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.

IMG_3839.JPG

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.