Self-Care :: Support For Traumatic Stress + Loss

Whether you're struggling to manage challenging life-events, a trauma or accident, loss and grief or any kind of transition that causes you distress or destabilization, it's helpful to understand that your feelings, emotions and behaviors are a normal reaction to extreme or disturbing events. As a psychotherapist who uses EMDR therapy, supportive work and a focus on helping clients develop healthier coping skills, I'm happy to share tips to support you as you move through difficult times. What helps?

  • Allow yourself to acknowledge and accept that you're experiencing something difficult and that your reactions are normal, but that you can manage. Remind yourself about how you've handled difficult situations in the past. What healthy skills did you call upon previously to help you cope during stressful times?
  • Ask for help. This is hard for many, but people can be quite kind when it comes to supporting others. This also requires that you allow yourself to receive help and manage feelings of shame related to needing help.
  • Take exquisite care of yourself, when you can. Show self-compassion and practice self-care. Giving yourself permission for a "time out" can help you feel stronger and more resilient
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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Boundary-Setting Mantra :: Sanity During The Holiday Season

The holiday season is one time of year that leaves many of us feeling vulnerable to stress and feelings of overwhelm. The season brings windows dressed with cheer and reminders of other people who appear carefree and happy, while many face the reality of family dysfunction, unrealistic expectations, loneliness, dark days and seasonal affective disorder, poor eating and drinking habits and loved ones who are no longer with us. Perhaps the seemingly happy folks are drunk, it's hard to know for sure. That said, social media now contributes a new platform for us to compare our own lives with the experiences of others, leading to even more isolation and despair. It is also a time when we may do less self-care than usual--at a time when we actually need a little more TLC.

This leads quite natural to the topic of boundaries. Who wants to be the bad guy and say no, right? Sometimes "no" is best for all. The holiday season is a perfect time to learn and practice self-protection. Boundary-setting is very much a learned skill that takes practice and often requires giving yourself permission to put yourself first. Do you know what you need? it's important to know your needs and to identify your own physical and emotional limits. Overload cues present to us in different forms. For some, it's a feeling or nudge

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Depression :: What's New And What Helps

It's the time of year when individuals vulnerable to mood difficulties begin to experience symptoms of depression. Therapists who treat depression and anxiety see an increase in requests for psychotherapy evaluations and treatment as the days become shorter and there is less available sunlight. If you're considering medication for depression, you've likely tried other things including: psychotherapy or talk therapy, exercise, sunlight, anti-inflammatory diets, supplements (SAMe, St John's Wort), extra B vitamins, fish oil and meditation or mindfulness, yet you're still struggling with symptoms. Depression is a complicated matter because there are many reasons people become depressed and different expressions of depression including: major depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), reactive depression, bipolar disorder, psychotic depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and postpartum depression, as examples.  

Because depression can be a challenge to treat, it's unlikely that one form of treatment will address all the symptoms of depression. For instance, individuals with a milder form of depression may respond positively to lifestyle changes such as exercising several times a week, yoga, meditation, supplements for brain and gut health, dietary changes, education about depression, connecting with friends and families and taking steps to avoid isolation. Working with a depression expert can help you develop skills to cope better, in addition to the connection that you develop with another human during the psychotherapy hour. Counseling

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

EMDR THERAPY FOR LASTING HEALING :: RESOLVING SEXUAL, EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL ABUSE

The recent presidential election and divisiveness has activated and triggered many individuals who have unresolved trauma(s). As a Psychotherapist and trauma therapist with a private practice in New York City, I can share that many men and women have sought counseling to deal with trauma symptoms that have recently surfaced as a result of the accusations of sexual assault and boundary violations revealed during this recent election cycle. Clients state that they now feel empowered and sufficiently supported by others and the community at large to begin to tell their personal stories of rape, assault, boundary violations and inappropriate behaviors. Some have never shared their stories--not with trusted friends or even family members. For many, being in the presence of another, to receive their experience, help hold their fear and terror and help sort out confusion and reality can be extremely healing. Some who have suffered in silence will need more support. EMDR therapy is a therapy modality that can successfully heal these experiences from a neurological standpoint, as well as reduce the impact of painful memories, distorted self-concepts and further support healing the body. 

