Voices :: Quieting The Harsh Inner Critic

“What will others think of me?” While some voices are kinder than others, we are most often hijacked by the messages received during the developmental years. The lingering voices, that harsh critic in our head, and the demands of other peoples' expectations prevents us from leading an authentic, fulfilling and heart-centered life. As a therapist trained to help clients “dig a little deeper,” we frequently bump up against the internalized messages, as well as the projections and expectations of other people. We are, all of us, an integration of human and experiential influences, the sum of our experiences contributes to the creation of self. But we can become fuller and more enlivened by learning to differentiate between “voices of the past” and the desires (and reality) of “now” and our true essence, before we collided with all the noise.

When trying to move forward or make important decisions, we often make choices that are weighed heavily by the needs and expectations of others—it is a familiar and reflexive process, and happens without our full awareness.  We confuse these voices as our own. They may come from a parent who says “you can’t,” “you shouldn’t” or “who do you think you are?” The harsh critic may once have had a purpose, keeping us safe for instance, but is now, no longer necessary. The voice that once warned you not to upset a parent or teacher remains as that lingering message… you “aren’t enough,” you “don’t matter” and “don’t deserve” what you desire. You may have even foreclosed on your dreams long ago, or never felt that discovery and imagining yourself in the future was even an option. I regularly observe adult clients saying, “but my wife won’t let me” as an example of how this model gets recreated with significant others in the here and now. Since it may not be possible to confront those voices taking up precious space in your head from the past directly (because you were young and it wasn’t safe), you can now begin to challenge them by giving yourself permission to differentiate between then and now, and dis-identify with those lingering messages from the past, and begin connecting to, and awakening your own will. Maybe “I can do this” is your new reality, and you can re-write your script.

The voices and foreclosure keep you paralyzed and stuck in the past and unable to change or move forward. You may feel adrift and lost. You may live with regret or the sense that choices made

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Concierge Therapy + Coaching :: Focused, Individualized Help For Stress, Crisis And Psychological Concerns

Concierge therapy—intensive, focused support for a life challenge or transition

As a New York City-based licensed Psychotherapist & Consultant, and trauma-focused therapist, I provide concierge psychological care for patients who find themselves in situations where they need a more robust form of help and support. if your public profile, personal or work status, lifestyle or schedule do not allow you to seek typical psychotherapy in a therapy suite, then concierge therapy and coaching is your best option for receiving one-on-one psychological care. I specialize in working with high-profile professionals and also provide trauma-informed therapy and consultation for individuals, couples and their families. To learn more, send me an email with “concierge” in the subject line.

Whatever the challenge (e.g. intense anxiety or stress, addiction and substance use or abuse, career or personal crisis, transitions, health concerns, amongst other issues), I take a dynamic, focused and comprehensive approach to helping you through whatever circumstances you may be facing. Together, we will determine your needs and develop a treatment plan to help you move forward. I am able to collaborate with other professionals if this is an approach that is helpful.

Confidentiality, flexibility to meet busy schedules, and extensive training and experience, together we work to create individualized care that meets your needs and schedule using a secure and encrypted online platform that ensures confidentiality and privacy for individuals who require high levels of discretion.

Because I’m an integrative practitioner, I don’t adhere to a single psychological philosophy, but rather, I am able to incorporate a range of therapeutic techniques in our work together which ensures more successful healing and supportive outcomes. Some modalities include: Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Relational Therapy, CBT, DBT Skills, EMDR Therapy, Somatic Experiencing Techniques, Focusing-Oriented Therapy, Specialized Couples Techniques, Mindfulness and

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Beginning Therapy :: Sometimes You Feel Worse Before You Feel Better

You’ve finally found a therapist that you trust, you’re opening up, being honest about the parts of yourself and areas of your life that could use some help. You may actually feel better—validated, stronger and more confident. Someone finally “gets” you. There is some relief in feeling less alone with your problems. If you ask people new to therapy how they feel, you may get different responses. Many feel better, get some relief, and then stop therapy. Some individuals notice after they begin therapy that they feel worse than before. Therapists don’t advertise the latter, but they should tell you that psychotherapy and counseling can kick up some uncomfortable feelings and emotions, initially, and from time to time. You may also notice that your friends and family are not so delighted with the new YOU. This wasn’t supposed to happen, and it doesn’t always, but often, it does! It’s a pretty common occurrence when people begin to change as a result of therapy and those closest to you are less than delighted.

