Archives for posts with tag: personal development

When a new client comes to see me, there’s a good chance I am going to recommend most, if not all, of these “things” to do in order to help facilitate their healing. If you are interested in getting a jump start on treatment or furthering your progress in therapy, then this list is for you.

Exercise
I dedicated a whole blog post on this in the past. It’s a must do for people suffering from anxiety and depression. Exercise is a natural anti-depressant. Getting in touch with your body is an important aspect of holistic treatment. What kind of exercise do you enjoy doing?

Meditate
10 minutes a day, once a day is a perfect prescription for meditation. There are apps you can download or videos you can watch on YouTube. Simply search “10 minute guided meditation” and some great videos come up. Sit in a quiet place in your house, with both feet on the floor or sitting on the floor, close your eyes and follow the words and music. What type of meditation practice are you going to put into place?

Connect with your inner child
This is another topic I previously dedicated a blog post to. Inner child work helps deal with past traumas. Making that connection and going back to heal is a sure fire way to accelerate treatment. Do you have something you loved doing as a child? Why not do it today and see what type of connection you have with your inner child.

Read a self-help book
Reading is one of my favorite hobbies and if my clients are willing to read, I am willing to make a recommendation. Here is a list of some of my favorites:

Healing the Shame That Binds You
by John Bradshaw

The Feeling Good Handbook
by David Burns

The Dance of Anger
by Harriet Lerner

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyways
by Susan Jeffers

Take a personal development course
My favorite personal development course is
The Living Course. It’s a 30 hour intensive weekend workshop where you will identify patterns in your life and learn ways to become empowered to change them. It’s both group process and experiential in format. It’s has been a life changing experience for myself and some of my clients.

Make a list of your unhealthy thinking patterns
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the treatment of choice for depression and anxiety, therefore clients are asked to keep a list of their thoughts so we can apply CBT techniques to change them. Changing thoughts leads to behavioral changes, which can result in an improvement in mood and functioning.

Make a commitment to therapy
If you need it, going to therapy on a regular basis and making a commitment to yourself and your therapist is paramount. Therapy is proven to help people better manage their emotions and make changes in their lives. When people don’t commit to therapy, it can show a lack of commitment to themselves, which might be the very thing driving their problems. What is your commitment to yourself and your therapist?

Take care of yourself
Speaking of lack of commitment to the self, one of my main recommendations is to engage in self-care. Most of what I have listed thus far is included in this; however there is a change in thought process that needs to occur where a person begins to ask themselves “how can I take care of myself today?”. Good self-care is another way to improve overall well-being. What is your favorite way to take care of yourself? Getting a massage? Reading a good book? Connecting with old friends for a night out?

Take responsibility for your life
You ended up where you are at in your life as a result of a series of choices you made. The choices may not have been easy and they may have not seemed like choices; but every day and every step, you make choices in your life. You decide who to marry. You decide what job to have. You decide what to do with your free time. And those discussions have shaped your life to where you are at today. And guess what? You can learn to make better decisions in order to have more desirable outcomes in your life when you get the understanding that you are in control of your life.

Reward yourself
Congratulate yourself for taking the step to come to therapy. Congratulate yourself for buying that self-help book. Pat yourself on the back when you complete your therapy homework. Pat yourself on the back when you make a major breakthrough in therapy and need the box of tissues.

Interested in putting these into practice with therapy? Call me today at 954-258-8845 for a free 15 minute consultation or visit my website for more information about my services.

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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.