7 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Was Battling Depression – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

I spent many years in and out of depression, and while I felt very much alone at the time, I know now that I was not. Millions of people battle the dark depths of depression every day. Like many others, I kept most of my painful thoughts and feelings to myself. When I finally got desperate enough to reach out for professional help, it took a long time for me to actually believe and integrate the guidance that I was given. Here are some key truths I have come to believe. If you are struggling with depression, I hope you will too. 1. Don’t believe everything you think. We all have our share of losses and challenges in life. But the main cause of depression is not usually our life circumstances. It is our thinking. Unfortunately, when we are depressed, we tend to believe our thoughts. And the mind of a… Continue reading

What are the Consequences of People Pleasing? – Nicola O’Hanlon

Do some of the following scenarios sound familiar to you? There is just not enough time to care for yourself. Your health is compromised because there is just no time to exercise or prepare nutritious food. There’s a constant running from one commitment to another and your needs are last on the list – SELF NEGLECT. You feel like you are suppressing anger a lot, but because you are a kind and compassionate person, your anger stays stuck inside with no outlet. You notice certain things in your personality seeping out – passive aggressive behaviour that’s really not you, sharp comments to people who really don’t deserve it or cynical viewpoints not usual for you. These characteristics show up and feel like they are uncontrollable, yet the things you are really angry about stay locked away – ANGER AND RESENTMENT. You’re struggling to enjoy social activity. You’re there in body,… Continue reading

B Is for Balance – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

We live in such a fast-paced culture with such high expectations that it’s no wonder so many people are struggling to find balance. I often ask clients in my psychotherapy practice to take a realistic look at their schedules and see what can be deleted, shortened, or shifted, and we laugh at the irony of them having to find the time to even look! It’s an art, this “finding balance” thing… Not too busy, not too idle. Not too full, not too empty. The good news is: We don’t have to do it perfectly, and a little change can make a big difference. I find myself more and more frequently working with people who are overworked, overstressed, overly unhappy, and overly medicated. When I dive into the reality of their day-to-day schedules and expectations, their distress makes perfect sense. Students who are overburdened by demanding class schedules, homework assignments, and… Continue reading

Essential Oil Aromatherapy for Relaxation during Recovery

Stress and anxiety can be a trigger for relapse, which is why aiming to achieve a mindful, relaxed state is so important during recovery. In one study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, it was found that a 15-minute aromatherapy massage significantly reduced anxiety in study participants, who chose from different essential oils, including lavender, bergamot, and patchouli. There is no doubt that fragrant smells can lift our mood and please our senses, but can they go further than this? Can essential oils/aromatherapy help provide those in recovery with a welcome sense of peace and calm? Aromatherapy and Cravings According to studies carried out by RJ Buckle Associates, aromatherapy can help quell cravings and ameliorate withdrawals. Essential oils used in the study included angelica, helichrysum, and lavender. Indeed, studies have long shown that there is a strong link between smells and food cravings, or a desire for alcohol and substances. These studies show… Continue reading

Not Your Classic 12th Step Call; Grrr-Attitude Problem – By Mark Masserant 

Some are sicker than others and Crazy Paul’s first name was a heads-up for the newcomers in the rooms. No other warnings were necessary—as soon as they listened to him babble for a couple of minutes, they knew his tip didn’t go to the top. Crazy attended meetings in our neck of the woods while he sweated out another court date, the by-product of the latest of a handful of DUI’s he collected around the Midwest. The prior cases he picked up forced him into a few geographics, but they produced the same results. Accordingly, wherever he went, there he was—geography wasn’t the problem. He swore it was a conspiracy, of course. They were all after him.  Hence, his travelling drunk-driving show had swerved into our town, seeking refuge. To nobody’s surprise, he infracted again and spent a grueling night in our county jail, or the “Hooterville Hotel” as he… Continue reading