Archives for category: Personal Development

So you want to live your dream but don’t know where to start? The place you start is right here and right now. It’s about making a decision to live your life in a way that brings you happiness. One thing I often hear from people is that they don’t know what their dream is so they are comfortable in the space they are in. If you love the idea of living your dream, then start today. Grab a journal, paper, your phone or anything to put your thoughts down and start writing.

Develop your passions and purpose
What makes you excited in life? What will get you to wake up every morning and greet the day with open arms? This step is about formulating ideas. Maybe you love your job and you can create more purpose out of your current profession. Maybe you have wanted to make a location change but you have been too scared. Start to write down the things you want in your life. Jot down random thoughts like freedom, abundance and love. Formulate bigger ideas like “a job I feel fulfilled in and I make a salary to cover my needs and wants and “I am in a relationship where my physical, emotion and spiritual needs are met”. You can develop these ideas into a vision board or journal entries in order to develop and manifest them into your life. What are your passions in life and how can they be used to create your purpose?

Create goals and a plan of accountability
Once you have a general idea of where you want your life to go, create some goals. You want to make sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. You can create a goal for each area of your life you want to shift and then create smaller action steps you are going to take to achieve your goal. An example of a goal would be: Complete one triathlon by March 2015. Smaller action steps would be: sign up for race, put together and follow a workout schedule, purchase biking equipment and put up motivational messages around the house to keep me engaged. What goals will you set for yourself in relation to your dreams, passions and purpose?

Reward yourself and bask in your glory
Do something to reward yourself for achieving your goals and living your dream. How do you best reward yourself for your achievements? Living your dreams will feel good in and of itself. You will end up feeling more connected to yourself and others. You will receive reward from the emotional freedom you will feel from living your authentic life; however it is important to reward yourself in ways that work for you. When I quit my full-time job, I bought a purse I had been eyeing for a long time. It was my reward for stepping outside of my comfort zone. The purse has become the symbol of my shift towards pursuing my dreams. What have you been eyeing that can be a personal symbol for your change? What emotional rewards are you looking to gain by following your dreams?

Interested in setting your sights onto something bigger but need help? Call me or text me at 954-258-8845 for a free 15 minute consultation on manifesting your dreams. I can help you develop a vision, set goals and hold you accountable to what you have set for yourself.

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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.

Three years ago my life looked very different than it does today. I was working at a job that was fulfilling; however it was very stressful. I was working with mentally ill teenage girls. They were emotional, they were sick and they were demanding. Back then, I didn’t know how to set boundaries and I certainly wanted to “save” them all. It was during that time that I decided that this therapist needed a therapist. Luckily, I found a woman who has been a change catalyst in my life and I am grateful for the work she brought me through. She taught me that I needed to work on myself both in therapy and outside of therapy. She reminded me that without forgiveness of my parents, I would be unable to move forward in my life. She confronted me during the hard times and supported me in the good times. It’s been three years of seeing the same therapist that has helped me build a bridge to my most whole self. I am a better therapist because of my own therapy. I learned to connect with myself and in connecting with myself, I have been able to connect with others. I’ve received book recommendations that I now recommend to my own clients. I’ve completed worksheets that I now have my clients complete. And you know what I get to use every time? Empathy. I have been where my clients are sitting; on someone’s couching crying my eyes out, getting confronted for unhealthy behavior, doing homework assignments and getting support from someone who is willing to tell me like it is while always looking out for my greatest good.

In January of the following year, I came across a personal development workshop called “The Living Course”. I decided to take it as a student and it has helped me shift my life in ways I never knew was possible. During the initial course, I learned about my circle of belief, the feelings of sadness, anger, shame and fear and ways I was still looking for approval for others and not living my authentic life. What I didn’t know about the course was that I was able to go back and assist every six weeks and witness others go through the same journey. In the meantime, I was invited to be on the panel of therapists for the course and I’ve been coming back ever since. See my video testimonial here.

Within six months, I was ready to complete their advanced course. This was a series of three weekends over 80 days and a big focus was on teamwork. The first weekend, I learned to process my feelings of sadness about my childhood. I was able to see how that sadness kept me stuck and unable to move forward with my dreams and goals. During the second weekend, I completed a ropes course with the culmination of jumping off a 30 foot telephone pole while giving up my long ingrained pattern of perfectionism. The final weekend was a fire walk. This walk allowed me to see how powerful of a person I truly am. It has helped me see how to empower myself, my clients and everyone around me. The best part of the experience was a group project where we went to Joe DiMaggio’s Children Hospital and threw a Halloween party. We dressed up in costume, attempting to do the Thriller dance and helped make Halloween special for the children in the hospital.

