Mindful Walking

Posted by Sean Oakley, LCSW on Mar 8, 2019 2:38:32 PM

Many of us have very sedentary lives. We sit in an office, sit at home, and sit in a car. Many of us also try to squeeze in some exercise to offset all this time spent sitting. Research shows that regular exercise is just as good for us mentally as it is physically. Incorporating mindfulness into regular exercise can further boost the positive effects.

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Topics: Mental Health, Mindfulness, Anxiety in Women, Anxiety in Men, Self Care

Where is My Village?

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Feb 28, 2019 10:26:00 AM

“It takes a village to raise a child.” I believe the majority of us have heard this saying at some point or another. Sayings of this nature stick around and translate transgenerationally because they are true. So where is this village?

As a parent, you learn early that raising a child(ren) is difficult. Ideally, you surround yourself with friends, colleagues, relatives, child care workers, a nanny, and/or babysitters in order to allow yourself, and yourself with significant others, to enjoy some adult time or just decompress. Every parent needs a break now and again in order to maintain the sanity that enables you to be the parent you long to be.

So, what happens if you live in a land that is less than the ideal? What about the parent who relocates for a spouse’s job, the parent who does not live near family, the parent who does not have family or close friends as support, or the single mom?

Last summer, I started up an 8 week support group for mothers that slated weekly meetings for an hour and a half. Group therapy is amazing because it allows you the opportunity, within a safe space, to connect with other people who understand what you go through and struggle with because they go through it, too. Groups allow individuals of similar circumstances or backgrounds to share their stories, successes, failures, and tips with one another. It is a nice way to gain support and not feel so alone when perhaps you do not have another venue.

If you find yourself searching for the village, reach out to local churches, parents day out groups, or check those bulletins at Panera! Facebook has groups for local mothers to chat with one another, though I’m uncertain of the security or screening measures there. Think of activities you do often with your child(ren) and make casual conversation with another mama while on the playground, at the park, crawling through tape tunnels at MOD, or walking through the neighborhood.

I get all the hard work that goes into being a mom. I understand that you have good days, bad days, and ugly days. I get that it is hard to move past that mom guilt or let yourself off the hook for worst mom of 2019 because you made a mistake. Reach out to others. And if you can’t locate your village, I’d love to listen.

 
 We're starting up another Mother Support Group. If you're interested, let us know and help us choose a day and time that works best for you!
 
Register Interest in Our Mother Support Group
 
 
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Topics: Mental Health, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Self Care, Mom Stress, Young Adult Mental Health

Counseling 201

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Feb 25, 2019 9:29:00 AM

“The mind is like an iceberg. It floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water.” - Sigmund Freud.

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Topics: Religious Abuse, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Anxiety in Men, LGBT Anxiety, Self Care, Mom Stress, Clergy, Child Mental Health, Young Adult Mental Health, Grief, Family Therapy

Diversity Welcome

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Feb 11, 2019 11:55:00 AM
“Where all are welcome and healing happens.” This is our Wellspring motto and one of the many reasons why I felt it was the place for me professionally. I became a mental health professional, on the basic level, because I enjoy helping and healing people to the best of my ability. I enjoy talking and I love listening. Personally, I find myself surrounded by a family, friend, and colleague crew that are from different backgrounds, sexes, genders, occupations, cultures, races, and economic levels. How bland the world would be if we all thought, acted, and looked exactly the same. Diversity is the spice of life.
In 2012, my husband was assigned to a project that required us to move abroad for approximately a year. Within a month, we had packed our home and moved to France without knowing the language, the culture, or when we would have a permanent place to live. This experience taught me so many things, much more than simply a very poor French language base. To move to a foreign country without a familiarity of your surroundings, how people interact, how to get from one place to another (or be able to read the signs!), or even the ability to communicate with others is difficult and daunting. It has given me a greater appreciation for others in similar situations. 
Society sometimes skews our perspective. Society has a way often times of blurring that lens that would otherwise allow us to see others for their internal characteristics and qualities rather than skin color, clothing choice, gender, or religious affiliation. Society often judges books by their covers and tosses them aside without opening them up and turning a few pages. 
This is another issue that drew me towards mental health. Everyone needs a place where they can express how they feel, think, and believe without feeling judged. Everyone needs a place where they can talk through and process those thoughts and emotions, healthy or unhealthy, in a way that allows them to move forward, move beyond, or grow. Everyone needs a place where they feel safe, valued, and appreciated for who they are as a person. And something I’ve learned along the way, is that not everyone has that place. 
I understand that it can be difficult to understand or get on the same level as everyone else. If you are male, you cannot understand what it is like to be female. If you are caucasian, you cannot understand what it is like to be Asian. If you are Presbyterian, you may feel confused walking in to a Catholic mass. If you are straight, you cannot understand what it is like to be bisexual, gay, or trans especially in an often uncompromising world. But we are all different in some way and I would even say, all judged in some way. Which lends to follow, we can all teach each other and learn from one another if we’re willing to listen.
My challenge is to clear up your own lens. Reposition your perspective. Set judgement aside. Talk, but also listen. And, if you find yourself in need of someone to talk to, I’d love to listen. 
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Topics: Religious Abuse, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Anxiety in Women, Anxiety in Men, LGBT Anxiety, Self Care, Mom Stress, Young Adult Mental Health

