Archives for the month of: August, 2014

The Do’s

1. Do put your best foot forward

– This is your first impression with your potential new mate. Wear something nice. Think of it like an interview. Dress to impress without overdoing it

2. Do monitor your thinking

– If you catch yourself in your head, employ thought stopping techniques. Be in the moment during your date and enjoy your time together

3. Do go in with a positive outlook

– The point of dating is to find your other half. Let go of the worry that will come with a new date. Look forward to what this date could be, as opposed to worrying about every and anything

4. Do share about yourself

– Again, this is like a job interview. Open up to that person on things you feel comfortable sharing. Having open communication is one of the foundations of a relationship

5. Do order whatever food you would normally get

– I’ve heard time and time again that many women order salads on the first date. This sets up a false impression. Go into the date as yourself and let the person appreciate that you might love quesadillas, not just lettuce and tomatoes!

6. Do have a good time

– Dating can be a lot of fun. It’s like opening up presents; you never know what surprise you might receive

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The Dont’s

1. Don’t place a lot of expectations on the other person

– It’s the first date. Don’t start dreaming up the next ten years of your life. Live in the moment

2. Don’t mislead the person on what you are looking for

– If you are looking for marriage, be upfront about it to manage the other person’s expectations

3. Don’t overshare

– I know #4 under “Do’s” says share, but there are some things you shouldn’t share on a first date, like exes or family drama

4. Don’t discuss politics, religion or other sensitive topics

– This goes along with the above but it needs to be reiterated. Telling a person your religion is appropriate but going into detail or trying to convert someone is not the best approach

5. Don’t worry too much

– Just breathe and be! It’s a first date, not a marriage proposal. Just use positive thoughts and affirmations to stay in the moment

6. Don’t be afraid to be the first one to reach out after the date

– There are a ton of “rules” regarding communication. Throw them out and do what feels right. If you want to text them the next day, then do it. If you want to call and plan the next date, then do it. If you are worried about this, read #5 again

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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.

The way through resentment in a relationship is through forgiveness. I’m reminded of the serenity prayer when I think of past hurts in a relationship. “God granted me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”. Behaviors in the past cannot be changed. They can be processed and forgiven, but never changed. It’s a good place to adopt the serenity prayer and realize that accepting and forgiving are the way out of resentment.

How do you forgive someone?
Write it all down and get it off of your chest. If this is a resentment you’ve shared with your significant other and it hasn’t gotten any better and you still have it stored in you, then it needs to go down on paper. Write it all out and sit in those emotions. If sadness comes up, then go to sadness and let the tears flow. If anger comes up, find a release for your anger. Write it all out until you’ve exhausted every word, feeling and story related to the resentment.

Time to forgive.
You have to make a conscious decision to forgive and then live in that forgiveness every day. Let them know you are forgiving them. Sit your significant other down and tell them about your path of forgiveness and let them know what your commitment to forgiveness will look like in your relationship. An activity you can do is what’s called “70 times 7”. For seven days, write down 70 times that you forgive that person. It would look like this: “I, Suzy, forgive you Bob for not communicating your needs”. When you run out of things to write you simply write “I forgive you for everything”. This is a very therapeutic exercise that can bring closure to you in situations where you were previously unable to forgive.

Still having a difficult time forgiving? Schedule an appointment with a therapist to explore deeper wounds keeping you from living in forgiveness.

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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.

The beginning of the school year is upon us and those in the sorority life circle know that means one thing: Recruitment. Recruitment is like Black Friday from the rest of the world. It’s the time when sororities go into “the black” and have met their numbers for the year. New members trample over each other to make it to their new home. And in the end, just like with the holidays, it is all worth it when you step back and look at the smiles on everyone’s faces on bid day.

So you’ve come across this blog. Are you a new student interested in joining a sorority? Are you already in a sorority and need a push to recommit at 100%? Are you an alumna of a sorority looking for confirmation that yes indeed being in a sorority and still committed even though you graduated is still a good idea? Are you a parent worried about your daughter starting college and possibly joining a sorority? Are you a curious bystander interested in learning more about greek life and/or mental health? Then this blog is for you!

Being in a sorority is good for a woman’s mental health and here are four ways that it helps improve emotional wellbeing.

Teaches you to take care of yourself
Most sororities have a set of values or pillars that they work off of. Delta Phi Epsilon has what they call the 5 S’s, as a part of their Personal Development Program. One of the S’s is self. Each year, women are encouraged to do things to nurture themselves. These things can include developing a workout plan, committing to going to therapy establishing long-term and short-term goal, running a marathon or any other activity geared at developing a deep sense of self and personal accomplishment.

What is does is teach women at a young age that they are important. That even though they need to get good grades, give back to the sorority, be a member of their family and probably have a boyfriend, they need to incorporate me time into their routine. Women can lose sight of their personhood, especially when more responsibilities are placed on them. A valuable skill being taught in sororities is how to make taking care of yourself a priority.

Need some ideas on how to take care of yourself: create vision boards for your life, join a gym or find a therapist to help you work on what’s holding you back from fully embracing and developing your sense of self.

Teaches you to give back
Each year, across college campuses, sororities and fraternities alike plan and execute philanthropy events to raise funds and awareness for a variety of issues. Zeta Tau Alpha raises money and holds events every October for breast cancer awareness month. On a local level, sorority women host flag football games, male beauty contests, soccer tournaments, fashion shows, benefit concerts and more to support their philanthropy. Women spend their time planning the events and securing funds to meet their goals. And what does this do for women? It teaches them to give back to their community. It teaches them to think about the needs of others who are less fortunate and how their contributions can impact them. It teaches them to become civically engaged and plugged into what is going on in the country and world, especially when it comes to disease, illness and special needs populations. Philanthropy events are fun and it helps women to be connected to an organization and be willing to give money and time and build relationships with people.

Teaches you to see the future
Sororities have a mantra: Not for four years, but a lifetime. When you join a sorority, it is not just about the here and now. It is about making a lifelong commitment to your sorority, to the university, to the philanthropy and to your sisters. It’s about knowing that there will be something out there for you when you graduate from college. It’s about being able to connect with other alumnae if you happen to move to another city. It’s about being a bridesmaid in your sister’s wedding or having them in yours. It teaches women to think about what they want their future to look like and what skills and tools does the sorority have to help them reach it.

Teaches you to see how we are all connected
Being in a sorority is about being connected to yourself, sorority sisters, Panhellenic sisters and the university. These connections often mirror what is like to be in the real world. There are meetings and events and responsibilities to manage in a sorority and in adult life. Women will learn how to see themselves as a part of a bigger force. Women will learn to see how people are connected in this world. There are many stories of people going in for a job interview and being interviewed by someone in their sorority. Just recently a group of DPhiE sisters were in Disney for their convention and they were taking a picture in their letters, a woman stopped them to share how she was a DPhiE at her school and explained how she was able to reconnect through facebook. It’s moments like that which solidifying being in a sorority is all about connections.

Being in a sorority is a personal decision people can take and it’s not for everyone. As a lifelong member of a sorority, I continue to find value in wearing my letters. As a therapist, I work with teenagers and help them to explore ways to develop who they are. For me, being in a sorority helped define who I became and for that I am forever grateful. Interested in finding out more about sororities, the National Panhellenic Conference has information for you to explore.

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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.