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‘Something happened…’
 
1 in 6 women, 1 in 33 men, and 21% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have experienced sexual violence (RAINN, 2016). These startling statistics reveal the likelihood of a friend, co-worker, or family member possibly opening up to you with the statement above when reaching out for help regarding their sexual assault. Below are some tips to assist you in providing a healing response to a survivor of sexual assault.

All too often, I hear complaints of “I can’t do that”, “nothing will help me”, or “they will never understand”. Our minds bombard us with these messages of insufficiency and negativity. It’s not uncommon though, and it’s easy to fall into this trap of having a negative mindset toward our situation and our lives in general. Isn’t it true though that the way we speak to ourselves has a great influence on our outcomes? I’ve seen it firsthand with some of the clients that I’ve worked with. In my experience, we are certainly more likely to fall short when we tell ourselves that we can’t do something. If I truly believe that this won’t work out, then I’m almost setting myself up for that exact outcome, because I already introduced the idea of “failing” into my mind.

There has been a lot of hype and discussion about the Netflix series “Thirteen Reasons Why”. I had to watch it to see what it was all about, to be able to discuss it with client and so I was not the only person on the planet who has not viewed it. My purpose for this blog is not to critique the series, there are movie critics who do that for a living, but to discuss how to manage the series from a psychological, social, emotional and paren-tal perspective. The main thing that I will say personally is I chose not to view very much of the scene with Hanna at the end, or with her mother’s discovery. I muted the sound and only watched a second or two of it all. I know from having a specialty in treat-ing Post-traumatic stress disorder you can’t un-do what you see or hear so easily if it affects you. So, for myself I know I made the right decision, and then as I thought about it, I wondered how younger folks or someone with no knowledge of how trauma affects a person, could process it all. So, I hope some tips on this important subject may help.

Have you ever forgotten your cell phone at home? Was it challenging to make it through the day without checking your social media accounts to keep up with friends, relatives and celebrities? Although social media appears to be the ideal way to stay connected with people in today’s busy world, there can be adverse effects. Researchers from the University of Missouri conducted a study in 2015 that found that regular Facebook use can impact mental health and lead to depression if the site triggers envy in the user. (Psychology Today, 2017). If you are already experiencing a low mood, it can be important to be aware of the media you are consuming which can add layers of intensity to the emotions you are already feeling.

“If I've said it once, I've said it 100 times!" How often does it feel like we've said the same things to our partner over and over again? After so long, we might wonder if our partner is even listening. I know I’ve felt that way. With as many barriers to communication as there are, it can be helpful to take a step back and evaluate the approach we take when we want to communicate our feelings and needs. After reflection, we might discover that we are not quite sharing what we really feel and need in that moment of conflict. I have had to ask myself, “Am I being clear about my feelings? Am I making a clear request?”

I’ve outlined some communication skills that might create positive changes in your relationships:

College, although often described as some of the best years of one’s life, can also be very challenging and stressful. Prevalent issues include depression, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders and addictions. Research conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness regarding mental health on college campuses indicates that:

  • One in four students have a diagnosable mental illness
  • 40% do not seek help
  • 80% feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities
  • 50% have been so anxious they struggle in school

Although we all struggle at times, a cluster of these symptoms which present for a couple of weeks may require attention. Signs to watch out for include:

We all notice the weather changing as the dog days of summer fade away and the vibrant green leaves of the trees change colors. It's not uncommon to feel exhausted or down when the seasons change. The weather affects the human body not just physiologically but psychologically. Here are some relatively simple, yet important tips to beat the cold weather blues.

 

1) Go out for coffee (or tea) with friends.

Warm beverages are refreshing on a cold day. The empirical study Experiencing physical warmth promotes interpersonal warmth, found that a warm beverage activates insula in the body, which increases positive emotions like empathy and trust. This sense of physical and interpersonal warmth can aid in a positive social environment, or social contacts. (Williams & Bargh, 2008, p. 607)

The Behavior Wellness Group’s Intensive Outpatient Programs have been accredited by the International Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In their Summary, CARF indicated, “The Behavioral Wellness Group (BWG) has strengths in many areas:

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The Behavioral Wellness Group is a counseling center providing therapy and behavioral health services and assessment including chemical dependency/drug addiction treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and other therapies. We also provide mental health or psychological assessments, and psychological,educational and bariatric testing. Providing services to the following communities in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake County: Cleveland, Ashtabula, Beachwood, Chardon, Concord, Eastlake, Euclid, Fairport, Geneva, Grand River, Highland Heights, Kirtland, Leroy, Lyndhurst, Madison, Mayfield, Mayfield Heights, Painesville, Pepper Pike, Perry, Russell, Solon, South Euclid, Thompson, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Willoughby Hills, and Willowick, from our offices in Mentor, Ohio.