Many patients seek EMDR therapy following slow progress with traditional psychotherapy or when they feel they have not benefitted from traditional talk therapy, hypnosis or CBT. As a licensed psychotherapist in New York City, EMDR has become my technique of choice to treat a variety of concerns. After years of integrating it into my practice, I've experienced extraordinary success

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

ADDICTIONS, COMPULSIONS & ALCOHOL TREATMENT USING EMDR THERAPY

There are many forms of treatment that successfully help clients heal from addictions, compulsions, anxiety, unhealthy relationship dynamics, self-esteem problems and other behavior difficulties. Some of the most helpful therapies include: CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, 12 Step programs and body-oriented therapies such as Somatic Experiencing (SE) and EMDR Therapy. As an integrative psychotherapist, I have great respect for these psychotherapy modalities, and have had real success using some combination with my own clients. I find EMDR therapy to be the most effective form of therapy to address alcohol use, substance and behavioral addictions, compulsions, eating disorders and any underlying traumas that may have contributed to using substances and maintaining these behaviors. 

Dr. Robert Miller developed a protocol called the Feeling State Addictions Protocol or FSAP that uses EMDR therapy to focus on a very important piece of alcohol and other addictions. Pleasure. Mainly, that people rely on substances or behaviors because of the intense positive feeling it gave them initially and continues

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Therapy And Counseling :: Which Type Of Therapy Do You Need

You've decided that it's just too difficult trying to manage things on your own and now you're  ready to reach out for a little help, but web research has you completely overwhelmed. Understandable! Finding a therapist can be difficult especially if you don't have the benefit of a referral from a trusted friend or colleague, and you're likely unsure of the type of counseling that would best suit your needs. Sources such as Psychology Today and GoodTherapy can provide profiles of therapists in your area, as well as list the expertise of the counselors, psychotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. Professionals tend to specialize in many areas such as: grief and loss, aging, adolescent concerns, transitions, crisis counseling, anxiety, depression, addictions, alcoholism, stress reduction, trauma resolution, marital and relationship difficulties, family concerns, spirituality and more. To make your search a little less daunting, I've included a partial listing of psychotherapy modalities that licensed psychotherapists and psychologists use with their clients.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Eating Disorders :: Mindfulness Or Distractions--What Works Best

As a therapist who treats clients with Eating Disorders, I am constantly reminded of the need for an integrative treatment approach and psychotherapy that addresses the complexities that ED's present for clients. Does Mindfulness help or hinder eating disorder recovery? The best answer may be that it depends on the nature of the eating disorder, and the stage of treatment. This is a much-debated topic within the ED treatment community.

Mindfulness, in addition to DBT Skills can be incredibly helpful for patients and clients in recovery, and in many aspects of their lives, especially when trying to manage powerful emotions and regulate mood. Some clients have reported that attempts at mindfulness early in recovery, especially during meals, creates intolerable anxiety and distress that interferes with the process of eating. Clients with Anorexia Nervosa find that distraction is the most helpful way to eat. "Thinking" about what's being consumed and eaten in early ED recovery is described as excruciating by clients. Distraction allows them to "pair" an enjoyable activity with mealtime, which is a very different experience than meals with the demand that they be "mindful" of excruciating feelings of fullness and any other sensations.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Holiday Chaos Survival Tips For Couples :: Because Murder Is Not An Option

As a therapist who enjoys providing marriage and couples therapy, I've made the observation that partners struggle to work as a team during the busy, stress-filled and conflict-ridden holiday season. Feeling torn with competing interests such as family needs, travel and extra demands on time and energy can bring many to exasperation and exhaustion. If you tend to suffer because of your "people pleasing" nature and an inability to say NO, protecting your boundaries or creating healthy boundaries for yourself (perhaps you're new at this?) can be a real challenge.

