybe it’s time to talk to someone. If you’ve been suffering with lower self-esteem for a while and its impacting your daily functioning it may be more than low self-esteem. Anxiety and depression are common when suffering from lower self-esteem. The clinicians at FamilyMeans can help you work through topics that are affecting your self-esteem and how you view yourself.
Treatment Perspective: Couples Therapy
Provided by clinicians who have extensive training in working with couples, couples therapy allows partners to gain insight into their relationship, improve communication, reduce conflict, and improve relationship satisfaction.
This type of therapy can be for any type of couple; straight, gay, mixed-race, old, young, dating, engaged, committed, or married. Most often the relationship itself is the focus of couples counseling. However, at times the mental health of one, or both, partners needs to be addressed as well.
Couples therapy can look different depending on the clinician’s theoretical background, but generally speaking treatment includes, gathering a detailed history of both partners and the relationship, goal setting, and interventions to meet those identified goals. Couples therapists encourage people to start couples counseling as early in a relationship as needed. Unfortunately, most don’t. Studies show that the average couple is unhappy for six years before seeking help, and often is seen as the last step before the relationship ends. There is still a stigma around reaching out for help, whether it is for oneself or for a couple. Many people believe couples counseling is only for the ‘really serious’ issues such as affairs or addictions, or that its only there for those ‘last-ditch efforts.’
Couples counseling is encouraged at any stage of a relationship. FamilyMeans therapists encourage couples to look at couples therapy as a regular check-in about the relationship and how can they continue to work at and make it the best it can be. Clinicians at FamilyMeans who specialize in couples therapy can assist with a variety of issues that may come up for a couple. Don’t be unhappy for years! Make an appointment to get your relationship back on track today. Click here to set-up an appointment.
FamilyMeans Clinician Spotlight
Jake Tone, MA
Jake is a clinician who works with a wide variety of clients including couples, families, and individual adults, teens, and children in both outpatient clinic and school-based settings. He really enjoys working with clients to make a comfortable and collaborative environment for growth and managing any concerns they have.
Jake says “Couples therapy can be beneficial for any relationship whether it is working on life changes, stress, communication skills, or many other situations that may impact one’s relationship. It can also help with building closeness and connection with one another. This is a wonderful approach to help aid in any facet and stage of your relationship.”
Jamie Nupen, LCSW (WI), LICSE (MN), Clinical Supervisor
Jamie is one of FamilyMeans’ Clinical Supervisors and works in both our Stillwater and Hudson locations. Jamie believes in creating a safe and non-judgmental space for her clients to share and work towards their goals. Her approach is holistic focusing on mind, body, and heart. She finds the most inspiring thing related to her work in mental health is being witness to client growth and progress towards their goals. Sometimes those changes are small, but can be hugely impactful in their day-to-day living. Jamie feels honored to be able to be witness and coach for her clients.