People liked you the way you were, and now you’ve made some changes. You’ve rewritten the script, so to speak. You may be more assertive, or communicate your needs more effectively. Heck, you may have expressed needs for the first time in your life. This is inconvenient for those invested in the old you.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Online Therapy + Coaching For New Yorkers :: How To Find The Right Therapist For You

How to find an online therapist

As if taking the first step to speak with a therapist isn't challenging enough! You need a little help, and it’s really hard to know where to begin. If you live in New York City and struggle to make it in to meet with your therapist in-person, there are many who are trained in Telehealth and offer psychotherapy sessions for individuals or couples using video sessions or telephone, which may be a way that better suits your lifestyle. Face-to face is ideal, but if you could use some psychological support, online therapy is better than going it alone.

It can be downright overwhelming sifting through professional therapy profiles on Psychology Today—there are so many experts and options to choose from. I'm a New Yorker, and I get it! You’re very busy with work, social and home life. You travel frequently with demands and a schedule that makes it challenging to schedule regular therapy appointments in an office. You and your partner have schedules with moving parts—you’re rarely even in the same room together. Busy New Yorkers frequently begin therapy but then discontinue because of multiple cancellations and appointment change requests. It becomes a barrier to treatment to feel as if you can’t commit to regular psychotherapy session times. Just when you get some momentum, you have deadlines or you have to travel, and then you’re embarrassed to reach out to the therapist to reengage, so you begin a new therapist search. Clients with high visibility or high-profile individuals needing therapy that provides more privacy, discretion and anonymity, do not want to risk being seen entering a therapy suite or sitting in a waiting room.

It can also be challenging to find a good therapist in New York. And, even more of a challenge to finally find a “good fit” for you. It’s an investment of time and money, as well as emotional energy to begin the process of opening up to a stranger and discussing concerns such as anxiety, depression, traumatic memories, a crisis, feeling “stuck” or relationship challenges. New Yorkers often feel that their lives look great on the outside, but privately they struggle with stress, acting out or isolation and loneliness. These are but a few of the concerns that many busy, professional New Yorkers struggle with. What follows are some helpful tips to guide you in the process of finding a therapist who works online, doing virtual therapy, otherwise known as teletherapy, telemedicine, telehealth, video chat, to name but a few terms.

Some individuals searching for an online therapist find professional websites such as Psychology Today to be helpful. You can scroll through and match your needs and goals with therapists who have the skills or experience to help you, examples may be loss, transitions, career problems or chronic sadness. Reviews on Google or other sites such as HealthGrades.com can be unreliable for all sorts of reasons. Some therapists offer consultations to better understand their style and whether you are a good fit to work together.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy :: What The Heck Is It?

You’ve decided to finally get some help for the parts of your life that feels messy, but now you’re really confused as you sift through the many pages of available therapists on sites such as Psychology Today. Smiling therapists offering so many different paths to help and healing and some techniques have really strange names, like, “psychodynamic psychotherapy.” Sounds a bit scary, and clinical and even sterile, but it’s actually a really helpful treatment option for some problems. I’ll explain briefly.

