Just Breathe

Tiffany Jones —  4 December, 2015

Do you every feel so submerged in the stress and anxiety of the day that you would give anything for a moment of stillness? Breathwork is an amazing technique that can allow you to create a moment of space to be present and to quiet the whirlwind within. There are so many tips and tricks on how to utilize Breathwork on a daily basis, and it is a tool that you can use whenever and wherever you need to offer yourself a minute of relief. Whether you are stuck in rush hour traffic, dealing with your kids fighting, or running late to work, it only takes a moment to be kind to yourself and allow your heart to have the recovery it needs to make it through the rest of your day. Simply breathing and focusing on your breath does wonders for your mind, stress level, and body. Here is a tip to get you started on practicing Breathwork.

Envision a square, or the side of a box. Begin by focusing on the top left corner of the box. Now, inhale slowly and deeply and as you travel your gaze to the top right corner of the box while counting to 3… 1…2…3…pause.

Now travel your gaze from the top right corner of the box to the bottom right corner of the box as you slowly exhale while counting to 3… 1…2…3…pause.

Now travel your gaze from the bottom right corner of the box to the bottom left corner of the box as you slowly inhale while counting to 3… 1…2…3…pause.

Now travel your gaze from the bottom left corner of the box back to the top left corner of the box as you slowly exhale while counting to 3… 1…2…3…pause.

You can use this technique whenever and wherever you like. Be kind to yourself today, give your heart and mind the moment it needs to pause, and Just Breathe.

By Niko McManus, State Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

What Is Shame?

Tiffany Jones —  3 December, 2015

Shame… A word that is used frequently yet is so often misunderstood. The question is–what is shame exactly? And what does shame do? Julia Cameron, in her engaging book, The Artist’s Way, describes shame as the enemy to creativity. Cameron adds that shame is “a controlling device” – one that a person uses in an attempt to keep another from acting in such a way that brings embarrassment to the one inflicting the shame. Let’s look at an example. “Please tell me you’re not wearing that to the wedding… right? ” a mother states with repulsion to her teenage daughter. The girl walks away feeling confused, hurt, and less lovely than she really is.

Shame is pervasive and lies at the heart of many struggles that we face. Addiction, depression, anxiety – research shows they all have their roots in shame.

So we know what shame is and how it impacts a person’s life, but what do we do about it? Brené Brown, shame and vulnerability researcher, identifies the healing agent of shame. Are you ready for it…? Empathy. Empathy says, “I hear your pain and I get it.” It lessens the grip of shame with the beautiful message that you are enough, just the way you are.

The following Ted Talk is titled Listening to Shame. In it, Brené Brown shares about the impact of shame, and speaks boldly about the healing that results when we are courageous about confronting the shame in our lives.

Brene Brown Ted Talk

At Renew Counseling, we recognize the pain shame inflicts on the human heart. We also understand the power of empathy – and are honored to witness the effect true empathy has in the counseling relationship.

For additional resources on shame, we recommend the following books –

Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

By Jordan Chubb, Student Intern

Anxiety In Children

Tiffany Jones —  2 December, 2015

What should I know about helping my child with anxiety?
There are 3 typical areas that professionals target when supporting
children with anxiety:

1 – The Physiological Aspect: The physical symptoms related to
anxiety (butterflies, tummy pain, tense body, heart racing,
nausea, perspiration, etc.
2 – Cognitive Aspect: The thoughts associated with the anxiety
(ruminating on trigger, chronic questioning/wondering,
what if’s, etc.)
3 – Behavioral Aspect: The response to anxiety (fight, flight or
freeze). Many children may begin to avoid and/or act out
when feeling anxious.

What does support look like for the Physiological, Cognitive and
Behavioral components to anxiety?
We like to use a simple and convenient 3 C’s method by Stanley Hibbs

1 – The Physiological Aspect: Calming the body.
2 – Cognitive Aspect: Correct the thinking.
3 – Behavioral Aspect: Confront the fear.

What else should I know about my child’s anxiety?
● Knowing about your own emotions and your own anxiety is
important. You play a significant role to the healing of your child,
and your feelings and experiences do matter. When we learn to
better regulate ourselves we can better connect and support our
● Some children can benefit from medication and you may want to
consult with a physician.

