Archives for the month of: July, 2013

Here’s a sneak peek of my office for those of you interested in seeing more about my practice.

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Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

A common theme I’ve come across in my practice and in talking with people in my personal life is intimacy in a relationship. When problems arise one of the first things to go out of the window is intimacy. When working on relationship issues this is a major hurdle to address because it’s complex and uncomfortable.

Intimacy is not just about sex. Intimacy is about the language spoken between a couple. It’s about physical touch. It’s about opening up emotionally to one another. It’s about letting the other person see into your soul. It’s about having a spiritual connection with each other and your higher power.

I decided to get some feedback and advice from men about what intimacy means to them and what stops intimacy. This is what I learned:

– Men want to be valued and appreciated for what they do in the relationship
– Men want women to be on their side, even if they are in the wrong. If a man is complaining about his boss, he doesn’t want to hear “I told you so” when his spouse comments. He wants to be supported and validated for his feelings (just like women)
– Men want affection and romance, it just might look differently then what women want and this is where compromise can come in
– Men want their ideas to be heard, even if they seem outlandish

So here are some suggestions on things a couple can do to improve intimacy in their relationship:

– Take up a hobby together. Anyone up for obstacle course runs ? Become activities partners, in addition to the other partnerships you’ve created
– Bring romance into your relationship. Light some candles. Put on your favorite music. Draw a bath and sit in the tub together and talk about your day
– Take time to be your own person. When people grow as individuals they bring strength into their relationship
– Turn mundane events into celebrations. Break out the fancy china. Buy flowers for the table. Have dessert at every meal

I’d love to hear from women on what intimacy means to them and how men can respond to their intimacy needs in a relationship.

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Photo credit: Pinterest

Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

Max Erhmann “Desiderate” the desired things

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.

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Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

This weekend, I spent my time at a personal development course called “The Living Course“. It’s a 30 hour intense course where you look at how your childhood experiences shape your decisions.

One of the instructors discussed the concept of “Feeding the fish, not fishing”, when it comes to giving. Many times we do things that we think are without expectation but in the end we want something out of the exchange. Sometimes it’s as simple as a thank you or much more complex, like a reciprocal relationship with your spouse.

When we give a present for person’s birthday, we expect a present back. Even if we don’t expect one back for our birthday, we expect a thank you. Manners do come into play here and it’s understandable why we would want a thank you. But when we throw out little pieces of bread to the fish, do they say thank you? Do they throw us back cheeseburgers or veggie burgers?

One thing fish do is come back for more. They love what they are getting and they remember the spots food comes. And they keep coming back!

I invite you to look at life as feeding the fish. Give without expectation. Love limitlessly without the fear that the love might not come back to you. Go into relationships with open arms. And just like the fish, people will keep coming back coming back for more.

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Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

I’ve decided to follow-up my last blog with a review of a clinical supervision meeting I held where the topic was inner child work.

As a clinical supervisor, I like to present things in a creative and experiential way. To present this topic, I asked the therapists to buy a coloring book of their choice and bring it to supervision. I can imagine they were thinking “What is she making us do?”.

I opened up supervision by talking about the inner child and how to incorporate it into therapy. Then came the fun part. The instructions to the team were to color a page from their book with their non-dominant hand. They were told the goal was to get in touch with their inner child. The Disney music started and they were off!

Everyone was then asked to process why they picked the specific coloring book and how they connected to their inner child. One of the common themes presented was perfectionism. Someone presented a near perfect drawing. She was able to gain awareness into how her perfectionism can get in the way of the therapeutic relationship with her clients.

By the end of the session, each therapist was able to reflect on how to present inner child work to their group, as well as how they can use empathy with their clients since some of them had a difficult time with this activity.

As a supervisor, this was one of the most profound sessions I conducted. It taught me to be mindful of my experiences and to continue to do activities to gain self-awareness. As a supervisor, it encouraged me to continue to present new and unique ideas and to support professional and personal growth in supervision.

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Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

A colleague of mine asked for a recommendation for a group therapy topic for a group of 30 addicts. She mentioned how it is difficult to find topics that haven’t already discussed since many of them have been around the rehab block, so to speak.

I decided to brainstorm with her some ideas for a group on inner child work. An outline of the group is below:

– Present the concept of the inner child as our child-like self that is a result of the experiences we had before our teenage years

– Have participants connect with their inner child through a meditation or guided script

– Ask participants to share about their inner child

– Introduce an experiential activity, such as coloring with the non-dominate hand (the gateway to the inner child)

– Play music during the coloring time, such as the Disney station on Pandora

– Have participants share their drawings and discuss their experience

– Ask for a commitment from each participant to engage in one activity a week that fosters a relationship with their inner child

I’d love to hear feedback from anyone who tries this type of group. Good luck and have fun.

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Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

Today is the day I embark on my blogging journey.  Everything I read promotes the importance of having a blog so I decide to join on in.  As a therapist, I’ve learned the hard and easy way how important writing can be to a thriving practice, just as significant as therapeutic skills. 

My blog will be all things mental health related.  I’m planning on blogging about being a therapist, techniques that have worked and ones that haven’t, tips related to mental health, links to helpful resources and anything else that may come up that would be of interest to post.  I invite you to follow my blog and provide me with any comments of suggestions.  Happy Blogging!   

Photo credit: Pinterest

Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.