Don't suffer in silence, or loudness. Many couples and partners enter marriage and family counseling after the holiday season because they feel disconnected, hurt and misunderstood, in addition to a range of other experiences, including losing once-enjoyed intimacy. Being in the company of family and friends can trigger feelings of resentment, reignite old wounds as well as highlight family of origin issues--leaving even high-functioning couples feeling de-skilled and in need of help to sort through the chaos.  

So, how do you reconnect after fighting, communication problems and hurt feelings? Having some simple tools at your ready can help you avoid the downward spiral. What follows are

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

#shrinkthinks DBT Quick Reference :: Holiday Survival Skills For Anxiety, Addiction Triggers, Emotions And Problem Behaviors

Many of my psychotherapy patients ask for a Dialectical Behavior Therapy or a DBT cheat-sheet to have handy because... life happens, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, and it's hard to remember what to during those challenging moments! This is a basic list to remind you that you DO have other options at your disposal to help you better manage your relationship problems, trauma symptoms, addiction and eating disorder triggers, anxiety, depression, self-harm urges, relationship challenges, stress and strong emotions. With the holiday season comes lots of stress--and with no shortage of emotional triggers--people struggle with: alcohol and food in abundance, family stressors and memories that reignite feelings of anger, loss, sadness, longing and loneliness.

Even though situations and stressors are present, DBT can help you make healthier choices for yourself! A good place to start is to remember to focus, breathe and be mindful. When the skills don't work

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

#shrinkthinks On EMDR :: Voice Of The Patient

If you're curious about how EMDR psychotherapy can help you resolve trauma, negative experiences and other challenges, please enjoy this short YouTube video that includes the voices of clients who now experience freedom and hope as a result of their EMDR treatment. Not just for trauma resolution, EMDR psychotherapy is an effective treatment for a variety of concerns including: eating disorders, addictions, compulsions, phobias, guilt, depression, anxiety, shame, negative self-concept, performance problems, self-sabotage, feeling "stuck" and more. You can learn about EMDR, or find an EMDR therapist by visiting EMDRIA and by watching this video.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

You Were Meant To Love

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

~Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Chocolate :: Raw, Healthy Goodness

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” ~Charles M. Schulz

It's good to try new things, especially if you're focused on creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself or your family! Many are now being told that they must eliminate gluten, excess carbs, added sugar and dairy, because of health concerns and food sensitivities. If this is the case for you, I believe that you'll be happier and more successful if you find ways to continue enjoying food by finding creative ways to eat, and avoid foods that contribute to autoimmune problems, inflammation and other health concerns. Restriction tends to be a recipe for relapse. 

Healthy, raw fats like coconut oil and avocado helps your body manage sugar better. We get the pleasant experience of sweet, with significantly less "crash." Nature's exquisite elixir honey, in addition to raw cacao, both contain an abundance of B-vitamins, antioxidants and essential minerals--all natural immune system boosters. Enjoy this "guilt-free" and very satisfying, healthy raw and yummy desserts. 

Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse:

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

EMDR Therapy :: Getting "Unstuck" And Healing The Nervous System

As a psychotherapist and coach in Manhattan, I treat clients with a range of concerns from stress and life challenges to recovery from addictions and trauma. Many have suffered developmental trauma(s) or single incident trauma and now have symptoms of PTSD which impacts many aspects of their lives, including personal relationships and work. In order to understand EMDR, one needs to be clear about how trauma can affect the brain.

When an individual experiences a traumatic event or multiple traumas they may develop what is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD as a response to the overwhelming event(s). When this occurs, the brain fails to successfully process the trauma leaving it "stuck" or "frozen" in the central nervous system. This often leads to numbness, dissociation, severe anxiety, depression, insomnia, addictions, physical complaints and an inability to experience "safety." In everyday life, in the "here and now," the body fails to recognize that the person is now "safe" and it reacts as though the danger is current and in present time, leaving the individual in a state of emotional and physical arousal.

