4 Tips For Choosing A Therapist

Choosing a therapist can be a daunting task, especially when you're already struggling with mental health concerns. How do you find a therapist who is a good fit? This blog will give you four tips to help you find the therapist that's right for you.

Think about the way you'd like to receive therapy.

Would you like to see your therapist in person, over the phone, or via video? Would you prefer to chat one-on-one, or in a group setting? Perhaps you'd like to see a therapist who offers couples counseling so you can attend with your partner. You may even want to see a therapist who can offer family counseling.

Interview your prospects.

Did you know you can "shop" for therapists? You can use psychologytoday.com to search for therapists by specialization, and location, or to find out if they may be covered by your insurance. Reach out via email or phone call to find out more about how each therapist conducts their sessions.

Give it time.

It can take a few sessions to build a relationship of trust with a new therapist. It's important you feel safe and comfortable so you can speak freely about your life without judgment. Be patient with yourself and with your therapist, and listen to your gut. If this therapist doesn't feel like the right one for you, they probably aren't--which leads to the final tip:

Don't be afraid to fire your therapist.

Remember, your therapist works for you. Don't worry about hurting your therapist's feelings, or trying to slog through a session if you just don't feel the two of you are clicking. Be honest with your therapist about how you feel. In the end, your therapist wants the best for you, no matter where you find it.


What is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD? The shortest technical definition is that it is a treatable neurodevelopment disorder, which occurs in kids, teenagers, and adults. Now that we have that part out of the way, let's break this down a bit further and discuss the definition of neurology. Neurology is the branch of medicine that studies the treatments of disorders associated with the complex and sophisticated nervous system. This system regulates and coordinates the body's activities. It has two major parts of study; the brain and the spinal cord. When someone has ADHD, their brain has low levels of neurotransmitters. These transmitters (think worker bees) control the processing and sharing of information received from our senses. To put this in layman’s terms, picture yourself walking into a public library. Libraries are organized into sections based on the subject matter and then broken down by age, function, and genres. The brain works in a similar way because when information from our senses comes in, the brain identifies, catalogs, and assigns it a place. When you have ADHD, you don’t have enough “workers” to properly do the job, so information gets incorrectly processed, jumbled, and categorized wrong.

Now that we know what ADHD is and the effect it can have on a person’s brain, we can move on to the types of symptoms and coexisting conditions that one might experience. As you read through these, keep in mind that you can experience all of them, some of them, or any combination of them. These symptoms represent the most common and they must occur frequently.

ADHD doesn’t cause other psychological or developmental problems, however, other disorders often occur or are exasperated by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. These are known as coexisting conditions. These can make the management and treatment of ADHD more challenging. These can include:

Whether or not you have recently received a diagnosis of ADHD, know someone who has, or, are wondering if you might need to have an open and honest conversation with your doctor, we hope this post provides you with enough clarifying information to give you a solid head start. Don’t give up hope because a positive diagnosis doesn’t have to mean you can’t be successful in life. While it may make things more challenging and frustrating at times, there are a number of different treatments, such as meditation, medications, certain exercises, or even individual tools and strategies to help you be your best self. 


Gaslighting is a form of psychological warfare that causes the target to question their own judgment and reality. It is an extreme and very specialized form of brainwashing. When used in a consistent and pervasive manner, gaslighting is a form of masterful manipulation and mental abuse and it can be crippling.

One of the great things about having easy access to so much information right at your fingertips is that it can shine a bright light on certain forms of covert and abusive relationship issues that were not previously well-known or discussed in our society. A newer “buzz” word that seems to be talked about a lot these days is gaslighting. What exactly is gaslighting and how does it affect the victim? More importantly, how do you know when you’re caught in the proverbial spiders' web and what, if anything, can you do to free yourself? Let’s start with three examples from the film. 

1. The Changeling

Set in the 1920s, this movie stars Angelina Jolie as a mother whose son vanishes. The story unfolds in the local media and creates embarrassment for the local Los Angeles police department. Months later, Christine (Jolie) is informed that her son has been found, however, upon being reunited, it is clear to Christine that the boy brought to her is not her son. 

The police department uses the boy as a tool to make Christine’s nightmare of events disappear and ultimately take the focus off of the police department. Her detractors continue to go on the offensive, even as she insists the boy is not hers, by claiming her to be a bad mother and obviously crazy. As a result, she is sent to a psych ward and forced to take antipsychotic medications. 