A therapist practicing psychodynamic psychotherapy or psychoanalytic psychotherapy means that they do work that helps you understand yourself deeply. The goal is insight and self-awareness into why you do what you do, or keep repeating patterns and dynamics that interfere with having the life that you desire.It involves a bit of deep digging to unearth these behavior patterns but so worth it. Because much of what we do is unconscious, we live in a way that leads to habitual patterns and repetition. The fancy word for this is “repetition compulsion” which is a neurotic style that we engage in. This may eventually lead to frustration and certainly a lack of agency of your life. In psychodynamic therapy, you will begin to notice these patterns and behaviors that are driving you so that you can grow and live your life in a way that is intentional and conscious, not driven by the voices of the past, the many

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Guilt Or Shame :: How To Know The Difference

People often confuse guilt with shame. They are complex states, and as a therapist who works with both men and women, shame seems particularly hard for men feel vulnerable enough to identify. And women cover shame in some interesting ways as well. So what are the differences between the two? Guilt is an experience that we have related to something we may have done. “I feel really lousy about my behavior last night, and I’d like to make it better with us.” When we experience guilt, we come to terms with a behavior or problem and work to correct it. Some people don’t actually experience guilt for many reasons, but we can save that for another post.

Shame is complicated and the road to recovery is not so easy. Shame also goes hand in hand with secrecy and sometimes even isolation and despair. People can feel very alone with their shame. Shame reactions, when unmanageable, can even drive some to suicide. Many deal with shame by punishing themselves. Often an individual may have identified with the voices of important others in their development—a parent who projects, or individuals who have been bullied, scapegoated or shamed by others. Some people are sensitive and will “carry” the shame of the family. Therapists see this often.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Burnout :: Have You Lost Yourself And How To Recover If You Have!

You’ve lost your flame, your essence, and not much excites you anymore. Forget soul-stirring passions, it’s a good day if you care about matching socks! You sleep, but rarely feel rested upon awakening. The usual things that once left you feeling refueled no longer make a dent in your recovery or outlook. Burnout, whether personal or professional, often comes from choosing a high pressure career that is emotionally draining, or having too much on your plate. In addition to career demands, you may be juggling the needs of others—children or aging parents. In my private practice, my therapy and coaching clients describe feelings of exhaustion and overwhelm by the seemingly ordinary tasks of daily living. I have many clients complaining of long hours and added responsibility which they attribute to cutbacks and corporate greed. My clients describe feeling undervalued and disrespected in the workplace. Many are very experienced and are tasked with the responsibility of training colleagues who are inexperienced or younger and therefore hired because they can be paid less. Many have jobs that carry a great deal of responsibility with little reward which can feel hard on the soul.

How do you know you have burnout? There are many physical and emotional symptoms of burnout. They may include loss of joy, fatigue and exhaustion and behavior or cognitive problems such as agitation, forgetfulness and apathy. Stress manifests in many ways and a good physician can help you determine if stress is showing up in your body. Something is off and you may not even know what’s wrong especially for those who are over achievers. Getting support for professional or personal burnout will help you in your recovery. While the thought of visiting a psychotherapist fills many with terror, it may be helpful to see a professional just to talk, vent or express the emotions that you cannot do with a spouse, family member, friend or colleague. Asking for help is not a weakness, it’s very proactive and smart.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

How To Set Boundaries :: Stress Less And Avoid Burnout During The Holidays

“Plays well with others” but also takes fierce care of herself! As a Manhattanite, a stroll down Fifth Avenue this time of year reveals that holiday mania is indeed upon us. It’s the season for parties, events, presents, travel and family—also exhaustion! That bone-deep fatigue that sets intermittently and certainly after the holiday season because you have more things to do and less time for self-care and reflection.

Feelings of overwhelm and overcommitment, the season seems to deliver more frenzy, panic, anxiety, sadness and other emotions and behaviors than peace and joy. As a Manhattan-based Psychotherapist and Coach, I work with busy New Yorkers, especially highly perfectionistic, busy women, who have seemingly boundless reservoirs of energy—that is until they crash! What follows are some tips to help you flow through the season of light without burning yourself out.

