Potentia’s Top 10 Links From 2019 + Staff Favorites

Potentia's Top 10 Links of 2019

As we wrap up 2019, we decided it would be fun to list out the Top 10 Favorite Links from 2019 shared in our weekly Every Day Human email that goes out every Friday, told to us by our amazing email community! Scroll down to view them, along with some other favorite resources by our Potentia Therapy team.

Top 10 Links From 2019

  1. this article that lists out 36 different questions to ask your partner in order to fall in love with them all over again.
  2. this educational article on gaslighting, what it is and what to do if you figure out it’s happening to you.
  3. this article that lists out 4 habits that are sapping your brain power, written by a Neuroscientist.
  4. this post on what a “Noticing Wall” is and why you should create one for your kid.
  5. this article on Anna Kendrick’s break up story and why it’s an important point about setting boundaries in relationships.
  6. this article on why some people are always late. Hint: It’s not always rudeness or scattered-brain behavour!
  7. this illustration that lists out four different ways we can parent ourselves.
  8. this article on how to break the dangerous cycle of loneliness.
  9. this list of 6 toxic relationship habits most people think are normal.
  10. this video of Brené Brown discussing #BravingTheWilderness.

Staff Quotes on Reflecting

Reflecting is not something that can be done in a rush. Even just a daily practice of a quick thankfulness list can make a huge difference in starting to be more reflective. – Andee Woolf, LMFT

While part of us may desperately want to change and move on, it’s important to acknowledge and honor all that our system has done to keep us afloat and all the years it’s taken us to get to the place we are now. – Holly Kelley, LMFT

Reflecting can be a difficult task if we don’t first know how to pay attention to the present moment and be aware of our judgments, agendas, and biases. Cultivating a practice of regular reflection, stillness and silence is important if we are to reflect with honesty and purpose. So often, our reflection is directed by an unspoken agenda or goal. Mindfulness has been defined as paying attention on purpose to the present moment without judgment. When we are able to be mindful, reflecting on our past can be done with more clarity and intention. One of the tools that can help in becoming more mindful is meditation. A great way to get started with a meditation practice is using a guided meditation app like Calm or Headspace (there are many more). – Chris Cessna, LMFT

Staff Favorites from 2019

Favourite movie was…

Captain Marvel.  It was inspriring to see a lead woman character overcome all the negative messages that females often face and portray a role filled with strength, perseverance and compassion. – Andee Woolf, LMFT

Bohemian Rhapsody. I was raised on Queen’s music, and have always felt a connection with Freddie Mercury.  – Megan Holt-Hellner, DrPH, MPH, RD

Crazy Rich Asians: The movie is artistically beautiful: filled with color, music, and motion in a way that moves me. The cast is stunning and I’ll always pick a good love story. – Holly Kelley, LMFT

Tolkein –  I loved learning about J.R. Tolkein’s life and the creation of one of my favorite book/movie series. I am also predicting that CATS the movie will be one of my favorites due to my love for cats and music combining to be my ultimate bliss! – Lauren Bryan, M.A, ASW [Supervised by Rebecca Ching, LMFT
Captain Marvel – I cried at the end – that last fight scene at the end just did me in – and loved watching it with my kids. Plus, I loved music was so fun. Bonus as this is not a movie and the series is not complete but The Morning Show is some of the most exquisite acting and conversations around gender, power, #metoo, relationships, and generational shifts.  – Rebecca Ching, LMFT

Favorite book was…

The Harry Potter series.  I read it for the first time and was struck by the themes of unconditional love, friendship and determination as well as how bodly it took on the themes of grief and loss. – Andee Woolf, LMFT

No real standouts this year in particular, but I did receive a copy of Permanent Record by Edward Snowden for Christmas, and I’m looking forward to reading that when time allows! – Megan Holt-Hellner, DrPH, MPH, RD

The Road Back to You and The Road Between Us: Diving a bit into the Enneagram this year helped immensely in understanding more about myself and my partner in a way that allowed me to be gracious with those areas of myself that feel frustrating at times and offers more compassion and curiosity in relationships with others. – Holly Kelley, LMFT