Not only did the corrupt police department gaslight Christine, but they also exploited the media and gaslit the people of the town who turned against her. 

2. Colossal

In Nacho Vigalondo’s 2016 sci-fi film, Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is an alcoholic who’s newly single and has just returned to her hometown. Her alcoholic struggles have not only affected her personal life but in a rather ingenious twist, she is metaphysically linked to a gigantic creature who destroys South Korea.

Gloria’s addiction and the destruction it brings is not the only monster lurking in the film. Gloria’s childhood friend Oscar becomes controlling, possessive, and manipulative of Gloria as the film progresses. This causes him to unleash a monster of his own, which he uses as an additional tool to keep Gloria under his thumb. Oscar uses Gloria’s drunk tendencies against her to further his own agenda by taking advantage of her at every possible turn. 

3. Girl On The Train

Rachel (Emily Blunt) is an on-off recovering alcoholic divorcee’ who travels by train to New York City every day after losing both her job and her marriage. She fixates on the lives of her former husband Tom (Justin Theroux) and his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), as well as their neighbors Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett). Megan worked for Tom and Anna as a nanny for their bay Evie but had recently quit the job.

When a pregnant Megan goes missing and Rachel wakes up covered in blood after a night of drinking, she is questioned by Detective Riley (Allison Janney) as a potential suspect. Rachel doesn’t trust herself because her marriage to Tom resulted in him making her believe she is crazy and that her memories are inaccurate. He goes so far as to convince her that she is the reason he lost his job. As Rachel works to disentangle herself from the suspect list and works toward becoming sober, it becomes apparent that Tom had planted false memories in Rachel during her drinking binges and he was violent towards her once she blacked out. Turns out, Tom was actually fired for having sex with his co-workers. 

As the days of sobriety stack up, her memories return and become clearer and clearer leading her to realize that on the day of Megan’s disappearance she saw Tom and Megan together. When she confronted them, Tom struck her and knocked her unconscious. Later, when she awakens and tries to flee, she discovers the door is locked. Tom comes for her and she ends up in a fight for her life, while Anna watches from the top of the steps, guarding Evie. 

In addition to the examples given above in modern-day cinema, Psychology Today indicates that it is vital to look for multiple of the following behaviors; Exaggeration and blatant lies, repetition of abuse, escalation when challenged, wearing you down emotionally by going around and around in circles, the experience of false hope, dominates or/or controls you, and lastly, the formation of a codependent relationship. Remember, These behaviors must be consistent and form a pattern. 

Keep in mind that when you challenge them (which you will, especially in the beginning), they will refute the evidence (no matter how concrete), deny, blame, misdirect, create confusion and doubt, and manipulate you into submission. They want complete power over you mentally and emotionally so that you feel like you need them for acceptance, approval, respect, safety, and security. You will be full of fear, vulnerable, and marginalized so that they can exploit you at will for their own power and personal gain. If by some chance, you do happen to receive kindness or remorse, it will be fleeting, fake, and superficial- its only purpose is to keep you dancing on the puppet strings

By now, you might be wondering what, if anything, can you do to disengage yourself from the web? First, it is incredibly important to recognize that you are in the gaslighting web in the first place. After all, you cannot fix what you do not acknowledge. Once you do, discontinue engaging, set clear boundaries, talk to someone you trust about what you are going through, and write any inconsistent or disturbing interactions down. Seek help from a therapist- they can help you make a plan and take steps to get out of the relationship as soon as possible. Full disclosure here- it will not be easy, but don’t give up because you can take back and rebuild your life. You don’t have to do it alone. 

Clinical Depression: How To Climb Out Of The Dark

What is clinical depression? In a nutshell, it is a mental health disorder or illness, which is characterized by persistently low moods, a constant sense of hopelessness or despair, and/or the loss of interest in daily activities for a period of at least two weeks or longer. Most symptoms occur on an almost daily basis. 

Clinical depression is a serious condition that can wreak havoc on our daily lives. Talk to your doctor, your therapist, or even friends and family. You don’t have to go through it alone. a few things you can do to start the process towards managing and ideally vanquishing the darkness. 

