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life coaching

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Is Being Too Nice Sabotaging Your Life?

My coaching and therapy clients often express the desire to lead an honest and authentic life. Many are successful, busy and dynamic go-getters. They are also exhausted, frustrated and suffer regular bouts of self-loathing, conflict and anger. Many are people pleasers and believe that they are truly engaging in honest and real relationships. But they are not. They are engaging in acts of self-deception where their "true self," the part of them that holds their real wishes and desires is held hostage by the part of them that wants to please, or in simple language, be NICE.

This pattern is problematic, and you need to know why.  Because it makes you unhappy, and stressed! Your precious time and energy is spent wishing you could undo something, say what you mean, get what you need, say no, speak your mind -- you get the picture. Is that all too familiar "disease to please" and "nice-itis" sabotaging your life?

Your relationships may be suffering because you aren't being honest. You've created an identity that you imagine people want, when in reality, they want the real you. When you say YES, when you really want to say NO, or you don't share your real feelings or disappointment about something, you deprive yourself and them of an honest interaction.

What's behind this behavior? Fear and identity are big drivers. You may fear hurting someone's feelings. But if you withhold honesty, you deprive them of an opportunity to grow and learn, or have a different experience. You've saved yourself some temporary, in-the-moment discomfort, but now you hate yourself. You're tired of your "nice" identity because it creates stress, it makes you cranky and creates more conflicts in your relationships when you have to spend energy trying to "fix" things. But mostly, it just doesn't get you what you want! The takeaway message is that you're not avoiding conflict and tension, you're creating it.

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.

Natural, Holistic Therapy: Gently Manage Anxiety, Depression, Stress, ADHD, ADD and More

Is your monkey mind and other distressing symptoms driving you bananas and derailing your life? Stop suffering and try something new for you. Many of my therapy and coaching clients are interested in learning holistic ways to reduce and manage the symptoms of anxiety, depression, addictions and eating disorders, and a subset, in particular, are interested in some form of meditation. They are often motivated by media stories or recent studies that document the proven benefits of meditation and mindfulness, and are interested in natural ways to gain symptom relief. Peer review studies and research are confirming that this approach, in addition to specific lifestyle modifications is a highly effective route to managing and controlling anxiety, panic disorder and mild depression. As a psychotherapist trained in both traditional and non-traditional methods,

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.

Therapy or Coaching: Making The Right Choice For You

Potential clients who inquire about therapy and coaching often ask me to explain the difference between psychotherapy and life coaching. Coaches are quick to offer the short answer, which usually goes something like this: "Coaching is for the already whole, emotionally well individual who is future-focused, action-based and not in need of a therapeutic intervention." Therapy is the correct choice for those with a "diagnosable mental illness (e.g. anxiety, depression, addictions, PTSD) and who are in need of healing from past wounds and trauma." Some therapists would say that they don't coach, and coaches will tell you that they don't do therapy. In my humble opinion, when talking therapy or coaching, it's rarely so neat and tidy, and overlap between the two fields does exist. It would be accurate and fair to say that many therapy clients

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.

Transcendental Meditation or TM

My first exposure to TM or Transcendental Meditation and the David Lynch Foundation was during my integrative therapy training and affiliation with Donna Karan's Urban Zen Foundation. I am pleased to share the mission of this powerful, groundbreaking program that aims to ensure that children in America have the opportunity to learn and practice Transcendental Meditation. What could be more important than helping kids reduce stress, improve health, develop creative mind/brain potential and improve academic outcomes? Have a look at the DavidLynchFoundation.org website for a better understanding of how they help kids "dive within" and experience consciousness-based education. Helping kids is not the only mission of this foundation, they also work with homeless shelters, prisons, military & veterans, women & violence and American Indians. TM has the research and data (over 600 studies) to support

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 "Coachable" Client: Is that you?

Are you wondering whether to find a life coach or therapist? It's confusing, I get it! Here are some reasons why life coaching may be the right choice for you. For starters, no digging around in the dense, murky waters of the past for a better understanding of why you do what you do (coaches rarely talk about how mom didn't mirror you enough, or dad was distant and unavailable). There is nothing wrong with psychotherapy, it just may not be your thing. It's not the right choice for everyone, and that's okay! A coach will never ask you to explore this or that, but will ask you evocative questions that help you find your own answers, even uncover your brilliance! Recent issues of Money Magazine, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal urge professionals to utilize the services of a personal coach. Why? Star athletes have successfully used coaches to increase their focus and to provide the much needed structure, support and accountability to prepare them for competitions. Entrepreneurs, senior executives and political figures

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.

Living Your Dreams

"There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were... forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must," then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse." ~ Rainer Rilke - Letters To A Young Poet

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.

Self Care, Self Love

You, like many, may be the foundation in your life, and when you crumble, everything around you falls apart, Does this sound about right? Everyone talks about wellness, but what does that actually mean? Wellness is about taking a pro-active approach,  responsibility for and being accountable for your own state of health. It includes living consciously and with intent. It is working towards the goal of finding a recipe for balance in your life that allows you to fully engage in work, family, relationships and most importantly, your relationship with yourself. If your reserves are depleted, then you cannot work and play at full capacity. Wellness is a choice and making healthier choices is within your control. It is a decision to move toward optimal health and a lifestyle that you design to achieve your highest potential for health and well being. Like most of us, you just need some guidance and support. It's difficult to know where to start on your own and even harder to stay committed and following through with the process.

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.