Learning to have healthier boundaries is a great place to start! You instinctively move away from someone when they move too close to you. That’s a healthy and adaptive response, and so is setting boundaries with others. You may have learned to acquiesce to the needs of others for many reasons—that’s an old story for you, and now, like many narratives, a part of your “self” that you’d like to rescue. Here are some easy tips…

  1. Learn to say NO without feeling guilty - Guilt is an important response to many things, and helps you develop properly. It’s also not always warranted, overused, reflexive and habitual. It’s not easy but you can learn to say NO. It gets easier with practice but you’ll feel proud of yourself, you may also learn that others will still love you (even if they have a less than ideal response to the new you who says NO). The biggest win is that you’ll free yourself up for things that really

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

The Stressed-Out, Very Busy NYC Professional :: Is Anxiety And Stress Hijacking Your Life?

Something just doesn’t feel right and while you may think you’re managing all the aspects of your hectic life pretty well, that “off” feeling may be anxiety that's pulling you out of your game. You could benefit from finding a therapist to help you sort things out but you’re too busy to make it to the gym or show up for family and friends as it is. You are a high-achieving, busy New Yorker, you are also struggling to balance personal and professional demands. You can’t do everything, and at times, it feels like you may be sinking instead of flourishing. Many high-functioning New Yorkers also battle chronic, stress-induced anxiety and tension that can lead to physical symptoms and depression.

You may overeat and abuse substances so now that we’ve identified those behaviors, this is a good time to consider whether anxiety and stress are driving some of these bad habits and patterns. Do you feel unwell because of anxiety and is it time to seek treatment for your stress and anxiety? How would your life improve if you found effective help for your symptoms of stress and anxiety?

I always recommend seeking professional support when anxiety is hijacking your life. Licensed psychotherapists have specialized training to help you better manage anxiety and cope better in the many aspects of your life so that you can create a healthier work/life balance. If you find that you are feeling overwhelmed, numb, less resilient, or that you eat and drink your feelings, here is some practical help until you find a therapist to work with one on one.

  1. Pause, Identify + Notice — This is hard for busy professionals to slow down, hit the pause button and observe their thoughts, feelings and emotions or “tune-in” to what’s happening in their body. Who wants to do that especially when you work so hard to avoid unpleasant feelings. The body speaks loud and clear when we

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

I'm An Introvert, And This Is What I've Learned

As an introvert, mostly what I've learned is that I am enough, just as I am. Yep, I'd rather be reading next to my sweetheart or hiking in nature than screaming small talk at an event. After reading Susan Cain's book Quiet some time ago, I've made peace with my previously-tortured, introverted "self" who frequently self-flagellated for feeling freakishly abnormal and ashamed that people, noise and extended social interactions left me seeking refuge in the nearest bathroom or quiet and solitude for days.

A few years ago, I was at a psychoanalytic event for eating disorders, chatting and doing my best at small-talking with other therapists. it was hot, bright and crowded! I found myself hugging the wall for comfort. I politely excused myself and rather frequently, to seek some space. At some point, a colleague looked at me, and rather intensely asked "do you have an eating disorder because you keep leaving? I do not, but I wanted to spill and say, "no, I'm actually an introvert and need to escape NOW because I’m feeling overwhelmed." Instead, I simply apologized and stated that I had some "phone calls to return." We are a society and culture that values extroversion—quiet people are often misunderstood, undervalued and asked to have qualities that they do not naturally possess. Faking being anything other than your true, authentic self comes at a price. 

I've since developed a great deal of acceptance and self-compassion for the way my brain and nervous system is wired, and as a result, how I need to function in the world. I make efforts to create situations that support my needs whenever I can. It is sometimes a challenge for me to make plans for next month or even a week from now, because I'm not sure how I'll feel on that day. Will I be able to rally for an event or social gathering when I need those resources the most? I've learned to embrace my brain differences, and have acceptance for my own needs. This includes my need for personal space, my need to retreat or create boundaries, and especially my need for recovery after extended social contact--it's a brain thing.

