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The Science of Happiness

The Science of Happiness

Does this title seem cheesy?  Well, it is legit!  Over the last 15 years the science of happiness is a serious area of study with validated research supporting it.  Among the findings are:

1-The brain can be changed. The scientific term for this is “neuroplasticity” meaning you can teach the old brain new tricks.

2-We can train our brain like a muscle, by adopting new thought patterns that can rewire negative thoughts.

3-All of us are hard wired for negativity (blame evolution!) so we all need to learn new ways to react and deal with everyday stresses.

4-Re wiring the brain does not take a lot of effort!
A few simple things will go a long way to change sadness into happiness.

As a therapist, I am always looking for new tools that support my 5 main treatment goals for clients:

1) Conquer negative thoughts, 2) Gain confidence, 3) Boost optimism, 4)Reduce Stress and last: Improve Relationships.  Don’t these 5 ares cover most everything?
One tool I have discovered to be very helpful is the website happify.com.  This website is amazing and has helped many of my clientele gain daily tools to manage stress as they sign up for daily happify, a video, quote, story or exercises that sets the mood for your entire day. What I love about this website is it is run by Positive Psychologists, Mindfulness coaches and other PHD level professionals that use research to instruct online users HOW to achieve overall balance and happiness. In addition, they offer ways to track your happiness but implementing a test every 2 weeks that measures your happiness. As a therapist, I endorse this fantastic website and find  it to be a great supplement to weekly therapy.  Most of the methods are based on DBT, (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) which is a evidence based therapy with practical methods that work fairly quickly. Check out happify.com today and understand how “Happiness is Winnable”. Best part is it is free!

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New DBT Women’s Group Begins Sept. 8th!

canstockphoto3065314

Next Group Begins Sept. 8th, 2015!

MINDFULNESS and INTERPERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS

6 weeks / Sept. 8 – Oct. 13

Tuesdays 6:00-7:30 pm

Led by Monette Cash, LCSW

Women’s DBT Skills Group is a 3-series skills group that teaches basic skills
such as how to manage your emotions so they dont control your life-how
to cope effectively with difficult relationships- and learning how to
react calmly rather than impulsively in order to avoid unhealthy
escapes. This 3 module skill group will run in 6 week segments and
all are necessary to have lasting success.

Please contact us to register for the group!

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NEW DBT WOMEN’S GROUP BEGINS SEPT. 8TH!

canstockphoto3065314

Next Group Begins Sept. 8th, 2015!

MINDFULNESS and INTERPERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS

6 weeks / Sept. 8 – Oct. 13

Tuesdays 6:00-7:30 pm

Led by Monette Cash, LCSW

Women’s DBT Skills Group is a 3-series skills group that teaches basic skills
such as how to manage your emotions so they dont control your life-how
to cope effectively with difficult relationships- and learning how to
react calmly rather than impulsively in order to avoid unhealthy
escapes. This 3 module skill group will run in 6 week segments and
all are necessary to have lasting success.

 

Please contact us to register for the group!

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DBT WOMEN’S GROUP BEGINS JUNE 2nd!

canstockphoto3065314

Next Group Begins June 2nd, 2015!

Tuesdays 6:00-7:30 pm

Led by Monette Cash, LCSW

Women’s DBT Skills Group is a 3-series skills group that teaches basic skills
such as how to manage your emotions so they dont control your life-how
to cope effectively with difficult relationships- and learning how to
react calmly rather than impulsively in order to avoid unhealthy
escapes. This 3 module skill group will run in 6 week segments and
all are necessary to have lasting success.

 

Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance    (6 weeks / June 2 – July 7)

Mindfulness and Interpersonal Effectiveness    (6 weeks / Sept. 8 – Oct. 13)

 

Please contact us to register for the group!

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Say YES to Chocolate Cake! Interventions for Eating Issues

CHOCOLATE CAKE

Specific forms of therapy have proven to be very effective for those who struggle with any extreme eating patterns. You know the drill: the holidays hit, we overeat or eat all the nutritionally weak foods, then resolve, usually in January, to stop all sugar intake or eliminate total food groups like “carbs”. We’re disciplined for 2 or 3 weeks then our body feels deprived and we do a complete 180. Does this feel like banging your head against a wall? It does to me!

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) offers 4 techniques to find balance in eating.:

1) Sequence NOT Elimintation. The order in which we eat foods does make a difference. Try to eat nutritionally dense foods FIRST, but don’t eliminate food groups altogether. Eliminating ALL SUGAR or ALL CARBS leave us feeling deprived and the psychology behind that process increases our desire for something. Often nutritionists recommend eating lean protein first because as it is more filling, then vegetables/fruits, then grains, then desert. One client I worked with 5 years ago lost 50 pounds just be adopting this technique. She lost her strong desire for sugary deserts over time because she didn’t feel deprived of them (she could have them if she wanted them….just after the healthy stuff). She set herself up to succeed not fail. It took 6 months, and by then it was a lifestyle for her,. Today, 5 years later, she still wears the same jeans.

2) Measure progress with Feelings not Numbers. Rather than weighing yourself everyday, try tapping into how you feel at the beginning of each day. Do you feel bloated? Do you feel fatigue? My guess is over time, after eating healthier, you will wake up feeling energized, more relaxed about food having a sense of control over your health. Scales increase anxiety whether you have lost or gained weight. If you are down, you become more anxious increasing worry about maintaining that weight; more rigid in food choices, and ultimately set yourself up to buckle under pressure.

3) Start and end your day with Breathing Techniques. Ideally, a trained therapist can teach you these skills, called “mindfulness skills”. DBT offers one skill called 4 Square Breathing which leads to balanced food choices throughout the day and relaxation at night.

4) Stay in the Present Moment. When you make unhealthy choices, don’t dwell on it day after day or even hour after hour. Stay present and start making heathier decisions now. Beating ourselves up about poor eating habits only lead to extreme cycles once again. Stop the head banging once and for all! Personally, I eat chocolate cake to prevent binging! To learn more about mindful eating contact our office about enrolling in a 6 week DBT course.

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Learn How to Ride the Wave with DBT Therapy

WAVERelationships can sometimes bring distress and for some, emotions feel like a Tsunami! An effective form of therapy can help reduces the size of emotional waves and find balance DURING the storm  (not just AFTER the storm like most traditional therapies). Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based therapy that teaches both self-acceptance AND self-improvement. For example, Jan was in therapy to learn how to cope with her rebellious teen daughter. One statement she made over and over was, “I am a terrible mom!” She had a long list of reasons to support this belief and spent a great deal of time obsessing over why she was not a good mom. Jan reacted by yelling, criticizing, and using extreme forms of punishment which caused her daughter to become withdrawn and increased alienation. Using DBT, she was able to identify and accept her feelings of inadequacy as a mom, but then learned skills to regulate intense emotions, leading to a more effective way of communicating with her teen and ultimately, a loving relationship.  DBT helped Jan move from her view of  “what I am doing wrong” to “what I can do right”.  Jan realized judging and criticizing  herself actually kept her in pain and worsened her relationships.

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