EMDR therapy as a treatment is unique because it facilitates the processing of trauma information that has become "stuck" in the central nervous system. The various elements

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

#shrinkthinks DBT DIY :: Making A Distress Tolerance Kit For Healthier Coping

Whether you're trying to manage eating disorder symptoms or alcohol/substance abuse problems, creating a "coping skills" toolbox--a place to keep things that can help you feel calmer and more grounded is a practical and helpful tactic in supporting your recovery goals. Instead of using symptoms and negative behaviors, turning to your toolbox can give you other options that immediately engage your five senses and include healthier distractions, self-soothing strategies and making different choices in the moment!

TOOLBOX TIPS

What you will need for your self-regulation and coping toolbox:

  • Tactile (something to feel) - textures, warm or cold objects, stuffed animal, stress ball, the ground beneath your feet

  • Visual (something to see or look at) - flowers, photos, art, vivid colors

  • Auditory (something to hear) - music, focusing on sounds in the environment, meditation guides, books on tape

  • Olfactory (something to smell) - essential oils, perfume, candles

  • Gustatory (something to taste) - gum, mints, sweet or sour candies

DISTRACTION TIPS

How to Distract yourself when you have the urge to reward yourself in negative ways or when you have self-destructive urges:

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Mindfulness :: Practice Now

There is an art to being "present" especially in a stressed-out culture of distractions, hyper-productivity and social media, however you can learn to think differently and even rewire your brain. Many therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists recommend Mindfulness and MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) to help cope with anxiety and depression. What is the goal with mindfulness meditation? To learn to give your attention fully to whatever you may be doing -- eating, loving, working, parenting, exercising, doing chores, as examples. The application of mindfulness is limitless, and can generalize to good health, life-satisfaction and enhanced well-being. 

It's easy. Heres how to begin:

  1. Find a comfortable seat. Keep your back straight, soften and drop your shoulders. You can close your eyes, or keep them open. Take a deep breath.

  2. Notice your breathing, without changing it. Focus on the sensation of air moving in and out of your nostrils, notice your lungs expanding and contracting with each breath.

  3. It is normal to have thoughts that distract you from your focus on the breath. Acknowledge these thoughts and then return your focus to your breathing. Keep doing this.

  4. Don't judge yourself, simply notice any distractions, sounds in the environment, and especially, that the mind wants to wander.  A new thought comes into your mind, notice it, then return to your breathing. 

Dedicate 5-20 minutes per day to this practice of mindfulness. As it becomes easier, you can practice being fully present with your daily activities--breathing, observing, noticing whatever may be present for you in these moments with acceptance and

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Sex, Love + Oxytocin

When you work with couples, the topic of sex is likely to surface at some point. If it doesn't, that becomes interesting, and something worthy of exploring during relationship counseling. Sex is complicated! It's an area that suffers when other problems and conflicts arise within the relationship. Sex, or lack of it, can be impacted by stress, anger, illness, hormones, parenting and other life challenges. Some people use sex to reward or punish their partner. Individuals certainly have varying levels of interest in sex. We know that one's ability to enjoy their sexuality can be impacted by many factors including: family of origin, culture, religion, media messages, past experiences and sexual trauma. People get lazy, especially in long-term relationships.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Lifestyle Changes :: Reducing Chronic Pain, Inflammation And Depression

As a mind-body practitioner and psychotherapist in New York City, I love considering the exquisite interplay between the mind and body, especially when clients present with symptoms that can be confusing. Both women and men who seek therapy or consultations frequently report symptoms that seem to point to anxiety or depression such as: fatigue, lethargy, insomnia and sleep disturbances, decreased social activity, lethargy, decreased libido, appetite changes, and anhedonia. The picture, and the treatment plan, is not always immediately clear. As a society, we are quick to prescribe an antidepressant or medication ignoring some easily-remedied or even the root cause of suffering. Psychotherapists, when they are oriented to a mind-body connection are in the perfect position to take a comprehensive and holistic approach to helping clients improve both emotional and physical well being.