My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem — This book is a beautiful representation of how trauma can be stored in the body — transferring from generation to generation. – Lauren Bryan, M.A, ASW [Supervised by Rebecca Ching, LMFT]

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown. I read this first in 2018 but re-read it this year and it just shook me, convicted me, and challenged me in the best ways and the hardest ways. Rebecca Ching, LMFT

Favorite song that made me braver in 2019 was…

Steadfast by Sandra McCraken. – Andee Woolf, LMFT

Don’t Stop Me Now (again, a Queen song). This was one of many songs populating my playlist while giving birth to Olin, my son (born in May 2019), and it made me feel invincible! – Megan Holt-Hellner, DrPH, MPH, RD

What’s Up Danger (yes, from Spiderman Into the Spiderverse): In the context of the movie, What’s Up Danger plays as Miles (Spiderman) is stepping into himself as Spiderman. He does so not knowing where it will lead, but being confident that he is where he’s meant to be at that moment and knowing he isn’t alone in it. – Holly Kelley, LMFT

Sunshine by Tom Misch — because is brings me sunshine and dance moves for days.  – Lauren Bryan, M.A, ASW [Supervised by Rebecca Ching, LMFT]
Quiet by MILCK  – I had not heard this 2017 song until I saw MILCK play this song live at a conference I attended last summer and I sung the chorus for weeks. Knowing the story about it and reflecting on the many brave women and men I know who dare not to keep quiet left me inspired and grounded.

To learn more about how Potentia could help you, please click here.

Our Potentia Therapy team is here to help. Learn more about our clinical team and what we have to offer here.

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Reflections + Resources For A Dose of Grace & Gratitude

Resources + Reflections for a dose of grace and gratitude

As we head into the holiday season and begin to wind down 2019 and look towards 2020, a dose of grace and gratitude is in order.

The holiday season can mean a spectrum of things depending on the day as you move through the joys of tradition, the complexities of relationships, dreading expectations and just trying to accomplish all.the.things.

We are living in a culture that quickly defaults to judgement, criticism, shame and blame when tensions get high, defenses are entrenched, sleep is deprived and the tierney-of-the-urgent hijacks presence and peace.

Some of us are better at disconnecting and numbing than others and we acknowledge the privilege of being able to tap out of the hard things.

But you are here because you want more than a quick fix and we admire that a ton.

We see grace as the underserved gift and gratitude as a practice beyond just a feeling that gives thanks for the small and big and the everyday. When practiced together, they can serve as a powerful multivitamin for your emotional and relational wellbeing.

Grace and gratitude are important anchors for this season and beyond. Take some time to reflect on your life and let’s stand together – with grace and gratitude – and do the hard and brave things of being human.

Note: Grace is not remiss of accountability and gratitude can coexist with discomfort.

Resources for Grace and Gratitude

Staff Reflections on Grace and Gratitude

Gratitude is an active practice of noticing the good. – Andee Woolf, LMFT

We won’t experience gratitude without intentionally cultivating a practice of gratitude into our lives. By slowing down, being still, and purposefully paying attention to our lives and our emotional experience, we can begin to see what we have to be grateful for, and that can change the way we experience the world. Intentionally engaging in a gratitude journal, meditation, or prayer that emphasizes our gratitude can begin to change our emotional experience, our relationships, and our perspective on life. – Chris Cessna, LMFT

Extending grace with others originates with extending grace and kindness towards yourself. – Lauren Bryan, M.A, ASW

You are gratuitous and kind to many people. It’s time to extend that gratitude and kindness to yourself – you are just as worthy of it as anyone else. – Holly Kelley, LMFT

Mindful eating, or simply slowing down, is one way we can begin to reconnect with food, thus bringing joy and an attitude of gratitude to even the most ordinary meals or snacks. – Megan Holt-Hellner, DrPH, MPH, RD

To learn more about how Potentia could help you, please click here.

Our Potentia team is here to help. Learn more about our clinical team and what we have to offer here.

Click here to sign up and join the Potentia email list for weekly inspiration, resources + more!

With gratitude –
Rebecca Ching, LMFT, Founder + CEO – Potentia Therapy, Inc.

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Reflections + Resources to Honor the Tension of Hope and Despair in Your Life

Hope and Despair blog post| Potentia Therapy Inc.