As it turns out, we now know that introverts need time to recharge and recover sometimes by

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

CBT :: Challenging Those Pesky Automatic Thoughts

Are your thoughts, both conscious and those just beneath the surface, keeping you from success and living the life you desire? Have you heard the saying, "thoughts are not facts? These thoughts that interfere with health and happiness sneak up on us fast, some louder than others, and many are like background noise wreaking havoc on your life. Many thoughts need to be challenged because they no longer serve you and actually keep you looping in misery or feeling "stuck." One successful and time-tested strategy for working with coaching or psychotherapy clients is helping them learn to notice the "automatic thoughts" that have a deleterious affect on relationships, mood, anxiety, behavior and general outlook contributing to negative quality of life and poor health. 

Automatic thinking refers to the automatic thoughts people have in response to things happening around them. The goal is not to judge these thoughts that occur, but to develop awareness and then learn to challenge and replace them with more realistic thoughts thus breaking the cycle of negative impact. I've included a helpful CBT tool from Psychology Tools, a resource that I regularly use with coaching and therapy clients to interrupt negative thinking. 

Prompts For Challenging Negative Thinking (Use the list of prompts below to help you assess the truthfulness of your negative thinking).

What thought do you notice?

Evidence

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Executive Coaching Failures :: When Psychological Blocks And Conflicts Interfere With Successful Coaching Outcomes

You’ve hired a top-notch life coach, maybe even the best executive or performance coach to whip you into shape, but now find that you are either stuck or that you made some temporary progress and are now reverting to your old ways. Coaching fails many hopeful clients and for some very important reasons.

You simply can’t move forward if you don’t get help clearing blocks and obstacles that are often unconscious, but sabotage your best efforts. Professional coaching can be very effective and successful, but sometimes you must dig a bit deeper to unearth unconscious beliefs about yourself and internal conflicts. Many well-meaning coaches lack the psychological training to be able to detect and support client needs when an executive's problem(s) stem from underlying emotional and psychological issues. For many, coaching can actually be detrimental when symptoms that are present are longstanding, stubborn, severe and ignored. An example of this would be attempting to coach individuals with severe personality disorders. Coaching methods utilized by trained professionals may utilize any number of high-level and cutting-edge modalities that have a proven track record of helping people overcome self-sabotage, problem, repetitive behaviors and psychological conflicts. Some examples include: EMDR therapy combined with coaching; CBT and DBT Skills blended into coaching sessions, psychodynamic (insight-oriented) coaching and depth psychology.

Many fear or do not trust therapy and prefer a coaching model that is “here and now” focused and results and solution-driven. What happens when executives stumble onto patterns and obstacles that come up for them again and again? Executives, creatives, officers and entrepreneurs hire coaches to help them remove obstacles and learn to find clarity in their lives so that they can see things about their thoughts, actions and behaviors that may be

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

CBT :: Coaching + Therapy Techniques For Changing Thoughts And Behaviors

We ALL need a little help sometimes, even when we have awareness of our challenges and difficulties. It's really hard for many to ask for help, so I thought I'd share some useful techniques that I use in my own private practice in NYC working with therapy and coaching clients. CBT techniques are very helpful tools to be used in therapy, coaching and useful when applied to everyday life situations. What follows are some of the most common problems that clients struggle with and CBT techniques that are helpful. 

  1. Journaling—This technique gathers information and data about habitual thoughts, emotions and moods. Included in journal entries can be: time of day, the source or trigger, the intensity of the feeling state and the response or action taken. You can add more helpful and adaptive coping responses that might be considered in the future.

  2. Catastrophizing—This tendency is to go immediately to an irrational thought that something is far worse than it actually is. Catastrophizing generally takes two different forms: making a catastrophe out of a current situation or a future situation. Step one is to identify when your are doing this. Next, use your smartphone or journal to write the thoughts down throughout the day and add a corrective statement to counteract the negative belief.

  3. Cognitive Distortions—Alone or with a therapist, you practice identifying harmful or negative thoughts that are automatic for you, then challenge these thoughts that lead to vulnerability or distress in your daily life.

  4. Cognitive Restructuring—Once you identify the distortions or inaccurate views, you can begin to learn about how this distortion took root and why you came to believe it. When you discover a belief that is destructive or harmful, you can begin to challenge it. Instead of accepting a faulty belief that leads to negative thoughts about yourself and poor self-esteem, you could take this opportunity to think about something in a different way.

