With everything going on in the world in 2022, isn't it time to normalize annual mental health checks? Especially for you the overachievers, perfectionists, procrastinators, fill in the blanks...I see you!
Think about it...every year (if you are lucky to have health insurance) you get a physical check up as a way to prevent any possible issues from snowballing into chronic conditions. So why wouldn't you do the same for your mental health?
Since 2008, I have been advocating that mental health is just as important as physical health. There is much scientific evidence that demonstrates the mind-body connection. Did you know that there are so many physical illnesses that are exacerbated by our mental health? So if you are only focusing on your body and neglecting your mental health, sooner or later your neglected mental health concerns may become a problem for you.
To establish a baseline for yourself, here are some screening tools you can try on your own for depression, anxiety, and trauma:
If you would like to discuss your results with me, please feel free to contact me to set up an initial consultation. This could be a one time meeting (AKA your annual mental health check up) or it could be a good time for you to finally start psychotherapy. Either way, call or email me!
Brower V. (2006). Mind-body research moves towards the mainstream. EMBO reports, 7(4), 358–361. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.embor.7400671
One day it’s 2017 and the next it’s 2022. Needless to say life got really busy and just like that 5 years have passed since my last blog post. In these last 5 years, I did a deep dive into post graduate trainings in the areas of trauma and psychoanalysis. I am now an EMDR practitioner, yeay! I also did further in depth training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy (I now have a permit to practice psychoanalysis in NYS). All these trainings, although time consuming and costly, have helped me to evolve into being a better equipped psychotherapist for YOU!
Like you I try to balance living a joyful and healthier life everyday, dedicate time to improving my craft as a psychotherapist, and take care of my family. To do this optimally, I now solely dedicate my private practice to working with adults (sorry no children at this time) experiencing depression, anxiety, and trauma (including racial and intergenerational trauma). As a holistic and integrative psychotherapist, I am here to bear witness to your stories and be part of your journey towards increasing resilience and healing.
So what's the plan for this blog for the rest of 2022? I plan to share all the research I read about to help you increase your internal peace and to calm your nervous system. My goal is to share resources that can be accessible to everyone. Everything I share will be holistic and backed by science and experts in our field, so you know you are not wasting your time!
Since today is the first day of summer, I leave you with a blue space meditative video created by me after my recent visit to the New York Aquarium (see below). I encourage you to get as much vitamin seas (yes you read that right) as possible during summer and through out the year! Blue spaces reduce stress and anxiety. To learn more about blue spaces, listen to this podcast.
On behalf of my colleagues, I am excited to invite you to this year's CATs (Creative Arts Therapist) of Color exhibition:
"The New American Landscape: Unearthing the American Unconscious."
The exhibit will be from 3/20/17 to 3/31/17. The opening reception will be on 3/24/17. Please visit: www.catsofcolor.com for more information about the exhibit.
Hope to see you there,
Have you been curious about Art Therapy, but paying for the sessions has been holding you back? Well I am happy to announce that as of 7/17/2013, I am currently accepting the following health insurance--Cigna. I am able to see Cigna client's on HMO and Employer Product. Please note that until my credentialing process is complete with Cigna, I am not able to see Cigna client's on PPO and Open Access Plus.
Some health insurances may pay for your Art Therapy sessions as an out of network mental health service. Each health insurance is different, so you should call them and ask them about your mental health benefits. If you have no idea what to ask when you call them, here are some starter questions:
If you have any questions about the information above, please call or email me.
I look forward to the day where Art Therapy will be accessible to all!
P.S. I also offer a sliding scale, so if you really want to try Art Therapy do not hesitate in calling or emailing me for a sample session today!
In honor of International Women's Day (coming up this Friday, March 8th), I am offering 10 FREE sample Art Therapy sessions for 10 special women. The first 10 women to contact me will receive 1 FREE 50 minute Art Therapy sample session in my conveniently located Manhattan office (34 street).
These sample sessions are for anyone curious about Art Therapy for yourself or someone you know. If you are interested in this sample session or know some one who is, please contact me at your earliest convenience to 347-669.3820 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may forward this message to any one you feel may benefit from this sample session.
Thank you in advance for sharing this gift!
"The beginning is the most important part of the work." -Plato
Happy New Year! The beginning of the new year, is an awesome time to review the prior year and make resolutions (or set goals) for the year ahead. In my annual review, I like to focus on what I have accomplished, my areas still needing improvement, and ask myself what did I learn from my mistakes from last year. I feel that this annual review allows me to visualize the work ahead (i.e., my resolutions) for the new year. One thing I have learned is that I have to set deadlines for myself, verbalize the goal, and create measurable objectives that assist me in meeting my goal. Resolutions that do not materialize into goals with measurable objectives seem to always vanish in the air. If you have made resolutions and need assistance in having someone hold you accountable (or explore what is holding you back from accomplishing your resolutions), call me for a free consultation.