First, believe it or not, there are two comprehensive questionnaires called the Patient Health Questionnaires that you can find and complete online.

Developed by Dr. Spitzer, Dr. Williams, and Dr. Kroenke, the Patient Health Questionnaire provides a points-based question and answer format that allows you to determine the level of depression you may be suffering from. The initial questionnaire, also called the PHQ-2, has 2 questions and a points scale of 0-6. You can find it HERE. The follow-up questionnaire, also referred to as the PHQ-9 has 9 questions and a points range from 0-27. 

When completing the questionnaires, keep in mind that they were designed to be discussed and looked at with your doctor or therapist so that you can get clarity on the data, ask questions, and receive direction on the best ways to help you at your particular level. 

Finally, as promised, here are some other ways to help with your journey to healing. 

1) Journaling- when you’re exhausted, filled with body aches, and restlessness, the last thing you probably want to do is write. But here’s the thing, it doesn’t have to be every single day and it doesn’t need to be a novel. If all you can do at first is just write one word over and over again, that’s okay. 

2) Eliminate pressure phrases, such as should, must, or have to. Slowly work on changing those negative thoughts into positive ones because putting yourself down is not going to help you feel better about yourself or your life. Be kind to yourself and give yourself grace. 

3) Move, walk, and practice smiling- it may feel odd, awkward, or even too hard at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. 

Lastly, and most importantly, remember that you are not alone. As a matter of fact, you can even start journaling with “I am not alone”. Hugs and healing. 

What Is Mental Health, And Why Is It Important?

Mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being and includes our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors1. Our mental health impacts all areas of our life, including our work life, home life and relationships, academic performance, and our participation in the community. Mental health is an essential part of your daily functioning.

Struggling with mental health and stress is a common life experience and there are benefits to addressing these issues. including increased emotion regulation, reduced anxiety, increased focus and concentration, improved closeness in relationships, and increased self-esteem2. Ultimately, daily life becomes easier to manage when your mind is well.

Everyone’s mental health needs are different. We all have different risk factors which may predispose us to develop a mental health disorder, or be susceptible to stress. Some risk factors include experiencing child abuse or neglect, sexual violence, having a family member diagnosed with a mental health disorder, or substance use and chemical dependence2.

Signs of Mental Health Issues

Warning signs of poor mental health can be subtle. If you recognize the following warning signs in yourself or your loved ones, please seek consultation with a mental health professional1:

How to Improve your Mental Health

Incorporating self-care strategies into your routine can help you stay well and improve your daily functioning. Consider the following recommendations1,3:

How to Get Help

Sometimes it is difficult to know where to start. Know that there is always a professional available to help you, and there is no shame in seeking a counselor or therapist. To find a therapist or mental health provider in your area, browse PsychologyToday or check out online therapy websites such as BetterHelp, or Thriveworks.


1MentalHealth.gov (2022, February 28). What is mental health? https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health

2Plumptre, E. (2021, November 15). Why is mental health important? https://www.verywellmind.com/the-importance-of-mental-health-for-wellbeing-5207938

3Cleveland Clinic (2021, January 28). Stress. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11874-stress


Divorce sucks. Plain and simple. Whether you initiated, your partner did, or you both agreed together, it is a crap-shoot. 

Six months ago, my husband and I quietly separated. I needed my own space so that I could deal with my resentment towards him. I was incredibly unhappy and had been for years. I felt completely unseen, unloved, and unwanted. We had almost no intimacy, sexual or otherwise, we rarely talked, and I always felt like the “heavy” in our relationship- the one who made the tough decisions disciplined the kids, handled the finances, and took care of any and all planning for appointments and such. Now, in all fairness, my husband works hard- really hard! He works 10+ hour days through the week and then puts in another 6-8 on Saturdays. Sometimes, he even worked half-days on Sunday. He always took care of grocery shopping 1-2 times a month and cooked dinner most nights. He took care of oil changes, brake jobs, and yard work. And when he had free time, he spent it with our kids outside playing soccer or basketball or playing on the trampoline. He and my son get along great, they have gaming in common and my husband is super patient with him. All in all, he’s not a bad guy and he certainly isn’t a bad dad, but as a husband, well, let’s just say, I was never really his priority. 