  5. Write Down Self-Statements to Counteract Negative Beliefs—This is a challenge especially if your belief is strong or it has served you in some way. Confront these negative thoughts by introducing a positive more correct thought. Positive thoughts or self-statements help to interrupt old patterns and create new neural pathways.

  6. Exposure and Response Prevention—If you suffer from OCD, you can expose yourself to whatever creates the compulsive behavior that follows. Avoid doing the behavior by writing about it instead in a journal or notepad.

  7. Interoceptive Exposure—If you struggle with panic attacks or anxiety, this technique involves exposing yourself to bodily sensations that elicit responses that lead to distress and panic symptoms. As you experience unpleasant symptoms, unhelpful thoughts arise and you can learn to tolerate the experience, reduce avoidance and develop a different way to view these symptoms such discomfort, but not dangerous.

  8. Play the Script Until the End—This technique involves imagining the worst case scenario, letting it play out in the mind. For those who struggle with fear and

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Healing From Trauma :: Reclaim Your Identity

Traumatic experiences change the brain and it does so in an effort to protect us from future negative experiences. However, trauma and its symptoms do not have to hold us in its grip forever. As you continue to think, talk, re-tell and act on your experience(s), you reinforce your attachment to what happened, which exacerbates your symptoms and you loop on the upsetting memory and trauma responses. 

The body is designed to heal. We now know that the brain has an amazing capacity to heal by creating new neural pathways. This process is called neuroplasticity. When people are finally able to regain control over their thoughts, behaviors, responses and lives, the brain's limbic system, parasympathetic and vagus nerve system can normalize. 

Unfortunately, most who have suffered trauma want to heal, and yet struggle with allowing and accepting feeling "well" and "whole." This seems counterintuitive, however the underlying instinct is to remain vigilant as if the nervous system signals that it is "unsafe” to heal and be well. If one relaxes into safety and wellness, then

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Difficult People :: Saving Yourself From Crazy Makers And Gaslighting

Have you reached the end of your rope with the crazy makers in your life? I have them in my life as well, and even with psychological training, they frequently throw me off-course. You’ll never change them because that’s the very nature of crazy (so put your energy elsewhere!), you can however protect yourself. You are surrounded by them and you can't escape the insanity. They are your ex, colleagues, friends, lovers or family members--sometimes you even have to co-parent with them.

Perhaps your life demands regular contact with them, leaving you with feelings of dread and terror—you may also have somatic complaints or physical symptoms especially if you had a parent with similar behaviors and you are now re-experiencing the trauma! Crazy makers drain your energy and consistently engage in controlling, destructive, manipulative and reckless behaviors. Sadly, similar to a train off the tracks, they leave a path of destruction. Children are especially vulnerable to becoming collateral damage when a parent is a narcissist and/or psychopath.

What are some of these behaviors?

  • They set traps for you—it can be a no-win game

  • They are masters of distortion and manipulation

  • They create drama, drama and more drama

  • The exhibit excessive negativity

  • They display outbursts of rage and anger

  • They are frequently competitive and aggressive

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

#shrinkthinks :: Your Shadow Side

Embrace it and be free.

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular. -Carl Jung

We avoid our shadow selves by projecting onto others what we most reject about ourselves. We "split-off" or dissociate important aspects of ourselves, our unconscious thoughts, impulses, feelings and drives. In doing so, we develop as poorly integrated humans, out of balance, creating more acceptable (or so we imagine) "personas of light." To our detriment. Our repressed shadow self can become a destructive force, unconsciously driving our behaviors, our lives. What are your fears about connecting to your shadow?