Getting Started with Mindfulness

Posted by Sean Oakley, LCSW on Feb 8, 2019 11:29:17 AM

Over the last decade mindfulness has become a huge buzzword in everything from exercise, to therapy, to corporate workplaces. But what is mindfulness exactly and how can you get started practicing it?  Mindfulness is simply being focused on the present moment. It is simple awareness or “getting present.” It is acknowledging both the internal (thoughts, emotions, body sensation) and external (sounds, smells, visuals) environments. Mindfulness isn’t a big mystery or a 2 hour long meditation session (but it can be!), it is just simply being present.

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Topics: Mental Health, Mindfulness, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Anxiety in Men, LGBT Anxiety, Self Care, Mom Stress, Clergy, Child Mental Health, Young Adult Mental Health

Counseling 101

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Jan 24, 2019 1:00:39 PM

“Only crazy people go to therapy.” If that statement were true, then as a mental health clinician, I would almost never talk to anyone. The stigma around mental health is real. Unfortunately, we live in a world that has perpetuated the idea of mental health, mental illness, therapy, and counseling as something you do only if you’re one step away from jumping off a bridge, talking to imaginary people, or licking paint off the walls. As a mental health professional, I want you to know that this is not the truth.

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Topics: Religious Abuse, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Anxiety in Men, LGBT Anxiety, Self Care, Mom Stress, Clergy, Child Mental Health, Young Adult Mental Health, Grief, Family Therapy

New Year...New You?

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Jan 7, 2019 10:04:11 AM

January 2: The gym is so crowded you need to stand in line for half an hour or more to use your cardio machine of choice, or heck, any cardio machine. January 5: You head to the grocery store and it is as if no fruits, vegetables, or protein supplements were ever stocked on their shelves. Fast forward to February 15: The gym has returned to the usual suspects and you can finally buy bananas again!

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Topics: Mental Health, Anxiety in Women, Anxiety in Men, Self Care, Mom Stress, Young Adult Mental Health

Conversion Therapy

Posted by Sean Oakley, LCSW on Jan 4, 2019 10:54:26 AM

Due to new books and films like Boy Erased (written by Arkansas native Garrard Conley) and The Miseducation of Cameron Post, there has been a recent increase in the discussion around LGBTQ conversion therapy. Conversion therapy essentially tries to “de-gay” a person by changing their sexual orientation. In the past this has included “ex-gay” camps, electroconvulsive therapy, and administering shocks when aroused among other extreme measures. Today, most conversion therapy uses behavioral techniques much like cognitive behavioral therapy to attempt to change behavior or deny the expression of sexual feelings. In other words, it can look like regular therapy.

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Topics: Religious Abuse, Mental Health, Anxiety in Women, Anxiety in Men, LGBT Anxiety, Self Care, Child Mental Health, Young Adult Mental Health

Holiday Survival Mom Style

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Dec 14, 2018 2:06:07 PM

Hello my fellow moms! Tis the season. As if being the parent of a small child(ren) was not already trying enough on a daily basis, here come the holidays. Holidays mean out of town relatives who try your nerves, events to plan, gatherings to attend, gifts to buy, gifts to wrap, trips to pack and plan for, interruptions to baby’s sleep routine/nap routine/eating routine…just toss routine out the window. As the holiday gauntlet approaches, how are you keeping your sanity?

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Topics: Mental Health, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Self Care, Mom Stress, Child Mental Health

Holiday Stress and Anxiety

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Dec 4, 2018 9:39:07 AM

“I stress about stress before there is even stress to stress about.”

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Topics: Mindfulness, Anxiety in Women, Anxiety in Men, Self Care, Mom Stress, Child Mental Health, Young Adult Mental Health

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