In honor of World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept 10th, 2019 and Suicide Awareness + Prevention Week that took place from Sept 6th until Sept 10th, 2019, and Suicide Awareness + Prevention month all of September, we have been rumbling with the concepts of hope and despair and how they impact our well-being, our relationships, our work, and our outlook.

The tension between hope and despair is a part of the human experience. It is not something we are taught to expect nor how to deal with or address.

Hope keeps us grounded. It is our oxygen, our life-raft, our ‘why’ when despair starts to hover and take root. Despair can feel disorienting and debilitating. It does its best to stifle hope.

Because loving, caring and committing is brave and daring work – we need to see the spectrum of hope and despair as a normal experience.

We also are committed to helping people know when it is time to reach out for help so they are not suffering in silence.

Mental health struggles, betrayal, loneliness, family of origin ‘rules’ and experiences, trauma, impatience, perfectionism, and struggles with meaningful work or purpose can feel bleak.

You matter. Your story matters. Your life matters.

We believe this in our bones and will hold that truth until you can own this belief yourself. It is a fight in a culture of never enough, shame, and blame. But we are up for the fight to help people reclaim the worthiness that was never meant to be put on the table for negotiation.

The following are some quotes and resources by our team of therapists on the topic of inevitable hope and despair.

Resources for Hope and Despair

Reflections on Hope and Despair

I find myself consistently encouraging people to cultivate compassion for themselves, and get curious about how they have been responding to the despair they are experiencing. – Chris Cessna, LMFT

Hope can feel elusive and sometimes just out of reach of our cognitive processing or intellectual learning. There might be another medium of expression calling to you right now to help organize your experience. This could look like a song, a piece of art, a film, a crisp walk in the morning by the water, a wise word from a kind stranger. What experiences have moved you in your lifetime? Can they be invited into your life in a bigger way right now? – Kimberly Ayres, AMFT

Nights can be cold and lonely, and can also be our catalyst into finding community around the fire. We don’t have to carry some burdens on our own. – Kimberly Ayres, AMFT

This book (Lost Connections by Johan Hari) is full of honest thoughts and real experiences around grief. Joan’s thoughts and experiences can be felt all around the pages. This book is for those who have felt loss and grief in their lives and to let them know they are not alone. – Lauren Bryan, M.A, ASW

Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts is such an important book in normalizing what so many moms experience in the Postpartum season. This book illustrates with true-to-life thoughts and experiences, the depth of despair and hope available for parents experiencing the overwhelm and sometimes frightening thoughts common during those first weeks and months with a new child. – Holly Kelley, LMFT

Maybe Tomorrow is a touching book about the weight of grief and the gift of the presence of a friend in moments that feel hopeless. With it’s colorful illustrations and simple story it’s appropriate for all ages. – Holly Kelley, LMFT

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please do not white knuckle it. If you are in San Diego, please contact the San Deigo Crisis Hotline at 1-800-479-3339 or call 911.

National Resources for Hope and Despair

@800273TALK via Twitter

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).

www.twloha.com

Also, be sure to click here to access some journal prompts for you to use as a guide as you honor the hope and despair in your life.

To learn more about how Potentia could help you through your own personal rumbles with hope and despair, please click here.

Our Potentia team is here to help. Learn more about our clinical team and what we have to offer here.

Click here to sign up and join the Potentia email list for weekly inspiration, resources + more!

With gratitude –
Rebecca Ching, LMFT, Founder + CEO – Potentia Therapy, Inc.

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Everything You Need To Know About EMDR Therapy

What is EMDR therapy?

Everything You Need To Know About EMDR Therapy | Potentia Therapy

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and is an 8 phase approach to helping the brain’s natural ability to heal and move through difficult life experiences so your brain and body can stay present and clear – even when confronted with triggers and challenges.

EMDR is designed to activate this natural healing process in the brain through alternating eye movements, sounds, or taps.

EMDR therapy is proven to help heal adults and children from trauma or other distressing life experiences such as, but not limited to:

Anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, chronic illness and medical issues, depression and mood issues,, disordered eating spectrum, grief+loss, physical and emotional pain, performance anxiety, PTSD and other trauma and stress related issues, sexual assault, harassment, sleep disturbance, substance abuse and addiction, violence and abuse.