What do we know about depression and chronic inflammation? Studies show a link between

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

#shrinkthinks :: Self-Acceptance

"If you're engaged in 'hating and blaming' yourself, you're unable to love your world." (Paraphrased) ~Tara Brach

How does your self-blame and hate give you the illusion of control?

Can you pause and notice how often you "turn" on yourself each day?

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

Gifts From The Universe

No, you can’t always get what you want…

But if you try sometime, you just might find

You get what you need" ~The Rolling Stones

What if many or all of life's obstacles or challenges are placed before us to help us grow and learn--a gift, if you will? When I consider the difficult people or circumstances in my own life--the complicated feelings and emotions that are ignited in me, triggers that I didn't even know existed, I always find that I learn something important about myself. What I choose to do with the information or lesson is a different matter. Life can be messy; the love, the hate, the range between the two extremes, so much confusion, conflict and ambivalence--it's no wonder that it can feel safer to hide and protect yourself, rather than face vulnerability, pain and uncertainty. As protective as this may feel, it keeps your life small, and the many potential opportunities to grow unmet. We are taught that dark feelings and emotions are bad, and that shadow parts of us should be suppressed or disavowed. This is never an effective strategy because it doesn't actually work. Shadow aspects remain, and fester; they will most certainly find their way to the surface in some other form. Embrace the range of your emotions, this will help you feel "whole" and lead a fuller and more authentic life.

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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.

#coachsays - What Am I Tolerating And Other Forms Of Mind Clutter?

We all struggle with frustrations that tap our reserves. Some stem from life, external circumstances and interactions with others, and many are self-imposed. What are you "putting up with" in your life -- at home, at work or with friends, and how much is your capacity to please or tolerate things impacting the quality of your life? Are you wired to just ignore the mess and tolerate the "noise" in your life, or are you ready to tackle the things that are keeping you from living a life that gives your more satisfaction and self-efficacy? The problem is that these minor and major things have a way of building until it becomes a pile-up, which then feels so overwhelming that it's hard to know where to begin. Start with making a list of the things you'd like to more effectively manage or eliminate.

A few examples of the usual things that we put up with, or minor annoyances are: household clutter, broken things, tasks that have been put off, friends with bad behaviors and so on. Some major sources of things we tolerate might include an abusive work situation, a devaluing mother-in-law, an abusive relationship or the bullying behaviors of a partner. How are you impacted when the things you tolerate build and build until things feel, well, intolerable? What might you lose (real or fear of) if you confront these problems Most importantly, how would your life improve if you made some important and helpful changes?

Not addressing the growing pile of things in your life that torment you leads to many problems, including: mounting anxiety and stress reactions, feeling overwhelmed and stuck, feeling energetically drained and tapped as well as feeling sad and depressed. Eventually your ability to feel confident and effective and have a sense of agency in your life is compromised. So, how do you begin the process of fixing some of these problems, or at least minimizing the personal impact?

  1. Decide where to begin, maybe pick three things that you'd like to focus on. You can't do it all. A commitment to change and taking action can lead to feelings of empowerment and wellbeing. 
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Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York City Psychotherapist + Consultant who splits her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe, providing online therapy to individuals and couples. With extensive training and experience, she provides psychological consultation, psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and executive coaching to a range of clients including VIP's + high-profile clients. As a women's emotional health + relationship expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief and women's mentoring. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, meditation, travel and really good key lime pie. She lives with her husband, psychologist, scholar and mindfulness expert John Chambers Christopher. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal websites KimSeelbrede.com, Santa Fe Integrative Psychotherapy or Well+Being Blog.