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The final step in my journey was taking the Leadership Course through Personal Development Community Organization. It was five sessions over 10 months and it was intensive, to say the least. I decided to take the course because I knew there was something more out there for me in terms of personal satisfaction. I had a job that was meeting many of my needs but not all of them. I knew that I was set to do something bigger; however the picture was fuzzy at best. During my leadership course, I worked through ways I was still stuck in my life; valuing safety over spontaneity, control versus flow and resentment versus forgiveness. I had to finally forgive my parents for what they never meant to do. I had to learn to let abundance in my life flow in naturally. And I had to learn to let go, have fun, take care of myself and seize the day. During this 10 month period, I was able to get my private practice off the ground, become a more connected and empathetic therapist and say good-bye to a full-time job that was no longer serving me.

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Being a skilled therapist has been about harnessing the tools I already had inside of me and letting them come to light. Doing my work has allowed me to go deep with clients to places I never imagined before because I have gone to those places myself. I was recently listening to a webinar for private practice by Samara Stone and she mentioned that the secret weapon to building a private practice is taking care of yourself and I loved her message because it worked for me. I am grateful for every person who has helped me in my journey of self-discovery. Because of my work, I am now able to better serve my clients on their journey and there’s no place I would rather go with them than to their true, authentic selves.

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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.

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Self-worth is strengthened by creating identity for yourself. As women, we sometimes fall trap into creating our identities outside of ourselves. Sometimes, we look for relationships, jobs, friends, family members and outside entities to tell us who we are, instead of looking inside.
Even if we look within ourselves to figure out who we are, we often name off our attributes, what we do for a living or descriptive things like our names, hair style or favorite color. It goes like this: “Hi, my name is Patricia and I am a teacher, who is sweet, loves the color green and recently got an ombre hair style”.? While that does describe “Patricia” it doesn’t get down to the essence of her womanhood.
It’s important for women to step into their power to discover who they are.

It takes time by asking the hard hitting questions
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– What makes me, me?
– What are my likes and dislikes?
– What do I want out of life?
– How do I express my feminity?
– What was I taught as a child about being a woman?
– What are my physical, emotional and spiritual wants?
– What can I do to take care of myself on a daily basis?

When we get to really know ourselves, we are able to come to value what is there. Once you have a good idea of YOU, then you can start working on the areas in your life where your self-worth is low. As you answer the questions above, if you are having a difficult time recognizing how to express your feminity, then you can come up with ways to do that. You can read a book about addressing womanhood, join a women’s group, do an overhaul of your make-up supplies, buy a few dresses, schedule manicures and pedicures for the next six months or find a therapist who specializes in women’s issues.
Having high self-worth is about knowing your true essence. It is about recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, and capitalizing on them. It’s about knowing that you have an immense ability within you to stand in your power. Increasing your self-worth means taking a look in the mirror, looking deep into your eyes and finding your authentic self and letting it shine for the world to see.
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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.

Here’s a list of things to do today to improve your mood:

1. Exercise

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2. Read a book

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3. Watch your favorite funny movie

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4. Make a list of five things you are grateful for

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5. Pay it forward

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6. Call a friend

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7. Treat yourself to a spa day at your house

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8. Sing in the car

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9. Reframe your experience

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10. Use positive affirmations

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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.

The holidays are often cited as having highest incidences of suicides per year. The holidays are meant to be a celebration and a joyous event. Many times the holidays bring on emotional and financial stress. Going into these holidays, you may be thinking to yourself, “How am I going to be able to get through them?”. Below is a list of things to do in order to have a more fulfilling holiday experience.

1. Increase your holiday activities
It may seem counterproductive that you would throw yourself into more activities; however when working with clients who are depressed one of my first recommendations is to increase pleasurable activities. Wear the ugly sweater on Ugly Sweater Day at work. Go to a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Pick something you loved to do as a kid during the holidays and do it (ice skating or writing a letter to Santa). Give into the holiday spirit and see where it takes you.

2. Give thanks and time to others
This is a focus around Thanksgiving. When you thank people, you are honoring them and the relationship you have with them only stands to get better through gratitude. You can take another spin on this and give back to those who are in need. You can buy a present for a child and donate it. You can serve Thanksgiving dinner at a soup kitchen. Find whatever speaks to you and give to others.

3. Give thanks to yourself
Taking time for yourself and to regroup is just as important as going places and seeing people. Women from all over the country have begun watching Lifetime and Hallmark channel Christmas movies. Carve out a night where you make it your holiday night. Have a festive drink, watch a holiday movie and wear your favorite holidays pajamas. Men can create their own version of this by watching Bad Santa, drinking seasonal flavored beers and breaking out the Santa boxers.

4. Only do as much as you can
We are a consumer society and the holidays are reinforced by it. There are the holiday meals, the presents, the decorations, the ugly sweaters, the Christmas trees, the Hanukkah bushes, the cards, and the list goes on and on. Having a solid plan for your holiday spending is wise. Make a list of what your expected expenses will be and set a budget from there. Be realistic with your budget and communicate it assertively. Sometimes the stress of it is figuring out where you are going to get the money for the holidays. An appropriate mantra would be “I do as much as I can do”.

I hope everyone has a wonderful beginning to the holiday season. With some mental preparation, it can go smoothly. Happy Thanksgving and Happy Hanukkah!

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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.

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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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.