How does EMDR work?

When we experience a traumatic event or a chronic physical or emotional health issues, our natural stress response is to put up a fight, flight, freeze, or numb out -all protective responses which can cause emotional blocks, feelings of overwhelm, and of feelings of being back in the moment and frozen in time.

EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories and allows normal healing to resume by working through all 8 phases, including utilizing the bilateral eye movement (or via something you can see, hear or touch) that occurs in a moving side-to-side pattern which it is most known for. History taking, building report with your therapist, preparing for BLS, working through BLS, and then making sure all of the difficult memories have been reprocessed are covered in these phases.

When the disturbing memories are then reprocessed by the brain, this allows the brain and the body to feel more calm and confident and in the present when a past memory is recalled.

A typical EMDR therapy session lasts from 60-90 minutes.

EMDR therapy may be used within a standard talking therapy, as an adjunctive therapy with a separate therapist, or as a treatment all by itself.

How is EMDR different from other therapies?

EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue, or homework between sessions. EMDR, rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue, allows the brain to resume its natural healing process.

For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than normal psychotherapy but as a trauma-informed team, we respect the time and pace of doing this work.

To learn more about how Potentia could help you through EMDR Therapy, please click here.

Our Potentia team is here to help. Learn more about our clinical team and what we have to offer here.

Click here to sign up and join the Potentia email list for weekly inspiration, resources + more!

With gratitude –
Rebecca Ching, LMFT, Founder + CEO – Potentia Therapy, Inc.

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Transitions in Sports Nutrition

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) and What Every Athlete (& Their Loved Ones) Needs To Know About Changes To The Female Athlete Triad

 Transitions in Sports Nutrition | Potentia Therapy

The Female Athlete Triad (FAT), coined in 1992 by the American College of Sports Medicine, described the intersection of and relationship between disordered eating, irregular menses and osteoporosis (bone less), and is a phenomenon very commonly seen in athletes. 

Since 1992, new evidence has emerged, suggesting that this is not merely a triad of symptoms, as inadequate nutrition influences countless aspects of our physical and emotional health. 

Further, FAT excluded men, despite the fact that male athletes also suffer from disordered eating, and the subsequent effects on health and performance. This prompted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to develop a broader framework, Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S).

RED-S is defined as “impaired physiological function including, but not limited to, metabolic rate, menstrual function, bone health, immunity, protein synthesis, cardiovascular health”, all of which are driven by inadequate calorie intake/nutrition.  

The undernutrition then results in a cascade of dysfunctional issues with hormone regulation, mood/cognition and metabolic fitness, to name just a few. This may ‘show up’ in the athlete as a cardiovascular problem, frequent infections or illnesses, anemias, fatigue, depression, lack of menses, premature bone loss or physical injury. 

Contrary to popular belief, undernutrition does not only suppress estrogen in females in terms of hormonal dysfunction…..affected hormones include leptin, grehlin, cortisol, growth hormone and insulin (and many others).  

As a clinician who often sees this in practice across the gender spectrum, I’m thrilled that we now have a more comprehensive term to describe the dangers of restricted intake, especially in athletes, for whom adequate nutrition is vital for performance, injury prevention and overall health/quality of life. 

I tend to see this most in female runners and dancers, and in male runners and cyclists, though this is prevalent across all sports. It requires a concerted effort to fuel properly for activity, and timing and attention to macronutrients, adequate calorie intake and hydration are absolutely crucial concepts for athletes to understand. 

It is not always enough just to eat ‘normal meals’ or to mimic what peers are eating, as the needs of each athlete are unique and can vary considerably. 

My hope for the future is that uniform screening tools are developed and adopted by athletic programs that allow us to identify these struggles early on (before irreparable damage is done, via injury or bone loss, for example). This would require a multidisciplinary effort (dietitians, therapists and physicians specializing in disordered eating and sports nutrition/athletics), and an openness to collaboration with local athletic departments and family members. 

We are fortunate in San Diego in that many of our local university athletic departments are very proactive around collaborating with us in order to best help these individuals return to a state of optimal functioning. It truly takes a village to properly support our hard working and beloved athletes!

