Red Rose image for post about death of a child

Death of a Child – Enduring the Pain.

For some reason I have been scheduling two clients consistently on Tuesdays that are in therapy to work on bereavement of the death of a child.  If you ask me, that it two clients too many.

As difficult as these topics are to work with, I find immense strength in my clients as they work through the intense emotional pain they are experiencing.  I would not wish these events on anyone, but it is amazing how emotionally strong they are becoming as a result.

Suddenly, your powerful fears in life are no longer powerful.

You become confident in knowing you have endured one of the greatest pains imaginable.

We become anxious because we try to control things that we cannot control.  When we realize we CAN endure great emotional pain, the stress to have to control diminishes.  When the need to control diminishes, the anxiety begins to fade.  When the anxiety fades we are more accepting, free, and no longer bound by our circumstances.

My clients teach me again and again the resilience of humans.  Recognizing the great resilience of humans reminds me that I TOO, AM STRONG.

Before I became a therapist I would imagine horrible situations and think about how “I couldn’t go on if that ever happened to me.”  Often my clients express these same fears.

The gift of therapy has taught me that I can go on.  I watch my clients go on every day and their strength is contagious as I watch them realize that THEY can go on.  They ARE going on.  They are survivors.

The purpose of this post is to share hope.  To share that healing can occur. That people can survive and continue on and that the psychological symptoms do diminish.  Although it only happens with allowing yourself to FEEL the intense pain.  To work through the emotions.

It hurts
It feels unbearable
Often….
indescribable

It can be done.  It is done.  My clients do it.  They give me hope that I could do it.  And hope that you can do it too.

This process is true for anything that one works on in therapy – not just the death of a child.  I’m using the death of a child as an example of the amazing healing and strength of human beings.

Reach out

Seek help

You can heal

black and while shoreline with rocks

Take Charge of your Depression – Captain your own Ship.

Control is a big topic in most of my therapy sessions. People usually fall on either side of the line of trying to take too much control or feeling so overwhelmed they take no control. Today I’m going to talk about the side in which we are so overwhelmed and drowning, we just don’t even know where to turn…. also known as depression.

The truth of the matter is that storms happen. All the time. Set out to sea for a few days and I’m sure you will encounter some storms.

Life is the same.
We have hurdles, bumps, hills, mountains, valleys, etc. to combat often. One thing I CAN guarantee is that these challenges will continue to happen in life.

Sometimes storms seem never ending and they can happen consecutively.
When this happens people sometimes experience learned helplessness. This is common in depression when people cannot improve their situation, cannot get out, and feel stuck.

When people get stuck it is really hard to try and take hold of the wheel. Sometimes we just run in circles exhausting ourselves and look in all the wrong directions for the answers. That usually makes things worse and the learned helplessness and depression becomes stronger.

The problem is, if you don’t grab a hold of the wheel the ship, car, bike, what have you, the situation can be dire. I don’t know anyone that would set his or her car on cruise control and go in the back seat and take a nap. You know your car will eventually go off the road and you will end up in a ditch, or worse. So why live your life this way?

OK. So I have to take on the wheel of life, but Stacey, I don’t know where to begin?!?!

Well the answer to that is more complicated because it is different for everyone! A therapist is a trained professional who can help you to navigate through your situation in a few different ways.
Here are some areas that I may focus on with you in sessions:

Work through your ambivalence

People who struggle with depression do not move forward nor make decisions because they’re stupid. Rather, it comes from feeling overwhelmed and valuing two or more options (ambivalence). Therapy will help you to fully explore your feelings about your ambivalence to get a clearer picture of what is your strongest value and what it is that you need/want in your life right now.

PROS and CONS

This might sound simple, but it is actually really helpful. Making a PROS/CONS of EACH situation you are exploring can be eye opening! Beware of quantity over quality. Just because you have MORE listed on one side doesn’t mean it is of more VALUE. Try rating each item on a scale of 1-10 and add up the value in the column for more insight.

Understanding the Deeper Meaning

Therapists get a bad rap for making things more complicated, but hear me out. Our wants and desires are sometimes influenced by deeper psychological needs that often go back to childhood attachment. It can also go back to other relationships and significant life events. Therapy can help people to understand how events in life can shape current feelings, thoughts, desires, and needs. Once a deeper understanding occurs, one can make a more informed decision (and decrease depression!)

Those are a few examples of what I may explore with you if you come into my office with symptoms of depression. It is nice to know there are ways out and that you’ll be steering your ship once again.