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular. -Carl Jung

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Turmeric Elixir :: Body + Soul Love

I love experimenting with new recipes and especially healing tonics using teas, spices and essential oils that soothe and comfort. So, I was very excited to finally receive my copy of Whole Beauty by the lovely Shiva Rose (I'm addicted to her Glow Face Balm!), and after enjoying her luxurious, holistic practice rituals, I've decided to share her yummy Turmeric Golden Milk recipe. As someone who also struggles with an autoimmune issue, I watch my diet and do my best to avoid irritants and inflammatory foods. If you're feeling the need for self-care after a long and harsh winter, personal or professional burnout, or any personal struggle, I recommend her gorgeous book as an offering to yourself--a little TLC. Enjoy this recipe from Shiva Rose!

  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 8 ounces milk, preferably raw or any kind of milk or nut milk that you like

  • 2 tablespoons almond oil

  • Raw honey to taste

  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom or ghee (optional)

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional)

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Engage Your Vagus Nerve :: Breathing Techniques For Relaxation And Insomnia Relief

Concerns about the long-term impact of chronic stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia is a topic of concern for many of my coaching and therapy clients. A few stressful, sleepless nights can easily spiral into a regular problem as clients begin to develop a negative relationship with bedtime and sleep. Many will seek the help of a psychiatrist to obtain prescription medications in an effort to break the cycle. Not a bad option in the short-term, but less than ideal as a long-term solution. I always recommend lifestyle modifications and attempts at simple changes in the environment first. Before we move to information about engaging your vagus nerve and the relaxation response, let's clear the path to create an optimal environment for sleep. 

How can you modify your environment to promote better sleep? In addition to dimming the lights and reducing evening electronic stimulation, some helpful evening rituals include the following:

  • meditation

  • focused breathing

  • biofeedback

  • guided imagery

  • progressive muscle relaxation

  • restorative yoga

  • gentle stretching to release tension in the body

  • a warm bath

  • a soothing warm drink such as milk, nut milk or non-caffeinated tea 

  • herbs and homeopathic support 

How are you breathing during the day? You may not be aware that throughout your busy day, your breathing has become shallow. Your thoughts likely contribute

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Your Erotic Life :: Do You Need Sex therapy?

Tell me more about your erotic life. I think it's important. As a sex-positive therapist, I am open to conventional partnerships as well as alternative lifestyles, identities, and gender expressions. It's all just normal expressions of love

  • Are you craving more exploration, surprise, mystery, novelty, excitement, desire and passion?

  • Does your partner feel like a child or parent, thus decreasing desire?

  • Do you struggle with sharing sexual concerns with your partner, especially your sexual desires and needs?

  • Are you struggling alone with personal sexual issues?

  • Do you worry about the frequency or lack of sexual frequency in your relationship?

  • Do you feel turned-off when your partner wants sex? 

  • Does your partner struggle with sexual dysfunction?

  • Do you feel sexually unfulfilled?

  • Are you struggling to heal from a boundary violation, sexual or emotional infidelity?

  • Is your relationship longterm, and you're feeling more like roommates than lovers?

  • Are you a new parent and having trouble with life/balance or feeling romantic and sexual again?

  • Are you having hormonal or drug-related side effects or chronic pain and medical concerns?    

For many reasons, sexuality changes throughout our lifetime--this is normal. It's important however to be able to openly discuss

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.

Therapist Or Coach :: What's The Difference?

When you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed or challenged by a particular situation, or life in general, you may be considering seeking professional help. There are so many available and effective choices to help you move forward with your life and in your online research, you may have stumbled upon outstanding sites such as Psychology Today. It is likely that you also feel overwhelmed with the many options--therapy, mentoring, life coaching, relationship support and groups for example. It's also important to understand your needs at this point in your life. Are you stuck deep in the mud, or are you perched and just about ready to take flight but in need of a little support?  

Whether your struggles are recent or longstanding, you may be challenged by many of the following: low self-esteem, depression, severe anxiety, residual trauma(s), family of origin issues, addictions, eating disorders, intense emotions and relationship struggles. When you're managing any of the above, it makes it very difficult, if not impossible to move forward using the help of the life coaching strategies that require action and accountability. Coaching is an elegant model for individuals who are healthy enough or who have resolved obstacles and conflicts that enable them to feel strong, deserving and able to receive

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.