At Potentia, we acknowledge how important it is for an athlete to be able to return to their sport, and our collective hope is for them to do so in a way that is safe and sustainable.

Consequences of RED-S (note the limited nature and reach of Female Athlete Triad as depicted). *Psychological consequences can either precede RED-S or be the result of RED-S. Adapted from Constantini.

Consequences of RED-S | Potentia Therapy

Effects of RED-S on Athletic Performance (Adapted from Constantini)

Effects of RED-S on Athletic Performance | Potentia Therapy

Reference: 

Mountjoy M, Sundgot-Borgen J, Burke L, et al. The IOC consensus statement: beyond the Female Athlete Triad—Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). British Journal of Sports Medicine 2014;48:491-497.

To learn more about Dr. Megan Holt-Hellner, click here.

To learn more about how Potentia could help you with food + body issues, click here.

Click here to sign up and join the Potentia email list for weekly inspiration, resources + more!

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2017 in Review: Looking back and looking forward

2017 in Review: Looking back and looking forward

As 2017 winds down and you are in the in between space of Christmas and New Year’s, this is a great time to reflect, plan, and dream.

Making time to do this end-of-the-year ritual is a worthy practice to work into this time of year. We updated our download Looking Forward:Looking Back  for you – which is a fun tool to help you reflect on what worked in 2017, what did not, and what you want to focus on in 2018. Click on the link, download and print. Pen to paper is its own special kind of therapy.

This ritual is a powerful way to see the fruits of your hard work and make time to celebrate victories. Sometimes this ritual can feel overwhelming, especially when you feel like the previous year holds disappointments or the overwhelm of all you want to change in the new year feels daunting and out of reach.

So:

  • for those who feel the pressure of the oh so seductive marketing promises of quick results that will give you the desired changes you seek – unplug and get extremely selective about which voices are speaking to your worth.
  • for those who want to do all the things now and are feeling impatient waiting for circumstances to change – keep showing up and moving towards your goals one step at a time.
  • for those who want to forget the past all together – look back and rumble with your story so it no longer owns you but instead informs you.
  • for those who are experiencing the waves of grief and loss that have led to seismic shifts in doing life – just keep breathing. That is your only job right now. You will know when it is time to do more.
  • for those who think everyone else has it all together and no one else struggles – everyone struggles. Some are just better at hiding it than others.
  • for those who are ashamed about about  anxiety, depression, trauma, obsessive thoughts and behaviors, loneliness, experienced betrayal – we stand with you and speak a different message than shame: you are seen, you are valued and you belong here.

Cheers to good health – mind, body, and soul in 2018 and beyond.

With gratitude –

Rebecca

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Mindful Self-Care Part 2: Checklist

Hello and happy fall!

Last week, we shared a document compiled by Potentia therapist Stephanie Godwin about some important mindful self care practices. This week, we share a companion handout – a mindful self-care check list. These are not revolutionary questions but years of working with clients has taught us that checking in on the simple questions can often be the hardest.

Make a practice of reviewing this checklist weekly for a month and notice which questions catch your attention – either positively or negatively. Share your experience with a friend or your therapist and find ways to make this experiment a deeper habit.

Key components of mindfulness are: noticing and presence – two things that are hard to do living in a noisy world.

Self-care is not a luxury or an indulgence. It is as crucial as your rest and eating enough vegetables. Slowing down, noticing and feeling can be dangerous to parts of your protective system. But by practicing, checking in and getting curious, you create new resources in your brain which fuel resilience, calm, and confidence.

This practice does not mean you will not struggle. That is not realistic at all.  Daring to love, to try something new, to change is part of the messy, beautiful adventure of being human. Where humans are present, so is struggle. Which is why self-care is so fundamental to your mental health.

What would you add to this checklist?

Cheers to a good weekend and a deeper practice of presence and self-care.

With gratitude – Rebecca

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What is perfectionism costing you?

What is perfectionism costing you?

“We have more access to information, more books, and more good science – why are we struggling like never before? Because we do not talk about the things that get in the way of doing what we know is best for us, our children, our families, our organizations, and our communities.”  

— Excerpt from “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW

Like many of you, when I read Brené’s The Gifts of Imperfection, I was captivated by her research and her languaging of what I have struggled with much of my life.