The 7 Pillars of Grief: An Introverts Perspective 

The experience of loss can come in many forms. Most of us readily recognize the finality of death as an obvious catalyst for grief. The process for working through these other types of loss is more or less identical to that of death.

We are going to explore some of these other forms of loss, how they shape us, how we heal from them, and most importantly, how we, as introverts, define and handle the stepping stones of this particularly hard, but necessary journey. First, allow me to tell you a little bit about one of my biggest battles with grief. 

In August 2017, my father passed away. My relationship with him had been complicated for almost all of my adult years. He had diabetes and ultimately succumbed to the toll that the disease took on his body. He was an alcoholic during my growing-up years, he could be hugely warm and funny, but he could also be cruel and cutting. He was an avid history buff and loved to read. He genuinely liked kids and enjoyed teaching them card games and board games. He was far from perfect and we struggled to understand each other. But, I know he loved me and I loved him. My journey through grieving was a life-altering experience from the inside out. 

The 7 Pillars (stages) of Grief are a vital part of the healing process. If you were to work through them in order, it would look like this:

Now, here is something I want you to keep in mind- every single person is different. We all grieve in our own way and in our own time. If you find yourself skipping or vacillating between one or more of these pillar stages, that’s okay. If you feel like you are all over the place, that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with you. 

Grief is messy. It’s chaotic and crazy and deeply painful. It shows up in ways that you never thought possible. You will have days of deep despair- where you won’t want to get out of bed. You’ll feel weak and defeated and lost. You’ll have days where seemingly nothing of significance will make you cry or completely alter your mood from one extreme to another. There will be days when you’ll feel strong and alive and like you can FINALLY breathe. And yes, there will be days- even moments, when you’ll experience both ends of the spectrum and everything in between. And, you know what? It’s okay. You are okay. I repeat, there is NOTHING wrong with you. Keep moving forward because the only way out is through. It takes what it takes to heal. 

Prioritizing Mental Health

When someone has a broken bone, a sore throat, or a sharp pain, they get to a doctor to get it checked out. In many cases, as long as the issue is physical, it is addressed by a professional in a timely manner. However, this is rarely the case when someone is struggling with their mental health. Since these challenges appear invisible to the outside world, mental health challenges are not taken as seriously as those that are physical. Unfortunately, mental health has been stigmatized, leading people to avoid treatment when they need it to feel their best. Prioritizing one's mental health is vital to care for one’s overall health, as mental health and physical health are closely related. When someone’s mental health is poor, it often manifests in physical symptoms. Many times, addressing mental health can mean addressing the root of the problem.

Ignoring our mental health can lead to serious risks including anxiety, depression, high levels of stress, and in extreme cases, suicide. Poor mental health can come from a variety of factors including childhood trauma or abuse, environmental stressors, and genetics. Lifestyle can also impact one’s mental health, for instance if someone is participating in substance abuse or is struggling to give their body regular movement and proper nutrition. The mere pressure of living in a society where everyone’s lives are showcased on social media for the world to see, judge, and interact with can lead anyone to have a decline in mental health. Luckily, in more recent years, there is more awareness around the necessity to prioritize mental health which makes us hopeful for future generations that seek treatment and normalize the importance of caring for one’s mental health.

Prioritizing mental health is key to enjoying a fulfilling and meaningful life. Good mental health can improve daily mood, increase inner peace, and promote clearer thought patterns. It can reduce anxiety, aid in coping with day to day stressors, and improve one’s self esteem. It can improve our levels of productivity, improve our sense of self, and help us reach for our highest potential. Good mental health can also greatly improve our relationships with the people and the world around us. In essence, if we prioritize and commit to bettering our mental health, every aspect of our lives will benefit in return.

Many factors influence our mental health. Some things that can have a negative impact can include long periods of stress, unemployment, or poverty. Social isolation can cause a decline in our mental health, leading to intense feelings of loneliness. Neglect, abuse, trauma, and debilitating physical conditions make it very difficult to function effectively day to day. Unfortunately, many people experience discrimination and challenges in family life regularly, both of which can lead to a decline in mental health. On the other hand, therapy, journaling, mindfulness practice, and exercise are just a few ways we can enjoy greater peace and less thought clutter in our minds. If we are to commit to taking mental health as seriously as we take physical health, we will reach our fullest potential, feel healthier mentally and physically, and live more fulfilling and meaningful lives.