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  • Writer's pictureJessica Beckman M.A., LCMHC, LCAS, NCC

August Updates

Practice Updates:

School is back in, pumpkin everything can be found at your local retailer, and the office has a new traffic pattern! To create a more efficient traffic flow at 1027 Arnold Street you will continue to enter to the left of the building in the gravel lot but now you will exit behind the building and turn either right or left. The right will take you back to Arnold Street and the left will lead to E Lindsay Street. It’s only a month until I am finally contracted with Blue Cross Blue Shield (October 3rd, 2023)!

Bits of Joy, Purpose, and Balance:

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” It originates from a Roman poet in 15BC who wrote, “Always toward absent lovers love's tide stronger flows”. Essentially, the longer we are apart from our loved ones, the more we love them. So sweet, right? Well, I’d like to amend it a bit to “absence makes the heart grow wiser.” Hear me out. It could be that having space from the people we love helps create perspective in the relationship and time to appreciate the good they bring into our lives therefore increasing our love and affection for them. On the other hand, having time and space apart could lead to increased awareness about the health of the relationship as well as your own personal health when you are with the person. This precious time could allow you to reflect on what’s working and what’s not working. Make room for solitude and quiet in your life. Modern life is busy, chaotic, and fast paced. Rest.

Some Self-Care:

One of the ways that we can care for ourselves is in how we talk to ourselves and deal with our thoughts. Thoughts are important because they impact our feelings, which also impact our behaviors. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on this process to increase self-awareness, empower you to make changes in your life, and increase a sense of control over your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. One way to explore your thought patterns is through a cognitive behavioral therapy technique called “Socratic Questioning”. The Socratic method originates from the Greek philosopher, Socrates. To delve into his students' view, he would ask them questions until any contradictions were exposed. Socrates also used this method of questioning to encourage people to question the things they were told and to look beyond the obvious. This level of questioning requires stepping back from the feelings for a minute. So don’t expect to be capable of this level of processing when you are feeling hot. First bring the emotion down through calming skills such as breathing techniques, distraction activities, exercise, or journaling. Once your body feels calm or at least calmer you can go through the questions below:

1. Pick 1 thought and write it down.

2. What is the evidence for this thought? Against it?

3. Am I basing this thought on facts, or on feelings?

4. Is this thought black and white when reality is more complicated?

5. Could I be misinterpreting the evidence? Am I making any assumptions?

6. Might other people have different interpretations of this same situation? What are they?

7. Am I looking at all the evidence, or just what supports my thought?

8. Could my thought be an exaggeration of what’s true?

9. Am I having this thought out of habit, or do the facts support it?

10. Did someone pass this thought/belief to me? If so, are they a reliable source?

11. Is my thought a likely scenario, or is it the worst case scenario?

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