I remember reading through this book underlining paragraphs and writing personal thoughts in the margins all the while talking about with everyone I knew.

Parts of me led life through the lens of perfection believing this was the best way to live and do life. As destructive as all or nothing thinking is – it also provides a container of control and purpose to protect – giving the illusion this approach to life is sustainable. Until it isn’t.

I now know perfection is a fierce protector. Hustle. Numb out. Focus on the results. Or do not try at all. Perfection thinks it is the ultimate safety armor. And yet it also ends up wreaking havoc on faith, health, confidence, courage and creativity because the anxiety of perfection fuels both overfunctioning  and underfunctioning.

Perfectionism is often behind:

  • Missed social events + work
  • Loss of sleep
  • Physical symptoms (GI distress, panic attacks, appetite confusion)
  • Racing thoughts
  • Exhaustion
  • People pleasing and worries of letting people down
  • Dread of being misunderstood
  • Procrastination and missed deadlines
  • Constant feelings of failure and unworthiness
  • Panic and perseveration
  • Overwhelm + Obsession
  • Competition and comparison
  • Fears of being found out as a fraud

There is great cost to living a life led by perfectionism.

It is related to loss of revenue and professional opportunities scarcity mindset, relationship difficulties, physical and emotional health problems all the while crushing confidence, faith, calm, and clarity.

A life led by perfectionism costs us our sense of what it truly means to feel worthy – regardless of what we do or what others think. And it sure fights to keep status quo as it fears moving away from this lens will cause more pain and struggle. 

Reading Gifts of Imperfection shifted so much for so many. And years later, we are having brave and honest conversations about perfectionism. It has been powerful for me and many I know to have “Me, too.” conversations around this topic.

At the same time, all of the insight and awareness around perfectionism has created perfectionism around not being a perfectionist.

In essence, perfectionism can hijack the process of trying to move away from the perfectionism. It is an interesting beast, for sure.

Behind perfection is shame, anxiety and fear. There is nothing pretty about these emotions and the impact they have on our lives and the world around us. But the pain needs to be unburdened – not stuffed, minimized or camouflaged or they will keep hijacked what you desire most: connection, confidence and safe community. Which is why I am offering a workshop focused on the fierce protector so we can get curious about its intent and discover ways to shift away from a perfectionistic mindset without triggering feelings of overwhelm. 

If you say to yourself one or more of the following:

  • Why am I still struggling with____? You should have had things figured out by now…
  • No one can ever see me struggle.
  • Why try? It will not be good enough no matter what.
  • Everyone else has it all together but me…
  • I am obsessed with eating healthy – food is good or bad and my body is the enemy.
  • I can’t stop counting calories. If I do, I will lose control and not be desired.
  • You are the one who has to keep it all together. You can’t struggle.

…. then perfectionism is still trying to protect you the best way it knows how. 

And at the heart of these emotions lies trauma, betrayal, attachment injuries, rejection, loneliness, confusion.

If you try and fix perfectionism without digging deeper and doing the work to heal the root of the pain, you will only get temporary relief. And this work is not easy. But it can be so fruitful. It never ceases to amaze me what we learn about ourselves because we have the help of trusted support.

We can’t think ourselves through the pain – we have to feel our way through it. Perfection says fix it now and be done. Wisdom says this is a lifelong process.

My excitement about doing the work to (re) define perfection is in part selfish as I am doing this work continually myself. Safe community is a powerful space to continue to rumble with perfection and (re) define its role in your life.

If the pain of perfectionism resonates with you, I encourage you to consider joining us in San Diego on May 18-20 for (re) Define Perfection: Choosing Flexibility Over Rigidity – which is part of our summer mental health series for adults.  You’ll learn how to implement daily life practices to help build the resilience and courage needed to show up in life with both boundaries and an open heart. Learn More.

What do you rumble with this most? How is perfection costing you? I want to hear about your experiences with perfection and rigidity and how you are tackling this common issue.

With gratitude – Rebecca

What is perfectionism costing you?