By Lisa Hoang, LMHC

Asking for Help

Tiffany Jones —  7 October, 2015

How intimidating does that sound? Asking for help can seem impossible, especially when ruminating on the suffocating hurt and the fuel of pain and sadness that makes hope and change seem unattainable. Opening up to someone else can seem scary (will they judge me?), pointless (will they even understand?) or maybe even dangerous (can I trust them?). What if other questions need to be asked … What if they will accept me exactly where I am? What if they will fully engage me and seek understanding? Will they support me as I explore new options for myself? What if you don’t have to feel alone and figure things out all by yourself? The heaviness of uncertainty will surely stir some fright and hesitation, but a chance, an opportunity must be better than the exhaustion of trying to keep it together and present well.

Asking for help can stir up lots of emotions: fear, embarrassment, insecurity, anxiety, anger, shame and the list goes on. Seeking support and asking for help can break the ice and diminish some power of the unspoken. Support can be provided by many mediums: counseling, support groups, family, friends, mentor, teacher, church member, etc. The anticipation can be rough and Renew has many counselors who understand the vulnerability and effort it takes to reach out. We are eager to support and be present with you as you take your first steps to emotional strength and healing.

Grief and Loss

Tiffany Jones —  27 August, 2015

For most of us, when we hear the words grief or loss we can almost immediately remember the death of a friend or family member. Death and loss are experienced by everyone and are universally some of our most painful life experiences. And the closer you were to the person, generally, the stronger the grief response in their death. Sometimes the memories of the loss can be triggered by simple things in our environment. Some memories are triggered by music or sounds and voices. Others triggered through tastes or smells. While other memories can be triggered by the the environment, our surroundings, or even the movement of our bodies, or body position. So much of our memories are stored in our bodies that some who grieve are shocked when they suddenly start crying about the loved one while exercising or sitting in a specific position, but it happens. Our bodies are sometimes the biggest triggers for memories and for the feelings of loss and sadness that occur. For some, the death of an animal is often experientially felt as strong or even more strong as the death of a person. Pets are often the most loving and connected relationships in our lives. And so, for some, losing a pet can be more traumatic than losing a spouse or a child. And for some, the loss of a pet is a reminder of other losses that have occurred while the pet was alive. This leads to the potential for grief and loss can to be much worse with the loss of our pets. Checking in with a counselor after a loss is a great way of helping us recover from it. Therapy can also be a place to check in and evaluate how well you are working through the grieving process. And, if you start feeling overwhelmed or stuck after a loss, or if you struggle making decisions or performing normal and ordinary tasks, it might be good to visit a counselor to see what is happening. Renew Counselors are ready and prepared to help you walk through the journey of grief and loss. Our counselors are trained to understand what normal and abnormal grief is like, and can help you deal with the complex and complicated issues that are blocking you from experiencing life. If you or someone you know are struggling with grief or just needing to check in and process loss, call today.

Anxiety And Stress

Tiffany Jones —  25 August, 2015

Anxiety is probably one of the most common feelings people have today. It’s very normal for people to become anxious when a big project is due, when there is a deadline for work, or when an outcome to something important is unknown. People naturally feel anxious when life is not very predictable, or when there is a perceived threat. For some people though, the anxiety that should be connected to a situation or event does not go away; it can linger and even get worse. It’s almost as if the anxiety and stress that should show up and help us push through a project or help us when we feel threatened stays with us and continues to haunt our days and nights. In these cases, anxiety has now become a painful experience and for some, overwhelming. When this happens there are very common symptoms that can feel crushing or even paralyzing to many. Some of the common symptoms of anxiety and overwhelming stress include: feelings of panic, fear, and general uneasiness. These feelings are often accompanied with problems sleeping, shortness of breath and even dizziness. Some people even experience heart palpitations (when it feels like your heart is fluttering or skipping a beat), nausea, and muscle tension or tingling. People who experience anxiety struggle staying very calm and can feel overwhelmed by daily routines. This is a very painful and debilitating problem. Yet for those who recognize they have anxiety problems, counseling does an amazing job in helping reduce the symptoms and often help people return to more normal productive lives. Renew counseling has a great team of therapists ready to help you answer questions or help you make sense of what is happening in your life. They can work with you and help you find new ways of dealing with the anxiety and stress, so that you can become the person that you were meant to be. Then, you can fulfill all of the goals and dreams you’ve been waiting to accomplish.

