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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.

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

#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

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 - Tips For Finding The Middle Path And Balance

What to do, and how to think? The best answer may be to take the Middle Path. What follows are tips for individuals who struggle with extremes and "all or nothing" thinking:

1. Be open to seeing things from different angles. There can be many ways to solve a problem. Do some research and investigate how other people have solved similar problems. Who do you admire who may have some good skills in this area? Don't be afraid to ask for help.

2. Change is constant; nothing stays the same, not ever. This is life. Things may feel stressful and hard now, but very few things remain the same. Life may not always feel this difficult.

3. When viewing a problem or situation try to spend some time in the "gray area." Many think in "all or nothing" terms. Extremes in thinking or "black and white" really limits the quality of one's life. Learning to tolerate the "gray" can lead to a richer, fuller and more fulfilling life.

4. What is the Middle Path? It is Balance plain and simple. The middle path is between acceptance and change -- it take both in order to live a balanced life. #shrinkthinks

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 - Practice Radical Acceptance

 

Develop complete acceptance from within...

This week, as we reviewed distress tolerance and handling difficult emotions in my eating disorder seminar, I was reminded of the concept of "radical acceptance." What does radical acceptance look like?

1.  Learning to develop complete acceptance that comes from within.  

2.  Understand that painful emotions are a part of life -- they are normal and to be accepted. 

3.   Stop fighting (both emotionally and behaviorally).  Learn to accept difficult emotions as a normal part of being human. 

Try these strategies borrowed from DBT Therapy: IMPROVE  the moment

I          Imagery – e.g. visualize yourself in a safe place 

M         Find some meaning in the situation

P         Prayer (what ever form that takes for you) meditation, spirituality, affirmations

R         Relaxation

O         One thing at a time

V         Vacation – take some time out of the situation, "me" time, or imagine
            yourself in an idyllic situation
E         Encouragement – use positive and calming self talk

Go ahead -- try something different!

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.