A Manifesto on Struggle and Respect + One Week Until Our Open House

A Manifesto on Struggle and Respect + One Week Until Our Open House

 

At Potentia, we are dedicated to decreasing the stigma around mental health issues and those who ask for help when struggles arise. There are many mixed messages about daring to ask for help, especially from a therapist. We get it. Therapy has its own baggage as our field is often not portrayed in the best light in pop culture.

The therapists I work with – along with colleagues I know around the city and the globe – are doing their best to change the reputation of our field. By holding high professional standards and always learning, refining our professional skills and practicing personally what we encourage our clients – we strive to offer those we serve with the best clinical care.

There are so many ways to heal. EMDR Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Shame Resilience Theory, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Bowen and Structural Systems Therapy are many of the approaches we view how people change and heal.

Those seeking relief from trauma, loss, life transitions, eating disorders, addictions+compulsions, relationship tensions, depression, anxiety and more are some of the bravest people we know. The courage it takes to ask for help and commit to healing, improving, and growing never ceases to be inspiring and humbling to witness.

As we prepare for our 4th annual I Choose Respect effort to be showcased on our Facebook and Instagram feeds during the month of February, here are some thoughts on how we view struggle in the first I Choose Respect Manifesto.

icr-manifesto-colors-graphic<\a>

 

 

How are you going to take action?

No Body Story Shame

Hello and happy first Friday in June!

The Potentia team has transitioned into our summer schedule which is full of vacations, sun, and fun while continuing to serve our community by treating the whole person and the whole spectrum of mental health and wellness issues.

As many of our long-time friends know, one of the areas we offer specialized support is in the treatment of the eating disorder spectrum.

Today I am adding to the voices talking about World Eating Disorder Action Day – which was yesterday but better late than never!

I know when I write or talk about eating disorders, many say this issue is not important to them because it does not impact their life.

I ever so gently want nudge that sentiment to say that this issue – the most deadly of all mental health struggles – is an issue for us all.

In fact, this is a leadership issue and your voice and action is needed.

It is time to take action and create space to have a different conversation about food, health, bodies, worthiness, strength and success.

Many are secretly struggling with self-loathing, anxiety, fear and shame around how you feed, move, dress, rest and talk to your body. This may not present as a clinical eating disorder though the distress is still significant.

We live in a culture where it is acceptable – and often encouraged – to critique how people look, eat, dress, and live. Our bodies, which are both personal and private, are often not respected in search of  control, status, belonging and relief.

Shaming self and others destroys souls and never leads to sustained change or healing.

And this is where you come in on this call to action.

Even if eating disorders do seem like they not impact you, taking some subtle yet powerful actions to help create more safe spaces to talk about what it means to be well, what it is like to struggle with depression, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, recovering from trauma, neglect, loneliness and hopelessness can make a profound difference.

Genetics, family of origin and difficult like experiences play a role in how we all navigate what it means to be well. The media we consume, our social, professional and faith communities all have a powerful influence on our lives, too.

Would you consider taking action on any of the following areas? These may seem like small gestures or actions. Do not underestimate the power of making a small change.

  • Discourage negative body talk or shaming at your home, school, place of worship and.or work.
  • Affirm people based on their character not their looks or physical accomplishments.
  • Edit your consumption of media (tv, social media, magazines, etc) or even consider taking a media fast for a week.
  • Learn about orthorexia and how the obsession to eat healthy is really masking serious disordered eating, anxiety and other serious struggles.
  • Read this series I wrote for Darling Magazine on the myths and meanings of eating disorders.
  • Make a commitment to learn more about what it means to feed well, move well, rest well and talk with your body well. Dr. Megan Holt is an excellence resource for in-person or online health + wellness consultations.
  • Stop dieting and extreme ways of feeding and pursue a practice of intuitive and mindful eating.
  • If there is someone in your circle of influence you think may be struggling on the disordered eating spectrum, dare to have a courageous conversation with him/her – stating your love, your concern and your suggested resources. 
  • Commit to making the dinner table and home a place where food is discussed neutrally and is a means for fuel and medicine and enjoyment – not to be a source of obsession or fear.

 

What would you add to this list? 

How do you plan to take action in your circle of influence? 

 

With gratitude –

Rebecca Bass-Ching

PS – Make sure to check out our Summer Mental Health Camp offerings throughout the summer!

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