In this new year, I have serveral resolutions for Evolve Through Art (ETA). I look forward to expanding Evolve Through Art's services to include supervision of Art Therapy graduate students and new graduates working towards their ATR-BC and LCAT. I am excited about educating a larger audience on Art Therapy as a profession and the impact of how the creative process plus psychotherapy (i.e., Art Therapy) transforms lives. I am happy to annouce that I will have that educational opportunity with my first Art Therapy presentation of the year on February 22, 2013 for the Institute for Family Health.
Finally, please join me in signing an important petition that will assist the profession of Art Therapy tremendously. Here is the link:
I signed this petition because Licensed Creative Arts Therapists (LCATs), despite their thorough/demanding graduate training and required post graduate work, are being treated as unqualified mental health professionals by many health insurances in
NY. I feel that if diagnosing was added to our scope of practice, LCATs (and other licenses) would be able to be "out of network" as well as "in network" providers for many more health insurances and provide psychotherapy to more people who
are unable to pay for mental health services if they cannot use their insurance. If you sign, please let me know so that I can send you my most sincerest thank you for your help!
My warmest regards to you in the new year,
Sadness and grief are feelings that are normal. Although sadness and grieving may not be the most comfortable feelings to experience, if you do not allow yourself to feel these feeling and cut yourself off from them, these feelings will manifest themselves in some way whether it is in dreams, bodily pains, or masked behind other feelings (i.e., anger). The following article, which I read today on Everyday Health by Ms. Diana Rodriguez, has interesting suggestions about how to deal with sad feelings and grieving. Here is the link:
Coping With Grief: How to Handle Your Emotions -EverydayHealth.com
One of the most important things Ms. Rodriguez discusses in this article is that “Your mind and body need time to grieve after a traumatic event. If you deprive yourself of the grieving process, you may find that you have more difficulty accepting what has happened or that unresolved feelings and issues may flare up later on.” As Ms. Rodriguez also discusses, many often think of grieving as something to be done only when you lose a loved one. However, grieving also occurs after the loss of a job, a significant relationship (despite whether it was a happy or miserable union), a miscarriage, finding out about one’s infertility, or financial decline. All of these life changes, as well as many other life transitions, which are too many to mention here, must also be given the time needed for grieving and healing.
Many may wonder, but how do you grieve? What does that look like? Grieving could be just simply giving yourself the time and space to cry, creatively process your feelings (i.e., write, make art, listen to music), talk to a friend or therapist, or just lay there and think. Instead of doing these healthy grieving activities, sometimes we may want to take a short cut to the grieving process by drinking alcohol, doing recreational drugs, or avoiding the feelings of sadness all together. Although these strategies may feel good in the short-term they may be harmful in the long-term, both psychologically and physically.
One book I have found helpful and practical in helping with the grieving process is “Healing your Grieving Body: 100 Physical Practices for Mourners” by Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD and Kirby J. Duvall, MD. You can get an inexpensive copy in Amazon (currently, a used copy is as low as .98¢). Many of the practices may be applied to any form of grief as mentioned above; the suggestions are not just for losing a loved one. The authors highly emphasize caring for the body, while in the grieving process, which I completely agree with and recommend. Remember the body and mind are one.
There may be times that you may need your own private space to process your sadness because you may not want to burden your friends or significant other. Please feel free to call me. We can arrange for some short-term therapy to address your grief or feelings of sadness. Sessions can be as short as 30 minutes.
Grieving is a patient journey to closure that cannot be rushed.
Thank you for taking the time in reading this blog. For two months now I have debated back and forth on--to blog or not to blog. But finally today, I decided TO BLOG! Why? Because I am an avid reader who constantly reads amazing literature, blogs, online articles, etc. that I feel should be shared and discussed with the world.
Last night, for example, I read an online article on "10 Ways for Men to Reduce Stress" and thought wow I know so many men that could benefit from this information. This article was great, so I wanted to re-post it here so that you can also enjoy it, learn from it, and hopefully begin to incorporate some of the suggestions.
Here is the link:
10 Ways for Men to Reduce Stress - Men's Health Center - EverydayHealth.com
The only suggestion that was left out from the article, which I HIGHLY recommend is taking time out to be creative (i.e., making art, dancing, listening/playing music, etc.). Creativity is an excellent stress buster and should be part of everyone's stress management toolkit!
Need help developing your creativity or with reducing your stress call or email me for some assistance.
P.S. Remember prevention (i.e., reducing your stress now) can save you a lot of headaches later (i.e., medical and emotional issues).