Depresión En La Mujer

Tiffany Jones —  20 August, 2015

La depresión es el ahora el diagnóstico más común para adultos en los Estados Unidos. Casi el diez por ciento de la población sufre de depresión cada año, pero muy pocos buscan tratamiento. Parte del problema podría ser que los impactos de depresión todo el mundo de forma única. Hay una frase común en estos días en la comunidad médica que indique que “una talla no sirve para todos la depresión.” Esto es especialmente cierto en las diferencias encontradas en la depresión en hombres y mujeres. Aunque la depresión incluye síntomas como: pensamientos suicidas, profunda tristeza, pérdida de la alegría en las cosas que solían ser divertido, sentimientos de profunda culpa, vergüenza y falta de valor, también hay problemas fisiológicos que tratar. Muchos sufren de depresión también experimentan problemas con el sueño, el apetito y cambios de peso, dificultad para concentrarse, así como la falta de energía y la fatiga. Aunque muchos luchan con comer menos y dormir menos y perder peso, sin embargo, muchas mujeres luchan con comer más, dormir más y aumentar de peso. Y para las mujeres, esto puede hacer que sus sentimientos de depresión peor, en especial el aumento de peso. El asesoramiento es no sólo un gran recurso para las mujeres que están pasando por la depresión, pero puede ayudar con muchos de los efectos fisiológicos de la depresión. Renew Counseling tiene un cuidado, equipo compasivo listo para caminar con ustedes durante este tiempo, ayudando a lidiar con su depresión y le ayuda a convertirse en un mejor, más grande que usted. Llame para hacer una cita hoy.

Depression in Women

Tiffany Jones —  19 August, 2015

Depression is the now the most common diagnosis for adults in the United States. Almost ten percent of the population suffers from depression each year, but very few seek treatment. Part of the problem could be that depression impacts everyone uniquely. There is a common phrase these days in the medical community stating that “one size does not fit all depression.” This is especially true due to the differences found in ways depression is presented in men and women. Although depression includes symptoms such as: suicidal thoughts, deep sadness, loss of joy in things that used to be fun, feelings of deep guilt, shame and worthlessness, there are also physiological issues to deal with. Many suffering from depression also experience problems with sleep, appetite and weight changes, difficulty concentrating, as well as lack of energy and fatigue. Although many struggle with eating less, sleeping less, and losing weight, many women struggle with eating more, sleeping more, and gaining weight. For women, these manifestations of depression, especially when women experience weight gain associated with their depression, may cause their feelings of depression to worsen. Counseling is not only a great resource for women who are experiencing depression, but can help with many of the physiological effects of depression. Renew Counseling has a caring, compassionate team ready to walk with you during this time, helping you deal with your depression and helping you to become a better, greater you. Call to make an appointment today.

Article On Perfectionism

Tiffany Jones —  16 March, 2015

How many of us struggle with feeling like we have to be perfect?  With never feeling like who we are is actually good enough?  This is a great article that addresses some practical ways we can work on perfectionism…


The Broken Vase

Tiffany Jones —  2 August, 2014

This is a great reminder for all of us, and an amazing word picture for the counseling process…

This incident happened about 10 years ago. I was teaching a course on severe character pathology to a group of psychiatric residents and clinical psychology interns and usually ended each session by taking questions from the group. One afternoon, after I had spoken enthusiastically about psychoanalytic treatment of such conditions, a young man posed this question: “After the successful completion of a most intensive psychoanalytic treatment conducted by a most skillful psychoanalyst under the best of circumstances, would an individual with severe character pathology become indistinguishable from a person who has always been psychologically well adjusted and health?”

I thought for a moment. Then, prompted by an inner voice, I spontaneously came up with the following answer: “Well, let us suppose that there are two flower vases made of fine china. Both are intricately carved and of comparable value, elegance, and beauty. Then a wind blows and one of them falls from its stand, and is broken into pieces. An expert from a distant land is called. Painstakingly, step by step, the expert glues the pieces back together. Soon the broken vase is intact again, can hold water without leaking, is unblemished to all who see it. Yet this vase is now different from the other one. The lines along which it had broke , a subtle reminder of yesterday, will always remain discernible to an experienced eye. However, it will have a certain wisdom since it knows something that the vase that has never been broken does not: it knows what it is to break and what it is to come together. Does this answer your question?”

~Dr. Salman Akhtar, Broken Structures, pg. 375, copyright 1992