Let's Talk About It

We are faced with all kinds of challenges in life. It is easy to get caught up in the daily ups and downs. That is why we prioritize self-care and self-actualization to stop, reflect, and reenergize yourself in the midst of difficult times. From writing poetry to meditating or sharing conversation with good friends, self-care should be personalized to what works best for you. Take the time to get to know yourself and be well.


Lost Connections

One of the books I have most enjoyed reading this past year is Lost Connections by Johann Hari. Hari, a writer and journalist, struggled with depression for many years. Like many depressed individuals seeking help, he was given medication along with the explanation that depression is caused by a biochemical imbalance in one’s brain. However, even after years of taking antidepressant medication, which supposedly corrects this imbalance, his depression never went away.

Hari’s personal experience with depression eventually led him on a quest to find the true causes depression along with potential solutions. Keep in mind the Hari is a writer, not a scientist. Nonetheless, in his quest...

Read More

Mindfulness and Gratitude

The concept of mindfulness has been discussed and practiced for millennia, first within various Eastern spiritual traditions, much later in Western psychology, and pretty recently by everyday folks in the U.S. Similarly, gratitude is another concept which is increasingly talked about in the pursuit of mental wellness. While practicing mindfulness and increasing one’s sense of gratitude can be quite valuable independent of each other, the two actually overlap quite seamlessly and offer unique benefits when integrated together.

Mindfulness can be thought of as the process of purposely brining one’s awareness to the present moment without judgement. In other words, practicing mindfulness just doesn’t happen by accident, it’s intentional. Bringing our attention to the present is what’s most often associated with mindfulness - connecting to the current moment rather than past or future ones. Finally, and possibly most challenging, is to do so without judgement; this can be tough...

Read More

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

The cleverness of this wordplay can hide some important implications, particularly for college students. At its core this adage is about the importance of decision-making that’s guided by a set of values.

Most students say their goal for coming to a university is to earn a degree. But ideally there is also another type of growth that parallels our academic achievements, that of personal exploration and understanding. A large part of that exploration is realizing why we’re doing what we’re doing. Even if we don’t realize it, our earlier lives were also guided by unconscious beliefs, such as “I need to get all A’s,” “I want to make a lot of money” or “I don’t want others to think I’m weird." For many students, these beliefs and the values that underlie them are usually absorbed from our family and early environment, so they can be taken for granted and are not consciously chosen.

Arthur Chickering, a researcher who studied college student development, noted that...

Read More

The Gift of Group Therapy

“I’m not a ‘group’ person” is a common response when I have asked students if they’ve considered joining group therapy. For some, the idea of opening up about their concerns with others ushers in a wave of discomfort. Much like the first-day nerves of starting a class or job, it’s natural to wonder about new settings and how we will operate within them. Understanding more about the types of groups and accompanying benefits may quiet some of the uneasiness.

What type of groups are there?

Support groups create space and dialogue for members with shared identities or experiences to help each other through relating personal experiences, listening to others, sharing coping skills, and fostering a sense of community. Process Groups, such as Creating Healthy Relationships, are typically smaller groups composed of members who want to deepen their self-awareness and learn to relate to others in healthier ways. ...

Read More